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Friday Edition


I like it Already!

By Bandit, Rogue, Wayfarer, Barry Green, Sam, the Redhead, Laura, Bob T. Stealth, RFR and the entire crew

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I like this year already.
It’s going to be whacky and wonderful. It’s just the 2nd day of January and the world is back in business. We’re all doing what we did a couple of weeks ago, going about taking the trash out, feeding the dog and heading off to work.

Hell, I have all the Deadlines for Cycle Source Magazine etched into my 2020 Pin-Up calendar. We need to break the mold for 2020. Do something crazy. I’m going to go back to Bonneville this year with something completely different.

And I’m trying to buy a little place in Deadwood, SD and change up my life some. I hope everyone finds new challenges, new hope, new adventures and new love in 2020.

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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.

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Organizer Drew Worldwide Attention to Women Riders

By Jim Witters

Although she has been riding for only five years, Hayley Bell found a way in 2019 to leave her indelible imprint on the world of motorcycling.

The 28-year-old from the United Kingdom is the founder and president of global business development for the Women Riders World Relay, a movement joined by thousands of motorcyclists from 84 countries to create a “global sisterhood of inspirational women” and to demonstrate to motorcycle manufacturers and makers of riding gear that female riders are a formidable and growing market that deserves their attention.

“For her efforts to promote the motorcycle lifestyle around the world and bring together riders from all nations and backgrounds, conveying the positive aspects of motorcycling and drawing attention to the market potential of female riders, Hayley Bell is the 2019 AMA Motorcyclist of the Year,” said Maggie McNalley-Bradshaw, chair of the AMA Board of Directors, which names the AMA Motorcyclist of the Year annually. “Women riders are an important segment of the motorcycling community and they are a critical building block for the future. Hayley’s efforts not only reaffirm that sentiment, but they help carry it forward at a time when motorcycling needs new riders in the fold.”

The AMA Motorcyclist of the Year is the individual who has had the most profound impact on the world of motorcycling during the past 12 months.

“I think Hayley was the first to say out loud what many women were thinking: ‘I am part of the fastest growing market in motorcycling. I have money and I want to buy gear that fits. Cater to me,’” said Liza Miller, founder of the Re-Cycle Garage, recipient of a 2019 Friend of the AMA Award and the vice president of public relations and media for the relay. “This is why so many women jumped on board so quickly. The time is now to change the world’s perception about women riders. And Hayley is the perfect role model.”

Bell grew up around motorcycles. Family members were riders. But Hayley wasn’t allowed to have a motorcycle.

“It wasn’t because I was a girl,” she said. “I was a bit reckless as a child.”

But the idea of being a motorcyclist “was always in the back of my mind.”

After finishing her schooling, Bell set out traveling. One of her stops was the Isle of Man TT, which “reignited the spark,” prompting her to take the test and get a motorcycle rider’s license.

“Soon after that, my ex-boyfriend took me for a ride on his bike, and I decided I wanted one of my own,” Bell said. “It was a quick turnaround.”

In the five years since she took up motorcycling, Bell has expanded her interests within the lifestyle.

The Relay
That desire to communicate the stories of others is the impetus behind the Women Riders World Relay.

“The real reason the WRWR started was that I wanted to show people what it is to be a female biker, how many of us there are, the vastness of the market,” Bell said. “And I wanted those stories to inspire other women.”

It worked.

“We had so many women who said, ‘I can’t do this,’ but then they did it,” Bell said. “The other riders were there to bond, build trust and give them a kick in the ass sometimes.

“For some of these women, this is the biggest thing they have done in their lives,” she said. “It’s the longest, coldest or the wettest ride they’ve ever taken. It’s the first time they’ve ridden with a partner or in a group or alone. This relay has provided firsts for so many.”

Participants have children, grandchildren or even great grandchildren, “and they are still riding,” Bell said. Riders ranged in age from 16 to 80.

“We have unleashed a collection of inspiring stories,” she said.

The participants carried the relay baton for a leg of the journey through their countries, then passed it along to the next group of riders.

Some rode through snow, at high altitudes—where altitude sickness can take a toll—and in temperatures below zero.
Bell related the story of one woman who was in tears 150 miles into a 500-mile day. She was on her phone, calling her partner to pick her up. She was ready to pack it in.
She saw Bell approach and said, “I’m done.”

Bell did not try to talk the woman out of her decision. Instead she delivered a simple message

“You’ll regret it if you quit now,” Bell told the woman.

“She battled through the rest of that day,” Bell said. “At the end, she said, ‘Thank you very much. I’ve achieved something. That was not an easy ride.’

“Most people wouldn’t do 10 minutes in some of this weather, let alone 500 miles,” Bell said.

TECH FROM TEXAS--I was reminded this morning, the redhead sent me an issue of Vibe years ago when she was in Japan. Young lady on the cover reminded me I need to find it and the Number 4 Easyriders Tech Tips and Tricks.

Couldn’t recall the exact name of those of the 4 tech issues, used google to search. Wow 199.99 for #4 on Amazon seriously?

Committed to a fashion look yesterday and had to wait that last rain ban out. Then followed behind them to church, of course I arrived two minutes before it ended, I’ll have to stream it later.

Finally, all rear lights are Kuryakyn LED, I like the run, stop, turn function. Forgot Harley added the plug-in connections in the taillight. See, I always solder my wires, except when I’m in a hurry, then I use wire splices.

Only two 100mph burst in this morning, I’m always running late. Ordered Gator Skin balaclava and glove liners, but used the H-D glove liner the redhead got me this morning. Have to wait until tomorrow mornings ride in to test the GS glove liners. But the hoodie thing is cool blocking the helmets vents (taped over) and keeping the neck/throat warm. Temps 39-41 in Willis, what’s the windchill at 80+ mph?


Hope everyone had a great Christmas. Just letting you know the Easyriders products finally arrived! This was in place of subscriptions when they closed shop. It took 2 1/2 months but they kept their word!

So it all seems cool, although I would rather have the Easyriders Magazine, I miss it.

Undercover reporter™

New Models, New Riders Entering The Fold

By Robert Johnson

I’m the proud owner of two Honda VTX1800Cs. I usually commute Denver’s I-25 daily on one of them.
Something I’ve noticed during the past couple of years is a transition in my fellow riders.

More and more, I see different styles of motorcycles—everything from sport bikes to adventure bikes, and still quite a few cruisers. It’s making me wonder if my bikes and I are dinosaurs.

I believe the change in bike designs and riding styles will be good for the motorcycle industry in general. It’s high time for fresh blood in the motorcycle world.

I compare this to what has happened to passenger cars, with the automotive industry moving to SUVs. Most major manufacturers have always built a variety of motorcycles and will have little problem transitioning to a changing rider scene.
Highly specialized manufacturers, like Harley-Davidson, are having to make bigger corrections. The V-twin cruiser was about all they were focused on. Watching Milwaukee correct course is very interesting. I’m sure they feel it’s imperative for their survival. But, still, not everything they’re doing is as radical as the Livewire electric motorcycle.

If you check out Harley-Davidson’s website, you will find that they aren’t moving far away from the tried-and-true V-twin drive train, but are adapting it to adventure touring and street fighter models coming in 2020. That is most likely the smartest course they can take. They’ve made great strides in recent years with dependability and reliability. H-D does know V-twins.

The question becomes: How far and fast is the transition that’s coming?

Am I—and both of my bikes, for that matter—truly on the verge of extinction?

I’m a realist. And, while I’ve been riding for about 50 years now, I don’t expect to be able to ride another 50. I hope I have a good 10 or 15 years ahead of me, though.

In the near future, when you attend events like the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Daytona Bike Week and Laconia Motorcycle Week, the V-twin cruiser will still be the predominant bike. But I welcome the variety of designs. This transition will ensure the survival of the transportation mode far into the future, well beyond the next generation or two.

Will I see a time when sport bikes and adventure tourers outnumber me and my brontosaurus bikes? I kind of doubt I’ll be around that long. But who knows for sure?

The transition for the other major manufacturers has not been as painful or as radical. Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha, BMW, Triumph and others have always built a wide variety of bikes without concentrating on a particular segment of the riding market. The real change for them is in the product mix that they roll out every year. They simply decrease the production of the cruisers, while beefing up the numbers of the other styles.

Builders like KTM, Ducati, Moto Guzzi and others are likely welcoming the transition with open arms. The bikes they build are appealing to more and more riders.
I’m not very familiar with European and other markets, but I realize the V-twin cruiser is primarily an American phenomenon. I suppose this means the transition to more “modern” bikes will be a bigger adjustment for American riders.

One area that Harley may have a leg up is a bit further in the future. The Livewire is probably the most interesting new motorcycle out there. The reviews I’ve read are surprisingly positive concerning the rideability of this machine.

Are we witnessing the end of the internal combustion engine in all vehicle forms? I hope I don’t see the day when I have to hunt for fuel for my bikes. When will the majority of “gas” stations be electric vehicle charging stations instead?
Is this what if feels like to be on the edge of extinction?

--from Rogue
Senior Editor Bikernet

I love all this doom and gloom stuff. I agree, that the future will hold new and exciting models for new markets. That’s all good, but the older stuff is what our tradition was built on and it continues to flourish and grow. It’s a blast and choppers will never die.--Bandit

LOWBROW End of Year Blowout...
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This is your last chance to grab a select new Biltwell Gringo or Gringo S helmet at 50% off. That saves you $79.97 to $114.97 per helmet depending on the style!

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AUSTRALIAN CLUB NEWS-- Cops secretly using facial recognition cameras at Victoria's busiest stations

Victoria Police is secretly using facial recognition technology to identify criminal suspects at 85 of the state's busiest police stations.

A month after body-worn cameras came under the spotlight, police figures reveal that another form of camera technology known as iFace has been rolled out at key stations. Victoria Police’s iFace program uses algorithms to measure features such as face width and the distance between nose, eyes and mouth before comparing the image against the facial characteristics of known offenders.

The system uses biometric software to identify suspects by comparing still images against Victoria Police’s mugshot database of known offenders.

But secrecy surrounds the network, its use and how many times people have been mistakenly flagged as potential criminals. Facial recognition technology has proved significantly inaccurate in overseas jurisdictions.Victoria Police are also not forthcoming about any plans to expand facial recognition technology more broadly through other types of surveillance equipment.

In July, Police Minister Lisa Neville unveiled a squad of 50 new “eye in the sky” drones, fitted with 360-degree cameras, that police can use for search-and-rescue missions, crime-prevention, and counter-terrorism. At the time police did not rule out combining the aerial devices with facial recognition software, saying there was “certainly the opportunity” to do so in the future.

A government spokeswoman said Victoria Police “have a range of methods in place to search for known offenders for investigative and intelligence gathering purposes” but there were currently no plans to use facial recognition technology on the new fleet of drones.

However, the growth of such technology is inevitable, with the spokeswoman telling The Age: “There is ongoing work across law enforcement agencies and Australian jurisdictions including the Commonwealth government on the future use of emerging technologies to assist with community safety and law enforcement.”

Human rights and privacy advocates say there is not enough transparency surrounding the network, and some have called for tighter safeguards.

Overseas trials have highlighted privacy concerns, as well as large numbers of mismatches known as “false positives” and a higher tendency to mis-identify ethnic minorities and women. London's Metropolitan Police used facial recognition at the city’s Notting Hill carnival in 2016 and 2017, and at a Remembrance Sunday event, but its system incorrectly flagged 102 people as potential suspects. And in the US, Axon, which manufactures the body-worn cameras used by Victoria Police, recently considered fitting its products with artificial intelligence and facial recognition capabilities, until its own ethics board warned against it.

Debate over artificial intelligence and facial recognition reignited last week when Australia’s Human Rights Commission called for a moratorium on the use of some technologies until there is a legal framework to safeguard human rights. Victoria Police declined to discuss the rate of false positives, other than to insist that “since the rollout of these [iFace] cameras in 2015, police have always had the ability to override any decisions made by the system at any time”.

“During offender processing at locations where an iFace camera is in use, there are a range of techniques in place to prevent someone being linked to the wrong image,” the spokeswoman said. Victoria Police’s iFace program uses algorithms to measure features such as face width and the distance between nose, eyes and mouth before comparing the image against the facial characteristics of known offenders to generate a match. It currently has no capability to run searches against CCTV footage or video, police say, because “all searches require a still image and are performed after an offence has occurred”.

Human rights and privacy advocates say there is not enough transparency surrounding the network, and some have called for tighter safeguards to ensure that vulnerable people are not unfairly targeted. “Surveillance and tracking technology is susceptible to existing biases and prejudices,” said Anthony Kelly, who heads the Police Accountability Project at the Flemington Kensington Community Legal Centre.

“It will inevitably be pointed towards and most impact those who are already targeted by police – the poor, the mentally ill and people who are politically active.” As the use of AI technology expands, some point to the risks in China – which is creating a mass government surveillance system that can match faces to a database of 1.3 billion ID photos in seconds – as a cautionary tale.

“The potential human rights impact is enormous and unprecedented,” the Australian Human Rights Commission wrote in a recent discussion paper.

"AI, for example, can have far-reaching and irreversible consequences for how we protect privacy, how we combat discrimination and how we deliver health care — to name only three areas.” In Australia, one recent plan was for the Department of Home Affairs to create and maintain a national database of facial images and other identity information that would be shared by state and federal government agencies, and in some cases, private organizations.

However, the Identity Matching Services Bill was rejected in October by the Federal Parliament’s joint intelligence and security committee, with Liberal and Labor MPs demanding the legislation be redrafted to ensure citizens’ rights are protected.

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