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NCOM BIKER NEWSBYTES for May 2021

World Legislative News

By Bill Bish of NCOM with Images from the Bob T. Collection
5/19/2021


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THE AIM/NCOM MOTORCYCLE E-NEWS SERVICE
is brought to you by Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (A.I.M.) and the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM), and is sponsored by the Law Offices of Richard M. Lester. If you’ve been involved in any kind of accident, call us at 1-(800) ON-A-BIKE or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com.


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NCOM CONVENTION WELCOMES RIDERS TO AMERICA’S HEARTLAND
Mark your calendar now for July 23-25, and plan on joining hundreds of fellow biker’s rights activists from across the country at the 36th annual NCOM Convention at the Holiday Inn Des Moines - Airport, located at 6111 Fleur Drive in Des Moines, Iowa.

Some of the nation’s finest Freedom Fighters will address legal and legislative topics of concern to all riders, from helmet laws to anti-profiling to lane-splitting, autonomous vehicles, the fate of internal combustion and much more.

In the meantime, the National Coalition of Motorcyclists is requesting that MROs, motorcycle clubs, and riding associations submit the names of those members and supporters who have passed away over the past year, since last October's NCOM Convention in Indianapolis, so that we may honor their memories with the traditional “Ringing of the Bell” tribute to fallen riders during the opening ceremonies. Dedications should be e-mailed in advance to Bill Bish at NCOMBish@aol.com, or can be hand-delivered at the Convention to “Doc” Reichenbach, NCOM Chairman of the Board.

Reserve your hotel room at (515) 287-2400, and mention NCOM for Special Room Rates.

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) 525-5355 or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com.
 

 
OREGON LANE SPLITTING BILL GOES TO THE GOVERNOR
After years of legislative attempts, Oregon may soon join with neighboring California and a host of other states that have approved of lane splitting for motorcyclists. The state House of Representatives on Monday, May 17, gave its blessing to Senate Bill 574, a bipartisan proposal that allows motorcyclists to operate in between lanes of traffic under certain circumstances. After a 42-14 vote in the House, preceded by an 18-6 vote in the Senate, the bill now heads to the desk of Governor Kate Brown (D) for her consideration.

According to one news source, SB 574 has received more testimony than nearly any other piece of legislation this session, as proponents flooded legislators’ inboxes clamoring for the idea. Their argument: That allowing motorcyclists to bend the normal rules during traffic jams would be good for both safety and improving congestion.

Oregon state representative Ron Noble (R-McMinnville), who is himself a rider and who also carried the bill in the House, told Oregon Public Broadcasting KVAL; “It will provide me personally with another option to ride safe.”

As described in a Legislative staff report: “Lane Filtering” is “meant to allow motorcycles to continue moving when the general flow of traffic is slowed or stopped, and is meant to prevent overheating of motorcycle engines, rider fatigue, and protect the safety of riders by preventing them from being rear-ended in areas with high levels of traffic congestion.”

Under SB 574, motorcyclists are allowed to split lanes only on multi-lane highways with a speed limit of at least 50 mph. When traffic slows to 10 mph or less on those roads, motorcyclists are permitted to ride between cars, at no more than 10 mph faster than the flow of traffic. The law does not apply in school zones or work zones.

California has long allowed lane splitting, under different circumstances than Oregon’s bill, and Montana recently passed a law of its own. Utah allows lane filtering when traffic is stopped at an intersection. Hawaii permits motorcyclists to utilize the shoulder when traffic is congested.

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BIKER ANTI-PROFILING MEASURE INTRODUCED IN CONGRESS
More than two years ago, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a nonbinding resolution condemning the discriminatory profiling of motorcyclists by law enforcement (S. Res. 154), and now the U.S. House of Representatives has once again introduced a similar bipartisan measure in the 117th Congress, H. Res. 366; “Promoting awareness of motorcyclist profiling and encouraging collaboration and communication with the motorcycle community and law enforcement officials to prevent instances of profiling.”

Sponsored once again by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI), the anti-profiling resolution was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on April 30, 2021 to thwart “the illegal use of the fact that a person rides a motorcycle or wears motorcycle related apparel as a factor in deciding to stop and question, take enforcement action, arrest, or search a person or vehicle with or without legal basis under the Constitution of the United States,” as profiling is defined in the resolution.

H.R. 366 acknowledges nationwide motorcycle registrations “growing from 3,826,373 in 1997 to 13,158,100 in 2018,” and notes that “complaints surrounding motorcyclist profiling have been cited in all 50 States.”

Co-sponsored by Congressman Michael Burgess (R-TX), Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-IL) and Congressman Mark Pocan (D-WI), the bipartisan resolution denotes three actionable items;

(1) promotes increased public awareness on the issue of motorcyclist profiling;
(2) encourages collaboration and communication with the motorcyclist community and law enforcement to engage in efforts to end motorcyclist profiling; and
(3) urges State law enforcement officials to include statements condemning motorcyclist profiling in written policies and training materials.

All concerned motorcyclists are encouraged to contact their Congressional Representatives to ask that they join their colleagues as a cosponsor of H.Res.366 and help put a stop to law enforcement unfairly targeting motorcycle riders for traffic stops, questioning and citations.

In the meantime, efforts are underway to again include anti-profiling language among other pro-motorcycle provisions in the Biden Administration’s multi-trillion dollar federal highway bill.

 
U.S. MOTORCYCLE SALES WAY UP
New-model motorcycle sales among leading brands increased more than 37.2% in the first quarter of 2021, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council Retail Sales Report. The Q1 sales, compared to the same period last year, were up by double digits in every category: on-highway, off-highway, dual-purpose, and scooter.

"This is the fourth straight quarter of strong sales numbers, indicating continued and growing interest in riding among new and returning riders," said Erik Pritchard, MIC president and CEO. "Combine the new-motorcycle sales performance with the pace of tire sales and we know that more riders are putting on more miles.”

Year-to-date sales of dual-purpose motorcycles were up the most, by 47%. Off-highway sales were up 45.4%. Scooter sales rose 34.6%, and on-highway motorcycle sales increased 31.4%.

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EUROPE SEES DOUBLE-DIGIT MOTORCYCLE SALES GROWTH
Both here and abroad, new motorcycle sales are booming, with Europe experiencing Q1 year-on-year increase in the double-digits.

Despite a tough year for riders and non-riders alike, the European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers (ACEM) reports that things are looking up for the five largest European motorcycle markets – France (+15.1%), Germany, Italy (+47.3%), Spain, and the U.K.-- showing a 10.3% overall increase in the number of bikes sold over the same period in 2020.

OEMs have so far been reporting good news, as well, with Ducati announcing a 33% rise, Polaris talking about 30% more sales, and Harley-Davidson seeing a 9% increase for the same time period.

If the past three quarters give any indication, this trend should hopefully continue.

 
 
AMERICAN MOTORCYCLE-MAKERS FACING MASSIVE 56% EU IMPORT TARIFF
Harley-Davidson and others could face a devastating situation in Europe in less than two months’ time after being slapped with a whopping 833% increase in tariffs. The rise in duty is the latest fallout from an escalating trade war between the old sparring partners of the United States and the European Union.

In June 2018, the EU placed a 25% incremental tariff (31% total) on motorcycles imported into the EU from the US. The tariff is scheduled to increase to 50% incremental (56% total) on June 1. Since June 2019, Harley has avoided most of the tariff due to Binding Origin Information (BOI) credentials, with certain Harleys produced at their international manufacturing facilities being subject to just 6% tariffs. However, Harley has since been told by the EU that after a decision by the European Commission their BOI credentials have been revoked, with the full 56% tariffs to be implemented on all products, regardless of origin, effective in June.

"This is an unprecedented situation and underscores the very real harm of an escalating trade war to our stakeholders on both sides of the Atlantic," said Jochen Zeits, CEO of Harley-Davidson. "The potential impact of this decision on our manufacturing, operations and overall ability to compete in Europe is significant. Imposing an import tariff on all Harley-Davidson motorcycles goes against all notions of free trade and, if implemented, these increased tariffs will pose a targeted competitive disadvantage for our products, against those of our European competitors."

As it stands, European bikes imported into the US are subject to tariffs ranging from 1.2% to 2.4% depending on displacement. Zeitz plans to launch an appeal to reverse the recent blow handed out by the EU to remain in the European market.

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SINGAPORE MOVES TO BAN OLDER MOTORCYCLES
Singapore has made a massive statement of intent to curb emissions in the island nation, by completely banning old motorcycles (registered pre-2003) from their roads in 2028.

Until that date, and beginning April 1st 2023, stricter noise standards (equivalent to Euro 4) will be adopted, in line with United Nations emissions and exhaust noise levels, levels which are much stricter than those currently in place in the small island nation in Southeast Asia.

Those who run older motorcycles will be forced to comply with the new regulations, or face hefty fines, starting in 2023 up until 2028, at which time they will be forced off the road for good.

During this time, the Singapore government will offer an incentive to de-register old motorcycles before the 5th April 2023, to the tune of S$3,500 ($2,628 USD), not to buy or scrap affected vehicles, it’s just to de-register them.

 
ELECTRIC MOTORCYCLES PROTECT ENDANGERED AFRICAN WILDLIFE
Solar powered electric bikes have been adapted to sneak up on poachers in Africa to help park rangers working to protect endangered wildlife.

Swedish firm Cake has built the super-light 80kg Kalk AP (Anti-Poaching) bike for a project that aims to help officials combat the devastating effects of poaching on the continent’s most precious species.

The bike isn’t just for use in Africa, and if you buy one (@$28,375 USD), the Kalk company will supply a second ‘twin’ machine as part of a ‘buy-one-give-one’ charity initiative to be delivered to an anti-poaching unit, complete with a solar panel and power station kit that enables the twin bike to operate in the African bush independent from the electric power grid.

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NO LEFT TURNS
Sharing a posting from Bikernet.com, “Why UPS Drivers Don’t Turn Left And You Probably Shouldn’t Either,” you might be interested to know that UPS delivery vans don’t always take the shortest route between stops, with the company giving each driver a specific route to follow including a policy that drivers should never turn through oncoming traffic at a junction unless absolutely necessary.

UPS designed their vehicle routing software to eliminate as many left-hand turns as possible (in countries with right-hand traffic). As a result, the company claims it uses 10m gallons less fuel, emits 20,000 tons less carbon dioxide and delivers 350,000 more packages every year.

According to www.iflscience.com, “The efficiency of planning routes with its navigation software this way has even helped the firm cut the number of trucks it uses by 1,100, bringing down the company’s total distance travelled by 28.5m miles -- despite the longer routes.”

 
QUOTABLE QUOTE: "I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong."
~ Frederick Douglass (1817-95), Abolitionist & Statesman

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ABOUT AIM / 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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