Posts Tagged ‘California’

On the road with Joe Bonnello (aka Joey B’s California Gold)

May 14, 2010

We just got a message and a buncha great photos from everybody’s favorite shorts-clad photographer, Joe Bonnello. Seems Joey B. has been out and about, exploring the nooks and crannies of California, exposing his gams to the far reaches of this great state.

We’d tell more, but Joe agreed to write us an account of his trip to the Quail Motorcycle Gathering in Carmel where he took some shots. Look down for Joe’s words and then keep going to see some of his pics. I like Joe’s style. Damn this makes me want to ride …… 

The Ride. The Show. The Spring!

So it goes like this — May in California is already summer, hot, dry, dusty, brown. But, this year, no!

Cool, damp, g-r-e-e-n. Never happened I say. Gotta ride before the heat. Ride, ride I say. So, got the Cagiva ready. Found out the Quail was happening in Carmel. Got on the bike and headed across the desert to the mountains. Jumped into the twisties and proceeded to find every nasty, twisty, obscure and downright stupid road in California, all the way from Apple Valley to Monterey, and then back. Over Frazier Park. Around Taft. Across the inland mountains to Atascadero. Around the prettiest roads near Paso Robles. Through Hunter Liggett to the coast. Up spectacular PCH to Monterey, then to Carmel for the Quail Motorcycle Gathering.

Lot’s of gorgeous bikes but no Quails in sight. Out over Carmel Valley, the back way around Coalinga (epic!), across the San Joaquin Valley on farm roads, up to the base of the Sierras to Bass Lake. Hook up with Larry Langley and David (more…)

LeoVince Hosts Benefit Street Ride, May 14

April 20, 2009

LeoVince’s 4th Annual Grape Crusher ride, benefiting Speedway Children’s Charities, takes place Thursday, May 14.4-7-09grapecrusherflyer

The ride, 100 to 120 miles in length, follows the California coastline northward then cuts inland through the wine country back to Infineon Speedway. Riders will gather at LeoVince USA’s Richmond, Calif. headquarters starting at 9:30am with the ride leaving promptly at 11 am. A gourmet lunch served along the way, and Jason Britton will be one of the celebrity guests joining the ride. The ride ends at Infineon Raceway at 5 pm with a catered reception including LeoVince athletes, celebrities and team crews.

Cost is $40 per entry and includes a takeaway gift and raffle. All benefits from the ride go to the Speedway Children’s Charities fund.

For more information and to register for the ride, go to

Yamaha Still Trying to Satisfy Consumers Via Buy-Back Program

January 12, 2009

Chris Hanekamp is among multiple R1 owners unhappy with Yamaha's Customer Assistance Program.

Californian Chris Hanekamp, owner of a 2000 Yamaha R1, is unhappy with Yamaha Motor Corp., USA. Hanekamp’s displeasure stems from a motorcycle buy-back program that’s the result of a lawsuit Yamaha and South Seas Cycle Exchange of Honolulu settled in 2007 with the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

The suit, filed in 2005, stemmed from a CARB investigation that started in 2002 and found that Yamaha had imported more than 400 motorcycles that failed to meet California emissions standards. Yamaha evidently registered the bikes in California, obtained state license plates, and then eventually sold some of them to state residents. In most cases, these were popular 1999 – 2002 R6 and R1 models that were in great demand and difficult to purchase in California. CARB said it found that one dealer, San Jose Yamaha, sold approximately 200 units to California residents.

Under terms of the agreement, Yamaha paid approximately $1.2 million to the California Air Pollution Control Fund, $500,000 to fund a project to test the impact of ethanol fuel blends on emissions from off-road gasoline engines, and $300,000 to the Office of the Attorney General for attorneys’ fees.

In addition to the financial penalties, Yamaha and South Seas Cycle Exchange started a vehicle purchase program to buy back and destroy or remove any motorcycles that had been identified as not having been certified for use or registration in California.

The vehicle purchase program launched in November 2007 with letters sent to consumers who had purchased the bikes in question. In the letter, Yamaha explains that the buy-back program – which the OEM calls a “Customer Assistance Program” – would use a starting valuation that’s an average between the high and low prices for the bike as provided in, then adjust the offer based upon the condition of the bike, the mileage, and any accessories that have been added.

Hanekamp, one of multiple consumers who have declined Yamaha’s offer, purchased his R1 from San Jose Yamaha in September 2000. He says the bike has been “kept in immaculate condition,” has 12,000 miles logged, and has sentimental value because his father, who passed away in 2001, helped him make the purchase.

“I had made several attempts throughout the year to resolve this,” Hanekamp tells Dealernews. “I gave them two options: Either offer me the full price I had paid for the bike when I purchased it new or let me trade straight across for a 2009 model in exchange for my title. They did not want to budge on their offer of $6,500.

Contacted for this piece, Yamaha offered only that it is still working with multiple owners to resolve the situation.

“I‘m not going to give in to Yamaha Corp. wanting to solve their problem by buying my bike back at depreciated value,” Hanekamp says. “After all, they are the ones that created this mess and knew about it all along.”