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NCOM Biker Newsbytes for July 2022

Industry & Legislative Motorcycle News from USA and the world

Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish with vintage images from the Bob T. Collection
7/20/2022


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2022 Silver Spoke Winners
2022 Silver Spoke Winners


 
NCOM CONVENTION ROCKS NASHVILLE
Hundreds of bikers’ rights activists from across America rumbled into ‘Music City USA’ to rock the country capital with the sounds of motorcycles and two-wheel politics, as the National Coalition of Motorcyclists hosted their 37th annual NCOM Convention, June 17-19 in Nashville, Tennessee!

Rising to the call for action on numerous topics of concern to all riders, concerned advocates from the ranks of Motorcycle Rights Organizations (MROs), clubs (Confederations of Clubs) and independent riders gathered to learn and share for the betterment of biking.

Agenda items dealt with legal and legislative issues, with special emphasis on telematics and the electrification of the vehicle fleet, protecting your digital data, and your personal Privacy.

Special Meetings were conducted for Women in Motorcycling, a Clean & Sober Roundtable, an AIM Attorney Conference, as well as the Christian Unity Conference and Confederation of Clubs Patch Holders Meeting.

NCOM board member Ed Schetter, a veteran of the auto industry and Executive Director of ABATE of Ohio, presented a “We Just Want Our Place on the Road and Safe Fuel” seminar detailing the impending advance of driverless cars and imminent demise (?) of internal combustion engines (ICE), relating the impact on the motorcycling community and our lifestyle.

Medical trainer EMT Dick “Slider” Gilmore expanded his First Responder and Golden Hour repertoire to include a new “Save A Biker’s Life” presentation focusing not only on the health implications of diabetes in general, but also on special considerations specifically for riders, and was well attended and informative as always.

Slider’s blood- and Sons of Silence M/C club-brother “Chopper” Gilmore was later honored during the Silver Spoke Awards Banquet with the Christian Unity award for his ministerial work. Other Silver Spoke Award recipients were: singer/songwriter David Allen Coe for Entertainment; Tommy Simpson of the Outlaws M/C and CMT/ABATE of Tennessee receiving the Freedom Fighter award; and NCOM’s highest honor, the Ron Roloff Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Florida AIM Attorney Jerry “T” Theophilopoulos largely for his legal work with the clubs, COCs and ABATE of Florida.

Following the feast and festivities, and a lively auction to benefit the ‘Freedom Fund,’ NCOM Board Chairman James “Doc” Reichenbach, President of ABATE of Florida, adjourned the 2022 NCOM Convention with the announcement that next year’s Convention is scheduled for Father’s Day weekend, June 16-18, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona, so check back at www.ON-A-BIKE.com for further details as they are announced.
 
 
WELCOME TO NCOM – United we Ride, Divided we Drive!
The National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) proudly welcomes the following motorcycle organizations approved by the NCOM Board of Directors 07/17/22 at the NCOM Convention in Nashville as our newest NCOM Member Groups, joining in unity with over 2,000 other motorcycle rights organizations, rider groups, clubs and associations from nearly every state and Canadian Province:

~ Bikers Rights Organization (CA)
~ ABATE of Florida Safety & Education Inc.
~ Wyoming Confederation of Clubs

NCOM serves as a nationwide umbrella organization that provides legislative assistance, information network and legal resources; and also reaches out to various segments of the motorcycle community such as Christian Motorcycling, women riders, sportbikers, independent motorcycle shops, touring associations, clean & sober groups, and veterans – helping to form coalitions and foster cooperation between all segments of motorcycle riders.

Also, the NCOM Board of Directors wishes to welcome Robert Petty of the Modified Motorcycle Association (MMA) of California and BRO, as co-director of NCOM Region I: (AK, CA, HI, ID, OR & WA).

NCOM also mourns the recent passing of former board member Ollie "Laddie" Elkins, past ABATE of Louisiana State President.
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FUEL TRANSPARENCY
Responding to a Biden Administration announcement that the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) would temporarily lift summer restrictions on the sale of E15 gasoline to the public, fuel containing 15% ethanol, U.S. Representatives Austin Scott (R-GA) and Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL) introduced the Consumer Protection and Fuel Transparency Act of 2022 (H.R. 7731).

Many consumers, specifically owners of motorcycles, ATVs and other small engine machines, are not aware that higher blends of ethanol can damage their engines and even void manufacturer’s warranties, so H.R. 7731 would require more detailed labeling of gas pumps to warn about the harmful impacts of misfueling.

Concerned riders are urged to contact their Congressional Representative by calling the U.S. Capital Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask for their support and to cosponsor H.R. 7731.
 

 
TENNESSEE WAIVES REGISTRATION FEES FOR ONE YEAR
If you own a motorcycle in Tennessee, or personal automobile, you should be aware of a new moratorium on state vehicle registration fees that the governor has signed into law. It affects motor vehicle renewals that are currently scheduled to take place between July 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023, so for an entire year Tennesseans have a moratorium on motorcycle and personal motor vehicle registration fees to the state (not any others).

It’s part of Senate Bill 2491, which Governor Bill Lee officially signed into law on June 3,2022, and the whole thing is a larger budget appropriations bill, but it includes what could be a helpful provision for a lot of road users tucked inside it, by putting some money back into the pockets of most vehicle owners.

The waived fees will be for Class-A vehicles, which include motorcycles, and Class-B vehicles, which include passenger motor vehicles and motor homes, but not for commercial vehicles or electrics.
 
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IOWA ATV RIDERS NOW HAVE GREATER ACCESS TO STATE ROADS
Iowa recently changed their state’s laws that previously restricted the use of some powersports vehicles on state roads, and as of July 1, 2022, ATV and UTV riders in Iowa now enjoy greater use and access for their rides throughout the Hawkeye State.

The new law was the result of a 2020 survey completed by ATV and UTV owners, asking them which Iowa laws restricting off-road riding that they wanted to see changed. Riders wanted to be able to ride on more county and state roadways in order to connect trailheads, and they wanted the opportunity to ride in all 99 Iowa counties.

These changes don’t give off-roaders unfettered use of the roadways, however, as vehicles are limited to 35 mph, must behave like other traffic, have operational headlights, taillights and brake lights, a horn, and rearview mirrors, and operators must be 18 or older and possess a valid license and insurance

Riders also must take the most direct route to and from ATV parks and their home, with limited access to state two-lane and county highways day or night, but are still not allowed on state four-lane or interstate highways.
 

 
NEW YORK GETS TOUGH ON NON-LEGAL ROAD BIKES
New York City officials bulldozed nearly a thousand non road-legal motorcycles, dirt bikes and ATVs confiscated by the NYPD, as the city and police force sought to remind citizens of the importance of abiding by the law.

Over 900 bikes and ATVs were crushed and flattened during a public bulldozing demonstration, making the statement that the seizure of unlawfully operated bikes on the street is “part of a public safety push by new NYC Mayor Eric Adams… ”noting that [illegal motorcycles, dirt bikes and ATVs] are not only a nuisance and an annoyance to us, but they are extremely dangerous...”

The push to take action follows undeniable statistics; apparently over 2000 vehicles have been seized in 2022, making up a nearly 80% increase in seizures compared to the number of bikes taken by the law in 2021.

“We see them all the time, we hear them all the time at night. We see the large numbers that are moving throughout our streets, and we want to be clear that this is not acceptable,” admonishes Mayor Adams, explaining that the reason for choosing destruction over sourcing or selling the machines “…because it keeps them off the street permanently.”
 
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NO MORE LICENSES REQUIRED FOR THREE-WHEELERS IN UTAH
The transportation and technology communities have been talking about autocycles for a few years now, with several states attempting to classify the strange new three-wheel vehicles that are not quite car but not a motorcycle, creating difficulties for riders and confusion at license bureaus.

Following much lobbying by autocycle manufacturers such as Polaris, many states no longer require operators to acquire a motorcycle endorsement on their license, such as in Utah, but like others their state defined an autocycle as having “a steering wheel.”

That’s about to change with House Bill 391, which Governor Spencer Cox signed into law, tweaking the definition of an autocycle just enough that Utahns won't need a motorcycle license at all to drive an “autocycle,” steering wheel or not.

Rep. (Kay) Christofferson (R-Lehi), co-sponsor of HB391, explained that all the bill does is adjust the state's definition of an autocycle from having "a steering wheel" to a "steering mechanism" and tacks on a provision regarding seat belts. So, the state's new definition says an autocycle is a vehicle "designed to travel with three or fewer wheels in contact with the ground; and is equipped with a steering mechanism, seat belts and seating that does not require the operator to straddle or sit astride the motor."

But that small amendment to the law is all that was needed to make some autocycles (with handlebars) more accessible to Utah riders without a special permit. Proponents also point out that because of autonomous vehicles, steering wheels are becoming obsolete, so passing HB 391 puts Utah ahead of the curve.
 

 
INTERNATIONAL MOTORCYCLE SHOWS (IMS) CIRCUIT CANCELLED
The COVID-19 health crisis has taken a toll on motorcycle manufacturers and dealerships, as well as riders themselves, but with all of the social distancing, masking, and vaccine mandates that events like the International Motorcycle Shows (IMS) has had to continually adapt to over the past two years, the 2022 IMS Outdoors powersports show tour has been canceled.

The original 2022 schedule was set to kick off in Colorado in June, with stops in Chicago, New York, Atlanta, Southern California, and elsewhere, but IMS officials cited in a press release the way “brands promote their products amidst the continued manufacturing and sourcing delays associated with the pandemic” as the main driver of the cancellation.

According to IMS, that shifting landscape doesn’t allow the organizers to deliver an experience that meets its expectations.
 
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QUOTABLE QUOTE:
"The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments.”
~ U.S. Senator William H. Borah (1865-1940) affectionately known as the "Lion of Idaho"
 
ABOUT AIM / NCOM: 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 (www.ON-A-BIKE.com / 800-ON-A-BIKE).
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NCOM Newsbytes 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 AIM / NCOM MOTORCYCLE E-NEWS SERVICE

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