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Royal Enfield Meteor 350 Road Test & Review

By General Posts

So, you want a new, retro-styled street bike under five grand? There is Good News & Bad News.

The Meteor 350 is a bang-for-buck motorcycle. The Enfield name has more mystique than any of the major brands in this space, and those who appreciate Royal Enfield’s history will be proud to ride the modern-day version. Folks place more value on the bike’s style and personality. The Meteor 350 rides exactly the way it looks, as it advertises – “Cruise Easy”.

If you want a turn-key retro motorcycle with a warranty and a few modern luxuries, give the Meteor a try. It’s a nifty way to go motorcycling without getting in over your head.

Click Here to Read this comprehensive Review on Bikernet.com

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Motorcycle Luggage for a Vikings Crusade

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Koz Mraz takes the Large Sissy Bar Luggage on the road. Ideal for weeks of serious two-up touring.

I was looking for really large sissy bar luggage for weeks of serious two-up crusading in the northern U.S. These Vikings will be riding long stretches of open highways through desolate landscapes. There’s a wide variety of options, some I liked, some I didn’t. I didn’t want a top loading bag that made us dig to the bottom every time we needed a sweater. I wanted handy exterior compartments that could be easily accessed at stops and I needed space, lots of space for lots of stuff. I found Viking Bags.

Photos and Review by Koz Mraz.

Click Here to Read this Road Test Review on Bikernet.com

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Fact or Fiction – Helmet Use

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from Motorcycle Riders Foundation at http://mrf.org/

On a nearly annual basis the media in this country is inspired to report stories about motorcycle fatalities on our nation’s roadways. Invariably, these stories paint motorcycle rider deaths as a product of irresponsible riders who live in states that have some level of helmet choice. Frequently they report statistics that prove their narrative but fail to paint a full and complete picture. The lens with which these stories are reported often takes the naïve view that crashes can be made “safer” if only bikers somehow followed government helmet mandates.

The only true solution to motorcycle safety and reducing fatalities are proactive measures, which prevent a collision from occurring at all, rather than reactive steps that may or may not offer some level of injury mitigation only after a crash has already taken place. Rider education, which prepares motorcyclists to interact with other roadway users by learning and practicing the skills necessary for hazard avoidance and developing a strategy to deal with real world traffic, is the primary component of a comprehensive motorcycle safety plan. Additionally, educating all motor vehicle operators to be alert and free of impairment as they share the road with others is critical in deterring crashes caused by inattention.

When coming across these stories keep in mind some facts that are omitted from their reports.

Fact: Over the last decade motorcycle related deaths have varied between years but for the most part remain flat. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data from 2019 shows 5,014 deaths, a decrease from the 2008 5,307 deaths NTSHA recorded. In that same time period registered motorcycles increased from 7.7 million in 2008 to 8.7 million ten years later. In other words, there are a million more bikes on the road and there were 300 less deaths.

Fact: Twenty-nine percent of motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes in 2017 were riding without proper licensure at the time of the collision. A valid motorcycle license includes a rider having a valid driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement or possessing a motorcycle only license. Proper training and licensing are fundamental parts of motorcycle safety, taking unqualified riders off the road is a commonsense solution to lowering motorcycle fatalities.

Fact: The lack of a helmet mandate in the 31 states who have allowed freedom of choice does not prohibit someone from choosing to wear a helmet. In fact, a 2019 U.S. Department of Transportation audit showed that states without mandatory helmet laws still saw 56.5% of riders choose to wear a helmet.

Fact: A 2019 U.S. Department of Transportation Fatality Analysis Reporting System report showed that in crash study data, where helmet use was known, 36% of motorcyclists killed were not wearing a helmet. Conversely 61% of motorcycle fatalities involved a rider wearing a helmet. The remaining 3% had unknown usage. These numbers closely mirror NHTSA data on overall helmet usage which shows 64% of riders wearing helmets.

Fact: Despite the constant drum beat from safety advocates, the media and Washington D.C. bureaucrats about the ills of helmetless riders, state legislatures continue to trust the judgment of bikers. Just last year Missouri passed a modified helmet law allowing the choice to ride without a helmet to those who are qualified. In at least three other states, West Virginia, Maryland, and Nebraska there are active campaigns to change their helmet mandates and let those who ride decide.

Ride With The Leaders ™ by joining the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) at http://mrf.org/ or call (202) 546-0983

BMW Debuts R 18 Transcontinental and R 18 B ‘Bagger’ touring motorcycles

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by Florina Spînu from https://www.autoevolution.com

According to BMW, the new R 18 Transcontinental and R 18 B will be available worldwide as special R 18 Transcontinental First Edition and R 18 B First Edition models when they hit the market in September. The two new R 18 family members will be unveiled to the public for the first time on August 6th in Sturgis, South Dakota.

BMW is expanding the R 18 family with the new R 18 Transcontinental and the R 18 B “Bagger,” one ideal for long-distance rides and one perfect for touring and cruising. You can watch some high-octane scenes with the new models in The Cadillac Three’s new music video, “Get After It.”

The collaboration between the American Southern rock group and BMW only came naturally as the new models are built to appeal to those looking for a sportier ride and those going for a more touring-oriented machine. The southern country music is a perfect addition for these bad boys that star in the clip, riding just outside Nashville.

The new R 18 Transcontinental is a luxurious tourer that comes with a high windshield, wind deflector, and flaps. Compared to the standard R 18, it has additional lights, a top case, and four analog round instruments. The ride has seat heating as standard to ensure long-distance riding comfort even when two people get on it.

On the other hand, the R 18 B has no top case and a lower windscreen that adds to the style of a bagger. Among other features, it sports a smaller seat, wider and more comfortable footrests, and a matt black metallic engine.

Like the previous R 18 models, both rides combine the power of the 2-cylinder “Big Boxer” engine with a classic chassis design based on BMW’s historical motorcycle models. The engine generates an output of 67 kW (91 hp) at 4,750 RPM, and between the 2,000 to 4,000 RPM range, it produces more than 150 Nm of torque.

Tech-wise, they feature a 10.25 inch TFT color display that provides all the information the rider needs. The motorcycles come with three riding modes, Rain, Roll, and Rock, and a Hill Start Control function that turn one’s journeys into a memorable experience.

What can make that experience even better is the new Marshall sound system. Developed in collaboration with the British manufacturer Marshall (yes, the same brand that makes the renowned guitar amplifiers), the audio system uses 4 loudspeakers and 2 subwoofers to produce great sound quality and “good vibrations.”

The German Autobahn is under threat

By General Posts

By Cameron Kirby from https://www.whichcar.com.au

The last bastion of high-speed driving freedom could soon be outlawed

There is a new plan to kill the Autobahn as we know and love it.

If a minority party in Germany’s federal parliament has its way, a new national 130km/h limit could replace the unrestricted sections of the Autobahn.

Currently there are 5353km of Autobahn which have the ‘unrestricted’ advisory speed limit.

The Alliance90/The Greens political party, often referred to simply as The Greens, is behind the move, and is pushing the lowering of limits as part of a package of new measures intended to reduce emissions.

“A speed limit would be a commandment of reason for an enlightened society in the 21st century,” said Green politician Cem Özdemir.

It’s claimed that enforcing a 130km/h limit would lower Germany’s carbon dioxide emissions by between one and three million tonnes per year. In 2018, Germany produced 725.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Lowering speed limits to 130km/h on the autobahn is supported by the German police union, with the head of the federal trade union Michael Mertens stating: “For us, a speed limit for transport policy reasons is urgently needed”.

A vote on the proposition will be held in Germany’s national parliament, the Bundestag, on October 13.

The federal parliament has 709 seats, with the joint Union alliance, made up of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU), Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU), and Social Democratic Party of Germany (SDP), holding a majority with 398 members. The Greens hold 67 of the 311 seats in opposition.

The Union has previously defended the unrestricted speed limits on the Autobahn, including when they were attacked earlier this year.

In January a leaked report from a government-appointed committee called the National Platform on the Future of Mobility suggested capping speed limits nationally at 130km/h.

The committee’s edict was to look into how Germany could better fall into line with European Union emission targets.

Germany still has 7640km of motorway with speed limits, and the national transport minister, Andreas Scheuer, claimed that adding limits to the remaining unrestricted sections of motorway would struggle to reduce Germany’s national emissions by 0.5 percent, adding that the push “goes against all common sense.”

“Whoever wants to drive 120 can drive 120, and those who want to go faster can do that too,” he told Bild am Sonntag. “Why this constant micromanagement?”

Measurements in 2006 in the German state of Brandenburg showed that the average speed on a six-lane section of the autobahn, in free-flowing conditions, was 142km/h.

If the new plan to kill the Autobahn’s unrestricted speed limits is successful, it would see the end of unrestricted highways globally.

The Isle of Man would stand alone as the remaining jurisdiction in a developed country with no speed limits, with the self-governing British Crown dependency’s 1107km of paved rural roads often having no posted limit.

In the Cantina – weekend round up and Byways to Highways

By General Posts

Byways to Highways: 2019 Harley-Davidson Sport Glide
Two Bikes in One

The Sport Glide Softail allows you to cruise the backroads or hit the highway in style. The small batwing fairing comes with a 1.5-inch-high windshield that’s aerodynamically designed to deflect wind from the rider’s chest. A taller 5.5-inch light smoke windshield is also available for greater protection.

READ THE REPORT BY CLICKING HERE

Weekend Round-Up for May 28, 2019
I still don’t know what the hell I’m doing…

I like to work out on Saturdays but halfway through my workout I realized I was burning daylight and went back to sanding, then spent the afternoon prepping the liner for a mess with resin.

READ THE ROUNDUP BY CLICKING HERE

RIDING FREE FROM DC: Your Weekly Biker Bulletin from Inside the Beltway

By General Posts

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.

Capitol Hill Update

Republicans Pressing Democrats
With Democrats now the majority party in the House of Representatives, they control the committee chairmanships and thus control the agenda for each committee. The House Energy and Commerce Committee, who has jurisdiction over autonomous vehicle technology, is now chaired by Frank Pallone of New Jersey. This puts Republicans in a role they not been in since 2010, seeking the help of Democrats to tackle legislative priorities.

Republican Greg Walden of Oregon, the previous chairman and now ranking member as well as Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers of Washington and Bob Latta of Ohio sent Chairman Pallone a letter regarding the need for Congress to act on autonomous vehicles legislation.

“We write to urge the Energy and Commerce Committee to take up bipartisan self-driving vehicle legislation. Last Congress this Committee worked across party lines to draft H.R. 3388, the Safely Ensuring Lives Future Deployment and Research in Vehicle Evolution Act (SELF DRIVE Act). The SELF DRIVE Act was an example of this Committee at its very best: working together, across the aisle, to develop legislation that will advance lifesaving technology. As a result of our deliberative, transparent, and bipartisan process, the Committee voted unanimously, 54 yeas and 0 nays, to report the SELF-DRIVE Act to the House floor where it again passed unanimously. Unfortunately, the Senate failed to act on the bill,” Walden, Latta, and Rodgers wrote.

The MRF has and continues to educate members about the safety concerns for motorcyclists and autonomous vehicles. We believe that any bill dealing with autonomous vehicle technology should include provisions that ensure the safety of roadways users including motorcyclists. We will keep you updated on any movement of legislation related to this emerging technology.

Transportation Bill
The current transportation bill, which funds federal surface transportation programs, expires in September of 2020. The previous bill known as the FAST Act provided $281 billion for transportation projects. The Transportation Committee and specifically the Highways Subcommittee has begun the process of drafting the reauthorization bill.

At a recent hearing Highways Subcommittee Ranking Member Rodney Davis of Illinois laid out his four priorities for new legislation:

“First, the Highway Trust Fund is not able to meet our surface transportation needs as they stand today, let alone our future needs. Congress and the Administration must come together and find a way to shore-up the Highway Trust Fund, providing sustainable funding for our Nation’s surface transportation programs.

Second, while our current surface transportation system has significant needs, we must also begin to prepare for the future. Underinvestment has taken its toll on the system’s ability to move people and freight – we face increasing congestion, delays, and safety issues. Not only is adequate infrastructure investment important to mobility, it also creates jobs and allows our economy to prosper.

Third, as the reauthorization process moves forward, it is essential that we find ways to build more efficiently – to stretch the federal dollar. We need to identify and attack hidden project costs by streamlining the project delivery process and reducing burdensome regulations.

And lastly, by incorporating technologies and other innovations, we have the opportunity to increase safety and efficiency in our surface transportation system.”

The MRF has a meeting scheduled with Congressman Davis in early April to discuss transportation-related issues and ensure that the motorcycle community is not overlooked when Congress addresses transportation issues. We will update you about our conversations in the coming weeks.

Google It
This month the House Motorcycle Caucus updated its website for the 116th Congress. One addition of note is the inclusion of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation to the list of “related organizations”. Previously only the American Motorcycle Association and Motorcycle Industry Council were listed in this section of the website.

While not earth-shattering news, this small addition to the website is a simple example of how the MRF continues to raise our profile on Capitol Hill. If you haven’t visited the House Motorcycle Caucus website, we encourage you to take a few seconds and look around.

House Motorcycle Caucus

MRF Event News – Bikers Inside the Beltway 2019
The 11th Annual Bikers Inside the Beltway is scheduled for Tuesday, May 21st. Schedule too jammed to attend Bikers inside the Beltway? Please go to www.mrfae.org to make a tax-deductible contribution of $10, $20, $50, or $100 to raise funds needed to offset the administrative and printing costs of sponsoring BITB 2019. Motorcycle Riders Foundation Awareness & Education, Inc. (MRFA&E) is a not for profit 501 (c) 3 and sponsors BITB with an awareness presentation to members of Congress.

OR … Mail your contribution to:
Motorcycle Riders Foundation Awareness & Education, Inc.,
2221 S. Clark St.; 11th Floor
Arlington VA 22202

Your support of BITB is greatly appreciated! The efforts to promote and protect the rights of motorcyclists could not be done without members such as yourself.

Tiffany & Rocky
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation

2019 federal spending package increases infrastructure funding

By General Posts

It took a while, but a 2019 spending package was finally approved by Congress, signed by President Trump, and enacted February 15. In addition to the $1.375 billion for southwest border barriers, the package also includes full-year 2019 funding levels for important federal infrastructure programs, including the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Engineering News-Record reports.

The 2019 package is the second year of a two-year, bipartisan House-Senate budget deal that included a pledge to raise overall federal infrastructure spending by $20 billion over 2017 levels. It sets the federal-aid highway obligation ceiling at $45.3 billion, up $1 billion, or 2 percent, from 2018 and equal to the amount authorized in the 2015 Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), which comes from the Highway Trust Fund.

The legislation also contains $3.25 billion more from the general fund for highways, up from $2.525 billion in 2018. A 2019 “bonus” amount includes $2.73 billion for states, up from $1.98 billion in 2018, and $475 million for bridge replacement and rehabilitation, more than double the 2018 amount.

Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grants received $900 million for 2019, down 40 percent from 2018, but it was not discontinued as President Trump suggested. The program was originally called Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER.

The Federal Transit Administration will receive $13.4 billion for 2019, down $67 million from 2018, with transit formula grants getting $9.9 billion and capital investment grants receiving $2.5 billion, down from $2.6 billion in 2018. An additional $700 million, down from $834 million in 2018, goes for transit infrastructure grants, which include bus facilities and “state of good repair” projects.

The Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Improvement Program was frozen at 2018’s $3.35 billion, an amount that comes from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund. Lawmakers also tapped the general fund for an additional $500 million in FAA discretionary airport grants, down 50 percent from 2018.

The EPA’s water infrastructure account will receive $3.6 billion, a 1 percent increase over 2018 levels. Clean Water State Revolving Funds (SRFs) will receive $1.7 billion and Drinking Water SRFs will get $1.2 billion.

Trike Touring Guide to America

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Trike Touring Guide to America : Get out, ride, explore, live and tell us about it.
by Ujjwal Dey

In 1903, Horatio Nelson Jackson became the first documented person to drive an automobile from San Francisco to New York using only a connection of dirt roads, cow paths, and railroad beds. His journey, covered by the press, became a national sensation and called for a system of long distance roads.

United States has 21 kilometres of roads per 1000 people. 5,486,610 kilometers of paved roads exist today in USA. Out of that 103,027 km are marked Expressways. Yes, you are connected to all Americans everywhere. What is stopping you? Get up, boot up, ride and meet these fellow citizens and explore your beautiful America.

READ THE PHOTO FEATURE ARTICLE click here.

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