Ask Our Lawyer – May 2019

by Rod Taylor – ABATE Legal Services


 They will come from everywhere.  Three thousand to five thousand bikes will roll into Indy from

Illinois, Ohio, Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan and Iowa. Bill Kingery, Executive Director of the Miracle Ride Foundation says it best: “What a great day to give away some motorcycles, ride around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and raise a bunch of money for Riley Hospital for Children!”

Join us for the 26th anniversary Miracle Ride on June 1-2, 2019. You’ll be in good company! Riders include some big wigs like radio personality Tom Griswold of the Bob & Tom Show®, Jay Jackson, Executive Director of ABATE of Indiana, Ed Schetter, Executive Director of ABATE of Ohio, Dennis Byron, State Coordinator of ABATE of Illinois, and many of the officers of the MROs of Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio.  Bill Kingery, Executive Director of the Miracle Ride Foundation, Marc Falsetti, Editor of the Hoosier Motorcyclist and other luminaries for a ride around the world-famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS). The event includes lunch, a bike show, a huge motorcycle giveaway and several Poker Runs all culminating at the Indy 500 track.

Recall the many supporters that have made previous rides. Governors Daniels and former Governor and now V.P. Pence, several Colts players, Jeff Saturday, Ryan Diem, Jake Scott, Tony Castonzo, Chad Bratske, Ellis Johnson, Ryan Lilja, as well as offensive line coach Howard Mudd. Forrest and Charlotte Lucas were there as was former AMA President Ed Youngblood and of course comedian Tim Cavanagh.

Rupert Boneham of the TV show “Survivor” fame joined us, as has Medal of Honor recipient Sammy L Davis. IndyCar legend Parnelli Jones made the 500 lap with us. Tony George, then President and CEO of the IMS, rode from Harley Davidson headquarters in Milwaukee to join the ride. And how could we ever forget Ruth Buzzy and Troy Donahue?  By the way Marc Falsetti has a great photo of her and long-time MR supporter, Deb Farabaugh – a classic.

Let us remember these friends and contributors to the Miracle Ride: Doc Jones, former A.B.A.T.E of Illinois State Coordinator was a main stay volunteer, and Mike Meyer.  Andre Lacy was a financial contributor and fellow Miracle Rider, and Balls was a longtime Executive Director.  All of them are gone.

To date, the Miracle Ride has raised over $6,500,000. That’s right—we’re heading toward $7 million for the kids. All of this is being done by a bunch of bikers—go figure! Keep the tradition going and weatherman Rod Taylor promises good weather, record breaking attendance, clear skies and 78 degrees. That is his story and he is sticking to it.

For you first timers, riding into the backlot of Allison Transmission (God love those folks at Allison for all they do for Riley), here is what to expect: The start of the Ride is exhilarating.  By 9a.m. thousands of bikers are present. Celebration mood is in high gear and ABATE LEGAL will be once again serving Long’s Bakery famous donuts and coffee—FREE while they last! The Indianapolis Motorcycle Drill Team will entertain us and the Gordon Pipers will inspire us.

A little before 11a.m. the tension is there. By then we have received the all-important safety briefing by Chief Instructor and Executive Director of ABATE of Indiana Jay Jackson who has a perfect safety briefing record.  Music to a biker is hearing thousands of motorcycles fire up all at once. That sound alone is worth the price of admission.

After the start, there is the ride to Riley Hospital for Children. The route takes us past the kids, their nurses, doctors, parents and families. They’re standing outside of the hospital, lined up, cheering the riders on. Some of the kids are in wheelchairs, some are in the Riley red wagons. Some are on crutches, some are not. But they all wouldn’t be receiving top-notch care without donors like you.

You get the point – a very special moment for all of us.

After we pass Riley, it is off to the World-Famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  Love it when we head into the first of four turns and keeping slow is more than the mind can bear. (IMS track monitors know this too, so beware!)

Riley isn’t just a local hospital; it truly is one of the best pediatric hospitals in the world with most of the kids coming from Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. The Miracle Ride is Riley Hospital’s largest community fundraiser and we couldn’t be able to donate the money we do without the incredible support of bikers throughout the country. This is a fabulous experience and I hope you will join us.

See the Miracle Ride website for more details:WWW.MIRACLERIDE.NET or WWW.ABATELEGAL.COM a proud founder of the Ride.  Also, a special thanks to the Board of Directors of the Miracle Ride who help make this event a success year after year:  Jay Jackson, Gino Johnson, Lori Combs, Gary Schwebach, John Barto.


Hi Rod – If nothing ever becomes of my wreck in Canada, maybe you could place an information warning in — Hoosier Motorcyclist Magazine article advising riders that a relatively inexpensive “Collision Coverage” clause could protect them in the frequently occurring “No-Fault” States & Countries.  I read your articles thoroughly each month and I guarantee you that if I had read a warning from you about the IMPORTANCE of COLLISION coverage, even on old vehicles, driven in No-Fault States, that I would have taken immediate action with my own insurance.

Yours in ABATE,  COOP

ps: thanks for the TIP on the:  LUCAS OIL STABILIZER

COOP – When your case concludes I will write an article about your situation.  Your situation is interesting and thanks for giving me permission to write about it. You are correct in that others may learn from your experience.  And I will include your comment in the ABATE OF OHIO OUTSPOKEN and the A.B.A.T.E. OF ILLINOIS NEWS.  Rod


 Q:  I was recently stopped for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. I refused the chemical test. After I refused the chemical test, a judge issued a court order to take my blood. Can you explain to me how the law can circumvent the Bill of Rights? To me this is a constitutional issue. ABATE MEMBER.

A:  From the information you provided, it sounds like the police may have acted within the requirements of the law. First, some background: most states have enacted “implied consent” laws into their statutes relating to drivers licenses. Crazy as it sounds, the courts have held that driving is a privilege, not a right, and not subject to the usual constitutional protections. In essence, by obtaining a license, the state claims you have consented to submit to a chemical test if you are stopped on suspicion of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. If you refuse the chemical test, your license will be suspended.

That brings us to your case. In many states, courts have ruled that once a chemical test is refused, a judge can order a blood sample. Once a warrant is issued, the police can have blood drawn for a chemical test to determine intoxication. From your description, it appears that is what happened. The United States Supreme Court has held that drawing blood and deriving evidence from that blood sample does not violate the self-incrimination protections of the Fifth Amendment.  State courts are bound by that ruling.


 Four wheels move the body. Two wheels move the soul.

Never be afraid to slow down.

A bike on the road is worth two in the shed.

Young riders pick a destination and go… Old riders pick a direction and go.

People are like Motorcycles: each is customized a bit differently.

Everyone crashes. Some get back on. Some don’t. Some can’t.

Don’t argue with an 18-wheeler.

Never be ashamed to unlearn an old habit.

There are drunk riders. There are old riders. There are NO old, drunk riders.

Only a Biker knows why a dog sticks his head out of a car window.

There are two types of people in this world, people who ride motorcycles and people who wish they could.  Author unknown.



Q:  The other day a semi came up behind me and passed me a little too close for comfort. The wind blast pushed me off the road onto the shoulder. Normally, that wouldn’t be a problem, and since I had taken the Motorcycle Safety course, I was ready for the change in pavement. What I wasn’t ready for was the sharp drop-off between the highway and the shoulder. It seems the highway department had been replacing the pavement and had milled off the top layer of the shoulder. As a result, there was a three to four inch drop from the highway surface to the shoulder. When I attempted to climb back onto the roadway, the bike got caught on the lip and spilled me. What is the best way to climb uneven pavement on a motorcycle? ABATE OF INDIANA member and Graduate of the ABATE MOTORCYCLE SAFETY COURSE.

A:  You’ve already done the best thing possible, which is to take the ABATE course. No doubt that trying to get over a raised pavement can be treacherous.  If traffic permits, the best thing is to stop, and slowly bring the bike back onto the roadway.  Come at it at as close to a 90 degree angle as possible. The closer you are to going straight at it, the better the bike will climb the drop-off. Conversely, the closer you are to parallel the drop-off, the more likely you are to catch the wheel on the drop-off and dump the bike.

Jay Jackson, Executive Director – ABATE of Indiana, suggests good ways to handle when you confront objects/defects on the roadway. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation recommends a process for going over objects that we are unable to avoid by stopping or going around. First, determine if it is possible to surmount the obstacle. While you should be able to ride over a two by four from a contractor’s truck, that won’t work with a sofa off of a furniture truck. Approach the object at an angle as close to 90 degrees as possible. If you don’t happen to have your protractor handy, just try to go at it close to square. Control your path of travel by looking to where you want to go – not at the object/defect.  Look well ahead and toward your escape route.  Repeat – don’t look down or at the obstacle. If it is that important to see what it is, go back and look at it after you’ve gotten over it and parked.

Jay advises using a method to go over obstacles if you can’t go around. Rise slightly off the seat. Keep your knees bent and against the tank. Bending your knees has them working like shock absorbers and allows the motorcycle to move beneath you without bouncing your feet off the pegs. Roll on the throttle. A slight bit of acceleration just before the obstacle, combined with shifting your weight to the rear, will lighten the front wheel to provide for more travel in the suspension. When the front tire contacts the obstacle, roll off the throttle. Now you can breathe again.

Once you’ve gotten back on the road, you should do a couple of more things. The first is to inspect your bike and then contact your ABATE Legal Services team and report the hazard. As you know by now, the Legal Service team maintains a website,, to track these problems and report them to the proper authorities.  Our experience has been that once the government entity is on notice, the hazard gets corrected quickly.


(From ABATE OF ILLINOIS – LIBERTY CHAPTER) HELMET LAWS.. Well as here in Illinois we bikers are trying to hold on to FREEDOM OF CHOICE. OUR CHOICE to wear a Helmet.. Could we end up LIKE Delaware Helmet law… Lets hope not!!

READ your State ABATE OF ILLINOIS paper page 7, article put in from Rod Taylor ABATE Legal Service, regarding the Delaware Helmet law as is.

ABATE membership is important.. Bikers need to join the ABATE chapter of your choice. CONTINUE YOUR RENEWALS.WEARING A HELMET OR NOT IS OUR CHOICE, .not the lawmakers… Lets not end up like Delaware.

Well said Rod.

Ride Safe & Free,

 Rod Taylor

ABATE Legal Services

 All questions from ABATE members are answered confidentially unless otherwise authorized and only after the matter is concluded, except when authorization for publication anonymously or otherwise is given for pending matters. Remember, injured ABATE members pay only 28 ½% of total recovery motorcycle crash cases, and expenses as approved by client. Elsewhere, you may pay 33 ⅓%, 40% or even 50% of your recovery.  In those cases, ABATE members are not charged for recovery of damage to their motorcycle, and have access to a 24-hour toll-free telephone number. Call us at 1-(800)-25-RIDER. Questions? Submit them to:  © 2019.

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