NCOM BIKER NEWSBYTES
HE 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.
Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)
EASYRIDERS ON THE COMEBACK TRAIL
Easyriders magazine was known as the “biker’s bible” for over 50 years, before ceasing production in 2019, but now Classic Easyriders will kickstart a new era beginning this December, drawing on its rich heritage as an integral part of the biker lifestyle.
“Our industry needs a paper magazine as well as a digital presence now more than ever before, to capture and promote the American motorcycle culture,” says editor-in-chief Dave Nichols.
While there will be no nudity as in the original Easyriders, Classic Easyriders (www.ClassicEasyriders.com) will bring readers the look and feel of biker magazines of the 1970s and ’80s, with fresh new choppers, bobbers, classic motorcycles and the latest builds by today’s top builders. The monthly magazine will also include interviews with biker legends and showcase motorcycle-related parts, products and accessories.
HIGHWAY BILL PASSES HOUSE INCLUDING MOTORCYCLIST-SUPPORTED PROVISIONS
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the “Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America” or INVEST in America Act (H.R. 3684) on July 1, 2021 by a mostly partisan vote of 221-201. The five-year $715 billion surface transportation and water infrastructure bill directs federal investments in roads, bridges, transit, rail, and clean water programs, and also contains several key provisions benefiting motorcycle riders;
SEC. 3005: GRANT PROGRAM TO PROHIBIT RACIAL PROFILING was amended to include grant funding to include “the costs of collecting, maintaining, and evaluating data on the driver’s mode of transportation at traffic stops” to help determine biker profiling by law enforcement.
SEC. 3011: STOP MOTORCYCLE CHECKPOINT FUNDING, not only expands prohibitions on motorcycle-only checkpoints, but also prohibits law enforcement activities that “otherwise profile and stop motorcycle operators or motorcycle passengers using as a factor the clothing or mode of transportation of such operators or passengers.”
SEC. 3013: MOTORCYCLIST ADVISORY COUNCIL, reauthorizes the MAC to “advise the Secretary, the Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration on transportation issues of concern to motorcyclists,” including “barrier design, road design, construction, and maintenance practices, and the architecture and implementation of intelligent transportation systems technologies.”
H.R. 3684 specifies that motorcycles must be taken into consideration when the Department of Transportation (DOT) conducts safety studies on autonomous vehicles.
Additionally, the Highway Bill earmarks $5,760,000 in 405 safety funds to states for motorcyclist safety in the next fiscal year, and increases program funding by more than a third annually through 2025.
Once the Senate passes their own version of the highway bill, both chambers will come together in a Conference Committee to iron out any differences before sending the bill to the President for his signature.
Time is of the essence, as the current surface transportation bill expires on September 30.
RIGHT TO REPAIR MAKES HEADWAY
Consumers may soon have more choice over where to take products, from vehicles to smartphones, to be repaired following a new Biden Administration executive order intended to promote right-to-repair protections.
In a broad-ranging executive order aimed at increasing competition in the marketplace, President Biden has asked the Federal Trade Commission to draft regulations that would prevent manufacturers from stipulating that these and other devices can be repaired only by authorized personnel.
Tucked into the executive order that covered 72 initiatives to promote competition in the U.S. economy, Biden specifically asked the FTC to crack down on “unfair anticompetitive restrictions on third-party repair or self-repair of items.”
The new directive to the FTC comes a couple of months after the commission delivered a 54-page report to Congress that concluded “there is scant evidence to support manufacturers’ justifications for repair restrictions.”
The order is a significant win for the right to repair advocates who have long championed a consumer’s choice to have their technology fixed either by third parties or on their own, rather than solely by the manufacturer. Right to repair argues that anyone should have access to the OEM parts, manuals, and software needed to perform those repairs.
U.S. AND E.U. LEADERS REACH TRUCE IN RETALIATORY TARIFFS WAR
The current European and U.S. trade dispute dates back to 2004 when both parties accused one another of unfairly subsidizing aircraft giants Boeing and Airbus. In 2018, the World Trade Organization declared both sides guilty, allowing the U.S. to implement $7.5 billion in tariffs and the E.U. to retaliate with $4 billion in duties.
Over the years, the retributive approach on both sides extended the tariffs beyond the aircraft manufacturers, and from French wine to American whiskey to Harley-Davidson motorcycles, the tax rates ballooned. In 2018, the dispute intensified into an all-out trade war when former President Donald Trump imposed new steel and aluminum tariffs on several NATO allies.
That decision spurred the E.U. to hit back with a series of tax hikes that would have levied a 56-percent tariff on American motorcycles over 500cc. Luckily, the E.U. relented, delaying the measures until December, 2021. However, that didn’t solve the impending trade crisis for brands like Harley-Davidson.
At the European Union-United States Summit in Brussels, Belgium, on June 15, 2021, U.S. President Joe Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen reached a truce in the 17-year Boeing-Airbus spat. The agreement will go into effect on July 11, 2021, and will suspend the tariffs for the next five years. The truce not only mends trans-Atlantic trade relations, but also lays the groundwork for both parties to unite against a common threat in the aircraft industry: China, a major threat due to its overproduction of steel and aluminum.
MIC ‘RIDE WITH US’ INITIATIVE AIMS TO GET “NEW RIDERS, RIDING MORE”
“Ride With Us” — the powersports industry’s multifaceted market expansion program — has been officially launched by the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC).
“In late 2019 at MIC’s Communication Symposium, we shared the MIC’s vision for growing ridership – more riders, riding more,” said Paul Vitrano, chairman of the MIC Board of Directors and senior vice president/senior assistant general counsel of Polaris, in the announcement. “We were excited to begin operationalizing the plan in early 2020, but the pandemic caused us to pause and refocus our efforts on helping powersports businesses remain open.”
“While we were navigating the coronavirus, we also were working hard to prepare for the post-pandemic environment,” said Erik Pritchard, president and CEO of the MIC. “Our preparation included a number of initiatives tied to each phase of the new rider journey — Inspire, Explore, Engage, and Integrate — as well supporting new-rider education initiatives.”
The MIC is leading a task force composed of industry-leading marketing talent to help develop the program. As a part of the ‘Ride With Us’ program, the MIC is also delivering new 45-minute first-ride experiences for people who have never ridden a motorcycle before.
“Our industry has needed a unifying market expansion effort targeting potential and returning riders, and the MIC is delivering it with Ride With Us,” said Vitrano. “We urge all industry stakeholders to rally around this initiative as it rolls out to support people at every stage of their journey to becoming a lifelong rider.”
MANDATORY MOTORCYCLE INSPECTIONS MAY HIT EUROPE IN 2023
The idea of mandatory periodic technical inspections (PTI) for motorcycles in Europe has been looming for some time now, since 2104, but new information indicates this legislation could be coming sooner than expected.
In fact, the Ministry of Transport (MOT) has confirmed it is preparing a decree in the Council of State to establish a date and basic parameters for inspections starting in 2023.
European Parliament wants mandatory inspections for motorized two-wheelers in every state of the European Union, while the Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Association (FEMA) argues that such a Europe-wide law is unnecessary, citing existing inspection regulations, a low risk of accidents due to technical defects, and possible collusion with inspection companies.
A typical PTI is expected to include a visual inspection of running gear (lights, tires, brakes, etc.), as well as a sound inspection and pollution test, to be performed at a certified inspection station. However, at this time, it is unclear how often these checks will happen and what the exact details will be.
EMISSION-FREE MOTORCYCLES PLAY KEY ROLE IN U.K. TRANSPORTATION PLAN
The British government plans to ban the sale of gasoline-powered motorcycles, and from 2035 all new motorcycles must be zero emission, with powered two-wheelers (PTW) set to play a key role in a new Government Transport Decarbonisation Plan following years of behind the scenes campaigning from the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA).
The Department for Transport announced the radical new plan earlier this month, which pledges to end the sale of all new, non-zero emission road vehicles by 2040 at the latest, as well as phasing out the sale of all new non-zero emission heavy goods vehicles in that timeframe.
The 220-page DfT plan states that the government will “consult this year on a phase out date of 2035, or earlier if a faster transition appears feasible, for the sale of new non-zero emission powered two and three wheelers.”
Unlike in some previous transport announcements, motorcycles and scooters have been considered from the outset, thanks to consultations between the MCIA and government ministers spanning the past three years.
“Motorcycles, scooters and other forms of Powered Light Vehicles will play a key role and we are extremely happy this has now been recognized,” said MCIA chief executive Tony Campbell, adding that “Only a fool would think that the motorcycling sector could be treated separately from everything else going on in the world.”
MORE COUNTRIES BANNING GAS-POWERED MOTORCYCLES
It seems that more and more nations are beginning to adopt a policy of allowing only brand new electric-powered vehicles to be sold in their jurisdictions in the near future, and now Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest motorcycle market with more than 112-million motorcycles on its busy streets, has declared that no more new internal combustion engine (ICE) motorcycles should be sold in the country by 2050.
Singapore also adopted a similar policy by banning motorcycles they consider “old” from their streets by 2028. India, as well as some European nations, had already enacted similar measures earlier. Now, Canada is the newest country that’s taking on drastic measures to significantly cut greenhouse gas emissions.
In a recent announcement from the Canadian government agency, Transport Canada (TC), they are accelerating the complete eradication of ICE-powered vehicles by outlawing them by 2035 — which is 5-years earlier than the original 2040 plan.
“Today, we take another important step on the road to net zero by accelerating our zero-emission vehicle targets to 2035,” said Seamus O’Regan Jr., the Canadian minister of natural resources. “Achieving this target will require all Canadians, and businesses big and small, to embrace the change and go electric.”
Like other countries initiating combustion vehicle sales bans, the plan is to end new vehicle sales, and does not mention plans for older vehicles. Most such plans rely on older vehicles eventually phasing themselves out as they become impractical to repair and own over time.
QUOTABLE QUOTE: “A page of history is worth a volume of logic.”
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (1841-1935), U.S. Supreme Court Justice
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).