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The Creative Bikernet Weekly News for March 18th, 2021

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Hey,

I’m researching FXDR models and was trying to find out the difference between FXDR and FXDRS. I was told there were slight differences, and then Ron and Bartels’ H-D helped. The only two-year model 2019 and 2020 were all FXDR but when they sent the paperwork it said FXDRS, so the confusion.

The folks next door loaned me a fork lift. I have two motorcycles in my office and one in the living room upstairs. The brothers, Jeremiah and James were concerned, but it worked like a champ and we lowered them to the shop level in no-time.

The Bonne Belle arrived at Departure Bike Works this week. Lee and his crew will install our new 45 flathead engine and get it ready for Bonneville.

The international speed trials are on for August 25 in Bonneville, and we will be there with the Salt Torpedo and the Bonne Belle. Hang on for more reports.

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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.

Montana Passes Motorcycle Lane-Filtering Legislation

By General Posts

from https://www.cyclenews.com

This is a press release from American Motorcyclist Association.

Montana becomes the third U.S. state to allow filtering in traffic.

Montana has become the third state to recognize lane filtering, with the Gov. Greg Gianforte’s signature on a bill legalizing filtering of motorcycles under certain conditions.

“We applaud the efforts of Montana’s motorcycling community and the state’s legislators, and thank Gov. Gianforte for signing this legislation into law,” said Russ Ehnes, chair of the AMA Board of Directors.

S.B. 9 allows the operator of a two-wheeled motorcycle to overtake stopped or slow-moving vehicles at a speed not in excess of 20 mph, to filter between lanes of stopped traffic traveling in the same direction as conditions permit, and specifies reasonable and prudent motorcycle operation while lane filtering.

“With the signing of S.B. 9, Montanans have recognized the benefits of lane splitting, which allows motorcyclists the choice to filter in traffic when it is safe to do so,” said Tiffany Cipoletti, on-highway government relations manager for the American Motorcyclist Association.

The bill, sponsored by state Sen. Russ Tempel (R-SD14) and state Rep. Barry Usher (R-HD40), was signed by Gov. Gianforte on March 2 at a public signing ceremony in Helena. Ehnes was in attendance. The bill takes effect October 1, 2021.

California (A.B. 51, 2016) and Utah (H.B. 149, 2018) were the first two states to codify and sign lane-splitting or lane-filtering legislation. Efforts to legalize and formally recognize lane filtering/splitting is under consideration in three other states during the 2021 legislative session.

The AMA endorses lane splitting, given the long-term success in California and the University of California-Berkeley research study showing that the practice enhances motorcycle safety. The AMA will assist groups and individuals working to bring legal lane splitting and/or filtering to their state.

“As lane splitting support continues to gain traction across the country, I am eager to help more motorcyclists engage their state legislatures on this issue,” Cipoletti said.

The full AMA position statement on lane splitting can be found at americanmotorcyclist.com/lane-splitting/.

The Bling Bikernet Weekly News for March 4th, 2021

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All Wild and Chrome

I’m working on a new Sam’s Picks story. He’s a cool dude, who is facing some health issues. I hope he can get a tune-up and be good as gold shortly.

I’m also working on a story about a Masonic based bike club that’s all over the country. It’s called the Widow’s Sons. And I’m packing all the rusting bling in the shop for shipment to South Dakota. I’ll take a picture of the shop. It’s getting crazy. Let’s hit the news.

With news from car haters, the NMA, the MRF, Lowbrow, S&S, Full Throttle Saloon, Flying Pistons, WindVest, Hamsters, OCC Road House, War on Parking, Toyota, the Future of Harley, JIMS Machine, Lane Splitting and we’re just scratching the surface.

Ride Fast and Free Forever,

–Bandit

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Car and Motorcycle Companies Now Making Electric Bikes

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Lee Iacocca with his electric bike in 1998. It had a lead-acid battery with a 15-mile range and a top speed of 15 miles an hour.

by Roy Furchgott from https://www.nytimes.com

They see branding opportunities as the pandemic and a desire by cities to curb traffic propel e-bike sales to new heights.

The transportation industry has seen the future, and the future is 1895.

That was the year Ogden Bolton Jr. of Canton, Ohio, was awarded U.S. Patent 552,271 for an “electrical bicycle.” A century and change later, electric bikes have gained new currency as car and motorcycle companies like Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Jeep, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Yamaha have horned into the market with their own designs.

While the pandemic has accelerated bike sales, the overriding attraction is that cities worldwide are beginning to restrict motor traffic. These companies are betting that e-bikes are the urban vehicles of tomorrow — or at least vehicles for good publicity today.

“In the past 12 to 18 months, you have seen a lot of new brands come into the market,” said Andrew Engelmann, an e-bike sales and marketing manager at Yamaha, which has been in the electric bike business since 1993 and claims sales of two million worldwide. “We in the U.S. have not seen this new energy toward cycling since Lance Armstrong won the Tour de France.”

Credit the coronavirus pandemic, which has ignited bike sales of all stripes, but none so much as e-bikes. While retail unit sales of bicycles from January to October last year were up 46 percent from a year earlier, electric bikes were up 140 percent. Measured in dollars, regular bikes were up 67 percent and e-bikes 158 percent — so don’t expect a discount. Those numbers, from the market researchers at NPD, do not include online-only retailers such as Rad Power Bikes, so sales may actually be higher still.

Ogden Bolton aside, there is a historical connection between bicycles and motorcycles. Many early motorcycles came from bicycle makers that simply clapped a motor on a bike, often retaining the pedals in the style of a moped.

The automotive industry’s bicycle connection is more recent, with the likes of Malcolm Bricklin and Lee Iacocca introducing electric bikes in the ’90s. Both flopped. Mr. Iacocca’s design, typical for the time, was hampered by a lead-acid battery with a 15-mile range and a top speed of 15 miles an hour. Many car companies, including Ford, Audi, Maserati and BMW, have gotten into and out of e-bikes since.

“No car company has had any success selling an electric bicycle,” said Don DiCostanzo, chief executive of Pedego Electric Bikes, who in 2014 licensed a bike design to Ford. “It’s fool’s gold. It can never replace the profit on a car.”

Yet car and motorcycle makers are being drawn in. “I think they are seeing a lot of the same opportunity we see,” said Ian Kenny, who leads the e-bike effort at the bicycle company Specialized. “But I think there is a very big difference between demonstrating you can do something and doing something very well at scale.”

However, changes in the way people get about, especially in Europe and Asia, are enticing motor vehicle companies that operate internationally. Overseas, in cities that manage pollution and overcrowded streets by restricting motor traffic, e-bikes often fill a gap.

“In Europe, the e-bike is more of a fundamental transportation tool,” said Dirk Sorenson, an analyst for NPD. London, Madrid, Oslo and Paris are among the growing number of cities restricting downtown traffic.

The pandemic has American cities testing similar restrictions. Boston, Minneapolis and a number of California cities have instituted Slow Streets programs, restricting motor traffic on side streets in favor of cycling and walking. It even has UPS, Amazon and DHL trying out e-cargo bikes in New York.

“There is a huge opportunity for e-bikes in the U.S., which is a huge untapped market,” said Rasheq Zarif, a mobility technology expert for the consulting firm Deloitte.

Some companies are preparing now for the possibility that “micromobility,” as the buzzword has it, will catch on here.

“Let’s imagine Harley-Davison is not a motorcycle company but a mobility company,” said Aaron Frank, brand director for Serial 1, which builds an e-bike in partnership with Harley. “There is a strong argument we can do for urban commuters what Harley-Davison did for motorcycles.”

Other companies see e-bikes as a gateway to sell their primary products. Though best known for its motorcycles, Ducati North America wants e-bikes to “potentially turn people on to Ducati,” its chief executive, Jason Chinnock, said. “And we’ve seen that with people at some events and with the media reaching out.”

E-bikes may be more expensive than bicycles, but are cheaper than cars or motorcycles. And improved motor and battery technology is bringing prices down. Low-priced e-bikes with a motor in the wheel hub — similar to that 1895 design — can be had for about $1,000. Prices for versions with more complex, geared motors at the pedals can reach more than $10,000.

“Spending $1,000 on a bike seems out there,” Mr. Kenny said, “but when you don’t look at it as a toy — when it becomes transportation — it becomes a very different conversation.”

Price isn’t the only hurdle. E-bikes confront a crippling hodgepodge of laws. Although the Consumer Product Safety Commission deemed “low speed” e-bikes (with a motor equivalent to 1 horsepower or less) a bicycle, states still decide where that bike can be ridden.

“It’s up to 50 states to define the use, and that’s been a big problem in the past,” said Claudia Wasko, general manager of Bosch eBike, a prominent manufacturer of drive systems.

The PeopleForBikes coalition drafted model state legislation to allow most e-bikes in bike lanes and parks. It suggests three classes of e-bike, with a top speed between 20 and 28 m.p.h. Twenty-eight states have adopted some version of the legislation.

Some companies may be less concerned with the future of mobility and more interested in getting some attention now.

“I think it’s a halo thing,” said Mr. DiCostanzo, whose company has produced e-bikes for Tommy Bahama, Ford and others. Halo vehicles represent a brand’s aspirations, like concept cars.

“I think that’s what it is for Ford,” he added. “They wanted it for window dressing, and that’s what they got. I think they sold 500 in the five years it ran.”

Mercedes, which is taking orders for its top-of-the-line Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team V11 e-bike at $12,000, said it was a chance to showcase its ability with high-tech materials from carbon fiber to paint.

“High-performance road bikes and e-bikes provide a great way to showcase such technologies into a range of consumer products,” said Damian Cook, a spokesman.

For some in the bicycle industry this all smacks of déjà vu. In the 1970s, a bike boom was thought to presage a new future for transportation in which cycling was central. But it failed. Though there were many contributing factors, roads weren’t made more bicycle-friendly and people didn’t want to arrive at work sweaty.

With the combination of Slow Streets programs, which address the first problem, electric bikes, which address the second, and a pandemic that has given people a chance to adjust to both, experts like Mr. Zarif find hope.

“When you give people a chance to try something, it reduces resistance to change,” he said. “As a society, the reality is we go forward — we don’t go backward.”

A Miracle Bikernet Weekly News for February 25, 2021

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Life is Nuts and then You Die…

Hey,

Everyday is a miracle. I wake up saying, “Today is going to be amazing.”

Last week I receive a fortune cookie and the message said, “You will receive a surprise very soon.” It didn’t lie. I read something recently about being lucky. Some 40 years ago I walked into a Chinese Restaurant in Calabasas, had lunch and received a fortune cookie. I cracked that puppy and read the message. It said, “You will be Lucky for Life!” I have been.

Luck is not a myth. It’s a mindset. If you feel lucky, you are positive luck will come your way, so you look for it, you foster it, you follow up on it, and you have a blast.

If you feel unlucky, you’re not looking for shit. So, what do you get? You got it. Let’s hit the news. It’s going to be a lucky day.

In the meantime, ride fast and free forever.

–Bandit

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NCOM Biker Newsbytes for February 2021

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Gas powered vehicles, electric vehicle buyers, virtual reality, Daytona Bike Week, Americade, Route 66, motorcycle taxi
Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish

The National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) is a nationwide motorcyclists rights organization serving over 2,000 NCOM Member Groups throughout the United States, with all services fully-funded through Aid to Injured Motorcyclist (AIM) Attorneys available in each state who donate a portion of their legal fees from motorcycle accidents back into the NCOM Network of Biker Services (www.ON-A-BIKE.com / 800-ON-A-BIKE).

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New Adventure Bikernet Weekly News for February 11, 2021

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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. Most recently Quick Throttle Magazine came on board.

Let’s hit the news. It’s going to be a good one.

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Automated Driving Systems and SMRO Visits

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

­Automated Driving Systems (AKA Autonomous Vehicles)

Late last year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced a rulemaking process for developing a “Framework for Automated Driving System (ADS) Safety.” As part of the process public comments were solicited by NHTSA. This week the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) submitted a 6-page formal letter outlining our thoughts on the development, testing and deployment of ADS.

Building on past submissions to both Congress and the U.S. Department of Transportation, the MRF laid out important priorities that NHTSA should consider. Some of the main topics the MRF highlights include the need to account for the unique attributes and characteristics of motorcycles, cyber security concerns, liability provisions, the role of individual states, the need for public transparency, threats to the protected communication spectrum and the challenges of regulations keeping pace with this technology.

While ADS has promising potential, the devil will be in the details. How this technology is developed, tested and deployed will impact all Americans. We at the MRF will continue to fight to ensure motorcyclists are included in these discussions.

To read the full letter from the MRF to NHTSA click here.

SMRO Meetings Around the Country

January and February are traditionally the busy season for state motorcyclist rights organizations (SMRO) annual meetings. This year many of those meetings have been rescheduled, held virtually or have unfortunately been cancelled all together. While we know these are difficult times, the MRF remains committed to working with our state partners and participating in these events when possible.

In January, MRF Vice President Jay Jackson travelled to Bowling Green, Kentucky to attend the Kentucky Motorcycle Association/Kentucky Bikers Association Freedom Fighters Forum. Also, that month MRF lobbyist Rocky Fox traveled to Austin, Texas for Texas Bikers Legislative Weekend. This event was sponsored by the Texas Council of Clubs and Independents, Region 1 Texas Defenders and hosted at the Veterans Collective facility.

Both events included a number of speakers and elected officials discussing issues important to all motorcyclists. Elected officials from Kentucky included, Secretary of State Michael Adams, State Senator Jimmy Higdon, staff from U.S. Senator Rand Paul’s office and via video message Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron. Slider Gilmore from Iowa even made a presentation in Kentucky! The Texas event included a townhall style question and answer with State Senator Drew Springer. Texas also welcomed leaders in the motorcycle rights movement from California, Illinois, New Mexico, New York and Pennsylvania to Austin. Thank you again to the riders in Kentucky and Texas for including the MRF in these events and working hard to deliver results for riders in those states.

If your SMRO has hosted an event in 2021 please submit your pictures and details to communications@mrf.org so we can share them with your fellow riders across the country!

The Lighthearted Bikernet Weekly News for January 28, 2021

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Hey,

This is going to be a good one. We have a ton of material to sort through.

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. Most recently Quick Throttle Magazine came on board.

Ride fast and free, forever!

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