NCOM E- CYCLE NEWSBYTES- January 2016

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 <http://www.on-a-bike.com/>.

NCOM BIKER NEWSBYTES
Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)

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 Laconia Motorcycle Week Association.  “I
have never heard the 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 handlebars
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
annual Sturgis Rally became the most recent state to repeal its 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
state during 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
atorrez2@msn.com (505) 730-0435 and/or NCOM Board Member John Bilotta, also
Operations Director of ABATE of Virginia, atabateregion3@yahoo.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.

To pre-register for the 2016 NCOM Convention, contact the National
Coalition of Motorcyclists at (800) 525-5355 or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com
<http://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 airbagger
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.
Highsides, lowsides, 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.

QUOTABLE QUOTE:  “If it can be destroyed by the truth, it deserves to be
destroyed by the truth.”
Carl Sagan (1934-1996) astronomer and author

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