PORTLAND, Maine — In an effort to encourage Maine motorcyclists to think pink and order a Maine Breast Cancer specialty license plate before they winterize and put their bikes away for the season, changes have been made to the original design of the plates.

Maine State Rep. Meredith Strang Burgess, a breast cancer survivor and the driving force behind the creation of the plates — the first motorcycle specialty plate in Maine — said since the idea of the plates was first raised earlier this year, it has become clear motorcyclists wanted a license plate similar in design to the Breast Cancer specialty plate for automobiles.

The original design of the motorcycle specialty plate showed the pink cancer ribbon formed from an old-fashioned motorcycle chain, which although historically linked to motorbikes does not apply to modern motorcycles. The new design features a pink ribbon.

Strang Burgess is also the creator of the Maine Breast Cancer specialty plate for automobiles.

Since the plate’s introduction in 2008, more than 15,000 are on the road, raising more than $400,000 for breast cancer research and services.

Strang Burgess said the formal legislative process requires organizers to obtain reservations from 500 individuals along with a payment of $25, which will guarantee them a plate when they become available.

The goal is to collect those 500 reservations over the coming weeks and months. Then the new plate could be available next spring in time for the motorcycle season.

Strang Burgess said that when the motorcycle specialty plate becomes a reality, proceeds from the effort will stay in Maine, and be split equally among Maine Cancer Foundation’s Women’s Cancer Fund ( mainecancer.org), Maine Breast Cancer Coalition’s Support Service Fund ( mainebreastcancer.org) and Maine Breast and Cervical Health Program’s mammogram fund ( maine.gov/dhhs/bohdcfh/bcp/index.htm).

A specialty plate costs $25 in addition to the regular motor vehicle registration fee. Renewal of the plates will cost $15 annually with the cost added to the regular registration fee.

For information, visit mainecancer.org/mcfaq, for general registration questions go to maine.gov/sos/bmv/registrations or call 624-9000.