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Harley’s shares hit 3-year high on EU-US trade truce

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by Michael Taylor from https://www.forbes.com

Harley-Davidson Stock Soars As EU Decides Against 56% Tariff Surge

The Harley-Davidson stock price surged this morning after the European Union deferred a tariff plan that would have seen the classic American motorcycle maker face a 56% entry ticket into the European market.

Harley-Davidson Inc would have been one of the biggest losers if the tariff increase from the current 31% had gone through, though whiskey distillers and boat makers would also have taken a hit.

“We are encouraged by today’s announcement that tariffs affecting our products will not escalate from 31% to 56%,” Harley-Davidson Chief Executive Jochen Zeitz said.

“Harley-Davidson employees, dealers, stakeholders and motorcycles have no place in this trade war. These tariffs provide other motorcycle manufacturers with an unfair competitive advantage in the EU.

“European motorcycles only pay up to 2.4% to be imported into the US. We want free and fair trade,” he said.

The tariff hike was set to come into effect on June 1, but it has been shelved as both the US and the EU set about negotiations on steel and aluminum tariffs.

It is estimated that the tariff would have impacted US$4 billion in exports from the US.

The tariffs were initially imposed in 2018 in retaliation to a Trump administration tariff on steel (25%) and aluminum (10%), with further tariff retaliation slated to begin in June.

“We did not want to be in this position,” European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said in June 2018. “However, the unilateral and unjustified decision of the U.S. to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on the EU means that we are left with no other choice.”

The company may have dodged the tariff bullet, but it is still fighting on another front in Europe after having its Binding Origin Information (BOI) revoked, hurling its import tariff up from 6% to beyond 30%.

Its BOI credentials allowed Harley to operate at the lower tariff rate with bikes from its international plants, but their removal created a crisis.

“The company will continue to pursue its legal challenge to the Binding Origin Information (BOI) revocation, and its application for extended reliance.”

Lane Filtering awareness on Motorcycle Awareness Month

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by Mercy Owusu from https://www.abc4.com

Expect to see motorcycles lane filtering, it’s legal under certain circumstances

Lane Filtering is NOT the same as Lane Splitting. Legal for roads with speed limit NOT LEGAL on Freeways.

UTAH – As the weather continues to get warmer, Utahans can expect to see more motorcycles on the road — and more motorcycles means more lane filtering.

The Department of Public Safety wants to remind drivers they can expect to see motorcycles lane filtering, as well as remind motorcyclists of the conditions under which lane filtering is legal.

What is Lane filtering?
Lane filtering is when motorcyclists move between two lanes to the front of traffic that is stopped at an intersection.

Motorcycle lane filtering was made legal under certain circumstances in Utah in May of 2019. The decision came after the Utah legislature’s passage of HB 149 during the 2019 legislative session.

Officials say the law for lane filtering was designed to prevent or reduce rear-end collisions between approaching vehicles and motorcycles stopped in traffic.

They added, unlike lane “splitting,” lane “filtering” is intended to provide a “safety pocket” for motorcycles when encountering stopped traffic.

Since motorcycle riding is seasonal in Utah, some drivers may be surprised when they see motorcyclists who are lane filtering.

Officials emphasized that lane filtering between stopped vehicles on roadways with at least two lanes in the same direction and speeds of 45 mph and lower is legal in Utah.

Having a motorcycle pass closely to your stopped vehicle can be startling. However, officials say if you’re aware that lane filtering is legal and know to expect it, you can maintain an awareness of your surroundings and reduce the element of surprise.

Motorcycles can lane filter in Utah when the following conditions are met, according to officials:

  • The individual is on a roadway divided into two or more adjacent traffic lanes in the same direction of travel
  • The individual is on a roadway with a speed limit of 45 miles per hour or less; this means it is never legal on the freeway
  • The vehicle being overtaken in the same lane is stopped
  • The motorcycle is traveling at a speed of 15 miles per hour or less
  • The movement may be made safely

SAN Sues to Protect Off-Roading at Oceano Dunes

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The fight to protect off-roading at California’s Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA) continues! Last month, the California Coastal Commission unanimously voted to abolish OHV access to Oceano Dunes within three years despite fierce opposition from the SEMA Action Network (SAN) and the off-roading community. The decision left the SAN no choice but to file a lawsuit.

The lawsuit asks the court to throw out the Commission’s decision to eliminate OHV access to Oceano Dunes. Since 1974, Oceano Dunes SVRA has been a state-designated OHV park managed and operated by the California Department of Parks and Recreation. The SVRA comprises 3,500 acres of which less than 1,350 acres of dunes and 3.5 miles of beach provide open riding access for OHVs.

Oceano Dunes SVRA provides the only opportunity for motorized recreation at a state park along California’s Pacific coast. OHV recreation is an important contributor to the local economy. While bringing pleasure to thousands of enthusiasts, the money spent at area stores, motels, restaurants, and gas stations support jobs and generate tax revenue.

Thank you again to all who have supported this important fight! Stay tuned for further updates.

Oregon considering motorcycle ‘lane filtering’ bill

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by Chris McGinness from https://www.ktvb.com

Motorcycle ‘lane filtering’ bill has strong support in Oregon

It’s not like California. Think of motorcycles passing at parking lot speeds. Supporters tout rider safety.

When you’re driving on a crowded freeway how would you feel about sharing the road with motorcycles moving from lane to lane? Sound scary and dangerous? Riders say it could actually be safer than what’s allowed now.

“Lane filtering,” as proposed in Oregon Senate Bill 574 (summary here), would allow motorcyclists to move back and forth between very slow moving traffic on multi-lane Oregon highways. Similar legislation has been discussed since 2015. This time around, there are clearer definitions for when the practice would be legal.

Still, the perception many drivers have about lane filtering is of the occasional reckless rider zipping though traffic. We asked a few motorists about it as they gassed up at Radio Cab in Northwest Portland.

“It scares me a little bit,” a man named Ravi said. “If there’s’ something in the road and I have to get out the way really quickly, I would hate to accidentally have to merge into his driving lane.”

“Well, I think that’s an incredibly bad idea but if you want to take that risk,” said a woman named Kate.

The lane filtering proposed in Oregon takes many of the concerns into consideration.

“Traffic has to be either stopped or moving less than 10 miles an hour. The motorcyclist cannot exceed the speed of traffic by more than 10 miles an hour,” said longtime motorcyclist Patrick Leyshock of Northeast Portland.

Advocates, of which there are many of both sides of the political spectrum, point to three benefits to permitting lane filtering: reduced congestion, reduced emissions and enhanced rider safety.

This last point seems counterintuitive unless you’ve ever ridden a motorcycle in stop-and-go freeway traffic.

“A motorcyclist in stop-and-go traffic is basically a sitting duck there,” said Leyshock. “You’re exposed to the elements, exposed to the traffic around you. This bill would allow you to actually position yourself in a safer place, namely between cars. And again, we’re talking essentially parking lot speeds here.”

“California has unequivocally shown that in the event of an accident, riders who are lane sharing are less likely to be killed or injured,” Leyshock said, referring to a 2015 UC-Berkeley Study.

California, Utah and Montana have legalized some form of lane filtering. With new clarification of the guidelines, the governor’s motorcycle advisory committee removed opposition to the bill.

A Citizen’s Guide to Recording the Police

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First Amendment Protections for Journalists and Bystanders
By the team at First Amendment Watch

Sixty-one percent of the U.S. population lives in states where federal appeals courts have recognized a First Amendment right to record police officers performing their official duties in public. The U.S. Supreme Court has not ruled on the issue. As a result, legal protections are fully secure only in those jurisdictions where federal circuits have issued a ruling.

However, given the resounding support so far for this First Amendment protection, it seems highly likely that the remaining federal appeal courts would reach the same conclusion if the issue appears on their docket.

CLICK HERE TO READ THIS IMPORTANT ARTICLE ON BIKERNET

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The Slow March toward Forced Temperance: NMA Weekly E-Newsletter #571

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It’s been seven years since we wrote about the Driver Alcohol Detection System and Safety (DADSS) program–A Frog in the Pot, E-newsletter #187–and efforts to make ignition interlock devices standard equipment in all vehicles. Proponents of forcing all drivers to pass alcohol detection testing before being able to operate their cars are nothing if not determined.

The Reduce Impaired Driving for Everyone (RIDE) Act of 2019, per U.S. Senate Bill 2604, and its counterpart House Bill 3159, keeps their hopes alive by requiring all new vehicles to have alcohol detection systems within four years.

We recognize the politically incorrect timing of addressing the issue of impaired driving during the holiday season, and restate that the NMA does not support, encourage, or condone drunk driving. Impaired drivers who put themselves and others at risk do not belong on the road. But we also do not support zero-tolerance concepts that subject the vast majority of non-imbibing motorists to intrusive testing every time they get behind the wheel.

The unreliability of detection technology is a major cause of concern. False positives are commonplace. Imagine a DADSS device that requires the driver to submit a breath sample to start a car, and to also give regular-interval samples while the vehicle is in motion, forcing shutdown at inopportune times and possibly under unsafe conditions. And if those “rolling samples” require active involvement by all drivers, distracted driving will become an even more widespread road safety concern.

SB 2604, sponsored by Senators Tom Udall (D-NM) and Rick Scott (R-FL), currently sits with the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. The House bill, 3159, is sponsored by six Republican congressmen and women and is being considered by the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit Committee. Consider reaching out to members of both committees, particularly those who represent you directly. Ask them questions like:

  1. What is the false-positive rate of DADSS, and how will that be taken into account?
  2. How will DADSS distinguish driver vs. passenger BAC levels?
  3. Will DADSS include external reporting capabilities, e.g., be tied to V2X (“vehicle to everything”) connectivity? If so,
    1. Will the system report every episode of an intervention, false positive or not, to an authority for possible assignment of a penalty? What privacy safeguards will be put into place?
    2. How will the system determine who was operating the car at the time of the “incident?” Will the vehicle owner automatically be assigned blame?
  4. How much will the DADSS technology add to the cost of a new vehicle? Will that cost be borne by the consumer, and will there be an ongoing cost to the car owner to process DADSS data?

At the least, our elected officials should have satisfactory answers before supporting legislation that would subject all drivers to an unprecedented level of personal intrusion and regulation.

Join the NMA Today https://www.motorists.org/join/

A soldier tried to buy a motorcycle in Anchorage. His lawyer says he was targeted by a ‘yo-yo scam’

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by Zachariah Hughes from https://www.alaskapublic.org

This past August, Army Specialist Austin Deehan bought a 2014 Harley Davidson from a dealership in south Anchorage.

“It felt great. It was a beautiful bike,” Deehan said.

He made a $2,599 down payment, and financed the remaining $10,630 with at a decent interest rate.

But 19 days later, when he called the bank about setting up monthly payments, they told him the loan had never been approved. That, Deehan said, is when he knew something was wrong.

On Tuesday, Deehan filed a civil case in state Superior Court alleging misconduct by a local car dealership over a financial arrangement critics call a “yo-yo scam.” Though hardly a blockbuster piece of litigation, it highlights something federal regulators, lawyers, and financial services observers say is commonplace: nationally, military service members are some of the most commonly targeted demographics for credit and financing scams.

When Deehan spoke to the bank he believed was financing his loan, they told him the denial was because his application was missing paperwork.

He went back to the dealership, Chevrolet of South Anchorage, where he was told that since the financing deal didn’t go through he would need to take out a more expensive loan, he said.

“They gave me two options: Either I could refinance the bike with a higher interest rate, or I could return the motorcycle and lose my whole down payment,” Deehan said.

That’s when Deehan sought out legal assistance at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, where he is stationed. His complaint was filed by the Northern Justice Initiative, a private firm that handles civil rights cases. According to Nick Feronti, one of the lawyers on the case, the dealership wrongly told Deehan that if he returned the motorcycle the company would keep the full balance of the down payment, plus charge him hefty mileage and daily-use fees that are generally prohibited under Alaska law.

“The dealership actually tried to use an illegal contract to coerce him,” Feronti said. “The way the law is supposed to work is: they tell you you have financing, and then if you don’t get approved, well you can bring the vehicle back and get your down payment back.”

He believes the actions alleged are a textbook example of a “yo-yo scam.”

“These dealerships will count on consumers to buy a car, buy a motorcycle,” Feronti said. “You go home and show it off to your family and you’re feeling really happy about it. And then later on you learn that for whatever reason you actually have to accept much worse financing.”

Reached by phone, Chevrolet of South Anchorage General Manager David Raff wouldn’t agree to a recorded interview. He had not seen the complaint, and said he was only able to speak in general terms. But he defended the business’s practices, saying there are no shady financing deals or use-fees, in part because in a state as small as Alaska those kinds of things would damage the company’s reputation. Asked about an allegation in the complaint that Raff called Deehan in September and “threatened to make his ‘life a living hell’ unless he immediately returned the motorcycle,” Raff said it wouldn’t be appropriate to comment on a specific legal case. He added that if there were those kinds of complaints against the business, they should be assessed against the company’s otherwise strong record.

Online, that record does not look great.

In the last three years, 10 complaints have been filed with the Better Business Bureau against Chevrolet of South Anchorage, ranging from accusation of shoddy mechanical work to what sound like predatory financing arrangements. With 29 reviews, the business has two stars on Yelp, many of them making similar complaints.

The dealership is part of Lithia Motors, one of the country’s largest car retailers. Over the years, Lithia has had multiple class action lawsuits filed against it over business practices. Kara Southard, corporate counsel for Lithia Motors, said she had received the complaint in the Anchorage case, but was not able to comment on it.

State officials in Alaska recognize that servicemembers are frequent targets of scams.

“There’s national data out there that says that a lot of scams are perpetrated against members of the military, that’s a really common thing,” said John Haley, the assistant district attorney in charge of the Department of Law’s Fraud Division.

Those complaints are often taken up by U.S. Government agencies like the Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and Department of Justice, all of which have special efforts to specifically combat fraud against active duty military and veterans. According to Haley, state offices like his don’t get a large volume of calls from active-duty military, but they understand the reasons they are often targeted.

“Scammers want go after members of the military because they have very steady paychecks that are guaranteed by the government,” Haley said. “And because so many of the members of the military are relatively young people who are getting money and getting paychecks for the first time.”

Eventually, Specialist Deehan got his down payment back. He’s suing the car dealership for damages of up to $10,000 plus legal costs. And he wants the dealership to agree to halt the lending practices he believes are wrong.

“There’s guys out there that are fresh out of high school that I work with, and if they went through the same situation that I went through they probably would have signed another contract” Deehan said. “That’s just not ok.”

Deehan no longer has the Harley Davidson, but hopes to get another after he leaves the Army next year.

Hundreds of drunk scooter riders lost their licenses at Germany’s Oktoberfest this year

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21 September 2019, Bavaria, Munich: “NO E-Scooter” is on a sign on the way to the Oktoberfest, next to it there are E-Scooters parked. The largest folk festival in the world lasts until 6 October.

by Zac Palmer from https://www.autoblog.com

Drinking and riding carries the same penalty as drunk driving

Oktoberfest just wrapped up in Munich, and surprisingly, there’s some pretty alarming transportation-related news coming from it. Ride-sharing scooters and drunk party-goers don’t make for a good combination, but that’s exactly what German police had to fend with throughout the 16-day-long event.

According to German news outlet Deutsche Welle, and picked up by The Drive, local police say they caught 414 people riding scooters while under the influence. Of those, 254 riders had their driver’s licenses revoked on the spot. Germany treats scooters the same as cars, so there are serious consequences for not following the rules of the road — similar to America, there are repercussions for drunk driving. What remains unreported is how many accidents or injuries occurred as a result of all the drunk scootering.

German police were on high alert when it came to the scooters, as they were just unleashed on the public in June this year. The numbers are slightly better for folks who were driving an actual car in the city of Munich during the festival. Police found 315 drunk drivers and forced 215 of those to give up their licenses immediately.

Millions from all over the globe attend Oktoberfest every year. Beer is consumed in copious amounts in massive beer glasses known as steins — the only size of beer served in the beer tents amounts to 33.8 ounces. Drinking tasty German beer and singing all day may have given some folks a little too much confidence to pilot an E-scooter home rather than walking like the rest of the crowd. Police did a great job of keeping the scooters from entering onto the Oktoberfest grounds, banning their use during the festival itself.

We’ll leave you with a few fairly obvious words of advice: Don’t drink and scoot at the same time. Traveling at the pace of a brisk jog is not worth losing your driver’s license.

Hogs & Heifers served eviction notice, owner vows to keep fighting

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by Joe Bartels from https://www.ktnv.com

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The Downtown Grand is in a downtown dispute with its tenant Hogs & Heifers. Now the bar has been served an eviction notice and a cease-and-desist letter.

13 Investigates has been following the situation since July when owner Michelle Dell was at odds with her landlord over the use of 3rd Street between Stewart and Ogden in downtown Las Vegas.

Ultimately, the parade and gathering went on as scheduled, but then a new issue emerged.

“For me, I’m fighting the fight of my business, I’m fighting for the 40+ people I employ,” said Dell.

Dell says just 5 days after the Patriot’s Day parade and gathering she hosted, she received a 30-day notice to quit her lease.

The paperwork provided to 13 Investigates shows the bar was required to vacate the premises by mid October.

“I made a massive investment, I changed my entire life to be in [Las Vegas] and I have built a thriving business, I have been a solid contributor to our community and I love this neighborhood,” said Dell, who relocated from New York to start her bar in 2004.

On Tuesday, Dell received a second notice which demanded she stop speaking out against the Downtown Grand.

The letter claims Dell has made and continues to make false statements against the Downtown Grand on both her social media accounts and in the news media.

“On the eve of our 14th anniversary, they have sent us a cease-and-desist letter, claiming I am running a concentrated media campaign to disparage them,” said Dell.

A judge will try and sort things out next month when both sides are scheduled to be in court.

According to documents obtained by 13 Investigates, the courtroom confrontation has been building for years.

Lawyers for the Downtown Grand say Dell and her clientele have been less than ideal, writing in court filings:

“H and H has created an unsafe environment that has consistently spilled into the common areas surrounding the bar.”

“H and H routinely uses a megaphone and vulgar language to solicit pedestrians and guests of neighboring properties into its bar.”

“Numerous police and incident reports have been filed, documenting the dangerous events that are permitted and sometimes encouraged by H and H.”

13 Investigates asked Dell about the incidents and while she admits there have been troubles, including bar fights, she and her security team keep the peace and involve police when necessary

A search of online crime reports show at least 30 incidents ranging from disturbing the peace, to assault, and indecent exposure in the 200 block of 3rd Street within the past 6 months.

13 Investigates reached out to the Downtown Grand’s public relations representative but a did not receive an immediate response.

Dell says she is not backing down and she will fight the battle in court.