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NCOM Coast To Coast Biker News for December 2017


By Bill Bish, thanks to Richard Lester and NCOM, with photos from Sam Burns

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 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.



Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)
After a mistrial was declared in the first Twin Peaks case to go to trial in over two years, a spring 2018 trial date has been set for the first defendant to go back on trial in the deadly shootout. The retrial date for Christopher “Jake” Carrizal, 36, will be April 2, the court coordinator for Waco’s 54th District Court determined.

A mistrial was declared in the case after the jury couldn’t come to any agreement on the three gang-related charges on which Carrizal was indicted in connection with the 2015 shootout involving police and bikers at Waco’s Twin Peaks restaurant.

"At the end of the day they couldn't, there wasn't enough evidence that the Dallas Chapter (of the Bandidos MC), and specifically Jake Carrizal, had committed any violence against any person that wasn't self-defense,” defense attorney Casie Gotro said in response to the ruling.

When leaving the McLennan County Courthouse after the hung jury resulted in mistrial, Carrizal said he knew his battle was only beginning. “We'll fight it another day,” he said.

In a partnership that will raise the profile of behavioral traffic safety, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) has announced the launch of a new forum for collaborative research through the Behavioral Traffic Safety Cooperative Research Program (BTSCRP).

Through funding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the BTSCRP will conduct research projects proposed and selected by State Highway Safety Offices to provide actionable solutions that will save lives, prevent injuries, and reduce the costs of traffic crashes associated with unsafe behaviors. BTSCRP is jointly managed by NHTSA and GHSA and executed by the Transportation Research Board (TRB), which is part of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

As TRB Executive Director Neil Pedersen explains, “Traffic safety has long been one of TRB’s highest priorities. The vast majority of traffic crashes result from human error, so a research program that focuses on human behavior is critical. We look forward to working closely with GHSA and NHTSA in finding new ways to reduce crashes related to behavioral issues.”

For each BTSCRP research project, TRB will assemble a panel of subject matter experts to provide guidance throughout its full lifecycle, from problem statement development through final product delivery.

GHSA Research Committee Chair Thomas Glass states, “This is exciting for GHSA members and anyone working in the highway safety field. The panels can include members from law enforcement, prosecution, treatment and many other professional fields that do not work directly for an SHSO. We are benefiting not only by the collaboration of TRB, but also by the widening circle of experts that we will become active participants in highway safety research.”

Information on GHSA’s current research projects can be found at

As a devastated motorcycle industry slowly recovered from the big recession nine years ago that decimated domestic sales, it was hit hard by an aging demographic. Reports of declining motorcycles sales blame an aging baby boomer generation, disinterested millennials, unaffordable prices, limited choices for new riders, licensing requirements, closures of off-road riding areas, insurance and registration costs, and a nervous overall economy.

Whatever the reason, the situation has reached so dire a point that a group of industry insiders, veteran riders, marketers and moto-journalists convened at the recent International Motorcycle Show (IMS) in Long Beach to discuss matters and come up with some solutions to save motorcycling from the steady decline it’s been experiencing in the United States.

Former Indian Motorcycle executive Robert Pandya formed the 'Give A Shift' group this fall, beginning with a written survey which included 300 participants, and proceeded to a roundtable discussion in Long Beach, on Nov. 16, with 25 of the most ardent influencers.

Their key findings and comments, made anonymously for fear of offending employers and business associates, paint a bleak picture:
- Sales are flat or falling in almost every area.
- Baby boomer buyers, the most consistent motorcycle consumers, are aging out of the industry fast.
- The industry has failed to increase sales by making new riders out of women, minorities and millennials.
- The old dealership model is outmoded and unimaginative.
- The arrival of autonomous vehicles may push motorcycles off the road entirely.

“The message is, ‘We are in trouble, and there is no silver bullet’,” Pandya said. The consortium called on the power sports industry collectively and riders individually to self-correct, self-police and work together to improve motorcycling’s image and prospects.

In summary, the panel’s report identifies five major areas that participants felt the motorcycle industry should focus on over the next three years:
1. Improving the desirability of motorcycles
2. Ensuring motorcycles are not forgotten amid the autonomous car boom
3. Increasing female ridership
4. The importance of self promotion
5. Improving the dealership experience

“There has never been a more compelling and interesting time in motorcycling,” the report states, with consensus centering on attracting new riders in a shrinking market.

A recent study by Infiniti Research Ltd predicts that the electric motorcycle market will grow 42% in the next five years. Reported on military-technologies.net, the detailed analysis includes all major global markets, and identifies marketing strategies and market trends through 2021.

“One trend in the market is development of long-mile range motorcycles,” said one analyst on the study team. “Hence, OEMs are continuously working toward the development of battery technology so the mile-range bridge between these motorcycles and ICE (internal combustion) counterparts is reduced.”

The report concludes that the most prominent driver in the market is decreasing battery prices, which allows OEMs to push cost benefit toward customers. The market is facing continuous improvement in battery technology, which has the strongest effect on both profitability and adoption rate.

The report also states that high purchase prices remain the most challenging prospect for high-performance electric motorcycles. Although while the initial cost of electric motorcycles is higher than equivalent internal combustion powered bikes, the total cost of ownership is less than that of IC-powered bikes due to the latter's higher fuel and maintenance costs.


A Canadian research study published in the British Medical Journal recently found that "distracted drivers, like those who text behind the wheel, are a danger to themselves and to others. Even a brief, momentary glance away from the road can result in life-threatening consequences."

Motorcycle riders can testify to that, but the research identifies one fatal attraction for motorists that shows up 12 times a year – the full moon.

“The researchers found that on nights illuminated by a full moon, fatal motorcycle accidents increased by 5% compared to nights without a full moon," the report concludes. "On evenings when the supermoon decorated the sky, this increased to 32%.

The study included 40 years worth of data from the United States, as well as records from the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia.

After analyzing data from the official United States registry of motor vehicle crashes from 1975 to 2014, during which time 494 full moons and 65 supermoons appeared, researchers calculated the number of fatal crashes on full moon nights compared to nights with a quarter moon (one week before and after the full moon).

They found 4,994 fatal crashes occurred on the nights with a full moon, which is equal to 9.10 crashes per night. In contrast, a total of 8.64 fatal crashes per night occurred on nights without a full moon. Fatalities increased further under a supermoon, amounting to a total of 703 fatal crashes, or 10.82 fatal crashes per night. This means that for every two full moon nights, there was one additional fatal crash. Under the supermoon, this increased to two additional deaths.

Authors of the study believe there are at least three potential explanations for the link between motorcycle deaths and full moons, including lighting effects produced by the moon that may cause riders to misjudge their speed, or that a full moon means more riders -- or other traffic -- might take to the roads. “A different possibility is this idea of distraction -- that glancing up at a full moon takes the rider’s gaze off the road and creates a moment of inattention that can lead to a loss of control,” according to the report.


On November 1, the Oklahoma State Law went into effect penalizing motorists driving in the left lane, especially if they are identified by police as impeding traffic. According to a report given by Tiger Mike Revere, Liaison to the Oklahoma Confederation of Clubs at a recent NCOM Board Meeting in Oklahoma City; “Law Enforcement WILL issue tickets, especially since it’s probably going to constitute a Revenue Generation Tool to help with the State’s budgetary shortfall (fines are estimated at $285), and given that we don’t have an Anti-Profiling law on the books, you can probably expect police to pull over any bikers on a Pack Ride if they’re staying in the left lane, and especially if they’re not passing slower traffic.”

Isolated reports of this happening have been circulating already, said Revere, advising riders in the Sooner State to be careful and observant!


Arizona State Senator David Farnsworth (R-Mesa) has introduced a bill that would make lane splitting legal in the state, making Arizona more like neighboring California and many European and Asian countries that allow the practice, also referred to as lane filtering.

Sen. Farnsworth recently introduced the bill for the coming legislative session, which begins in January. The bill, SB 1007, strikes out the clauses in statute that make lane-splitting illegal. If the bill becomes law, it would allow motorcyclists to "overtake and pass in the same lane occupied by the vehicle being overtaken," and also would allow motorcycles to operate "between the lanes of traffic or between adjacent rows of vehicles."

Bob Eberhardt, chair of the Arizona Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs (ACMC), said he "absolutely" thought lane-splitting should be legal -- for safety reasons. Lane-splitting would likely "greatly reduce" rear-end collisions of motorcycles, he said. But he acknowledged it might take some getting used to by other motorists “until the public was aware that it was legal," Eberhardt said.


Saudi Arabian women will be able to drive trucks and motorcycles, officials have said after the kingdom announced a historic decision to end a ban on women driving. In September, King Salman issued a decree saying women will be able to drive beginning next June 2018 as part of an ambitious reform push in the conservative kingdom.

"Yes, we will authorize women to drive motorcycles" as well as trucks, said the Saudi General Directorate of Traffic, adding that the royal decree stipulates that the law on driving will be "equal" for both men and women.

There will be no special license plate numbers for female-driven cars, officials said, but women involved in road accidents or who commit traffic violations will be dealt with at special centers that will be established and run by women.

Saudi Arabia was the only country in the world to impose a ban on women driving and its maintenance was seen around the world as a symbol of repression in the Gulf kingdom. The Saudis enforce some of the world's tightest restrictions on women, so its historic decision to allow women to drive has been cheered inside the kingdom and abroad -- and comes after decades of resistance from female activists, many of whom were jailed for flouting the ban.



 “Use the talents you possess, for the woods would be a very silent place if no birds sang except the best.” 
~ Henry van Dyke, poet (1852-1933) 

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