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NCOM Biker Newsbytes for May 2023

Industry & Legislative Motorcycle News from USA and the world

Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish
5/20/2023


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“COMING TOGETHER” WELCOMED AT NCOM CONVENTION
“My goal is to strengthen the organization in a positive way to achieve our legislative goals,” announced Charlie Boone of the Concerned Bikers Association (CBA/ABATE of North Carolina) in accepting the post of Chairman of the NCOM Board of Directors. Boone has been instrumental to the CBA for over three decades, and has served for several years as Region VI (AL FL GA NC SC) representative on the board of the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM), who added “A huge THANK YOU to outgoing Chairman Doc Reichenbach” (ABATE of Florida) for his many years of service to the organization.”

NCOM also welcomes Ed Schetter, Executive Director of ABATE of Ohio as Chairman of the NCOM Legislative Task Force, replacing retiring chairman Frank Ernst of ABATE of Minnesota.

Both join Joseph Lester, Executive Director of NCOM, in extending a welcoming hand to all motorcyclists and every motorcycle organization to join together during the upcoming NCOM Convention in Phoenix, Arizona over Father’s Day weekend, June 16-18, 2023.

“NCOM is a coming together of a broad range of biker groups & individuals, who have similar goals of protecting their rights to ride their motorcycles with as minimal intrusion from the government as possible,” said Lester, whose father attorney Richard M. Lester founded NCOM nearly forty years ago to promote communication between various groups and form an umbrella organization representing diverse clubs and organizations that share common interests.

“NCOM does its work by the monetary and legal help of the AIM Attorneys across the country, so there is no money or dues required for groups to join NCOM,” explains ‘Joey’ Lester. “I believe the future we want can only be achieved by working with other biker groups and truly believe unity of purpose and direction will achieve the best results.”

In the past this has not been the case, but putting the past in past and moving forward, NCOM is encouraging representation from groups such as the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF), “which has been doing an incredible job on the National Legislative front,” and the Council of Clubs along with the Motorcycle Profiling Project recognized “for helping state groups in getting anti-profiling laws adopted locally and nationally,” to attend a “Coming Together” at this year’s 38th annual NCOM Convention.

“NCOM looks forward to working with and supports all these highly successful biker groups in any way we can, and not in competition, as we fight together for bikers’ rights legally and legislatively,” concludes Lester in a call for unity and cooperation going forward.

For more information on the NCOM Convention, or to register, visit www.on-a-bike.com or call (800) 525-5355. For hotel reservations, contact the Hilton Phoenix-Tempe at (480) 967-1441.
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AORA WOULD EXPAND MOTORIZED RECREATION
The American Outdoor Recreation Act has been introduced in Congress to expand motorized recreational opportunities, and the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) urges you to “Take Action!” and ask your U.S. Senators to support the AORA, S. 873.

“Enjoying time in the great outdoors is not only fun, but it’s beneficial to a person's mental and physical health,” according to SEMA. “Outdoor recreational activities are also a key economic driver in communities across the U.S., employing over 4.5 million Americans.”

The SEMA Action Network (SAN) is committed to expanding motorized recreational access on government lands, so “tell your U.S. Senators they need to expand motorized recreational opportunities by supporting the American Outdoor Recreation Act.”
  
 
MOTORCYCLE INDUSTRY “FLAT” AS SALES SLIP
The Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) has released their 2022 Motorcycle Statistical Annual, a comprehensive collection of data about the motorcycle business in America, featuring detailed information on vehicle population, owner demographics, product use, sales, market share, manufacturers, distributors and dealerships nationwide.

"While 2022 is pretty much flat compared to 2021 and 2020, it still is a significant increase from 2019," explains Buckner Nesheim, MIC Director of Research & Statistics. The industry’s reference book has been updated and the data indicates 2022 sales of new motorcycles and scooters decreased by -3.5% over the previous year, while ATVs decreased -12.7%.

"When we compare 2022 to 2019 sales, off-highway is up +36%, on-highway is up +4%, and scooters are up +12%,” notes Nesheim. “Dual sport (ADV) is a tremendous growth story. Sales in this category have increased every year since 2016 and more dual sport motorcycles were sold in 2022 than in any other year since we started collecting data in this category in 1990."

MIC data for the full year 2022 show total powersports industry new model retail sales at -6.2% (733,537 units compared to 781,806 units in 2021). Domestic U.S. on-highway retail motorcycle sales were 297,174 units for the year (-5.4%); scooters at 22,181 units (-4.3%); dual sport models (ADV) were 72,643 units (+0.0%); off-highway motorcycles were -5.0% (145,216 units), with ATV retail sales -12.7% at 196,860 units.
 
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MIC ADDS POPULAR “ADVENTURE BIKE” MARKET SEGMENT
With the growing popularity of the adventure bike market segment, the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) has announced it will add a new category to its Retail Sales Report (RSR) for the first time in decades. The MIC Research & Statistics Department will divide the adventure and dual sport categories as specific types underneath the general dual heading in the April RSR.

As well, the MIC is looking for someone who understands electric vehicle technology, and is interested in government policy, to join the association staff and support the industry on EV issues, working with the MIC Government Relations Office on federal and state matters, including infrastructure, battery standards, aftermarket and dealer concerns, safety, public lands and charging availability. Resumes should go to HR@MIC.org.
 
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NHTSA REPORTS RISE IN MOTORCYCLIST FATALITIES
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released a report showing an increase of motorcycle fatalities from 2020 to 2021, citing distraction, speeding and alcohol as key factors of these fatalities.

NHTSA reported that in 2021, motorcyclist fatalities were up 7.7% from the year before, totaling 5,932 motorcyclists and representing 14% of all traffic fatalities. This is the highest number of motorcyclists killed since 1975.

With May being Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) encourages all drivers to “Expect Us, See Us,” and actively search for riders and stay focused on the road, as motorcycle and scooter riders are at greater risk of not being seen.

For all vehicle drivers on the road, distraction-affected crashes rose 12% from 2020 to 2021, while speeding-related fatalities increased by 7.9%, and alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities rose 14%. The number of alcohol-impaired riders involved in fatalities jumped 19% from 2020 to 2021, and NHTSA also reported that 29% of motorcyclists killed were under the influence.

“The NHTSA data may be from 2021, but distraction, speeding and driving or riding while under the influence continue to be problems today,” says Rob Gladden, vice president of training operations for MSF. “However, these are all things we can change.”
  
 
WHO PROMOTES HELMET USAGE WORLDWIDE
“As motorcycles proliferate at an astonishing rate, especially in low and middle-income countries, urgent action is needed to stave off a rapid rise in deaths and injuries in the coming years,” stated the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety (2021-2030) Global Head Dr. Matts-Ake Belin.

The World Health Organization (WHO) released its first edition of their Helmet Road Safety Manual in 2006, and over the past 17 years, new data, developments, and research have influenced both helmet safety standards and manufacturing practices, so to address the needs of today’s riders, WHO published the manual’s Second Edition on April 5, 2023.

The WHO’s latest guidelines don’t call out specific nations, but concentrates on low- and middle-income countries, noting that 42% of West Kenya’s powered two-wheeler (PTW) riders admitted sustaining head injuries. In Vietnam, 70% of all motorcycle-related hospitalizations include head injuries. Taiwan and China report similar figures, with motorcycle head injuries accounting for 71% of all vehicle-based head injuries. In response to these numbers, WHO claims that “helmets reduce the risk of death by over six times and brain injury by up to 74%.”

“To reduce all deaths from road crashes, actions that aim to increase the use of helmets must be applied as part of a wider shift to a safe systems approach to road safety and mobility,” added Dr. Belin. “The safe systems approach recognizes that road transport is a complex system with many interconnecting elements that all affect each other.”

The global health organization believes the paucity of quality yet affordable helmets (including helmets for children), lacking law enforcement, and hot climates only contribute to the issue. Even when riders use helmets, improperly fastened lids undermine the efforts of regulators.

“Authorities must put the laws, frameworks, and actions in place to boost the availability and uptake of safe, quality helmets,” concluded Dr. Belin, citing evidence rooted in the manual.
 
  
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ENHANCED DRIVERS LICENSES AVAILABLE IN OHIO
A new Ohio law (House Bill 23) will soon allow residents to get an “enhanced” driver’s license or ID card that can then be used instead of a passport to enter Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean more easily.

Ohio is the first state in years to join the handful of other states along the Canadian border that offer enhanced licenses; Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Vermont, and Washington.

Enhanced licenses, unlike traditional licenses or even “Real ID” cards that will soon be required to board airplanes, have a radio chip that broadcasts an identification number that border guards can use to access personal information beyond what’s printed on the license itself. That allows people to move more quickly through international border crossings without having to dig out and show a passport. It’s similar to Clear Check at the airport.

Ohio lawmakers initially rejected enhanced licenses nearly a decade ago amid civil-liberties concerns that the radio chips could be exploited by identity thieves or used by government officials to follow people’s movements, but experts say those worries seem almost quaint now as tracking technology has advanced due to the proliferation of cell phones and greater availability of people’s personal information online.
 
  
 
MOTORCYCLE TRAINING GRADUATES EXEMPTED FROM SKILLS TEST IN KENTUCKY
Senate Bill 60, a bipartisan bill introduced by Senator Brandon J. Storm (R-D21 London) was signed into law by Governor Andy Beshear (D) on March 17, 2023 “to exempt applicants for a motorcycle operator's license who have passed an approved motorcycle safety education courses from written and skills testing required under KRS 186.480.”

Under this measure, passed unanimously 98-0 in the state senate, Kentucky now joins with many other states where rider training course graduates can obtain a waiver for the riding skill test and/or written knowledge test portion of their state’s license exam requirements.
 
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BIG-FOUR TO CONDUCT JOINT RESEARCH ON HYDROGEN MOTORCYCLES
Japan's Big Four motorcycle manufacturers will conduct research and development together, announcing a bold new plan to cooperatively develop hydrogen-powered motorcycle engines. Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Yamaha executives all gathered at a Tokyo press conference on May 17 to announce the formation of HySE, which stands for “Hydrogen Small Mobility and Engine Technology.”

HySE will pursue three main research and development areas, with responsibilities for each divided among the four OEMs as follows: Research on hydrogen-powered engines (Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, and Kawasaki Motors); Study on hydrogen refueling system (Yamaha); and Study on fuel supply system (Kawasaki Motors).

Clean “green” hydrogen is theoretically possible, though it’s been prohibitively expensive to produce, but according to the US National Resources Defense Council, implementation of the massive hydrogen tax credit included in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 could be a game-changer in terms of clean hydrogen development incentivization for companies.
 
  
 
QUOTABLE QUOTE:
"The loudest boos come from the cheapest seats."
~ Babe Ruth (1895-1948) Major League Baseball phenom
 
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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.

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.
 
 
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