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NCOM Biker Newsbytes for February 2023

Industry & Legislative Motorcycle News from USA and the world

Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish
2/21/2023


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YAMAHA PLEDGES 10 MILLION YEN TO TURKEY-SYRIA EARTHQUAKE RELIEF

Yamaha Motor Co. is putting aside 10 million yen to be used to support the victims of the February 6 Turkey-Syria earthquake and their ongoing recovery efforts.

Notably, 2021 Superbike World Champion, Toprak Razgatlioglu, and his manager, former five-time Supersport World Champion, Kenan Sofuoglu, had been involved in early response work in their native Turkey until forced to leave in order to be in Australia for the first round of the 2023 Superbike World Championships, in which Razgatlioglu will be looking to reclaim his title.

The bike manufacturer for which Razgatlioglu rides, Yamaha, announced on February 17th that the Japanese motorcycle-maker will donate 10 million yen (@$74,000USD) through the non-profit organization Japan Platform and that “the funds will be used explicitly to support relief and reconstruction efforts in affected areas of Turkey and Syria.”

Along with the more than 46,000 killed in the 7.4-Magnitude quake, 84,000 buildings have collapsed or are seriously damaged, yet within the rubble survivors were still being found.
 
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HONDA SHOOTS FOR THE MOON

Honda Motor Co. is developing a circulative renewable energy system which is hoped to help sustain scientists as they live on the lunar surface. The system, called the Circulative Renewable Energy System, uses electrolysis and solar energy to produce oxygen, hydrogen, and electricity.

While their mission announcement doesn’t specifically mention ‘motorcycles,’ Honda hopes that their CRES system will maintain lunar vehicles so that scientists can properly explore the moon’s surface; a hostile environment which may take more nimble vehicles to traverse.

Plus, with hydrogen power being looked at as a possible replacement for fossil fuels, it could help to accelerate Honda’s plans back here on our home planet, as the Honda Global website explains: ”Honda will pursue research and development of its circulative renewable energy system with the initial goal to utilize it in outer space, then feed technologies amassed through this challenge back to Earth and strive to realize the company’s 2050 carbon neutrality goals.”
  
 
EUROPEAN UNION PROPOSES DIGITAL DRIVING LICENSES

Among a number of proposals intended to shake-up the current licensing regulations on the continent, a new directive that will affect all who drive seeks the digitization of the driving license within the EU.

The move would put a driving license or at least a facsimile of it on the holder’s smartphone. The digital license would work in the same way as the physical license and would be valid at police checks and for identification validation. It’s also reported that the physical license will combine a QR code on it, something that is hoped will prevent counterfeiting.

For now, the licensure proposals in the 4th Driver’s License Directive would only affect EU countries, although the UK government can and has aligned with the EU on certain matters.
 
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SKILLS CRISIS OVER LACK OF YOUNG PEOPLE WORKING IN MOTORCYCLING

The motorcycle industry is in desperate need of more young people to work as technicians or in dealerships if it wants to survive for future generations, warn UK industry bosses. “The challenges we face in attracting young people to work in the sector are the same we face in attracting new and young riders,” CEO of England’s Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) Tony Campbell warns. “Over the past two decades, we have been great at servicing an ageing rider community; this in large part is mirrored by our workforce.”

“As with attracting new young riders, as a sector we have to be seen to be at the cutting edge of new technology, innovation, and design. In my view, we have an identity problem when it comes to attracting young talent to the industry,” he continued, adding that “There is and will continue to be a shortage of skilled resources.”

Campbell’s comments were echoed by Head of Operations at the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), Symon Cook, who spoke to MCN.com about what could happen if nothing changes; “It’s going to fail and it’s going to disappear and that’s certainly not what any of us want. We need action and we need it now,” he said. “We’re behind the times and within the next two years we need to really accelerate our idea of how we recruit and how we drive an interest into the motorcycle industry.”

Keen to get more young people involved in the industry, the MCIA teamed up with recruitment firm BikeJobs and the National Motorcycle Dealers Association (NMDA) to create a Careers Hub stand at the Motorcycle Live show in Birmingham. Of the 150 enquiries registered at the event, 78.5% were male and 21.5% were female -- with 78% of all respondents being aged between 13 and 30. The largest of these groups was 17-20, who made up 28%.
  
 
MOTORCYCLE HELMET MARKET EXPECTED TO GROW SUBSTANTIALLY

The Global Motorcycle Helmet Market is expected to witness sustainable growth over 2031, reports Global Insight Services, noting that helmets are required by law in many countries.

The intelligence firm offers an analysis of key issues and market drivers, such as a trend towards lighter and more comfortable helmets thanks to advances in materials and manufacturing techniques.

Their 10-year forecast also references trends towards helmets with better aerodynamics, more integrated communications systems, and more advanced safety features.

Among the several key drivers of the worldwide motorcycle helmet market, GIS points out that the number of motorcycle riders has increased significantly in recent years, which has led to increased demand for helmets.

Also, quite notably, the price of helmets has fallen, making them more affordable for riders, while their research claims that the documented safety benefits and the availability of helmets in a variety of styles and designs has made them more appealing to riders.
  
 
CONNECTICUT LEGISLATION COULD INVOKE DONOR-CYCLISTS

Although Connecticut state law only requires riders under 18 to wear a helmet, a new legislative proposal would dictate that any motorcyclist killed while not wearing one would automatically become an organ donor.

In a shocking new bill published under the Connecticut General Assembly‘s website, if passed, riders who do not wear a motorcycle helmet will no longer have autonomy over their organs if they lose their life in an accident, ignoring the gift law principles of the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act which requires an affirmative voluntary act.

State Senator Martin M. Looney of the 11th District introduced Senate Bill No. 96 on January 12, 2023; “AN ACT ESTABLISHING A REBUTTABLE PRESUMPTION THAT PERSONS KILLED IN A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT WHILE RIDING WITHOUT A HELMET WISH TO DONATE THEIR ORGANS.”

In the meantime, concerned bikers such as the Connecticut Motorcycle Riders Association (CMRA) are also fighting against House Bill 5917, a legislative measure that would require the use of helmets by all motorcycle riders, as well as improve the use of automated enforcement systems, and strengthen existing law prohibiting open containers in vehicles.
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RIDER SAVED BY SMARTWATCH AFTER FALL FROM CLIFF ON HIS MOTORCYCLE

After riding his motorcycle off the side of a cliff, a man was rescued thanks to the distress communication sent out by his smartwatch. The incident occurred in southwestern Utah, and saw the rider fall between 40 and 50 feet, sustaining serious injuries, The Hill reports.

First responders were able to find and stabilize the man for Life Flight transport to the hospital thanks to the rescue alert system on his smartwatch which is designed to detect major crashes and sends out a distress signal when the wearer is unable to respond to it themselves.

The brand and model of the man’s smartwatch unknown, but many of the latest versions of such devices are programmed to detect a serious crash, the most well-known being the Apple Watch which has its ‘Crash Detection’ feature, as does the most recent iPhone.
  
 
JAY LENO SUFFERS SERIOUS MOTORCYCLE CRASH

Comedian and petrolhead Jay Leno, well-known for his extensive classic car and motorcycle collection, is recovering from multiple broken bones after crashing in Burbank, California from a ‘clothesline’ incident with a wire strung across a parking lot while test riding a 1940 Indian motorcycle near his shop.

The unfortunate mishap occurred just months after the talk show legend sustained second-degree burns while repairing a fuel line on one of his antique cars last November.

His accident left Leno with a broken collarbone, broken ribs, two cracked kneecaps and presumably a hefty repair bill for the bike!

Despite the spate of bad luck, Leno joked; “I’m only 72, if I were to have been an older man, this would have been very serious.”
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SAFETY INSTITUTE BACKS CAT-ASTROPHIC ROAD RULES

Those unfortunate enough to hit a cat on their bike or in their car could soon be forced to stop and report the incident to police by UK law. As it stands, the Road Traffic Act 1988 states that riders and drivers must report incidents with animals including dogs, horses, pigs, and sheep, however cats slip through the net -- despite an estimated 11 million being owned in the UK. That’s one in four households, or around 26%.

Safety institute IAM RoadSmart is backing changes to the law, with insurers PetPlan finding an average of 630 felines got hit by cars every day on British roadways.

Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at IAM RoadSmart, said: “If a law requiring drivers to stop if they hit a cat were to be brought in, we believe it could strengthen driver vigilance and responsibility overall -- meaning the benefits of the legislation will stretch far beyond the protection of cats.”

Co-Founder of traffic accident group Cats Matter, Mandy Hobbis, added: “Updating this law simply boils down to minimizing suffering and saving cats’ lives,” adding that “Like dogs, cats are loved members of the family, so we see no reason why sad instances of the nation’s beloved cats being run over on the road should not be treated in the same way.”

Similar traffic laws, excluding cats, exist throughout the United States.
 
 
NATIONAL MOTORCYCLE MUSEUM TO PERMANENTLY CLOSE

On January 28, 2023, the National Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame in Animosa, Iowa, made the shocking announcement that, after 22 years, the museum plans to permanently close its doors this September, after Sturgis.

The post states the reason very plainly: “We have struggled for several years to cover wages and utilities partly due to low visitation.”

Established by John and Jill Parham, the founders of J&P Cycles in Anamosa, the Iowa institution plans to sell its Parham Collection of bikes and memorabilia at auction in the future.
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SAVE THE DATE – 38TH ANNUAL NCOM CONVENTION IN ARIZONA

This year’s 2023 NCOM Convention will be held over Father’s Day weekend, June 16-18, at the Hilton Phoenix-Tempe, located at 2100 S. Priest Dr., in Tempe, Arizona, so plan ahead to join with hundreds of like-minded bikers’ rights activists from across the country for a weekend of collaboration and camaraderie!

Be sure to reserve your hotel room now by calling (480) 967-1441, and mention NCOM for our Special Room Rate.

Registration fees for the NCOM Convention are $110 including the Silver Spoke Awards Banquet, or $50 for the Convention only, and you can pre-register online at www.ON-A-BIKE.com or by calling the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) at (800) 525-5355.
  
QUOTABLE QUOTE:

"No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.”
~ Voltaire (1694-1778), French Enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher
 
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.

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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