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Electric Cars Can Kiss My Ass

By General Posts

Eclectic article on Electrifying Changes in Our Lives

by the Wicked Bitch

Here it from the lady who has driven everywhere and tweaked the vehicle to get anywhere. ‘Charge’ up your courage and decide the road for your own fate.

“My dad bragged that I could tell a Ford from a Chevy by the time I learned to walk.. and when i did learn to walk, I left tiny handprints in the dust of an old yellow Volkswagen bug in the corner of the shop.”

CLICK HERE To Read this “Heart to Kickin’ Butt” article on Bikernet.com

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MRF Update: Transportation Funding Unlocked

By General Posts

This week the House and Senate are tackling a self-imposed deadline to pass funding legislation before government departments and agencies run out of money. To avoid a government shutdown, a large omnibus spending bill is being voted on that will fund government operations through the end of September. Importantly for transportation related projects and programs, the omnibus bill unlocks billions of dollars in funding that Washington red tape has delayed.

Lawmakers and transportation officials have been warning for months that full implementation of the $1.5 trillion infrastructure law, which was enacted in November, isn’t possible because government funding is constrained at 2021 levels. So, while the money is actually in the accounts and ready to be spent, transportation agencies are locked out of using a large percentage of the money until this second piece of legislation is enacted.

Only in Washington, D.C. does it take two bills, five months apart, to achieve your policy objectives!

Lawmakers Focus on Tesla
Recently Tesla has come under criticism for its Autopilot and Full-Self Driving (FSD) features, which critics say give the impression to drivers that the vehicles are capable of hands-off operation. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened two investigations into Tesla’s autopilot system and the automaker has launched nearly a dozen recalls in the U.S. Many of those recalls are related to over-the-air updates which allows Tesla to tweak and change its software remotely.

Last month, Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) sent a letter to Tesla seeking answers to a series of questions regarding its technology. Included in the letter were questions regarding safety programming, issues related to phantom braking and driver monitoring capabilities.

Tesla responded to the letter last week saying in part, “Tesla’s Autopilot and FSD Capability features enhance the ability of our customers to drive safer than the average driver in the U.S.,”

Senators Blumenthal and Markey seemed less than impressed with Tesla’s response to their questions. In a joint statement they said Tesla’s response was “just more evasion and deflection from Tesla. Despite its troubling safety track record and deadly crashes, the company seemingly wants to carry on with business as usual.”

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation has long been concerned that safety standards for self-driving and autonomous vehicle technology are inadequate. All motorcyclists should remember that these vehicles are on our roadways right now. Remain vigilant while riding, as the operators and perhaps even the manufacturers are not fully aware of what this technology can and cannot do.

To read the initial letter sent to Tesla click here.

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.
Visit Website at: http://mrf.org

Aptera Motors Beta Vehicle

By General Posts

Happy Holidays from Beta!

It’s been a BUSY last few weeks for Aptera. We’ve been hard at work building our first Beta vehicles and now we can gladly say the long hours have paid off. We achieved our goal of taking our first drive in Beta before year’s end and we cannot wait to share more footage with the entire Aptera family soon!

Over the last few weeks, we finished the assembly and fine tuning of our very first Beta, which includes impressive improvements in the front and rear suspension as well as neater cable routing of our in-wheel motors. This first Beta will be used for vehicle dynamics testing and for the validation of our suspension design.

WHO’S READY TO SEE IT ON THE TRACK?

Because of your incredible support of Aptera, this is just one of many milestones we hit in 2021. We now have over 150 employees, 15,000 future Aptera owners and over 8,000 Aptera shareholders from all over the world. We are so humbled by the support of so many people who share our commitment to building the world’s most efficient transportation.

We are stepping into the New Year with a lot to be grateful for and much excitement for the year ahead.

BEST WISHES TO YOU FROM THE ENTIRE APTERA FAMILY!

Still need a last minute holiday gift? You can get 50% off an Aptera pre-order reservation (a value of up to $50) for a loved one until the end of the year. Use promo code HOLIDAY50 at checkout to qualify. And don’t forget, our fundraising round will also be closing on December 31 at midnight.

WEBSITE : https://www.aptera.us/

Energy Clarity: Our need for cheap, plentiful, reliable energy

By General Posts

By Alex Epstein From Center for Industrial Progress

When making energy choices, there are three major criteria that need to be considered:

1. Is it cheap? Simply put, if you can’t afford energy, then you don’t have energy.

2. Is it plentiful? If energy is scarce, then many people will have little to no energy.

3. Is it reliable? If energy is unreliable, then you won’t have it when you need it.

In other words, energy is only valuable to the extent that it is cheap, plentiful, and reliable.
And to make it that way, we have to discover cheap, plentiful, reliable processes for generating energy.

Energy is a process

Energy is a process. Whether it’s coal, oil, gas, solar, wind, we describe them as materials, but they’re really processes. The materials are just one part of the process, but the whole process can include things like mining, refining, manufacturing, transportation, operation, maintenance, and disposal.

And then you have to look at how the whole process adds up. When we see something in the marketplace being cheaper or more expensive that reflects the whole process.

The general reason why certain forms of energy are not adopted is because the process to produce them is too expensive or it’s not reliable.

Let’s look at some examples of this.

Jimmy Fallon’s irrefutable case against “renewables”

For this first example, I’m going to let comedian Jimmy Fallon do the talking.

“New Scientist Magazine reported on Wednesday that in the future, cars can be powered by hazelnuts. That’s encouraging considering an eight ounce jar of hazelnuts costs about nine dollars. Yeah, I got an idea for a car that runs on bald eagle heads and Faberge eggs.”

So you may be thinking, “Isn’t hazelnut energy renewable? Doesn’t it come from the sun? Isn’t the sun free and forever? What’s going on here?” It’s all about the process.

While we don’t have to pay the sun, we do have to pay for the land, the labor, and many other inputs necessary to make hazelnut energy. And with hazelnuts, the process to produce them is very costly. The same turns out to be true for many alternatives.

Proposed new regulations for Autocycles in Massachusetts

By General Posts

Proposed new regulations for 3-wheel autocycles

from https://www.bostonherald.com by Boston Herald Wire Services

Proposed regulations of autocycles will be on the schedule when Massachusetts lawmakers hold a virtual public hearing Tuesday.

An autocycle is a three-wheeled motor vehicle that meets federal safety standards for a motorcycle. Unlike motorcycles, however, autocycles typically include a steering wheel, a seat for the driver and occasionally seats for passengers. The driver and passengers are not required to straddle the vehicle like a motorcycle.

One of the bills under consideration would create new safety measures for autocycles including requiring the driver and passengers to wear helmets, requiring autocycle manufacturers to equip the vehicles with safety belts which must be worn by drivers and passengers, and barring children under eight from riding in one.

Anyone who operates an autocycle without wearing a safety helmet or safety belts would face a fine of no less than $25 under the bill.

Massachusetts Lawmakers Weigh New Regulations for Autocycles

from https://www.nbcboston.com by The Associated Press

An autocycle is a motor vehicle with three wheels on the ground that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards for a motorcycle

Proposed regulations of autocycles will be on the schedule when Massachusetts state lawmakers hold a virtual public hearing Tuesday.

An autocycle is a motor vehicle with three wheels on the ground that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards for a motorcycle. Unlike motorcycles, however, autocycles typically include a steering wheel, a seat for the driver and occasionally seats for passenger.

One of the bills under consideration would create new safety measures for autocycles. Those include requiring the driver and passengers wear helmets, requiring autocycle manufacturers to equip the vehicles with safety belts and barring children under eight from riding in an autocycle.

MRF update: Highway Bill Passes – a Year Late

By General Posts

November 5, 2021

Highway Bill Passes… a Year Late

After a 13-month delay and enactment of three separate extensions, Congress finally passed a surface transportation reauthorization bill. This bill, sometimes called the highway bill or the infrastructure bill, has been a hotly debated topic in D.C. for several years. Once signed by the President, the bill will reauthorize many highway programs, provide funding for road and bridge construction and replace the previous highway bill passed in 2015, known as the FAST Act.

Just a week ago, Congress gave itself a third extension running into December. Yet election victories by Republican candidates, especially a win by the GOP in the Virginia governor’s race, seems to have spooked Democrats, and motivated passage of a bill that has been awaiting a vote since the summer.

For the last two years, the House of Representatives and Senate have battled over transportation priorities and funding levels. In both 2020 and 2021, the House of Representatives passed versions of their highway bill, only to be rebuffed by the Senate. Under pressure from President Biden, the Senate finally acted, passing in August a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. This action by the Senate, effectively forced the House to accept the Senate version of the bill or continue to pass short term extensions of current law.

However, pressure from the left wing of the Democratic party delayed a vote on the Senate’s infrastructure bill until an unconnected piece of legislation, referred to as the “human infrastructure bill,” was agreed to. That bill, called “Build Back Better,” had an original price tag of $3.5 trillion and effectively held the infrastructure bill hostage. After months of debate, and Tuesday’s election results, House Democrats agreed to vote on a smaller Build Back Better bill later in the month, opening the door to a final vote on the infrastructure bill.

At 11:27pm Friday night, the House agreed to the Senate’s bill and passed a $1.2 trillion 5-year highway bill, known as the INVEST ACT. The final vote in the House was 228 to 206, with 13 Republicans voting in favor and 6 Democrats voting against.

BENEFITS TO BIKERS

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.

Visit MRF Website at: https://mrf.org/

Kawasaki Unveils Gas-Electric Hybrid Prototype Motorcycle

By General Posts

by Dustin Wheelen from https://www.rideapart.com

Kawasaki Lifts Cover On Its Gas-Electric Hybrid Prototype Bike

A peek behind the curtain/fairings.

We’ve been following Kawasaki’s hybrid motorcycle development since the firm filed patents in July, 2019. By November, 2021, Team Green gave us a peek at its progress with a short video laying out the philosophy behind the project. Then, an April, 2021, patent revealed Kawi’s new 48V hybrid battery design. Now, Kawasaki has pulled back the curtain (and the fairings) on its latest hybrid build while committing to a 2025 gas-electric hybrid production models.

Due to the chassis, front headlight configuration, and exhaust system, the prototype looks like it’s based on the Ninja 400. Kawasaki hasn’t officially confirmed our suspicions, but leveraging the entry-level sportbike aligns with current hybrid technology limitations. In automobiles, it’s easier for manufacturers to pair electric and internal combustion powertrains. In motorcycles, however, space is a much more limited resource. As a result, the firm couples its existing small-capacity parallel twin with a compact electric power unit.

From the beginning, Kawasaki has developed its hybrid project with the idea that riders would utilize the powertrains in different environments. The internal combustion engine suits highway riding, while the electric motor works best in urban environments. On a twisty road, both would work in concert to deliver the best of both worlds. It seems like the small-bore Ninja-based prototype would satisfy those requirements while also providing enough room to accommodate the new apparatus.

Of course, with two powertrains, the transmission will have to play nice with both systems, and Kawi’s automated gearshift smooths that transition. The new feature consists of an automated clutch, servo-powered shifter, and push-buttons for the user to operate. With so many European cities introducing zero emissions zones lately (and only more to come), the hybrid technology may be the perfect happy-medium between holding on to the range and convenience of gas-powered motorcycles while adopting cleaner and more efficient running powertrains.

For some, 2025 may be a long time to wait, but it’s encouraging to see Kawasaki’s project progress at such a rapid rate. Hopefully, we can say the same for the gas-electric hybrid’s acceleration when it hits the market in a few years.

Kawasaki Ninja 400 Based Hybrid Electric Motorcycle Prototype Unveiled

by Arun Prakash from https://www.rushlane.com

Kawasaki is working on a wide range of fully electric and hybrid motorcycles for the next few years

Kawasaki has made some major announcements recently which reveals the intentions of the Japanese superbike manufacturer for the future. The bikemaker has revealed that by 2035, all its models would run on electrified powertrains- either fully electric or hybrid electric vehicles, in major international markets.

In regard to this idea, the company is planning to launch ten new fully electric and hybrid motorcycles by 2025. The first of them was recently showcased at a presentation meeting in Japan. The prototype revealed is slated to be the first hybrid electric motorcycle from Kawasaki.

However, this isn’t the first motorcycle with an electric powertrain to be unveiled by the Japanese brand. Earlier in 2019, Kawasaki had revealed the electric Ninja 300 Concept, called EV Endeavor. Later the same year, the company filed patents for a hybrid motorcycle, images of which floated on the internet. The recent prototype unveiled is expected to be based on the same patents.

Kawasaki Ninja 400 Hybrid Prototype – Details
Going by the images, Kawasaki appears to have used Ninja 400 as the base for the exposed prototype of the hybrid bike. It features a parallel-twin engine which is bolted onto a new tubular steel frame with a large electric motor mounted above the transmission. The electric motor derives its energy from a small 48V battery pack located under the seat.

As per Kawasaki, the hybrid powertrain is equipped with a regenerative feature that tops up the battery when low on charge. Another interesting aspect of this hybrid motorcycle is that within city limits, the bike would completely run on battery and electric motor, cutting out power from the combustion engine. This mode will be useful when some cities introduce zero emissions zones in the future.

Automated Transmission
The bikemaker has equipped the prototype with GPS technology that automatically switches to electric power as soon as the bike enters city limits. Outside the city limits, the motorcycle will draw energy from both the combustion engine and electric motor in order to boost its performance. The entire system is paired with an automated transmission system with buttons for gear shifts.

The setup comprises an automated clutch and a servo-operated shifter that enables gear shifts through push button changes. Other details revealed from the images include a pair of telescopic front forks and rear mono-shock supporting the tubular steel frame. Stopping power is provided by single disc brakes on both wheels while being linked to dual-channel ABS.

Although no exact timeline for its launch has been confirmed, we won’t be surprised if this motorcycle reaches production within a span of a year.

Congress passes extension of Highway Bill

By General Posts

Congress Kicks the Can…
30 day Highway Bill Extension Passes

With the failure of Congress to pass a new highway bill, by the September 30th deadline, nearly 3,700 United States Department of Transportation staffers were furloughed on Friday. Most of these workers belong to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).

Without dedicated funding to operate, those agency workers were forbidden from coming into work on October 1st. Operations in these agencies, related to safety and construction projects, were halted as a result.

On Friday evening, in an effort to end the closure of these agencies, Congress passed an extension of the recently expired FAST Act. The 30-day extension releases federal funds so workers at the FHWA and FTA can return to work for the month of October.

An interparty fight between progressive and moderate Democrats created a stalemate on infrastructure legislation and produced the need for an extension.

This is the second time the FAST Act has been extended in just over a year. The original 2015 bill, expired on September 30, 2020, but was given a full 1-year extension, creating the recently passed September 30, 2021, deadline.

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) remains engaged with lawmakers on this important bill. The MRF continues to stress the need for action on the transportation policy priorities of the nearly 10 million bikers across the country. We will keep you updated as events warrant.

Visit Motorcycle Riders Foundation website at http://mrf.org

Contact Governor Gavin Newsom TODAY about AB43- Traffic Safety Bill

By General Posts

National Motorists Association (NMA). California

Immediate Attention: Contact Governor Gavin Newsom TODAY about AB43–the Traffic Safety Bill

Dear California NMA Members,

AB43 is a “hair on fire” situation. The bill, generically titled “Traffic Safety,” was passed by the state Senate and Assembly earlier this month by votes of 30 to 5 and 68 to 5 respectively, with a few abstentions in both chambers. AB43 was forwarded to Governor Newsom on September 17th and is awaiting his action. That’s why the urgency. (Please send this out to family and friends as well).

Members should email their opposition to the bill to:
Governor Gavin Newsom
c/o Ronda.Paschal@gov.ca.gov –Deputy Legislative Secretary

The main issue is that the bill would reverse nearly 100 years of California speed limits being based on fact-based engineering by allowing the lowering of limits without any particular rationale. By disregarding proven traffic engineering standards and posting unrealistic limits, many more drivers traveling at conventional, safe speeds will be stopped and ticketed for noncompliance.

Police and community relations will be poorly served by a dramatic increase in traffic stops that serves no safety purpose. Speed traps will become much more prevalent.

The forced lowering of speed limits will also create a surge in traffic accidents. Most drivers obey their instincts of what is a safe rate of travel on a particular road. That’s why the prevailing methodology for setting the safest speed limit is based on the prevailing behavior of 85 percent of drivers. Studies have shown repeatedly that the 85th percentile rule for establishing speed limits minimizes crashes.

By reducing speed limits below those levels, there will be a wider variance of driving speeds on the road, some obeying the new numbers on the speed limit signs and more following natural driving patterns. The result will be more vehicular interactions between regular and slower drivers, creating the conditions for more crashes.

Write from your own perspective, which will give a much more impactful statement to the governor. We urge you to do it today!

Thank you for your support of motorists’ rights in California.

National Motorists Association – www.motorists.org

Is the Highway Bill Moving Forward?

By General Posts

On September 30th, numerous highway funding programs will expire unless Congress acts. Currently, there are two separate and dramatically different highway bills in Congress. These bills go by many different names but are often referred to as infrastructure bills by the news media.

The first bill, passed by the House of Representatives in June with a price tag of $750 billion dollars includes six priorities of the MRF.

  • Continued ban on NHTSA lobbying in the states
  • 32% Increase of Motorcycle Safety Training Funds
  • Reestablishment of the Motorcyclist Advisory Council at the Department of Transportation
  • Increased restrictions on motorcycle only check points and the profiling of bikers
  • Inclusion of the types of vehicles stopped to federally collected data on traffic stops
  • Inclusion of the ability to detect and respond to motorcycles as a requirement of autonomous vehicle studies

The Senate bill passed in August, with a cost of 1.2 trillion includes just three of those priorities.

  • Continued ban on NHTSA lobbying in the states
  • 32% Increase of Motorcycle Safety Training Funds
  • Reestablishment of the Motorcyclist Advisory Council at the Department of Transportation

There are four potential outcomes. First, the Senate can pass the House bill. This is unlikely as Senators have been forceful in their desire to take the lead on infrastructure. Second, the two chambers can merge their bills together, finding common ground. This too is unlikely as it is time consuming, and the deadline is fast approaching. Third, the House can vote on the Senate bill. Speaker Pelosi has scheduled a vote for next week to try this path.

However, members of her party have voiced their concerns over moving this piece of legislation until they get a larger 3.5 trillion-dollar bill focused on what many are calling “human infrastructure.” If that vote fails the fourth option comes into play, which is another extension of the current law for weeks, months or years.

The next few days will be critical in the fight to make bikers a priority in our transportation system. Stay tuned and we will update you as events unfold in Washington, D.C.

MRF website at http://mrf.org

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.