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California Unification Rally Draws 3,000 to State Capitol

By General Posts

On May 21,2023, over 3,000 motorcyclists gathered at the California State Capitol in Sacramento to talk biker’s rights, and to send a message to the state legislature that a change in how California deals with issues important to riders is needed. Speakers from the Modified Motorcycle Association (MMA) of California, ABATE of California, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF), the National Council of Clubs (NCOC) and other groups took to the podium to stress the importance of all riders – as well as other consumer advocates including those in the automotive industry – coming together to present a unified front. Rally organizer and MRF State Representative ‘Chappy’ Patrick Carver and his team of volunteers did yeoman’s work in organizing the event. Chappy is also the President and lobbyist for the MMA of California and works closely with the MRF on legislative issues being addressed in Congress. Numerous long-time California activists, including ABATE lobbyists Jim Lombardo and Bobby T, ABATE officers David ‘D-Man’ Seiler, Chuck Pedersen, and MMA/ABATE Liaison Dave Battles were on hand as well.

For California riders, a major concern continues to be the issue of being unfairly profiled by law enforcement. Following a concerted, years-long effort by motorcycle clubs from around the country, the NCOC, the MRF, state motorcyclists’ rights organizations and thousands of independent riders, anti-profiling resolutions have now been passed in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives with bi-partisan support. On a local level, five states have passed standalone anti-profiling laws. California and other states are working to have similar legislation enacted.

Other topics of discussion at the rally included protecting the rights of consumers to repair their machines, the unrealistic rush to outlaw internal combustion engines in favor of electric vehicles, ongoing issues associated with unregulated self-driving autonomous vehicles, and the appropriate labeling and availability of E10 or lower petroleum fuels.

MRF Executive Director Mark Buckner addressed the rally, emphasizing the importance of the challenges and opportunities facing riders today. Buckner discussed MRF’s recent Bikers Inside the Beltway lobbying campaign in Washington, D.C., highlighting the issues discussed with members of Congress and their staff. Those issues included ongoing efforts to end unfair profiling; H.R. 906, the Repair Act, seeking to stop manufacturers from limiting the ability of consumers and independent shops to repair products; H.R, 1435, the Preserving Choices in Vehicle Purchases Act, seeking to amend the Clean Air Act to prevent a ban on internal combustion engines; ensuring that Congress and executive branch agencies including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) provide appropriate oversight regarding self-driving vehicles; ensuring that consumers will continue to be able to purchase E10 and lower ethanol fuels at a reasonable price; and building strong, bi-partisan motorcycle caucuses made up of motorcycle-friendly legislators in Washington, D.C.

Overall, the California Unification Rally was a resounding success, with unity and opportunity the messages of the day.

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 http://mrf.org/

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Baker’s Dozen Fight for Bikers

By General Posts

On Tuesday, 13 members of the House of Representatives sent a bipartisan letter to U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary of Pete Buttigieg seeking the formation of the Motorcyclist Advisory Council (MAC). As you may remember, the MAC was first established by Congress in 2015 and renewed with passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in 2021.

Unfortunately, despite the requirement that the MAC be established within 90 days after the law is passed, DOT has failed to act. In the past, the MAC has provided a critical forum for policy makers, roadway engineers, and motorcyclists to discuss ways roadway and barrier design, construction and maintenance practices and intelligent transportation systems can better meet the safety needs of the nearly 9 million motorcyclists in this country.

One important part of the reestablished MAC, as outlined in the text of the law, is the expansion of membership seats. The inclusion of manufacturers, motorcyclist rights organizations and safety professionals will provide for a more expansive knowledge base and information sharing on the council. As prescribed in the law, the MAC will be required to submit biennial reports on their findings.

Establishment of the MAC was one of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation’s priorities during the recent Bikers Inside the Beltway event in D.C. Thank you to Rep. Gallagher for leading the letter and to the 12 other lawmakers listed below for supporting our efforts to seat the MAC.

Rep. Gallagher (WI)
Rep. Carsen (IN)
Rep. Finstad (MN)
Rep. Fitzgerald (WI)
Rep. Fitzpatrick (PA)
Rep. Grothman (WI)
Rep. Lee (NV)
Rep. Norman (SC)
Rep. Stauber (MN)
Rep. Steil (WI)
Rep. Tiffany (WI)
Rep. Van Orden (WI)
Rep. Wilson (SC)

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. Ride With The Leaders ™ by joining the MRF at http://mrf.org

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NCOM Biker Newsbytes for March 2023

By General Posts

Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish

Industry & Legislative Motorcycle News from USA and the world

Click Here to read this month’s NCOM news on Bikernet.com

This Month in the News, we cover:

  • BILL INTRODUCED IN CONGRESS TO PREVENT ICE BANS
  • EU LAWMAKERS APPROVE 2035 BAN ON NEW FOSSIL FUEL VEHICLES
  • STATES CONSIDER ANTI-PROFILING, LANE SPLITTING AND HELMET LAWS
  • BANISHING KIDS FROM MOTORCYCLES
  • FRANCE PROHIBITS EV “GREENWASHING”
  • ITALY TO LIMIT VEHICLE ACCESS PRIOR TO OLYMPICS
  • TAYTAY INSTITUTES “NO HELMET POLICY”
  • WORLD’S LARGEST CUSTOM MOTORCYCLE SHOW A HUGE HIT
  • NCOM CONVENTION RISES IN PHOENIX

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MRF: Continuing to Bridge the Gap

By General Posts

Almost a decade ago, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) began outreach to motorcycle clubs to find common ground on key legislative items. An MRF board seat, titled Director of Sustaining Member Motorcycle Clubs, was created and that seat is held by Russell Radke. Part of Russell’s mission is to educate the motorcycle club community on what the MRF is working on in D.C. and how our efforts impact all riders.

The National Council of Clubs (NCOC) has, for the past several years, invited the MRF to participate in its meetings to foster that dialogue. Last weekend, leaders of the MRF attended the February NCOC meeting in St. Louis, Missouri. The MRF was represented by Kirk “Hardtail” Willard (MRF President), Fred Harrell (Director of Conference & Events), Russell Radke (Director of Sustaining Member Motorcycle Clubs), Seven Cassel (Membership Director) and Rocky Fox (Government Relations). Also in attendance was ABATE of Wisconsin Legislative Director, Steve Panten.

Four different presentations involved an MRF or ABATE member sharing their views on motorcycling and legislative action. Hardtail gave a presentation on the “The Future of Motorcycling in America.” Rocky spoke on the MRF’s recent victories on profiling in D.C. Seven discussed how best to unite independents and MCs. Steve gave a case study on a recent summit held in Wisconsin between ABATE and motorcycle clubs in the state.

The weekend was filled with lively debate and great questions. The MRF thanks the NCOC and the club community for their hospitality and willingness to work together on issues we all care about.

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

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Florida Insurance Laws: VOTE Bikers Over Billionaires

By General Posts

BIKERS OVER BILLIONAIRES!!!

Our rights are under attack! I must call your attention to a new bill (HB 837) that was filed recently in the Florida Legislature.

This bill, by the multi-billion-dollar insurance industry and corporate elites would strip away the rights of Floridians … taking away our constitutional right to hold others accountable and responsible when they harm you, your family, or your business.

If the multi-billion dollar insurance industry were to put together a wish list of ways in which they would harm policy holders, while at the same time attacking our access to courts, it would read exactly like HB 837. This bill seeks to take away our rights by reducing insurance company accountability to Insureds and claimants, expand insurance company profits, take away our rights to go to the doctors we choose and ultimately increase costs that will fall back on workers, taxpayers, and healthcare providers. All this, while trying to claim that the bill “may indirectly lower the cost of insurance.” How many of you have ever seen your auto, motorcycle, home, health, or life insurance rates ever go down?

Please join me on Thursday as we RIDE FOR OUR RIGHTS to Tallahassee to attend the House Civil Justice Subcommittee meeting, this Friday, February 24, at 8:00 a.m., where this bill will be considered. I will be there, along with countless others, making sure that the voices of actual bikers and Floridians are heard.

Statement from the Florida Justice Association (FJA) President Curry Pajcic:

“Florida is under attack. The rights of every Floridian are under assault by insurance companies and corporate elites who think they can dictate which rights should be preserved and which can be tossed aside.”

Don’t let them tread on Florida!!!

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House Passes Motorcyclist Profiling Resolution

By General Posts

December 23, 2022 House Passes Motorcyclist Profiling Resolution!

In one of the final actions before the 117th Congress dissolved the House of Representatives passed, H. Res 366, the motorcyclist profiling resolution.

The resolution, which was first introduced in 2016, failed to receive a vote on the House floor until today. In the six years since it was introduced motorcyclists have spent countless hours educating lawmakers and raising awareness on the issue of motorcyclist profiling.

The 2016 version of the resolution had just 18 cosponsors, but that number grew to 103 this month. These 103 cosponsors represented a diverse set of political beliefs and geographic interests, but all were committed to supporting bikers.

It has been a long journey to this point and many parties are responsible for this victory. Former Representative Reid Ribble of Wisconsin originally introduced the resolution and after his departure from Congress Representative Tim Walberg of Michigan picked up the baton. The Motorcycle Profiling Project provided important data that helped inform lawmakers about the extent of motorcyclist profiling. Motorcycle clubs and independent riders all invested time and resources in the battle on Capitol Hill. State motorcyclist rights organizations leveraged their relationships with home state lawmakers and increased cosponsor numbers dramatically. Most importantly all these groups remained committed and focused despite setbacks and disappointments.

With this action, the House joins the Senate, which passed a similar resolution in 2018 standing against motorcyclist profiling and asking for collaboration between law enforcement and bikers to prevent profiling. Additionally, five states, Washington, Maryland, Louisiana, Idaho, and New Hampshire all have state laws against the profiling of bikers.

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation hopes that this demonstration of support from the United States Congress will provide other states a foundation to enact legislation.

To see a full version of H. Res 366 click here.

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

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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/

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.

Political Agendas on Electrical Vehicles Charge Up Emotions

By General Posts

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 preceded by California Governor Gavin Newsom’s controversial notice last year. That order instructed the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to draft regulations requiring that all new cars and passenger trucks sold in the state be zero-emissions by 2035. Once drafted, CARB’s proposed regulations will be subject to a lengthy regulatory process, including legal, economic, and environmental analyses, public comment, and hearings. The Governor’s order is also expected to face numerous legal challenges from opponents.

Cause for Concern?

The concern surrounding EVs is understandable, but premature. Many of the proposed rules and legal mandates are far more symbolic in nature. For example, President Biden’s actions were merely issued as an Executive Order, meaning it is not a federal law and has no binding authority. In fact, the following disclaimer is included at the end of the Order:

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

Directives like President Biden’s also tend to be highly aspirational with ambitious time frames for implementation. For example, many of the President’s proposed benchmarks extend beyond his time in office, giving him little say on the final product.

Realities: Supply vs. Demand

Perhaps the most direct impact to personal transportation will come from the automakers themselves. The evolving market is already experiencing highs and lows. While seeking to boost ZEV sales, major brands have been subject to factors beyond their control. Supply chain shortages and logistical issues have impeded production schedules, causing delays, and price surges. Additionally, massive investment of resources will be required for materials and retooling throughout the entire manufacturing process.

Many fundamental issues need to be resolved before any major shift to “clean” vehicles is feasible. Most importantly, more than 281 million rides share US roads—a small fraction of which are EVs. Such a massive fleet won’t be replaced anytime soon. Of course, the lion’s share are newer vehicles, which often have a life spanning a decade or longer. Also, the urge to trade-in for an electric model decreases without widespread options for “refueling.” Charging woes include long recharging time, charger availability, and standardization of hardware between brand offerings. Additionally, the U.S. electrical grid can hardly handle its current strain—let alone an entire nation needing to recharge at home or on-the-go. At this point, clear solutions appear far from sight.

Informed & Involved

Although the future of EV adoption remains to be seen, the SEMA Action Network (SAN) believes a balance can be achieved and has made this fight a top priority. Our community’s rich history of innovation should be celebrated as it continues evolving with emerging technologies. As always, the SAN opposes proposed efforts to ban the ICE and other such mandates impacting vehicles of all kinds—vintage collectibles and their fuel supply included.

With the ever-growing voice of advocates from our hobby, politicians are increasingly aware of how many passionate voters are paying attention to their actions. SAN contacts like you will receive details direct to inboxes as opportunities to act arise—stay tuned for further updates.

Meantime, please spread the word to get others involved in the good fight: CLICK semaSAN.com/Join

–IGNITED WE STAND!

About SAN: https://www.semasan.com/about

EDITOR’s NOTE:
“Here’s the wildest truth. Climate Alarmism or Climate Doom IS misinformation. Oops.” –Bandit

Florida Drivers claim lack of state oversight led to their fraudulent motorcycle endorsements

By General Posts

by Stephanie Coueignoux from https://www.mynews13.com

ORLANDO, Fla. — About 200 people’s lives are now literally stalled after the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles suspended their driver’s licenses.

Each of these individuals took a motorcycle endorsement training course two years ago so they could ride, but there’s now an issue.

What You Need To Know

  • About 200 Floridians had their driver’s licenses suspended over an illegitimate motorcycle endorsement
  • State officials say the company in question was not a legitimate business
  • Some of the drivers affected say the suspensions are not fair, because the state initially accepted the endorsements

The state sent these people letters suspending their driver’s licenses, after it discovered the course wasn’t legitimate. But many of these drivers are upset, pointing out it was the state that accepted the certifications in the first place.

Francisco Perez Velez is one of the drivers who received one of the letters. As the owners of an electric service company, Velez responds to power outages around the clock. His nephew, Evelio Perez, works with him.

“We need to be there as soon as possible,” explains Perez.

It’s part of the job made more difficult when the state suspended their licenses.

“It’s going to be sad — you’re driving without a license and stopped by a police and you’re heading to your job and heading to the jail? It’s not fair,” said Perez.

Perez and his uncle received separate letters from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, which claim they committed fraud.

“We were in a nervous breakdown because we saw the cancellation of the license and assuming the state we did fraud, we were all in shock,” said Velez.

This all started back in 2019, when nearly 200 people — including Perez and Velez — took a motorcycle course with the Pasco Motorcycle Training Institute. They took their certification to the DMV, which updated their driver’s licenses.

“They gave us a certification. This certification on our license, they just do an endorsement that says also motorcycle,” said Velez.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles emailed Spectrum News saying “the individuals … knowingly accepted the endorsements without having gone through the necessary training.”

Both Velez and Perez say they didn’t realize the course wasn’t legitimate, especially since the DMV accepted their credentials. They feel the state should review these training companies regularly instead of punishing clients two years later.

“Why then would I risk everything for just a simple endorsement?” Velez asked when asked if he knew the training course wasn’t legitimate.

“You don’t know how many other companies have been doing this as well,” said state Sen. Victor Torres. “You’ve opened up Pandora’s box and all of a sudden, you’ve found more violations are occurring.”

Torres believes this is a major public safety issue — since people are riding motorcycles without the proper training — and is now looking to craft a bill to create tougher regulations.

“I think for the companies who do issue these licenses — there should be a review every year by the state to make sure they are following the guidelines, they’re following the rules, and they’re not cutting any corners,” said Torres. “I think we will look into legislation for next year and see what can be added, with the work of the department as well.”

We asked the state why it took two years before it discovered the Pasco Motorcycle Training Institute wasn’t legitimate and why the DMV accepted the endorsements in the first place.

A spokesperson responded by email, saying “the department acted as soon as we were made aware of the issue.” The email went on to say “individuals who had their license suspended may appeal.”

In a later email, Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles spokeswoman Jessica Kelleher expanded on the reason the issue with the Pasco Motorcycle Training Institute wasn’t discovered earlier.

“Once we were made aware that the Pasco Motorcycle Training Institute — a provider entrusted by the state and the public to provide training and evaluate an individual’s ability to safely and lawfully operate a motorcycle on Florida’s roadways — was issuing these fraudulent endorsements, we immediately began investigating; ultimately suspending the nearly 200 individuals’ licenses who fraudulently obtained them as well as PMTI’s certification and program,” Kelleher wrote. “Because PMTI was a trusted state provider, and sent these documents to us claiming them to be accurate and legitimate, we had no reason at the time to believe there was any malfeasance until we received a tip that led to a lengthy and thorough investigation.”​

Velez and Perez are in the process of appealing their license suspensions. In the meantime, they’ve received a hardship license- which allows them to drive for professional, but not personal, reasons.

“(It’s been) very stressful — we’ve been back and forth,” said Velez. “I have to go to the doctor and take some medication because it’s stressful. Family involved. Employees.”

The state has suspended the motorcycle certification program pending their open investigation.

Spectrum News tried to contact the Pasco Motorcycle Training Institute, but never received a response. The company’s website is also now suspended.