ABATE of Michigan Inc.
P.O. Box 99
​Constantine, Mi. 49042

​Phone: 269 435-2058


Fighting for the rights of all motorcyclists since 1976

from the prez

Contact State of Michigan ABATE President: abatensf@tir.com
Phone: 248 684-6576​

From the Prez:

It’s been a tough month.  I missed the raffle.  Then I was on the road the rest of the month.   Until we have a resolution on SB 528 we are in crisis mode.  I am asking every member to make an effort to move this bill ASAP.  The state itself is in a legislative crisis and could care less about our concerns and that is why you as a motorcyclists need to make it your concern.

State Motorcycle Safety Administrators (SMSA), Conference was held in Grand Rapids, Michigan in September this year.  It was followed by a one day, state wide Michigan Motorcycle Safety Coach (Instructor) conference also in Grand Rapids.  The four day conference covered a number of issues dealing with motorcycle safety nationwide.  Sponsors at this conference included AHSI Insurance, BRP, Crown Advertising, Harley-Davidson Riding Academy, Management Systems INC., Maryland Motorcycle Safety Program, Richmond Rider Alert, SkidBike, SMARTER, Snell, and Total Control.  Unfortunately ABATE of Michigan couldn’t afford to be a sponsor.  SMARTER had a sponsor table loaded with “facts and figures” on the benefits of helmet usage and helmet laws.

Sessions were held on Creating Partnerships, the Road to Zero, Jocelyn Benson, Michigan Secretary of State, and a Bosch presentation on What Technology Can do for Motorcycle Safety.  Other presentations included Summary of the NTSB Report, Select Risk Factors Associated with the cause of Motorcycle Crashes, Learning by Accident, and Effective use of Social Media Strategies. SMSA Individual members holding a roundtable discussion run by Jay Jackson.  Some of it was actually very interesting.  The Bosch presentation was excellent.  The technology advances like ABS, tracking, and communication are in place or coming.  Technology that creates safety riding like ABS should be embraced not feared.  I can still remember some riders complaining about disc brakes over drum brakes.  If it stops you quicker it will prevent accidents.

Next day presentations included how to find motorcycle instructors, Driver Education on how to see motorcycles in traffic, motorcycle maintenance, program to increase Voluntary helmet use, Snell helmet M2020, ARC Large range, How to get Motorcyclists to complete the Licensing Process, Licensing and Crashes, Endorsements and Beyond, and “The Circuit Rider Course.”  Future of Motorcycle Safety.

Of course the ARC large was the one.  That was mine and will be doing it at the seminar in January.  The Circuit Riding Course is a new MSF course that combines advance training techniques and track school in a one day setting providing 1-1 instruction for all class members.  1-1 isn’t cheap.  The cost of that class is about $500.00 each.  The large ARC is $50.00. 

Saturday was range day.  I want to thank Mark, Scott, Bob, Chris, Brian, and Rick for helping to set up the ARC.  We did select exercises in the morning and a licensing riding challenging in the afternoon.  Exercises from the Circuit Rider Course were done on another range morning and afternoon.  Ranges

and motorcycles were provided by Grand Rapids Community College Program.  I want to thank GRCC program for their cooperation and assistance throughout the weekend.  SMSA ended on Saturday.  On Sunday we had the Michigan Coach Conference.  The last one was held in 1993.  Most states do an annual or semi –annual.  It was interesting and showed that the coaches need to be consistent across the state.

Meeting of the Minds trip started off in Lansing.  We needed a SB 528 meeting.  From there me & Butch headed north going over the bridge to Gerry & Mimi’s for a great dinner and cocktails.  Good start for a trip.  The next morning started off rough as I needed to go to the Sec of State and Butch’s trike was rattling and rocking loudly.  I went west and Butch decided to head back home.  It started to rain and then it poured for a couple of hours.  The ride along the lake was a true wash.  I got in mid Wisconsin and it slowed up and even dried up making it a nicer ride.  Made it in the hotel and it was good to see folks.  Thursday night is the state reporting and it is always interesting to hear what is going on around the country.  Met up with Jinx and Patty and was glad to see some Michiganders there.   Unfortunately we are still the button state.  Missouri came very close but their governor veto their bill.  AS WE KNOW, HELMET REPEAL IS NO EASY TASK!!  I gave our report and I don’t like our current state of affairs.  The insurance thing must be solved before the riding season begins in 2020.  If you have not contacted your house representative and your state senator get off your dead center and DO IT!!  Jay ran the meeting and does a good job.

 Congratulations to Jinx for his award for the most club members.  5 years in a row.   That’s a Good Job.   

“Live to Ride” with Slider was good.  Staying healthy is hard and it makes a difference.  Eat to Live.  Yeah, I hear that at home.  Hardtail make it and as usual pumped the crowd up.  He mentioned some hip cups at the MRF.  He laid out his soccer coaching philosophy.  1st “Soak it up” figure out what’s going on.  2nd Fix it.  Solve the problem and develop a solution.  3rd Be Better, get a long term solution to afford the problem.  The MRF had some issues and Hardtail detailed them and the MRF is moving forward.

Changes in the MRF operations.  They are closing the Washington office.  It’s just to expenses for the returns.  That doesn’t mean the MRF won’t have a presence in Washington DC.  It means they won’t be paying a fortune for a Washington address.  MRF files and records will be housed in the ABATE of Indiana State.  I am good with it.  If you have concerns call me for a BETTER explanation.

Chopper was just as good as Slider the next day.  Those brothers know how tell a good story.   Workshops on NHSTA funding.  Michigan is left out in the cold and will NOT get $100,000.00 in Federal Funds due to a OHSP decision.  Skinny Bob’s workshop on social media was an eye opener.  We are a couple years late and short on a response. 

Next Year is in Indy.  No excuses, plenty of notice.  I would like to see 50 ABATE of Michigan members there!! 

Another weekend another conference.  Yes, sad but true.  This was the MSF conference in Columbus, Ohio.  Not my favorite place.  I have been an MSF Instructor/Coach for 40 years.   I have been and always will be the ABATE guy at the MSF conference.  There was lots of workshops.  Some were good and some were ok.  Ohio is in worse shape than Michigan in the rider education world.  How is that? Confusion from the top and bottom.  Change in curriculum and actually 2-3 separate curriculums in the same state.  I did attend some good workshops and I was seen.

The task at hand is clear.  SB 528 is a solution to a major insurance issue.  Grass Roots means you have a responsibility to get involved.   We need lots of pressure to get this done.  Make it your Mission.   

Ride while you can,

Vince