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RPM Act, Motorcycle Profiling, Fuels and more

--Bandit with photos from the exclusive Bob T. collection

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Consumer Protection and Fuel Transparency Act – H.R. 1024
In February, Congressman Scott Austin of Georgia introduced H.R. 1024. This legislation seeks an educational campaign about E-15 and new labeling at fuel pumps
warning consumers to check their owner’s manual when using E-15 fuel.
This simple educational campaign and warning label will alert consumers that further education on their part may be needed. By encouraging consumers to check
their owner’s manual, consumers will have the necessary knowledge to make informed decisions about the fuel they put in their engines.

The MRF believes that
an educated consumer is empowered to make the right decision for their specific

This is another example of the MRF working with likeminded groups, with common
interests to impact legislation. As you can imagine, motorcycles are not the only
engines affected by ethanol. The MRF has been in contact with the Marine Retailers Association, National Marine Manufacturers Association, Specialty Equipment
Market Association, Briggs & Stratton, American Sportfishing Association, Boat
US, Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, American Highway Users Alliance and the
snowmobile industry in hopes of raising awareness about the impact of ethanol on

This legislation currently has bipartisan 19 cosponsors.

Motorcycle Profiling – H. Re.s 255
In March, Congressman Tim Walberg of Michigan introduced H. Res. 255, the motorcyclist profiling resolution in the House of Representatives. This resolution is
identical to the Senate version lead by Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin that
passed in December 2018.

In an attempt to shine a light on the issue and earn passage in the House of Representatives, the MRF has committed to driving cosponsors to the resolution. The
MRF DC team, in coordination with SMRO’s and individual MRF members, have undertaken a wide-reaching education campaign aimed at lawmakers and their staffs.

This “full-court press” has resulted in over 120 bipartisan Members of Congress
joining the resolution in just eight months. These members represent 42 different
states and American Samoa. The previous two previous versions of this resolution
from 114th and 115th Congress had 18 and 37 cosponsors, respectively.

We hope that this dramatic growth in cosponsors over the last four years will
demonstrate to Congressional leadership that motorcyclists and their elected officials are serious about the issue of profiling and passage of H. Res 255 should be a
priority in 2020.

Definition of a Motorcycle

In April, Members of the House Motorcycle Caucus lead by Congressman Michael
Buress of Texas sent a bipartisan letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) asking for a review of the current definition of a motorcycle.

As many of you know, the current definition of a motorcycle (listed below) is over
40 years old and extremely broad.
Motorcycle means a motor vehicle with motive power having a seat or saddle for
the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground.

The current definition means that so-called “autocycles” are technically motorcycles under the current federal law. This has created a patchwork set of laws surrounding motorcycles and autocycles at the state level. We thank the 7 Congressmen who signed the letter seeking information on the topic from NHTSA and will
continue to look for ways to find a more common-sense definition of a motorcycle.
Autonomous Vehicle Technology
In August, the MRF was invited by Senate and House staff to discuss potential autonomous vehicle (AV) legislation. In cooperation with the American Motorcyclists
Association and Harley-Davidson, the MRF submitted a written proposal listing the
priorities for motorcyclists in any autonomous vehicle legislation.

In the previous Congress, only the Senate version of this legislation specifically named motorcyclists as roadway users that AV manufacturers needed to account for specifically.

While no bill has yet been made public, the Senate Commerce Committee held
hearing late in the year on the topic of AV technology. The MRF was encouraged
that three Senators two during the hearing and one in written form asked officials
at the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about AV policy and the need to ensure motorcycles are considered in both legislation and the rulemaking process.

RPM ACT of 2019 – S. 2602 and H.R. 5434
In October, Senators Richard Burr of North Carolina and Joe Manchin of West Virginia along with bipartisan cosponsors introduced S. 2602, Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act of 2019 (RPM Act).

This bill would exclude vehicles to be used solely for competition from certain provisions of the Clean Air Act, and for other purposes. As you may remember, the
Motorcycle Riders Foundation along with a dozen other organizations teamed up
with the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) during the 115th
Congress in promoting the passage of this legislation which would exempt
you from the provisions of the Clean Air Act which makes it illegal for you to turn a
street-legal vehicle or motorcycle into performance race vehicle.

The legislation took some time to be introduced during this Congress due to some changes to the previous version of the bill. One of those changes would ensure
this legislation would be in effect immediately after passage and would protect the
racers, consumers and aftermarket industry for using or producing, selling, and/
or distributing emissions-related race parts for use on vehicles used exclusively for
competition while the EPA writes regulations.

In the waning legislative days of 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives followed
their colleagues and introduced the companion bill H.R. 5434. This legislation is
led by Representatives Patrick McHenry (R-NC) and Raul Ruiz (D-CA) along with
six other original cosponsors. Currently, the Senate bill has 28 bipartisan cosponsors and the House bill has 11 bipartisan cosponsors.

Motorcycle Advisory Council – H.R. 5234:
In November, Congressman Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin introduced the Motorcyclist Advisory Council Reauthorization Act.
The Motorcycle Advisory Council (MAC) was first established by Congress in 2005
and reauthorized in 2015.

The MAC is responsible for providing advice and recommendations concerning infrastructure issues elated to motorcyclist safety, including barrier design, road design, construction, maintenance practices, and the architecture and implementation of intelligent transportation system technologies.

In cooperation with Harley-Davidson, the American Motorcyclists Association and
ABATE of Wisconsin, the MRF helped advocate for common-sense changes to the
MAC which will help ensure that motorcyclists have a seat at the table when issues impacted them are discussed at and recommended to policymakers. Below are
three critical changes this legislation would implement.

1. Reauthorizing the MAC for 6 years. This ensures that the MAC has an established timeline for its work.
2. Requiring that the MAC submit a biennial recommendations report. At a
minimum, 3 reports on motorcycle policy will now be required to be submitted to the Department of Transportation and Congress for review.
3. Clarifying the Membership of the MAC. This bill sets aside specific seats
on the 12-member board for motorcycle riders and advocates. For example,
1 seat is reserved for each of the following, a national motorcyclist foundation, a national motorcyclist association, and a national motorcycle manufacturing association.
In 2020, the MRF will continue to educate lawmakers on the topic of the MAC and
look for an opportunity for this legislation to pass on its own or be incorporated in
a more extensive transportation initiative.

Meetings and Conferences
Bikers Inside the Beltway
The 11th Annual Bikers Inside the Beltway commenced on May 21st at 6:45 am as
over 150 bikers began the journey from our hotel in Virginia to the footsteps of the
U.S. Capitol.

Riders met with Congressional offices to discuss issues like motorcycle profiling,
autonomous vehicle technology, the definition of a motorcycle and consumer education surrounding ethanol.

It goes without saying that when 150 plus bikers start roaming the halls of Congress, people take notice. In fact, we were so visible that a Congressman started up a conversation with a few riders in an elevator and the next day signed on to our profiling resolution!

At a ceremony in front of the U.S. Capitol with riders in attendance, Kirk “Hardtail”
Willard presented Congressman Michael Burgess of Texas with his Legislator of
the Year vest. Congressman Burgess spoke about the formation of the House Motorcycle Caucus and his efforts over the last decade to fight for the rights of motorcyclists.

Congressman Burgess was joined at the podium by Congressmen Tim
Walberg of Michigan and Congressman Troy Balderson of Ohio. All three Congressman are riders, members of the House Motorcycle Caucus and passionate about
protecting riders on and off the road.

Additionally, Senator John Thune of South Dakota was presented with his legislator
of the year vest in a ceremony in his office.

Senator Thune was honored because of his hard work to protect motorcyclists regarding autonomous vehicle legislation.

Meeting of the Minds
As summer turned to fall, hundreds of bikers gathered in Minnesota for the 35th
Annual Meeting of the Minds in Bloomington, MN. As anyone that has attended a
Meeting of the Minds, the event is one-part social event, one-part pep talk and
one-part a forum for the sharing of ideas. On all three accounts, the event in Minnesota was a resounding success.

The 30 plus SMROs represented shared ideas and strategies on what they are
working on in individual states and helped create the framework for the MRF and
its priorities for the coming year. The MRF thanks our hosts in Minnesota and all
the volunteers and attendees who took time out of their busy lives to focus on motorcyclist rights.

We look forward to the next fall in Indiana and expect our friends in the Hoosier
state to deliver a fantastic event! MOTM 2020 will be held on September 24-26th
in Indianapolis, IN.

State and Regional Events

This year the MRF DC team attended numerous regional and state level motorcycle events to educate members about the MRF and out priorities.

In March, we headed to Omaha, Nebraska for Heartland STEAM the gathering of
SMROs from Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, and
Wisconsin. In October, the MRF attended the Mid-South Mile in Shreveport, Louisiana which included motorcycle leaders from Arkansas, Kansas. Louisiana, Missouri,
Oklahoma and Texas.

Additionally, throughout the year, MRF representatives attended state-level meetings in Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin to discuss our federal priorities.

Year-End Stats:
6,182 – The number of letters sent by MRF Members to Congress during our “Call
to Actions”
253 – The number of Senate and House offices Tiffany and Rocky DC personally
visited throughout the year to discuss motorcycle issues.
166 – The number of meetings MRF Members did in one day during Bikers Inside
the Beltway!
27 – Representatives that are members of the House Motorcycle Caucus
8 – Senators that are members of the Senate Motorcycle Caucus
3 – The Number of fundraisers the MRF PAC authorized the DC team to attend with
motorcycle legislative champions (Sen. Johnson, Rep. Walberg, Rep. Burgess).


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