highways

Why motorcycle lane-splitting is Legal in California but Not in 49 other states

Why California lets motorcycles legally split lanes while 49 other states do not from https://ktla.com by Tony Kurzweil If you’ve ever been startled out of the doldrums of your afternoon commute by a thundering, lane splitting Harley Davidson and cursed whoever is responsible, you’re not alone. But before you blast the California Highway Patrol with emails listing all the reasons why that congestion-cutting biker should be given a ticket and told to stay in his lane, there are some things you should know. First, not only is lane sharing or lane splitting legal in California but the CHP wrote the safety guidelines as instructed in AB51, which was approved by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2016. In fact, although lane sharing occurs in other states, California is the only place where the practice has been made legal. But why? Well, one reason is that lane sharing has been going on in California ever since motorcycles have been on the freeway, so it was important to set some ground rules, CHP Motorcycle Officer Brian O’Toole said. The second, and maybe more interesting reason, is that it makes time spent on the freeway shorter, not only for motorcyclists but for us four-wheel motorists as well. “As motorcycles are moving through, splitting the lanes … that’s one less vehicle occupying that lane,” CHP Motorcycle Officer Brian O’Toole said. “It’s saving the average motorist in a car time … If we were to all of a sudden not allow lane splitting anymore, that’s a motorcycle sitting in the lane ahead of them,” O’Toole said. But just because the motorcyclist has the CHP on their side when it comes to lane sharing, it doesn’t mean they can recklessly speed past you. “It’s still a privilege … We’re the only state left, so it’s a privilege for […]

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MRF update: Highway Bill Passes – a Year Late

November 5, 2021 Highway Bill Passes… a Year Late After a 13-month delay and enactment of three separate extensions, Congress finally passed a surface transportation reauthorization bill. This bill, sometimes called the highway bill or the infrastructure bill, has been a hotly debated topic in D.C. for several years. Once signed by the President, the bill will reauthorize many highway programs, provide funding for road and bridge construction and replace the previous highway bill passed in 2015, known as the FAST Act. Just a week ago, Congress gave itself a third extension running into December. Yet election victories by Republican candidates, especially a win by the GOP in the Virginia governor’s race, seems to have spooked Democrats, and motivated passage of a bill that has been awaiting a vote since the summer. For the last two years, the House of Representatives and Senate have battled over transportation priorities and funding levels. In both 2020 and 2021, the House of Representatives passed versions of their highway bill, only to be rebuffed by the Senate. Under pressure from President Biden, the Senate finally acted, passing in August a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. This action by the Senate, effectively forced the House to accept the Senate version of the bill or continue to pass short term extensions of current law. However, pressure from the left wing of the Democratic party delayed a vote on the Senate’s infrastructure bill until an unconnected piece of legislation, referred to as the “human infrastructure bill,” was agreed to. That bill, called “Build Back Better,” had an original price tag of $3.5 trillion and effectively held the infrastructure bill hostage. After months of debate, and Tuesday’s election results, House Democrats agreed to vote on a smaller Build Back Better bill later in the month, opening the door to

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Wishing You All New Adventures this Halloween

Of course Frankenstein rides a chopper… from Lowbrow Customs When it comes to motorcycles, there is a lot of tacky stuff out there. We wanted to create some motorcycle-related Halloween photos that weren’t hokey and share them with you all. Several of us donned some classic movie monster costumes and enjoyed some time in a local graveyard… Frankenstein (Tyler), Bride of Frankenstein (Amanda) with a 1975 Harley Shovelhead chopper and and a Werewolf (Todd) on his Triumph bobber. We hope you enjoy them! PS – We’ve been putting small posters of one of these photos (as well as some candy) in Lowbrow Customs orders all month, and will keep doing so until we run out! Lowbrow Customs Website: https://www.lowbrowcustoms.com/

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Congress extends deadline for highway funding – 3rd time in 13 months

October 28th, 2021 Same Old Story… For the 3rd time in 13 months, Congress will extend the deadline to reauthorize highway funding programs. The original deadline of September 30, 2020 was extended for a full year last fall. Last month, Congress kicked the can down the road, giving itself a 1-month extension that expires on October 31st. Facing yet another self-imposed deadline, Thursday night, Congress gave itself ANOTHER extension, this time running through December 3rd, 2021. President Biden now must sign the bill before the first of November to avoid a lapse in funding. Over 3,700 employees in the Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration would be furloughed without these stop gap funding extensions. Passage of a long-term infrastructure and highway bill remains blocked because of an inter-party fight between progressive and moderate Democrats on a host of issues. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) believes long term and stable funding for our nation’s transportation and infrastructure programs should not be continually deferred. The MRF remains committed to seeking long term solutions that advance the priorities of the nearly 10 million bikers in this country. 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 MRF Website at: https://mrf.org/join/

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MRF Update: Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS)

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Transportation released an interactive website with data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). FARS, which became operational in 1975, containing data on a census of fatal traffic crashes within the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. To be included in FARS, a crash must involve a motor vehicle traveling on a traffic way customarily open to the public and must result in the death of a vehicle occupant or a nonoccupant within 30 days of the crash. Fatal crash data for motorcyclists and passengers from the years 2010 to 2019 is included on this website. Users of the website can sort the information on fatalities by a variety of categories, including: State where the crash took place Crash Characteristics Environmental Characteristics Month of Crash Time of Crash Helmet Usage Alcohol Usage Age and Sex of Victims Weather Conditions Single Vehicle v Multi Vehicle While this information can be useful in understanding when, why and where crashes are taking place, it’s important to note that this data includes not just traditional motorcycles but also mopeds, scooters, minibikes, and pocket bikes. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation believes crash avoidance is key component of rider safety. There are zero fatalities in crashes that never happen. To see the website and view the decade’s long data 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 MRF Website at: https://mrf.org/

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Kawasaki Unveils Gas-Electric Hybrid Prototype Motorcycle

by Dustin Wheelen from https://www.rideapart.com Kawasaki Lifts Cover On Its Gas-Electric Hybrid Prototype Bike A peek behind the curtain/fairings. We’ve been following Kawasaki’s hybrid motorcycle development since the firm filed patents in July, 2019. By November, 2021, Team Green gave us a peek at its progress with a short video laying out the philosophy behind the project. Then, an April, 2021, patent revealed Kawi’s new 48V hybrid battery design. Now, Kawasaki has pulled back the curtain (and the fairings) on its latest hybrid build while committing to a 2025 gas-electric hybrid production models. Due to the chassis, front headlight configuration, and exhaust system, the prototype looks like it’s based on the Ninja 400. Kawasaki hasn’t officially confirmed our suspicions, but leveraging the entry-level sportbike aligns with current hybrid technology limitations. In automobiles, it’s easier for manufacturers to pair electric and internal combustion powertrains. In motorcycles, however, space is a much more limited resource. As a result, the firm couples its existing small-capacity parallel twin with a compact electric power unit. From the beginning, Kawasaki has developed its hybrid project with the idea that riders would utilize the powertrains in different environments. The internal combustion engine suits highway riding, while the electric motor works best in urban environments. On a twisty road, both would work in concert to deliver the best of both worlds. It seems like the small-bore Ninja-based prototype would satisfy those requirements while also providing enough room to accommodate the new apparatus. Of course, with two powertrains, the transmission will have to play nice with both systems, and Kawi’s automated gearshift smooths that transition. The new feature consists of an automated clutch, servo-powered shifter, and push-buttons for the user to operate. With so many European cities introducing zero emissions zones lately (and only more to come), the hybrid

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Political Agendas on Electrical Vehicles Charge Up Emotions

by Colby Martin from SEMA Action Network (SAN) at https://www.semasan.com GROUNDING THE “EV” BUZZ Political Agendas Surrounding Automobiles Charge Up Strong Emotions The impending arrival of electric cars and trucks has caused quite a stir. Sure, everyone shares the well-intentioned notion of a healthier environment. But constant announcements about the potential phasing out of new gas-powered vehicles have enthusiasts worried about the future of the hobby. Thanks in part to a 24-hour news-cycle, the automotive-minded are forced to ponder this great unknown with greater frequency. With the topic weighing heavier on many minds, the question arises: what’s to become of the tailpipe—and when? Clearly there are crossed wires needing to be untangled. Acronym Soup First, we must understand the common lingo used in automotive discussions. The gasoline-sipping internal combustion engine (ICE) has long been the motivator of choice. However, the low- and zero-emissions vehicles (ZEVs) categories have emerged and made significant improvements in recent years. There are several different models of these cars and trucks such as electric vehicles (EVs), plug-in hybrids, and those running on hydrogen fuel-cells. With such competition, it may seem like traditional rides could have a tougher existence in a yet-uncertain future of alternative powerplants. Government Directives The latest update in the automotive world came from the nation’s top office: the Biden Administration. President Joe Biden signed the “Executive Order on Strengthening American Leadership in Clean Cars and Trucks” in August. In short, the measure calls for 50% of all sales of new cars and light trucks in the US be ZEV by the year 2030. “It is the policy of my Administration to advance these objectives in order to improve our economy and public health, boost energy security, secure consumer savings, advance environmental justice, and address the climate crisis,” said President Biden. Biden’s action was

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Getting A Grip Bikernet Weekly News for October 7, 2021

Hey, We’re headed directly into the magnificent Holidays. I’m beginning to itch for bike to build, maybe a Knucklehead. Ya get it. We can do anything we set our minds to, and rapidly. We have the resources, the knowledge and the materials at our fingertips. So, what the fuck is holding you up? Ride fast and free forever and never give up! –Bandit The Bikernet Weekly News is sponsored in part by companies who also dig Freedom including: Cycle Source Magazine, the MRF, Las Vegas Bikefest, Iron Trader News, ChopperTown, BorntoRide.com and the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum. Click Here to Read the Weekly Motorcycle Industry News on Bikernet.com Join the Cantina for more – Subscribe Today https://www.bikernet.com/pages/custom/subscription.aspx

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Dave Currier, aged 68, on Winning Cannonball riding his 1911 Harley-Davidson

by Kevin Wallevand from https://www.inforum.com Fargo man wins Motorcycle Cannonball with 1911 Harley Davidson Dave Currier turned 68 years of age on the road while racing in the Motorcycle Cannonball Earlier, Dave Currier had been a runner-up in 2018 Motorcycle Cannonball riding a 1915 Harley-Davidson His father sold Indian and Harley motorcycles in the 1940s and 50s in Fargo and also raced them Dave Currier credits John Rouland of Northern Crankshaft in Thief River Falls for doing a lot of the technical and engine work on his 1911 H-D “To start it, you have to pedal to start it, it is a belt drive. To move it forward, you have a lever which tensions the belt and the bike moves forward.” – Dave Currier Fargo man wins Motorcycle Cannonball with 1911 Harley Davidson A Fargo man has just won a cross country motorcycle run called The Motorcycle Cannonball. Dave Currier is finally getting some feeling back in his rear-end. He is back in Fargo after competing in the most difficult, antique endurance race in the world: The Motorcycle Cannonball. “I think this has been the toughest ride of my life,” Currier said. “It is a real grind, I had about eight hours in the saddle every day.” Riding his 1911 belt-driven Harley Davidson, Currier and 88 competitors crossed 11 states over 16-days straight. From Michigan to South Padre Island, Texas, they racked up just over 3,700 miles. “The bike is tall. I have short legs, so my feet don’t touch the ground,” Currier said. “To start it, you have to pedal to start it, it is a belt drive. To move it forward, you have a lever which tensions the belt and the bike moves forward.” But Currier, who had a team planning and tweaking this bike, not only competed;

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Congress passes extension of Highway Bill

Congress Kicks the Can… 30 day Highway Bill Extension Passes With the failure of Congress to pass a new highway bill, by the September 30th deadline, nearly 3,700 United States Department of Transportation staffers were furloughed on Friday. Most of these workers belong to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Without dedicated funding to operate, those agency workers were forbidden from coming into work on October 1st. Operations in these agencies, related to safety and construction projects, were halted as a result. On Friday evening, in an effort to end the closure of these agencies, Congress passed an extension of the recently expired FAST Act. The 30-day extension releases federal funds so workers at the FHWA and FTA can return to work for the month of October. An interparty fight between progressive and moderate Democrats created a stalemate on infrastructure legislation and produced the need for an extension. This is the second time the FAST Act has been extended in just over a year. The original 2015 bill, expired on September 30, 2020, but was given a full 1-year extension, creating the recently passed September 30, 2021, deadline. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) remains engaged with lawmakers on this important bill. The MRF continues to stress the need for action on the transportation policy priorities of the nearly 10 million bikers across the country. We will keep you updated as events warrant. Visit Motorcycle Riders Foundation website at http://mrf.org

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