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Automated Driving Systems and SMRO Visits

By General Posts

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!

Motorcycle Riders Foundation Announces Historic First

By General Posts

Atlanta, Georgia – The Motorcycle Riders Foundation, based in Washington, D.C., along with ABATE of Georgia, announced a historic first with the announcement that the organization’s annual Meeting of the Minds Conference will take place in Atlanta in September this year.

“The MRF has met several times in the Southeast. However, we have never had the opportunity to meet in Atlanta, and we’re looking forward to the occasion.” MRF Conferences and Events Director, Fredric Harrell announced at the organization’s 2020 annual conference in Indianapolis in September.

“ABATE of Georgia worked to meet the MRF’s conference guidelines and we’re reaching out to our neighboring state motorcyclists’ rights organizations for participation.” Donna Nunez, ABATE of Georgia Activities Director, said when the 2021 conference was announced.

This “historic first” will bring the 2021 Annual Meeting of the Minds Conference to the JW Marriott Atlanta Buckhead Hotel, September 23-26 and will be the kick-off point for the Motorcycle Riders Foundation’s 2022 legislative agenda. Attendees are encouraged to make reservations as early as possible for this much-demanded conference.

Past keynote speakers at the annual event include, Keith “Bandit” Ball, former editor of Easyriders Magazine, Dave Zein, former Wisconsin State Senator, Paul Landers, Texas Freedom Fighter, Chopper & Slider Gilmore, Freedom Fighters & Motorcycling Safety Advocates, Mark Buckner, Former MRF President & current MRF Executive Director, among other notables who have added insight, levity and strong messages on freedom and individual rights to the MRFs annual conference. Conference agenda includes, but never limited to general sessions, 15 break-out sessions, safe riding demonstrations and awards banquet.

The first Meeting of the Minds Conference, held in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1985 witnessed barely 100 motorcyclists’ rights advocates and a very limited agenda. The Meeting of the Minds Conference has grown to over 500 participants from state motorcyclists’ rights advocacy groups in addition to representatives from Canada, the European Union, Australia and Liberia.

Hang On Bikernet Weekly News for January 14, 2021

By General Posts

The Action is Hot and Heavy

Yesterday, I walked to the Deadwood Rec center for my Wednesday Workout. As I stepped off the tall, frozen metal steps a Softail rolled into the gas station/liquor store, the Pack Horse station. It might reach 50 degrees and a low of 25.

I walked over to the rider and said, “Where the fuck do you think you’re going?”

He said, “Nowhere.” He was just warming his bikes, charging batteries and making sure they were running properly. I wanted to ride my Indian to the dealership in Sturgis, but there’s still slippery ice on every corner. Still, the desire was there. It snowed last night.

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Merry XMas Bikernet Weekly News for Christmas Eve 2020

By General Posts

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.

Merry Christmas to all and a wonderful free-spirit new year for everyone.

Let’s party, ride free, build cool shit and go to Bonneville and the drags.

Ride fast and free forever,

–Bandit

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NCOM Biker Newsbytes for December 2020

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Cycles Sales, Helmet Use, Connect Consortium, Honda’s New Idea, Euro-5 is coming, and Myrtle Beach is Bad

Edited by Bill Bish, NCOM

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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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.

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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.

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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:

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