Archive for August 17th, 2009

Fishermen flock to Washington County’s Scoggins Valley Park at Henry Hagg Lake, but it’s also a great place to ride a motorcycle.  Located 5 miles southwest of Forest Grove, Or., the man-made lake was formed after the construction of the dam in the mid-1970s.  The road offers up a 10.5 mile ride route that circles the lake and traverses a number of picnic areas and boat launches.  The roads at Hagg are mainly long sweepers and they can be rode fairly aggressive for experienced riders with an appropriate motorcycle.

Unfortunately we learned today that a group of approximately 18 riders were traveling around the lake yesterday when on the first right hander after the Boat Ramp (there is a bridge) one of the riders Kenneth Dawkins, age 36, crashed into the guard rail and died at the scene.  Another motorcyclist, Viacheslav Kostyushko, age 21, sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was discharged from the hospital.  There is more information posted HERE.  Another motorcyclist survived, but was taken to a local area hospital.  According to reports, Washington County Crash Analysis Reconstruction Team (CART) responded to the scene and are still trying to determine what caused the crash.

I didn’t know Kenneth Dawkins (KJ), but I wanted to sent my condolences to the family.  He was an experienced rider and the founder of Pure Speed Icons (PSI).  This accident is very unfortunate and sad.  Please be careful out there. KJ leaves behind an ex-wife and a 10 year old son.

As I learn more I’ll update the post and provide any additional details on services and fund raising to help the family.


UPDATE: August 19, 2009 – Per the below IMPORTANT comment — KJ leaves behind a girlfriend of 9 years and they had a 15-year old daughter of which he was the father figure besides an ex-wife and 10-year old son.

UPDATE: August 20, 2009 – Forest Grove News Times provides more information on the accident HERE.  Police request that a third rider known as “Chucky” call investigators to give a statement about the events.

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John and Melinda formed J&M in 1978

John and Melinda formed J&M in 1978

No, I’m not talking about the drama of motorcycle clubs or the FX television show “Son’s of Anarchy.”

The story starts in Tucson in 1978 when John Lazzeroni married Melinda Carevich.

Both were motorcycle enthusiasts, so for a wedding gift John arranged to have a new Honda Gold Wing delivered during the ceremony.  After the “I do’s”, they changed clothes, hopped on the motorcycle and headed to Las Vegas.

While on their honeymoon, John was disappointed that even on the quiet Gold Wing, he and Melinda had a difficult time talking to one another or hearing the radio.  Upon returning home he went to a motorcycle accessories store figuring someone had made a helmet with a built-in speaker and intercom system.  No one did!  He then decided to make one for himself… on the kitchen table.  In the end the product worked.  So well in fact that John and Melinda found themselves taking orders for similar headsets from their friends.  Realizing they may be on to something they took their last $400 and placed an ad in Rider Magazine.  The first day the ad appeared they took enough orders to pay for it and that’s when  they formed J&M Corp.

Today J&M is a leader in motorcycle audio equipment.  They manufacture top of the line helmet headsets along with integrated systems featuring intercom, CB radio, FRS, cell phone, radar detection, blue-tooth and GPS audio capability.  J&M is also an OEM supplier of helmet headsets for Honda, Yamaha, BMW and Kawasaki.  The products are marketed around the world.  John and Melinda have been awarded many U.S. patents for designs of headsets, microphones, and integrated audio gear.  In fact, J&M is the exclusive licensee of Reissue Patent Number 34,525 (“the ’525 patent”) directed to helmet accessories for mounting a microphone and an electrical plug on a motorcycle helmet.

What about Harley-Davidson motorcycles?  H-D bought accessories from J&M until 1991.  In the summer of 1989, however, H-D approached Radio Sound about manufacturing accessories for resale.  H-D and Radio Sound produced their first accessories in 1990.   In 1997, Radio Sound and Harley-Davidson began to manufacture and sell two new versions of their helmet accessories, model numbers 77147-98 and 77147-91C.  J&M brought a legal suit against Harley-Davidson in November 1997, claiming that the accessories infringed its ‘525 patent.  It turns out that the legal system didn’t see it the same way.   These accessories had an integrated mount for the microphone boom and the electrical plug, attach to the helmet with a single clamp, and did not extend below the lower edge of the motorcycle helmet and was determined to NOT be a patent infringement.  You can read the legal opinion/brief HERE if you’d like more detail.

Lazzeroni L2000

Lazzeroni L2000

At any rate, motorcycle audio accessories is hardly the background of what you might expect from the founder of a firearms company, right?

Nonetheless, while working to get the motorcycle audio equipment company going John, who was an active hunter and hand-loader got the “Magnum” bug.  It was the late 80’s and he owned several Weatherby rifles.  He began “necking down” the rifles and doing a lot of ballistic experimenting.  He was ahead of his time as the traditional manufactures would later introduce .30/378 caliber rifles.  Lazzeroni Arms was formed and in 1992 John set out to design his own rifle and series of cartridges for short-action magnums.  Today they are known for high-quality and the “flattest shooting” and hardest hitting hunting rifles on the planet.  The rifles are built to fire extremely powerful proprietary magnum Lazzeroni cartridges which are distinguished by their high operating pressures and the very high muzzle velocities they produce.

Kudo’s to John and Melinda Lazzeroni who have accomplished a lot in both the firearm and motorcycle audio accessory business.

Photo courtesy of Petersen’s Rifle Shooter

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