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Elect to take a stand

By General Posts

Tomorrow’s Outcomes Hinge on Today’s Actions

In contrast to the last century, ‘Roaring’ is not likely to be how the current ‘20s are remembered. The Jazz Age’s nostalgic “carefree” stereotype offers little similarity to the present. Amidst all the uncertainty, one thing is clear: politics are everywhere, like it or not. With all this in mind, big issues are on the table that are ripe with controversy. Decisions on electric vehicles (EVs), automotive fuel supply, and one’s own ‘right to modify’ will make a direct impact on our community and the final results are likely to be consequential.

With so much at stake, enthusiast participation in the political process is crucial—but not difficult. Nearly 7,000 state and federal elected positions are up for grabs in November. Notably, 84% of all state lawmakers will be in the running—marking their first race since redistricting has shifted constituencies. Party control of the U.S. Congress and state legislatures will be determined in the upcoming elections.

Use the voting tool at semaSAN.com/semavotes to register to vote and learn the deadlines for where you live.

In advance, find out if your state and federal representatives are affiliated with the hobby-friendly, SEMA-supported caucuses at semaSAN.com/statecaucus and semaSAN.com/federalcaucus.

You can locate your elected officials at semaSAN.com under the “Legislators” tab.

Ready to influence our nation’s public policy roadmap going forward? Good news: the ballot box awaits! This year, head to your polling place with renewed purpose. Learn where your candidates are on issues important to you. Then ensure your voice is heard via your vote. No better way to weigh-in and make sure this important opportunity counts. Take care of fulfilling your civic duty just like your prized ride—with pride in ownership!

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Click & Join Bandit’s Cantina and support freedom on two-wheels…. RIDE FAST AND FREE FOREVER!!!

Arizona Senator Rallies for Passage of the RPM Act

By General Posts

Since being elected to Congress in November 2020, U.S. Senator Mark Kelly (D-AZ) has proven himself to be a strong ally and defender of motorsports. Sen. Kelly is an original cosponsor of S. 2736, the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act of 2021 (RPM Act), and he has championed the bill both publicly and behind the scenes. Sen. Kelly recently spoke at a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing about the importance of the RPM Act and amateur racing, noting that his wife, former U.S. Representative Gabby Giffords, raced motorcycles on the track.

“Racing is important to many Arizonans – and it’s a part of our state’s legacy,” he said. “The RPM Act will help provide certainty to Arizona’s amateur racers and auto mechanics from EPA regulations, which could harm their ability to enjoy the hobby of motorsport.” As a former astronaut (four missions into space) and naval aviator who flew 39 combat missions in Operation Desert Storm, Sen. Kelly understands the passion of racers and the adrenaline associated with speed lovers.

He is also amongst the 31 Senate co-sponsors of the RPM Act, fellow federal lawmakers and candidates running for re-election in 2022.

The 2022 election season is now in high gear. For information on voting in November’s elections (including absentee and early voting), to find your polling place, identifying your lawmakers and the candidates running in 2022, use the link Click Here.

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Click & Follow the Thursday’s Weekly News exclusively on Bikernet.com to stay updated with your freedoms & rights as a motorcyclist !!!

Vance & Hines Issues Statement on Federal Trade Commission Action

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Vance & Hines Issues Statement on Federal Trade Commission Action Against Harley-Davidson

Background: The Federal Trade Commission announced a complaint on June 23, 2022, against Harley-Davidson, ordering the company to “fix warranties by removing illegal terms and recognizing the right to repair, come clean with customers, and ensure that dealers compete fairly with independent third-parties.”

Link to Federal Trade Commission Press Release: https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/news/press-releases/2022/06/ftc-takes-action-against-harley-davidson-westinghouse-illegally-restricting-customers-right-repair-0

Statement from Mike Kennedy, President & CEO of Vance & Hines:

“This action taken by the FTC is a huge win for motorcycle riders. While we still need to see how this plays out, we anticipate that riders will have more choices in how they repair and update their motorcycles during the warranty period, which is clearly a big deal for companies in the motorcycle aftermarket, too. I hope that the “it will void your warranty” threat for someone who just wants a better sounding or smoother running Harley is a thing of the past.”

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Fact Vs Fiction: New York Exhaust Noise Legislation

By General Posts

Support SEMA Action Network, visit https://www.semasan.com/

SEMA’s Government Affairs staff have been successful thus far in killing or amending many onerous proposals before they become law

In 2021, New York enacted a bill into law–the SLEEP Act–that aims to crack down on excessively loud vehicles. The law goes into effect on April 1, 2022. Unfortunately, vague local news reporting has created confusion amongst enthusiasts about what the law will actually do. The SEMA Action Network (SAN) is here to set the record straight.

NOTE: The contents of this article focus on the impact of the new law on light-duty cars and trucks, not motorcycles.

Background:
Since 2021, over a dozen states, including New York, have introduced bills aiming to curb the amount of noise emitted from a vehicle’s muffler. While no two state’s means of achieving this goal have been identical, they all have one thing in common: they were requested by constituents upset by loud vehicles in their community. Why? For many workers across the country, the pandemic meant an unexpected shift to remote work. As a result, people became far more aware of their surroundings, and the noises that come with them, especially from cars and trucks. Fortunately for enthusiasts, SEMA’s Government Affairs staff have been successful thus far in killing or amending many onerous proposals before they become law.

So, what about in New York?

Claim: A new bill in New York will ban exhaust modifications

Rating: Fiction
In January 2021, lawmakers in New York introduced a pair of bills (S. 784 and A. 471) seeking to curb loud cars and trucks. The bills were amended several times prior to passage and were approved by Governor Kathy Hochul in late October. Importantly, the proposal did not change the state’s existing exhaust noise laws, which require every motor vehicle to be equipped with a muffler in working condition and prohibits the installation of bypasses, cutouts, or similar devices. Comparable language is universally used by states across the country and is designed to prevent motorists from deleting their muffler and/or catalytic converter.

So, what does the new law change? Put simply, it allows for larger fines for those breaking existing law pertaining to the use of cut-outs, bypasses or similar devices. Prior to enactment, New York had one of the lowest exhaust noise fines in the country. This law allows larger fines to be issued (capped at $1,000) if the situation warrants.

Claim: New York’s new exhaust noise bill creates a 60-decibel muffler limit

Rating: Fiction
As mentioned above, S. 784 and A. 471 do not change New York’s underlying exhaust noise laws, it simply gives the legal system more discretion to enforce against bad actors. However, the initial versions of the bill were quite different from the final product, and some in the automotive media have used early versions of the bill as their reference when reporting on the proposal.

So, what sort of differences are we talking about? As initially drafted, cars and trucks would have been limited to 60-decibels of exhaust noise, subject to a flat $1,000 fine, and police cars would have been equipped with sound meters to help enforce the law. None of these proposals made it into the final version of the bill. The decibel limit was removed as it would have rendered practically every car on the road illegal, the universal fine was changed to a cap, and the sound meters were scrapped as well.

Claim: A letter sent to retailers and vehicle inspectors states that all exhaust modifications are illegal.

Rating: Fiction
In advance of the SLEEP Act going into effect on April 1, 2022, a letter signed by the DMV Commissioner was sent to automotive retailers and vehicle inspectors in the state notifying them of the law change. The letters are misleading and make overly broad statements about what the new law does. As it relates to cars and trucks, the SLEEP Act added one new section to the law on which the state may begin to enforce starting April 1–VTL 375 (31)(b)–which states that a “cutout, bypass, or similar device” may not be used to increase a vehicle’s muffler noise. As stated above, these parts were already illegal for street use across the country and in New York. SEMA is actively working with the DMV to clarify this guidance.

Claim: A car or truck with modified exhaust will now automatically fail inspection in New York.

Rating: Fiction
According to the state’s DMV, their vehicle inspection procedures have not changed as a result of the new law. Inspectors are not equipped with decibel readers and do not perform sound checks on vehicles. To learn more about the inspection process for cars and trucks, please click here.

Claim: The phrase “cut-out, bypass, or similar device” could be interpreted as meaning any aftermarket device.

Rating: Fiction
The use of “cut-outs, bypasses, or similar devices” is universally illegal in the United States regardless of whether or not they make a vehicle louder. For most states, comparable language explicitly banning these devices has been on the books for over 60 years, including in New York. While no state has explicitly defined the phrase, a definition can be found in the United States Code of Federal Regulations and in municipal ordinances across the country. In each instance, the definition is substantively similar to that of the federal government’s: “Cutout or by-pass or similar devices means devices which vary the exhaust system gas flow so as to discharge the exhaust gas and acoustic energy to the atmosphere without passing through the entire length of the exhaust system, including all exhaust system sound attenuation components.”

Questions? Please contact Christian Robinson at stateleg@sema.org

If you haven’t already, Check Out the Brand New 5-Ball Racing Garage Online Shop !!! CLICK HERE – Let us know what the lawman said about them….LOL.

MRF Call To Action: anti-motorcyclist profiling resolution

By General Posts

Where Does Your State Rank?

Last month the Motorcycle Riders Foundation released our first call to action of 2022. The call to action was related to H. Res 366, the anti-motorcyclist profiling resolution in the House of Representatives. Since its release, over 1,600 bikers have taken a moment to click a few buttons and have their voice heard.

One great part about this call to action is that if your lawmaker has already been supportive of the resolution, they get a thank you email. While if your member of congress has yet to act, it explains the issues and asks for support.

We’ve seen great results from this effort. Since the beginning of February, 26 new representatives have signed on as cosponsors!

If there is one thing we know about bikers, they are a competitive bunch. So, to inspire even more engagement, here’s a list of the top 5 states who’ve taken the time to answer the call.

1. Wisconsin – 176
2. Michigan 155
3. New York 136
4. Texas – 124
5. Arizona 118

The map also shows you how many bikers from each state have contacted their member of the House.

If you have already done the call to action, we thank you! But let’s keep the pressure up! You don’t need to do it again, but you can share the link below, forward this email and hit social media. Let’s get as many bikers as we can to take 2 minutes out of their day to spread the word on profiling.

If you want Washington D.C. to address the profiling of bikers click here.

As always, Ride Safe and Ride Free!

About Motorcycle Riders Foundation
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) provides leadership at the federal level for states’ motorcyclists’ rights organizations as well as motorcycle clubs and individual riders.
Website: https://mrf.org/

MRF Update: Transportation Funding Unlocked

By General Posts

This week the House and Senate are tackling a self-imposed deadline to pass funding legislation before government departments and agencies run out of money. To avoid a government shutdown, a large omnibus spending bill is being voted on that will fund government operations through the end of September. Importantly for transportation related projects and programs, the omnibus bill unlocks billions of dollars in funding that Washington red tape has delayed.

Lawmakers and transportation officials have been warning for months that full implementation of the $1.5 trillion infrastructure law, which was enacted in November, isn’t possible because government funding is constrained at 2021 levels. So, while the money is actually in the accounts and ready to be spent, transportation agencies are locked out of using a large percentage of the money until this second piece of legislation is enacted.

Only in Washington, D.C. does it take two bills, five months apart, to achieve your policy objectives!

Lawmakers Focus on Tesla
Recently Tesla has come under criticism for its Autopilot and Full-Self Driving (FSD) features, which critics say give the impression to drivers that the vehicles are capable of hands-off operation. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened two investigations into Tesla’s autopilot system and the automaker has launched nearly a dozen recalls in the U.S. Many of those recalls are related to over-the-air updates which allows Tesla to tweak and change its software remotely.

Last month, Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) sent a letter to Tesla seeking answers to a series of questions regarding its technology. Included in the letter were questions regarding safety programming, issues related to phantom braking and driver monitoring capabilities.

Tesla responded to the letter last week saying in part, “Tesla’s Autopilot and FSD Capability features enhance the ability of our customers to drive safer than the average driver in the U.S.,”

Senators Blumenthal and Markey seemed less than impressed with Tesla’s response to their questions. In a joint statement they said Tesla’s response was “just more evasion and deflection from Tesla. Despite its troubling safety track record and deadly crashes, the company seemingly wants to carry on with business as usual.”

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation has long been concerned that safety standards for self-driving and autonomous vehicle technology are inadequate. All motorcyclists should remember that these vehicles are on our roadways right now. Remain vigilant while riding, as the operators and perhaps even the manufacturers are not fully aware of what this technology can and cannot do.

To read the initial letter sent to Tesla click here.

About Motorcycle Riders Foundation
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) provides leadership at the federal level for states’ motorcyclists’ rights organizations as well as motorcycle clubs and individual riders.
Visit Website at: http://mrf.org

Troublesome news for motorcyclist community in Europe

By General Posts

Threats from Europe

The last few months have seen troublesome news for the motorcyclist community in Europe. Yesterday, the website motorious.com reported on a new threat to motorcyclists in Paris, France. Officials there are taking aim at motorcycles and using sound pollution as the justification. According to the report, “Paris authorities have been experimenting with sound radars as a way to fight excessive noise pollution in the city. Such devices allow police to pinpoint which motorcycle is emitting more decibels than is allowed, then fine the rider.”

This news for Paris comes on the heels of a Politico report late last year, that the European Commission has plans to dramatically change emission requirements on vehicles. While motorcycles were not included in the initial blueprint, fears are high in Europe. A ban on internal combustion engines “Would be a disaster,” said Michael Lenzen of the German Motorcyclists’ Association.

Don’t forget that in 2020, the Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations (FEMA), issued a warning about end-of-life vehicle directives. Such a policy would require the collection and destruction of motorcycles that have come to the end of their life. At the time, Wim Taal, FEMA’s communications officer said, “Inclusion of motorcycles in the scope of the directive could also mean a serious threat to historical motorcycles. These bikes are especially dependent upon available and affordable original spare parts to keep them in working order. And who wants to see old-timers disappear into state approved demolishing facilities?”

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) is committed to working with and supporting our partners in Europe. As MRF President Kirk “Hardtail” Willard has repeatedly warned, “Policy ideas that first appear in Europe have a history of popping up in the United States.” The MRF is dedicated to opposing policies that destroy the motorcycling lifestyle. Thank you for your continued support as we fight to maintain our rights and freedoms.

Do you really think it couldn’t happen here?

To read the motorious.com article click here.

To read the politico.com story click here.

About Motorcycle Riders Foundation: The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) provides leadership at the federal level for states’ motorcyclists’ rights organizations as well as motorcycle clubs and individual riders.
See Website at: http://mrf.org/

National Roadway Safety Strategy Announced

By General Posts

Thursday afternoon, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg announced a new national road safety campaign. The plan, known as the “National Roadway Safety Strategy,” comes in response to increased year over year fatalities on our nation’s roadways. In 2020, an estimated 38,680 people died as a result of a motor vehicle crash. Of those, approximately 9% were motorcyclists’ fatalities.

What is most alarming about the increase in fatalities, is that the total number of miles traveled on our roads decreased during the pandemic. Americans traveled 13.2% less miles in 2020 than we did in 2019, but we saw a 7.2% increase in deaths.

The preliminary numbers for the first 6 months of 2021 are also troublesome. From January through the end of June 2021 an estimated 20,160 people died in crashes. That is the largest number of projected deaths in that time frame since 2006.

To combat this trend the plan outlines five key objectives:

  • Safer People: Encourage safe, responsible behavior by people who use our roads and create conditions that prioritize their ability to reach their destination unharmed.
  • Safer Roads: Design roadway environments to mitigate human mistakes and account for injury tolerances, to encourage safer behaviors, and to facilitate safe travel by the most users.
  • Safer Vehicles: Expand the availability of vehicle systems and features that help to prevent crashes and minimize the impact of crashes on both occupants and non-occupants.
  • Safer Speeds: Promote safer speeds in all roadway environments through a combination of thoughtful, context-appropriate roadway design, targeted education, and outreach campaigns, and enforcement.
  • Post-Crash Care: Enhance the survivability of crashes through expedient access to emergency medical care, while creating a safe working environment for vital first responders and preventing secondary crashes through robust traffic incident management practices.

The recently passed infrastructure bill has components and funding to help achieve some of these goals. For example, $14 billion in new funding was specifically allocated for road safety. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also announced plans this week to increase the data it collects on crashes. The agency wants to boost the number of crashes investigated and add additional studies that examine crashes involving medium-duty trucks, pedestrians, and workers who are hit on the road.

We at the Motorcycle Riders Foundation are encouraged to see that the U.S. Department of Transportation is taking a complete view of traffic safety, incorporating multiple factors to make our roadways safer. We also remain committed to the theory of crash avoidance, as a crash that doesn’t happen is always safer than one that does.

To get more detail and read the 41 page report click here.

About Motorcycle Riders Foundation: The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) provides leadership at the federal level for states’ motorcyclists’ rights organizations as well as motorcycle clubs and individual riders.
See website at: http://mrf.org/

ABATE of Michigan Annual Seminar

By General Posts

This weekend, ABATE of Michigan hosted its annual seminar in Saginaw, Michigan. In attendance were two longtime legislative champions for motorcyclist rights. Current Congressman, Tim Walberg and former Congressman Jim Barcia, joined the event.

Congressman Walberg is the Co-Chair of the House Motorcycle Caucus and a leading advocate for motorcyclist rights in Congress. Representative Walberg has championed a number of issues bikers care about, including work against the profiling of bikers and the need to ensure autonomous vehicles can recognize and react to motorcyclists.

Former Congressman Jim Barcia of Michigan fought against federal helmet blackmail efforts in the 1990’s. Along with Congressman Petri of Wisconsin and others, Representative Barcia defeated federal regulations that established a penalty, whereby a certain percentage of a state’s highway funds were shifted to safety programs if the state did not have a universal helmet law. This regulation effectively blackmailed states into enacting helmet laws by holding federal funds hostage. Working hand in hand with the Motorcycle Riders Foundation lobbyist at the time, Wayne Curtain, Congress changed the law and freed states to make helmet law determinations without federal government interference.

It’s great to see past and current leaders in the motorcyclists rights movement taking the time to attend seminars like this. Thank you to ABATE of Michigan for building and maintaining these relationships which benefit all bikers across our nation.

About Motorcycle Riders Foundation
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) provides leadership at the federal level for states’ motorcyclists’ rights organizations as well as motorcycle clubs and individual riders.
Visit Website: https://mrf.org

Proposed new regulations for Autocycles in Massachusetts

By General Posts

Proposed new regulations for 3-wheel autocycles

from https://www.bostonherald.com by Boston Herald Wire Services

Proposed regulations of autocycles will be on the schedule when Massachusetts lawmakers hold a virtual public hearing Tuesday.

An autocycle is a three-wheeled motor vehicle that meets federal safety standards for a motorcycle. Unlike motorcycles, however, autocycles typically include a steering wheel, a seat for the driver and occasionally seats for passengers. The driver and passengers are not required to straddle the vehicle like a motorcycle.

One of the bills under consideration would create new safety measures for autocycles including requiring the driver and passengers to wear helmets, requiring autocycle manufacturers to equip the vehicles with safety belts which must be worn by drivers and passengers, and barring children under eight from riding in one.

Anyone who operates an autocycle without wearing a safety helmet or safety belts would face a fine of no less than $25 under the bill.

Massachusetts Lawmakers Weigh New Regulations for Autocycles

from https://www.nbcboston.com by The Associated Press

An autocycle is a motor vehicle with three wheels on the ground that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards for a motorcycle

Proposed regulations of autocycles will be on the schedule when Massachusetts state lawmakers hold a virtual public hearing Tuesday.

An autocycle is a motor vehicle with three wheels on the ground that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards for a motorcycle. Unlike motorcycles, however, autocycles typically include a steering wheel, a seat for the driver and occasionally seats for passenger.

One of the bills under consideration would create new safety measures for autocycles. Those include requiring the driver and passengers wear helmets, requiring autocycle manufacturers to equip the vehicles with safety belts and barring children under eight from riding in an autocycle.