THE AIM/NCOM MOTORCYCLE E-NEWS SERVICE 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.

NCOM BIKER NEWSBYTES

Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,

National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)

NCOM CONVENTION ROLLS ON DESPITE CORONAVIRUS

It’s not too late to plan on attending the 35th Annual NCOM Convention in Indianapolis, so mark your calendar now for the weekend of October 16-18 at the Marriott Indianapolis East (7202 East 21st Street in Indianapolis) to join with hundreds of like-minded bikers rights activists from across the country in the fight for our rights!

Lectures and roundtable discussions will feature legal and legislative issues such as anti-profiling and “Save the Patch” efforts; with “Protect Your Rights/Probable Cause” and “Vulnerable Road Users Legislation To Protect Our Riders” seminars; attorney talks on “Freedom of the Road and the Use of the Courts” and “Five Things Every MC Organization or Club Should Know”; Special Meetings for Women in Motorcycling and Clean & Sober Roundtable; as well as the Christian Unity Conference and Confederation of Clubs Patch Holders Meeting.  Renowned EMT Dick “Slider” Gilmore will present his “Save a Biker’s Life” seminar on The Golden Hour.

A highlight of the NCOM Convention will be the Silver Spoke Awards Banquet, recognizing outstanding freedom fighters for their contributions to the cause, and featuring James “Hollywood” Mececari of Insane Throttle Motorcycle Magazine as dinner speaker.

With the Indianapolis Convention heading into the home stretch, you should pre-register now by calling the National Coalition of Motorcyclists at (800) 525-5355 or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com.  For more info, click on http://onabike.com/national-coalition-of-motorcyclists/convention.html

FAKE NEWS: STURGIS RALLY NOT A “SUPER-SPREADER”

“NO, THE STURGIS MOTORCYCLE RALLY DIDN’T SPAWN 250,000 CORONAVIRUS CASES,” read the Reason magazine headline of Sept. 10, about a month after the rally that drew almost a half million bikers to South Dakota.  “In plain reality, State Officials could only trace 260 cases to the biking event, an egregious and oft repeated lie goes unchecked,” challenged FOX-News TV host Laura Ingraham on Sept. 10.

We were told by the mainstream press that the August gathering of bikers was a “super-spreader” that was responsible for dispersing COVID-19 to more than a quarter-million Americans (266,796), making it the root of about 20% of ALL new Coronavirus cases in the U.S., or so said researchers from the IZA Institute of Labor Economics, and national news outlets ran with it no questions asked.

“The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally represents a situation where many of the ‘worst-case scenarios’ for superspreading occurred simultaneously,” the researchers write in the new paper, titled “The Contagion Externality of a Superspreading Event: The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and COVID-19,” which also reported that the rally cost public health $12.2 billion.

Not so fast, replied the City of Sturgis in a prepared statement; “The San Diego State University IZA study regarding the COVID-19 cases resulting from the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is blatantly faulty,” countered city manager Daniel Ainslie.  “Their outrageous conclusions are antithetical to actual case data as numerous State Officials across the United States have been actively seeking to tie any COVID-19 case to the event.  The careless ease with which mainstream media outlets have published a report that multiplies factual data by 1,000 is shameful.”

The IZA paper “isn’t science; it’s fiction,” Governor Kristi Noem (R) added.

JUDGE RULES PENNSYLVANIA LOCKDOWN ORDERS UNCONSTITUTIONAL

Lockdowns and stay-at-home orders affect us all in many ways, but motorcycle riders in particular are impacted by problems such as traffic and transportation complications, event cancellations, as well as supply chain breakdowns that influence cost and availability of parts for maintenance and repairs.  Therefore, it’s interesting to note that a federal district court in Western Pennsylvania has held that certain COVID-19 mitigation measures ordered by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania were in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

Conceding the efforts were a “well-intentioned effort to protect Pennsylvanians from the virus,” Judge William S. Stickman, IV nevertheless held that portions of the orders issued by Governor Tom Wolf (D) violated the First Amendment as well as the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.  Issued Sept. 14 in Butler v. Wolf, the court found:

–  Limits on gatherings of certain sizes — up to 25 people indoors and 250 outdoors — violated the First Amendment right of assembly;

–  Orders closing “non-life-sustaining” businesses violated both the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the 14th Amendment; and

–  A stay-at-home order as implemented violated the Due Process Clause.

The Commonwealth has announced it will appeal the decision.

Unlike the few earlier cases where judges limited gubernatorial power under state constitutions, Judge Stickman found that Pennsylvania’s virus mitigation efforts violated the U.S. Constitution; thus, according to the National Law Review, his opinion arguably raises issues that could impact COVID-19 mitigation orders nationwide.

DEMAND FOR RIDER TRAINING STAYS STRONG DURING PANDEMIC

Through statewide lockdowns and pandemic precautions nationwide, and months into the Coronavirus crisis, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation reports seeing strong demand for rider education across the country, with many states and locales experiencing an increased training volume over last year’s numbers despite operating under reduced capacity due to local rules.

“Last month, we beat our sales forecast for MSF curriculum materials, and that original prediction was made a year ago, before any of us had heard of COVID-19,” said Robert Gladden, MSF vice president of training operations. “Also, we blew right through the forecast on log-ins, with many current and potential riders visiting us on the web and gaining some good motorcycle education through their computers and mobile devices.”

The MSF has conducted 26 vRETS webinars for thousands of RiderCoaches, has provided interim training guidelines on moving classroom activities to safer environments outside on training ranges, and implemented a COVID-19 waiver and release that enabled many course providers to resume training at public facilities.

“The fact that training volume remains high, with classes scheduled well into autumn, is a testament not only to the hard work and dedication of the MSF training community, but also to the popularity of motorcycling as hundreds of thousands of students seek out MSF instruction,” said Gladden, adding “We’re pleased and proud to help them become riders and remain lifelong learners.”

OFF-ROAD CYCLE SALES SOAR AS MORE RIDERS PLAYING IN THE DIRT

Off-highway motorcycle sales rocketed 50.3% in the first half of the year compared with the same period last year, while dual-purpose motorcycle sales jumped 20.9%, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council Retail Sales Reporting System.

“The pandemic has amplified what’s positive about getting out on motorcycles,” said Erik Pritchard, president and CEO of the Motorcycle Industry Council.  “You can get out of the house, have fun with your loved ones, and still maintain social distancing.”

Off-highway motorcycles include dirt bikes, trail bikes, competition motorcycles, and other motorized two-wheelers that cannot be used on public roads.  Dual-purpose motorcycles are street legal and are also designed to be used on off-road trails.

At the same time, on-highway motorcycles saw sales in the first six months up 6.4% from 2019.

“There are many benefits to motorcycles and scooters,” according to Pritchard. “In normal times, studies have shown that they help alleviate congestion.  During this pandemic, being on a motorcycle means being able to avoid crowds and lessening the chance of spreading and picking up germs.  And many riders say it adds fun to a normally mundane commute.”

MOTORCYCLE THEFTS DECLINE IN THE U.S.

Unlike cars, which have a plethora of anti-theft security features, motorcycles are pretty much left to the mercy of thieves, and it would appear that a lot of riders have become more vigilant in securing their beloved bikes in ways to prevent motorcycle theft.

Motorcycle theft is at an all-time low over the past four years, according to a report by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) that states in 2019, pre-pandemic, a total of 40,380 motorcycles were stolen, compared to a rather alarming 46,467 bikes poached in 2016, down more than 13%.  In addition, of all the bikes stolen in 2019, nearly half of them were recovered.

It’s interesting to note that the most popular make of motorcycle to fall victim to theft comes from Honda, with a total of 8,122 bikes stolen in 2019.  Yamaha comes in second place with 6,495 bikes poached, while Harley-Davidson sits in third with 4,737 bikes lost to theft.  Suzuki and Kawasaki follow shortly after.  Interestingly, premium brands like Ducati, KTM, and BMW aren’t as frequently stolen.

MANUFACTURERS SPEAK OUT AS CALLS TO BAN NOISY MOTORCYCLES SPREAD

Manufacturers have their view on the growing campaigns to limit the noise of motorcycles or ban them altogether from certain popular routes, and have intimated they will need to factor in new solutions for upcoming models amid a wave of bans, fines and restrictions being imposed on perceived noisy motorcycles around the globe.

While the debate over the ‘nuisance’ caused by certain motorcyclists has raged for years, the argument is increasingly taking on a more volatile tone in Europe as councils wage war with legislation and bans being imposed on certain routes.

With noise-measuring devices already being trialed in some countries, the German Federal Council launched the “Initiative Against Motorcycle Noise” in May calling for bans for those who flout the rules.  Then in June, the Austrian state of Tyrol imposed bans on motorcycles emitting 95dB of stationary noise – encompassing a number of high-selling models.

Moreover, there are increasing calls for action in Germany, Switzerland, Italy and France too as a result of these precedents.

According to www.visordown.com, “The impact of such measures if they threaten to become the norm across Europe could have big ramifications for the motorcycle industry with manufacturers needing to factor in legislation when developing brand-new models, leading to toned down engine approaches.”

Stefan Pierer, ACEM (Association des Constructeurs Européens de Motocycles) President and Head of KTM and Husqvarna said: “As an association of the major global motorcycle manufacturers, ACEM has drawn up specific plans for sustainable and timely measures to combat the volume problem. The association and its members work closely with European legislators to solve the problems that can arise from exceeding the permitted noise limits.”

PORNHUB TEAMS WITH ITALIAN E-BIKE COMPANY FOR ‘FREE RIDE’

The world’s largest adult streaming video service PornHub teamed up with Italian e-bike sharing company MiMoto for a “Free Ride” promotion in Italy.

Accessing more family-friendly platforms, PornHub has become known for its unusual crossover strategies, such as making its Premium service free in Italy to “lessen the pressure of lockdown during the Coronavirus crisis.”

“PornHub thought that offering a free ride on our scooters could be a good way to bring people together in a different way,” announced MiMoto.  “The partnership between a green sharing service and the most important company in the adult entertainment sector is a perfect example of how society can come together to change paradigms and evolve in a responsible way, also by uniting two companies with such different contents.”  Hubba-hubba!

QUOTABLE QUOTE:  “Believe nothing, no matter where you read it or who has said it, not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and common sense.”

~ Buddha (5th century B.C. India), teacher, philosopher & spiritual leader

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).