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Tuesday Edition


May all bikers find their Nirvana in 2020

By Bandit, the Magnificent Wayfarer, Bob T., Barry Green, Rogue, Laura, Joe Smith, Dustin Lienweber, Sam, the Redhead, Micah, Keith Terry and the rest of the crew

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It’s an amazing week.
I want it to be this amazing for all bikers all over the world. I want all of us to be building the coolest shit, riding to the coolest places, meeting the most beautiful girls and enjoying every minute of it.

On Tuesday, we nervously took the Salt Torpedo into the desert for some passes on a desolate paved road. I can’t tell you where we went. It’s a top-speed secret, that only coyotes and bleak desert bikers know about. What a trip.

While we discussed the plan with Dustin Leinweber in a shed behind the Wheeler Station, something dawned on me. Our first hiccup. I worked for weeks preparing and adjusting for this. I struggled with the top of the body, but this puppy was buttoned up tight, and I was beginning to think we needed an engine hatch for mechanical access.

While discussing the CHP and our desert run plans it dawned on me that the rag was still stuck in the velocity stack to keep shit out of the intake. I thought, “Oh Fuck.” We opened the trailer and I discovered a space for a skinny arm to maybe reach, and Micah gave it a shot—success. Did I miss anything else?

Watch for the whole highly successful run report in a story in the next few days on Bikernet. Let’s hit the news. I’m still floating on Cloud Nine.

Click for all the info...
Click for all the info...

The Bikernet Weekly News is sponsored in part by companies who also dig Freedom including: Cycle Source Magazine, the MRF, Las Vegas Bikefest, Iron Trader News, ChopperTown, and the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum. Most recently Quick Throttle Magazine came on board.

Click for Quick Action.
Click for Quick Action.

Misguided Youth Protesters Have It Wrong — the World Is Actually Getting Better and Better. All the good news is likely to depress them beyond recovery.


Contrary to assertions made by radical protesters of the Extinction Rebellion movement, who claim, “It is understood that we are facing an unprecedented global emergency … a life or death situation of our own making,” or by misinformed youths like Greta Thunberg, who believes industrial civilization has “robbed” her of her future, in most ways, the 21st century has been the best in recorded history.

English science journalist Matt Ridley, Ph.D., writes in the London Spectator that the second decade of the 21st century was the best ever recorded, in terms of human living standards, despite purported catastrophic warming. Ridley points out that when he was born in 1958, 60 percent of the world’s population was living in poverty, yet in the second decade of the 21st century, this number fell below 10 percent for the first time. Ridley also notes, “Global inequality has been plunging as Africa and Asia experience faster economic growth than Europe and North America; child mortality has fallen to record low levels; famine virtually went extinct; malaria, polio and heart disease are all in decline.”

This is all good news — news well worth publicizing, one would think.
“We are getting more sustainable, not less, in the way we use the planet,” Ridley continues, explaining that we are continually using fewer materials and resources to produce the goods and services we consume.

Historically, there is no correlation between the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and Earth’s temperature, but research consistently shows a direct connection between a country’s wealth and people flourishing.

People in wealthier societies are generally healthier, live longer, have fewer children die at birth or in their infancy, and face fewer economic, gender, and social inequalities. Their populations also tend to be better educated and are better able to anticipate, adapt to, and respond to natural disasters than people in poorer societies. And the cornerstone of growing prosperity and decreasing penury around the globe during the 20th and early 21st centuries has been the development and use of fossil fuels.

Fossil fuels are the foundation of modern agriculture. They power the tractors and trucks used to plant and harvest crops and deliver them to market. They serve as the feed stock for the chemical pesticides and fertilizers used to grow ever greater amounts of food on increasingly less land. And they power the refrigeration and dry storage units that allow crops to be safely stored for long periods of time without spoiling.

Fossil fuels are also the bedrock of modern medicine, which has reduced infant mortality and increased lifespans. Contemporary health care depends on sterile plastics made from fossil fuels, including IV drip bags and tubing, medical machinery, electronics casings, and syringes.

Hospitals, ambulances, operating rooms, emergency rooms, and clinics open 24 hours per day, seven days a week, cannot function without coal, natural gas, and oil. Medical refrigeration units, CT scanning machines, MRIs, X-rays, laser scalpels, ventilators, incubators, and lights require reliable electric power, which fossil fuels provide more affordably and dependably than alternative sources.

Studies also show the number of people who have died as a result of extreme weather events has fallen precipitously over the past century, all while fossil fuel use has grown and the climate has warmed modestly.

Forty-four percent of the world’s population lived in absolute poverty in 1981. The share of people living in extreme poverty fell below 10 percent in 2015. In addition, according to the United Nations, the number of people suffering from persistent hunger has declined by two billion since 1990. What’s more, research shows there is now 17 percent more food available per person than there was 30 years ago — all during the period of purportedly dangerous climate change due to human carbon dioxide emissions.

Rather than teaching youths the world is doomed in 10, 12, or 20 years — pick your own planetary expiration date thrown out by climate alarmists in recent years — we should place Alex Epstein’s fact-filled book The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels on their school reading lists. Epstein incisively writes:

Climate is no longer a major cause of deaths, thanks in large part to fossil fuels.… Not only are we ignoring the big picture by making the fight against climate danger the fixation of our culture, we are “fighting” climate change by opposing the weapon that has made it dozens of times less dangerous.

The popular climate discussion has the issue backward. It looks at man as a destructive force for climate livability, one who makes the climate dangerous because we use fossil fuels. In fact, the truth is the exact opposite; we don’t take a safe climate and make it dangerous; we take a dangerous climate and make it safe.

If only more people approached the climate issue with open minds, honestly examining the abundant evidence showing that the world is improving, we might have fewer protests and more progress on truly important goals like ending hunger, fighting disease, and promoting freedom.

H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D. ( is a senior fellow on energy and the environment at The Heartland Institute, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research center headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

Sponsored by Revcontent

NMA ALERT, Shenanigans Abound in the Washington State Ballot Initiative over Car Fees--Motorists are not cash cows, and it is time elected officials stop treating us as such!

In Washington State, Tim Eyman decided he didn’t think it was fair for everyone in the state to pay for big city transit projects through ever increasing vehicle registration fees (or car tabs, as the locals call them).

Anger with car tab increases stem from passage of Sound Transit 3 in 2016. It is a 25-year, $54 billion expansion which hiked the motor vehicle excise tax from 0.3 percent to 1.1 percent with all monies collected by the regional authority, Puget Sound. Sound Transit 3 also allowed the government to raise the local sales tax and establish a new annual property tax within the transit district boundary.

In 2017, the cost of car registration fees surged and caught many car owners unprepared. Also, Sound Transit used a 1999 depreciation schedule which overvalued newer vehicles, further raising the charges it could collect.

Out of frustration, Eyman and his group, the Permanent Offense team, started a petition drive to put an initiative on the ballot to limit the state’s registration fees to just $30, and base vehicle property taxes on Kelley Blue Book values instead. If the measure was put on the ballot and passed, it would end the practice of using inflated valuations to boost tax revenue. The Initiative would also eliminate the ability of Sound Transit to impose additional taxes on vehicle owners.

Getting an initiative on the ballot is difficult and can sometimes take several years, which was the case for Eyman and Permanent Offense. Local and state officials don’t like ballot initiatives, especially if they cut into their bread and butter. That’s why governments will do nearly anything disqualify petition signatures (Read last week’s newsletter #574: East Liverpool, Ohio Voters win the Day against Red-Light and Speed Cameras.)

Despite all odds, volunteers were successful in getting the initiative on the November 5, 2019, Washington State ballot. Even though the other side spent a great deal of money to defeat Initiative 976, it passed with 55 percent of the vote. (Oddly enough, similar initiatives to cap car tab fees at $30 per vehicle passed in 1999 and again in 2002. The state government kept inching the fees up, which is why public advocates had to take action yet again.) Passage of the initiative also means an immediate $450 million hole in the state transportation budget now exists.

The immediate response by the state and localities involved court cases, broken promises, and a great deal of handwringing.

Lawyers for the city of Seattle, King County, and the Association of Washington Cities successfully argued before a local judge who issued a preliminary injunction to block the measure from taking effect. In December 2019, a divided State Supreme Court upheld the ruling.

Three high-court justices, though, disagreed with the ruling and insisted that the public will should not be ignored. They wrote in their dissent:

“Delaying the effective date of a law enacted by initiative is an extraordinary measure, and it is debatable whether the challengers have shown a likelihood of success on their constitutional challenges to the initiative. While the challengers point to significant losses in revenue and service that could result from a stay and the state highlights the cost of any necessary taxpayer refunds, these monetary injuries are not the only ones that matter. Also important is the potential harm to voters’ confidence in the initiative system and our democratic process as a whole.”

The dissenting opinion noted that, generally, an initiative is presumed valid until it has been proven unconstitutional through the full court process.

Eyman, who is now running for governor, said that he felt that Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson nominally defended the vote in court. Eyman claims that Ferguson tried to sabotage the case by failing to file for a change of venue to take the case out of King County (which overwhelmingly voted for the measure).

By the end of November, the Washington State Department of Transportation, under the direction of Governor Jay Inslee, released a list of transportation projects that would now be deferred.

State DOT Secretary Roger Millar wrote in a November 26th letter that the purpose of delaying projects that are not yet underway is to provide state lawmakers and the Governor more funding flexibility. The deferred list also included projects funded by the Connecting Washington transportation package of 2015, which was an 11.9 percent gas tax increase. These projects funded by the 2015 gas tax increase did not have any funding from the vehicle registration fees funding, and many question why these projects were put on the list.

Overall, Washington decided to place 90 different transportation projects on hold while the Governor and state lawmakers sort out funding priorities during the 2020 legislative session.

One such project: the North Spokane Corridor (NSC) Project, also called the North-South Freeway, had been promised to voters for decades and was finally funded in 2015. Even though the Connecting Washington funds included other car taxes and fees, the WSDOT confirmed to Washington Policy Center’s Transportation Chief Mariya Frost that the NSC is funded solely by the 2015 gas tax increase—the same gas tax increase that Initiative 976 does not impact.

Curiously, several bike and pedestrian projects still have funding, even though resources for these projects came entirely out of the state’s Multimodal Account. Many alternative transportation and transit projects would have lost much of its funding due to the reduction in car tab fees brought on by Initiative 976.

Now that the State Supreme Court has weighed in on the debate, motorists have no choice but to keep pushing for what they voted for and passed in November.

Eyman has also encouraged Initiative supporters to only pay the $30 car tab fee as set out in the voter-approved law.

When states are allowed to ignore the will of the people, the democratic process breaks down as Washington State has so aptly demonstrated.


Click to join.
Click to join.

Damon Hypersport to take the red carpet at Sundance Film Festival--As a continuation of our media tour, we're headed to the Sundance Film Festival. Both our Virtual Reality Experience and our Hypersport prototype will hit “The Luxury Escape,” an exclusive reception for Sundance attendees.

“The successful unveiling and overwhelming response of the Hypersport at CES has been quite a ride,” said Jay Giraud, co-founder and CEO at Damon. “We’re excited now to take the Hypersport on the road to Sundance and give attendees a firsthand look at what the future of motorcycling is all about.”

Event Details

WHAT – Damon Motorcycles to showcase Hypersport at The Luxury Escape
WHEN – January 24–27, 2020
WHERE – St. Regis Deer Valley Resort – Park City, Utah

SALT TORPEDO TO-DO LIST—After making several passes on a stretch of pavement in the desert we have a to-do list.

I spoke to Chris Morrison about a paint job. His shop is next to Larry Settle’s in Harbor City.

We need to adjust the shocks. The torpedo is seriously lower than when we rolled into the desert. Something settled and we had a slight shimmy.

I spoke to Gary Maur, who is in Detroit and has built numerous 300 mph drag cars. The axle rake is currently at 6 degrees. He said to go to 10 degrees for more stability.

We need to check the clutch and and clutch cable. We had a problem, but Micah adjusted it and was good to go. We need to take a second look.

Fix the rear brake anchor tab and inspect.

Wiring issue. A loose wire?

Check front wheel tow-in.
More to come on this list, but we're getting there.


More great news for Adam Croft Leather in 2020--Happy to announce that Kenny Dukes at Hellbenders Motorcycles in Zephyrhills FL has decided to equip all their custom-built choppers exclusively with Adam Croft Leather for handmade motorcycle seats.

Adam is excited to have the opportunity to make his one of a kind seats for Hellbenders Motorcycles.

Contact Kenny at Hellbenders Motorcycles for your next chopper on Facebook and Instagram.

--Adam Croft Leather

HELMET REPEAL EFFORTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY--Since 1966, when Georgia became the first State to require helmet use by law, America has gone through periods of nearly 100% conformity with every state except California passing mandatory helmet laws, through two federal helmet law mandates, both since repealed, to today with only 19 states and the District of Columbia requiring helmets for all riders.

Now, with state legislatures back in session entering the new year, several of those states are hoping to be the next to nix their lid law, following most recently Arkansas (1997), Texas (1997), Kentucky (1998), Florida (2000), Pennsylvania (2003) and Michigan (2012). Louisiana weakened its motorcycle helmet use law in 1999, but re-enacted it in 2004.

Already this year, West Virginia has introduced bicameral legislation on January 10th, HB 2070 in the House and SB 153 in the Senate, that would allow you to operate or be a passenger on a motorcycle without a helmet, provided the rider is 21 or older and has held a motorcycle license for at least two years. In addition, SB 154 would allow certain out-of-state residents ride a motorcycle in West Virginia without helmet.

Missouri, which last session passed a helmet repeal through both houses of their legislature, only to see it vetoed, once again, by their governor, has introduced another bill on January 9th to exempt persons 18 or older with a valid motorcycle license from wearing protective headgear while riding a motorcycle or motortricycle.

In New York, A6895, introduced January 8th, provides that motorcyclists over the age of 21 shall be exempt from the requirement to wear a helmet when operating or riding a motorcycle, while A3004 “requires motorcycle users to wear helmets that meet the federal motor vehicle safety standards and which have been impact-tested by the U.S. department of transportation, the commissioner of motor vehicles or by an independent laboratory approved by the commissioner of motor vehicles.”

Meanwhile, companion bills A214/S320 authorizes the commissioner of transportation to conduct a comprehensive study of the efficacy of motorcycle helmets.

Vermont’s legislature is considering S203, an act relating to motorcycle helmets, which “proposes to amend the motorcycle helmet law to only apply to motorcycle operators and riders under 21 years of age and creates an exemption from the motorcycle helmet requirement for those operators and riders who are participating in a parade.”

The number of registered motorcycles in the U.S. is near historic highs, with more than 8.4 million registered motorcycles as of 2014, according to the U.S. DOT’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics. This is up from 4.3 million in 2000, nearly doubling over the past two decades.

--Bill Bish
NCOM Newsbytes

FROM THE BANDIT’S CANTINA BAD JOKE LIBRARY--JEFF FOXWORTHY COMMENTING ON IOWA!! If you're proud that your region makes the national news at least 96 times each year because it's the hottest or the coldest... spot in
the nation, you might live in Spencer, Iowa
If your dad's suntan stops at a line curving around the middle of his forehead, you might farm in Carroll, Iowa.

If you have worn shorts and a parka at the same time, you might live in Spirit Lake , Iowa.

If your town has an equal number of bars and churches, you might live in Maple River , Iowa.

If you have had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who
dialed a wrong number, you might live in Anthon , Iowa.

YOU KNOW YOU ARE A TRUE Iowan WHEN 'Vacation' means going east or west on I-80 for the weekend...

If you measure distance in hours, you might live in Iowa.

If you know several people who have hit a deer more than once, you
might live in Sac City , Iowa.

If you often switch from 'Heat' to 'A/C' in the same day and back
again, you might live in Denison, Iowa.

If you can drive 65 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard, without flinching, you might live Mapleton, Iowa.

If you see people wearing camouflage at social events (including weddings), you might live in Battle Creek, Iowa.

If you install security lights on your house and garage and leave both unlocked, you might live in Danbury, Iowa.

If you carry jumper cables in your car, and your girlfriend knows how to use them, you might live in Correctionville, Iowa.

If you design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit, you might live in Northern Iowa.

If driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow, you might live in Ida Grove, Iowa.

If you know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter and
road construction, you might live in
Carroll, Iowa.

If your idea of creative landscaping is a statue of a deer next to your blue spruce, you might live in Schleswig, Iowa.

If you were unaware that there is a legal drinking age, you might live in Iowa City , Iowa.

If Going Down South means Missouri, you might live in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

If your neighbor throws a party to celebrate his new pole shed, you might live in Charter Oak, Iowa.

If your idea of going out to eat is a tail gate party every Saturday, you definitely live in Iowa.

If you have more miles on your snow blower than your car; you
might live in Sioux City, Iowa.

If you find 0 degrees to be 'a little chilly', you might live in Washta, Iowa.

--from Andy

CLARA WAGNER--Pioneer female motorcyclist Clara Wagner
In 1907, Clara Wagner became the first female member of the Federation of American Motorcyclists.

Fifty-nine years before Peter Fonda flashed those pearly whites behind the handlebars of his custom Captain American chopper in “Easy Rider,” 18-year-old Clara Marian Wagner was taking top honors in a 365-mile motorcycle endurance race.

Her father owned the Wagner Motorcycle Company. And when Clara joined the Federation of American Motorcyclists (FAM) in 1907 at just 15, she became its first female member. Two years later, when Wagner rolled out a woman’s “drop-frame” bike, Clara slid onto the seat and put the company on the map as the world’s first documented female motorcyclist.

Denied her trophy
In 1910, riding a 4-horsepower motorcycle, Wagner achieved a perfect score of 1000 in a 365-mile endurance race from Chicago to Indianapolis in bad weather, on mud-covered, pothole-pitted roads. She was all of 18. But the judges disqualified her as an “unofficial registrant” on the grounds that motorcycling was too dangerous for women, and denied Wagner the winning trophy.

Though Clara Wagner didn’t come home with the top prize, she became famous when her image appeared on a series of postcards hailing her as “the most successful and experienced lady motorcyclist” who rode the first bike designed especially for women.

--Wednesday’s Women with Sandy Levins

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Do you have names of any news stands selling the new Easyriders magazine| Thanks.

Charlotte, NC
Friday, January 24, 2020
Editor Response No, I don't, but I believe you found one. Mike is going to write a review for the Bikernet News next week.

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