Pink ribbon license plates may expand to Maine motorcycles

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CUMBERLAND — Don’t be surprised if the Harley-Davidson motorcycle you see coasting down the road soon sports a license plate with a pink ribbon.

The plate – Maine’s first specialty motorcycle license plate – would continue the cause promoted by pink ribbon automobile plates. More than 15,000 of those have been issued, raising more than $400,000 since October 2008 for breast cancer support and research.

The driving force behind the automobile and motorcycle plates is state Rep. Meredith Strang Burgess, R-Cumberland, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999 and finished treatment a year and a half later.

Like the automobile plates, all proceeds from the motorcycle plates will stay in Maine, according to Burgess. Proceeds will be split between the Maine Breast and Cervical Health Program’s mammogram fund, the Maine Breast Cancer Coalition Support Service Fund and the Maine Cancer Foundation’s Women’s Cancer Fund.

Five hundred people must reserve the plates with payments of $25, which guarantees them plates if they become available. The annual motorcycle registration fee would still apply, and renewals would cost $15.

Burgess said she hopes to gather all the reservations by the end of this month, so that the plate can be finalized during the 2012 session of the Legislature, which starts in January. The plate could be unveiled in May or June 2012.

She said interest in the plates is high, and not just with women. Burgess said many motorcycle organizations have raised money for the breast cancer cause.

The plates can be reserved at mainecancer.org/motorcycle. Log onto mainecancer.org/mcfaq for more information, or maine.gov/sos/bmv/registrations for registration questions. Those questions can also be directed to 624-9000.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

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The pink ribbon license plate could become Maine’s first specialty plate for motorcycles next year.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.