12NR01 – MRF News Release

February 2, 2012

MRF E-MAIL NEWS Motorcycle Riders Foundation
236 Massachusetts Ave. NE | Suite 510 | Washington, DC 20002-4980
202-546-0983 (voice) | 202-546-0986 (fax) | http://www.mrf.org

12NR01 – MRF News Release – US House Committee Targets Federal Funding of Motorcycle Only Roadside Checkpoints

01 February 2012

Contact:Jeff Hennie, Vice President of Government Ralations and Public Affairs

US House Committee Targets Federal Funding of Motorcycle Only Roadside Checkpoints

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation reports that Wednesday, February 1st, the United States House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure rolled out the latest version of the highway bill. The bill is the long term funding bill for road construction and highway programs.

This version of the bill takes aim at a controversial practice of the Department of Transportation which funded motorcycle-only roadside checkpoints with taxpayer dollars.

The checkpoints have drawn much criticism from the motorcycle community at large. So much so, that longtime motorcycle champion Representative James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) had introduced legislation to end the program by prohibiting any future Federal funding of any motorcycle-only roadside checkpoints. That bill is HR 904. The mammoth highway bill includes the same language as contained in HR 904.

Representative Sensenbrenner had this to say, “We need to focus on proven methods of motorcycle safety, including crash prevention, rider education, and training and proper licensing. Motorcycle-only checkpoints are an intrusive governmental overreach that place an undue burden on riders while doing little to actually improve safety,” He added, “It is encouraging to see that the transportation reauthorization bill will encourage more efficient use of taxpayer dollars and smart motorcycle safety policy.”

Representative Tom Petri (R-WI), a staunch defender of the motorcyclists, had this comment on the issue, “Motorcycle riders are right to be outraged at being singled out for safety inspections,” Petri said. “Nobody is suggesting flagging cars down for unscheduled inspections, and there’s no good reason why motorcycles should be treated differently. It’s unnecessarily intrusive, and not a smart way to use limited police resources.”

We at the MRF could not agree more. While swift passage into law is not likely, this is certainly an encouraging step.

The MRF will keep you updated on this issue.


Illinois Mandatory Motorcycle Helmet Laws

February 1, 2012

Illinois Mandatory Motorcycle Helmet Bills Active Again
Bill HB 0285
Bill HB 0290


2012 AMA Flat Track Schedule Announced

December 22, 2011

Courtesy of AMA Pro Racing
Wednesday, December 21, 2011

In the first Pro Singles race at Daytona Michael Avila #33E clenched the victory ahead of Gerit Callies and Austin Greenland.
The schedule has been posted for the 2012 AMA Pro Flat Track Championship Series.
AMA Pro Racing is pleased to announce the 2012 AMA Pro Flat Track schedule. The 19-round 2012 AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship presented by Motorcycle-Superstore.com schedule has 16 confirmed dates and three additional events in final negotiations.

Of the 16 confirmed events, the fire-breathing Grand National Twins will appear 10 times, which includes five half-mile and five mile tracks, and the 450cc Grand National Singles will be featured in three TT and three short track events. Every event on the 2012 calendar will also feature the Motorcycle-Superstore.com Pro Singles class, which debuted in 2009 and showcases the future stars of AMA Pro Flat Track piloting 450cc single-cylinder machines.

Once again the season will kick off with the traditional Bike Week doubleheader on March 15th and 16th, 2012 at the DAYTONA Flat Track, which is located just outside of Turns 1 and 2 at the mighty Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. In the 2011 contest, Grand National Championship title contender Sammy Halbert swept the mid-week openers in dramatic fashion.

In the world of flat track racing, Memorial Day Weekend and the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, Ill. go hand in hand. May 26th, 2012 finds the Series at the Rodeo Arena for a TT race that serves to whet the appetite for the first “big bike” race of 2012, scheduled for the next day, May 27th, 2012. The Springfield Mile is one of the most coveted wins on the circuit and is one of the most highly-contested races each year.

Next up for the Series is a to-be-announced event scheduled for June 9th, 2012, with the series moving on to the first “cushion” race at the Allen County Fairgrounds in Lima, Ohio three weeks later on June 30th, 2012. The 2011 season saw the return of pea gravel to the Lima half-mile oval and the return of the sideways, rooster-tail shooting action.

The Series heads farther East on July 7th as Hagerstown, Md.’s Hagerstown Speedway hosts the only round on the east coast that features what is typically a very smooth, and very fast, half-mile track. Many consider this venue the “home track” for defending Grand National Champion Jake Johnson, and the New Jersey native will surely be looking to repeat his 2009 victory.

I-96 Speedway in Lake Odessa, Mich. returns to the series calendar on July 14th, 2012 with its always action-packed half-mile circuit, before the Series moves to the west coast on July 28th, 2012 for the Sacramento Mile at Cal-Expo in Sacramento, Calif., the highly-successful Bob Bellino-promoted event run alongside the California State Fair.

A drive up the coast will find the AMA Pro Flat Track stars back on their 450cc singles at the Castle Rock Race Park TT in Castle Rock, Wash. on August 4th, 2012. Next up is another TT, and the granddaddy of them all, scheduled for one week later at Peoria Race Park in Peoria, Ill. on August 12th, 2012. The Peoria TT has been a staple on the Grand National circuit since 1947 and still packs the hillsides with spectators eager to watch the high-flying singles take to the track.

The Indy Mile at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, Ind., returns to the 2012 schedule on August 18th, 2012 and the event will once again coincide with both the Indiana State Fair and MotoGP’s state-side return for the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Labor Day Weekend means a return to the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, Ill. for a Short Track and another Mile, scheduled for September 1st and 2nd, 2012, respectively.

September 8th, 2012 will mark the return of the Series to Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa. The 2011 event saw one of the closest finishes in the AMA Pro Flat Track’s long and storied history and all signs indicate that next year’s race will be just as close.

Details about an event scheduled for September 15th, 2012 will be released soon; following that race the Series will head to the Santa Rosa Mile at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, Calif. on September 30th, 2012. The last time a Grand National was held at the beautiful fairgrounds was in 1970, which saw Jim Rice win the contest on a BSA.

The last to-be-announced event on the schedule is will be held on October 6th, 2012 before the 2012 AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship presented by Motorcycle-Superstore.com schedule comes to a close on October 13th, 2012 on the half-mile track at the LA County Fairplex in Pomona, Calif.

Complete 2012 AMA Pro Flat Track Schedule:

March 15, 2012
Daytona Flat Track I
Daytona Flat Track, Daytona Beach, Fla.
Short Track

March 16, 2012
Daytona Flat Track II
Daytona Flat Track, Daytona Beach, Fla.
Short Track

May 26, 2012
Springfield TT
Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield, Ill.

May 27, 2012
Springfield Mile
Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield, Ill.

June 9, 2012

June 30, 2012
Lima Half-Mile
Allen County Fairgrounds, Lima, Ohio
Half Mile

July 7, 2012
Hagerstown, Half-Mile
Hagerstown Speedway, Md.
Half Mile

July 14, 2012
I-96 Half-Mile
I-96 Speedway, Lake Odessa, Mich.
Half Mile

July 28, 2012
Sacramento Mile
Cal Expo, Sacramento, Cailf.

August 4, 2012
Castle Rock TT
Castle Rock Race Park, Castle Rock, Wash.

August 12, 2012
Peoria TT
PMC Race Park, Peoria, Ill.

August 18, 2012
Indy Mile
Indiana State Fairground, Indianapolis, Ind.

September 1, 2012
Springfield Short Track
Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield, Ill.
Short Track

September 2, 2012
Springfield Mile II
Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield, Ill.

September 8, 2012
Knoxville Half-Mile
Knoxville Raceway,Knoxville, Iowa
Half Mile

September 15, 2012

September 30, 2012
Santa Rosa Mile
Sonoma County Fairgrounds, Santa Rosa, Calif.

October 6, 2012

October 13, 2012
Flat Track Finale
LA County Fairplex, Pomona, Calif.
Half Mile

Dirt Bike Racing News

Stewart & Gibbs Team up for 2012 Supercross
AMA Arenacross Champ Josh Demuth Retires
David Fretigne Withdraws from 2012 Dakar
2012 Big Sky XC Date Announced
KTM 450 Rally Bike Heading to Dakar

Dirt Bike Racing News

View all articles by Press Release
View all articles in AMA Flat Track Racing

MRF News Release – Senate Committee Passes Highway Safety Bill

December 15, 2011

MRF E-MAIL NEWS Motorcycle Riders Foundation
236 Massachusetts Ave. NE | Suite 510 | Washington, DC 20002-4980
202-546-0983 (voice) | 202-546-0986 (fax) | http://www.mrf.org

11NR35 – MRF News Release – Senate Committee Passes Highway Safety Bill

14 December 2011

Contact:Jeff Hennie, Vice President of Government Ralations and Public Affairs

Senate Committee Passes Highway Safety Bill

Wednesday, December 14, 2011 

Today, the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation passed a sweeping safety bill known as the Motor Vehicle and Highway Safety Improvement Act (S. 1449). The bill passed by voice vote.  

Earlier this week, Senator Lautenberg (D-NJ) filed an amendment that would have gutted the popular federal motorcycle education and awareness grants, known as the 2010 funds. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation is pleased to report that Lautenberg did not call that amendment for a vote. Due to an overwhelming response from the motorcycle community, the 2010 grants are safe for now.  

Also under attack was the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) lobby ban. This law prohibits NHTSA from using federal money to lobby State legislatures, uninvited. The way S. 1449 was drafted, it removed this lobby ban. Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) introduced a number of amendments to maintain the ban and the necessary amendments were agreed to, by unanimous consent of the full committee.  

The one sticking point that remains is at least, the least troublesome. That being said, it is still something that will keep the attention of the MRF lobby efforts.  The trouble lies in a provision in S. 1449 that calls out motorcycle helmets in the list of definitions as “motor vehicle equipment”. Previously, the list simply stated: “any device or an article or apparel… that is not a system, part, or component of a motor vehicle”.  

The MRF would like to thank all the State motorcycle rights organizations and everyone else who helped with this legislation.  

The bill passed today will likely move on to be a part of the larger Highway Bill which could happen in early 2012. The MRF will keep you informed on this issue.

National Call to Action: Federal Helmet Mandates

December 13, 2011
MRF E-MAIL NEWS Motorcycle Riders Foundation
236 Massachusetts Ave. NE | Suite 510 | Washington, DC 20002-4980
202-546-0983 (voice) | 202-546-0986 (fax) | http://www.mrf.org

11NR34 – MRF News Release – National Call to Action: Federal Helmet Mandates

13 December 2011

Contact:Jeff Hennie, Vice President of Government Ralations and Public Affairs

National Call to Action: Federal Helmet Mandates

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation reports that the US Senate Committee on Commerce Science and Transportation will be marking up The Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2011 (S. 1449). This bill governs the National Highway Transportation Safety Administrations activities. This bill has the potential to greatly affect motorcyclists nationwide. 

There are three provisions that specifically target motorcyclists.

Call your Senators and ask them to:

  1. Oppose Lautenberg amendment #1. This amendment would alter the motorcycle safety grant program by forcing states to pass mandatory universal helmet laws and drive federal tax dollars to be used to promote the use of helmets. This provision would make it easier for helmet law states to obtain 2010 grant money. This amendment would provide no money for awareness or training.


  1. Support DeMint amendments #1 and #18. These amendments protect the NHTSA lobby ban. Under the proposed legislation are provisions to lift this lobby ban.


  1. Support DeMint amendment #2. The bill, (S 1449) would change the definition of “motor vehicle equipment” to include motorcycle helmets. This would allow States to spend federal money dedicated to “motor vehicle equipment” on motorcycle helmets. The DeMint amendment would keep helmets out of that definition.


Call Now. Time is of the essence. Call you Senators via the capitol switch board at 202 224 3121. 

Of key importance are the Senators on the committee you can contact them directly:  

Senator Rockefeller-WV 202 224 6472
Senator Kerry-MA 202 224 2742
Senator Lautenberg-NJ 202 224 3224
Senator McCaskill-MO 202 224 6154
Senator Udall-NM 202 224 5941
Senator Begich-AK 202 224 3004
Senator Inouye-HI 202 224 3934
Senator Boxer-CA 202 224 3553
Senator Cantwell-WA 202 224 3441
Senator Pryor-AR 202 224 2353
Senator Klobucher-MN 202 224 3244
Senator Hutchinson-TX 202 224 5922
Senator DeMint-SC 202 224 6121
Senator Wicker-MS 202 224 6253
Senator Blunt-MO 202 224 5721
Senator Toomey-PA 202 224 4254
Senator Ayotte-NH 202 224 3324
Senator Snowe-ME 202 224 5344
Senator Thune- SD 202 224 2321
Senator Isakson-GA 202 224 3643
Senator Boozman-AR 202 224 4843
Senator Marco Rubio-FL 202 224 3041
Senator Heller-NV 202 224 6244 

This is of extreme importance. Please call today, Tuesday, December 13th, 2011.

Do not hesitate to contact the MRF should you have any questions. 202 546 0983

MRF Call to Action About E15

October 20, 2011

MRF E-MAIL NEWS Motorcycle Riders Foundation
236 Massachusetts Ave. NE | Suite 510 | Washington, DC 20002-4980
202-546-0983 (voice) | 202-546-0986 (fax) | http://www.mrf.org


20 October 2011

Contact:Jeff Hennie, Vice President of Government Ralations and Public Affairs


Congressman James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) has introduced HR 3199, a bill that would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to seek independent scientific analysis on the affects of 15-percent ethanol blend gasoline.

The bill would not overturn the option for ethanol to continue to be sold, it simply asks for more study on the use of an E15 blend; something the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) has been asking for as well.

“The EPA’s decision to allow E15 into the marketplace will impact every American who owns a car, lawnmower, or boat. Automakers insist that using E15 will void warranties, lower fuel efficiency, and cause premature engine failure. In off-road engines, the effects can even be dangerous for users,” Sensenbrenner said.

“There are serious concerns that the EPA used only one Department of Energy test and rushed E15’s introduction into the marketplace. This test was limited in scope and ignored a plethora of evidence – albeit inconvenient evidence for the EPA – that shows E15 gasoline has a negative effect on engines.”

Sensenbrenner is very serious about this issue. He conducted his own study by questioning 14 automakers about the effect of an E15 blend on their products. The unanimous consent was grim. Everybody agreed that E15 would void warranties, damage engines and lower fuel efficiency.

The MRF requests that you contact your Representative in the United States House of Representatives and ask them to cosponsor HR 3199, the Sensenbrenner EPA E15 study bill.


A recently released set of recommendations by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) includes one that specifically addresses cable barriers. The NTSB asks that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) work with the States to define the criteria regarding where cable barriers are placed, and to research the safety risks associated with cable barriers.


You can’t make this stuff up. Rickey D. Holtsclaw, a Houston, Texas police officer for almost thirty-two years, was recently forced to retire because of his insistence on enforcing ordinances restricting obnoxious motorcycle noise. Officer Holtsclaw faced pressure within the Houston police department and from pro-noise motorcyclists to stop enforcing the law. Officer Holtsclaw received little or no support from elected officials in Houston.

Holtsclaw decided to start issuing tickets to what he perceived as “loud motorcycles”. After a few months of writing tickets caught the attention of his commanding Patrol Sergeant who ordered him to cease issuing those kinds of tickets. He explained that the law is so vague that it is unenforceable. However, Holtsclaw broke orders and continued on his mission to silence Houston.

According to Holtsclaw it was the upper levels of the Houston Police Department, Mayor Annise Parker, Houston’s City Council, and Houston’s Legal Department that forced him into retirement.

Enjoy your freedom while it lasts Houston, because you know for every one like this guy there is another around the corner just waiting.

The MRF does not advocate for breaking of any law. We do, however, oppose blatant motorcyclist discrimination like this.

AMA News & Notes October 2011

September 12, 2011
October 2011
AMA News & Notes is a monthly publication compiled and edited by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) Government Relations Department. Designed to inform motorcyclists about rights-related issues and events around the world, AMA News & Notes welcomes your input. Suggestions and editorial contributions can be sent to AMA Western States Representative Nick Haris by email at nharis@ama-cycle.org.
* * * * *
Help protect your right to ride! Volunteering is easier than you think, and it’s the right thing to do. To learn how you can help, visit us online at AmericanMotorcyclist.com > Rights > Get Involved.
            Sign up and stay informed! Electronic AMA Action Alerts, AMA News & Notes and AMA Extra keep you up-to-date on hot topics, opportunities to communicate with your elected officials and news and events affecting the motorcycling community. With AMA Action Alerts, you will be notified by email when and how you can make a difference on important issues. Click here to see the most recent AMA Action Alerts, and click here to sign up. To sign up to receive the monthly electronic edition of AMA News & Notes, click here and check the “Sign me up for the AMA’s Government Relations News & Notes” box. To receive AMA Extra, the semi-monthly email newsletter with timely news about all things motorcycling, click here.
            Utilize AMA public service announcements (PSA) featuring AMA Board member and actor Perry King. The print, video and audio PSAs are available free to the media and the public to distribute and promote. The PSAs address impaired riding, excessive motorcycle exhaust sound, the importance of the proper safety gear, and responsible and safe off- highway riding. They also deliver an important message to drivers to watch for motorcyclists on the road. To access the PSA messages, visit: www.americanmotorcyclist.com/Rights/Resources/PublicServiceAnnouncements.aspx.
            Washington, D.C.: In a victory for families who enjoy responsible motorized recreation, President Barack Obama has signed into law a bill to allow the sale of kids’ off-highway vehicles (OHVs) to continue. H.R. 2715 cleared the House by a 421-2 vote on Aug. 1, just before lawmakers went into their summer recess, and earned Senate approval by unanimous consent the same day. The measure exempts kids’ OHVs from the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008, known as the lead law.
The CPSIA, which went into effect on Feb. 10, 2009, banned the making, importing, distributing or selling of any product intended for children 12 and under, including kids’ dirtbikes and all-terrain vehicles, that contained more than a specified amount of lead in any accessible part.
            The new law, introduced by Reps. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.) and G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.),
is a significant victory that resulted from nearly three years of intensive efforts by the AMA and its partner organization, the All-Terrain Vehicle Association (ATVA). Other significant efforts included those by industry trade groups, the motorcycle enthusiast and trade media and millions of individual advocates of responsible OHV recreation nationwide.
            The AMA magnified these efforts through its “Kids Just Want to Ride” campaign, and the AMA Family Capitol Hill Climb in May 2011. To read more about what the AMA did in its efforts to exempt kids’ OHVs from the CPSIA, visit www.americanmotorcyclist.com/Rights/KeepKidMotorcyclesAndATVsLegal.aspx.
            Dover, Del.: A new Delaware law establishes vehicular assault in the third degree as a crime and strengthens criminal penalties for vehicular assault in the second degree, vehicular homicide in the second degree, vehicular homicide in the first degree and criminally negligent homicide. The new law also gives sentencing courts wide latitude in crafting appropriate sentences for those who cause injury and death on Delaware roads. Gov. Jack Markell signed House Bill 174, sponsored by Rep. Helene Keeley (D-Wilmington South), on Aug. 3 to create the new law.
            Meanwhile, Markell on July 14 vetoed House Bill 95, sponsored by Rep. Michael Mulrooney (D-Pennwood), which would have eliminated the requirement that a person must have a safety helmet in their possession while operating, or riding on, a motorcycle. The governor’s veto message is available here.
            Springfield, Ill.: Gov. Pat Quinn wants motorcyclists and others stuck at red traffic signals to wait two minutes before going through the light. He made the proposal in an amendatory veto of House Bill 2860. The version of the bill that cleared the full legislature would have allowed motorcyclists to pass through the red light “after a reasonable period of time.” Lawmakers must now decide whether they agree with the proposal.
            Farmington, N.M.: There is still time if you want to comment on the Resource Management Plan (RMP) Amendment and associated Environmental Assessment for the Glade Run Recreation Area. The Farmington Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has moved the comment deadline in its scoping process to Sept. 30. The agency is using the scoping process to try to get a handle on what issues to explore and what alternatives to develop for consider. Officials want to know what users would like to see in the area and why. Meetings and locations will be announced in local media and on the BLM Farmington Field Office website.
            Source and full story: www.nmohva.org/main/index.php
            Pickerington, Ohio: The on- and off-highway motorcycle sound resources page has been revamped on the AMA’s website. This includes information about Sound Advice, a document that addresses the excessive motorcycle sound issue, a video explanation of how to sound test a motorcycle, model legislation and more.
            Since its inception in 1924, the AMA has maintained a position of strong opposition to excessive motorcycle sound. The AMA has funded information and public relations campaigns in support of quieter motorcycle use, and was the world’s first motorsports sanctioning body to regulate and reduce the sound level of racing vehicles.
            Source and full story: www.americanmotorcyclist.com/Rights/SoundAdvice.aspx
            Bend, Ore.: The Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests and the Crooked River National Grassland are making changes to motor vehicle use rules on local Forest Service managed lands. Cross-country travel won’t be allowed except in designated areas. Also, camp sites must be within 300 feet of a road to use a motorized vehicle to get to them, and vehicles can’t park closer than 30 feet to any wetland, stream or water body at dispersed campsites. The new rules are expected to be in place in early November. Be sure to get Motor Vehicle Use maps that show where motorized vehicles are allowed from the forest and grasslands officials.
            Source and full story: www.ktvz.com/news/29020157/detail.html
            Salt Lake City, Utah: Davis County officials may take over management of the Jordan River Off-Highway Vehicle Park from the Utah Division of State Park. About half the park has already been transferred to Salt Lake County to be developed as part of a soccer complex. Some 150 acres of park land is being used by motorcyclists, but its unknown whether that will continue. The riding area includes four separate tracks and is open from early April to mid-October.
            Morgantown, W.Va.: Student motorcyclists at West Virginia University have earned a victory following their protest of the high cost of new motorcycle parking permits. The university imposed a $162 fee but reduced it to $100 following the protest. Students had also complained that the permits only allowed parking at either the Evansdale or downtown school campus. Thanks to the students’ efforts, the permits now are good for parking at either campus.
            Source and full story: www.dailymail.com/ap/ApTopStories/201108310577
            Fond du Lac, Wis.: The Wisconsin Off-Highway Vehicle Association (WOHVA) has a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, which formalizes their cooperative efforts. In a news release, the association said that the MOU will allow it to continue working with the U.S. Forest Service to “provide quality riding experiences for WOHVA members and other parties searching for safe, resource friendly areas to drive 4×4 vehicles and off-highway motorcycles in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.”
            Source and full story: www.wohva.com
            Vancouver, British Columbia: Motorcycle and scooter riders in Vancouver want free parking like electric-vehicle riders receive. Currently, electric scooters park for free, but riders of gas-powered motorcycles and scooters must pay.The city hopes to create 200 scooter and motorcycle parking spots by the end of the year, with the majority of them already created.  

Riding to Missouri on Labor Day Weekend

September 7, 2011

My S.O. and my friend Sky went to the Freedom Of Road Riders Homecoming party near Waynesville, MO on Labor Day Weekend this year. It was our first time to attend this event and we had a great time. Since we’re older, we liked the mellow atmosphere and it wasn’t overly crowded. We didn’t have to worry about someone riding their bike into our tents at night. We left Friday morning from Galesburg, IL, and took US 34 to Monmouth, then down to Macomb on Rt 67. From Macomb, we went west on 136 and 336 to 172 to Quincy. Stopped at the Wal-Mart gas station there for a small break. Then it was south to go onto I-72 East to catch Rt 96 South. Then we went down that nice two lane to Rt 54 and crossed into Missouri at Louisiana. We took 54 all the way past Jeff City to Mo 17. This is a scenic drive route and is very hilly and curvy. We had got there just before dusk and had to go slower since it was all new to us. Strangely, we did not encounter any critters on the roadway and it was wooded up to the edge of the road, except where the rocks were. Had a longer pitstop in at a gas station 12 miles north of Waynesville. Watched some interesting lights in the sky. We finally got to Waynesville and Buckhorn, which are side by side and once crossing the I-44 bridge, finally made it to the Pulaski County Shriners Club and Campground. We picked a place to camp that had night lights, behind the vendor row, so we could see to put the tents up. Google maps said 321 Miles for the route we took and 6 hrs, 1 Minute. Doesn’t work on bikes. Takes longer. But we had fun, didn’t know anyone, and met new people. Sitting on the bench at the shower house, where everyone goes, we seen a lot of interesting people. My S.O. had found some blinking necklaces and the bunny ears that blinked got the most attention and was a conversation starter. On Saturday, we took the bikes to St. Roberts at exit 159 on I-44 to the Wal-Mart and got more beer, another camp stove (the one we brought had developed a leaky regulator), and a different air mattress, and some more bottled water, it was hot. Rained on Saturday night late, and was cool on Sunday, in the 70’s. The trip home was on the same route, but was colder, since we didn’t adhere to our Boy Scout roots. We left all our cold weather riding gear home since it was in the 100 degree range when we left on Friday. We finally got home without freezing any parts off, but long johns don’t take up much room when you pull a pod trailer behind you.

Saturday Morning

Band Stage

pavillion and bar area

Rider Ed Bikes & Trailer

XS650 takes me to town.

August 11, 2011

Changing oil.

Spotty gets an oil change after a trip to town for new premium gas.

Changed oil after a trip to town on Spotty to get new gas. I’ve been neglecting this bike this year opting for the other xs or the vulcan. First trip with the handlebars I bought off Ebay that aren’t bent like the other ones are. Also you can see the saddlebags I got off Ebay for $40, a place to put stuff and lockable. Run good. Sounded good. Felt good. Oh, I also went to Hy-Vee to get some more PBR to sip as I sit in front of the shop fan. A good day tater!

Vintage Rally at the National Motorcycle Museum

May 6, 2011

June 3-5, 2011- Anamosa, Iowa. Vintage Rally at the National Motorcycle Museum
Admission for this event will be $10 a day, $20 for the weekend or $30 for the weekend with lunch on Sunday. The event price includes admission to the Museum. While the Museum, in its new location holds over 300 fabulous motorcycles, the new Vintage Rally weekend is when even more fine machines line up out front for review. Vintage Bike Show judging will result in 70-plus awards for owners of the best machines, including those best preserved for the ‘original unrestored’ award. Motorcycle Classics magazine is sponsoring the Bike Show and awards plus Ace Café will hand out an award for the best Café Racer style motorcycle. Attend the swap meet, dedication to new exhibit, Motorcycles at Work or get autographs from Hall of Fame members and listen to a panel discussion on collecting. For more information, call 319-462-3925 or log onto http://nationalmcmuseum.org/events/vintage-rally.aspx for additional event details, schedule of events, lodging and registration form for the bike show and swap meet.

Further modifications to Big Red..

March 21, 2011

I finally got the picture taken over the weekend of Big Red with the Shovelhead style King Tour Pak that I got off Ebay. I also got a luggage rack for the top of the tour pak off Ebay. Haven’t decided yet whether it is too big, or is just LARGE. I won’t paint it yet until I see if it works out. It came from Michigan and is made of fiberglass and had not been mounted. The best thing about it is the amount of room inside. The leather-lyke saddle bags are limited in their ability to hold extra items like jackets, hoodies, etc. I also received my Nomad exhaust system on Friday so I will have to make brackets to hold the mufflers up, as they are attached to the saddlebag supports on the Nomads. Another Ebay purchase, but at $150 shipped for a stock dual exhaust it was a good buy. That’ll be a project for when it gets warmer.

The “hulk” tour pak:


Big Red and I had fun today 3/3/11

March 7, 2011

I had a good afternoon today as I put Red up on the lift and removed the back wheel with the spokes and put the Nomad mag wheel on it. I bought the wheel on Ebay so I could run tubeless tires on the back. Big pain having to bust the bike down to put in a new tube or to patch it. Easier to use the plug and go system. As the guys on the vulcan forum said, it fit right together. Only thing I had to do was swap out the brake rotor to the nomad wheel. The book said to remove the back fender, I didn’t want to, so I just jacked it up high enough to slide the wheel out from under sideways. While I got over half the exhaust system off, I guess I should clean that up and be ready for the season. The cat probably could use a coat of bar-b-que black! The Nomad front wheel won’t fit on the classic as it is a wider wheel and is set up for 2 discs instead of the single I got. But that’s OK, The front isn’t that hard to get off cause I put a new tire on there last year.
Here’s the pictures of the wheels and such:

Rear Wheel Removed

Nomad wheel on

Bike up in the air

Hugh’s Handbuilt Shop

March 2, 2011

If you’re into the XS650 Yamahas that were built from 1970 to 1983, then this link should be of interest to you. These people are making a kit to replace the old tech Alternator on the 650’s with a Permanent Magnet Alternator. This eliminates one of the main issues with these bikes, that are pretty bullet-proof otherwise. I have ordered my third kit from this source and am pleased with the quality of the adapter plate. Check out his site:


Also if you are into the 650’s and have not done so, there is a forum at http://www.xs650.com that will help you maintain the bike.

Helmet Bills Again in Illinois 2011

March 2, 2011

The Chicago Dems are at it once again trying to put Helmets on bicyclists, Skiers, and motorcyclists. This is a never ending battle with them. To see all the latest developments, go to www.abate-il.org. The skier helmet issue is so absurd as to be unbelievable that they would attempt this. It makes the ski resort owner responsible to make sure all his customers are wearing their helmets.

MRF- Bikers Inside the Beltway 2011

March 2, 2011

MRF E-MAIL NEWS Motorcycle Riders Foundation
236 Massachusetts Ave. NE | Suite 510 | Washington, DC 20002-4980
202-546-0983 (voice) | 202-546-0986 (fax) | http://www.mrf.org

11NR08 – MRF News Release – MRF Bikers Inside The Beltway National Lobby Day

02 March 2011

Contact: Jeff Hennie, Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs

MRF Bikers Inside The Beltway National Lobby Day

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) is pleased to report that the 3rd annual Michael “Boz” Kerr Bikers Inside The Beltway national lobby day will be held Thursday, May 12, 2011 in Washington DC. The MRF will have secure, free parking for motorcycles just steps from the US Capitol Building. This year’s event will take place from 9am-4pm.

9:00-11:00: Arrival, registration, instruction and lobby material pickup

11:00-2:00: Lobby your federal elected officials

2:00-3:30: Program with invited Congressional speakers at Rayburn House Office Building.

The MRF encourages you to schedule appointments with your Representative and Senators during the lobbying hours. It is best to begin scheduling them now, as the calendar will fill up on this busy legislative day.

Plan your appointments according to your arrival time. If you plan to arrive promptly at 9AM you can schedule meetings anytime from 9:45 until 2:00 without conflict with the program. If you plan on arriving at 11:00, then you can schedule meetings from 11:30 until 2:00.

Should you not be able to get appointments, plan on dropping by as many offices from your state as you can during the scheduled lobby time. Feel free to contact the MRF office with any questions about scheduling or otherwise.

This year’s Bikers Inside The Beltway national lobby day coincides with the MRF’s eastern regional conference, BEAST of the East, which begins the next day, Friday May 13, in Baltimore, MD. It is just a short ride or train trip away from Washington, DC.

Exact locations for the free motorcycle parking will be announced soon. For those of you anxious to get a feel for how long your ride will be, just use the US Capitol for a final destination. Details for BEAST of the East, including registration and hotel information, are on the MRF website at http://www.mrf.org/events.php.

An event flyer for Bikers Inside The Beltway is also available on the MRF website at http://www.mrf.org/2011/BEST/BIB_2011v2-BW.pdf.

11NR01 – MRF News Release – Urgent Call to Action

January 4, 2011

MRF E-MAIL NEWS Motorcycle Riders Foundation
236 Massachusetts Ave. NE | Suite 510 | Washington, DC 20002-4980
202-546-0983 (voice) | 202-546-0986 (fax) | http://www.mrf.org

03 January 2011

Contact: Jeff Hennie, Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs

Urgent Call to Action
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation issues Urgent Call to Action

Please call your incoming Republican Congressmen and tell them to STOP a proposed change to the House Rules — (Rule 21, Clause 3) — that would break the TRUST WITH FUEL TAXPAYERS and undermine the Highway Trust Fund’s funding guarantees for roads.


The Capitol Switchboard Number is 202-225-3121 — ask for your NEW Representative!

The change is terrible policy for highway users and it breaks the faith in the Highway Trust Fund. Highway user fees could be used for non-transportation purposes.

Highway funding could be reduced and the “savings” used for deficit reduction or other purposes; and the rule change would force highway funding to rely on the annual appopriations process rather than the established funding guarantees.

Motorcycists pay into this fund with the guarantee that the money will be used for transportation related projects ONLY. This rule change breaks that promise and will allow fuel tax revenues be used for anything Congress wants.

WE MUST REACH THE FOLLOWING KEY DECISIONMAKERS. Please call now! The Republican Conference will be voting on this on Tuesday, January 4th 2011.

Greg Walden OR (202) 225-6730 RHOB 2182
Rob Bishop UT (202) 225-0453 CHOB 123
John Campbell CA (202) 225-5611 LHOB 1507
Shelley Moore Capito WV (202) 225-2711 RHOB 2443
Jason Chaffetz UT (202) 225-7751 LHOB 1032
Tom Cole OK (202) 225-6165 RHOB 2458
Mike Conaway TX (202) 225-3605 LHOB 1527
David Dreier CA (202) 225-2305 CHOB 233 Rules Chairman
Bob Goodlatte VA (202) 225-5431 RHOB 2240
Doc Hastings WA (202) 225-5816 LHOB 1203
Jeb Hensarling TX (202) 225-3484 CHOB 129
Jim Jordan OH (202) 225-2676 LHOB 1524
Buck McKeon CA (202) 225-1956 RHOB 2184
Candice Miller MI (202) 225-2106 LHOB 1034
Mike Rogers AL (202) 225-3261 CHOB 324
Paul Ryan WI (202) 225-3031 LHOB 1233 Budget Chair
Pete Sessions TX (202) 225-2231 RHOB 2233
Pat Tiberi OH (202) 225-5355 CHOB 106
Tim Scott SC (202) 225-3176 LHOB 1117
Martha Roby AL (202) 225-2901 CHOB 414
Cory Gardner CO (202) 225-4676 CHOB 213
Adam Kinzinger IL (202) 225-3635 LHOB 1218

Take Action Now

Call the Capitol Switchboard Number is 202-225-3121 — ask for your NEW Representative!

Local A.B.A.T.E. chapter provides funds for toys

December 6, 2010

http://www.galesburg.com/homepage/x1996687569/Local-A-B-A-T-E-chapter-provides-funds-for-toys Go to this link for the story with photos.

Santa rides a motorcycle

RICK CROSS/The Register-Mail
Jameson Community Center’s Dori Anderson collects toys from a shelf while A.B.A.T.E. member LeRoy Kitch keeps track of money spent on toys during a gift-buy Sunday at Kmart in Sandburg Mall. Toys were purchased from proceeds from A.B.A.T.E.’s annual Polar Bear Run.

The Register-Mail
Posted Dec 05, 2010 @ 08:08 PM
Print Comment

Members of Central Illinois A.B.A.T.E., a motorcycle club geared toward education and philanthropy, met at Kmart on Sunday with representatives from Safe Harbor Family Crisis Center and Jamieson Community Center of Monmouth to purchase Christmas toys with money raised from A.B.A.T.E.’s Polar Bear Run.

The motorcycle group donated $727 toward the purchase of toys for families in need. Ten percent of the money raised by A.B.A.T.E. was matched by Kmart. It bought 139 toys.

“Not as many as we would like,” said member Jim Mathews. “But we do what we can.”

Clad in leather vests and jackets, members of A.B.A.T.E. walked the toy aisles of Kmart on Sunday searching for deals and filling four shopping carts. In previous years, the club selected the toys themselves.

“I decided they know what they need,” said member LeRoy Kitch about the center representatives. “Let them do the shopping.”

“Christmas time can be another stresser for them,” said Julie, a Safe Harbor representative, of women who come to the shelter. “Anything we can do to lift any of the burdens to help them out, we’re gonna do.”

Last year Safe Harbor donated Christmas gifts and supplies to 80 families and approximately 225 children.

“We get lots of board games, things for older kids, boys especially, “ said Dori Anderson of Jamieson Community Center. “Also things for younger kids, infants and toddlers.”

Many of the toys purchased were educational, but the center representatives were careful to include toys like Roboraptor and Robosapien.

“We try to buy non-violent toys,” said Julie from Safe Harbor as she passed a wall of wrestling action figures. “But I know wrestling’s cool and if they ask for it, we’ll get it.”

Jamieson Community Center uses the items in its annual Christmas Store on Dec, 14. Those in need who sign up can come to the store and purchase toys for $5 per child, allowing lower-income parents to provide a Christmas gift for their children.

A Kmart associate helped representatives find the best deals on toys. Kmart sponsors charity purchases year round by matching 10 percent of the purchase.

Though two members of A.B.A.T.E. followed the center representatives with calculators as they amassed toys, by the time the carts arrived at the register they were $80 over the money raised.

A member who wished to remain anonymous covered the difference out of her own pocket, claiming the overage was partly her fault.

“We found such a great bargain back there, I just said ‘grab ‘em all’,” she said.

Copyright 2010 The Register-Mail. Some rights reserved

AMA News & Notes- Dec 2010

November 11, 2010
December 2010
AMA News & Notes is a monthly publication compiled and edited by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) Government Relations Department. Designed to inform motorcyclists of rights-related issues and events around the world, AMA News & Notes welcomes your input. Suggestions and editorial contributions can be sent to AMA Legislative Assistant Sheila Andrews by e-mail at sandrews@ama-cycle.org.
* * * * *
Protect your right to ride! Volunteering is easier than you think, and it’s the right thing to do. To learn how you can help, visit us online at AmericanMotorcyclist.com > Rights > Get Involved.
Sign up and stay informed: electronic AMA Action Alerts and AMA News & Notes keep you up-to-date on hot topics, news affecting the motorcycling community and opportunities to communicate with your elected officials. By signing up to receive AMA Action Alerts, you will be notified by e-mail when and how you can make a difference on important issues. Click here to see the most recent AMA Action Alerts, and click here to sign up.
In addition to signing up for AMA Action Alerts, you can sign up to receive the monthly electronic edition of AMA News & Notes. AMA News & Notes keeps motorcyclists apprised of rights-related issues and events around the world. Click here and check the “Sign me up for AMA’s Government Relations News & Notes” box at the bottom of the page.
The 2010 AMA Voter Guide has been updated with election results for federal and gubernatorial candidates. To view the 2010 AMA Voter Guide, sign into the AMA Members Area. If you are not yet an AMA member you can join today, online or call 800-AMA-JOIN.
The AMA urges all riders to build relationships with their lawmakers. The best way to influence motorcycle-related issues is to establish and maintain positive relationships with elected officials before you need their help.
If you have already started working with an elected official, by volunteering on a campaign or through previous efforts, the AMA would like to hear your story. Please send your activism-in-action photos with a brief summary of your efforts, plus the candidate’s name and state, to grassroots@ama-cycle.org. Thank you to all who voted for motorcycle-friendly candidates and especially to those who volunteered!
Washington, D.C.: Federal action to allow more ethanol in gasoline could damage motorcycles. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has agreed to allow the ethanol portion of blended gasoline to be increased from the current 10 percent to 15 percent for certain vehicles, which could pose a danger for motorcycles.
Under the decision, E15 is now approved for use in model year 2007 and newer cars and light trucks. It isn’t approved for use in any other gasoline-fueled engines. To see the EPA news release, go to http://tinyurl.com/US-EPA-E15.
For more than three years the AMA has been on the record opposing increases in the ethanol level allowed in gasoline until studies show that an increase will not damage motorcycle or all-terrain vehicle (ATV) engines, and will not make motorcycles emit more nitrogen oxides than are allowed by the EPA.
The AMA is a member of the Alliance for a Safe Alternative Fuels Environment (AllSAFE), a group formed to ensure that fuels containing ethanol are promoted in a thoughtful manner. AllSAFE is made up of associations that represent consumer and commercial users of ethanol blends, manufacturers of boats, vehicles, engines and equipment, and retailers who sell gasoline and ethanol-fuel blends.
Alabama: Recently the Cheaha Trail Riders (CTR), Inc. received a $450,000 Recreational Trails Program (RTP) grant from Governor Bob Riley. This grant will help begin development of an Off-Highway Vehicle trail system within the 2,832-acre property known as the Coosa River Storage Annex Depot, located north of the city of Talladega. CTR was instrumental in assisting with the formation of the Public Park Authority of the cities of Lincoln and Talladega, who will own and develop the property.
Anticipating the formation of the Park Authority, CTR applied for the grant with intention of transferring it. On October 30, 2010, CTR, along with Rob Grant, RTP Program Manager for Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, officially transferred the $450,000 grant to the Public Park Authority. Development of the OHV trail systems will begin in the first quarter of 2011. CTR was also instrumental in the master design of the project, which will contain a large number of outdoor opportunities and is expected to take 10-15 years to complete.
Quincy, Calif.: At a recent meeting the Plumas County Board of Supervisors encouraged their Public Works Director to move forward with the creation of a county off-highway vehicle (OHV) ordinance. This will clarify which county roads within the Plumas National Forest and the Lassen National Forest are approved for recreational use by OHVs.
The ordinance would ensure certain county roads within the national forests in Plumas County are available for OHV and over-snow vehicle use where public works staff deemed it appropriate. The Forest Service has previously claimed many county roads were not available for OHV travel and contended their inability to designate the use of these county roads has resulted in loss of OHV opportunities. However, neither the county, the California Highway Patrol or the local sheriff’s office agrees with the position, and the Board hopes the OHV ordinance will clarify the matter. The director said the process began when the Plumas National Forest conducted a public workshop on its travel management project.
Source and full story: http://tinyurl.com/25o44fv
Massachusetts: According to the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office (AGO), an additional $12.1 million dollars in insurance policy overcharges is going to be returned to motorcycle riders previously insured by Arbella, Hanover, OneBeacon (aka: Homeland), National Grange Mutual (NGM), and Norfolk & Dedham (N&D). The addition of these five insurance carriers brings the total dollar amount returned to Massachusetts motorcycle riders to $33,800,000.
Policyholders can validate their refund status by going to the AGO Motorcycle Insurance Refund Database and entering their Policy Number.
The AGO continues to work with the remaining carriers who do business in the state and expects to announce additional agreements in the coming months.
Motorcyclists who have had insurance policies including comprehensive and/or collision in Massachusetts since 2002 are urged to contact their insurance carrier or e-mail MyRefund@MassMotorcycle.org with your insurance carrier and contact information. All information is kept confidential and will only be shared with the carrier and AGO.
For further details, please visit the Attorney General of Massachusetts website, http://www.mass.gov/ago/motorcycles, the Massachusetts Motorcycle Association website, http://www.massmotorcycle.org, or contact SafetyDirector@MassMotorcycle.org.
Santa Fe, N.M.: Bureau of Land Management (BLM) calls for nominations for New Mexico’s Resource Advisory Councils (RACs). The BLM is looking for riders and others concerned with federal land management issues to serve on a RAC. In this role you will advise the BLM about issues facing your community and help influence important land management decisions. RACs are designed to include a variety of stakeholders, and are often in need of the motorized recreation enthusiast’s perspective. Many RACs have both an OHV specific as well as a “public-at-large” position, open to anyone who wishes to apply. Please consider applying for one of the recently announced openings and also encouraging your fellow riders to do the same.
All nominations must be received no later than November 26, 2010. For additional information please contact Allison Sandoval, Bureau of Land Management, Correspondence, International, and Advisory Committee Office; (202) 912- 7434.
Salt Lake City, Utah: Kane County is again suing the federal government in an effort to gain control of dozens more roads. The lawsuit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City, comes after the government recently surrendered title to several roads to the southern Utah County in September. The suit seeks ownership of 49 commonly used roads that cross federal lands. In September, the federal government agreed to cede the Sand Dunes, Hancock, Mill Creek and Bald Knoll roads to the county.
The county says the roads provide access to private property, grazing allotments, mineral deposits and Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. Among them is Hole-in-the-Wall, a dirt road that traverses Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument to the spot where Mormon pioneers blasted a wagon route down a cliff face to the Colorado River.
Attorney Shawn Welch, who represents the county, said recent washout stranded eight people and illustrates why the county seeks control of the road. The U.S. Interior Department declined to comment on the suit.
Utah: The Department of Natural Resources is seeking an Off-Highway Vehicle Program Manager. The position is located in Salt Lake City in the Parks and Recreation Division. The position is responsible for developing and managing the off-highway vehicle program for the Utah Division of State Parks and Recreation.
Utah: The Fishlake National Forest, Beaver Ranger District is seeking a Natural Resource Specialist. Beaver, Utah is located halfway between Salt Lake City, Utah and Las Vegas, Nev., and includes the famed Paiute Trail. The position is responsible for management, oversight, and participation in a variety of district programs.
Information about this position is available by contacting Amy Barker by phone at 435-438-2436, or by e-mail at abarker@fs.fed.us. You may apply for the position on the USA Jobs website,www.usajobs.opm.gov. Select Beaver, Utah as the duty station for the position when applying.
Olympia, Wash.: Recreational Trails Program advisors sought. The State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) is looking for volunteers to serve on its Recreational Trails Program advisory committee. Specifically they have one position open for each of the following categories: a snowmobiler, a hiker, an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) recreationist and a four-wheel drive vehicle recreationist. The advisory committee evaluates grant applications from federal, local, and state agencies and non-profit organizations for projects that maintain backcountry trails. Members also assist with program policy development as needed.
The ideal person for these positions usually has a statewide point of view, is, or has been, an active trail enthusiast, and has the resources to participate fully in the committee’s activities. Applicants may have previously served on the committee or they may be members of organizations that apply for grants reviewed by the committee.
Appointed members will serve from February 2011 to December 2014 and attend about one weekday meeting a year. In addition, advisors spend 15 to 25 hours each year evaluating grant applications for funding. To apply, send a completed application and any support materials to the Recreation and Conservation Office no later than December 15, 2010.
Brussels, Belgium: European commission rejects switch-off option for motorcycle anti-lock breaking system (ABS). In a recent meeting with member states the European Commission formally presented its proposal for new type approval rules for motorcycles. In addition to introducing mandatory ABS for motorcycles above 125cc, the Commission rejected the introduction of an off-switch for ABS, ignoring the recommendations of the Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations (FEMA), that had called for mandatory switch-off buttons for bikes equipped with ABS, since ABS is not suitable for certain riding conditions, especially with regard to riding on unpaved roads.
The Commission, while acknowledging those concerns, considers the number of citizens living in areas with a high percentage of unpaved roads as negligible compared to the broader riding population. Indeed, the Commission said it feared that too many riders would switch off the ABS also when riding on common roads, due to “unjustified lack of faith in new technologies.” In addition to the limitation of consumer choice and increased costs for purchasing a motorcycle, FEMA is also concerned about the proposal not taking into account increased maintenance costs for ABS, and making no reference regarding durability and liability.


AMA Government Relations News & Notes is a monthly service compiled and edited by the AMA Government Relations Staff to keep motorcyclists informed of happenings around the world. We welcome your news & views. Please submit all material to Sheila Andrews, Legislative Assistant, 101 Constitution Ave., NW Suite 800W, Washington, DC 20001; fax (202) 742-4304 or e-mail to sandrews@ama-cycle.org.

MRF News Release – News from Washington

September 28, 2010
MRF E-MAIL NEWS Motorcycle Riders Foundation
236 Massachusetts Ave. NE | Suite 510 | Washington, DC 20002-4980
202-546-0983 (voice) | 202-546-0986 (fax) | http://www.mrf.org

10NR26 – MRF News Release – News from Washington

28 September 2010

Contact: Jeff Hennie, Government Relations and Public Affairs

Action Needed!

A letter from Congressman James Sensenbrenner is being sent to United States Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood seeking insight into the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s recent request for applications from law enforcement agencies to obtain grant money to hold motorcycle only roadside checkpoints. The letter also asks that the grant process be suspended until sound reasoning for the checkpoints is produced.

NHTSA recently announced that it would solicit applications and then award grants to police units who want to conduct motorcycle only roadside safety checkpoints. The MRF is strongly in opposition to this program.

Congressman Sensenbrenner is a long time friend of the MRF and ABATE of WI with a history of supporting motorcycle rights on issues such most notably as one of the first to spearhead the repeal of the National mandatory helmet law in 1995. He has also been a staunch advocate for fairness when it comes to health care issues for motorcyclists, as well as an active and vocal supporter for the NHTSA lobby ban.

Mr. Sensenbrenner has called on his colleagues to sign a letter of request to the US DOT to gain more information on the motorcycle-only roadside checkpoints and to halt funding until that information is produced.

Please call your United States Congressman and ask for them to sign on to the Sensenbrenner letter to Secretary Ray LaHood. Deadline for co-signers is close of business September 29th.

This approach to stopping the roadside checkpoints got unanimous consent when discussed at the MRF Meeting of the Minds 2010 MRF/State Motorcycle Right Organization Legislative Strategy Session held last weekend.

Senate safety hearing mentions motorcycle helmet use.

Today, the Senate Committee on Commerce Science and Transportation held a hearing on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations endeavors. The hearing featured NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. Strickland referenced the overall decline in traffic fatalities from 2004-2009. He also suggested that the rise in seat belt use and child restraint use are contributors to the decline. He then went on to point out the rise in motorcycle fatalities over the same time period.

Strickland’s direct quote:

“However, you will notice that there is one indicator that is moving in the wrong direction, motorcycle fatalities. Between 2004 and 2009, the number of motorcycle riders killed increased from just over 4,200 to almost 4,462, an 11 percent increase. The number of motorcycle fatalities did fall between 2008 and 2009, the first time we have seen a decrease in more than a decade. We need to work to build on last year’s progress. The most important step we could take would be to assure that all riders wear a DOT-compliant helmet, which are 37 percent effective in reducing fatalities. We estimate that helmets prevented over 1,800 fatalities in 2008, and that more than 800 additional fatalities could have been avoided if all riders wore helmets. NHTSA will actively work with Congress to promote helmet use”.

The MRF will be contacting Strickland to remind him that accident avoidance over safer crashing is the best solution to motorcycle safety.

10NR25 – MRF News Release – Traffic Fatalities Lowest Since 1950

September 10, 2010

MRF E-MAIL NEWS Motorcycle Riders Foundation
236 Massachusetts Ave. NE | Suite 510 | Washington, DC 20002-4980
202-546-0983 (voice) | 202-546-0986 (fax) | http://www.mrf.org

10NR25 – MRF News Release – Traffic Fatalities Lowest Since 1950

10 September 2010

Contact: Jeff Hennie, Government Relations and Public Affairs

Traffic Fatalities Lowest Since 1950

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a division of the United States Department of Transportation (DOT). has released the 2009 yearly traffic fatality numbers, reports the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF). The report shows that traffic fatalities are at the lowest in this country since 1950.

The DOT said that traffic deaths fell 9.7 percent in 2009 to 33,808, the lowest number since 1950. In 2008, an estimated 37,423 people died on the highways. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood called the new data “a landmark achievement for public health and safety,” but cautioned that too many people are killed on the road each year.

Forty-one states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico saw reductions in highway fatalities, led by Florida, with 422 fewer deaths, and Texas, down 405.

Motorcycle-related deaths were down 16 percent, the first drop in the past 11 years, from 5,312 in 2008 to 4,462 in 2009. “Of course a one year drop is encouraging but can hardly be called a trend,” said Jeff Hennie, MRF Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs. “We in the motorcycling community need to continue to push for proper rider education and motorist awareness campaigns in order to establish a true trend.”  Motorcycle related injuries were also down 6.3 percent from ’08 to ’09, more encouraging news.

Pinning the fall in deaths to a single source is difficult. Some will say that the economic slowdown reduced vehicle travel, but that’s just not true. The vehicle miles traveled for 2009 is slightly higher than it was in 2008, about 0.2 percent.

Other vehicle segments can point to manufacturer-based safety solutions such as airbags, electronic stability control systems and anti lock brakes. However, motorcycles have very limited widespread use of such technologies, leaving safer riding and better motorist awareness of motorcycles as more plausible explanations.

Read the government’s full report here: http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811363.pdf.

The MRF’s Meeting of the Minds (MOTM) 2010 is less than two weeks away. This means that it’s time to do any last minute maintenance to your motorcycle and start planning your trip to Peoria, Illinois for this year’s premier motorcyclists’ rights event. Check the MRF website for more info: www.mrf.org/events.php.


July 23, 2010

MRF E-MAIL NEWS Motorcycle Riders Foundation
236 Massachusetts Ave. NE | Suite 510 | Washington, DC 20002-4980
202-546-0983 (voice) | 202-546-0986 (fax) | http://www.mrf.org

10NR22 – MRF News Release – MRF URGENT CALL TO ACTION – Mandatory Motorcycle Roadside Stops

23 July 2010

Contact: Jeff Hennie, Government Relations and Public Affairs

MRF URGENT CALL TO ACTION – Mandatory Motorcycle Roadside Stops

A mandatory roadside motorcycle stop may be coming to a town near you, reports the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF).  Recently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has asked for applications from law enforcement outfits to apply for a new pot of taxpayer money designated for pulling motorcyclists off the road to lecture them about safety.

The MRF strongly opposes this sort of discrimination against motorcyclists. “Pulling over law-abiding motorcyclists does not make anyone safer and is huge waste of taxpayer money,” said Jeff Hennie, Vice President for Government Relations and Public Affairs for the MRF.

NHTSA’s request for applications asks law enforcement officials to submit plans similar to what New York State Police did last summer. They set up outside big public motorcycle gatherings and pulled every single motorcyclist over to the side of the road to lecture them about safety, drinking and riding, proper tire inflation, and so on.

The MRF feels there are much more productive and less discriminatory ways to promote safety for motorcyclists, and is disappointed that this approach was decided upon behind closed doors by a group of federal employees who apparently did not consult anyone in the motorcycling community for their input and expertise in motorcycle safety.

This particular project is limited to five law enforcement agencies, and total funding is capped at $350,000. In these tough economic times, that’s a ton of money. The deadline for applications is August 13, and to the MRF’s knowledge, no applications have yet been submitted.

The MRF will be investigating to determine if NHTSA and the federal government have legal jurisdiction to fund states to single out one particular type of vehicle for clearly discriminatory practices over other vehicles, and will be working diligently to see that these proposed grants are never awarded.

The MRF encourages you to contact U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood today to voice your displeasure, either by phone: 202-366-4000 or by email: http://ntl.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/ntl.cfg/php/enduser/ask.php

Contact Jeff Hennie, MRF Vice President for Government Relations and Public Affairs, at Jeff@mrf.org if you have any questions or need further information.

MRF News Release – US EPA Considers Lowering Motorcycle Sound Emissions Levels

July 16, 2010

10NR21 – MRF News Release

15 July 2010

Contact: Jeff Hennie, Government Relations and Public Affairs

US EPA Considers Lowering Motorcycle Sound Emissions Levels

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) has learned that the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has begun collecting data from the industry to consider lowering the allowable decibel level for motorcycles. Currently the allowable sound any vehicle can generate is capped at 83db.

The EPA has sent letters to nine companies that either import or build aftermarket exhaust systems or complete motorcycles. This small sample size is troubling for a couple of reasons. First, it is not representative of the much larger motorcycling community that will be affected by changing the regulation, rendering the survey results questionable at best. Second, any time a federal agency wants to spend taxpayer money to survey a group of 10 or more individuals or organizations, they must obtain approval from the US Office of Management and Budget (OMB).  The approval process isn’t easy and can often be drawn out, giving American citizens the right to weigh in on the agency’s application for permission to survey. However, when an agency only contacts nine organizations, they don’t have to tell anyone or get permission from the OMB to move forward on the survey, making the process lack transparency.

Why just motorcycles? It appears that the EPA doesn’t want to curb all noise, or even all vehicle noise, just noise coming from two-wheeled vehicles. We at the MRF find that distinction discriminatory and simply unacceptable, not to mention that it suggests a more personal agenda and not an agency-wide push. What sort of impact will new decibel levels have on retailers and ultimately motorcycle owners? Alarmingly, this does not appear to have been addressed. After reviewing the survey questions, it appears that the EPA is only concerned with the impact on manufacturers.

While public correspondence has not revealed the EPA’s true intention to lower the allowable decibel limit, the EPA indicated in a private phone call with the MRF that it would certainly not be raising the standard or keeping it the same. That leaves one option, lowering the decibel standard for motorcycles.

The MRF is working with Congress to get the EPA to explain their intentions and motivations. The MRF is also working to meet directly with the EPA to further determine exactly is going on with this issue.

You can view the actual EPA questionnaire on the MRF website at http://www.mrf.org/pdf/EPA_questionnaire_June2010.pdf

MRF News Release – Lobby Ban Supported

July 2, 2010
MRF E-MAIL NEWS Motorcycle Riders Foundation
236 Massachusetts Ave. NE | Suite 510 | Washington, DC 20002-4980
202-546-0983 (voice) | 202-546-0986 (fax) | http://www.mrf.org

10NR20 – MRF News Release – Lobby Ban Supported

1 July 2010

Contact: Jeff Hennie, Government Relations and Public Affairs

Lobby Ban Supported

Washington DC

Today, 5 Members of the House of Representatives introduced a resolution that “supports efforts to retain the ban on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s ability to lobby state legislatures using federal tax dollars and urging NHTSA to focus on crash prevention and rider education”.

The ban is current Federal law, the resolution simply supports the lobby ban and puts the Obama Administration on notice that this is an important law and should remain in place.

There is recent activity to support the fact that the current Administration would like the ability back to lobby state legislatures. At a hearing, Obama’s NHTSA chief, Mr. Strickland, has said the motorcycle helmet use will be the core of NHTSA’s approach to motorcycle safety. He went on to say that “anything the Congress does that would support the movement of riders into helmets would produce the desired effect of safety.”

So, we are pleased that Representatives Sensenbrenner (WI), Ryan (WI), Rehberg (MT), Lanborn (CO), and Petri (WI) have all sponsored H Res 1498 today, and the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) hopes more of their colleagues will follow suit.  The bill is a direct result of the MRF’s spring ride to the capitol known as Bikers Inside the Beltway. A group from ABATE of Wisconsin brought this issue up with Congressman Sensenbrenner and he agreed to do the resolution.

Prior to 1996, NHTSA could and did send paid staff to State legislatures, uninvited, to testify in favor of State helmet laws. This irked the constituents and Members of Congress, who felt that it was a waste of tax payer money. They felt that the feds should not be able to use taxpayer moneys against the will of the taxpayers. So, Congress passed a law that forbids NHTSA staff from entering state assemblies uninvited. Sensenbrenner led the charge back in ’96.

He had this to say about the issue “It is the job of Congress to defend the freedom and individual responsibilities that motorcycle riders across the nation enjoy as they travel the open roads of America,” Congressman Sensenbrenner said.  “Mr. Strickland’s plan greatly concerns me as it is not the job of the federal government to create one-size-fits-all helmet laws.  Mr. Strickland appears to be intent on pursuing all means possible to enact mandatory helmet laws, either at the federal level or by violating the principles of the 10th Amendment and bullying the States into enacting mandatory helmet laws.”

Down the Road
It’s with a heavy heart that we have to report this next bit, as many of you know, Sputnik Strain passed away last week. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Sputnik’s life work. I’ll try to sum it up. Sputnik organized the State of Texas motorcyclists and convinced a bulk of them to run for elected office. He was so effective, that by 1996, the entire State House and Senate were run by biker majorities. It didn’t matter to Sput if you were a Republican or a Democrat, just that you were a biker. They held the majority until just few years ago. It is, without question, a feat that has gone unrivaled in the motorcyclists’ political world. Services for Sputnik Strain are going to be held July 10th, in Austin, Texas.

AMA Action Alert on National Monument Designations

July 1, 2010
Urge Congress to consider resolution regarding National Monument designations

Support resolution directed at Interior Department to force disclosure of documents relating to National Monument plan Take Action!
Contact Speaker Nancy Pelosi and your Representative today!
The Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources had a markup (votes were taken) on June 16, 2010 to consider H. Res. 1406, introduced by Representatives Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) and Rob Bishop (R-Utah). This resolution of inquiry is aimed at requiring the Secretary of the Department of the Interior (DOI) to turn over to the U.S. House of Representatives all documents related to the potential National Monument designations.
H. Res. 1406 passed the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources with a favorable recommendation by voice vote. The House Leadership and Chairman Rahall must now schedule H. Res. 1406 for consideration on the House floor.
The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi urging the U.S. House of Representatives to consider H. Res. 1406 as soon as possible. In addition to the letter to Speaker Pelosi, the AMA also sent a letter on June 29 to every Member of Congress urging them to support H. Res. 1406. This resolution needs the support of the U.S. House of Representatives so the American people will know exactly what plans are being discussed regarding responsible motorized recreation on millions of acres of land. For this reason, the AMA is urging all Members of Congress to cosponsor and vote yes on H. Res. 1406. The AMA will be scoring resolution cosponsors and this vote for the 111th Congress. To see if your Representative is a cosponsor, click here. To see the AMA’s scorecard for the U.S. House, click here.
Prior to the markup on June 16, the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources considered H. Res. 1254 on May 5, introduced by Representatives Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) and Rob Bishop (R-Utah). This resolution was similar to H. Res. 1406. H. Res. 1254 was in response to the letter Hastings, Bishop and 14 members of Congress sent to DOI Secretary Ken Salazar in February requesting further information related to an internal document that revealed the Administration is considering designating 13 million acres of land as National Monuments using the Antiquities Act without any public debate. This unilateral action by the Administration could potentially prohibit responsible off-highway riding in the affected areas.
In response to the markup on May 5 and the congressional letter, the DOI provided a limited release of only 383 pages out of more than 2,000 pages of internal documentation related to the consideration of National Monument designations. This is not sufficient disclosure of information.  The AMA urges the DOI to release all documentation pertaining to the congressional request.
Despite bi-partisan support at the May 5 markup on H. Res. 1254, a motion to favorably report the measure was not agreed to by a vote of 20 yeas to 22 nays. In a separate motion, a voice vote agreed to report H. Res. 1254 without recommendation. That means the decision to bring the resolution to the House floor rests with Committee Chairman Nick J. Rahall II (D-W.Va.) and House leadership.
As a result of the failure to report H. Res. 1254 favorably and the failure by Sec. Salazar to bring these documents in question to a recent hearing, Reps. Hastings and Bishop introduced another resolution of inquiry (H. Res. 1406) to force the DOI to release all documentation pertaining to the congressional request.
In addition to the congressional letter, the AMA sent a letter to Salazar addressing the responsible riding community’s concerns of its members and other user groups, stating its opposition to recommend the designation of 13 million acres of National Monument areas without any public debate. The DOI responded to the AMA’s letter, claiming the internal document was merely a “brainstorming session.” To view DOI’s response, click here.
The AMA supports H. Res. 1406 and urges its members and, all motorcycle and ATV (all-terrain vehicle) riders, to contact Speaker Pelosi and their Representatives to voice their support for this resolution.
You can find contact information for your elected officials at AmericanMotorcyclist.com > Rights > Issues & Legislation, then enter your zip code in the “Find Your Officials” box. A prewritten e-mail is available for you to send Speaker Pelosi by clicking here. You can send a prewritten e-mail to your Representative immediately by following the “Take Action” option and entering your information. The AMA encourages riders to personalize their message by drawing on their own personal riding experiences.
Please write or call Speaker Pelosi and your Representative today and urge them to cosponsor and vote yes for H. Res. 1406.

10NR19 – MRF News Release – EPA Updating Noise Emission Standards

July 1, 2010
MRF E-MAIL NEWS Motorcycle Riders Foundation
236 Massachusetts Ave. NE | Suite 510 | Washington, DC 20002-4980
202-546-0983 (voice) | 202-546-0986 (fax) | http://www.mrf.org

10NR19 – MRF News Release – EPA Updating Noise Emission Standards

30 June 2010

Contact: Jeff Hennie, Government Relations and Public Affairs

EPA Updating Noise Emission Standards

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) has learned that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is updating the regulation that governs all motorcycle noise emissions.  The EPA has sent a letter to various private companies located in the USA, that import or build motorcycle exhausts intended for use in the USA, asking the companies to disclose sensitive financial and business plan information, as well as trade secrets.

The EPA claims that it must update the regulation because of “technical changes that have occurred since the last update of the rule”. Current law has decibels capped at 83 for motorcycles built since 1983. It is not clear from the letter which direction they will pursue, but in the past, any time the EPA “updated” anything it meant that the regulations got stricter. Reading between the lines shows that the EPA will likely lower the decibel limit for motorcycles, not increase it.

The 5 page questionnaire asks for some very sensitive information such as; overall value of the company, part numbers of items built and or sold, testing techniques, will the company pass on the costs of more testing to the customer and so on.

The MRF is arranging a meeting with the EPA to clarify exactly what is going on here.

If you or anyone you know has received this letter, please put them in touch with the MRF so that they can join the coalition to ensure that this does not put in place any hardships for the American rider.

Contents of the letter to manufacturers follows.

Should you want to view the questionnaire click here: http://www.mrf.org/pdf/EPA_questionnaire_June2010.pdf


(Manufacturer specific information and MRF edits
appear in bold italic to protect the identity of the MRF’s source)

Office of Air and Radiation

June 1, 2010



The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considering revisions to its motorcycle noise emissions regulations (Code of Federal Regulations, Title 40, Part 205, Subparts D and E, promulgated December 31, 1980) to address technological changes that have occurred since the current regulations were developed. As part of this process, we are collecting information on the types and models of motorcycles and mopeds manufactured in or imported for sale in the United States. We are also collecting information on motorcycle and moped exhaust systems that are manufactured or imported for sale in the United States; this includes companies that manufacturer (sic) OEM exhaust systems for their newly manufactured motorcycles and/or mopeds and/or for retail sale and those companies that manufacture motorcycle and moped exhaust systems for aftermarket sales only. Also, in order to estimate the impacts of any increases in manufacturing and/or product costs due to possible required changes in design and testing costs, we are collecting information on sales volumes, prices and the costs of manufacture.

This letter is to request completion of the enclosed questionnaire by the (name and address of manufacturing company) by June 23, 2010. The purpose of this questionnaire is to determine the products produced, approximate production volumes, production costs, testing processes and testing costs, and sales prices for your facility.

Your company may assert a business confidentiality claim covering part or all of the information. Information covered by such a claim will be disclosed by EPA only to the extent and by procedures set forth in 40 CFR Part 2, Subpart B. You should clearly identify such pieces of information at the time it is submitted, using a cover sheet, stamped or typed legend, or label indicating that the information is company confidential, proprietary, or trade secret. If no such claim accompanies the information when it is received by the EPA, it may be made available to the public by EPA without further notice. It is EPA’s policy that compliance provides sufficient protection for the rights of submitters of priveleged information.

We have designated EC/R as an authorized representative of the Agency. As an authorized representative of EPA, EC/R is subject to the provisions of 42 U.S.C. 7414(c) respecting confidentiality of methods or processes entitled to protection as trade secrets. The EC/R contract with the EPA is EP-D-09-051.

Your assistance in this very important matter will be greatly appreciated. If you have any questions regarding this request, please contact me at (EPA phone number) or (EPA email address) or (EPA official) at (EPA phone number) or (EPA email address).

(EPA official)

J&P Cycles Open House

June 28, 2010

We loaded up the 78 XS650 with the duo-glide rear section into the duelly and pulled the 74 Holiday Rambler to Anamosa Iowa to stay at the Wapsi Campground Friday and Saturday nights.  It’s about 11 Miles from J&P, if you go back South and get on the 4 lane, so as not to go through town.  We had rain on Friday and Saturday nights, but we were in our “Tin Tent” so that was not a problem.  Rode to the Open House on Saturday and stayed long enough to get too much heat.  Drank plenty of water since they gave it away free.  Ran into Rodney and Terry Stage from Fulton County ABATE in the warehouse and had a nice chat with them.  Back to the campsite and steaks on the grill and suds.  On Sunday, after it  stopped raining, about 10 AM, we broke camp and went to the Motorcycle Museum, which is still being completed.  Met Mike and Margaret Wilson there and had some great conversation with him.  She is in the Motorcycle Hall of Fame and was being photographed on one of their bikes, 1957 Sportster.  Also we saw Ed Youngblood there, who we met in 1999 at the ABATE of Illinois State Seminar, shortly before he retired as the President of the AMA.  It was a great weekend.

Bill “Sputnik” Strain, Texas Biker Rights Leader Passes Away

June 25, 2010

Bikers lost a true warrior and friend. Sputnik aka Bill Strain passed away this morning in the TMRA2 office in Austin Texas engaged in the fight for biker rights to the very end. Rest in Peace Brother! This photo is how I remember Sput best from a long past SOLR TEA Party in Tennessee: http://bikerezine.com/national/solrteaparty/pages/DSC00027_JPG.htm Rather than send flowers I suggest you read his Five Steps and take action: http://www.fastfreds.com/articles/five-steps-liberty.htm Subject: Sputnik From: “Terri Williams” <secretary@tmra2.org> Date: Thu, June 24, 2010 9:57 am ————————————————————————– JUNE 24, 2010 The Texas Motorcycle Rights Association is sad to announce that our great Leader, Sputnik, passed away suddenly at approximately 5:00 AM this morning. I woke up at 5:45AM to find him on the living floor at the state office. It appeared that he crossed over quickly and did not suffer, from a massive heart attack. I can not begin to even put into words how devastating the loss is to the biker community, to his family, and to us who live with him at the state office, for all TMRA2, and to all of his brothers and sisters who loved him dearly. Sputnik will go down history as the greatest Motorcycle Rights Activist in the History of our Nation and we as his Task Force were truly blessed to be a part of this great Warriors life.God has a special place in Heaven for Sputnik and he told me yesterday that wanted all of us to continue the political work and to carry forward with his final Rally for the Birthday Bash in July. As soon as we know the Memorial Service information we will send out another broadcast. Our sincerest regrets to the entire Biker Community Terri Williams-State Secretary TMRA 2 Stephanie Parks-TMRA2 Task Force

— Terri Williams TMRA2 State Secretary TMRA2.org Http://Texaspoliticsbikerstyle.com 512-971-1377 Freedom is always unfinished Business!
This notice came from Fast Fred’s Biker Ezine  email

10NR17 – MRF News Release – Washington Update

June 25, 2010

MRF E-MAIL NEWS Motorcycle Riders Foundation
236 Massachusetts Ave. NE | Suite 510 | Washington, DC 20002-4980
202-546-0983 (voice) | 202-546-0986 (fax) | http://www.mrf.org

10NR17 – MRF News Release – Washington Update

24 June 2010

Contact: Jeff Hennie, Government Relations and Public Affairs

Washington Update

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation has learned that a letter has been sent by 4 US Senators to President Obama criticizing the recent announcement by the EPA to delay the mandate that would force gasoline manufactures to move from 10% ethanol/gasoline blends to 15% ethanol in its blends. The new blend is commonly referred to as e-15. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), John Thune (R-S.D.), Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) and Kit Bond (R-Mo.) all signed a letter delivered to Obama yesterday, June 23rd. The senators, all from states that have a large economic interest in ethanol, stated that the gulf oil spill underlines the need for less reliance on fossil fuels and a greater need for more ethanol use.

The EPA decided to push a deadline on issuing a rulemaking that would mandate the use of 15% blends across the country. The new time frame is early fall for release of the ruling. The EPA states that the new blend will be safe in auto engines manufactured after 2001, after testing just 18 vehicles. It is not clear if any of those vehicles were a motorcycle. The agency went on to state that it is also not clear if the new blend would damage vehicles earlier than 2001.

Ethanol causes an engine to run hotter and get less gas mileage, but it does reduce carbon monoxide emissions making it the darling of environmentalist groups. However, air cooled engines are likely to run so hot with the new blend that engine damage is almost going to be unavoidable.

The lawmakers called that first delay “unnecessary and unfortunate” in their letter but said they are more concerned about news late last week that EPA will not make a decision until later this fall.

This second delay should “not be tolerated,” the lawmakers said. The letter asks Obama to “take all action necessary” to expedite the waiver petition and immediately consider an interim blend of 12 percent ethanol.

The same problems arise with a 12% blend as with a 15% blend. No one knows what the compromise blend will do to motorcycles, air cooled engines, or other vehicles pre 2001.

Should you hail from one of the States that the four Senators are from, the MRF encourages you to contact them and ask for proof that the new blend will not harm the engines in question. All others are encouraged to contact the White House on this important matter. “Its crucial that the American people press for more testing on this issue as Obama cabinet members have gone on record saying they ‘are confident’ this new measure will be approved” said Jeff Hennie, Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs for the Motorcycle Riders Foundation.

White House Contact info
On the web: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact
On the phone: Comments: 202-456-1111, Switchboard: 202-456-1414
FAX: 202-456-2461

Highway Bill

At a recent meeting with Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), the chief architect of the financing portion of the next Highway Authorization Bill, the MRF learned that the support for the robust financing the bill deserves is just not there. With Federal spending already at an all time high, the political will to raise any funds for the bill has slipped away for the time being. It’s unlikely at this point that a final bill will be passed before the current extension is up at the end of this year. The MRF encourages you to attend any town hall style meetings your Senators or Representatives may hold over the 4th of July break and urge them to get a bill passed soon.

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation will keep you updated on these and any other issues affecting motorcyclists.

The New to Me 1997 Vulcan 1500 Classic

June 11, 2010

I bought this from a guy in Indianapolis who was trying to move to Arizona.  On Feb 25, 2010, sky king and I went and looked at the bike, and brought it home.  I now have a trailer hitch and wiring on it for pulling the pod trailer I used to pull with the 85 Voyager.  That bike was getting too heavy as I progress into codgerdom.  The vulcan is 300 lbs lighter and center of mass is centered better.  The voyager 6 cylinder cross ways made it want to lay down if it leaned much at all.Ol' Red (after the Hereford Bull on the farm)

10NR14 – MRF News Release – Washington Update

May 17, 2010

16 May 2010

Contact: Jeff Hennie, Government Relations and Public Affairs

Washington Update


The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recently convened its Motorcycle Advisory Council (MAC) to discuss motorcycles and how they relate to the country’s transportation infrastructure, and make recommendations to the U.S. Secretary of Transportation. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) is a member of the MAC and attends all council meetings.  In addition to council members, the MAC invites specialists from the government, industry and universities, with the goal of reducing motorcycle crashes and injuries to motorcyclists. They carefully consider the small road signature of motorcycles and the how they interact with the roads, bridges and barriers of this country. This was the 8th time the council has met over 4 years.

The feds announced that will be doing two “scans” of motorcycle safety to observe best practices and identify alternative solutions for smooth interaction between motorcycles and infrastructure.  They will conduct a domestic scan to study programs throughout the U.S., and will also travel to Europe and Australia for an international scan. The MRF was invited to participate in the international scan, as well as to help craft amplifying questions for international partners in that scan. The sole focus of the scans is improving U.S. infrastructure for motorcyclists.

Much of the discussion at this meeting was focused on how to get the message of the MAC into the right hands across the states. In an earlier meeting of the MAC, a brochure was developed with the mindset that it would provide key recommendations of the MAC to state highway developers. The information is fantastic, but the brochure was met with little fan fare. Oftentimes safety documents are lengthy and dull, and don’t get the attention they deserve. So the goal of this group is to not only create something that will get into the right hands, but will also get their attention. Many ideas were discussed, from video public service announcements to boiling down all current motorcycle safety documents into one simple, bullet-point document.


For years and for good reason, the MRF has been crying foul regarding the motorcycle vehicle miles traveled (VMT) numbers collected and published by the federal government. One of many glaring examples was that for several years, it was reported that the state of South Dakota, home of the Sturgis motorcycle rally, had zero annual motorcycle VMT. In fact, before the MRF got involved in this issue, motorcycle VMT numbers were optional for the states to report. We at the MRF realize the need for solid VMT numbers to get an accurate view of the country’s safety situation. The motorcycle industry gathers its own VMT numbers, and they are always at least double what the feds bring to the table.

It’s refreshing to see the feds act on the MRF’s demands and at least attempt to improve the accuracy of the motorcycle VMT numbers gathered. They are now going to code the numbers using geographic information system mapping software that will compare travel on types of roads (from highways to rural roads), as well as breaking out the numbers by vehicle types. This does not mean the numbers will be completely trustworthy, but they are headed in the right direction.


The feds also announced that they will be doing a Traveler Opinion and Participation Survey (TOPS) during the summer of 2012. They will survey a random sampling of adult Americans over the phone to gage how the general public feels about the roads they use, the traffic they sit in, the purpose of travel and so on.  As a direct result of the MAC’s recommendation to the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, the survey will, for the first time, include questions about motorcycles.

This was the last official meeting of the MAC under its current charter. The MRF is working with U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, a past recipient of the MRF Champion Award, to extend the MAC’s charter for another two years. This would be the 2nd extension of the original Congressionally-mandated charter.

To read more about the MAC or view the motorcycle safety brochure visit: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/mac/

To read the TOPS findings from the last survey (2005) visit:


Illinois Mandatory Motorcycle Helmet HB 5031 Committee Hearing 03/10

March 8, 2010

HB5031– VEH CD-MOTORCYCLE HELMETS – Synopsis As Introduced
Amends the Illinois Vehicle Code to require every operator and passenger on a motorcycle, motor driven cycle, or motorized pedalcycle to wear a helmet that meets federal safety standards.
House Sponsors
Rep. Mary E. Flowers

Date Chamber Action
1/22/2010 House Filed with the Clerk by Rep. Mary E. Flowers
1/25/2010 House First Reading
1/25/2010 House Referred to Rules Committee
2/16/2010 House Assigned to Vehicles & Safety Committee
Vehicles & Safety Committee Hearing Mar 10 2010 10:00AM Stratton Building Room D-1 Springfield, IL

Illinois Mandatory Motorcycle Helmet Bill for Under 18 Moving Forward

February 26, 2010

SB2535 – VEH CD-MOTORCYCLE HELMETS- Synopsis As Introduced
Amends the Illinois Vehicle Code to require every operator and passenger under the age of 18 on a motorcycle, motor driven cycle, or motorized pedalcycle to wear a helmet that meets federal safety standards and is properly fastened under the person’s chin with a chin strap. Effective January 1, 2011.
Senate Sponsors Sen. Donne E. Trotter

Date Chamber Action
1/12/2010 Senate Filed with Secretary by Sen. Donne E. Trotter
1/12/2010 Senate First Reading
1/12/2010 Senate Referred to Assignments
2/10/2010 Senate Assigned to Public Health
2/23/2010 Senate Do Pass Public Health; 006-002-000
2/23/2010 Senate Placed on Calendar Order of 2nd Reading February 24, 2010
2/25/2010 Senate Second Reading
2/25/2010 Senate Placed on Calendar Order of 3rd Reading March 2, 2010

Illinois Mandatory Under 18 Helmet Bill moves forward

February 25, 2010

SB2535 – VEH CD-MOTORCYCLE HELMETS- Synopsis As Introduced
Amends the Illinois Vehicle Code to require every operator and passenger under the age of 18 on a motorcycle, motor driven cycle, or motorized pedalcycle to wear a helmet that meets federal safety standards and is properly fastened under the person’s chin with a chin strap. Effective January 1, 2011.
Senate Sponsors Sen. Donne E. Trotter

Date Chamber Action
1/12/2010 Senate Filed with Secretary by Sen. Donne E. Trotter
1/12/2010 Senate First Reading
1/12/2010 Senate Referred to Assignments
2/10/2010 Senate Assigned to Public Health
2/23/2010 Senate Do Pass Public Health; 006-002-000
2/23/2010 Senate Placed on Calendar Order of 2nd Reading February 24, 2010

MRF Washington Update

February 17, 2010

MRF E-MAIL NEWS Motorcycle Riders Foundation
236 Massachusetts Ave. NE | Suite 510 | Washington, DC 20002-4980
202-546-0983 (voice) | 202-546-0986 (fax) | http://www.mrf.org

10NR03 – MRF News Release – Washington Update

17 February 2010

Contact: Jeff Hennie, MRF V.P. of Government Relations & Public Affairs


The U.S. Senate continues to work on what has become known as the “Jobs Bill,” although it’s not all business as usual. The core of the Jobs Bill is a package of tax cuts, hiring incentives, unemployment extensions, programs to help retain employees, offsets, and tax credit bond programs. The original draft was an $85 billion package crafted over 4 months of bipartisan work in conjunction with the White House. So it was surprising when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) pulled that version at the last minute and introduced a stripped down $15 billion version. Rumors swirl around his rationale for this, but only the Senator knows for sure why he did what he did.

One of the only similarities between the Senate draft and what Reid introduced last Thursday is a seemingly benign group of extensions to a handful of transportation-related measures. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) worked with the Senate to include the motorcycle safety program set up under SAFETEA-LU (PL 109-59) on the list of extended programs. The program sends cash back to the states to be used only for motorcycle rider education and public awareness campaigns aimed at motorists. Reid’s bill would continue the full funding of $7 million a year for the next two years. For those who feel that federal funds come with strings attached, it’s important to remember that this started as state money. It was sent to DC to collect in a trust fund and then it is sent back to the states for specific programs.

“With the likelihood that the next highway bill will be stalled for the foreseeable future, it’s important that we keep funding these effective safety programs in the meantime,” said Jeff Hennie, Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs for the MRF. “Considering that most states are using their current state funds dedicated to running motorcycle safety programs on everything except motorcycle safety, it becomes apparent just how badly this money is needed,” he added.

The House passed similar motorcycle safety program legislation, but only extended the funding for one year. The reasoning by the House was that we cannot wait for two years to pass a full highway bill.

As always, the MRF will keep you updated on this and all other issues affecting motorcyclists.

AMA News & Notes for March 2010

February 11, 2010
March 2010
AMA News & Notes is a monthly publication compiled and edited by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) Government Relations Department. Designed to inform motorcyclists of rights-related issues and events around the world, News & Notes welcomes your input. Suggestions and editorial contributions can be sent to AMA Legislative Assistant Sheila Andrews by e-mail at sandrews@ama-cycle.org.
Protect your right to ride! Volunteering is easier than you think. Visit us at AmericanMotorcyclist.com > Rights > Get Involved to learn how you can help.
Sign up and stay informed: AMA’s electronic Action Alerts and News & Notes keep you informed on hot topics, news affecting the motorcycling community and opportunities to communicate with your elected officials. By signing up to receive AMA Action Alerts, you will be notified by e-mail when and how you can make a difference on important issues. Click here to see the most recent AMA Action Alerts, and click here to sign up.
In addition to signing up for AMA Action Alerts, you can sign up to receive AMA’s monthly electronic edition of News & Notes. AMA News & Notes keeps motorcyclists informed of rights-related issues and events around the world. Click here and check the “Sign me up for AMA’s Government Relations News & Notes” box at the bottom of the page.
Washington, D.C.: President’s Budget Proposal Would Slash Trail Funding. President Obama’s newly submitted proposed budget for fiscal year (FY) 2011 could be disastrous for motorized trail users. Buried in the nearly 200-page document is one paragraph dealing with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Capital Improvement and Maintenance (CIM) program. The CIM program funds improvements, maintenance and operations of U.S. Forest Service roads, trails and recreation infrastructure. Under the budget proposal, the CIM program would be cut by $100 million — from a $538 million appropriation in FY 2010 to a proposed $438 million in FY 2011.
The proposed cut is particularly disturbing in light of the Forest Service’s recent work on off-highway vehicle (OHV) travel management. Many National Forests have only recently completed their travel management plans and will need funding for implementation. As these plans were developed, local Forest Service staff repeatedly told OHV enthusiasts that they lacked sufficient funding to maintain existing trails, provide trailhead facilities or to adequately inventory existing trails. Furthermore, funding for good trail design, construction and maintenance is essential to meeting the Administration’s stated goals of erosion control, watershed health and forest restoration.
The AMA urges its members to contact their federal elected officials and request that they oppose any cut in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s CIM budget.
Visit http://www.amadirectlink.com/legisltn/rapidresponse.asp for more information.
Washington, D.C.: A report released by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) shows a continuation in the decline of fatalities and injuries associated with all-terrain vehicle (ATV) use. According to the CPSC, total ATV-related injuries in 2008 decreased 10 percent from 2007, with injuries to children under 16 declining six percent.
The CPSC also reported that the risk of injury per 10,000 four-wheel ATVs in use declined by 15 percent from 2007 to 2008. This is the seventh straight year that injury risk for ATV riders has decreased, and it is now lower than at any time since CPSC began calculating this injury risk in 1985. Four-wheel ATVs have become increasingly popular, with the number of vehicles in use increasing more than 300 percent since 1998.
Source: http://www.amadirectlink.com/news/story.asp?id=1706
Washington, DC: Transportation Department bans texting for commercial truck drivers. Following up on last year’s distracted driving summit, in which the AMA was an invited guest, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced new federal guidance to expressly prohibit texting by drivers of commercial vehicles. The prohibition is effective immediately and is the latest in an ongoing series of actions taken since the national summit was held.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) research shows that drivers who send and receive text messages take their eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds out of every 6 seconds while texting. At 55 miles per hour, this means that the driver is traveling the length of a football field, including the end zones, without looking at the road. Drivers who text while driving are more than 20 times more likely to be involved in a crash than non-distracted drivers. Because of the safety risks associated with the use of electronic devices while driving, FMCSA is all working on additional regulatory measures that will be in the near future.
To read the AMA’s position statement on distracted and inattentive driving, please go to http://www.AmericanMotorcyclist.com/legisltn/positions/distracted.asp.
Boston, Mass.: Attorney General recovers $11.1 million in motorcycle insurance overcharges for consumers. The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) has entered into settlements with Safety Insurance Company (“Safety”), Liberty Mutual Insurance Company (“Liberty”) and Quincy Mutual Fire Insurance Company (“Quincy”) resolving allegations that they overcharged consumers for motorcycle insurance by using incorrect motorcycle values to calculate premiums.  The settlements, which return $11.1 million to consumers, stem from an investigation that the Attorney General’s Office began over a year ago, after a consumer filed a complaint with the office’s Insurance & Financial Services Division. 
The Massachusetts Motorcycle Association (MMA) is spearheading the effort to ensure that all motorcyclists entitled to refunds get them.
“The AGO has reached out to the motorcycling community, through the MMA, out of concern that the insurance companies might not be able to identify and locate the riders,” said MMA Chairman Dave Condon. “All riders are encouraged to contact the MMA directly for assistance in expediting your refund.”
To qualify for a refund, you must answer “yes” to the following questions:
o   Did you buy motorcycle insurance from the Safety, Liberty or Quincy insurance company?
o   Did your motorcycle insurance policy contain the collision or comprehensive options?
o   Did you buy this optional motorcycle insurance at any time during the years 2002 to the present?
If you answered “yes” to all three questions, then you may be due a refund and are urged to send your contact information via e-mail to: MyRefund@MassMotorcycle.org. Or by mail to the following address: Attn: MA AGO Insurance Settlement, P.O. Box 378, Brimfield, MA 01010.
The contact information will be shared only with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office Insurance and Financial Services Division and the named insurance carrier, Condon said. The information should include your name, address (past and present), telephone number, e-mail, and the year, make, model and VIN number of the motorcycle or motorcycles that were insured.
Alternately, the AGO has worked with the three insurance companies to establish the following hotlines: Liberty (800) 569-5411, Quincy (800) 899-1116, and Safety (877) 951-6416.
Auto insurance companies are required to calculate premiums by following the rules in their rating manuals. The settling insurers’ rating manuals required the insurers to use current motorcycle book values to calculate the collision and comprehensive premiums charged to consumers.  However, rather than using current book values to calculate premiums, the settling insurers in many cases allegedly used motorcycle values that were inflated and out-of-date.
Under the terms of the settlements filed in Suffolk Superior Court, it is anticipated that Safety will return $7.2 million to policyholders; Liberty will return $3.1 million to policyholders; and Quincy will return $800,000 to policyholders. The three insurance companies will also make payments to the state totaling $510,000. The settlements cover alleged overcharges going back to 2002 and require the insurers to pay six percent interest to consumers on the alleged overcharges. Average refunds to consumers are anticipated to be approximately $300 with some consumers receiving thousands of dollars. Tens of thousands of policies are believed to have been affected.
Source: http://www.massmotorcycle.org/content.aspx?page_id=5&club_id=769540&item_id=11858

Lake Elsinore, Calif.: Roadracing World Magazine interviews AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman. Roadracing World Magazine’s David Swarts talked with Dingman about professional racing, vintage racing and the current state of the AMA. Broken into three parts, the interview addressed many questions about the AMA’s past and present activities, including how the Association benefits from the sale of AMA Pro Racing assets, the new direction of vintage racing in America, and how the AMA will grow membership moving forward.
–       Part 1, AMA Pro Racing: http://roadracingworld.com/news/article/?article=39217
–       Part 2, Vintage Racing: http://roadracingworld.com/news/article/?article=39219
–       Part 3, The State of the AMA: http://roadracingworld.com/news/article/?article=39218
Ocotillo, Calif: California State Parks recently kicked-off a comprehensive update of the General Plan for the popular Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area. A General Plan is a broad-based policy document that establishes a long-range vision and goals. The plan also provides direction on future types of improvements, services, and programs. An Environmental Impact Report (EIR) will be prepared as required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The EIR will evaluate potential environmental effects associated with adoption of the General Plan.
A consulting firm is assisting Ocotillo Wells with this process and has a short questionnaire posted. Visit PlanOcotilloWells.com to help identify key planning issues to be considered.
Washington State: The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has released its Draft Reiter Foothills Forest Recreation Plan. While approximately 4,000 acres of the 10,000-acre area being studied have seen off-highway motorcycle use in the past, the new DNR plan proposes limiting motorized use to 1,100 acres. That would represent a 72.5 percent reduction in available riding opportunities despite a DNR survey that showed motorcycling is the most popular use for the area (60 percent of user groups surveyed). The DNR admits that the 1,100 acres proposed is inadequate to accommodate existing use, and their own research has identified additional area suitable for OHV use. Furthermore, because the plan does not explicitly identify motorized single-track motorcycle trails, there is no guarantee that there will be any left open to motorized use.
A “Save Reiter” Facebook page has been created and the Northwest Motorcycle Associations website has the latest information.
Source: http://www.nmaoffroad.org/index.shtml
Hot Springs, Ark.: Members of Arkansas’ congressional delegation say a U.S. Forest Service plan to close areas of the Ouachita National Forest to OHVs is misguided and have requested a halt to the implementation of the project.
Senators Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor and U.S. Representative Mike Ross say any such rule could hurt the economy in western Arkansas. Lincoln cites the Mena area in particular as one that would be hard-hit by any ban in the National Forest. Pryor and Ross also asked officials of the National Forest to “re-engage” with local and state officials to find a commonsense solution. “Reasonable access to our nation’s public lands, for both jobs and recreation, is something many Arkansans depend upon,” Lincoln said in a news release.
Source: http://www.baxterbulletin.com
Great Falls, Mont.: the National Off Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC) is holding another round of Public Land Advocacy webinars soon. These webinars will complement the highly popular Public Land Advocacy DVD series. The webinar series will help participants understand and be effectively involved in OHV management and agency planning processes. Topics such as, writing effective comments, working with land managers, the agency process for designating routes, and so on are intended to help individuals promote and preserve OHV riding opportunities. There will also be information for land managers including getting to know the enthusiasts and how to provide excellent trail systems for riders.
Individuals will have the opportunity to ask questions of the presenter and to interact with other participants.
Visit http://www.nohvcc.org/education/webinars.asp for dates and sign up information.
Columbia, S.C.: South Carolina’s highest court has heard arguments over whether a city can require motorcycle riders to wear helmets, despite the lack of a state law requiring them.
In September 2008, the Myrtle Beach City Council voted unanimously to pass 15 ordinances intended to crack down on rallies, including the helmet requirement. Violators of the helmet law face a $100 fine but no jail time. Justices questioned an attorney for the city over what they seemed to view as the intent of the ordinance: which was not to make Myrtle Beach’s roads safer for riders, but instead to discourage attendance at two popular biker rallies.
State Rep. Thad Viers argued that a state law governing traffic ordinances specifically spells out what local governments are allowed to do regarding traffic laws. He also contended that allowing the municipal ordinance to trump existing state law would have serious consequences statewide.
Source: http://www.thestate.com/statewire/story/1139849.html

Crash Bar installed on Spotty today

February 2, 2010

Got my new “used” crash bar for Spotty (XS650)last night UPS from the Ebay purchase I made last week.  I think it will be ok.  The part came from SpeedCityCycle in Indy.  I left the highway peg brackets on the motor mount bolts since I now have to find the shorter bolts that are probably are in a box somewhere.  It is a nice looking set-up.  They even left the foot pegs on it.

AMA Action Alert for Illinois ATV Riders

January 27, 2010
Flowers Introduces Prohibition on Youth Riding — Again!

Illinois House bill 5029, introduced by Rep. Mary Flowers (D-Chicago), would make it illegal for anyone under the age of 16 to operate an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) or off-highway motorcycle (OHM). The proposed legislation would also make it illegal to transport a passenger on an ATV or OHM regardless of whether the vehicle is configured for a passenger. The bill would also require ATV and OHM riders to have valid driver’s licenses and wear helmets.
This legislation is nearly identical to legislation introduced by Rep. Flowers last year that ultimately died in the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee.
The text of HB 5029 and a prewritten response are available on the “Rights” page of http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com.
This legislation was referred to the rules committee on January 25th. Additional updates will be posted as they become available.

HB5029- ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLE SAFETY– Synopsis As Introduced
Amends the School Code to provide that school districts must provide instruction in relation to the laws regarding the operation of all-terrain vehicles and off-highway motorcycles in grades kindergarten through 12 and may include the instruction in social studies, American government, driver education, or other appropriate courses of study. Amends the Illinois Vehicle Code to prohibit any use of all-terrain vehicles or off-highway vehicles on roads. Provides that the Secretary of State may suspend a person’s driver’s license for 6 months for a violation of provisions relating to the illegal use of all-terrain vehicles and off-highway motorcycles on streets and riding an all-terrain vehicle or off-highway motorcycle as a passenger. Provides that it is illegal to operate an all-terrain vehicle or off-highway motorcycle if the operator is under the age of 16, does not have a valid driver’s license, or is not wearing a properly fitted helmet secured to the person’s head. Provides that a person must demonstrate knowledge of all-terrain vehicle and off-highway motorcycle laws on the written examination for a driver’s license, and provides that information relating to all-terrain vehicle and off-highway motorcycle laws must be contained in publications of the “Rules of the Road” by the Secretary of State and “Laws for Youth” by the Legislative Research Unit.

Illinois Senate Bill for “Bicycle Safety”

January 26, 2010

Instead of chasing criminals, this will cause law enforcement officers to harass our children and grandchildren for improper operation of bicycles!

VEH CD-BICYCLE SAFETY -Synopsis As Introduced
Amends the Illinois
Vehicle Code. Provides that it is unlawful for any person under the
age of 16 to operate or be a passenger on a bicycle on a highway,
multipurpose public path, or other public right-of-way unless at all
times when the person is so-engaged he or she wears a protective
bicycle helmet of good fit fastened securely upon the head with the
straps of the helmet. Provides that it is unlawful for any person to
be a passenger on a bicycle on a highway, multipurpose public path,
or other public right-of-way unless, with respect to any person who
weighs fewer than 40 pounds or is less than 40 inches in height, the
person can be and is properly seated in and adequately secured to a
bicycle safety seat. Provides that it is a civil offense for any
parent or legal guardian of a person below the age of 12 to permit
the person to operate or be a passenger on a bicycle in an unlawful
manner. Provides that it is unlawful to rent or lease any bicycle to
or for the use of any person under the age of 16 on a highway,
multipurpose public path, or other public right-of-way unless certain
conditions are met. Provides that in no event shall failure to wear a
protective bicycle helmet or to secure a passenger to a restraining
seat be admissible as evidence in a trial of any civil action.
Provides that a law enforcement officer observing any violation of
this amendatory Act shall issue a warning to the person for the first
offense and a citation to the person for the second or subsequent
offense, but shall not arrest or take into custody any person solely
for a violation of this amendatory Act. Effective immediately.
Sen. Ira
I. Silverstein

Mandatory Motorcycle Helmet Bill Intro’d in House

January 26, 2010

 VEH CD-MOTORCYCLE HELMETS – Synopsis As Introduced
the Illinois Vehicle Code to require every operator and passenger on
a motorcycle, motor driven cycle, or motorized pedalcycle to wear a
helmet that meets federal safety standards.
House Sponsors
Mary E.

AMA Action Alert 01-21-10

January 21, 2010
US Forest Service Launches Effort to Rewrite Forest Panning Rule — Shifts Focus to ‘Restoration’

Opportunity for Public Comment Through February 16, 2010

In December, the USDA Forest Service announced that it would rewrite the national forest system land management-planning rule. The planning rule sets priorities and defines the process for the development and revision of site-specific management plans for every national forest or grassland.
The Forest Service has issued three planning rules since 2000 but two of them have been struck down by legal challenges and the 2000 rule has never been utilized because of its “complexity”. In effect most current forest plans have been written under the planning rule of 1982.
The Forest Service raises a number of noteworthy concepts in the scoping document (Federal Register – December 18, 2009). Foremost being the concept of “restoration” which is heavily stressed but never defined. Nor does the document examine how making “restoration” a priority would affect recreation or other land uses. Rather the agency asks the public to provide comment on what “restoration” ought to mean. However, last August, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack stated publicly, “Restoration means managing forest lands first and foremost to protect our water resources, while making our forests more resilient to climate change.”
Adaption to climate change and resiliency are frequently referenced in the document but it is left to the public to comment on how those concepts should be applied. Similarly the document suggests that local forest planners should not limit themselves to planning for National Forest Service land but should expand their efforts to include “all-lands” or whole watersheds.
Wrongly applied to local planning processes, many of the concepts raised in the scoping document could be very problematic for maintaining recreational access to public lands for a number of activities – including motorized recreation. The AMA strongly encourages off-highway vehicle enthusiasts to review the proposal and to provide written comment to the agency on the importance of recognizing recreational access in the forest planning process.
The Forest Service’s Notice of Intent, background materials and information on how to comment are available at www.fs.usda.gov/planningrule. Comments will be accepted until February 13th.
The Forest Service expects to develop a proposed rule and a draft environmental impact statement by late fall 2010. The public will have additional comment opportunities at

Illinois Helmet Bills Introduced

January 15, 2010

– VEH CD-MOTORCYCLE HELMETS- Synopsis As Introduced
Amends the
Illinois Vehicle Code to require every operator and passenger under
the age of 18 on a motorcycle, motor driven cycle, or motorized
pedalcycle to wear a helmet that meets federal safety standards and
is properly fastened under the person’s chin with a chin strap.
Effective January 1, 2011.
Senate Sponsors
Sen. Donne
E. Trotter

– VEH CD-MOTORCYCLE HELMETS – Synopsis As Introduced
the Illinois Vehicle Code to require every operator and passenger on
a motorcycle, motor driven cycle, or moped to wear a helmet that
meets federal safety standards and is properly fastened under the
person’s chin with a chin strap. Effective January 1, 2011.
Sen. Donne
E. Trotter

AMA Racing announces AMA Racing Vintage National Dirt Track Championship Series

January 15, 2010

The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) is pleased to announce the 2010 AMA Racing Vintage National Dirt Track Championship Series. The new series will recognize national champions in period-correct classes that reflect the storied history of AMA dirt-track competition.

Press Release here

2010 AMA Vintage National Dirt Track Championships Series

Feb. 28
Short Track
Daytona Beach, Fla.
Daytona Flat Track

March 2
Volusia, Fla.
Volusia Speedway

April 17
Short Track
Orangeburg, S.C.
Orangeburg Motoplex

April 18
Orangeburg, SC.
Orangeburg Motoplex

June 26
Short Track
Harpursville, N.Y.
Square Deal Motorcycle Club

July 9
Ashland, Ohio

July 24
Du Quoin, Ill.

July 25
Du Quoin, Ill.

Sept. 11
Waco, Texas
Waco Eagles Motorcycle Club

Sept. 12
Waco, Texas
Waco Eagles Motorcycle Club

AMA News & Notes Feb 10

January 8, 2010

February 2010

AMA News & Notes is a monthly
publication compiled and edited by the American Motorcyclist
Association (AMA) Government Relations Department. Designed to inform
motorcyclists of rights-related issues and events around the world,
News & Notes welcomes your input. Suggestions and editorial
contributions can be sent to AMA Legislative Assistant Sheila Andrews
by e-mail at sandrews@ama-cycle.org.


Protect your right to ride!
Volunteering is easier than you think. Visit us at
> Rights > Get Involved to learn how you can help.

Sign up and stay informed: AMA’s electronic Action Alerts and News &
keep you informed on hot topics, news affecting the
motorcycling community and opportunities to communicate with your
elected officials. By signing up to receive AMA Action Alerts, you
will be notified by e-mail when and how you can make a difference on
important issues. Click
to see the most recent AMA Action Alerts, and click
to sign up.

 In addition to signing up for AMA Action Alerts, you can sign
up to receive AMA’s monthly electronic edition of News & Notes.
AMA News & Notes keeps motorcyclists informed of rights-related
issues and events around the world. Click
and check the "Sign me up for AMA’s Government
Relations News & Notes" box at the bottom of the page.

   Washington, DC: The U.S. Consumer Product Safety
(CPSC) voted unanimously (5-0) last month to
extend a stay of enforcement on testing and certification of many
regulated children’s products, which includes youth model-motorcycles
and ATVs. While enforcement of specific CPSC testing requirements has
been stayed, the products must still comply with all applicable rules
and bans.
Additionally, the Commission voted (4-1) to extend the stay on
certification and third party testing for children’s products subject
to lead content limits until February 10, 2011. Under this decision,
products must still meet the 300 ppm (parts per million) lead limit
now, but certification and third party testing to show compliance
will be required for all children’s products manufactured after
February 10, 2011.

 Source: http://www.amadirectlink.com/news/story.asp?id=1621

Hollister, Calif.: Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Clear Creek Draft
public meeting schedule released. The
BLM Hollister Field Office will host three public meetings to gather
comments on the Clear Creek Management Area Draft Resource Management
Plan (RMP) and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in January 2010.
Each public meeting will begin with an open house where the
public can gather information, talk with BLM specialists, and provide
written comments on the draft RMP/EIS. Following the open house, the
BLM will give a brief introduction followed by an opportunity for the
public to provide oral comments on the draft RMP/EIS. Although oral
comments will be noted on flip charts, BLM will only respond to
written public comments in the proposed RMP and final EIS.

Each public meeting will take place from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Jan. 13, 2010: Harris Ranch Garden Ballroom, 24505 W. Dorris Ave.,
Coalinga, Calif.           

 Jan. 14, 2010: Veterans Memorial Hall, 649 San Benito St.
Hollister, Calif.

Jan. 20, 2010: Santa Clara Convention Center, Great America Meeting
Rooms, 5001            

    Great America Parkway, Santa Clara, Calif.

For additional information contact the Hollister Field Office at
(831) 630-5000. The draft RMP/EIS is available for public review
online at:            

   Kern County, Calif.: Judge orders closure
popular off-highway vehicle (OHV) trails in Mojave
Desert. An administrative law judge has rescinded a Bureau of Land
Management (BLM) decision to open two OHV trails in the Mojave
Desert. The decision from the Interior Department’s Interior Board of
Land Appeals (IBLA) upholds an appeal brought by the Center for
Biological Diversity, which argued the plan to open two routes in the
Rand Mountain Management Area of Kerns County was flawed.
David Briery, a spokesman in BLM’s California Desert district, said
his office had not yet seen the IBLA ruling and that Interior
attorneys would determine the agency’s next move in the coming
Source: http://www.mercedsunstar.com/280/story/1257895.html

   Tracy, Calif.: Carnegie State Vehicle Recreation Area
(SVRA) focus of lawsuit
. Recently, Judge Frank Roesch of the
Alameda Superior Court indicated his intent to sign an order that
would effectively close the SVRA to public use by directing the
suspension of all off-highway vehicle (OHV) activity.

In response, California State Parks went to court to request a
stay to delay an immediate closure of the park. The judge granted a
stay, delaying closure of the park until the end of business on
Dec. 29, 2009.

On Thursday Dec. 24th, the Attorney General’s office filed a petition
with the First District Court of Appeals, in San Francisco. This
action requested an immediate stay of the closure order until the
Court of Appeals has time to review the lower court’s decision.

On Monday, Dec. 28th, the First District Court of Appeals, in San
Francisco, issued a "temporary stay", as requested by the
Attorney General’s office on behalf of California State Parks. The
order from the Appellate Court prevents enforcement of the lower
court ruling that would have closed the park on Dec. 29th. Plaintiffs
in the case now have until Jan. 6, 2010 to respond to the petition
filed by the Attorney General and demonstrate why there would be
irreparable harm, if any, from permitting or prohibiting OHV activity
in the park, until the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control
Board takes action on the Report of Waste Discharge filed by State
Parks. California State Parks has until Jan. 11 to respond to the
plaintiff’s brief. The park remains open until the Court of Appeals
renders its final decision.

For further info visit http://www.ohv.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=26096
and the recently launched www.CarnegieForever.org,
which includes a petition and links to current information.

   San Bernardino, Calif.: A requirement that
or more
people must obtain a $155 permit to use OHVs on
private property could soon be erased from county code. Morongo
Basin’s county supervisors Neil Derry and Brad Mitzelfelt plan to
recommend removing the staging-permit requirement from San Bernardino
County’s OHV code, which was passed in 2006. Under the current
ordinance, groups of 10 to 199 people gathering to use OHVs must
obtain a temporary special-event permit.

The new language allows a gathering without a permit as long as the
event occurs on a lot of at least 2 1/2 acres, is consistent with the
other provisions in the ordinance and lasts four consecutive days or
less within a 30-day period. In the past three years, six people have
received a total of 14 permits, a number the supervisors say is so
low that it proves the permit itself is not necessary.



   Oregon: New OHV rules
took effect on January 1,
2010. Changes in state law will require children under age 16 to be
secured by proper restraints while riding in class I and class II
vehicles mandated to have seatbelts. Class II vehicles include jeeps,
trucks or side-by-side vehicles used for off-highway riding. Class I
vehicles that are affected include youth-sized, side-by-side
all-terrain vehicles that weigh 800 pounds or less and have
seatbelts. Riders in class I quads and three-wheelers, ATVs weighing
less than 800 pounds, are exempt from the law.

The change in the helmet requirement mandates that youths under 18
must wear fastened, DOT-approved helmets while riding in any class of
OHV not registered by the Division of Motor Vehicles. Anyone riding
in a registered, street-legal class II ATV that leaves the highway is

Both changes resulted from legislation passed in the 2009 legislative
session and signed into law by Gov. Ted Kulongoski. The new safety
restraint requirements were carried in Senate Bill 579. The amended
off-highway helmet requirement was passed in Senate Bill 583.

Anyone with questions can call the Parks and Recreation Department
hotline at 1-877-7SAFELY (1-877-772-3359), email them at
or visit www.oregonohv.org
for more information.

Indiana: Senate Bill 111
, introduced by Sen. Timothy Lanane
(D-Anderson), would make it a Class C misdemeanor to use a handheld
wireless communications device to transmit a text message or
electronic mail message while operating a motor vehicle. It also
would provide enhanced penalties for repeat offenders or if another
person is injured or killed. Consistent with the AMA position on
distracted and inattentive motor vehicle operations, SB-111 holds
vehicle operators more accountable for their actions.

   Arizona: State officials plan to crack down on OHV
registration compliance.
Citing statistics that indicate
less than a quarter of OHVs currently registered in the state have
the required OHV decal, Arizona Game and Fish officers will be
stepping up compliance enforcement efforts when out in the field. The
$25 OHV registration decal is good for one year from the date of
purchase. Also, the Motor Vehicle Department (MVD) does not send
renewal notices, so it is the responsibility of owners to make sure
their vehicles remain in compliance.

 The OHV decal program took effect on Jan. 1, 2009, and requires
the annual purchase of a decal for any OHV designed by the
manufacturer primarily for use over unimproved terrain and weighing
1,800 pounds or less. This includes most all-terrain vehicles,
side-by-sides (utility vehicles), dirt bikes and some sand
Game and Fish officers will be citing vehicle owners who fail to
display the required OHV decals soon. The fine for not having the
decal is $250. Decals can be obtained online at
at any MVD office or MVD third-party service providers.


   Illinois: House Bill 4701
, introduced by Rep.
Dan Brady (R-Bloomington), would require all motor vehicles operated
on a highway, not just motorcycles, but also motor-driven cycles, and
motorized pedalcycles, to use head lamps or daytime running lights at
all times. Motorcyclists uneasy that such a "lights on"
policy will wash out their profile in traffic should contact their
state representative to make their concerns known.

   Minnesota: 2009’s preliminary traffic death count

of 403 marks another significant drop in annual road fatalities,
representing a eight percent drop from the 455 deaths in 2008. The
state projects a final death number of around 420, which would be the
fewest number of fatalities since 356 were reported in1944.

 The preliminary 51 motorcyclist deaths represent a sharp
decline (29 percent) from 72 rider deaths in 2008, which was a
24-year high. The drop in rider deaths is especially significant as
ridership is at an all-time high.

 The most critical stat to determine road safety is the death
rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT). The Department of
Public Safety estimates the 2009 VMT will be 0.75, which would be the
lowest ever for Minnesota. In 2008, the state VMT fatality rate was
0.79 (less than one death per 100 million VMT) – among the lowest in
the nation – and down from a rate of 5.52 in 1966.

The 403-fatality count includes motorists (298), motorcyclists (51);
pedestrians (36), bicyclists (9), ATV riders (3), farm equipment
operators (3), commercial bus passengers/drivers (2), and a road
maintenance vehicle occupant. Distracted, impaired driving, not using
a seat belt and speeding are expected to be the primary contributing
factors of the 2009 fatal crashes and serious injuries.


   New Jersey: Assembly Bill 4164
, sponsored by
Asm. Ruben Ramos, Jr. (D-Hoboken), would provide an exemption from
the sales and use tax for sales of recreational safety helmets,
including those worn by motorcyclists.

 Also Assembly Bill 4244, sponsored by Asm. Vincent Prieto
(D-Secaucus), proposes a $150 penalty per violation for alteration of
equipment or the performance of equipment of any vehicle that has
been approved at an official inspection facility with the intent to
defeat the purpose of the inspection. The bill also would make the
operation of any such altered vehicle a violation.

   Pennsylvania: House Bill 2104
, sponsored by
Rep. Michael K. Hanna (D-Lock Haven), would permit a person to file a
complaint against the owner/operator of a motor vehicle that violates
provisions in Section 4523 (exhaust systems, mufflers and noise
control) of Title 75 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes. A
magisterial district judge could issue a search warrant, authorizing
the Pennsylvania State Police to inspect the motor vehicle and take
appropriate action. 

MRF New Release- Washington Update

December 16, 2009
MRF E-MAIL NEWS Motorcycle Riders Foundation
236 Massachusetts Ave. NE | Suite 510 | Washington, DC 20002-4980
202-546-0983 (voice) | 202-546-0986 (fax) | http://www.mrf.org

09NR38 – MRF News Release – Washington Update

16 December 2009

Contact: Jeff Hennie, MRF V.P. of Government Relations & Public Affairs

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Obama, on Friday, announced that he has nominated David L. Strickland to be the new administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Strickland has served for eight years on the staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. As the Senior Counsel for the Consumer Protection Subcommittee, he is currently the lead staff person for the oversight of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Federal Trade Commission, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission. He has also served as the lead Senate staff person in the formulation of the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) reforms and standards included in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, and in a staff leadership role in the reauthorization of the NHTSA in the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act of 2005 (SAFETEA-LU).

His work in advising Commerce Committee members led to the inclusion of several significant vehicle safety mandates, including the electronic stability control mandate for every passenger vehicle. Mr. Strickland advised Congressional members on safety reforms and funding increases for the NHTSA’s seatbelt and drunk driving grant programs. Mr. Strickland earned his J.D. degree at Harvard Law School, and his B.S. Degree in Communication Studies and Political Science at Northwestern University.

Strickland’s nomination was the subject of a Senate Hearing yesterday where he faced no opposition.

The MRF looks forward to continue to work with Mr. Strickland once he is approved by the full Senate. We hope he takes a sensible approach to motorcycle safety.

2010 grant money

The last round of the 2010 grant money was dispersed recently. $7 Million dollars total was sent to individual states to be used for motorcycle safety purposes. All 50 states received at least $100,000 with some of the more populated states getting more than $300,000. To see the full list click here

On another note

It has got virtually nothing to do with motorcycling but many riding organizations have kept a close eye on the Patriot Act. The Patriot act is a federal surveillance program designed to give greater abilities to federal investigators when working on international terrorism issues. Some fear that giving the ability to the feds to intercept private information will eventually be used on other groups of individuals, not just terrorists.

Three key provisions are expiring at the end of this year and lawmakers are looking to include their extension in an upcoming Omnibus. An omnibus is giant piece of legislation that lawmakers are unlikely to vote against.
Congress typically includes controversial provisions in omnibus legislation and the patriot act is controversial to say the least.

One of the expiring provisions allows the government to seek orders from a special federal court for “any tangible thing” that it says is related to a terrorism investigation, such as business records. Another allows the
government to seek court orders for roving wiretaps on suspected terrorists who shift their modes of communication.

The third provision, which the Justice Department told lawmakers in September has never been used, allows the government to apply to the special court for surveillance orders on “lone wolf” terrorists not necessarily connected to a larger organization.

The MRF has no position on the Patriot Act.


The following is a list of the States that qualified for FY 2009 Section 2010 grants and the amounts to be awarded:

State FY 2009 Motorcyclist Safety Grants
ALABAMA $114,238
ALASKA $100,000
ARIZONA $111,200
ARKANSAS $100,000
COLORADO $110,080
DELAWARE $100,000
FLORIDA $257,007
GEORGIA $164,399
HAWAII $100,000
IDAHO $100,000
ILLINOIS $220,884
INDIANA $133,372
IOWA $101,658
KANSAS $104,884
KENTUCKY $105,047
LOUISIANA $104,965
MAINE $100,000
MARYLAND $106,176
MICHIGAN $186,872
MINNESOTA $130,550
MISSOURI $136,277
MONTANA $100,000
NEBRASKA $100,000
NEVADA $100,000
NEW JERSEY $144,587
NEW MEXICO $100,000
NEW YORK $291,150
OHIO $202,304
OKLAHOMA $107,642
OREGON $100,000
PUERTO RICO $100,000
TENNESSEE $127,038
TEXAS $366,564
UTAH $100,000
VERMONT $100,000
VIRGINIA $138,601
WISCONSIN $130,235
WYOMING $100,000
TOTAL $7,000,000

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Ride With The LeadersTM by joining the MRF at http://www.mrf.org/join.php or call 1-202-546-0983

Registration is easy and secure for MRF Regional and Meeting of the Minds conferences. Visit our website at http://www.mrf.org/events.php for further details and registration information.

Send in your nominations and donations for the MRF’s Young Activist Scholarship fund today. For complete details, visit http://www.mrfae.org/yas.php.

Sign up today for the MRF’s new roadside assistance program by visiting http://www.mrf.org/mrfroadside.php The program is available to MRF members and non-MRF members.

© All Information contained in this release is copyrighted. Reproduction permitted with attribution. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation, incorporated in 1987, is a membership-based, national motorcyclists’ rights organization headquartered in Washington, DC. The first motorcyclists’ rights organization to establish a full-time presence in Washington, DC, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation is the only Washington voice devoted exclusively to the street rider. The MRF established MRFPAC in the early 1990s to advocate the election of candidates who would champion the cause of rider safety and rider freedom.

The MRF proudly claims state motorcyclists’ rights organizations and the very founders of the American riders’ rights movement among its leading members. The MRF is involved in federal and state legislation and regulations, motorcycling safety education, training, and public awareness. The MRF provides members and state motorcyclists’ rights organizations with direction and information, and sponsors annual regional and national educational seminars for motorcyclists rights activists, as well as publishing a bi-monthly newsletter, THE MRF REPORTS.

AMA News & Notes- Jan 2010

December 15, 2009

January 2010

News & Notes is a monthly publication compiled and edited by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) Government Relations Department. Designed to inform motorcyclists of rights-related issues and events around the world, News & Notes welcomes your input. Suggestions and editorial contributions can be sent to AMA Legislative Assistant Sheila Andrews by e-mail at sandrews@ama-cycle.org.

Protect your right to ride! Volunteering is easier than you think. Visit us at AmericanMotorcyclist.com, click on Rights, then Get Involved to learn how you can help.

Sign up and stay informed: AMA’s electronic Action Alerts and News & Notes will keep you informed on hot topics, news affecting the motorcycling community and opportunities to communicate with your elected officials. By signing up to receive AMA Action Alerts, you will be notified by e-mail when and how you can make a difference on important issues. Click here to see the most recent Action Alerts, and click here to sign up.
In addition to signing up for our Action Alerts, you can sign up to receive AMA’s monthly electronic edition of News & Notes. News & Notes keeps motorcyclists informed of rights-related issues and events around the world. Click here and check the “Sign me up for AMA’s Government Relations News & Notes” box at the bottom of the page.

The AMA offers its most sincere condolences to the family, friends and co-workers of Hugh H. “Harry” Hurt, who died of a heart attack on Nov. 29, 2009 at the age of 81. Professor Hurt was an award-winning author best known in the motorcycling community for conducting a benchmark motorcycle safety research study in 1981 entitled “Volume I: Technical Report, Motorcycle Accident Cause Factors and Identification of Countermeasures, January, 1981 – Final Report.”
Commonly referred to as the “Hurt Report,” the study was widely viewed to be the most comprehensive motorcycle safety study of the 20th century. In addition to that groundbreaking study, Hurt was the author of dozens of publications in the fields of motorcycle handling, safety, crash analysis, and helmet performance. It was on this basis that Hurt was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2007.
Source: http://www.amadirectlink.com/news/story.asp?id=1577

The AMA announced the 2009 AMA Motorcyclist of the Year with a twist: This year’s recipients are a group, rather than an individual. The winners? Kids who ride motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). America’s youngest riders were at the center of the biggest story of the year in 2009, as the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) enforced a ban on selling youth-model off-highway vehicles (OHVs).
At the center of the controversy is the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) provision that strictly reduces the levels of allowable lead in children’s toys. Because OHVs include lead in parts such as battery terminals, valve stems, engine cases and controls, in early 2009 the law banned the sale of OHVs intended for kids 12 years old and younger.
Thanks to the efforts of AMA members, AMA staff and others, more than 70,000 motorcyclists used online tools provided by the AMA at AmericanMotorcyclist.com to voice opposition to the law. As a direct result, the CPSC issued delayed enforcement of the law until 2011. With congressional leaders reluctant to re-write a law that they had just passed, the delay of enforcement was critical to the efforts to resolve the issue because it secured valuable time for the AMA and its allies to continue to pressure regulators and lawmakers to permanently exempt youth-model OHVs from the CPSIA.
Full story: http://www.amadirectlink.com/news/story.asp?id=1579

The Chairman of the Subcommittee on Energy of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources held a hearing on S. 2843, the Advanced Vehicle Technology Act of 2009, on December 8. The U.S. House companion bill is H.R. 3246. S. 2843 would authorize the Department of Energy to conduct advanced technology vehicle and component part research and development. This will increase the production of new technology in vehicles and trucks in the United States. The AMA is encouraged that language to include motorcycles will be included based on the exchange between Senator Wyden and Under Secretary Johnson of the Department of Energy at the hearing.
On September 16, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3246 with a vote of 312 to 114. During consideration of the bill, Representative Patrick Kennedy introduced an amendment to ensure that manufacturers of two- and three-wheeled electric vehicles are included in the list of eligible industry participants. The amendment was adopted unanimously.

The American Motorcyclist Association, in conjunction with the National Motorsports Coalition, is asking all organizers, promoters, track owners and others to contact their members of Congress and ask them to cosponsor the Motorsports Fairness and Permanency Act of 2009 (H.R. 1974/S. 1400). The Act would make permanent the current seven-year depreciation tax standard for motorsports entertainment complexes.
For more than 20 years, permanent motorsports facilities have operated under this classification, but in 2004 the IRS raised some questions on the issue. Congress eventually reaffirmed that seven years was appropriate, and extended the treatment through the end of 2007. Last year, Congress acted diligently to extend the depreciation method through the end of 2008, however until permanency is obtained, the motorsports industry will continue to have to petition for an extension of the tax method. This consistently affects the more than 900 permanent motorsports facilities operating in the United States that have tremendous economic and job creation impact, both regionally and nationally.
In order to pass legislation providing for security of the depreciation schedule, owners, operators and everyone involved needs to contact their Senators and Representatives to ask them to cosponsor their respective bills. H.R. 1974 and S. 1400 are needed to ensure the viability of permanent tracks and the sport of motorcycle racing. For more information on how to reach out to your members of Congress log-on to http://www.AmericanMotorcyclist.com > Rights > Issues & Legislation.

Congress will hold a hearing on a bill that will negatively impact Montana’s off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreational opportunities. The Chairman of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources has scheduled a hearing on December 17 to consider S. 1470, the Forest Jobs and Recreation Act of 2009, introduced by Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.). As it is currently written, the OHV community will lose access to many miles of popular riding trails.
The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) appreciates Senator Tester for reaching out to the OHV community in attempting to make this bill better for every user of our public lands. However, the AMA continues to oppose this bill as it is currently written, and urges the Subcommittee and Senator Tester to work with our Association and other groups to more fully address rider concerns so that families can continue to enjoy OHV trails in a responsible manner.

San Francisco, Calif: Bridge Toll Hike Proposed for Earthquake Safety. The Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) is seeking public comment on a toll increase on the seven state-owned Bay Area toll bridges: the Antioch, Benicia-Martinez, Carquinez, Dumbarton, Richmond-San Rafael, San Francisco-Oakland Bay and San Mateo-Hayward bridges.
Ideas being considered include raising the $4 toll for cars to $5; charging carpools and motorcycle riders a discounted toll instead of allowing them to cross for free; increasing truck tolls; and charging commuters extra for crossing the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge during peak traffic hours. Written comments, which will be accepted until 4 p.m., December 21, 2009.
Source: http://www.mtc.ca.gov/news/info/toll_increase.htm

Albuquerque, N.M.: The New Mexico Off Highway Vehicle Alliance (NMOHVA) plans to use more than $322,000 in federal funds and $126,000 in matching contributions for trail work in the Cibola National Forest. NMOHVA will use the funds to construct new trail segments, rehabilitate existing trails and install signs on over 60 miles of trail. Some of the money will also go toward trailhead improvements and trail entry control. The group’s partners include the Sandia Ranger District, New Mexico 4 Wheelers, the Black Feather Trail Preservation Alliance and R&S Powersports.
Work is expected to start in the spring of 2010. Recreation planning experts from Pan Pacific Services will help manage the project.
Source: http://www.nmohva.org/main/index.php

Hollister, Calif.: Bureau of Land Management (BLM) seeks comments on Clear Creek draft plan. The BLM Hollister Field Office is inviting the public to comment on the draft resource management plan and environmental impact statement on the Clear Creek Management Area, covering public lands in southern San Benito and western Fresno counties. The draft RMP/EIS was developed through a public planning process and analyzes seven alternatives. The primary issues addressed are public health risks from asbestos exposure, recreation, protection of sensitive resources, energy and mineral development, land tenure adjustments, and other resource issues.
Source: http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/info/newsroom/2009/december/CC1009_CCMA_drmp.html

Missouri: Pre-filed for the upcoming 2010 Missouri General Assembly session, House Bill 1217, sponsored by Rep. Gary Dusenberg (R-Blue Springs), would permit adults 21 years of age or older to make their own decisions regarding motorcycle helmet use.
Also pre-filed is House Bill 1332, sponsored by Rep. Jeff Roorda (D-Barnhart), which proposes strict penalties for motorcycle stunt riding on public roadways. A “dangerous stunt” is defined as any dangerous activity by the operator or passenger, including standing or performing handstands on the seat, frame or handlebars, operating on one tire, or removing both hands from the handlebars. Offenses would be classified as misdemeanors; a second offense involving a motorcycle without license plates, or third or subsequent offense on any motorcycle, would be classified as a felony.

Pennsylvania: House Bill 2104, sponsored by Rep. Michael K. Hanna (D-Lock Haven), would permit a person to file a complaint against the owner/operator of a motor vehicle that violates provisions in Section 4523 (Exhaust systems, mufflers and noise control) of Title 75 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes. A magisterial district judge could issue a search warrant, authorizing the Pennsylvania State Police to inspect the motor vehicle and take appropriate action.

Coos County, Ore.: A coalition of environmental groups have filed a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Forest Service’s decision to allow Coos County to build a one-mile connector trail for off-highway vehicle use through part of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area.
The proposed road, called the Riley Ranch Access Project, would connect a county park to other county lands within the popular dunes area on the Southern Oregon Coast. The Forest Service believes it has sufficiently addressed any unresolved environmental and resource issues after conducting a lengthy three-year public planning process and environmental review.
Source: http://www.theworldlink.com/articles/2009/05/30/outdoors/doc4a20d4eb0a1ca928257049.txt

Craig, Colo.: The Craig City Council recently approved final passage of an ordinance allowing all-terrain vehicle (ATV) and off-highway vehicle (OHV) use on city streets. All residents who wish to drive an ATV or OHV on city streets must first register their vehicle with the Craig Police Department. Additionally applicants must be at least 18 years old and must provide proof of insurance for non-recreational use.
The ordinance only covers vehicles with four wheels. Three-wheelers and snowmobiles therefore are excluded.
Source: http://www.craigdailypress.com/news/2009/dec/08/council-approves-atvs-ohvs-city-travel

British Columbia, Canada: New all-terrain vehicle (ATV) regulations have recently been adopted. These regulations aim to improve safety and address environmental concerns. These new rules include registration and licensing fees at the time of purchase as well as a mandatory helmet law for riders. A compliance and enforcement strategy will be developed and will include an education component to help ensure voluntary compliance.
Additional rules include new sound standards for mufflers, requiring spark arrestors as well as giving local government the ability to designate crossings on public roads to assure ATV rider’s access to local communities.
Source: http://www.bclocalnews.com/bc_north/terracestandard/news/69849087.html

AMA Government Relations News & Notes is a monthly service compiled and edited by the AMA Government Relations Staff to keep motorcyclists informed of happenings around the world. We welcome your news & views. Please submit all material to Sheila Andrews, Legislative Assistant, 101 Constitution Ave., NW Suite 800W, Washington, DC 20001; fax (202) 742-4304 or e-mail to sandrews@ama-cycle.org.

Harley-Davidson Fuel Tank NHTSA Recall

December 9, 2009

Vehicle Make / Model: Model Year(s):
H-D / FLHP 2009-2010
H-D / FLHPE 2009-2010
H-D / FLHR 2009-2010
H-D / FLHR SHRINE 2009-2010
H-D / FLHRC 2009-2010
H-D / FLHT 2009-2010
H-D / FLHTC 2009-2010
H-D / FLHTCU 2009-2010
H-D / FLHTCU SHRINE 2009-2010
H-D / FLHTCU W/SC 2009-2010
H-D / FLHTCU4-CVO 2009
H-D / FLHTCUSE4 2009
H-D / FLHTCUSE5 2010
H-D / FLHTCUTG 2009-2010
H-D / FLHTK 2010
H-D / FLHTP 2009-2010
H-D / FLHX 2009-2010
H-D / FLHXXX 2010
H-D / FLTR 2009
H-D / FLTR3-CVO 2009
H-D / FLTRSE3 2009
Manufacturer: HARLEY-DAVIDSON MOTOR COMPANY Mfr’s Report Date: NOV 25, 2009
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 09V457000
NHTSA Action Number: N/A
Potential Number of Units Affected: 111569


October 7, 2009

MRF E-MAIL NEWS Motorcycle Riders Foundation
236 Massachusetts Ave. NE | Suite 510 | Washington, DC 20002-4980
202-546-0983 (voice) | 202-546-0986 (fax) | http://www.mrf.org


7 October 2009

Contact: Jeff Hennie, MRF V.P. of Government Relations


As promised, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) is closely following the progress of the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) ongoing motorcycle crash causation study. Vehicle fatalities fell last year, while motorcycle fatalities rose. We all know that a large factor in the increase was the record motorcycle registrations and motorcycle sales, but no one is certain why a lot of motorcycle accidents occur. The last crash study done for motorcycles was in the 1970s, and so much has changed since then that the motorcycle safety community has aggressively pushed for a more up-to-date, relevant study.

“Having a better understanding of what causes these crashes will help us improve roadway safety for everyone,” said FHWA Administrator Mendez. “Keeping people safe on America’s roads is Secretary LaHood’s top priority at the Department of Transportation.”

The motorcycle crash causation study will be the federal government’s first major in-depth analysis of motorcycle safety in nearly three decades. A provision in the “Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users” (SAFETEA-LU) requires the study, which will be conducted by the FHWA in partnership with Oklahoma State University (OSU).

OSU houses one of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s 10 National University Transportation Centers, and it receives federal grants to conduct transportation research. One of the holdups of the study was that OSU was required to secure funds to match the $3 million provided by the Feds. OSU did not have an extra $3 million, so a waiver was granted allowing the study to move forward with a smaller budget. The study won’t be as large as the original concept, but the MRF has been assured it will be rigorous and scientific.

Researchers will evaluate data from hundreds of motorcycle crashes to help identify common factors – including road configurations, environmental conditions and rider experience. The study’s focus is to look at how these factors may be affected by countermeasures that, if effectively implemented, will prevent motorcycle crashes or lessen the harm when they occur.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted a pilot study to develop the protocols for the full-scale causation research. NHTSA also was responsible for the earlier motorcycle causation study, which was completed in 1981.

Between 1997 and 2008, motorcycle rider fatalities increased from 2,116 to 5,290 – a 150 percent jump, according to U.S. Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System. In 2008 alone, deaths due to motorcycle crashes rose by an estimated 2.2 percent while all other vehicle classes saw reductions in fatalities.

Results of the current study are still 3-4 years away.


October 5, 2009
MRF E-MAIL NEWS Motorcycle Riders Foundation
236 Massachusetts Ave. NE | Suite 510 | Washington, DC 20002-4980
202-546-0983 (voice) | 202-546-0986 (fax) | http://www.mrf.org


5 October 2009

Contact: Jeff Hennie, MRF V.P. of Government Relations


Distraction: The performance degradation of a primary task upon introduction of a secondary act.

Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood convened an important two-day meeting in Washington DC last week to shine a light on the increasing incidents and opportunities to be distracted while operating a car or public transportation vehicle. Naturally, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) was represented at that meeting.

With the amount of distraction from increased use of cell phones (some with full keyboards), GPS systems, DVD players and the vast array of other complex video displays at an all-time high, it should not come as a surprise that the opportunity for an operator of any vehicle to become distracted has risen significantly in just the past few years.

Distracted driving is certainly not a new issue. One could argue that the minute someone in Detroit came up with the idea to put lighters and ashtrays in cars, or when a little company called Motorola produced the first in-car audio entertainment device, or when Ray Kroc sold his first burger out of the window of his restaurant, distracted driving was born.

What’s truly startling is the dramatic rise in the amount of “texting” people are doing behind the wheel. Some stats say sending and receiving text messages while driving is up 500 percent in just the past two years. Because of the complexities involved with typing on a handheld keyboard, some experts refer to texting while driving as the perfect storm for disaster.

The two-day meeting brought together experts of all types including auto manufacturers, cell phone providers, government officials, state legislators, behavioral experts and even a rocket scientist from NASA who specializes in the distraction of pilots under heavy cognitive load. Cognitive load is the amount of brain power you use to complete a task, relative to the complexity of the task, or as we learned, thinking about or talking about anything overly emotional. The other forms of distraction are visual (eyes off the road) or manual (hands off the wheel).

We know that distraction is a problem for all road users, and particulary motorcyclists and other vulnerable road users, but what can we do about it? Ray LaHood said it best when he opened the meeting with the statement, “You cannot legislate behavior.” Eighteen states and DC have enacted texting-while-driving bans. While this is a good start, it’s sort of missing the mark. Banning texting may remove one part of the equation, but that means it’s still ok to eat a burrito, watch a movie, paint your nails, pick something up off the passenger side floor, or talk on a hands-free cell phone, all while checking out your hair in the flip-down vanity mirror. Any ban at the state level should be against all forms of distracted driving, not just a few specific forms.


Senator Chuck Schumer from NY and Amy Klobuchar from MN both made an appearance at the event to plug some legislation they both support. Their bill, inappropriately called the Alert Drivers Act, would force states to pass texting bans or forfeit a whopping 25% of their road money. The feds have a long history of using this sort of “carrot and stick” approach to forcing states to enact legislation, and it’s problematic for a variety of reasons.

The MRF simply cannot support the bills (S. 1536 and HR 3535) to force states to pass texting bans for the simple reason that this is the same method that is used to force states to pass helmet laws, and blackmailing the states to enact legislation that they may or may not want should be strongly discouraged.

The two-day meeting is certainly a good start to the conversation about distracted driving, but far too much focus was given to texting instead of keeping all distractions on the table. We at the MRF hope that discussion continues, and we look forward to working with the powers that be to put distracted driving on the decline.


I have to hand it to the Bibs this year. Those old guys spent the summer working out or something because they dragged us Kilts up and down the tug-o-war arena. After suffering devastating losses two years in row, the Bibs came back en force. Although league officials are murmuring about a possible violation in tug-o-war rules by the suspendered bikers, we won’t let that tarnish an otherwise flawless victory. So that leaves it all tied up for the ropers, 2 for the Bibs and 2 for the Kilts. Rumor is the Kilts are embarking on a vision quest sometime in the off-season to soothe the soul and re-emerge next fall in Peoria, IL for MOTM and the fifth show down. Don’t miss round 5, the Thunder-Dome!

Look Twice – Save a Life

October 5, 2009

U-Tube video presents a “You didn’t see me” message

Black Nail Brigade Ride & Protest Oct 8th

September 28, 2009

October 8, 2009- Wauconda, Illinois Black Nail Brigade Awareness Ride & Protest
Meeting Point: 7AM to 8AM, behind Wauconda IL Walgreens in empty parking lot (west of rte 12/176 intersection). Awareness Ride: 8AM to 9AM. Proceed to crash site at Rte 12 & Old McHeny Rd. North on Midlothian Rd, Peterson Rd, Rte 45, Rte 120, to courthouse. Lake County Couthouse (Waukegan, IL) & Arraignment: 9AM to 12PM. We will circle the courthouse several times before parking. Park in spots on N County St or MLK Jr Ave (bring quarters). Please feel free to join us at the courthouse if you can’t make the ride. http://www.blacknailbrigade.org/ Please email greg at greg@blacknailbrigade.org if you can join us.

Been a while since I posted on this

May 14, 2013

Been a while since I posted on this blog.  Spending time on FaceBook.  I am involved in the Central IL Vulcan Riders Chapter 1-39 as Secretary.  We formed last year on Memorial Day and have a small but good group of people.  I was involved in ABATE of IL becoming a member in Sep 1977, and spent lots of years as an officer but retired in 2007 from that involvement. The older guys have to make way for the younger ones to step up and move the organization forward. I wanted to be in a group that was solely about riding.  Since I had joined different forums trying to find a group, the Vulcan Riders Association was the one that seemed to be the most active off the internet.  I belonged to the American Voyager Association for 2 years, but the Illinois chapter in the Elgin area refused to let any other chapters form in Illinois.  I could see this wasn’t progress.  We had over 60 ABATE chapters in Illinois and the membership wasn’t hurt by that fact.  The Vulcan Riders http://www.vulcanriders.us seems to be the most progressive in forming new chapters.  We have a Northern IL Chapter, 3 in Iowa, 3 in Missouri, 1 in Indiana, and another attempting to form in Indianapolis area.