It has been a while since I have been able to get a newsletter out. My sincerest apologies, friends.
My wife and I have been very busy the last few months. In November of 05, our son was diagnosed with Aspergers' Syndrome. And since the diagnosis, we have been working, more like battling, his school, to make some changes that will benefit him, instead of hinder him, in his schoolwork and studies..
If you would like to learn more about Aspergers' Syndrome, and PDD, please feel free to visit this site ....
Aspergers and PDD.com
So I am back to work, again, and I thank you all for hanging around. Having said that, I think it is time to get to work.
So, here we go! In this newsletter, Current Safety Recalls, new ATV Insurance Plan, ATV Club News, and What is going on in West Virginia??
American Suzuki Motor Corp. is recalling about 300 2006 model year Eiger ATVs. The mounting brackets used to secure the left-front suspension arm to the ATV frame may not have been welded completely and could break off during riding. If this occurs the rider could lose control of the ATV and crash, posing a risk of serious injury or death.
Only Suzuki 2006 model year LT-A400K6, LT-A400FK6 and LT-F400FK6 model ATVs with certain vehicle identification numbers are included in this recall. The vehicle identification number is located on the left rear side of the ATV frame. Eiger, printed in white letters, and QuadRunner and Suzuki are written on the side of the ATV. These ATVs were sold in red, black and green.
Suzuki ATV dealers sold the ATVs from May through July for about $4,500 for the LT-A400K6, $5,300 for the LT-A400FK6 and $5,200 for the LT-F400FK6.
Consumers should contact their local Suzuki ATV dealer to schedule an appointment for a free repair. Consumers with the recalled ATVs are being sent direct notices from Suzuki.
For more information, consumers should call Suzuki at 1-800- 444-5077 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. PT Monday through Friday.
New Insurance Plan For OHV Clubs and OHV Parks
If you are an officer or member of an ATV Club, then you have probably run into this scenario. Your club decides to host a poker run, show, or some other event to help you either raise money and awareness about a local cause. Planning the event has always been easier than getting the event insured. But that is changing, for a lot of ATV Clubs and OHV Clubs. I received this the other day, and am presenting it here in its' entirety. There are some links below for further information and clarification.
National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC)
4718 S. Taylor Drive
Sheboygan, WI 53574
Tel 800-348-6487 fax 920-458-3446
Thursday, July 20, 2006
NEW INSURANCE PROGRAM AVAILABLE FOR OHV CLUBS AND PARKS
A positive turn for one of the toughest obstacles that off-highway vehicle recreationists currently face.
Motorized off-road recreation is enjoyed by a large segment of the population, with approximately 15 million off-highway vehicle (OHV) riders currently in the US. With the increasing popularity of OHV recreation, the many challenges of insuring OHV clubs and parks have appeared.
Insurance coverage, particularly liability insurance, has been tough to obtain for OHV recreation," says Jeff Magowan, of Garceau,Wenick-Kutz, Magowan Insurance Agency in Escanaba, Michigan. Magowan, an avid off-highway motorcyclist, has been involved in insuring OHV clubs and parks for many years. Because of his passion and involvement in the sport, he understands the unique requirements of this specialized coverage.
Unfortunately, insurance coverage has only been available sporadically, leaving many clubs and parks either without coverage, or paying exorbitant premiums. Increasing the availability of insurance coverage for off-highway recreation was a natural for Magowan.
Recently, working with an "A-Rated" insurance carrier, he has developed a competitive insurance option for off-highway organizations, businesses, and trail systems. "Putting all the pieces together has been a five year project," says Magowan. "We've put several risks in the program, and have found the coverage and pricing to be very competitive.
According to Jeff, his affiliation with the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council helped in the development of his most recent OHV insurance program. Because the participants in NOHVCC programs represent the "best in the business" of OHV recreation, the program is being released initially through the NOHVCC, before being introduced to the general public.
As laws vary from state to state, the insurance coverage may not be available in all states. For more information, contact Jeff Magowan at (906)789-0900 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeff Magowan of Escanaba, Michigan was recently appointed as the NOHVCC Associate State Representative from the Wolverine State
High-resolution photos for publication are available on request.
For more information on this press release, contact;
NOHVCC Communications Director
The National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council
4718 S. Taylor Drive
Sheboygan, WI 53574
ATV Club News
We are always updating the ATV Clubs page, and we have added several more in the last few days. Be sure to let us know if your ATV club isn't listed yet.
ATV Clubs and ATV Associations
Only 39 Days until The 2006 Jamboree! Sign Up Now To Reserve Your Rides!
I just wanted to remind everyone that the 2006 Jamboree is coming up September 5th. We encourage all those who are planning to participate to ignup now online or call us toll free at 1-866-409-9378. We hope to see you there!
In other ATV Club News, Henry, the webmaster at Southeastern Kentucky Trail Riders has been busy adding some new pix at their site. Make sure to stop by and check them out. I also need to send a shout out to Henry, it was he who let me know about New ATV Insurance Plan you read about in the article above. Thanks, Henry!
For Jeff Anderson, four-wheeling is a way to see more backcountry than he might otherwise experience.
Anderson, 45, of Lakewood Township, has been four-wheeling for about 15 years. He started shortly after he was injured in a car crash. He is a paraplegic.
"I was an outdoors guy," he said during a lunch break on our trail ride earlier this month. "After I got hurt 16 years ago, I spent about a year and a half not going beyond my driveway. A friend came by and let me drive his four-wheeler. The next week I went and bought my own."
Anderson has owned about a half-dozen ATVs and now rides a Polaris 500. He hauls a well-worn wheelchair along on his ATV rides, loading it on the back of his machine when he's on the trail.
"It's been broken a few times," he said.
At lunch, Anderson assembled the wheelchair and used it on the smooth grass surrounding Dick Ronning's deer shack near Comstock Lake.
Anderson said he rides two to three times a month, always with a group. He also maintains the Arrowhead ATV Club Website and serves as ride coordinator.
Stop in and check out Jeff's hard work, and make sure to say Hello!
I also picked up this little blurb, any one know where Alger County is?
An Illinois man is trying to cross North America on an All Terrain Vehicle.
Jim Bergren's journey started 29 days ago in Oregon. He reached Alger County last night.
Bergren came up with the idea when he started creating a Web site that seeks to map ATV trails in the country.
He plans to keep designating ATV trails after his trek is finished.
Bergren expects to reach the East coast around Aug. 5.
In 2004, after way too many deaths, West Virginia legislators passed a tepid package of safety regulations on the use of all-terrain vehicles.
Yet West Virginians continue to use the machines in ways even their manufacturers say is unsafe.
Not surprisingly, the deaths continue.
A record 40 people died in West Virginia as a result of ATV accidents in 2005. As of last Saturday, the state is on pace to exceed that: 34 people have died on ATVs so far this year.
When even the manufacturers are asking for tougher safety regulations, state officials should comply.
Getting the public's attention about the dangers of ATVs could save a great many lives.
Karen Coria, a lobbyist for ATV manufacturers, recently told a legislative interim committee that the 2004 legislation has lethal loopholes.
ATVs are not designed to run on paved roads, but the 2004 law allows people to use them on paved roads that lack a center line. There are 30,000 miles of such roads in this state.
If riding on pavement is unsafe, the state ought to make it illegal everywhere.
The 2004 law requires helmets for riders younger than 18. Yet of the seven children killed so far this year, only two were wearing helmets.
What can the state do to get parents' attention?
Current law doesn't require adults to use helmets, yet adults continue to die from head injuries.
The state should simply require adults to wear helmets.
Most ATVs are not designed to carry passengers, but people continue to do that.
What can the state do to discourage that?
Legislators passed weak regulations and let counties impose a hodgepodge of 55 sets of local rules.
Barring the use of ATVs on all paved roads, statewide, would make it a lot easier to communicate to riders across the state the dangers of riding on pavement. The state should simply do that.
Mountaineers cherish their freedom, and passing a bunch of regulations won't help if people simply ignore them.
But ATV buyers do not appear to be getting a clear picture of the dangers inherent in the machines.
The state should refine its regulations and send a clearer message. It should do so without delay.
I guess that some of the fine people in West Virginia have taken leave of their senses. I am disappointed that the ATV dealers in the state did nothing to keep these insane rules from being passed. I have a few problems with this, allow me to elaborate.....
1. No one should EVER be on an ATV without a helmet. This is just common sense, and any parent that will allow their kids to ride without a helmet should be promptly arrested for child endangerment, and being an unfit parent.
2. ATVs on paved roads????? ATVs do not have the correct license, tires, lights, insurance, and other required equipment for on road use. How can the state allow riders to do something that the manufacturers say isn't safe??? Have you read your warning stickers lately?
3. And lastly, 98% of the ATVs are designed, built, tested, and approved for ONE person, NO passengers. The legislators must have had several martinis, pitchers, or something else for lunch that day. What a bunch of idiots!!!
What these "rules" will do is to help bankrupt the state's bank account. I expect that there will be a lawsuit filed every time a resident is hurt on his ATV, while following the new state rules. And since the rules are in direct contradiction with the Consent Decree, and the manufacturer's guidelines. the state will be left holding the bag, and writing the checks. A lot of checks, not to mention paying huge legal fees for trying to defend this legislation in court.
OK, down off the soapbox...
With that in mind, here is some info just to remind the West Virginia lawmakers of how ATVs should be ridden.
As summer breezes blow in, ATV (all terrain vehicle) enthusiasts are stirring up wind gusts all their own as they tour through area trails. With ATV manufacturers coming up with dozens of ways to make the ride more enjoyable from all-wheel drive to electronic fuel injection and improved ergonomics -there's a lot of fun to be had this summer. But, even with all these features, a great ride can take a wrong turn if safety isn't the rider's top priority.
Whether riding on a muddy trail or up a rocky slope, ATV riders are expected to obey all applicable laws, just like car drivers on city streets. And, just like car drivers it's imperative that recreational vehicle riders be educated and know everything about their machines. So, before heading out to enjoy a fun day of riding, here are some tips for getting the most out of any ATV ride.
+ Choose the Right Vehicle -Adult model ATVs are for riders age 16 and older only. Younger riders should never ride an adult-sized vehicle until they are at least age 16. Read and understand your owner's manual and the on-product labels on your vehicle before you ride.
+ Complete a Safety Course First-time riders should always take an ATV safety course before heading out on the trails. Experienced riders should take a refresher course if it's been awhile since they last rode.
+ Gear Up -Riders should always wear a helmet and other protective gear, including gloves, long pants, footwear that covers the ankles, a long-sleeve shirt or jacket and eye protection.
+ Respect the Environment Where You Ride -Always obey all applicable laws and ride only in approved or designated areas and trails. Make sure to get permission before riding on private property and NEVER ride on paved surfaces.
+ Know Your Limits -Do not ride at excessive speeds or past the limit of your visibility. Do not attempt maneuvers beyond your capability.
+ Respect Vehicle Capacity Guidelines -Riders should never carry a passenger on an ATV unless the ATV has been specifically designed to carry an operator and a passenger. On ATVs designed for two riders, the passenger also must wear a helmet and protective gear.
+ Don't Drive Impaired -Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
+ Tell a Friend -Always make a plan before you ride and tell someone where you're going. Ride in a group of two or three and create a buddy system.
+ Watch Your Speed -Avoid excessive speed and do not attempt maneuvers beyond your capability.
Knowing that safe and responsible riding makes all the difference on the trails, ATV manufacturers such as Polaris Industries have teamed up with the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America (SVIA) to offer complimentary safety training to ATV buyers.
To further advance awareness for safe and responsible riding, Polaris has launched a nationwide "T.R.A.I.L.S." program that awards grants to organizations seeking to promote ATV rider safety or preserve land access through trail development and maintenance.
"We take safe riding seriously, which is why Polaris recently launched a grant program in support of organizations across the country seeking to promote safe ATV riding and trail preservation," said Bennett Morgan, president and chief operating officer of Polaris. "We're putting the money you invest in us back into protecting the sport we love."
Check with a local dealer for details about SVIA courses.
Arctic Cat Results for Fiscal 2007 First Quarter; Revenues higher than anticipated, led by 45% increase in ATV sales
THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn.--July 26, 2006--Arctic Cat Inc. (Nasdaq:ACAT) today reported net sales of $96.4 million for the fiscal 2007 first quarter ended June 30, 2006, compared to $107.9 million for the same period last year.
"Our first quarter results were better than planned, primarily due to higher all-terrain vehicle sales to dealers," said Christopher A. Twomey, chairman and chief executive officer. "We are pleased with our dealers' positive response to our newest model ATVs, which we unveiled at our June dealer show. We also are encouraged that retail sales of Arctic Cat ATVs grew at a much faster pace than the overall ATV industry during the quarter."
Arctic Cat's ATV sales increased 45 percent to $60.2 million in the first quarter versus $41.4 million in the prior-year quarter. The company attributed the ATV sales gains to continued high demand for its Prowler UTV and the timing of shipments.
As expected, snowmobile sales declined 60 percent to $20.9 million from $52.0 million in the prior-year quarter. Contributing to these results was the previously disclosed, planned shift of Arctic Cat's extensive new 2007 model snowmobile production, along with related revenue and earnings, into the company's 2007 second and third fiscal quarters. The company still expects full-year snowmobile revenues to exceed last year based on the strength of its 2007 model line-up, of which nearly 80 percent is new models.
Parts, garments and accessories (PG&A) sales grew 6 percent to $15.4 million versus $14.5 million in the year-ago period. PG&A benefited primarily from ATV parts and accessories sales, including Arctic Cat's new SPEEDPoint(TM) System of pull-behind attachments that enable ATVs to be used for a broader range of farming and landscaping activities.
During the 2007 first quarter, Arctic Cat repurchased approximately 112,500 shares of its common stock, leaving $8.5 million remaining under the company's $20 million share repurchase program.
"We anticipate reporting record full-year sales for fiscal 2007," said Twomey. "However, lower margins are expected to continue to constrain earnings, primarily as a result of our continued shift in product mix to a higher percentage of ATV sales versus snowmobiles."
Arctic Cat anticipates fiscal 2007 second-quarter net sales for the period ending September 30, 2006, to range between $290 million and $300 million, up from $276.3 million for the same period last year. Net earnings are estimated to be between $1.03 and $1.08 per diluted share, including the impact of SFAS 123(R), which is estimated to be $0.02 per diluted share in the second quarter. The company reported earnings of $0.96 per diluted share in the prior-year quarter, which did not include the non-cash expensing of stock options.
For the current fiscal year ending March 31, 2007, Arctic Cat continues to anticipate reporting its seventh consecutive year of record sales. Net sales are estimated to grow 3 percent to 6 percent and be in the range of $754 million to $776 million. Full-year diluted earnings per share are anticipated to be in the range of $1.13 to $1.19, including approximately $0.07 to $0.08 per diluted share for the impact of adopting SFAS 123(R). In fiscal 2006, the company reported full-year earnings per diluted share of $1.20, which did not include the non-cash expensing of stock options.
About Arctic Cat
Arctic Cat Inc. designs, engineers, manufactures and markets all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and snowmobiles under the Arctic Cat(R) brand name, as well as related parts, garments and accessories. Its common stock is traded on the Nasdaq National Market under the ticker symbol "ACAT." More information about Arctic Cat and its products is available on the Internet at Artic Cat.com
And lastly, some sad news in the ATV world...
Deere & Co. , the world's largest maker of agricultural equipment, said on Friday that it was getting out of the all-terrain vehicle market, a business it entered just two years ago.
In response to a query, the Moline, Illinois-based company said it had notified its employees and dealers that it was exiting the business because it "has not achieved an acceptable level of profitability."
Deere said no Deere jobs were affected by the decision because the ATVs were manufactured by Bombardier Recreational Products, a Valcourt, Quebec,-based privately held company.
Deere, which began selling the ATVs in the spring of 2004, said it remained committed to its Gator-branded utility vehicles, which are used in more commercial applications.
It said it will honor all product warranties for the ATVs and would make sure parts were available for 10 years.
Deere, which also makes construction and forestry equipment and lawn and garden products, has made a series of cuts over the past year.
In January, it said it was closing a plant in Woodstock, Ontario, that was part of its construction and forestry products unit, and laying off 325 workers to "create more efficiency in its business operations."
Last December, the company agreed to sell its wholly owned managed-care unit to UnitedHealth Group Inc. for about $500 million in stock.
At this year's annual meeting in February, Robert Lane, Deere's chairman and chief executive, said the company was committed to pruning underperforming businesses from its portfolio.
Asked by a shareholder if Deere would discontinue an item, or an entire product line, to improve its operating performance, Lane said: "Everything has to carry its weight. Nothing is immune from being examined ... Everything is under the microscope."
Deere shares closed up $1.37 or 1.9 percent at $73.92 on the NYSE on Friday.
Well, that's about it for now. Until the next issue, Ride Safe. Ride Legal. Ride Again...Curtis