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Damon Motorcycles to enter Latin America

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by Otilia Drăgan from https://www.autoevolution.com

Latin America Soon to Have Its Own Custom-Built High-Tech Damon Motorcycles

https://damon.com/

Latin America is about to get a taste of one of the most tech-loaded electric motorcycles in the world, and even enjoy its own custom versions. After winning the hearts of the younger generations in Canada and North America, Damon Motors is now moving on to Latin America.

Canadian-based Damon Motors has just initiated a long-term partnership with Auteco Mobility in Columbia, to develop and manufacture a new line of products for motorcycle riders in Latin America, including Damon’s famous Hypersport as the flagship model. In addition to that, Auteco will license parts of Damon’s CoPilot™ safety technology, for its own Victory motorcycles. This adaptive 360-degree safety warning system is an industry first.

The main objective (and a daring one) is to create a purpose-built, Latin America-specific Damon motorcycle, based on the specific needs of riders in this region. But their long-term strategy is even more ambitious, planning a wide regional distribution for what is about to become the quintessential Latin American Damon bike.

Auteco has the means to do that, as a leader on the Columbian ICE motorcycles market, as well as a pioneer in terms of electric 2-wheelers, that has created the widest network of exclusive dealers, workshops and spare parts sale points, in South America. With both companies committed to not only a greener future, but also to increased safety for motorcycle riders, the idea of creating a clean and safe bike that also features the latest technologies, specifically for this market, was a slam dunk.

Damon was one of the first startups to make waves with an electric motorcycle, when the trend was just taking off. Its first iconic Hypersport model delivered 200 hp and had an impressive 200-mile (321 km) range. Plus, it was the first to incorporate sensor fusion, mechatronics and AI, which means that it can adapt to the rider’s needs and abilities.

Highway Bill Unveiled for 2021

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Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure unveiled its 2021 highway bill, titled the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation (INVEST) in American Act. As you may remember, every five years Congress is required to reauthorize many of the highway related spending bills it passes. The current highway bill, known as the FAST Act, was given a one-year extension last year and is set to expire in September of 2021. The bill introduced Friday is a key component of the major infrastructure spending push the Biden Administration has made a top priority.

For the last two years, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation and its members have diligently educated and lobbied lawmakers about the need to include motorcyclist specific priorities in a new highway bill. These grassroots efforts were given a boost with the inclusion of three major motorcyclist specific items in the bill. The Democrat lead bill includes the following provisions in its nearly 1,300 pages of text:

  1. Expanded prohibition on motorcycle only check points, including prohibiting using the clothing or apparel of riders or their passengers to profile or target bikers.
  2. Reestablishment of the Motorcyclist Advisory Council, which gives bikers a voice within the Federal Highway Administration. Included in the bill, a seat on the council is specifically designated for a “representative of a national motorcycle foundation.”
  3. Inclusion of motorcycles as a specific category that autonomous vehicle studies must account for during the testing of this new technology. Additionally, a motorcyclist rights organization is assigned a seat on an autonomous vehicle working group at the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The road ahead for a massive infrastructure plan remains uncertain. Negotiations between the House, Senate and White House will be contentious and as always political. However, what is certain is that the work of MRF members has ensured that motorcyclists are being heard in Washington, D.C. and as this newly released legislation shows they are being prioritized.

Patriots Motorcycle Ride throughout USA

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by Stuart Price from https://www.fourstateshomepage.com

JOPLIN, MO – Today was an ideal day to spend on a motorcycle, and that’s what a large group of riders did.

A group, that made its only official stop in the state of Missouri, in Joplin.

Hideout Harley-Davidson in Joplin was the one and only stop in the Show-Me State for the Nation of Patriots motorcycle ride.

An event that takes a single American flag on tour throughout the U.S. which starts on Memorial Day and ends on Labor Day.

Roger Beckley, who spent nearly 30 years in the U.S. Army had the honor of bearing the flag through his native state of Kansas.

“I retired in 2009. I’ve been to Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait, in today’s world, I don’t know how much respect is still out there for this flag and so when we can put it on a bike and ride it down the road and people see it coming, it makes them think what it is and what’s it stand for,” Says Beckley.

Beckley took an oath to carry the flag to honor the nation’s veterans, the enlisted, and their families.

On Saturday many of these same riders will be joined by others from Arkansas for its next destination, which will be fort smith, before eventually making its way back to Nevada.

This is the 12th year for the event and each year it starts and ends in the same state, this year it ends in Las Vegas.

But veterans aren’t the only riders who take part in the event, so do people like Ryan Mitchell, the regional commander for the Nation of Patriots, who rides with the procession through three of the four states: Missouri, Oklahoma, and Kansas.

He says it’s his chance to serve those that did serve their country.

“Raising money and helping veterans, I’m not a veteran but I do everything I can to help veterans and so this just fills my heart to see all these bikes and all these people show up and raise money to help the veterans that need it, um they’ve already gave us our freedom, it’s time for us to give them their freedom back.” Says Mitchell.

Once the flag makes it back to its state of origin, it’s retired and donated to a worthy veteran or volunteer.

Highsider Custom Motorcycle Components Now Available in the USA

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Paaschburg & Wunderlich USA, LLC, 16315 Monterey Rd., Ste. 100 Morgan Hill, CA 95037

Contact: Holger Mohr, Holger.Mohr@pwonline.us

HIGHSIDER(TM) Custom Motorcycle Components Now Available in the USA
German Engineered – For whatever you ride!

(Morgan Hill, CA, June 4, 2021) — Paaschburg & Wunderlich USA, LLC, the North American subsidiary of the leading European distributor, announces the launch of its premium Highsider brand for the North American market.

Featuring modern styling, efficient technology, and superior quality, the initial product launch includes mirrors, headlights, turn signals, taillights, and related accessories such as handlebar weights, handlebar grips and load equalizers. High functionality, innovative design, and value for price paid are the brand’s hallmarks. Most Highsider components are TUV or EC-Approved, a certification not necessary in the U.S. but an indication of Highsider‘s rigorous testing and quality stance.

Founded in 2008 by Paaschburg & Wunderlich GmbH, Highsider is Europe’s market leader for innovative lighting technology and high-quality motorcycle accessories. According to company Co-owner and CEO, Dr. Oliver Moosmayer, this expansion across the pond follows the company philosophy of “Progress Instead of Stagnation.”

“We are extremely proud and happy to announce the creation of our U.S. organization and the official launch of the Highsider brand in North America. It has always been part of our plan to bring our innovative products to the U.S. market with local inventory and pricing in U.S. dollars to make it very convenient to shop for our products,” said Moosmayer.

Paaschburg and Wunderlich teamed up for the strategic planning and execution of this new venture with industry executive veteran Holger Mohr, who will lead the day-to-day operations as President. “I am extremely excited to lead the efforts in bringing this distinctive brand and product line to riders in the States,” said Mohr. “Nothing gets me more fired up than cool, inventive motorcycle parts, and Highsider is just that.”

“Highsider products are fully stocked and ready to ship from the company warehouse in California. B2B and B2C websites are fully operational. “Our dealers will benefit from the parent company’s proven SAP Business One e-commerce platform, offering efficient interactions and timely communications,”

Mohr added “We have teamed up with WPS and Tucker Powersports for U.S. distribution and are ready to educate dealers about the line.”

For more information about Highsider and the U.S. product portfolio visit www.highsider-us.com Dealers can order online at www.pwonline.us or via phone at 408-465-4555.

UK considers scrapping Trump-era tariffs on US whiskey and motorcycles

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by Stefan Boscia from https://www.cityam.com

The UK will review its tariffs on US products like whiskey, tobacco and motorcycles in a bid to get Joe Biden to drop Trump-era tariffs on British steel.

International trade secretary Liz Truss announced today that she would launch a six-week consultation with British businesses to consider “re-balancing measures” that could see some of the tariffs scrapped.

Truss said she wanted to “de-escalate trade tensions” so that the “US and UK can move forward to the next phase of their trading relationship”.

The UK’s tariffs on US goods were in retaliation for Donald Trump’s Section 232 tariffs on British steel and aluminium.

Trump’s White House said the trade barriers were required for national security reasons, however the policy was widely thought to be a part of the ex-president’s attempt to boost US manufacturing.

“We now have the power to shape these tariffs so they reflect UK interests, and are tailored to our economy,” Truss said.

“The UK will do whatever is necessary to protect our steel industry against illegal tariffs that could undermine British industry and damage our businesses.

“Ultimately, however, we want to deescalate these disputes so we can move forward and work closely with the US on issues like WTO reform and tackling unfair trade practices by non-market economies.”

Truss successfully got the US to agree to suspend US tariffs on Scotch whisky and other products earlier this year in a large step toward de-escalating trade tensions.

City A.M. exclusively reported in March that Truss and her allies believed this milestone could provide a path to the US scrapping other Trump tariffs.

Read more: Exclusive: UK to begin backdoor push to get Joe Biden to dump Trump’s steel tariffs

Resolving the trade dispute with the US over steel tariffs could mark another step toward the UK and US agreeing to a free trade deal.

It is believed that at least half of the deal has been drawn up, however there are a number of sticking points around US agricultural exports and the UK’s current digital services tax.

Motorcycle Mentorship Safety Day was hosted by the U.S. Army

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from https://www.army.mil

Kick off the riding season with Motorcycle Mentorship Safety Day

VILSECK, Germany – Motorcycle Mentorship Safety Day was hosted by the U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria Safety Office on Friday, May 14. This event consisted of morning riding drills at the Vilseck Airfield and an afternoon group mentorship ride off-post.

“We are really happy that we can hold the event this year, because it was unfortunately canceled last year due to increased COVID-19 density rates in the surrounding area,” said USAG Bavaria Safety Director Deborah Gonzales. “This event brings the installation together. It promotes mentorship, and it allows people the opportunity to have safe fun.”

To kick-off the event, USAG Bavaria Commander Col. Christopher Danbeck shared a few opening remarks.

“Have a lot of fun, and be safe out there,” Danbeck told the attendees. “Mentorship for motorcycle riders is very important. When you go back to your organizations, please continue to watch over the younger guys. You know the real deal – how to stay safe.”

He also drew the winning raffle tickets for five Harley Davidson T-Shirt prizes.

Then the group received a blessing from USAG Bavaria Chaplain Col. Shawn McCammon.

Before starting the hands-on drills, vehicle inspections were performed by a professional mechanic from the 405th Army Field Support Brigade, safety briefings were conducted by garrison safety officers, and course exercises were demonstrated by volunteer mentor coaches.

Participants then rotated between four different stations to practice components of total stopping distance, obstacle avoidance and evasive maneuvers. After each drill, riders received additional performance feedback from the mentor coaches.

A break was scheduled between the morning and afternoon sessions to allow riders an opportunity to eat lunch and refuel their motorcycles. And before departing for the 120 kilometer group ride off-post, Eschenbach Police Station Polizeihauptmeister Paul Zawal provided the group with one last refresher on German road laws and motorcycle safety. He also took questions at the end of his presentation.

USAG Bavaria Motorcycle Safety Day was open to all Department of Defense cardholding motorcyclists, which includes installations at Grafenwoehr, Vilseck, Hohenfels and Garmisch. Even motorcyclists from U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach partook in the event.

“We [motorcyclists] have a very tight knit group since there are only so many riders in the military community,” said Master Sgt. Robert Lewis, motorcycle safety program coordinator of 18th Military Police Brigade, 21st Theater Sustainment Command. “At the start of the season, it is all about refreshing basic skills, remembering safety protocols and building comradery.”

The Safety Office is looking for rider coaches, mentors and volunteers to assist the program. For more details on motorcycle safety, or if you want to foster a mentorship program within your unit, visit the USAG Bavaria safety website or contact the office at DSN 526-2303, CIV 09641-70-526-2303.

View more photos from 2021 Motorcycle Safety Day, here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmVFeEi2

Harley-Davidson Museum News

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Reopening, new exhibits, installations, programs, events and more

As a part of the Harley-Davidson Museum’s phased reopening, the H-D Museum will soon expand its hours of operation. Beginning Thursday, May 6, the H-D Museum and The Shop will be open Thursday through Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. MOTOR® Bar & Restaurant will also have expanded operations on Thursdays, with its hours of operation 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Thursday through Sunday.

And with a new installation arriving May 14, it’s the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the expanded hours. “The Harley Fox” bike will be on view in the Custom Culture gallery. This display showcases the explosive growth of women’s riding in the 1980s and draws a direct line from those efforts to the riders of today.

But don’t fret. Even if a trip to the H-D Museum isn’t in your plans just yet, our Virtual Gallery Talks, taking place Thursday evenings, aren’t going anywhere. This month, topics will include Harley-Davidson’s humble beginnings, the role H-D has played in U.S. military efforts and more.

Click Here to read all the new happenings at Harley-Davidson Museum.

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Harley’s shares hit 3-year high on EU-US trade truce

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by Michael Taylor from https://www.forbes.com

Harley-Davidson Stock Soars As EU Decides Against 56% Tariff Surge

The Harley-Davidson stock price surged this morning after the European Union deferred a tariff plan that would have seen the classic American motorcycle maker face a 56% entry ticket into the European market.

Harley-Davidson Inc would have been one of the biggest losers if the tariff increase from the current 31% had gone through, though whiskey distillers and boat makers would also have taken a hit.

“We are encouraged by today’s announcement that tariffs affecting our products will not escalate from 31% to 56%,” Harley-Davidson Chief Executive Jochen Zeitz said.

“Harley-Davidson employees, dealers, stakeholders and motorcycles have no place in this trade war. These tariffs provide other motorcycle manufacturers with an unfair competitive advantage in the EU.

“European motorcycles only pay up to 2.4% to be imported into the US. We want free and fair trade,” he said.

The tariff hike was set to come into effect on June 1, but it has been shelved as both the US and the EU set about negotiations on steel and aluminum tariffs.

It is estimated that the tariff would have impacted US$4 billion in exports from the US.

The tariffs were initially imposed in 2018 in retaliation to a Trump administration tariff on steel (25%) and aluminum (10%), with further tariff retaliation slated to begin in June.

“We did not want to be in this position,” European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said in June 2018. “However, the unilateral and unjustified decision of the U.S. to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on the EU means that we are left with no other choice.”

The company may have dodged the tariff bullet, but it is still fighting on another front in Europe after having its Binding Origin Information (BOI) revoked, hurling its import tariff up from 6% to beyond 30%.

Its BOI credentials allowed Harley to operate at the lower tariff rate with bikes from its international plants, but their removal created a crisis.

“The company will continue to pursue its legal challenge to the Binding Origin Information (BOI) revocation, and its application for extended reliance.”

Tariff truce may spare iconic US products from huge price hikes

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by Jenny Leonard from https://financialpost.com

U.S. and EU Set to Reach Temporary Tariff Truce Over Metals

Iconic American products affected by EU countertariffs include Harley-Davidson Inc. motorcycles, Levi Strauss & Co. jeans and bourbon whiskey. Business associations and lawmakers have asked that the U.S. lift the duties, saying they do more harm than good.

The Biden administration is set to announce it’s reached a truce in a dispute with the European Union over metal tariffs, sparing iconic products such as U.S. bourbon whiskey from a doubling of EU duties next month, people familiar with the matter said.

A resolution could be announced as soon as Monday, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private.

At issue is a high-profile dispute that started in 2018 under former President Donald Trump, in which the U.S. imposed duties on steel and aluminum from Europe, Asia and elsewhere over risks to American national security. The EU has since retaliated and on June 1 was set to double tariffs on a list of American products to 50%.

Under the agreement with the Biden administration, the EU will refrain from increasing those tariffs and both sides will engage in a dialog on steel overcapacity, according to the people.

The European Union had previously proposed to suspend all duties on each other’s products for six months while negotiations on a long-term solution continue.

“We can only reiterate that the EU remains committed to finding a solution with the U.S. to the unduly justified tariffs on steel and aluminium and to working with the U.S. in tackling the root cause of the problem, which is the global steel overcapacity,” a spokesperson for the European Commission said on Saturday.

Negotiators on both sides of the Atlantic are working to eventually remove the tariffs but are not yet ready to do so, the people said.

Spokespeople for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and Commerce Department didn’t respond to requests for comment.

President Joe Biden will participate in a U.S.-EU summit in Brussels next month during his first foreign trip as the nation’s leader. Biden and his European counterparts are set to discuss trade cooperation, the White House said.

Trump imposed the 25% steel tariff, along with a 10% duty on aluminum imports, in March 2018, using an arcane national-security provision in a 1962 trade law to justify the move. Some countries, including Brazil and South Korea, negotiated deals to avoid the tariff, and Trump dropped the duty for imports from Canada and Mexico. But the tariffs still apply for much of world.

The tariffs in place “have already exacted a heavy toll from U.S. businesses and the workers they employ,” John Murphy, the senior vice president for international policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement Friday. He noted an almost 40% drop in U.S. spirits exports to the EU since the duties came into place.

In a Senate Finance Committee hearing Wednesday, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai defended Trump’s metals tariffs. They “have really roiled our economy, but were necessary to address a global overcapacity problem driven largely but not solely by China,” she said.

The U.S. has achieved its goal of blocking subsidized Chinese steel from the American market through other tools such as anti-dumping and countervailing duties, Murphy said. Separate tariffs imposed via section 301 of the Trade Act, under which Beijing’s practices were deemed unfair, have also deterred shipments, he said.

Chinese steel imports now account for less than 1% of U.S. steel consumption, Murphy said.

Pentagon rejects permit request by veterans group for Memorial Day motorcycle ride

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by Nikki Wentling from https://www.stripes.com

WASHINGTON – The Defense Department rejected a request from organizers of a traditional Memorial Day weekend motorcycle ride in the nation’s capital, throwing logistics of the event into uncertainty just weeks before it is scheduled to take place.

Motorcyclists typically use the Pentagon’s parking lot as a staging area for the ride, but defense officials denied the permit application Friday for this year’s event. Officials cited the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the size of the expected crowd as the reason.

Despite the denial, thousands of motorcyclists are planning to gather in Washington during Memorial Day weekend. As of Monday, organizers didn’t know where to gather the riders before and after they drive along the National Mall.

AMVETS, a national veterans organization, is coordinating the motorcycle ride. The group said it was committed to still running the event on May 30 and organizers were searching Monday for a backup plan.

“There are no options with as much space and convenient routes to the memorials, meaning it will be more difficult, disruptive, and expensive than if the Pentagon parking lots were available,” said Joe Chenelly, national executive director of AMVETS.

The group criticized the Pentagon’s slow decision-making process. Chenelly said he applied in July to use the Pentagon parking lot on May 30. He was expecting to hear back by January.

Chenelly told the Pentagon last month that he needed an answer by April 16. Officials called with their decision on Friday.

“The biggest disappointment in the Pentagon’s denial was that AMVETS was ignored for months as its professional staff in Washington requested numerous times an opportunity to hear the Defense Department’s concerns and present a [coronavirus] safety plan,” Jan Brown, the national commander of AMVETS, said in a statement.

AMVETS leaders said they were confident they could hold a “safe, reasonable demonstration outdoors that incorporates social distancing, masking where appropriate, and sanitation stations.”

The group said it is a member of President Joe Biden’s new COVID-19 Community Corps, which is a contingent of local leaders and prominent organizations who were recruited to help inform and encourage Americans who might be hesitant to receive a vaccine.

“The administration included AMVETS in this new group as ‘a trusted voice in communities across the United States,’ but the Pentagon wouldn’t have a conversation with us to share their concerns and give us the chance to address them before deciding to refuse our application,” Chenelly said.

Rolling Thunder operated a motorcycle ride through Washington for 32 years before hosting its last event in 2019. AMVETS took over in 2020 and planned an event to replace the popular ride. It was designed to raise awareness for prisoners of war and troops still missing in action, as well as the issue of veteran suicide.

The event, now titled Rolling to Remember, was canceled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.