April 5 2011 by Jason Fogelson
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation, the Motorcycle Industry Council and the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America are collectively donating $10,000 to the Japan America Society's 2011 Japan Relief Fund, and each organization is encouraging its members to make their own donations. The MSF, MIC and SVIA have each added links to their websites in order to make it easier for members and the general riding public to help out in this time of great need.
I've written about the Motorcycle Safety Foundation here many times. The MSF is a not-for-profit organization sponsored by Harley-Davidson and eleven other motorcycle manufacturers to promote safety through rider training and education, operator licensing tests and public information programs.
The Motorcycle Industry Council is the motorcycle industry's government lobby, a not-for-profit organization set up to "preserve, protect and promote motorcycling through government relations, communications and media relations."
The Specialty Vehicle Institute of America is another not-for-profit. The SVIA does for all-terrain vehicles what the MSF does for motorcycles.
The powersports industry in the US obviously has very close ties to Japan, as several major manufacturers (Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, Kawasaki and others) are headquartered there. Even domestic manufacturers like Harley-Davidson and Victory depend heavily on parts manufactured in Japan, especially electronic components.
The devastation from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan will have massive economic reverberations throughout the world, but the immediate issue is the health and well-being of those affected on the ground. Even though Japan is an economic superpower, the disaster has overwhelmed efforts at relief, and even small financial contributions can be helpful. It's good to see the motorcycle industry lending a hand, and providing a safe channel for riders to donate to the cause.
If you would like to contribute to the relief effort in Japan, you can visit http://www.msf-usa.org, http://www.mic.org or http://www.svia.org and click on the "2011 Japan Relief Fund" link at the top of the organization's home page, or visit the Japan America Society's homepage for more information.
By the way, you do have an emergency kit at home with three days' worth of food and water, don't you?