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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.

Biden Picks Transportation Secretary

Last month President-elect Joe Biden selected former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a onetime Democratic primary rival, to lead the Transportation Department.

Mr. Buttigieg dropped out of the race in March and endorsed Mr. Biden along with other moderate Democrats. Leading the Transportation Department, Mr. Buttigieg is expected to play a prominent role in the incoming Biden administration’s push to rebuild the nation’s roads and bridges.

Mr. Biden campaigned on a $2 trillion plan to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure, much of it related to transportation. Mr. Buttigieg would take over a department whose most critical functions are setting transportation regulations and distributing vast sums of money, mostly to states to fund their respective highway, road and transit systems. If confirmed by the Senate, he will begin his tenure, as pressure mounts for the Biden administration and Congress to reach a deal on paying for infrastructure spending. Congress faces a September deadline to reauthorize federal funding for highways, transit, rail, and safety programs. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle point to infrastructure spending as a way to stimulate the coronavirus-ravaged economy.

House of Representatives Fails to Pass Profiling Resolution

On January 3rd the 117th Congress was sworn in and all bills and resolutions not agreed to from 2019-2020 must be reintroduced. The MRF is disappointed that, despite over 130 bipartisan cosponsors, House leadership failed to bring this the motorcyclist profiling resolution, H. Res. 255, to the floor for a vote.

The issue of motorcyclist profiling continues to gain traction on Capitol Hill and the growth in cosponsors over the last 5-years is a testament to the work of individual MRF members and state motorcycle rights organizations. The first version of the resolution introduced during the 114th Congress had only 18 cosponsors. Two years later the version before the 115th Congress had 37 cosponsors while this version had 139 cosponsors. Additionally, the Highway Reauthorization bill that passed the House in July of 2020 included language that focused on motorcyclists profiling.

Despite this setback our champions on Capitol Hill remain in the fight. The leadership of the House Motorcycle Caucus has already reach out to the MRF about plans to reintroduce the profiling resolution in early 2021. The MRF remains committed to seeing the House of Representatives do what the Senate did in 2018, go on the record about the need to end motorcyclists profiling!

Space-Themed 1949 Harley-Davidson Panhead

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by Daniel Patrascu from

Back in 1949, the year when parts of this here bike were born, humans were not even dreaming of becoming space explorers. The world was fresh out of the worst years of its existence, a time when most of the planet’s nations tried to obliterate each other in more or less creative and horrific ways.

They tried to do so by using rockets, too, an invention that eventually helped open up humanity’s appetite for space exploration. After the war ended, Germany’s most prestigious rocket scientists, Wernher von Braun and his Nazi V-2 rocket team, found themselves working for the Americans. Faster than you could say “Man belongs wherever he wants to go,” we went to space, reached the Moon, and sent a small army of rovers to Mars.

The fast pace of space exploration was of course sung in literature and movies, but also on mundane objects such as teacups or T-shirts. And yes, even on cars and motorcycles.

This 1949 Harley-Davidson Panhead is one of the objects celebrating space exploration. It does so by displaying one of the most intricate and detailed custom paint jobs we’ve seen on such a project.

Despite the rather limited real estate available, the bike reeks space no matter where you look: there is a big NASA logo visible on one side, a couple of planets and a self-propelled astronaut on top of the tank, suns, moons, and alien UFOs on the side of the thank, and a fancy human spaceship on the frame.

The motorcycle is part of the larger lot of two-wheelers known as the Legends Motorcycles Museum collection. No fewer than 36 of them, including this one, are going under the hammer in April, during the massive Mecum auction, which is to be held in Las Vegas.

There is no estimate on how much the bike is expected to fetch, but those with a big enough passion for Panhead Harleys and space can boldly go where their competitors cannot, as this one is selling with no reserve.

Aprilia debuts its long-awaited Tuono 660 naked bike for 2021

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by Kyle Hyatt from

This promises to be a much more approachable and affordable naked bike from the Italian brand. Enough power, very light weight and top-tier safety tech make the Tuono 660 pretty appealing.

The Aprilia Tuono V4 is one of the most over-the-top, terrifying, wonderful and life-affirming machines I’ve ever had the pleasure of riding. It’s massively powerful, thanks to its 1,077-cc V4 engine, it sounds like half of the world’s angriest Ferrari, and it’s packed to the gunwales with brilliant electronics designed to keep your tires on the pavement. It’s also not a bike I’d recommend to most people as a first, second or even third motorcycle. It’s just overwhelming.

Aprilia seems to understand that issue with its Tuono V4, so it’s done the only sensible thing and lopped two cylinders off it, calling it the Tuono 660 and making it a much more accessible motorcycle. It teased the Tuono 660 alongside the RS 660 sportbike at EICMA in 2019, and now it’s getting its official debut, according to an announcement on Wednesday.

The Tuono 660 makes a reasonable 95 horsepower (the V4, for comparison, produces over 170 hp) and has a curb weight of just 403 pounds. This means that things with the baby Tuono should be plenty rowdy but not quite so hectic as on the V4.

Like its bigger brother, the Tuono 660 sports a more upright riding position than the similarly powered RS 660, which means it should be more comfortable for longer rides. It comes with a KYB suspension with limited adjustment, paired with decently sized, radially mounted Brembo brakes. While miles away from the high-zoot stuff on the more expensive V4, this combination should be more than adequate for some hardcore canyon carving for most riders.

To help make the 660 more friendly for newer riders, it comes standard with Aprilia’s excellent APRC rider-aid suite, which includes multilevel traction control, antiwheelie control, cruise control and user-selectable engine maps. Corner-sensitive, multistage antilock brakes are standard as well.

The 2021 Aprilia Tuono 660 will be available in the US towards the end of Q1 for a starting price of $10,499 before dealer fees. It will be interesting to see how it compares to Ducati’s all-new Monster and KTM’s 790 Duke.

Five Million Tires Sold Plus a New Upcoming Fourth Generation

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Pirelli DIABLO ROSSO™ in Numbers: Five Million Tires Sold Plus a New Upcoming Fourth Generation

Since 2008 the DIABLO ROSSO™ Brand has Been Using the Technology Developed by Pirelli in the FIM Superbike World Championship to Offer Uncompromising Riding Performance

ROME, Ga. (January 7, 2021) – The Pirelli DIABLO ROSSO™ tire family enters the new year with record numbers and celebrates the achievement of an important milestone: over 5,000,000 radial tires sold since its introduction on the market in 2008.

The origins of DIABLO™ and DIABLO ROSSO™ brands

DIABLO™ represents Pirelli’s excellence in the world of high-performance tires designed for two-wheeled vehicles. The DIABLO product family, after its introduction into the market in 2002, has rapidly evolved to include in its broad portfolio tires dedicated to other market segments, from professional racing to the supersports road arena. The DIABLO brand brings with it more than 18 years of experience, technology and victories in the most prestigious national and international two-wheeled competitions.

Within the DIABLO™ range, the DIABLO ROSSO™ products are dedicated to road machines of a sport leaning. The name DIABLO ROSSO™ was born with the intention of honoring the distinctive color of the Italian national motorsport team since 1922, which was the color racing red (PANTONE® 185C).

The most prestigious motorcycle manufacturers in the world choose DIABLO ROSSO™ products as original equipment for their top models, while many respected international magazines and websites consider DIABLO ROSSO™ products a benchmark for this sector. Among the leading products of this family there are currently tires such as DIABLO ROSSO™ Corsa II, DIABLO ROSSO™ III and DIABLO ROSSO™ Scooter, still reference tires in their respective segments.

Thanks to the high performance of each of these products, supported by the ability of Pirelli engineers to anticipate the demands of a constantly evolving market, and to use cutting-edge materials and technologies, the DIABLO ROSSO™ product family has been able to reach the important milestone of 5,000,000 radial tires sold worldwide.

Respectable numbers that allow Pirelli to announce with great satisfaction and pride the fourth generation of this tire family, with the arrival of DIABLO ROSSO™ IV, the new supersports product created to continue the history of this successful brand. As the direct successor of DIABLO ROSSO™ III, DIABLO ROSSO™ IV raises the bar of this product range even higher, pushing the qualities of handling and grip to the highest levels, both in dry and wet conditions.

DIABLO ROSSO™ IV is dedicated to motorcyclists who love a more dynamic riding style, owners of supersports, hypernaked or crossover bikes who demand from a tire a high level of grip, on all types of asphalt and weather conditions, as well as precise feedback and great handling to make the most of the high performance of their bikes.

For more information about the complete line of Pirelli motorcycle tires, please visit

Stressful Bikernet Weekly News for January 7, 2021

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This is going to be an interesting news. I pride myself in staying centered and relaxed under any circumstances. Buddhism has helped with my understanding of the universe and everything around me. But our government is stressing me out. I don’t want to hear about what’s going on. I just want it to go away.

A wise man told me once that when you are stressed sit quietly and breathe. Then think about the element that is stressing you out. When you open your eyes, do so with the realism that whatever it is, was just a thought. It wasn’t real. Stress is a fabrication of your mental agility. You can be stressed about anything and nothing. It’s just the way you think—so change it.

Easier said than done from time to time, yet it is supremely attainable. Let’s hit the news and think about wild choppers, Bonneville racing, new projects and beautiful women. My stress is gone.

Click Here to read the Weekly News on Bikernet.

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2011 Harley-Davidson Tri Glide Honors Servi-Car Forefather

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by Daniel Patrascu from

The current Harley-Davidson portfolio still includes a number of exciting motorcycles, but even if this is not very obvious today, the bike maker is also playing in the trike segment. There are three models offered for this market, the Freewheeler, the Tri Glide Ultra, and the CVO Tri Glide. All can somewhat trace their roots all the way back to the early 1930s.

Fueled by the desire not to succumb to the financial disaster that was to cost countless American businesses as the result of The Great Depression, Harley came up with the Servi-Car. It was supposed to be a tool for the automotive segment, to be used in the related service industry.

Being tiny and looking not unlike a three-wheeled pickup truck, the Servi-Car was quickly adopted by small businesses, public vendors, and even police departments. Its success would soon skyrocket, and it helped keep Harley afloat through the troubled Depression years.

The Servi-Car was in production well into the 1970s, which means a great deal of them were made. Sadly, few are still in a condition recommending them for collections or investment, and this is why, at times, people have to come up with innovative ways to quench their Servi-Car thirst.

Sitting in front of you is one of the descendants of the workhorse, a Tri Glide from 2011. It was built in such a way as to be a nod to its forefather, and thoroughly maintained as to be accepted into the Springville, Utah-based Legends Motorcycles Museum.

Sporting Guide Dogs of America logos and whitewall wheels that spin under the power stock engine and the 6-speed transmission, the trike is up for grabs together with 35 other siblings from the same collection. It will go under the hammer in April, during the postponed Mecum auction in Las Vegas. There is no estimate as to how much it is going to get.

Pandemic Panhead Project: Part 3 Tuning

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It was a lesson in Frustration on Several Fronts

I’ve built a number of bikes and maybe I was just lucky. With the Pandemic not so lucky. Trouble getting it started in Sturgis, so we brought it home and sent the Morris Magneto back to Deadwood Custom Cycles for a check-over.

Click Here to read this Tech Article on Bikernet.

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1931 Harley-Davidson V

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by Daniel Patrascu from

Back in the years before the Second World War, Harley-Davidson was, like all other companies, fighting for its survival. Little did it know that the changes and decisions it made during those times would make it the only other bike maker, alongside Indian, to survive The Great Depression.

But it was not a smooth ride. In the first years of the period, Harley’s sales dropped by about seven times, and as a result so did production. That means finding motorcycles made from 1930 to after the war is not an easy task today. On the other hand, those who own such a two-wheeler often find themselves sitting on a real treasure.

A large pack of such motorcycles was scheduled to go under the hammer this month, but due to the ongoing health crisis, it will do so in April. The pack is called the Legends Motorcycles Museum collection and comprises a total of 36 bikes, many of them coming from the time of the Great Depression.

The 1931 V series model we have here is one of them. Wearing an olive and orange color scheme on a body that looks refreshingly vintage, it is part of the side-valve engined family of bikes that replaced the J series produced up until the start of the 1930s.

The new series comprised the standard V line, of which this here motorcycle is part of, the VL and the VS. They were all powered by the new Harley powerplant that, coupled with a host of other improvements, made the V series a very fun to ride family of bikes.

A number of them survive to this day, and according to Hagerty, a concours condition one can go for as much as $28,000.

The one here seems to fit the description, especially because it is just that, a show bike. It sells on a Bill of Sale for display purposes only and can not be ridden on public roads. There is no estimate of how much it is expected to fetch.

Choices for Motorcycle Insurance for the Teen Driver

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Not every teen wants to drive a car; some would rather ride motorcycles, dirt bikes, or even scooters and mopeds. Parents can, understandably, be hesitant to allow their teen to ride and Cary Runnells, State Farm Insurance Agent in Thousand Oaks, CA has prepared a report to help parents understand the licensing, safety and insurance options available for teen riders.

Not every teen wants to drive a car; some would rather ride motorcycles, dirt bikes, or even scooters and mopeds. Parents can, understandably, be hesitant to allow their teen to ride and Cary Runnells, State Farm Insurance Agent in Thousand Oaks, CA has prepared a report to help parents understand the licensing, safety and insurance options available for teen riders.

First on the list is to prepare the teen rider. The State of California requires a Class M1 or Class M2 driver license to operate a motorcycle or a “Motor Driven Cycle.” The California Department of Motor Vehicles motorcycle handbook describes these vehicles as:

  • Motorcycle having only two wheels and an engine that is over 150cc
  • Motor Driven Cycles have engines that are 149cc or less
  • Vehicles must be registered
  • Driver must be licensed

Before getting his or her license, your teen needs a motorcycle permit. Teen drivers need to be at least 15 ½ years old to get a permit and must complete a motorcycle rider training course that is given by the California Highway Patrol. Other requirements include passing knowledge and skill tests and obtain the Certificate of Completion for the motorcycle training course.

“Shortly before your teen is ready to apply for the permit is the time to meet with your insurance agent about insurance,” said Runnells of the Thousand Oaks State Farm Insurance Agency. State Farm offers motorcycle insurance for multiple bike types:

  • Factory-built motorcycles
  • Motor scooters, minibikes and trail bikes (OHV)
  • Classic motorcycles
  • Custom motorcycles in some cases

Your insurance agent will help you determine the best levels of coverage you need to cover:

  • Bodily injury to someone else or to the insured driver in the event of an accident, including uninsured motorist coverage
  • Damage caused to someone else’s property while your teen is riding
  • Damage to the motorcycle caused by an accident and theft, fire, vandalism, and other losses — even while your motorcycle is in storage for the winter
  • Attached side cars
  • Emergency roadside expenses
  • Damage to protective gear

“Another excellent benefit that we offer,” said Runnells, “is discounts on insurance when policies are bundled and when the teen driver takes advantage of State Farm’s many teen driving programs. We help you choose the best programs for your teen. Safe driving programs cover all aspects of driving any kind of vehicle safely and help instill safe driving habits.”

10 Massively Collectible Motorcycles to Watch

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Check out these Beauties and the Price Tags

Just like cars, motorcycles are treasured collectibles. Despite their desirability, however, they trade hands on average at far lower values than cars. The car auction record, too, is nearly 50 times that of the motorcycle auction record. Generally, the lower end of the bike market is full of nostalgia-driven purchases; the top is littered with historical significance and racing pedigree.

Based on digital views of our newly-released Hagerty Motorcycle Price Guide, here are the 10 bikes in which Hagerty is seeing the most interest, arranged by price from low to high.

Click Here to read this Photo Feature on Bikernet.

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