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RIDING FREE FROM DC: from the Motorcycle Riders Foundation

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Your Weekly Biker Bulletin from Inside the Beltway

Your Motorcycle Riders Foundation team in Washington, D.C. is pleased to provide our members with the latest information and updates on issues that impact the freedom and safety of American street motorcyclists. Count on your MRF to keep you informed about a range of matters that are critical to the advancement of motorcycling and its associated lifestyle. Published weekly when the U.S. Congress is in session.

Rules, Rules, Rules…

Just past midnight on Wednesday night, in a committee room inside the U.S. Capitol the issue of motorcycle profiling received a brief debate and roll call vote before the Rules Committee. How did that happen? Well Congressman Mike Burgess (R-TX) and Congressman Tim Walberg (R-MI) used the appropriations amendment process to force Congress to vote on the issue of motorcycle profiling.

The gridlock that grips Congress means that few stand-alone bills pass both the Senate and the House. However, appropriations bills, which fund the government have to pass, if they don’t a government shutdown ensues. These must pass appropriations bills become a key tool for lawmakers to press legislative priorities. If they can attach an amendment to a bill that has to pass, the legislative priority becomes law. However, the amendment offered must be related to the appropriations bill in some way. Congressman Walberg and Congressman Burgess drafted the following amendment to the appropriations bill that funds the Department of Transportation:


SEC. ll. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used by the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration for activities intended to encourage states to adopt legislation, regulations, policies, directives or guidance to profile motorcycle riders, nor shall such funds be used by States to implement any activity with the primary intent of profiling motorcycle riders.

Before the full House of Representatives votes on the appropriations bill and the amendments the Rules Committee holds a hearing to decide what will go to the floor for a full vote. Unfortunately, the Rules Committee is the most partisan committee in the House and because our two main champions are Republicans the chances of the Rules Committee allowing this amendment to proceed were slim. On a strict party line vote the amendment was defeated 8 to 4.
While it’s disappointing that the full House of Representatives was not allowed to vote on this amendment it was a solid step forward in the debate about motorcycle profiling. Additionally, this does not stop our campaign to have H. Res 255 passed by the House of Representatives. In truth this should further energize us. The full House of Representatives should be allowed to vote on H. Res 255 and the issue of motorcycle profiling should not be blocked by the vote of just 8 lawmakers.
Click here and skip to the 7 hour 4 minute 15 second mark to watch the debate and vote.

Ride to Work Day

Monday, June 17th was the 28th annual “Ride to Work Day.” While we at the MRF don’t need a special day to ride our motorcycles it was nice to get an email from Congressman Troy Balderson (R-OH) with the following message, “I am a lifelong motorcycle rider and a big advocate for motorcycle awareness and safety. This national ride to work, let’s celebrate our biker community and keep the roads safe.”

Congressman Balderson sent us this picture of him on his bike Monday headed to his congressional district office in Worthington, Ohio. Thanks to Congressman Balderson for being a true champion of the motorcycle community.

Your Team in D.C. Rocky & Tiffany

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation

HORROR in New Hampshire

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Here’s the local TV News Station in Manchester, NH – 6:00 p.m. (6/22) update link . . .
On June 21st 2019 Jarheads MC was riding to a charity event at the local American Legion in Gorham, New Hampshire Post #82. Our pack was struck by an oncoming vehicle and we lost 5 patch holders and 2 supporters, and many others are injured. Our club and the families are going to need help and we cannot do it alone. I am pleading with you all, please do what you can, and this money will go where it is needed to help ease some of the burden of these victims families. Jarheads MC has always been about helping veterans and their families and sadly, today we are in need of that same support.
Names and conditions of all will not be shared at this time as we are still being impacted by news as it arrives. We will be in New Hampshire the rest of the weekend supporting our friends and families.

*Jarheads Motorcycle Club is a club consisting of active duty or honorably discharged Marines and FMF Corpsmen. We ride and serve veterans and veteran families in our committees, with chapters in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine.

–from Paul Cote

Law Tigers Stylin N’ Sturgis 2019 Contest

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It’s an awesome new video promoting our Stylin N Sturgis contest.

To enter go to And win a complete Sturgis Motorcycle Rally vacation package worth over $21,000! Free airfare, cabin & Harley-Davidson motorcycle rental plus exclusive prizes and products like a AR-15 from Sturgis Guns and $1500 to spend at NightRiders Jewelry!

Contest ends July 15th, 2019

Check the website to enter:

–The Law Tigers Team

Forest Service seeks comments on planned revisions to NEPA procedures

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Two webinars to explain proposed changes

The U.S. Forest Service formally proposed revisions June 13 to its National Environmental Policy Act or NEPA regulations. That announcement followed an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking in January 2018, which resulted in the submitting of 1,229 unique comments that have been integrated into the current proposal, along with input from other stakeholders and agency personnel. Nearly all public comments supported NEPA streamlining, the Forest Service said.

Central in the proposed change is the agency desire to address inefficiencies in its use of human and financial resources — limited by urgent issues, such as wild fires — while still completing complex NEPA requirements. The Forest Service faces a backlog of more than 5,000 applications for new or renewed special use permits and an annual average of more than 3,000 such applications.

The AMA has received complaints from members about bureaucratic delays and applauds this opportunity for the association and its individual members to weigh in. Permits for annual OHV events are among the most obvious example of efficiencies suggested and supported by the AMA.

Two webinars have been scheduled to explain the proposed changes. Each session will provide the same information, and a recording will be available.

To submit comments, the Forest Service has offered three options. The preferred option is the public participation portal ( Enter “84 FR 27544” in the search box at the upper right of the webpage. Another option is email to The third option is the U.S. mail:

NEPA Services Group
c/o Amy Barker
USDA Forest Service
125 S. State St., Suite 1705
Salt Lake City, UT 84138

Comments Deadline: Aug. 12


3:30-5 p.m. ET on Tuesday, June 25. Audio feed at (877) 369-5243 or (617) 668-3633. Access Code: 0524699##. Adobe Connect URL:

3:30-5 p.m. ET on Friday, July 12. Audio feed at (877) 369-5243 or (617) 668-3633. Access Code: 0849770##. Adobe Connect URL:

For more information, visit the USFS project webpage here, or contact Christine Dawe, director, ecosystem management coordination at (406) 370-8865.

Thank you in advance for providing comments and/or attending a webinar. Please forward this alert to your friends and ask them to do both as well. If you do submit comments, please forward a copy to us at

It is crucial that you and your riding friends become members of the AMA.

The AMA hasn’t always been a friend to freedom, but now more that ever all motorcycle rights groups work together. Seriously consider joining a motorcycle rights group nationally or near you.–Bandit 

Product Spotlight: SLIDE Mount for GPS/Phone

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Super-secure and easy to use, the SLIDE accommodates devices up to 7-3/8″ side (minimum 4-3/4″) so it’s great for GPS or phones.

Side arms come in various sizes and lock into place where you need them. Ultra-Swivel feature gives you multiple left/ right and up/ down options.

Featured in photo: Urban SLIDE for Round Bar (Chrome). Also available for brake/clutch, mirror stem and more.


–Leader Products


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London (CNN Business)Harley-Davidson has found a new partner in China as it ramps up efforts to sell more motorcycles abroad.

The company said Wednesday that it’s teaming up with Qianjiang Motorcycle Company to make a small motorcycle that will go on sale in the country next year. Qianjiang is a subsidiary of Geely, which owns Volvo and has a joint venture to assemble cars in China with Mercedes Benz parent company Daimler (DDAIF).
For Harley, China is a major growth market.
Sales in the country increased 27% in 2018 compared to the previous year, according to the American motorcycle maker.

Growing internationally

Harley-Davidson (HOG) wants half of its sales to come from international markets by 2027. This strategy aims to offset declining US sales as its customer base there gets older.
The company has been increasing production in places like Thailand to make that happen.
But tariffs have also played a rolein its plans to make more bikes in Asia.
The company said last year it was moving some manufacturing to Thailand due to European Union tariffs on motorcycles shipped from the United States. The European Union raised its 6% tariff to 31% last June in response to the Trump administration’s tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.
“It’s unfortunate, but we’re pushing forward with our strategy to make sure that we preserve the integrity and the growth potential within the European market,” CEO Matthew Levatich said on the company’s most recent earnings call.
The Thailand plant also makes motorcycles for sale in Asia. It will begin shipping motorcycles to China by the end of the year.
Harley’s shift overseas has angered President Donald Trump, who last year encouraged consumers to boycott the company as a result.
“Most other companies are coming in our direction, including Harley competitors,” he tweeted at the time. “A really bad move! U.S. will soon have a level playing field, or better.”
It’s not clear if the Harley motorcycle that will be made in China would have been subject to Chinese tariffs had it been manufactured in the United States. A spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are due to meet on the sidelines of a G20 summit in Japan later this month as they seek to avoid further escalating their damaging trade war.
–By Julia Horowitz, CNN

White House readies final review of new mpg rules

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WASHINGTON — Trump administration officials defended their controversial proposal to freeze fuel efficiency requirements at 2020 levels at a congressional hearing on Thursday and said the proposal would be submitted to the White House for final review in the coming weeks.


The administration has rebuffed requests from automakers and some lawmakers to make a last-ditch effort to reach a deal with California to extend national standards after it ended talks in February. The administration plans in the coming months to finalize a dramatic rewrite of fuel efficiency standards through 2026 that would also strip California, the most populous state, which wants stricter rules to fight climate change, of the right to set its own, tougher emissions rules.


The final regulation potentially faces a multi-year legal battle that could leave automakers in limbo about future emissions and fuel efficiency requirements and ultimately decrease the number of U.S. electric vehicles offered by automakers.


At a joint five-hour hearing of two House of Representatives Energy and Commerce subcommittees, Democrats cast the administration plan as a blow against efforts to combat climate change and a boon for oil companies. Republicans said it would reduce vehicle prices and rein in California.


The Trump administration plan aims to roll back emission standards set by former Democratic President Barack Obama. The Obama administration had made a dramatic jump in fuel efficiency requirements a key part of its climate agenda, and said it would save motorists $1.7 trillion in fuel costs over the life of the vehicles, but cost the auto industry about $200 billion over 13 years.


Earlier this month, 17 major automakers including General Motors Co, Volkswagen Group and Toyota Motor Corp. urged the White House to resume talks with California to avoid a lengthy legal battle. Automakers warn that the lack of a deal could lead to “an extended period of litigation and instability.”


The carmakers urged a compromise “midway” between the Obama-era standards that require annual decreases of about 5% in emissions and the Trump administration’s proposal. Reuters reported in April that officials expected the final rule would include a small increase in the yearly fuel efficiency requirements.


Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., whose district is home to many auto plants, implored officials to return to the bargaining table with California. “I am really not interested in a pissing contest between California and this administration,” she said at the hearing.


Deputy National Highway Traffic Safety Administration chief Heidi King was skeptical of Dingell’s idea. “I don’t know whether that would achieve the goal,” she told Dingell.


EPA Assistant Administrator Bill Wehrum said the agency was moving forward to finalize the rules “as soon as possible” after it had engaged in talks with California for about a year.


Trump administration officials argued its plan — which it says will eventually boost U.S. oil consumption by 500,000 barrels of oil daily — will save lives because it will reduce the forecasted cost of new vehicles and prod more people to sell older, less safe models. Environmentalists and others disagree.


Representative Frank Pallone, chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, called the Obama standards “our single most important action taken to combat climate change.”


“So, naturally, the Trump administration is trying to gut those standards as part of its reckless anti-climate agenda,” he said.


‘We like big things’


Transportation accounts for 30 percent of U.S. greenhouse emissions, with light cars and trucks accounting for 60 percent of that figure.


Republicans cast the issue as a divide between rural areas that use more trucks and urban areas where people are more likely to buy electric vehicles.


We like big things.


We like big trucks. We like big engines,” said Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., whose district covers a heavily rural swath of the eastern part of the state.


The Obama-era rules called for a fleetwide fuel efficiency average of 46.7 miles per gallon by 2026, compared with 37 mpg under the Trump administration’s preferred option.


Mary Nichols, who heads the California Air Resources Board, told lawmakers Thursday the Trump proposal will cost Americans millions in fuel costs, kill jobs, add smog, undermine the auto industry and worsen the climate crisis.


“We have been open to accommodations that would adjust compliance timing and flexibility, that would create new paths to promote innovative technologies and zero emission vehicles, and that would benefit the public,” she said.


Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a letter to lawmakers on Thursday that California did not negotiate in good faith and said Nichols’s written testimony was “false” — a claim she strongly denied.



By | General Posts

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As a bonus, get a FREE SPLIT BAG so you can stash your snacks (or any other small item that you need quick access to). The Split Bag is a quick-draw, one-handed, easy-retrieval gear pack. You’ve only got until the end of Sunday, June 23rd to get this FREE, simple and very, very handy doodad!

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Roll on over to and claim yours:


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In a battle between bikers and cops, Nebraska State Troopers are working with local law enforcement this summer to put the brakes on speeding motorcycles.


For the second year in a row, troopers will conduct special enforcement operations to stop speeding bikers, utilizing an $18,000 grant from the Nebraska Department of Transportation Highway Safety Office that will allow for aviation support as well as more law enforcement on the ground.


“Motorcycles have a unique ability to evade law enforcement…(so) we’ll use resources like helicopters to help out,” Nebraska State Patrol Capt. Jason Scott told KMTV 3 NewsNow in Omaha, adding that numerous citations have been made so far and arrests have been made for reckless driving and for flight to avoid arrest.


“We’ve been working with the county attorney’s offices to make sure there’s a message that’s sent here,” Capt. Scott said. “We’re not going to tolerate the aggressive driving.”

See Bill’s full legislative report in Bandit’s Cantina.–Bandit

NMA Report on Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Activity in U.S. Congress

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ALERT from the National Motorists Association,

In late April, U.S. Representative Tim Walberg of Michigan introduced the Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration (FAIR) Act of 2019. The proposed legislation, which would institute much of the reform for which the NMA has been lobbying, has strong bipartisan support. The FAIR Act will hold the government to a much higher standard of “clear and convincing evidence . . . that there was a substantial connection between the property and the offense” before that property could be seized. Current seizure standards allow agencies to confiscate property from a person or persons who have not been convicted, or even charged, with a crime.

Why is this important to motorists? Because those on the road have become primary targets of asset seizures in recent years. The Washington Post reported in 2014 that in the 13 years of 2001 through 2013, the government conducted nearly 62,000 seizures on the nation’s highways, resulting in the confiscation of property worth more than $2.5 billion.

That is why civil asset forfeiture reform, along with the prohibition of federal funding for state-based traffic ticket quota programs, is the focus of current NMA lobbying efforts in the halls of Congress.

Rep. Walberg has just proposed a bipartisan amendment, ordered as Amendment #97, to H.R. 3055 which is a comprehensive appropriations bill that includes FY 2020 funding for the Department of Justice. The Walberg amendment will prohibit the DOJ from using any money to undertake specific actions related to state or local civil asset forfeiture activities. This will make it harder for local law enforcement to use the federal government to bypass state laws when pursuing asset seizures.

This isn’t the final solution to reform, but it is an important step along the way. According to the Majority Leader’s office, the House will begin debate on H.R. 3055 later today. While the Walberg amendment could be debated as early as this evening, there will not be any recorded votes on the amendments to H.R. 3055 until tomorrow — Thursday June 20th — at the earliest.

The NMA has joined the Institute for Justice and the ACLU in endorsing the Walberg amendment to all members of the U.S. House. of Representatives. Because this is fast-moving, please call or email your representative today or tomorrow expressing your support of Amendment #97 to H.R. 3055.

We will keep you informed of the progress. If you haven’t already donated to the NMA’s 2019 Legislative Fundraising Campaign, please consider doing so now. The money raised will help us keep up the lobbying pressure for this reform as well as pushing through the NMA’s DETER Act which will stop the National Highway Trafic Safety Administration from funding several hundred million dollars worth of high-visibility enforcement actions every year based largely on ticketing activity.

Donations to the NMA can be made online or by calling us toll-free at 800-882-2785 weekdays from 9 am to 5 pm Central.

Thank you.

Gary Biller