NCOM BIKER NEWSBYTES
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)
NEW YEAR, OLD BUSINESS
With the new 117th Congress now in session, and the Biden Administration proposing a $2 trillion transportation and infrastructure plan to reauthorize federal funding for highways, vehicle safety and public transit, before the September deadline, motorcyclists are once again tasked with including motorcycle-friendly provisions in the new highway bill.
Last session’s Moving Forward Act (H.R.2), included provision to: Increase Motorcycle Safety Funds to states by 25% (to $5.8 million); Extend the prohibition against using federal funding for motorcycle-only checkpoints, and also prohibit using federal funds to profile and stop motorcyclists based on of their mode of transportation or style of dress; Require the DOT to consider motorcycles in safety studies on autonomous vehicles and include a motorcycle safety group in the DOT working group on autonomous vehicle deployment; Extension of the Motorcyclist Advisory Council including a seat on the council for motorcyclists’ rights groups and manufacturers; and added an amendment during a floor vote in the House to provide federal monies to collect state profiling data regarding traffic stops based on “mode of transportation.”
Failing to pass, like all other failed bills, the massive transportation measure will need to be dealt with all over again in the coming months, so contact your Congressional Representatives and U.S. Senators to include these much-needed provisions in the newly introduced legislation by calling the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
Likewise, despite having gained over 130 bipartisan cosponsors, H. Res. 255, to address the issue of anti-biker profiling on a national level, failed due to House inaction and will need to be reintroduced and re-addressed this two-year session. Once again, the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) and the Confederations of Clubs are calling on all motorcyclists nationwide, from patch holders to independents, to contact their Congressional Representatives to ask for their support of an anti-profiling measure in the House, similar to Senate Resolution 154 passed by unanimous consent in the U.S. Senate on December 11, 2018.
As defined by the nonbinding S.Res.154, “motorcycle profiling” means “the illegal use of the fact that a person rides a motorcycle or wears motorcycle related apparel as a factor in deciding to stop and question, take enforcement action, arrest, or search a person or vehicle with or without legal basis under the Constitution of the United States.”
EPA ANNOUNCES E15 GAS PUMP LABELING
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a “Notice of Public Rulemaking” regarding labels on E15 fuel dispensers, proposing two potential changes to the current fuel pump labels, neither of which is amenable to motorcyclists or owners of small-engine equipment which can be harmed by high alcohol content gasoline.
The EPA’s first proposal involves modifying current labeling to remove all warnings and prohibitions about E15 (15% ethanol blended fuel) use in susceptible engines, and their second is complete removal of the label from dispensing pumps.
Consumers’ concerns are that motorcycles and ATVs are not approved for its use, nor are most small air-cooled engines, and using incorrect hotter-burning fuel could cause premature wear, engine damage and void the manufacturer’s warranty.
2021 RINGS IN NEW BILLS NATIONWIDE
Working around COVID-19 restrictions and regulations across the country, bikers’ rights activists are pursuing motorcycle-friendly legislation; such as in Missouri where, fresh off their helmet law repeal victory last year, they are now pushing for House Bill 490 to allow “that a motorcycle or motortricycle may be operated on the shoulder of a roadway under certain circumstances.” In similar fashion, other states are or have been lobbying for various forms of “lane-splitting” laws to allow motorcycles to travel in-between lanes of slow moving traffic, such as in Montana where riders are advocating for Senate Bill 9 to allow “motorcycle filtering,” or Oregon’s Senate Bill 574 “Relating to vehicle filtering in traffic slowdowns” to “allow operators of motorcycles to travel between lanes of traffic under certain conditions,” or in Washington where House Bill 1106 would “Modify the operation of motorcycles on roadways laned for traffic” by allowing riders to “overtake and pass in the same lane occupied by the vehicle being overtaken.”
In Pennsylvania, concerned riders are pushing to include new motorcycles in the state’s Automobile Lemon Law (House Bill 69), which unlike most states are currently not covered by the same consumer protections as cars and other vehicles.
Concerns about conspicuity, or being seen in traffic, as well as aesthetics, have prompted motorcyclists in several states to modify their auxiliary lighting laws to allow colors other than red or amber; such as Virginia’s Senate Bill 1347 which “Authorizes the use of any color auxiliary lighting, other than blue, on motorcycles and autocycles,” or New Hampshire’s House Bill 461 “relative to motorcycle auxiliary lamping, and adding the New Hampshire Motorcyclists’ Rights Organization to the traffic safety commission.”
Four separate states (WA, MD, LA & UT) have taken action to pass anti-profiling laws to restrict law enforcement from discriminatorily profiling bikers for traffic stops and investigative measures, and New York hopes to join those ranks with A1747 to “Require the municipal police training council to ensure that issues related to motorcycle profiling are addressed in basic law enforcement training.”
Considering the many legal and legislative successes for motorcyclists’ rights in 2020, contending with the worst viral plague in our lifetimes, 2021 portends even greater potential!
EURO5 AXE COMES DOWN ON MANY MOTORCYCLE MODELS
They say the New Year means “out with the old and in with the new,” and as we look forward to a raft of new machinery in the coming months, the introduction of new Euro5 emissions regulations means the axe is coming down on a number of older models of motorcycles.
From January 1st, new bikes sold in the EU and UK have to comply with Euro5, which is why many new models have been upgraded for 2021, but it also means some models have been “killed off” as it was either not possible or not viable to make them compatible.
So, as we herald in a New Year, we take a moment to reflect on those we’ve lost, or are about to lose, as VisorDown.com tolls the bell for those that didn’t make the regulatory cut:
Honda has furiously updated to Euro5 specs, but their aging V4 models, the VFR800F, Crossrunner and 1200 Crosstourer won’t be updated to Euro5, partly due to expense but also to lack of sales. There’s also a big question mark against the CB1100RS and CB1100EX retro roadsters, which again, are small sellers, and their air-cooled design makes any update difficult.
Despite a similar flurry of Euro5-driven model updates, Yamaha also sees some notable casualties, such as the R6 Supersport, FJR1300 sports-tourer, the XT1200Z Super Tenere, XV950R cruiser and scrambler-style SCR950, running engines dating back over a decade means it’s not viable to update them, although some may live on in non-EU markets.
Suzuki’s VStrom 250 and GSX250R are set to be dropped, but their new Hayabusa hyper-bike has been given an update to allow it to scrape by Euro5 eligibility for a stay of execution. Vulnerable Kawasaki models include the Ninja ZX-6R and Ninja 400, ZZR1400, plus their W800 retro, Z1000 R naked and its small-selling J300 and J125 scooters.
BMW’s C650 super scooters will fall by the wayside, though updates to their aging ‘pre-LC’ engine uses in their R nineT means the popular roadsters will ride on. Ducati’s new V4 Multistrada sees the end of the old 1260 V-twins, although the 950 and 1260 Enduro live on…for now.
Triumph’s line-up is already Euro5 compliant, but there remains a question mark around its popular, but slightly aging Speed Triple 1050 and Tiger Sport 1050, and rumors suggest a new version of both will appear in 2021 sporting a new 1160cc engine.
Legendary U.S. motorcycle-maker Harley-Davidson’s UK/EU model line-up will exclude its entry-level Street 750 plus the entire 883/1200 Sportster family.
As a significant caveat to all this, while non-Euro5 bikes will no longer be made, an agreement called ‘end of series’ rules gives manufacturers up to two years to clear unsold stock.
RECORD GROWTH FOR MOTORCYCLES IN INDIA
India is, in fact, the largest motorcycle market in the world, relying on motorcycles as a staple means of transportation for decades. So, it’s important to recognize, especially amidst a global pandemic, that December registered record growth for motorcycles in India with double digit growth for nearly all major manufacturers.
Despite the challenges of COVID-19, leaving many of the country’s 1.353 billion population unemployed, and the recent implementation of the BS6 standard resulting in increased pricing, the motorcycle Industry in India has posted incredible growth in the closing month of 2020.
For starters, according to RideApart.com, Yamaha posted 33% year-on-year growth last month, selling 39,224 motorcycles in December alone. When compared with other markets, Yamaha India sells as many motorcycles in a month as would be sold in a year. The same can be said for homegrown manufacturer, Royal Enfield, taking the global market by storm, posting tremendous 35% growth in December by way of selling 65,492 new units. Indian motorcycle company TVS also posted 13% year-on-year growth amid all the challenges 2020 threw on the table, boasting an impressive 258,000 two-wheelers sold.
Speaking of this year, nearly all motorcycle manufacturers in India have stepped up their game for the 2021 model year, meaning we can expect the motorcycle industry in the country to get even stronger.
ENGLAND ENTERS NEW CORONAVIRUS LOCKDOWN, IMPACTING BIKING
The U.K. is yet again inflicting another full lockdown, due to the deadly China Virus spread, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson initiating tough new stay-at-home orders for at least seven weeks until at least mid-February.
Those looking to their motorcycle as an escape route to deal with implications of the pandemic could put them in violation of COVID-19 guidelines and risk being fined. The U.K has moved into Tier 5, the highest level of COVID-19 alert the nation has seen, and with that you may now only leave the house if you have a “reasonable excuse,” written into law and the police can fine those in breach for the first offense of £200 ($273.19USD), doubling up for further offenses up to a maximum of £6,400 ($8,742.18).
England and Northern Ireland have joined Scotland, Wales and Ireland in implementing the toughest travel restrictions since the original lockdown last March, meaning that in all four Home Nations you can only ride a motorcycle as transport under certain circumstances, and being caught riding not as part of an ‘essential journey’ could levy a hefty fine.
As in previous shutdowns, certain essential businesses will be allowed to stay open, and while that list includes vehicle repair and MOT (Ministry of Transport) testing services, motorcycle training and test centers are not included and all types of vehicle driving tests are suspended.
This latest lockdown has also seen all motorcycle related activities stopped immediately including track days, trials and endures.
NORWAY PLANS TO STOP ALL NEW COMBUSTION VEHICLE SALES BY 2025
Norway’s national government intends to drastically cut its greenhouse gas emissions in half by the year 2030, aiming to become a zero-emission country by 2050, so by 2025 the current plan is to completely do away with the sale of all new combustion vehicles (including motorcycles).
By way of ratcheting up public incentives for EVs (Electric Vehicles) in reducing taxes, tolls, parking and ferry fees; battery electric vehicles have already outsold piston-powered cars, making up 54% of total car sales overall in Norway.
“In Norway, we tax what we don’t want and we promote what we want, and the consumer has, in this way, actually the opportunity to make the right choice,” Norsk elbilforening secretary-general Christina Bu told the Huffington Post.
QUOTABLE QUOTE: “The successful revolutionary is a statesman, the unsuccessful one a criminal.”
~ Erich Fromm (1900-1980), psychoanalyst and author
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).