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

By | General Posts

Your Motorcycle Riders Foundation team in Washington, D.C. is pleased to provide our members with the latest information and updates on issues that impact the freedom and safety of American street motorcyclists. Count on your MRF to keep you informed about a range of matters that are critical to the advancement of motorcycling and its associated lifestyle. Published weekly when the U.S. Congress is in session.

Capitol Hill Update

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

House Motorcycle Caucus

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

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

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

Tiffany & Rocky
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation

California State Parks OHV grants and cooperative agreements program

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California State Parks OHV grants and cooperative agreements program seeking public comments – AMA Action Alert

The American Motorcyclist Association believes you may be interested in providing input to the California State Parks Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division. This period provides an opportunity for the public to review and provide factual comments to the preliminary applications submitted for consideration during the 2018/19 grant cycle.

To review and comment visit olga.ohv.parks.ca.gov/egrams_ohmvr/user/home.aspx for more information. The public review and comment period the began on Tuesday, March 5, and ends at 5 p.m. Monday, May 6.

You may also submit your public comments in writing to the OHMVR Division at the address below.

California State Parks
OHMVR Division
1725 23rd St.,
Sacramento, CA 95816
Attention: Grants Manager

If you are not yet an AMA member, please join the AMA to help us fight efforts to restrict responsible motorized recreation. More members means more clout against our opponents, and your support will help us fight for your riding rights – on the road, trail, racetrack, and in the halls of government. To join, go to AmericanMotorcyclist.com/membership/join.

Please follow the AMA on Twitter @AMA_Rights and like us on Facebook.

Thank you in advance for your interest in this important program. If you submit written comments please email a copy to the AMA at grassroots@ama-cycle.org.

5-Ball Racing™ Special Ops Black Leather Vest

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The Story Behind the Brand – full story in the Cantina section

Order one now at http://shop.bikernet.com/

The 5-Ball Racing™ team has always been a team effort. We set a few World Land Speed Records, and we’re going after more.

At a bike show I introduced Bob and Jeff to Andrew and they came to me with a plan to kick off the 5-Ball Racing™ Apparel Line.

Bob put all his experience with various major companies like Nempco, Biker’s Choice, and American Ironhorse, all of his product knowledge, and passion into this 5-Ball Racing™Special Ops leather vest.

READ THE FULL STORY OF SPECIAL OPS JACKETS – CLICK HERE

Women on Trikes: “Wild and Crazy” True Stories

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With International Women’s Day on 8th March, we would like to showcase two stories from Women on Trikes series. Read how Susan and Nerolie got into triking and why they are living the dream with Trikes.

https://www.touroztrikes.com.au

https://www.rewaco.com

Susan – “Wild and crazy and it felt a little bit rebellious”

A surprise and spontaneous ride to high school on the back of a friends new Trike while living in a small country town in New Zealand, was the very moment I knew I wanted one. It was love at first ride, I was hooked.

At the time I was not old enough to have a car licence, but I will never forget how it felt to be on the back of the Trike. It was cool and it was different, lots of people had two-wheeler bikes, but this chopped up, backyard, custom made Trike was the real deal, it was wild and crazy and felt a little bit rebellious.

I moved back to Australia a few years later, and I never really saw many trikes. Every so often I would look around to buy one, but they were hard to find and never quite what I was looking for.

Most trikes were motorbike conversions but I wanted a long-raked style trike with a low centre of gravity but also one that would not spend more time in the garage being pulled apart and repaired. I’m not a mechanic, I just wanted to ride.

Life got in the way of my dream – kids, family, work all took priority for many years, and a trike was not something I could afford and it was not practical. How would I fit a baby seat to a trike?

In my early forties, the internet had made looking for a trike a lot easier, but they were still hard to find. I was prepared to travel to America to find a trike and bring it back to Australia, as there seemed to be a much bigger selection of trikes overseas than there were in Australia.

I finally came across the custom-made German Rewaco Trikes and could not believe my luck when I discovered they had a dealer in Australia.

I collected my trike around Valentine’s Day and it is still the love of my life. Since owning my trike and racking up nearly 50,000Ks I have met people from all walks of life, been involved in charity and fundraising events which give me a great amount of satisfaction but most of all I just love the wild, crazy rebellious feeling of cruising around Australia.

People young and old still stop and stare, and most fuel stops involve a conversation with a stranger asking what sort of motor it has. I still giggle at the reactions I get and the shocked whisper of “oh and it’s a girl riding it”.

Kids stare out the back window of their parent’s car waving at me, and I always wonder if one of them will grow up remembering the first time they saw my trike cruising down the highway and want one when they are older.

Nerolie fell in love with a Trike too

“Geez, that’s bright green, not sure about the colour. Then the green seemed to grow on us and now I absolutely love Kermmi!”

Growing up on a farm allowed me to ride motorbikes all the time…this sadly all changed once I moved into a town. Years went by and at the age of 38, I decided life is too short and went and got a motorbike licence. Read more…

I started with a Yamaha 650 Vstar. Due to an injury, I struggled to ride it or even get it out of the garage.

My partner Brendon and I had heard about trikes. We decided to look into buying one as this would enable me to still enjoy riding and it was something we could both still do together.

April 2016, we headed off to Bendigo to have a look at TOUROZ Trikes and maybe have a test ride to see if we liked them.

Col had a green and black demo RF1 LT sitting there.

First thoughts were: Geez, that is a bright green, unsure if I like that colour.

After some chatting with Col the green seemed to grow on us. Well the test ride did not happen, we said stuff it, you only live once!

We came home with that beautiful green machine nearly 3 years ago, and I haven’t looked back…

I absolutely love Kermmi. I feel so great riding, and the freedom you feel with no pain! I would not change it for the world.

New shipment of 5-Ball Racing Leathers arrived

By | General Posts

We ordered just a couple of black Speedway shirts in a light leather without Sleeves. I like mine in brown. It’s become my go-to vest for around town, not so much for riding. When I need a vest to carry my phone, notes, sunglasses, and stuff, it hits the spot. I can wear it over a flannel for additional warmth or over a T-shirt to make up for missing pockets.

They are not in the shop yet, so if you’re interested drop me a line and we’ll make it happen. Or check out the Speedway full shirts in the shop.

Specical Ops Jacket is perfect for long days of riding – designed for the road with heavy duty gun metal grey zipper front, bound leather neck trim and strong double needle seam construction. The 2 conceal and carry pockets will stow your valuables.

Jak Shirt 5/8th Sleeve is a great head-turner when on city runs for daily wear. It features snap front closure with extended shirt-style tail that provides length in the trunk and delivers a slender look. All around one of the best fits. The Jak Shirt Sleeveless is made from strong milled Buffalo leather, a top-grain quality leather – the most common type used in high-end leather products.

BUY YOUR PERFECT RIDING GEAR AT http://shop.bikernet.com/

Order Online and don’t forget to check out the Biker Media Section for Fiction and Non-Fiction Books.

H-D 2019 Electra Glide Standard new model announcement

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MY19 FLHT Electra Glide Standard. Touring.

Harley-Davidson ELECTRA GLIDE STANDARD delivers an elemental Touring experience powered by the Milwaukee-Eight engine

MILWAUKEE (Mar. 4, 2019) –Powered by the muscular Milwaukee-Eight™ 107 engine, the new Electra Glide Standard is a “Dressed down Dresser” that provides a raw, fundamental riding experience inspired by Harley-Davidson’s Grand American Touring roots.

Designed for the traditional touring customer, the Electra Glide Standard is for the rider seeking to disconnect from all the noise of the day-to-day through riding. No screens, simply a motorcycle that provides and heightens the experience of the journey. This fundamental experience is a key element in the design and engineering of the Electra Glide Standard.

The Electra Glide Standard features essential Harley-Davidson styling elements such as the iconic batwing fairing, chrome trim, standard saddle bags, and cast aluminum wheels. Chrome accents are added in high-impact design areas and complemented by polished rocker, cam and derby covers and select blacked out components – a blend of traditional elements and modern trends.

“To express the stripped-back essence of the Electra Glide Standard we focused on finishes that were simple, timeless, and fundamental to the Harley-Davidson’s touring line. Chrome was added to key components and complimented by polished and blacked out parts, said Harley-Davidson’s Vice President of Styling & Design Brad Richards. “The rocker, cam, and derby covers are finished with chrome to emphasize the V-Twin shape of the Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine. In addition, they add a dose of nostalgia that draws a through-line all the way back to the first Electra Glide.”

To provide a raw touring motorcycle experience without riding compromises, the Electra Glide Standard features all the latest ride and handling technology of Harley-Davidson’s Touring line such as standard electronic cruise control, hand-adjustable emulsion-technology rear shock absorbers, 49mm front forks with Showa dual bending valve suspension, and Brembo brakes with optional Reflex Linked and ABS features.

MY19 FLHT Electra Glide Standard. Touring.

A central part of the riding experience, and a highlight of the Electra Glide Standard, is its Milwaukee Eight 107 cu. in. V-twin engine that features sleek, modern styling that respects the heritage of previous Harley-Davidson big twin engines.

In the Electra Glide Standard, the Milwaukee Eight provides the performance and riding benefits that riders the world over regard and appreciate with quick throttle response, plenty of passing power, and the iconic Harley-Davidson big twin sound.

The Electra Glide Standard is a showcase of an aspect of Harley-Davidson’s More Roads promise to continue to lead the heavyweight Touring segment with compelling products that inspire more riders to fully engage in the sport of motorcycling.

The Electra Glide Standard model is offered in Vivid Black with an M.S.R.P. of $18,999*

* Prices listed are the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices for base models. Options such as color are available at additional cost. Prices exclude tax, title, licensing, registration fees, destination charges, added accessories, and additional dealer charges, if any, and are subject to change. Harley-Davidson reimburses dealers for performing manufacturer-specified pre-delivery inspection and setup tasks. Dealer prices may vary.

About Harley-Davidson Motor Company
Since 1903, Harley-Davidson has fulfilled dreams of personal freedom by leading the innovation of two-wheeled mobility. The company offers an expanding range of leading-edge, distinctive and customizable motorcycles and brings the brand to life through Harley-Davidson riding experiences and exceptional motorcycle parts, accessories, riding gear and apparel. Learn more about how Harley-Davidson is Building the Next Generation of Riders at www.harley-davidson.com.

An Eye on Recent Motorist Rights Court Cases

By | General Posts

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.

Winter Storage Tips for TRIKES

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Winter Storage Tips for your Third Partner
Man, Woman and Wheel. A Threesome Report on Winter Romances.
Ujjwal Dey

It is Christmas and hope all of you are charged up for adventures and fun in the New Year. Snow fall has started at many areas and people are getting ready for Winter even though Game Of Thrones fanatics will tell you Winter is Coming with new episodes only in 2019. Winter is here and some of us still ride while others prefer to saddle up on the couch with loved ones in tow. However, if you are spending your family time in these festivities, don’t ignore your Third Partner, the third entity in your loving relationship with your old lady, the one you take on the road – your Trike, Sidecar Motorcycle or Autocycle.

Winter is tough time for motorcyclists as we are exposed to harsh elements. On the plus side, a Three-Wheeler has better footing on snowy landscapes and slush filled roads. Those on the East Coast know winter is inevitable but that doesn’t mean you lock away your Prize for three months or more. Either move (preferably on your Three-Wheeler) or deal with it by our wonderful Storage Tips.

READ OUR DETAILED ARTICLE HERE