July 20, 2005
Biker roars into fame
Palm Bay rider helped repeal helmet laws in Florida, other states
BY GEORGE WHITE
John "Rogue" Herlihy of Palm Bay -- soon to be inducted to a hall of
fame in Sturgis, S.D. -- is a biker first and an activist for biker's
"I live the lifestyle 24/7 and have for 50 years. It's a society within
a society," he said.
Herlihy, 67, is being honored this August in the Freedom Fighters
section of the Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame for his involvement in
protecting the rights of motorcycle riders. Sturgis, in the Black Hills
of South Dakota, hosts an annual bike week rally that attracts
"None of us got into this to get awards. I had just had enough and
started doing something about it," Herlihy said.
Originally from Bridgeport, Conn., Herlihy got involved with bikers
rights when the city attempted to ban motorcycles from parks.
Later he would champion the issue of helmet laws, which were repealed in
many states, including Florida.
"There are a lot of factors involved in motorcycle crashes, and there is
a lot of deaths of bikers with their helmets on. I would say the biggest
problem we have is people making a left-hand turn in front of us,"
Still active in the fight for motorcyclists' rights, Herlihy is a
lifetime member of the American Motorcycle Association, a founding
member of American Bikers Aimed Toward Education (ABATE) of Florida and
a member of the Harley Owners Group.
A former instructor with the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, Herlihy
worked for many years as a mechanic, serving as director of research and
development for American Motor Works in Melbourne.
Although retired, Herlihy still stays busy with his two Harleys; his
company, Rogue Motorcycle and Event Photography; and writing for
Easyriders magazine. He also does product testing and research and
development for several motorcycle manufacturing companies.
Herlihy said he was surprised and proud to be named to the Hall of Fame,
and said he will continue his vigilance to make sure bikers continue to
be treated fairly.
"Challenges lay ahead because the trend is to increase legislation over
bikers," he said.
For more information about John "Rogue" Herlihy of Palm Bay, visit the
Web site www.bikerrogue.com
Contact White at 242-3787 or