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May 10th – Your Weekly Biker Bulletin from Inside the Beltway

By | General Posts

Keith Ball illustration – designed to bring less expensive, light vehicle, two tiered additional lanes to congested areas

Capitol Hill Update

Full Court Press

This week the MRF team in Washington met with 24 congressional offices to discuss motorcycle priorities with an emphasis on H. Res 255, the anti-motorcycle profiling resolution. The strategy to get this resolution passed is simple; we need to get as many co-sponsors added to the resolution as possible. A large number of co-sponsors demonstrates support for the resolution and helps let Congressional leaders know that there is broad political support for passing the resolution.

Last year, the House version of this resolution had 39 cosponsors. This year our goal is to get that number above 60. Since the resolution was introduced six weeks ago, we have garnered 22 cosponsors including seven that were added just this week. The letters sent by MRF members and our meetings on Capitol Hill are helping build momentum, but we need to keep the pressure up. The DC team will continue to meet with congressional offices and Bikers Inside the Beltway is a great opportunity for motorcyclists to educate lawmakers about this issue.

We are casting a wide net hoping to gain support from a variety of different states. Our meetings this week were with members of Congress from 21 different states. Currently, Illinois is leading the way with five co-sponsors on the resolution. We will keep you updated on our meetings and the growth of our co-sponsor list.

Transportation Priorities

Late last week, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee asked its members to submit a list of surface transportation priorities. This list will help guide the committee in building an agenda for hearings and legislation in the coming months. Congressman Troy Balderson (R-Ohio) submitted this request to the committee: “Direct NHTSA to reevaluate the federal definition of a motorcycle (the current definition of a motorcycle includes autocycles).”

Congressman Balderson was first elected to Congress in August of 2018 to fill a vacancy created by a retirement. He won reelection three months later and is now serving his first full term in Congress. The Congressman is a motorcycle rider and recently joined the House Motorcycle Caucus. He has shown a desire to learn more about legislative issues motorcyclists face and with his position on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hopes to play a leading role in advocating for the motorcycle community. We are excited about our new ally and advocate and look forward to working on a variety of issues with him.

FEMA: the latest news from the European motorcyclists

By | General Posts

This is a news update from FEMA, the Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations.

FEMA’s mission is to promote riders’ interests, to defend riders’ rights and to protect and preserve motorcycling throughout Europe and globally.

Another EU-USA trade war may hit motorcyclists

In the newest trade war between the EU and the USA, motorcycle parts are on the list of products that will have extra customs duties up to 100% if European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström gets her way. Parts for US brands motorcycles may become much more expensive.

Read the full article

ITS Survey 2019

Five years ago – in 2014 – FEMA conducted a survey on Motorcycles & ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems). We now want to repeat this survey, to understand riders’ awareness and acceptance of new technologies. The survey is now available in ten languages.

Go to the survey >>

Motorcyclists are voters – European elections 2019

Elections for the European Parliament are to be held on 23–26 May 2019. FEMA and its 22 affiliated national motorcyclists’ associations have a vested interest in the outcome of the European elections in 2019.

Our safety and freedom of movement may well depend on decisions the Members of the European Parliament will take in the 2019-2024 parliamentary session. This is why we are running the ‘Motorcyclists are voters’ campaign, aimed at all parliamentary candidates and at European motorcyclists.

Read our election statement >>

 

In the Cantina – Big Question Weekly News for May 2, 2019

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It’s Doable if We Can Get to the Table
By Bandit, Wayfarer, Rogue, Bob T., Sam Burns, Barry Green, the Redhead, Laura, Stealth and the rest of the Crew

Why do I ponder this shit, but I do. It’s not as if my folks were industry leaders or politicians. I should smoke weed and relax, but no.

How do we respect freedom of travel, the enjoyment of riding, the freedom to build bikes and keep roads available? We need to shift our focus first, but we need to do it soon.

READ THE WEEKLY NEWS EXCLUSIVELY IN THE CANTINA – Click Here

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Motorcycle Helmet Performance: Blowing the Lid Off

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Searching for the truth behind motorcycle helmet design, helmet standards and actual head protection

By Dexter Ford and California Scientific

How good is your helmet? Will it actually protect your brain in your next crash? Will it prevent your next accident? I don’t think so, but it may cause your next accident–watch out.

These seem like easy questions, ones you probably think you can answer by reciting the lofty standards your helmet meets and the lofty price you might have paid for it. But the real answers, as you are about to see, are anything but easy.

There’s a fundamental debate raging in the motorcycle helmet industry. In a fiberglass-reinforced, expanded-polystyrene nutshell, it’s a debate about how strong and how stiff a helmet should be to provide the best possible protection.

READ THE DETAILED REPORT IN THE CANTINA – Click Here

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To Full Face Helmet or not to Full Face Helmet

By | General Posts

A long standing proponent of freedom of choice, this year for the ride to Daytona Beach for the annual Bike Week pilgrimage – I decided to do something I’ve never, EVER done before in 37+ years of riding– sport a full face helmet. The helmet of choice for the trial was the Harley Davidson FXRG Sun Shield H29 Modular Helmet – Part Number 98359-19VX.

READ THE RIDER REVIEW AND EXPERIENCE AT THE CANTINA – Click Here

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In the Cantina – Weekly News for April 25th 2019

By | General Posts

May We Find Balance and Freedom

I wonder if all the bullshit is human nature. We just can’t relax and have a good time. We need to fight over something. I just hope it doesn’t lead to something devastating. Maybe I read too much.

I just want to ride free, race, and chase redheads. Life can be so fuckin’ amazing, if we just let it be.

I’m about to launch a new Cantina episode. We have Barry’s footboards tech about ready. And you just don’t know what might happen next.

Joe Teresi told me he has a deal to sell ER and take the company off his hands.

Shit is changing fast. Ride hard and die fast.

Forever Free,

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The IIHS: When a New Study is Not New and Not a Study

By | General Posts

By Gary Biller, NMA President

Every two or three years, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) splashes the media with a recycled report of how many deaths have occurred due to raised speed limits. And reporters dutifully echo it as gospel because sensational headlines like, “Speed limit increases are tied to 37,000 deaths over 25 years,” grab attention and generate views.

That is the current press release title from IIHS for a just-issued report that is a rehash of a similar effort from 2016. The claim from the insurance industry advocacy group made back then, with uncanny precision for a methodology based almost entirely on assumption and extrapolation, was that 32,894 people died from higher speed limits since the 55 mph National Maximum Speed Limit (NMSL) was repealed. This skeptical review of that IIHS claim three years ago could serve just as well in critiquing the 2019 IIHS repeat of the “speed kills” mantra.

Perhaps my favorite quote in the current reporting of the IIHS release is this from Axiom’s “Slow the hell down:”

“ ’Every time you raise speed limits, you see more deaths,’ said IIHS vice president for research and statistical services Charles Farmer.”

It isn’t necessary to stretch our advocacy muscles even a tiny bit to show this as provably false. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System Encyclopedia publishes annual highway fatalities rates. Speed limits have climbed steadily since the full repeal of the NMSL in 1995, commonly reaching 75, 80 and even 85 mph, and yet fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled have plummeted:

1995                1.73
2000                1.53
2005                1.46
2010                1.11
2015                1.15

The 2017 fatality rate of 1.16 marks a 33 percent reduction over the past 22 years. Mr. Farmer sees statistics differently than most, but then again, that is evident in how his organization reports its conclusions.

To see who benefits from the posting and enforcement of lower speed limits, look no further than the list of auto insurers that wholly fund the IIHS.

As TheNewspaper.com observed about the 2016 IIHS report, “. . .there is a financial reason for the insurance industry’s advocacy of artificially low speed limits. Every ticket issued on an underposted road raises the insurance premium for the ticketed driver, increasing the industry’s profit.”

What was true then is true now.

Imagine Bikernet Weekly News for April 11, 2019

By | General Posts

It’s All Based Around Creative Freedom and the Chopper Gods.

Imagine if the concept of life changed dramatically. With the advent of scienctific discoveries and studies, everything is changing rapidly regarding religion, philosophy and nature.

It always blows me away, the more I learn the more motorcycling, custom motorcycling and choppers become pure bastions of freedom. According to science we are born, go through the process of growing, living, loving and dying. Simple as that. We are no more than a blossoming flower in your garden. Life comes and then it goes.

Ah, but there’s so much more to our lives and what we make of them. Every day we can conjure up our next ride, our next chopper, our next girlfriend (or boyfriend), or our next adventure. Fortunately, we’re around for many seasons, so our opportunities for creative and adventuresome expansion are many fold.

So, take advantage of every fucking season you have, ‘cause when you’re gone, you’re gone. Let’s hit the news and ponder the meaning of life. Maybe it’s the pursuit of love and creative freedom and Choppers are creative steel gods we are allowed to ride off into the sunset.

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