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safety Archives — Bikernet Blog - Online Biker Magazine

Electric scooters: threat to motorcyling or innocent fun?

By | General Posts

No license, no registration, no insurance, no helmet: all you need to rent and ride an electric scooter is an app on your phone. FEMA’s Wim Taal looks into why this could be a threat to motorcyclists.

Especially in larger cities, a growing number of people are using personal light electric vehicles (PLEVs), to move on the streets, such as ‘e-scooters’ or ‘trottinettes’ and other devices such as Segways, monowheels and powered skateboards.

Most of these vehicles are not currently subject to any form of registration, or any other regulation such as type approval, driver training and licensing and third party insurance. It is not up to FEMA to lay out a set of rules for these vehicles, but we are concerned that these type of vehicles could be categorized as powered two-wheelers. That could mean that victims of road accidents with these vehicles end up in motorcycle accident statistics, possibly causing stricter (safety) rules for motorcyclists.

The fact that more and more cities are planning parking bans on sidewalks for personal light electric vehicles, can also mean stricter parking rules for motorcycles. Other than most bicycle rental schemes, the rental scooters do not need to be put in docking stations. Typically the vehicles are left all over sidewalks, left behind by the user that reached his destination.

‘If victims of accidents with e-scooters end up in motorcycle accident statistics, stricter (safety) rules for motorcyclists can follow. A parking ban on sidewalks for e-scooters can also mean stricter parking rules for motorcycles’.

A number of companies have flooded cities with electric scooters that can be rented using an app on your phone. In Paris for example, over 20,000 of these two-wheelers have been introduced. From an article in the Guardian: “Broken scooters end up in some of the city’s famed gardens or are even tossed over bridges into the Seine, and the city’s pavements have become something of a battleground between riders and pedestrians. Mayor Anne Hidalgo says electric scooters have fallen into a legal grey zone and after repeated complaints and a spate of injuries and near misses, the mayor and police want to limit speeds to 20km/h in most areas and 8km/h in areas with heavy foot traffic, and prohibit parking anywhere but designated spaces. Hidalgo also plans to limit the number of scooters. Paris already imposes €135 fines for riding on the pavement and €35 fines for blocking the pavement while parked.”

In Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, police are seeing growing numbers of riders of rental scooters that use them to get home after a night on the town, whilst intoxicated by alcohol or drugs. These users face fines of up to £240.

FEMA’s considerations

Collision and injury data relating to these vehicles must be collated separately from that relating to motorcycles, mopeds or bicycles. This is a major concern for us as we do not want to have the collision data for motorcycles skewed by the inclusion of two- or three-wheeled powered vehicles which are not subject to the same regulations.

We propose to create a separate category L0 (L-zero) for PLEVs to distinguish them from bicycles, electric assisted bicycles, mopeds, motorcycles and other L-category vehicles.

Safety Vs Freedom Weekly News for June 20, 2019

By | General Posts

In a world gone insane with regulation you see that freedom still matters. In Missouri they are about to repeal the adult helmet law. The accident rate for motorcycles hasn’t increased in a decade, yet the number of riders on the road has, but who cares. We ride for freedom and excitement, not to improve safety statistics.

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 the Smoke Out and Quick Throttle Magazine came on board.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE NEWS IN THE CANTINA – Subscribe to Cantina today

Motorcycle Helmet Performance: Blowing the Lid Off

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Searching for the truth behind motorcycle helmet design, helmet standards and actual head protection

By Dexter Ford and California Scientific

How good is your helmet? Will it actually protect your brain in your next crash? Will it prevent your next accident? I don’t think so, but it may cause your next accident–watch out.

These seem like easy questions, ones you probably think you can answer by reciting the lofty standards your helmet meets and the lofty price you might have paid for it. But the real answers, as you are about to see, are anything but easy.

There’s a fundamental debate raging in the motorcycle helmet industry. In a fiberglass-reinforced, expanded-polystyrene nutshell, it’s a debate about how strong and how stiff a helmet should be to provide the best possible protection.

READ THE DETAILED REPORT IN THE CANTINA – Click Here

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The IIHS: When a New Study is Not New and Not a Study

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By Gary Biller, NMA President

Every two or three years, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) splashes the media with a recycled report of how many deaths have occurred due to raised speed limits. And reporters dutifully echo it as gospel because sensational headlines like, “Speed limit increases are tied to 37,000 deaths over 25 years,” grab attention and generate views.

That is the current press release title from IIHS for a just-issued report that is a rehash of a similar effort from 2016. The claim from the insurance industry advocacy group made back then, with uncanny precision for a methodology based almost entirely on assumption and extrapolation, was that 32,894 people died from higher speed limits since the 55 mph National Maximum Speed Limit (NMSL) was repealed. This skeptical review of that IIHS claim three years ago could serve just as well in critiquing the 2019 IIHS repeat of the “speed kills” mantra.

Perhaps my favorite quote in the current reporting of the IIHS release is this from Axiom’s “Slow the hell down:”

“ ’Every time you raise speed limits, you see more deaths,’ said IIHS vice president for research and statistical services Charles Farmer.”

It isn’t necessary to stretch our advocacy muscles even a tiny bit to show this as provably false. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System Encyclopedia publishes annual highway fatalities rates. Speed limits have climbed steadily since the full repeal of the NMSL in 1995, commonly reaching 75, 80 and even 85 mph, and yet fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled have plummeted:

1995                1.73
2000                1.53
2005                1.46
2010                1.11
2015                1.15

The 2017 fatality rate of 1.16 marks a 33 percent reduction over the past 22 years. Mr. Farmer sees statistics differently than most, but then again, that is evident in how his organization reports its conclusions.

To see who benefits from the posting and enforcement of lower speed limits, look no further than the list of auto insurers that wholly fund the IIHS.

As TheNewspaper.com observed about the 2016 IIHS report, “. . .there is a financial reason for the insurance industry’s advocacy of artificially low speed limits. Every ticket issued on an underposted road raises the insurance premium for the ticketed driver, increasing the industry’s profit.”

What was true then is true now.

Weekly Biker Bulletin from Inside the Beltway April 5th 2019

By | General Posts
RIDING FREE FROM DC

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

Ground Game
Last week the MRF issued a call to action regarding H. Res 255 the Motorcycle profiling bill introduced by Congressmen Walberg (MI), Burgess (TX), Peterson (MN) and Pocan (WI). Since last week, MRF members have sent over 2,000 letters to their lawmakers. The resolution started with four cosponsors, and a week later we have doubled that number to eight cosponsors.

A great example of how reaching out to your lawmaker can lead to results comes to us from the motorcycle community in New York. Congressman Lee Zeldin of New York received the most letters of any member of Congress. His office received over 100 letters asking him to cosponsor H. Res 255. And wouldn’t you know it, Congressman Zeldin jumped on as a cosponsor within days of receiving those letters.

However, all members of Congress are not as receptive to their constituents as Congressman Zeldin. However, one thing is for certain, if a Member of Congress doesn’t know a bill or resolution exists, they will not be a co-sponsor.

Cosponsors by State
Illinois – 1
Michigan – 1
Minnesota – 1
Missouri – 1
New York – 1
Texas – 1
Washington – 1
Wisconsin – 1

States who have sent the Most letters

  1. New York
  2. Texas
  3. Louisiana
  4. South Dakota
  5. Wisconsin
  6. Pennsylvania
  7. Arizona
  8. Minnesota
  9. Michigan
  10. California

DC Game
While we ask our members to contact their lawmakers, we in D.C. have been hitting the pavement to meet with lawmakers about motorcycle issues. Below are brief summaries of some meetings we had this week:

Congressman Walberg (MI) – We met with Congressman Walberg to personally thank him for introducing the profiling resolution. He is excited about our membership’s enthusiasm and support for the resolution and said he would work on driving co-sponsors.

Congressman Rodney Davis (IL) – Congressman Davis is the Ranking Member of the Transportation Subcommittee on Highways. He was VERY aware of our concerns regarding autonomous vehicles and the safety issues surrounding the ability to read and react to motorcycles. The Congressman mentioned that in congressional hearings he would be willing to ask regulators about these concerns. He also said that in his sophomore year of college he was forced to sell his motorcycle to buy books but that he remains a fan of the motorcycle community. Congressman Davis joined the profiling resolution as a co-sponsor this week.

Congressman Ken Buck (CO) – Congressman Buck said that ABATE of Colorado has been very vocal in his district and he was happy to co-sponsor last year’s profiling resolution. He will again consider co-sponsoring this year’s version. As a member of the House Judiciary Committee which has jurisdiction over the resolution, Congressman Buck signing on would be an important win for the resolution.

MRF Events

Register for Bikers Inside the Beltway
As we approach May 21st and Bikers Inside the Beltway 2019, we are encouraging you to go online to www.mrf.org/events and register for the event so we can start planning for the event.  If you signed up after last week’s update, we thank you for committing to joining us in Washington, D.C. for lobby day.  If you are still on the fence, you can go check out the flyer or contact us if you have questions about the event.

Meeting of the Minds 2019
Meeting of the Minds 2019 registration is now live on the event page. ABATE of Minnesota will be hosting the event in Bloomington on September 19th-22nd. You can register and order an event t-shirt in advance of the conference.  As a member of the MRF, you will receive a discounted registration rate for the event. To read more about the event and the hotel information, you can download the event flyer here.

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation Team in D.C.

Rocky & Tiffany

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: Anti-Gun Joint Resolution Passes Assembly Public Safety Committee

By | General Posts

On Tuesday, March 12, the Assembly Public Safety Committee was scheduled to hear anti-gun bills, AB 12, AB 276 and AJR 5. AB 12 and AB 276 were both pulled from the agenda and are expected to be rescheduled for a later date. AJR 5 passed by the Committee and is eligible for third reading on the Assembly floor at any time.

Please contact your State Assembly Member using our TAKE ACTION LINK below urging him/her to OPPOSE AJR 5.

https://act.nraila.org/actions/campaigns/5874

Assembly Joint Resolution 5,  sponsored by Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-59) would urge the federal government to adopt universal firearm laws using California as an example. California is far from the example when it comes to firearm laws. Lawful gun owners must navigate a maze of gun laws that are ever changing. Each year the legislature considers numerous proposals that continue to place additional restrictions and costs on lawful gun owners while ignoring the fact that criminals are already ignoring the hundreds of laws on the books.

Continue to check your inbox and the California Stand and Fight webpage for updates on issues impacting your Second Amendment rights and hunting heritage in California.

JOIN NRA – https://membership.nra.org/Join/Annuals/Prospect

National Rifle Association of America, Institute For Legislative Action.

Zero introduces bold new SR/F Electric Streetfighter

By | General Posts

Zero launched a new SR/F streetfighter in Amsterdam, which claims to deliver an attractive blend of “industry-leading power, control and connection.”

It is a tangible improvement in range capability and recharging time, along with new styling that brings its electric powertrain with sharp and conventional – naked streetfighter looks.

The Californian brand leaps forward making electric motorcycles look and perform in a way more appealing to both new and largely electric-phobic existing bikers.

Vice President of Product Development, Brian Wismann, said: “The bike was inspired and influenced by the same things that inspire designers that are working on internal combustion bikes. “I don’t want anybody to think that this was meant to look like an electric Ducati, or Triumph – it’s not a derivative design, but having an understanding of where this cultural reference for having beautiful machines comes from and then integrating some of those design elements into the SR/F are pertinent in describing why it looks as good as it does.”

New Zero SR/F specs

  • 200-mile range potential
  • One-hour charge to 95%
  • Makes 110bhp / 140lbft
  • Two models available in May
  • Weight is 226kg

Zero’s new SR/F has the power and charm to attract regular street racers. The torque makes this a serious streetfighter.

The model uses Zero’s new ZF75-10 motor, coupled to a ZF14.4 lithium-ion battery. The powertrain uses air-cooling to improve longevity. It eliminates many routine maintenance jobs. A single charge is claimed to have the potential to deliver a 200-mile maximum range when ridden at town speeds, using Zero’s Power Tank, which arrives in Autumn 2019.

The innovative Rapid Charge System works on the large and growing network of Level 2 charge stations and provides a platform that allows for up to three independent charging modules. This means the SR/F can boast the fastest recharge capacity in Zero’s existing line up. It gives a maximum charging performance of empty to 95% charged in just one hour.

SR/F’s Cypher III operating system knits Zero’s next-gen app and dash to the well-proven Bosch Motorcycle Stability Control (MSC) system, ensuring the rider isn’t caught out by an over-eager right wrist or brake lever action. Zero SR/F has ABS and a host of electronic safety kit to ensure rider safety on the mean streets it is meant to race on.

The attractive dash can connect to a new app controlled by the rider. Rider modes on offer comprise Street, Sport, Eco, and Rain, and there are up to 10 programmable custom modes available.

Brembo’s electronic braking AI acts on JJuan calipers front and rear. The frame is a steel-trellis with concentric swingarm that’s claimed to help transfer the torque to the tarmac with the most mechanical grip possible. Both the battery and motor act as stressed members as well.

The new connected app also allows the rider to monitor their SR/F for: Bike Status & Alerts, Charging data, Ride Data Sharing, System Upgrades and Updates.

The first system of its kind on a production motorcycle, the status checker means owners can see information on charging interruptions, get unexpected motion notifications, and use the ‘Find my Bike’ function to see if their bike is where it should be.

The data captured on rides includes bike location, speed, lean angle, power, torque, charge and energy used/regenerated.

All the data is private unless the rider chooses to share it. The full suite of app functions are free at purchase, and for two years thereafter. Riders can opt out altogether if they so desire.

The two models will come in Seabright Blue and Boardwalk Red colourways, and are expected to be ready to plug in from May 2019.

NCOM Convention in Florida Welcomes Riders Nationwide

By | General Posts

The 34th annual NCOM Convention is right around the corner, so plan now to be a part of one of the largest gatherings of motorcycle rights activists in the world. This year’s NCOM Convention will be held Mother’s Day weekend, May 10-12, 2019 at the DoubleTree by Hilton – Universal Orlando, located at 5780 Major Blvd., in Orlando, Florida.

Topics such as Motorcycle Profiling and “Save the Patch” will be among the many issues concerning our nation’s motorcycle community that will be discussed, as hundreds of bikers’ rights activists from the ranks of motorcycle rights organizations (MROs) and Confederations of Clubs (COCs), as well as independents and other allied riders will gather in “The City Beautiful” to address matters of interest to all riders.

Agenda items will cover various legal and legislative issues, with Special Meetings for Veterans Affairs, Women in Motorcycling, Clean & Sober Roundtable and World of Sport Bikes, as well as the Christian Unity Conference and Confederation of Clubs Patch Holders Meeting. Additional seminars will be conducted regarding RICO And Its Effect on Your Organization, Restoring Your Rights, Leadership 101 and “Share the Road” Motorcycle Safety.

All motorcyclists are welcomed and encouraged to participate in the many meetings, seminars and group discussions that focus on legislative efforts and litigation techniques to protect our riders’ rights and preserve Freedom of the Road.

Be sure to reserve your hotel room now for the special NCOM rate of $114 by calling (800) 222-8733.

Registration fees for the NCOM Convention are $85 including the Silver Spoke Awards Banquet on Saturday night, or $50 for the Convention only. For more information, or to pre-register, call the National Coalition of Motorcyclists at (800) ON-A-BIKE (662-2453) or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com.

Threesome Report: Make Some Room, Trike Riders Don’t Ride Alone

By | General Posts

TRIKE NEWS Adventures on a Ural, Autocycle madness, 2019 Freewheeler, Deals, Offers, Discounts.

Tracy Getty, a World War 2 historian shares the chair, lighting up sparks of love with a Ural sidecar motorcycle. Tracy and her ride named “Wildcat” bring joy to people who never knew what three-wheels and a smile could do.

We bring you a basic background on the craziness of Autocycles and how it is affecting motorcycle industry, riders, insurance and legislation. While there are companies that want a motorcycle classification to avoid car crash testing expenses, there are others who want true innovation and a new understanding of where Autocycles stand in State and Federal law – and it is all really unsteady despite having more than two-wheels.

Harley-Davidson Freewheeler has a 2019 model that rocks. You can own a Ural or a Slinghsot for incredible deals on 2018 models. If you are an actual Trike lover with custom trike business or a custom trike, you would want to know what the financial and legal implications (pronounced as complications) are going to be.

READ IT AT Trikes.Bikernet.com NOW