Hey Mabel! Did that motorcycle have four wheels?

It looks like Mariann Christman will soon be back on her four-wheeled motorcycle as the Idaho Legislature moves to allow four-wheeled bikes on the road.

“There are many others waiting for this bill to pass,” Christman told the  House Transportation Committee on Wednesday. The panel unanimously approved Senate Bill 1044, which now goes to the House for final legislative action. SB 1044 passed the Senate 33-0.

Christman brought the idea to Sen. Marv Hagedorn, R-Meridian, over the summer. Christman learned that her bike, which has two outrigger wheels, was illegal in Idaho. Hagedorn took up her cause, he said, after seeing a Honda Goldwing with retractable stabilizing wheels deployed at a stoplight.

“For a generation like mine, these kits create the ability to continue to ride,” said Hagedorn.

Rep. Linden Batemen, R-Idaho Falls, called the devices “glorified training wheels” and said, “Even I might be tempted to start riding motorcycles now.”

If Bateman, 72, wants to join Christman on the road ASAP, he appears to be in luck. SB 1044 contains an emergency clause, making if effective upon Gov. Butch Otter’s signature, rather than July 1, when most laws take effect. After the committee action, Hagedorn took Christman to the governor’s office, where she reiterated her pitch.

“It shows all of us can make a difference, elected or not,” Hagedorn said.

Christman said she spent $4,800 to add two stabilizing wheels to her motorcycle and showed the panel a photo of her bike with it’s “Super Scooter” accessory.

Marieann Christman’s Super Scooter:

Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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