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It’s All Good Bikernet Weekly News for October 15th, 2020

By | General Posts

You’ll see in the news a pitch from the MRF to sign up new members. I’ve always supported the MRF because they have worked tirelessly for decades to maintain our freedoms. There’s been competition with the AMA, NCOM and the MIC. I always felt the MRF was the most pure freedom fighting group. They are supported by and support the state rights groups. They aren’t connected to law firms or overseas manufacturers. They are simply freedom fighter devoted to street motorcyclists rights.

Everyone should join the MRF, even members of the AMA and members of the MIC. The industry would be better off. For a longtime we tried to work with the industry guys and shops, but Industry guys thought they were covered by the MIC. That’s not the case. Anyway, it’s good to be a member, if only to stay abreast of the challenges our industry faces. I could go on a major rant about what the MRF membership has done to keep you free, less harassed, and able to work on and build bikes, but it would take me a week. Just join and tell ‘em Bandit sent you.

CLICK HERE to read the Weekly News on Bikernet.

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Register for MOTM

By | General Posts

It’s taken 36 years for the Motorcycle Riders Foundation to get to a point that an event agenda can be pulled together in a few months, plus or minus a few days. If you’ve been following these E-blasts, then you may have recognized an undercurrent of the “five W’s” – WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN and WHY, and a constant reminder that the 36th Annual Meeting of the Minds Conference is getting close.

You’ve been given samples of WHO helped start the Meeting of the Minds and the MRF, along with WHAT it was all about, WHERE and WHEN it came from and WHERE it’s heading, along with WHY it’s so important to attend. Here’s the tentative (subject to change) agenda for the 36th Annual Meeting of the Minds Conference. Time’s running out to use this link and register at Meeting of the Minds 2020. Room Reservations:  317-767-4769.

For those of you getting in on Thursday, September 24, join the MRF Board of Directors in a “Meet & Greet” at 7:00 p.m. in the Main Ballroom.

 

With a presentation of the Colors, the General Session opens at 9:00 a.m. Friday, then it’s non-stop with…

  • Opening Remarks – Kirk “Hardtail” Willard
  • MRF Financial Report – Kirk “Hardtail” Willard
  • Legislative Update – Rocky Fox
  • Election Year & Effective Use of CQ – Rocky Fox
  • A series of MRF award presentations by Dave Dwyer & Ryan Hubbard, Michelle Holcomb & Duane Justus.

Then it’s on to more presentations, a few awards and recognition of the future of motorcyclists’ rights…

  • MRFA&E – Deb Butitta
  • MRFA&E Young Activist Awards – Deb Butitta
  • Young Activist Scholarship Winners Panel – Deb Butitta
  • MRF Rep/Reps of the Year Awards – Doc D’Errico
  • Presidents Cup – Kirk “Hardtail” Willard
  • A Primer: How Strategic Planning can help your SMRO – Mark Buckner

Lunch by Bill the Chef; a riding and turning demo by Lane Triplett, then an afternoon of workshops…

  • 2020-21 Legislative Strategy – Kirk “Hardtail” Willard
  • 3R’s MRFA&E – Ron Braaksma & Lane Triplett
  • Media Madness: How to Survive these Wild Times – Brian “Skinny Bob” Clifford
  • Executive Directors Town Hall – Kirk “Hardtail” Willard
  • Kickin’ Ass and Taking Names – Pennsylvania’s 35-year Winning Quest for Freedom of Choice – Charles Umbenhauer
  • Public Relations in a Changing World – Cathy Brush

 

The afternoon winds into dinner by Bill the Chef and moves into an “evening of festivities and a rodeo!” provided by the folks from ABATE of Indiana.

Saturday morning begins with a breakfast by Bill the Chef… In case you’re wondering, for the first time in recent memory, meals are included with your registration packet. Bill the Chef, renowned for his biker pleasing menus, generous proportions and never failing to make a few thousand hungry bikers happy at ABATE of Indiana’s world famous, Bean Blossom Boogie! You’ll have to specifically ask for a PBJ or a county jail bologna sandwich! They aren’t on Bill the Chef’s menu!

Saturday’s General Session opens with Jay Jackson and blasts WFO into…

  • State of the Safety Training Programs – Jay Jackson
  • Ron Sheppard Award – Jay Jackson
  • Strategic Planning for Your SMRO: Writing Your Own Plan – Mark Buckner
  • Political Action Committee? Why the Hell Does a Biker Need One? – Ryan Hubbard
  • MRFPAC Awards – Ryan Hubbard
  • State Reps Meeting – Doc D’Errico
  • With Freedom Comes Responsibility – Dave “Chubby” Charlebois
  • Bridging the gap Clubs/SSMRO – Russell Radke & Paul Landers

All of that before it’s lunch with Bill the Chef! Plus, another Lane Triplett riding demo. After lunch it’s another afternoon filled with more information than you can haul home in two saddlebags!

  • Sustaining Clubs Meeting – Russell Radke
  • Advocacy – Beyond Face to Face – Rocky Fox
  • Kickin’ Ass and Taking Names – Pennsylvania’s 35-year winning quest for freedom of choice – Charles Umbenhauer
  • CQ & Using technology to Win in Washington – Rocky Fox
  • Media Madness: How to Survive these Wild Times – Brian “Skinny Bob” Clifford
  • Public Relations in a Changing World – Cathy Brush

Yeah, there’s a few duplicates, because the presenter and the subject are in such demand there’s only one way to satiate this crowd’s demand – give them the information and tools they need to be more effective at their state legislatures!

Saturday “slows down” just enough for a quick thirst quencher before the banquet starts. It’s an evening filled with a soon-to-be-announced keynote speaker, dinner by Bill the Chef, awards, and a live auction that if history ever repeats itself, this will be one not to miss.

Sunday morning travelers get sent out on the road after a “Blessing of the Bikes” and while everyone else is heading home, the MRF Board hunkers down for a review of The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, of the entire conference and ending it with a commitment to take everything that was learned at the 36th Meeting of the Minds Conference and put it to use on behalf of motorcyclists’ rights.

A Citizen’s Guide to Recording the Police

By | General Posts

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 Thanksgiving 2019 Bikernet Weekly News

By | General Posts

Hey,

Making progress is a major motivator. I like to climb out of bed thinking the day is going to be exciting. This week I solved some issues, took my 1928 Shovelhead to Larry Settle for a look-over. We organized and shipped Hugh King’s Discovery Channel biker build-off bike to the Sturgis Museum.

We attempted to get two girders from Spitfire Motorcycles. We scored a few Antiques motorcycle parts from Bobby Stark’s lot.

I solved a minor issue with the Salt Torpedo and we are just a couple of weeks away from our first trial runs. I roughed out another Cantina Chapter.

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Whacky Bikernet Weekly News for November 21, 2019

By | General Posts

Hey,

A couple of infrastructure changes. From now on, we will post the news on the Free side of the Bikernet Iron Curtain for one week each week. We will also do the same with selected articles before slipping them into Bandit’s Cantina archives for our esteemed members.

We need members, but I want the largest readership to check the news. We also need to inform the largest possible audience of the issues facing motorcycling and of happenings on Bikernet. So, what the fuck, I’m giving it a shot.

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

CLICK HERE TO READ THE BIKERNET WEEKLY NEWS NOW !!!

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House introduces Motorcycle Advisory Council Reauthorization Act

By | General Posts

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressmen Mike Gallagher (R-WI) along with Reps. Chris Pappas (D-NH), Harley Rouda (D-CA), and Troy Balderson (R-OH) introduced bipartisan legislation, Motorcycle Advisory Council Reauthorization Act.  The bill reauthorizes the Motorcycle Advisory Council (MAC) for six years and ensures national motorcycle organizations regain seats on the council.

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF), along with our partners ABATE of Wisconsin, ABATE of Ohio, Harley-Davidson, and American Motorcyclist Association, have been hard at work over the past month ensuring the future MAC membership is representative of the riding community.  This legislation clarifies the membership of MAC which now will include five highway engineering experts from state or local governments, one state or local traffic safety engineer who is a motorcyclist, one roadway safety data expert on crash testing and analysis, and one representative from each of the following groups: a national association of state transportation officials, a national motorcyclist foundation, a national motorcyclist association, a national motorcycle manufacturing association, and a national safety organization.

“As the feds address the vast roadway infrastructure issues and emerging technologies surrounding vehicles and roads, there isn’t a more appropriate time to re-establish the Motorcycle Advisory Council,” said Kirk “Hardtail” Willard, President of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation.  “It was originally and effectively designed to give motorcyclists a voice with regards to the unique challenges we face on two and three wheels when it comes to roadway design.”

The MRF is encouraged that this legislation will ensure that motorcyclists will continue to have an open dialogue with government officials about the unique characteristics and challenges that motorcyclists face when they are not adequately considered or accounted for as infrastructure programs are being discussed and implemented. We want to acknowledge and commend the relationships that our state motorcyclist rights organizations (SMROs), specifically ABATE of Wisconsin and ABATE of Ohio, established with their elected officials through attending events such as our annual lobby day, Bikers Inside the Beltway.  This event, along with active engagement with members of Congress in their home districts,  helps the MRF identify the champions of motorcycle issues and achieve our goals.

“We are pleased that our elected representatives from the state of Wisconsin continue to lead the charge in advocating on behalf of the motorcyclists in the country,” said Steve Panten, Legislative Director for ABATE of Wisconsin, Inc. “I am encouraged that years of building relationships, both in our State and by coming to Washington, D.C., every year, continues to elevate our issues on Capitol Hill. We urge other SMRO’s to take the opportunity to do the same.”

The MAC, initially authorized in the SAFETEA-LU in 2005, allotted four of the ten members to consist of representatives from the motorcycling community from various state and federal motorcycle associations. In the FAST Act of 2015, Congress re-established the Motorcyclist Advisory Council in the Highway Bill to advise the Federal Highway Administration on “issues of concern to motorcyclists.” However, the MRF was disappointed the re-established MAC only included one seat for a representative of a national motorcycle organization.

The Motorcycle Advisory Council provides the Secretary of the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) with expert first-hand knowledge of motorcycle issues. “Motorcycle registration is at an all-time high, but this increasing popularity has brought with it increasing risks, such as fatal accidents,” said Rep. Gallagher. “Motorcycles require specific – and in some cases different – requirements of roads, and we need an open dialogue between the motorcycle community, infrastructure experts, and the federal government to discuss these challenges.”  The MAC serves as the only official forum for the motorcycle community to have an open dialogue with the federal government to discuss concerns with infrastructure design, issues with intelligent transportation systems, and other areas of safety affecting motorcycles on the road.

“With the number of motorcycles currently on the road, it is critical that the road designers and transportation engineers understand the way that motorcycles and motorcyclists interact with the roadways as well as other vehicles using those same roads,” said Ed Schetter, Executive Director for ABATE of Ohio, Inc.  “Motorcyclists need to be present to help recognize those needs and ensure that motorcycles maintain their place on the road and can be safely operated into a future where technology is creating more and more challenges.”

Senate Hearing – Highly Automated Vehicles: Federal Perspectives on the Deployment of Safety Technology

By | General Posts

November 20, 2019 – Senate Hearing – Highly Automated Vehicles: Federal Perspectives on the Deployment of Safety Technology

Today the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation held a hearing entitled Highly Automated Vehicles: Federal Perspectives on the Deployment of Safety Technology. This hearing comes on the heels of a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) board meeting yesterday regarding the investigation of a March 2018 crash of an Uber Autonomous Vehicle (AV) that resulted in the death of a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona.

The NTSB released some startling revelations in their investigation of the 2018 deadly crash. Among those that the software did not properly identify the victim as a pedestrian, it did not adequately assess safety risks and the operator of the vehicle was watching a TV show on her phone and was not watching the road. Additionally, the NTSB cited an “inadequate safety culture” at Uber.

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) applauds the NTSB and the U.S. Senate for holding public hearings on AV technology and safety concerns. The MRF is committed to fighting for the safety of motorcyclists as this new technology is deployed on our nation’s roadways. While we are hopeful that this technology can reduce accidents on our nation’s roads, we agree with the statement of Chairman Roger Wicker (R-MS) when he said of AV technology “I think a healthy degree of skepticism is a good thing.”

During today’s Senate hearing, it was especially important that two U.S. Senators specifically addressed the concerns of motorcyclists during the hearing. In a question directed to Joel Szabat, Acting Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy, U.S. Department of Transportation Senator John Thune (R-SD) asked, “In developing a regulatory framework for AVs can you speak to how other roadways users such as motorcycles are considered?” The Assistant Secretary responded by saying “Motorcyclists are well incorporated in the development of policy in the department.”

Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) echoed Senator Thune’s interest in motorcycles when he said, “I am avid motorcyclist. The number one reason for accidents is a car hitting a motorcyclist or a car pulling out in front of a motorcyclist.”

Other Senators include Sen. Cantwell (D-WA) raised concerns about the current deployment of AVs without minimum standards from the federal government, “We need some standards.” In response, Robert Sumwalt, Chairman of the NTSB agreed by saying that “Whatever is working now is not working as well as it should.” We at the MRF agree that minimum standards should be in place as this new technology becomes more and more prevalent on the roads we all share.

Chairman Sumwalt of the NTSB closed the hearing with this statement, “I think that AV technology holds great promise to improve safety, but it has to be done properly.” We at the MRF could not agree more.

MRF President Kirk “Hardtail” Willard stated, “As a motorcyclist it offends me when bureaucrats are discussing various inevitable, emerging vehicle and advanced roadway technologies they default to classifying us as vulnerable and in need some sort of protection. I would rather and especially in the specific case of Autonomous Vehicles we be thoroughly considered and fully recognizable and therefore not needing extra protection. As with anything affecting motorcyclists this is another example where the Motorcycle Riders Foundation will demand we remain a significant part of the strategy for roadway users.”

You can read the opening statements or watch the hearing by clicking the link below:
Highly Automated Vehicles: Federal Perspectives on the Deployment of Safety Technology

About Motorcycle Riders Foundation
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) provides leadership at the federal level for states’ motorcyclists’ rights organizations as well as motorcycle clubs and individual riders. The MRF is chiefly concerned with issues at the national and international levels that impact the freedom and safety of American street motorcyclists. The MRF is committed to being a national advocate for the advancement of motorcycling and its associated lifestyle and works in conjunction with its partners to help educate elected officials and policymakers in Washington and beyond.

Wonders of the Bikernet Weekly News

By | General Posts

Motorcycles are Freedom Personified Forever

Hey,

This is a strange and wonderful week. Shit is happening fast. Shit is changing fast, and shit will go to hell quick if we all don’t get involved.

I didn’t intend this to be doom and gloom, but it just spilled out as I wrote. It’s time we all joined a motorcycle rights group or three and got our boots wet.

Here’s my code of the West: We live in the best of times. Our government needs to focus on the people, our freedoms and happiness not on trying to control everything or make everything safe as in Zero. It’s all about control and it won’t work, so let’s be happy and as free as possible.

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MRF MOTM 2019 TIME IS RUNNING OUT!!!

By | General Posts

With just over a week to the pre-registration cut-off, time is running short to save money registering for The 35th Annual Meeting of the Minds Conference!!! 

As the MRF makes final preparations to Honor the Past with the induction of Legacy Members into the MRF Hall of Fame and gear up to Protect the Future with two days of information filled workshops and presentations, you still have time to register for this premier event and secure your hotel room.

Up to the minute legislative updates, topical workshops to assist you in building your SMRO, plus several hundred new and old friends you’ll be glad to see!  Workshop & presentations including…

  • NHTSA – Protecting our Future from their Past
  • Shared Goals & Working Together – SMROs & Motorcycle Clubs
  • Membership Promotion, Retention, Growth & Volunteers
  • Old Media – New Media … – Dealing with print, electronic & social media successfully

And there’s more… Those listed workshops represent one-third of the time allocated for workshops.  We’ve got eight more and only two days to deliver.  However, those two days will be so jammed packed by the end of the Conference you’ll wonder where the time went and be asking for more.

The 35th Annual Meeting of the Minds Conference is coming together as well as any smooth-running machine.  We don’t want you to miss it as we Honor the Past, Protect the Future and live up to meeting and exceeding the expectations of motorcyclists’ rights advocates from across the country.
You have until August 23rd to take advantage of the MOTM pre-registration price of $80.00 for MRF members or $90.00 for non-MRF members.
Use this link to register:  Meeting of the Minds 2019

After August 23rd, the event registration fee goes to $90.00 for members and $100.00 for non-members.  And you’re not just getting a receipt for your efforts… You’ll get a few hundred years of experience from some of the most dedicated and knowledgeable motorcyclists’ rights advocates in the world!

The deadline to get the nightly room rate of $115.00 at the MOTM Conference hotel is September 4th.  After that, rooms may be scarce. So, one more time… beat the deadlines and register for the 35th Annual Meeting of the Minds Conference.  While it’s on your mind, call (952) 854-9000 and use this code to get you’re the MRF room rate: Block code MOT    LINK TO HOTEL MOTM2019

Thanks, and we look forward to seeing you in September at the Crowne Plaza Aire Hotel in Bloomington, Minnesota, for the 35th Annual Meeting of the Minds Conference!!!

Fredric Harrell
Director, Conferences & Events
Motorcycle Riders Foundation

Cantina Exclusive: Bikernet Weekly News for July 11, 2019

By | General Posts

Call to Action! This is your chance to help Freedom and Choice Ring

It’s amazing, in a world gone nuts with regulation, one state is considering freedom. Check it out, in the news. Missouri has an adult helmet repeal in front of their Governor. Did you know about half of our states have adult freedom and in most cases free states have a better accident record than states with helmet laws.

READ THE NEWS EXCLUSIVELY IN THE CANTINA – Click Here