NCOM Updates March/April 2016
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)
THE AIM/NCOM MOTORCYCLE E-NEWS SERVICE is brought to you by Aid to Injured Motorcyclists(A.I.M.) and the National Coalition of Motorcyclists(NCOM), and is sponsored by the Law Offices of Richard M. Lester.
If you’ve been involved in any kind of accident, call us at 1-(800) ON-A-BIKE or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com.
NEW YEAR BRINGS NEW LEGISLATION
Along with the new year comes an onslaught of new legislation, as new legislative sessions across the nation consider a myriad of motorcycle laws such as helmet legislation in ARIZONA that would charge riders a fee to ride without one.
Prefiled on January 6, 2016, H.B. 2052 introduced by State Representative Dr. Randall Friese (D-Tucson) would modify their Under-18 helmet law to read; “An operator or passenger of a motorcycle, all-terrain vehicle or motor driven cycle who is at least eighteen years of age is exempt from the helmet requirement if the owner pays a (as yet undetermined) fee when registering their vehicle.”
“A person who violates this section is subject to a civil penalty of five hundred dollars,” and a ‘portion’ of the fees collected from the pay-to-play p-pot plot would be “deposited in the Spinal and Head Injuries Trust Fund.”
Meanwhile, in INDIANA S.B. 157 would “eliminate the portion of the motorcycle registration fee that is currently distributed to the spinal cord and brain injury fund.”
MISSOURI is considering numerous motorcycle related bills, including seven helmet bills; one would repeal the law for anyone 18 or over (HB1663), another would exempt motorcyclists 21 or older from wearing a helmet if they have appropriate health insurance coverage (HB1464), one “Prohibits law enforcement from stopping a motorcycle for failing to wear protective headgear” (HB1957), while (HB1371)treats the infraction as a secondary offense, requiring another reason to pull a rider over, and four separate bills concern autocycles and primarily exempts certain operators of motorcycles and motortricycles from wearing protective headgear (SB659, SB694, SB851& SB1732).
Three-wheelers are of concern in several states,as legislatures struggle with defining and regulating“autocycles,” and in KANSAS House Bill 2436 would allow persons to take a motorcycle license driving exam on a 3-wheeled motorcycle and would restrict such licenses to trikes.
In NEW HAMPSHIRE, as in some other states,the state legislature will consider HB 1308 to allow motorcycles to travel between lanes of traffic in certain instances, a.k.a.; lane-splitting.
HB1347 would“establish a committee to study sharing the road with bicycles and motorcycles.”
Also in the Granite State, Senator Andrew Hosmer, a Democrat from Laconia, has introduced SB 360 to repeal the statute restricting handlebar height and legalize so-called “ape-hangers”.
New Hampshire is currently among more than 30 states that limit the height of motorcycle handlebars.Since 1967, existing statute prohibits handlebar grips“higher than the shoulder level of the driver when in the seat or saddle” and also prohibits riding a motorcycle with “improvised, defective, or repaired handlebars.”
“I applaud Senator Hosmer for sponsoring this bill,”said Charlie St. Clair, executive director of the LaconiaMotorcycle Week Association. “I have never heardthe height of handlebars presented as a safety issue,”he told the Laconia Daily Sun.
“There is no history of accidents caused by high bars.”Without a federal standard, the regulation of handlebars on motorcycles rests with the states.Currently, 12 states limit the height of handle bars to 15 inches above the saddle. 5 others require the handlebars to be below the height of the shoulder.
Last summer, South Dakota, which hosts the annualSturgis Rally became the most recent state to repealits shoulder level statute.
SHARE WHAT’S HAPPENING IN YOUR STATE
“At our annual NCOM board meeting in November,the board discussed what information would be beneficial to share with attendees at our annual NCOM Convention in May,” says NCOM Board & Legislative Task Force member Annette Torrez, who is also chair of the New Mexico Motorcycle Rights Organization (NMMRO), adding that “We decided on a session on state legislative victories and defeats.
We all face similar and different issues in each stateduring our legislative sessions, and by sharing the outcomes on bills that were sponsored, passed, failed and the details, we can learn from each other.
By the sharing of information we may be able to advance many of the same victories or avoid the pitfalls faced.
”The National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) welcomes your input, and encourages you to share your information with Annette Torrez at firstname.lastname@example.org (505) 730-0435 and/or NCOM Board Member John Bilotta, also Operations Director of ABATE of Virginia, at email@example.com.
The 31st annual NCOM Convention will be held Mother’s Day weekend, May 5-8, 2016 at Harrah’s Resort, located at 777 Harrah’s Blvd in Atlantic City, New Jersey, so reserve your room now for the special NCOM rate of $109 by calling (888) 516-2215 FREE.
To pre-register for the 2016 NCOM Convention, contact the National Coalition of Motorcyclists at(800) 525-5355 FREE or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com.
NCOM CONFERENCE CONVENES IN UNITY,COOPERATION & RESPECT
The chill air in Kansas City, Missouri reverberated with the thunder of dozens of motorcycles as riders from a six-state area converged on the Holiday Inn KCI Airport November 21, 2015 for the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) Region 2 Conference, which comprises Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas,Nebraska and Iowa.
This year, the Conference was hosted by the newly-formed Missouri Confederation of Clubs and Independents, and chaired by NCOM Region 2 Co-Directors “Tiger Mike” Revere, President of Central OK District ABATE and Liaison to the Oklahoma Confederation of Clubs, and Tony Shepherd of ABATE of Missouri.
Following is a conference report submitted by Tiger Mike: “Riders from the Region 2 member states were both excited and thirsty for information on important issues, especially hoping for an update on the horrific Waco, TX event of May, 2015.
Bikers were also apprehensive about whether the Waco tragedy might negatively impact attendance.
As it turned out, the opposite was true, featuring a standing-room only crowd!”The Conference convened off with “Tiger Mike” Revere and Tony Shepherd, NCOM Region 2 Directors,welcoming attendees and addressing “Freedom of the Road throughout the Nation”, followed by NCOM Executive Coordinator “Sarge” Matthews covering“Discrimination among Ourselves/Outlawing our Existence as We Know It”.
NCOM Attorney Joey Lester covered Court Case Updates, including judicial victories regarding “No-Colors” Policies at Fairgrounds where Bikers are ejected because of their Patch Insignia.
After lunch, attendees participated in a forum dealing with “The Tragedy of Waco”, featuring Joey Lester, TXCOC &I Chairman “Gimme Jimmy”, and Louie Nobs and Dwayne Gryder from NCOM Christian Unity.
A lot of accurate updates were shared to combat the disinformation advanced by the Media and Law Enforcement, and the program to raise funds to assist Waco Victims and their families was outlined.
Go to www.onabike.com and contact NCOM Christian Unity for more information.
NCOM Christian Unity Texas will be getting a Special Award for their hard work at this year’s NCOM Convention in Atlantic City, and Christian Unity Liaison to the NCOM Board Louie Nobs is receiving the 2016 Ron Roloff Lifetime Achievement Award for his considerable efforts on behalf of Bikers everywhere over a lot of years.Also featured at the Conference was “Gimme Jimmy”talking about the importance of the U.S.
Defenders Program in the light of the Waco shootings; and“Double-D” and “Twitch” from the Washington Confederation of Clubs, who spoke on “Anti-Profiling Laws and How they Affect your State”.
This was an important topic, since several COCs are very interested in getting this type of legislation passed in their states.
The Conference continued with the Regional Meeting, where Motorcycling Rights representatives spoke of Legislative and Legal Issues in their respective areas; and the Confederation of Clubs Regional Meeting, where COC Officers and representatives in attendance spoke of legal and lifestyle challenges and accomplishments.
The NCOM Regional Conference concluded with the Christian Unity Seminar and Meeting for spiritual riding groups, and following the Spiritual Service and Blessing of the Bikes on Sunday Morning, riders went their separate ways refreshed, informed and resolved to vigorously continue the defense of Biker Liberty into the New Year.”
MORE AIRBAG BIKES COMING
While automotive airbags first appeared in the 1970s, it took decades for the technology to spread to motorcycles, and now ten years after the introduction of Honda’s airbag-equipped Gold Wing comes another air bagger from the Japanese giant.
While the Gold Wing remains the only bike currently on the market equipped with airbag technology,Honda’s latest inflatable is revealed in a new patent and demonstrated with an airbag fitted to the firm’s NC750S, which isn’t sold in the U.S. marketplace.
The main difference from the Gold Wing bag is the shape and size, with the new design gaining a long, vertical extension above the balloon-shaped main part of the airbag to help counter the fact that most bikes will pitch forward in a frontal collision, throwing the rider upward as well as straight ahead.
The idea is that the lower part of the airbag will cushion the rider’s chest and stomach, slowing him down before his head impacts the extended upper section.
As on the Gold Wing, the new system is specifically aimed at frontal impacts and is therefore triggered by a sensor in the bottom of the fork.
High sides, low sides, or any other accident where the impact is not directly from the front will not engage the airbag system.
Although airbags are never likely to be as effective on bikes as they are in the confined space of a car,where drivers can be surrounded by them on all sides; Honda hopes that the combination of modern safety gear, including airbag-equipped leathers and airbags fitted to bikes themselves, will hold some promise of reduced injuries in the future.
E-MOTORCYCLE TAX CREDIT REINSTATED AND RETROACTIVE
The E-motorcycle Federal Tax Credit, also known as the 2-wheeled plug-in tax credit for electric motorcycles, was included in the “last minute” tax extenders bill approved by Congress and signed into law by President Obama on December 18, 2015.
It covers 10% of the purchase price up to a maximum of$2,500, with an additional tax credit approved which covers electric motorcycle chargers with a 30% tax credit up to $1,000.
The credit only applies to street legal motorcycles that can go over 45 mph. The federal tax credits are available in all 50 US states and apply to electric motorcycles and EV chargers purchased in both 2015(retroactive) and 2016.
MOTORCYCLE THEFT STATISTICS
The National Insurance Crime Bureau has released its latest bike theft report, and while much of their annual report is predictable, such as most thefts occur in the summer, some statistics reveal some interesting nuggets of information:Nationally, the NICB’s “2014 United States Theft and Recovery report for 2014 and 2015” is better than in 2013.
There were 42,856 motorcycle thefts recorded in 2014 (17,757, or 41% of motorcycles were recovered) which is a 6% decrease from the year prior. Considering motorcycle sales have increased 4% from 2013 (465,783) to 2014 (483,526), this is good news.
The number of thefts decreased is a sign of steady decline in motorcycle thefts since 2011, with 8% fewer thefts in 2014 compared to three years prior.
The top three states for motorcycle theft last year were California (6,355), Florida (3,981), and Texas (3,274).
The state with the fewest thefts was Wyoming, with a total of 23 last year. There are 16 states that saw an increase in the number of motorcycle thefts in 2014 compared to 2013, with DC having the highest increase (54%).
There are 35 states that saw a decrease in the number of motorcycle thefts in 2014 compared to 2013, with Wyoming having the highest decrease (-43%).
WEIRD NEWS: RIDER LEARNS HARD LESSON IN JURISPRUDENCE
A California man who lost a lawsuit over an erection has had his hopes for justice deflated once again, as a state appeals court in San Francisco affirmed an earlier judgment against him in a 2012 suit he brought against two motorcycling companies.
The plaintiff biker claimed an acute case of priapism,or painfully prolonged erection, due to seat vibrations,and sued both BMW and seat maker Corbin for product liability seeking damages due to negligence and infliction of emotional distress.
The biker lost his case but decided to appeal, which turned out to be a big mistake, as the appellate court ruled that he failed to demonstrate any new intelligible argument and failed to comply with the rules of appellate procedure and ordered him to pay the defendants’ costs on appeal, a sum likely to be in the tens of thousands of dollars.
Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)