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Yamaha’s Record Support of Public Land for Recreation in 2021

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Yamaha Caps 2021 with Record Support of Public Land for Recreation
Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative Surpasses $5 Million in Conservation Funding

MARIETTA, Ga., – March 21, 2022 – Yamaha Motor Corp., USA, announces the Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative’s (OAI) 2021 third- and fourth-quarter grants totaled in excess of $250,000, bringing last year’s funding to more than $600,000. Since 2008, Yamaha OAI has been steadfast in serving the motorized and outdoor recreation community, contributing over $5 million in essential support for local and national organizations working to preserve and improve access to public land, fostering productive partnerships between recreationists and land managers, and delivering much-needed funds for safe, responsible recreation.

“The surge in outdoor recreation is both gratifying and daunting. While we love to see families enjoying time spent outside, it amplifies the need to work together to preserve and protect the land so we can appreciate it today and in the future,” said Steve Nessl, Yamaha’s Motorsports marketing manager. “Considering the uptick in use and resulting attention and resources our nation’s public spaces require, we are proud to approve thirty new Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative grants in 2021 – the most we’ve awarded in one year since 2009.”

From inception, Yamaha OAI has selected projects with the highest potential of providing recreationists with increased and improved opportunities to enjoy the United States’ outdoor public spaces. In the latest funding rounds, the organizations awarded for support include both national and local footprints with diverse communities and interests to create a comprehensive approach to advocacy for access to public land for outdoor recreation.

“We’ve worked with Yamaha and their Outdoor Access Initiative for more than a decade. Together in that timeframe, we’ve launched our One Voice program and matched numerous riding groups with public land managers to establish formal partnerships mutually benefitting everyone’s interests in access to land,” said Fred Wiley, president and CEO of the Off-Road Business Association (ORBA). “Yamaha has a tradition of stepping into leadership roles to support the off-road riding community and ensure opportunities to ride safely and responsibly exist for generations to come.”

ORBA is among the recipients of the third-quarter 2021 Yamaha OAI grants in addition to the following organizations:

  • Future School of Fort Smith (Fort Smith, AR)
  • Lakeland ATV Club (Minocqua, WI)
  • Nevada Outdoor School (Winnemucca, NV)
  • The Great Outdoors Fund (National)

2021 fourth-quarter Yamaha OAI grants were awarded to:

  • City of Caribou (Aroostook County, ME)
  • University Medical Center of El Paso (Texas)
  • Motorcycle Riders Association (Medford, OR)
  • National Forest Foundation (Flagstaff, AZ)
  • Pathfinders Motorcycle Club of Connecticut (Thompson, CT)
  • San Diego Off-Road Coalition (Calif.)
  • Three Rivers Land Trust (Salisbury, NC)
  • Wild Rivers Coast Mountain Bicycling Association (Coos Bay, OR)

The application deadline for consideration in the first quarter of 2022 funding cycle is March 31, 2022. Submission guidelines and an application for a Yamaha OAI grant is available at YamahaOAI.com. Connect with Yamaha on social media via @YamahaOutdoors or search any of the following hashtags on all platforms: #Yamaha #YamahaOAI #REALizeYourAdventure #ProvenOffRoad #AssembledInUSA

About the Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative
Since 2008, the Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative has led the Powersports industry in supporting responsible access to our nation’s public lands for outdoor enthusiasts.

With more than $4.5 million contributed to 400 projects across the country, Yamaha has directly and indirectly supported thousands of miles of motorized recreation trails, maintained and rehabilitated riding and hunting areas, improved staging areas, supplied agricultural organizations with essential OHV safety education, built bridges over fish-bearing streams and partnered with local outdoor enthusiast communities across the country to improve access to public lands.

Each quarter, Yamaha accepts applications from nonprofit or tax-exempt organizations including OHV riding clubs and associations, national, state and local public land use agencies, outdoor enthusiast associations and land conservation groups with an interest in protecting, improving, expanding and/or maintaining access for safe, responsible and sustainable public use.

Updated guidelines, application form, information and news about the Outdoor Access Initiative are available at YamahaOAI.com.

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BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy 2022

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from https://www.bmw-motorrad.com/en/experience/stories/adventure/gs-trophy-2022.html

The unknown beauty of Albania
Rugged mountains, vast valleys, wild rivers, dense forests and a fantastic coastline: BMW Motorrad will bring the International GS Trophy to Albania in late summer 2022. The country, which is considered an insider tip for off-road touring, is incredibly rich in flora, fauna and culture. The best Enduro riders in the world can look forward to discovering this as yet quite unknown beauty on their GS bikes, in numerous special stages, and experience the #SpiritOfGS up close.

Once in a Lifetime
Seven days of pure adventure. Seven days that took two years of preparation. Seven days that change lives. Each rider only has one opportunity to take part in the International GS Trophy. But it is not a classic race – these intense challenges, in which participants demonstrate their knowledge and riding prowess, are all about team spirit and skill. And the journey is made memorable by nights in the tent under the stars, unique landscapes and cultures, as well as new friends from all over the world – the #SpiritOfGS doesn’t get much better than this.

National qualifiers – The chance for the adventure

A foretaste of the International GS Trophy will be provided by the national qualifiers, where there will be a separate ranking for men and women for the first time. The riders who best master rough terrain, navigation exercises with the GPS and knowledge questions about the GS can secure one of the coveted places in the national team and thus a ticket to Albania. However, who are the most team-minded and skilled endurists in the world will be decided in Albania. You can find more information about qualifying on the respective country page.

CLCIK HERE TO VISIT YOUR NATION’S QUALIFIER PAGE:
https://www.bmw-motorrad.com/en/experience/stories/adventure/gs-trophy-2022.html

Check Out the Location Reveal Video on YouTube:

Documentary
Behind the scenes in New Zealand

Eight days, 22 teams, 2,500 kilometres: These are the hard facts of the 2020 International GS Trophy in New Zealand. To find out how big the organisation effort and support team was, how many spare parts travelled to the other end of the world, and how the navigation devices were charged on the go, see our three-part documentary on Amazon Prime (available in Germany, Great Britain and the USA).

WATCH ON AMAZON PRIME: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08J8F2M65

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!

2020 National Motorcycle Profiling Survey

By General Posts

The 2020 National Motorcycle Profiling Survey has only 6 questions that are designed to help define the profiling trends so we can focus our resources in the areas that need it the most. Your participation will have a long lasting, positive impact on the community.This survey on average will take 4 minutes to complete.

The information collected in these surveys has been an essential part in lobbying efforts at both state and national levels, and without a doubt provide critical data points for the grassroots activist to intelligently communicate issues impacting the motorcycle community and influence change.

With over 23,000 survey participants from all walks of life, the National Motorcycle Profiling Surveys, with 99% accuracy, has proven that many motorcyclists are being targeted by law enforcement based on appearance. This information was the foundation of the argument that resulted in the Motorcycle Profiling Resolution (S. Res. 154) passing in the U.S. Senate with unanimous consent on December 11, 2018.

CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE SURVEY

Notes:

**NO PERSONAL DATA IS REQUIRED. YOUR PRIVACY AND ANONYMITY ARE IMPORTANT AND RESPECTED. By asking for no more than your zip code, which is also voluntary, there is no personal information to maintain or protect.

**If you or your organization are interested in cosponsoring this survey, or would like to get survey results specific to your state, please contact David “Double D” Devereaux at:
doubled@motorcycleprofilingproject.com

Hunter Sills Racing Earns Four World Records and One U.S. National Record at the AMA

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Hunter Sills Racing Earns Four World Records and One U.S. National Record at the AMA and FIM-Sanctioned Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials With Their BMW S 1000 RR Motorcycle

Associated Press | WENDOVER, Utah – September 10, 2019 – ( Newswire.com )

Hunter Sills Racing captured five records with its BMW S 1000 RR at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Wendover, Utah, during the Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials event held Aug. 24–29, 2019. The team also earned Top Time of the Meet and Fastest Naturally Aspirated Motorcycle and increased the speed of their world’s fastest BMW motorcycle to 238.398 mph. Both riders, Erin Sills and Trev Richter of Hunter Sills Racing, earned 1000cc FIM records aboard a nitrous-powered BMW bike affectionately known as “Snoopy.”

With improving track conditions over the week, the team was able to set records early, then progressively improve them over the event. Ultimately, Sills piloted the Alpine Performance Centre-built BMW S 1000 RR to 237.287 mph to earn the FIM kilometer record in the faired, naturally aspirated 1000cc class; a record that was previously set in 2014 by her late husband Andy Sills, also of Hunter Sills Racing, at 221.863 mph. Erin was later able to improve her own FIM mile record set in 2018 on the Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia at 229.265 mph, making the new mark 236.889 mph.

“After the poor track conditions presented by Mother Nature during Speedweek, we were looking forward to seeing how our bike would perform on a better course,” said Sills, rider and owner of Hunter Sills Racing. “Shane Kinderis of Alpine Performance Centre put together an incredible motor which performed beautifully with the Wizards of NoS nitrous system. I also found the AirTech fairing to be incredibly stable and grounded at speed.”

“Our senior race technician Curtice Thom worked alongside Shane Kinderis again, a pairing that has proven to be very successful over the years. They did an excellent job of keeping the bike in peak performance, and I’m very pleased with our results. As always, we owe a great amount of success with this project to our many technical partners,” added Gary Orr, owner of San Diego BMW Motorcycles and Hunter Sills Racing team member.

Richter, known previously for his “Race For Relief” charity effort World’s Fastest BMW GS (http://huntersillsracing.com/race-for-relief-2018/), also saw much success in his first event racing the BMW S 1000 RR, winning back a record the team lost in Bolivia in 2017 to Nick Genet. Richter increased the FIM and AMA 1000cc naturally aspirated un-faired (“naked”) mile record to 195.674 mph and the FIM kilometer record to 196.206 mph.

“Riding the over 275 horsepower motorcycle without a fairing presents a unique physical challenge, but the team gave me a bike and suspension set-up that enabled me to reach my goal of earning World and National records in my first event,” said Richter.

Hunter Sills Racing is also proud of its contributions to the Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials racing community during the week. With the express permission of the Bureau of Land Management, the team built and donated a mock “Bonneville Salt Flats” sign which was installed at the entrance of the Salt Flats for the week-long event. Following the event, HSR auctioned the sign, earning $4,000 to benefit a fallen rider who needed help with medical bills. Erin Sills also continued her Shemoto Scholarship, awarding $2,000 to the Buell Sisters team of Ashley Woodford.

The next event for Hunter Sills Racing will be in support of the Women Riders World Relay, a year-long around-the-world journey of over 10,000 female motorcyclists. Erin Sills will participate in the WRWR’s United States relay Oct. 2-12, 2019.

The team would like to thank their sponsors who make all of this possible: Top 1 Oil, San Diego BMW Motorcycles, Alpine Performance Centre, Colorado ADVmoto, WomenRidersNow.com, BMW Motorrad USA, Helite Airbags, JBA Speed Shop, Motochic, Moto-Skiveez, Ohlins USA, PitBull Motorcycle Stands, Racer Gloves USA, Remus Exhaust, Schuberth Helmets, Sprint Filter, Wizards of NoS, Worldwide Bearings, and Wunderlich.

About Hunter Sills Racing:

Hunter Sills Racing is a female-owned professional land speed racing team including motor builder Shane Kinderis of Alpine Performance Centre, Gary Orr of San Diego BMW Motorcycles, race technician Curtice Thom, and riders Erin Sills and Trev Richter. The team races in memory of the late Andy Sills. Together, the team has earned over 40 World and National records, two Guinness World Book records, Mojave Mile 200 MPH Club membership, Mojave Magnum 200 MPH Club membership, BUB 201 MPH Club membership, Bonneville SCTA 200 MPH Club membership, El Mirage SCTA 200 MPH Club membership, top average mile speed to-date of 238 MPH, and title of World’s Fastest BMW. When not racing the Salt Flats, Richter and Sills both serve as off-road adventure motorcycle riding coaches. Erin Sills has been named 2013 Advertising Age Woman To Watch, 2014 American Motorcyclist Association Female Athlete of the Year, 2014 University of Cincinnati Lindner College of Business Distinguished Alumni and is a retired executive with Facebook, Inc. A frequent speaker on behalf of the sport of motorcycling, Sills also serves on the board of directors for the American Motorcyclist Association Hall of Fame Foundation, the FIM Women’s Commission, WomenRidersNow.com and is the founder of the Shemoto Scholarship for females in the sport.

9th Annual Vintage Rally at the National Motorcycle Museum – June 29

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National Motorcycle Museum Event: 9th Annual Vintage Rally

Vintage Bike Show, Hot Rod & Custom Car Display and Swap Meet

Pickers Frank Fritz and Dave Ohrt headlining the 9th Annual Vintage Rally, June 29th at the National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa, Iowa!

Saturday, June 29, is the once a year chance to maximize your motorcycle history experience at the National Motorcycle Museum; the all-day Saturday Bike Show, Car Display & Swap Meet outside are free and Museum admission will be discounted to $10.00. Special guests Frank Fritz and Dave Ohrt will share American picking stories from over ten years of digging through America’s old treasures.

Celebrate transportation invention when you view the newly installed Early American Transportation INNOVATION exhibition.

Head outside and check out the free 9th Annual Vintage Rally Bike Show and Swap Meet. There’s even going to be a classic car and hot rod display. Advanced bike show and car display registration is free. Cast your ballot to help pick a Bike Show winner.

If you enjoy stories told by long distance riders, hang out with special guest world traveler D.J. Jones. DJ will be giving an inspirational talk and be signing her new book, 50 States of Consciousness. Also making a special appearance is Carl Reese, current transcontinental record holder, who will share his secrets on mental conditioning, nutrition and motorcycle preparation for his under 39 hour transcontinental run.

DJ JONES Inspirational 50 State Iron Butt Rider

This 130-pound, six-foot tall, postmenopausal, African-American motivator loves Country music, rides a motorcycle, yet, has no tattoos or piercings. Despite the odds, she rode her motorcycle, 800-pound ‘Big Bertha’, 169 consecutive days, 25,000 miles, through all 50 states, solo, surviving everything from tornados to grizzlies, in 2006. Hear DJ’s historic, life-threatening, life-altering, emotional and physical roller coaster ride to help raise awareness and to help save lives through her experiences.

100 Year History of Motorcycle “Cannonball” Run Records; presentation by Carl Reese

Carl Reese is a multiple Guinness World Record holding professional endurance driver. Reese and his fiancee Deena Mastracci have set multiple world records to bring attention to Motorcycle Relief Project, a US-based charity that helps combat veterans with PTSD.

You’ll also have time to walk through the Museum, check out over 500 great old motorcycles and thousands of pieces of art, advertising, apparel and great memorabilia on display.

Then grab a shuttle and head up the road a mile to celebrate the J&P Cycles 40th Anniversary Customer Appreciation Weekend with a huge range of parts, installation and live entertainment. It’s all happening in Anamosa, Iowa June 29th.

War on Cars Watch for March 20, 2019

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The national stories from across the country. War on Cars Watch, a weekly blog to bring together all the stories that affect motorists with regards to street planning such as road diets, and traffic calming as well as programs such as Vision Zero and Complete Streets.

Since its founding more than 30 years ago as the Citizens Coalition for Rational Traffic Laws, the National Motorists Association has been the voice of thousands of motorists who stand up for key principles of drivers’ rights.

READ the NMA News Report by Clicking Here – Subscribe to Bikernet Cantina Today

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Easyriders National Invitational Bike Show 2019

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The Final Chapter of Re-Birth of a Shovelhead
By the Stealth

There were bikes from all over the country, California, Texas, Michigan, New York, Virginia just to name a few. There was serious competition here! Every style bike was represented, early style choppers, antiques, club style, baggers, drag and retro stock, they were all here!

I think there were eight bikes that won the Peoples’ Choice vote, and they were moved into the Invitational class.

I love the Shovelhead, the bike is named GLORY DAYS because it takes me back to some of my GLORY DAYS!

READ THE FULL STORY with exclusive photos at Bikernet.com Cantina – Click here – Subscribe today

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Bauman & Janisch Dominate DAYTONA TT

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 14, 2019) – Briar Bauman (No. 14 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) kicked off his 2019 AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines championship campaign in front of AFT’s largest crowd at the Daytona International Speedway with a statement victory in Thursday night’s American Flat Track season opener, the third annual DAYTONA TT presented by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys.

Bauman went handlebar-to-handlebar with brother Bronson Bauman (No. 37 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) on the opening lap of the 25-lap Main Event under the lights at Daytona International Speedway to secure the lead. Once established, Bauman systematically stretched out an imposing advantage at the front.

TT legend Henry Wiles (No. 17 Bandit Industries/DPC Racing/Wilco Racing Indian FTR750) was desperate to give chase but found himself trapped behind Bauman’s brother and teammate as the leader made his escape.

Wiles finally made his way through near half distance, but at that point it didn’t make a difference. Bauman continued to race off into the distance, further opening the gap before finally cruising past the legendary tri-oval’s start/finish stripe for the final time with a 5.149-second margin of victory.

“To hop out there in the front — it’s all about trying to put in a gap in the beginning,” Bauman said. “I’ve been training hard this offseason. I tried to throw down as much as I could and get a little bit of a gap and maintain the rest of the race.”

Even before Thursday’s win, the ascending Bauman’s profile was rapidly on the rise. And now as the newest member of Indian’s Wrecking Crew, he’s well positioned to take the next step forward and make a run at the 2019 AFT Twins Championship — as evidenced by his stunning form in the season opener.

Besides handing him the (very) early title advantage, Bauman’s triumph also brings the DAYTONA TT win streak of reigning Grand National Champion Jared Mees (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) to a halt at two. Those prior victories served as springboards for dominant title runs in ‘17 and ‘18, but Mees’ ‘19 opener packed at least a half-season’s worth of drama into a single night. Mees crashed twice in the Semi and then retired with a mechanical issue in the Main while running fifth.

Jake Johnson (No. 5 Estenson Racing/Monster Energy Yamaha MT-07 DT) gave Yamaha’s trick new flat track machine a podium debut by finishing in third behind Bauman and Wiles.

Meanwhile, Jarod Vanderkooi (No. 20 Harley-Davidson Factory Flat Track Team XG750R Rev X) registered perhaps the hero ride of the evening. After being forced to use a Provisional Start just to make the Main, Vanderkooi battled his way up from the back of the pack to an eventual fourth.

Bronson Bauman rounded out the top five.

Roof Systems AFT Singles presented by Russ Browns Motorcycle Attorneys.

Jesse Janisch (No. 132 Roof Systems Dallas TX/Öhlins Yamaha YZ450F) added yet another blowout TT victory to his burgeoning résumé with a wire-to-wire win in the Roof Systems AFT Singles presented by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys Main Event at the DAYTONA TT.

Janisch pushed hard on the race’s opening lap to corral the field behind him and then took full advantage of his superior speed with an open track in front of him. He ultimately wheelied past the checkered flag with a comfortable 2.577 seconds to spare.

“To start off Daytona with a victory… it’s amazing,” Janisch said. “Last year, we left here with a second, and that was a great way to start off the season. Just putting in all the work over the course of the winter and leaving here with a win is amazing. The Roof Systems team has really made a home for me. We’ve really built a great program.”

Janisch was followed to the line by Dalton Gauthier (No. 122 D&D Cycles/FlatTrack.com KTM 450 SX-F), who registered a remarkable ride to complete his “Road to Recovery” where he started it — on the podium.

Gauthier was victorious in the first AFT Singles DAYTONA TT Main Event back in 2017 and was stacking wins on top of that one before being suspended for violating the sanctioning body’s substance abuse policy. After sitting out the majority of the past two seasons, Gauthier only learned he would be eligible to compete again days ago. He made the most of his second chance.

And in an always merciless DAYTONA TT in which numerous AFT Singles title hopefuls don’t even make the Main Event due to the ocean deep field teeming with big name wild cards hailing from multiple nations and racing disciplines, defending class champ Dan Bromley (No. 1 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-F) just did what he does.

After earning last year’s crown on the strength of 13 podiums in 18 races, Bromley is now one for one in 2019 to open his title defense with a third-place result.

Long-time AFT Twins competitor Mikey Rush (No. 15 RMR Honda, Red Riders Rewards Honda CRF450R) and up-and-coming Australian Max Whale (No. 18 Weirbach Racing Kawasaki KX450F) completed the top five.

Be sure to tune into the feature broadcast of the DAYTONA TT on NBCSN with flag-to-flag coverage of both Main Events enhanced by in-depth coverage of the many dramatic storylines through exclusive athlete features and interviews. and onboard footage. It will debut on Sunday, March 24, at 4:00 p.m. ET/1:00 p.m. PT and will re-air on Thursday, March 28, at 12:00 p.m. ET/9:00 a.m. PT.

American Flat Track will be back in action for Round 2 of the 2019 season in just over a week’s time as the series travels to Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, Ga., for the Atlanta Short Track presented by Cycle Gear on Saturday, March 23. Live coverage can be viewed on FansChoice.tvstarting at 1:30 p.m. ET with Opening Ceremonies scheduled to get underway at 7:20 p.m. ET. Tickets are on sale and can be purchased at https://tickets.americanflattrack.com/.

How to Watch:
NBCSN and FansChoice.tv are the official homes for coverage of American Flat Track. For the 2019 season, NBCSN’s coverage of AFT moves to highly-coveted, weekend afternoon programming slots within two weeks of each event. The complete schedule for AFT on NBCSN can be viewed at http://www.americanflattrack.com/events-nbcsn/. FansChoice.tv remains a cornerstone of AFT’s digital strategy, providing live streaming coverage of every event on AFT’s live page while previous events and exclusive features are available on AFT’s VOD page.

An Eye on Recent Motorist Rights Court Cases

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FROM National Motorists Association https://www.motorists.org

Motorist rights cases have made news and even history recently. There have been so many as of late, we are dedicating two separate newsletters to provide some insight on the legal rulings that are affecting drivers around the country.

This week’s newsletter focuses on recent rulings and pending US Supreme Court and federal court cases. Part 2 next week will outline state court decisions.

TheNewspaper.com, featured prominently in these two newsletters, is a great supplement to the NMA’s Motorists.org site for the latest news and opinions on the politics of driving.

The US Supreme Court (SCOTUS)

Last week’s unanimous decision that curtails excessive government fines and property seizures has provided further impetus for one of the NMA’s primary lobbying initiatives: civil asset forfeiture (CAF) reform. The decision received broad bipartisan praise. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in the ruling that the excessive fines clause is a fundamental restriction that applies to the states under the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. While the SCOTUS decision is monumental, the fight is far from over. Some states still allow the seizure of property from citizens — motorists are prime targets — who have never been charged with a crime. Our work for reform at the federal and state levels continues in earnest.

Additionally, SCOTUS accepted a case in January that will decide whether an unconscious drunk person has given implied consent for a blood draw to determine alcohol level. The case might resolve an important constitutional question: Can state legislatures obviate the warrant requirement by “deeming” that citizens can consent to Fourth Amendment searches without explicitly expressing that consent?

Federal Appeals Court Cases

Judges for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in late January that a person driving a registered vehicle on a public road is not “reasonably suspicious.” Federal authorities appealed a motion to suppress evidence obtained from a border patrol traffic stop in Freer, Texas. The driver turned onto a public road that happened to bypass a checkpoint 50 miles inland from the Mexican border. The U.S. government has declared anything within 100 miles to be under Border Patrol jurisdiction. The Court ruled that turning onto a road that is “known” for smuggling in a truck registered to an individual is not enough to support reasonable suspicion. If it were, then virtually anyone driving within 100 miles from the border could automatically be deemed suspicious.

In December, judges in the Eighth Circuit US Court of Appeals ruled that it is appropriate for officers to use force to ram a driver with an expired registration sticker off the road. The driver sued the Arkansas state trooper for using excessive force and a US District Judge agreed with the plaintiff that the officer was out of line. She felt that at the time the trooper turned on his lights to make the stop, she could not reasonably do so on the shoulder which was unlit, dark and narrow. She continued to drive 20 mph under the speed limit for 42 seconds to find a safer spot, but after she passed an exit the trooper used a precision immobilization technique (PIT) maneuver to push her vehicle into a ditch. She and her young daughter were both injured. The Appeals Court sent the case back to the same district judge who now must determine if the lawsuit can proceed on the basis of malicious intent.

In early February, the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that police do not need a reason to place American citizens on a ‘Suspicious Person’ list. Judge Milan Smith wrote, “Tips and leads required only ‘mere suspicion,’ a lower standard than the reasonable suspicion required for criminal intelligence data and is up to the discretion of law enforcement and other government officials. This case is chilling in the sense that the government can put anyone on the list for not much more than a whim.

The Ninth Circuit US Court of Appeals ruled in January that police cannot demand ID from car or truck passengers without a reasonable suspicion of a crime. The judges agreed that in this Arizona case, the US Supreme Court ruling in Rodriquez v. US, which prohibits police from prolonging a traffic stop by asking unrelated questions, established precedent.

In January, the Eleventh Circuit US Court of Appeals upheld a traffic stop over a fast blinker. Apparently, driving with a turn signal that flashes “too fast” is potentially a criminal act in Georgia. The blinker was actually working properly; the Georgia Code does not stipulate how fast a turn signal should blink, only that all equipment be kept in “good working condition.” The appellate panel suggested that the plaintiff’s blinker was not in compliance because it was in working condition, just not “good” working condition. American jurisprudence at its best.

Check out Part 2 next week when we showcase recent state cases that could impact motorists.

The National Motorists Association is a membership-based organization dedicated to protecting the rights of the motoring public.