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 TURNS 37 IN NASHVILLE

The 37th annual NCOM Convention in Nashville is pert near here, so plan now if’n yer fixin’ to join in on one of the largest gatherings of bikers’ rights activists on Earth!  This year’s NCOM Convention, to be held June 17-19, 2022 at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Nashville Airport, located at 10 Century Blvd., in Nashville, Tennessee (615-871-0033 for room reservations) will draw hundreds of concerned motorcyclists from across America to “Music City, USA” to address topics of concern to all riders.

For more information, or to pre-register (by June 10), call the National Coalition of Motorcyclists at (800) 525-5355 or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com.  Don’t delay, call today, and we’ll see y’all in the Birthplace of Country Music and Land of Southern Charm!

In the meantime, the National Coalition of Motorcyclists is requesting that MROs, motorcycle clubs, and riding associations submit the names of those members and supporters who have passed away over the past year, since June 2021, so that we may honor their memories with the traditional “Ringing of the Bell” tribute to fallen riders during the opening ceremonies.  Dedications should be e-mailed in advance to Bill Bish at NCOMBish@aol.com, or can be hand-delivered at the Convention to “Doc” Reichenbach, NCOM Chairman of the Board.

ARIZONA LEGALIZES LANE FILTERING

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (R) has signed Senate Bill 1273 into law on March 24, 2022, that legalizes lane “filtering” for two-wheeled motorcycles under specified conditions.

SB 1273 was sponsored by Senator Tyler Pace (R-Dist. 25), an avid motorcyclist himself, who clarified that lane filtering and lane splitting are not the same thing, and this new law will only allow for low-speed lane filtering in certain situations, like in Utah and Montana, not “lane splitting” on highways as commonly practiced in California.  It was crafted to resemble a similar lane filtering measure enacted in Utah in 2019 that was just recently extended by their state legislature for another 5 years.

According to the bill as written, amended, passed through both chambers of the State house with bipartisan support, and signed into law effective in 90 days after adjournment:

“The operator of a two-wheeled motorcycle may overtake and pass another vehicle that is stopped in the same direction of travel and in the same lane as the operator and may operate the motorcycle between lanes of traffic if the movement may be made safety and it the operator does both of the following:

1. Operates the motorcycle on a street that both:

(a) is divided into at least two adjacent traffic lanes in the same direction of travel.

(b) has a speed limit that does not exceed forty-five miles per hour.

2. Travels at a speed that does not exceed fifteen miles per hour”

Other provisions in the bill spell out the fact that, under Arizona state law, motorcycles are entitled to full use of a lane on the road. They may also ride two abreast — but no more than two can ride in this configuration across a single lane. Furthermore, motorcycles may not pass other vehicles within a single lane except in the specific situations outlined by the language above. Riding in between lanes is also not allowed by motorcycles in most situations, except in the specific circumstance outlined above.

It’s also important to note that this law specifically addresses two-wheeled motorcycles, as trikes and sidecars are prohibited from performing such maneuvers under any circumstances.

Meanwhile, similar lane filtering legislation (House Bill 2667) has passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives with overwhelming support, by a vote of 70-22 on March 22, and is currently under consideration in the State Senate.

STANDARD DRIVER’S LICENSE APPROVED FOR THREE-WHEELERS IN NEW YORK

After both the reclassification of the three-wheeled motorcycle as a three-wheeled motor vehicle and providing operator licensing requirements similar to nearly every U.S. state, residents in the state of New York can now operate 3-wheelers such as the Polaris Slingshot with a standard driver’s license.

Beginning April 20, 2022 drivers in the Empire State can drive an open-air machine with “side-by-side bucket seats, seat belts, and an automated manual transmission or manual transmission option typically found in traditional automobiles” using their standard D-class driver’s license, instead of the previously required motorcycle endorsement. The state of New York has both reclassified the three-wheeled motorcycle as a three-wheeled motor vehicle (often referred to as “autocycle”) and conferred operator licensing requirements comparable to nearly every U.S. state.

‘EXPANSIVE REMOVAL’ OF TARIFFS BENEFITS HARLEY-DAVIDSON

A deal has been made between the United Kingdom and the United States to suspend retaliatory tariffs on imported American products such as Harley-Davidson motorcycles, leading to potentially cheaper bikes.

Back in 2018, following a dispute with the European Union (of which the UK was then a part) the Trump administration imposed tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.  In response, retaliatory tariffs were imposed on US imports such as Levi jeans, whiskey and… Harley-Davidsons.

However, following a meeting between the UK and US trade officials in Washington, DC on March 22, an agreement was reached whereby the US will partially end tariffs on British steel and aluminum.

In response, the UK will suspend retaliatory measures against US products, with the “expansive removal” of tariffs taking effect in June this year.

CYCLE SALES CRASH IN WORLD’S LARGEST MOTORCYCLE MARKETPLACE

Spiraling cost of fuel prices and rural distress negatively impacted the Indian two-wheeler segment, the largest motorcycle market in the world (China is 2nd) and home to the largest manufacturer of two-wheelers, with sales last fiscal year falling sharply to pre-2012 levels.

Two-wheeler sales in India crashed to a 10-year-low, falling to 14,466,000 units in FY22, as per the latest data from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), down from a high of 21,180,000 in 2019, and it was in 2011-2012 that two-wheeler sales were close to this low at 13,409,000 (India’s Financial Year is calculated as from 01-April-2021 to 31-March-2022).

Throughout the year, demand for motorcycles and scooters was impacted by moderation in rural demand and higher ownership cost amidst soaring petrol prices, which escalated in almost all months of FY22.  New motorcycle sales there are directly correlated with fuel prices, as 62% of that country’s fuel sales are consumed by the two-wheeler segment.

BRITISH BIKERS DECLARE ‘DECARBONISATION’ POLICY; OPPOSE BANNING ICE BIKES

The British Motorcyclists Federation (BMF) have detailed three key points in their recently announced decarbonization policy; “regarding the use of internal combustion engine (ICE) motorcycles, the sale of ICE bikes, and the idea of electric battery technology as the only solution going forwards for motorcycles.”

Specifically, following the BMF Council meeting on April 9th, the Federation’s position “is opposed to any proposals to ban the use of motorcycles powered by internal combustion engines (ICE) while such vehicles are still capable of being run,” meaning gas is available.

Additionally, the Federation “is opposed to a ban on the sale of new ICE-powered motorcycles while there is the possibility of providing alternatives to fossil fuel and while the electric vehicle charging infrastructure does not adequately support electric motorcycles.”

The BMF’s third and final point is that it “supports a technology-neutral approach to powering new motorcycles; we do not accept that electric battery technology is the only approach.”

BMF Director, Anna Zee, said, “The use of motorcycles, however powered, rather than cars can make a valuable contribution to reducing carbon and particle emissions and congestion of course.”

ITALY INCENTIVIZES ELECTRIC VEHICLES IN NEW LAW

All over the world, governments are taking huge steps towards the incentivization and mainstream integration of sustainable, low-emission mobility.  More than ever before, alternative modes of transport which were once seen as leisure activities, i.e., cycling and electric scooters are now being integrated into the mainstream transportation framework, with infrastructure being developed to accommodate these vehicles.

The latest country to roll out some form of new incentivization program is Italy, wherein a law supporting electric vehicles (EVs) will soon be implemented, and isn’t just centered around automobiles, but includes lightweight electric vehicles such as motorcycles, mopeds and e-scooters, too.  In fact, list prices could be slashed by up to 30% due to the incentives.

Mario Draghi, Italian prime minister, has signed a new Ministerial Decree which is set to finance incentives for the purchase of electric and low-carbon vehicles. The government seeks to allocate sizable resources towards the project, with 650 million Euros per year being set aside until 2024, which translates to a total of nearly two billion Euros until 2024, and a staggering 8.7 billion until 2030.

Not only will the incentivization program help to make low-emission and fully electric transport more accessible to the general public, they’ll also provide manufacturers with a much-needed boost.  Minister of Economic Development Giancarlo Giorgetti explained that the industry is going through a lot of difficulties including the pandemic, raw materials shortages occurring across the globe, as well as the raging war in Ukraine which has disrupted several economies.

STUDY IDENTIFIES EIGHT CATEGORIES OF MOTORCYCLIST

Vias, a research group from Belgium, has conducted a study into motorcyclists, from which they have determined eight categories of motorcyclist; so what type are you?

Firstly, there is the Time-Optimizer, who uses their motorcycle to minimize the time of the journey.  This comprised 11.6% of the sample.

Secondly, we have what Vias called the “Time-For-Me Seeker,” who are those riders who like to use the motorcycle to relax, get away from the family or work.  According to Vias, this category made up 18.8% of the sample.

Next up is “The Unconditional.”  According to Vias, this group made up 9.5% of the sample, and these are those riders who go out whenever, no matter the conditions, the time of day, the amount of rain – if the bike has fuel, that fuel will be used.

Moving on now to the fourth group, which Vias called the “Good-Vibe Seeker,” who are those who use their motorcycle only when the weather allows for it.  These riders ride solely for enjoyment, as well as to avoid using the car.  14.2% fit into the “Good-Vibe” category.

Now, onto group number five: the “I-Want-It-All” class.  These are the people who want the best of the best, the option that suits them and their needs perfectly.  18.2% apparently fall into this category.

The sixth group is called “Multimodal,” which is the category for people who are not solely riders, and use their motorcycle in conjunction with other forms of transport, as well as instead of a car in good weather.  These make up 11% of the sample.

“The Daily User,” is category number seven.  The Addict.  The Junkie.  The Two-Wheeled Doper.  Many of you reading this fall into this category, that makes up 7.5%.

Only one category to go… That final category, number eight, is “The Life-Long Experience,” whose members also probably fall into the “Daily User,” class.  These are the Lifers who make up 9.2%, and are the cornerstone of motorcycling, because they are the ones who — intentionally or otherwise — pass the bug on to others, and keep our wheels turning.

The Vias study was conducted using a sample of 3,000 16-years-old-and-over Belgians.

QUOTABLE QUOTE: “Fear is a reaction.  Courage is a decision.”

~ Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965), British statesman & Prime Minister

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).