"Safety Through Awareness, Awareness Through Eduction"
"Safety Through Awareness, Awareness Through Eduction"
menu

MRF News

Frustrating News for Motorcyclists

August 16, 2022
Frustrating News for Motorcyclists

In the last few weeks two national stories related to motorcyclists have been in the headlines. Last week a jury in New Hampshire acquitted a truck driver accused of killing seven motorcyclists in 2019. The Boston Globe reported, “The verdict was at odds with findings from the National Transportation Safety Board, which concluded in 2020 that the driver’s drug use was the probable cause of his initiating the collision.”

The story out of New Hampshire comes on the heels of news from California and Utah in which two different Teslas, allegedly operating on autopilot, killed motorcyclists in each state. In response, the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) sent investigative teams to the two crashes last month.

These two stories, less than one month apart, are very disturbing. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) has long advocated for accountability from individuals and manufacturers when their actions result in the loss of a motorcyclist’s life.  The MRF remains committed to defending the rights and safety of our nation’s 10 million bikers. We will monitor the finding from NHTSA and remain vigilant in Washington, D.C. on behalf of all bikers. Remember, if we don’t stand up to protect our rights and safety no one will!

Now more than ever, Ride Safe and Ride Free!

To read more about the New Hampshire crash click here.

To read more about the Tesla crashes click here.

Motorcycle Riders Foundation News

August 16, 2022
ATTENTION!!!

As of August 25, 2022, the MRF will have a new mailing address.

Please send all correspondence to:

Motorcycle Riders Foundation

P.O. Box 9090

Peoria, IL  61612

 

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation

Motorcycle Riders Foundation - Meeting of the Minds 2022

August 12, 2022

"Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."Thomas Jefferson

For nearly forty years, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation has been eternal vigilant. Nothing demonstrates more the MRF’s commitment to freedom and liberty than the MRF’s ongoing presence on Capitol Hill and the offices of members of Congress.

Eternal vigilance comes from an unyielding commitment by the MRF that goes to the roots of the nation’s premier bikers’ rights advocacy organization – the Annual Meeting of the Minds Conference.

The 38th Annual Meeting of the Minds, scheduled for September 22-25 in Des Moines Iowa, will do everything to reinforce the MRF’s commitment to motorcyclists’ rights and staying eternal vigilant.

Charlie “Chopper” Gilmore – U.S. Army veteran, motorcycle restorer, and freedom fighter is on deck as just one of the presenters at the 2022 Meeting of the Minds. His presentation – The Price of Freedom – is taken from life experiences and will certainly motivate and inspire attendees. Plus, the conference is sure to reinforce the MRF’s commitment eternal vigilance.

The Meeting of the Minds – renewing old friendships and making new ones. The Meeting of the Minds – three days of nuts-and-bolts workshops to augment the tools needed to promote and protect the rights of all motorcyclists. The Meeting of the Minds – more than a dozen presentations and workshops to build and strengthen individual’s and state motorcyclists’ rights organization’s commitment to protecting the freedoms motorcycling brings us all.

Workshops and presentations include but are not limited to:

  • Up-to-the-minute Legislative Updates
  • The necessity of Political Action Committees
  • Riding skill enhancement
  • What aging demographics means to motorcycling

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation lives and understands Eternal Vigilance… understands The Blessings of Freedom…  and understands the commitments needed to protect rights, liberty, freedom, and our motorcycles from the pending siege from over-regulating and callous bureaucracies. Jefferson, Paine, and a host of others took stands to promote and defend the freedoms that all motorcyclists’ rights advocates understand.

The Meeting of the Minds – September 22-25, Marriott Downtown Des Moines, 700 Grand Avenue. Use this link to Book your group rate for Motorcycle Riders Foundation Annual Meeting 2022.  Or call (888) 236-2427 and mention Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) when you make reservations. Use this link to register for the conference Meeting of the Minds 2022.  Last Day to Book: Wednesday, September 7, 2022.

Thank you for your support of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation and we look forward to seeing you in Des Moines for the 38th Annual Meeting of the Minds.

Motorcycle Riders Foundation inducted into the Sturgis Museum & Hall of Fame

August 10, 2022
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation was inducted into the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame at the breakfast in Deadwood on Wednesday August 10th. The MRF President and Chairman of the Board Kirk 'Hardtail' Willard had this to say, “On behalf of the original Steering committee, the Board of Directors, all Sustaining Motorcycle Rights Organizations, MRF State Representatives, and general members, we appreciate the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum and Hall of fame recognizing the MRF for their tireless dedication to protecting the members rights and freedoms for nearly four decades.”

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation is a national organization dedicated to lobbying for those who ride, to protecting and defending their rights as motorcyclists, and to addressing the concerns of street riders and the motorcycle industry they support. In 1985 the MRF held its first annual Meeting of the Minds conference. For many activists from around the country this marked the first time they’d met to discuss how to best preserve and protect motorcycling. The main issues of the day, mandatory helmet laws, unfair insurance laws, and the right to modify motorcycles, are still faced today, along with many others. In 2022, the MRF will hold its 38th Annual Meeting of the Minds, representing an unbroken chain of unparalleled training and networking opportunities that has molded the American biker’s rights movement into the highly effective force it is today. MRF also holds its annual ‘Bikers Inside the Beltway’ grassroots lobbying event where riders from all over the country go to Washington, D.C. to help fight for their rights.

MRF Meeting of the Minds - The Price of Liberty

August 3, 2022
For nearly forty years, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation has been eternal vigilant. Nothing demonstrates more the MRF’s commitment to freedom and liberty than the MRF’s ongoing presence on Capitol Hill and the offices of members of Congress.

Eternal vigilance comes from an unyielding commitment by the MRF that goes to the roots of the nation’s premier bikers’ rights advocacy organization – the Annual Meeting of the Minds Conference.

The 38th Annual Meeting of the Minds, scheduled for September 22-25 in Des Moines Iowa, will do everything to reinforce the MRF’s commitment to motorcyclists’ rights and staying eternal vigilant.

Charlie “Chopper” Gilmore – U.S. Army veteran, motorcycle restorer, and freedom fighter is on deck as just one of the presenters at the 2022 Meeting of the Minds. His presentation – The Price of Freedom – is taken from life experiences and will certainly motivate and inspire attendees. Plus, the conference is sure to reinforce the MRF’s commitment eternal vigilance.

The Meeting of the Minds – renewing old friendships and making new ones. The Meeting of the Minds – three days of nuts-and-bolts workshops to augment the tools needed to promote and protect the rights of all motorcyclists. The Meeting of the Minds – more than a dozen presentations and workshops to build and strengthen individual’s and state motorcyclists’ rights organization’s commitment to protecting the freedoms motorcycling brings us all.

Workshops and presentations include but are not limited to:

  • Up-to-the-minute Legislative Updates
  • The necessity of Political Action Committees
  • Riding skill enhancement
  • What aging demographics means to motorcycling

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation lives and understands Eternal Vigilance… understands The Blessings of Freedom…  and understands the commitments needed to protect rights, liberty, freedom, and our motorcycles from the pending siege from over-regulating and callous bureaucracies. Jefferson, Paine, and a host of others took stands to promote and defend the freedoms that all motorcyclists’ rights advocates understand.

The Meeting of the Minds – September 22-25, Marriott Downtown Des Moines, 700 Grand Avenue. Use this link to Book your group rate for Motorcycle Riders Foundation Annual Meeting 2022.  Or call (888) 236-2427 and mention Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) when you make reservations. Use this link to register for the conference Meeting of the Minds 2022.  Last Day to Book: Wednesday, September 7, 2022.

Thank you for your support of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation and we look forward to seeing you in Des Moines for the 38th Annual Meeting of the Minds

 

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation announces the 2022 Freedom Fighter Hall of Fame Inductees

July 18, 2022

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation announces the 2022 Freedom Fighter Hall of Fame Inductees.

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) is pleased to release the names of the 2022 class of Inductees to the Motorcycle Riders Foundation Freedom Fighters Hall of Fame (MRF HOF). These will be presented at the Annual Meeting of the Minds conference September 22-25, in Des Moines, Iowa.

This year’s MRF HOF Class of 2022 - Freedom Fighter Inductees are:

  • Jay Jackson
  • Gary Sellers
  • Kirk “Hardtail” Willard

Past Motorcycle Riders Foundation Hall of Fame inductees are: Keith “Bandit” Ball, Mark Buckner, Wayne Curtin, Michael “Balls” Farabaugh, “Still” Ray Fitzgerald, Richard Gray, Bob Illingworth, Nathan “Buck” Kittredge, Ed Netterberg, Sherman Packard, Todd Vandermyde, Paul Vestal, Penny Walker, Ed Youngblood, Vince Consiglio, Fredric Harrell, Rodney Roberts, Simon Milward, JoAnne Packard, Karen Bolin, Lee Richardson, Jerry “JT” Thomas, and Teresa Hepker, Dick "Slider" Gilmore, Charles Umbenhauer, Wanda Hummel-Shultz, "Biker" Jim Rhoades, Lee Ryan, Marc Falsetti, Gary Klinker, Charlie Williams, Dave Dwyer, "Radio" Bob Letourneau, "Farmer" John Eggers, Michael "Boz" Kerr, Butch Brown, Deb Butitta, Jim Dahling and Carol Downs.

Motorcycle Riders Foundation - Meeting of the Minds 2022

July 15, 2022
“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must undergo the fatigue of supporting it.” -- ThomasPaine.

Using attendee input from the successes of the 2021 Meeting of the Minds, the MRF’s annual Meeting of the Minds Conference in 2022 will exceed the expectations of the most demanding attendees. Here’s the short list of what to expect when you attend:

  • Membership promotion & retention
  • Organization continuity
  • Legislative strategies
  • Why PACs are necessary
  • Riding skill enhancement

Motorcyclists’ rights activists understand Paine’s quote, understand the demands required to protect the freedoms associated with motorcycling. With September 22 rapidly approaching, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation is moving forward to make the 2022 Meeting of the Minds one of the best!

Mark September 22-25 on your calendar. Meeting of the Minds 2022, Marriott Des Moines Downtown, 700 Grand Avenue, Des Moines. Use this link to Book your group rate for Motorcycle Riders Foundation Annual Meeting 2022.  Or call (888) 236-2427 and mention Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) when you make reservations. Last Day to Book: Wednesday, September 7, 2022.

The siege against your rights, your lifestyle, and your motorcycle will not go away easily. Turning back the siege is fatiguing, however the “blessing of freedom” is the reward! Register for the Meeting of the Minds at MRF.org before Wednesday, September 7.

Enduring twelve workshops, twelve topical presentations, and gathering the tools to promote and protect the rights of motorcyclists’ may be fatiguing. However, fatigue is a cheap price to pay for freedom. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation’s 38th Annual Meeting of the Minds Conference will provide freedom loving motorcyclists the essential tools to help protect motorcycling and the freedoms we love.

Thank you for your support of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation and we look forward to seeing you in Des Moines for the 38th Annual Meeting of the Minds.

 

Consumer Education on Ethanol H.R. 7731 Call-To-Action

July 14, 2022
In May, President Biden announced the Environmental Protection Agency would temporarily lift the summer restrictions on the sale of gasoline with 15% ethanol (E15).  In response Representative Austin Scott (R-GA) and Representative Lois Frankel (D-FL) introduced the Consumer Protection and Fuel Transparency Act of 2022 (H.R. 7731).

H.R. 7731 requires more detailed labeling of gas pumps that dispense E15 fuel. Clearer labeling of E15 at the pump will warn consumers about the harmful impacts of misfuelling so consumers can better protect their engines.

Unfortunately, most consumers are not aware that these fuel blends may be causing damage to their vehicle. A recent survey found 3 in 5 consumers mistakenly believe that E15 is safe for use in all their products. Motorcycles, boats, pre-2001 model year vehicles, and outdoor power equipment are especially at risk to E15 blends.

Please take action now and tell your Representative that consumer education on E15 is needed and ask them to cosponsor H.R. 7731.

Ride Free Dave Condon

July 7, 2022
To all our members, supporters, riders, and friends.

With permission from the family, it is with a heavy heart and deep sadness that your Massachusetts Motorcycle Association (MMA) announces the passing of our Ex-officio and Past-Chairman Dave Condon. Many of Dave’s friends knew that Dave had been fighting a courageous medical battle mixed with cancer and scleroderma over the past several years. Dave passed away in his sleep on the morning of July 5, 2022.

Dave was a MRF board member serving as the State Reps Program director, and in more recent years assistant to the Reps program. Please keep Dave, Kelly, and their blended families in your thoughts during this difficult time and afford them the privacy needed.

Arrangements will follow and be published on the MMA’s Facebook page as the family announces them.

Please send your condolences and support to: Kelly Ferguson, c/o MMA – Laurie Horn, 1-b Governors Way, Milford, MA 01757

Ride Free Dave - You will be missed by many.

There will be a celebration to honor the life of DEBORAH BUTITTA as follows:

July 5, 2022
DATE: August 6, 2022 - Saturday

TIME: 12:00PM - Noon

PLACE: Prescott Fair Grounds - 531 Fairgrounds Ave, Prescott, AZ 86305

Deborah was committed to serving and protecting motorcyclists' rights at the state, federal and international levels during the last four decades.  She was a sustaining & life member of ABATE of Arizona, 17-year ABATE Yavapai Chapter Board Rep., and simultaneously held many other chapter positions throughout the years. Deborah maintained memberships in numerous other state motorcycle rights organizations too, like the MMA of AZ.

In 2001, she was selected as the first designated lobbyist for the Arizona Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs (AZCMC).  She also served on the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) Board of Directors for many years and was instrumental in the formation of the MRF A&E (Awareness and Education), a 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit organization created to assist the MRF in providing resources to promote motorcycle awareness and "share the road" programs, along with all aspects of motorcycle safety education, including rider training.

A highly successful businesswoman in her own right, Deb was extremely well connected, not only in the motorcycling community and industry, but legislatively and in some very influential social circles as well.  These relationships were of incredible value to the bikers of AZ, and the entire country.

Deb's accolades and awards are many, including being inducted into the MRF Hall of Fame in 2020 and the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum Hall of Fame as 2021 Freedom Fighter of the year.  Deb is a past winner of the MRF Presidents' Cup (2003), the MRF Founder's Award (2017), and the MRF Lifetime Achievement Award (2020).  Among her many other duties, Deb served 14 years as the MRF State Representative for Arizona.  For several years now, the MRF has given the 'Deborah Butitta Award' to its' highest performing State Representative in her honor.

A true leader, Deborah had a profound influence on many of her fellow activists.  Few people have dedicated so much of their life or contributed as much to motorcycling as Deborah Butitta.  Personally and professionally, her passing leaves a tremendous void in our "family".

REST IN PEACE Freedom Fighter!

Judi Miller,
ABATE of Arizona Communications Officer

MRF Flash Alert

June 22, 2022
Today, President Joe Biden will ask Congress to enact a three-month gasoline tax holiday. Biden will ask that both the 18-cent-per-gallon federal tax on gasoline and the 24-cent-per-gallon tax on diesel be suspended.

Many leaders in Congress, including those from his own party, are skeptical of the plan. The Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and the Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Tom Carper (D-DE) worry that suspending the gasoline tax would drain needed funds from the Highway Trust Fund. The gas tax, which funds the Highway Trust Fund, is the major source of money for the federal government’s road and infrastructure improvement plans. In last year’s $1.2 trillion-dollar infrastructure bill close to half of the money came directly from the trust fund.

Historically high gas prices and concerns about inflation are forcing the Biden administration to seek quick and immediate relief for consumers. However, whether a gas tax holiday results in lower prices is something many in Congress are doubtful of. Additionally, Congressional Democrats remain worried about the upcoming midterm elections and are balancing their own political futures vs. those of the president. The next few days and weeks will be a test to see if President Biden’s plan on the gas tax can gain support in a closely divided Congress.

House Motorcycle Caucus Grows by 39%

June 16, 2022
It’s been one month since the Motorcycle Riders Foundation’s Bikers Inside the Beltway event and our efforts are paying off.

An updated membership list of the House Motorcycle Caucus was released last week and it shows substantial growth in the month since riders came to Capitol Hill. 11 new members joined the organization which previously had 28 members. The nearly 40% increase is a direct result of outreach by MRF members!

The caucus hosts educational seminars and press events that shine a light on the issues facing the motorcycle community. It’s also a great way for riders to know which lawmakers are true allies. The Senate has a similar caucus and we hope to see growth with that group when its roster is updated.

Below is a list of the 11 new members of the House Motorcycle Caucus:

Representative Axne (Iowa)
Representative Brooks (Alabama)
Representative Brownley (California)
Representative Budd (North Carolina)
Representative Rodney Davis (Illinois)
Representative Norman (South Carolina)
Representative Obernolte (California)
Representative Pappas (New Hampshire)
Representative Scott Peters (California)
Representative Stevens (Michigan)
Representative Wild (Pennsylvania)

Additionally, the House profiling resolution (H. Res 366) passed the 100-cosponsor mark last week as 10 new lawmakers signed on since Bikers Inside the Beltway. Passing the 100 mark is a great benchmark that helps show Congressional leadership that the issue of profiling is a concern to lawmakers. A special shout out to the riders from Kansas who added three new members and now have all four Representatives from their state as cosponsors.

Below is a list of the 10 new H. Res 366 cosponsors:

Representative Banks (Indiana)
Representative Davids (Kanas)
Representative Dean (Pennsylvania)
Representative Estes (Kansas)
Representative Hinson (Iowa)
Representative LaTurner (Kansas)
Representative Kustoff (Tennessee)
Representative Obernolte (California)
Representative Ryan (Ohio)
Representative Titus (Nevada)

Thank you to those that help impact these numbers and thank you to all the riders who came to D.C. last month.

Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming calls to action on our legislative priorities. Answering calls to action is the easiest way to have your voice be heard in our nation’s capital.

INTERNATIONAL MOTORCYCLING ADVOCATE DEB BUTITTA KILLED IN ARIZONA CRASH

June 5, 2022

 

 

International Motorcycling Advocate Deb Butitta Killed in Arizona Crash

 

It is with a heavy heart and a great sense of loss that the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) shares the passing of Deborah Butitta. Deb had been committed to serving and protecting motorcyclists’ rights at the state, federal and international levels during the last four decades. Deb was taken from us due to internal injuries suffered in a motorcycle crash after a truck turned left in front of her on June 3, 2022.

Deb was particularly active with ABATE of Arizona, holding many different offices through the years, and in 2001 was selected as the first designated lobbyist for the Arizona Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs (AZCMC). Deb was a member of many state motorcyclists’ rights organizations, including the MMA of Arizona. She also served on the MRF Board of Directors for many years and was instrumental in the formation of MRF A&E (Awareness and Education), a 501(c)(3) charitable, non-profit organization created to assist the MRF in providing resources to promote motorcycle awareness and ‘share the road’ programs, along with all aspects of motorcycle safety education including rider training. A highly successful businesswoman in her own right, Deb was extremely well connected, not only in the motorcycling community and industry, but legislatively and in some very influential social circles as well. These relationships were of incredible value to the bikers of Arizona and the entire country.

 

Deb’s accolades and awards are many, including being inducted into the MRF Hall of Fame in 2020 and the Sturgis Hall of Fame and Museum in 2021. Deb is a past winner of the MRF President’s Cup (2003), the MRF Founder’s Award (2017), and the MRF Lifetime Achievement Award (2020). Among her many other duties, Deb served as the MRF’s State Representative for Arizona for 14 years. For several years now, the MRF has given the ‘Deborah Butitta Award’ to it’s highest performing State Representative in her honor.

 

A true leader, Deb had a profound influence on many of her fellow activists. Few people have dedicated so much of their life or contributed as much to motorcycling as Deb Butitta. Personally and professionally, her passing leaves a tremendous void in our “family”.

 
About Motorcycle Riders Foundation

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) provides leadership at the federal level for states’ motorcyclists’ rights organizations as well as motorcycle clubs and individual riders. The MRF is chiefly concerned with issues at the national and international levels that impact the freedom and safety of American street motorcyclists. The MRF is committed to being a national advocate for the advancement of motorcycling and its associated lifestyle and works in conjunction with its partners to help educate elected officials and policymakers in Washington and beyond.

 

Feds Seek Comments on Motorcycle Study

May 25, 2022
The federal government plans on studying aspects of motorcycle safety and it is asking for your comments. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will begin collecting data from motorists in the states of Florida and Pennsylvania regarding “Driver Awareness of Motorcycles.”

Specifically, the survey data will be used to assist NHTSA in its ongoing responsibilities for: (a) Planning and designing research and program activities to improve motorcycle safety; (b) providing support to groups involved in developing and implementing motorcycle safety outreach programs and driver safety campaigns; and (c) identifying areas in driver awareness and knowledge that need attention. NHTSA will use the information to produce a technical report that presents the results of the study. The technical report will provide aggregate (summary) statistics and tables as well as the results of statistical analysis of the information, but it will not include any personally identifiable information (PII). The project data will serve as a resource for NHTSA and stakeholders to identify gaps in knowledge among the driving public. The technical report will be shared with State highway offices, local governments, and those who develop traffic safety communications that aim to improve motorcycle safety.

This collection supports NHTSA's efforts to increase motorcyclist safety by examining factors related to the interactions between motorcycles and other motorists and their vehicles. The information from this collection will assist NHTSA in (a) assessing the extent and limitations of motorist knowledge of safe behaviors toward motorcycles, and (b) identifying the issues to emphasize in traffic safety campaigns and driver education. The collected information will help identify the beliefs, attitudes, and perceptions underlying driving behaviors towards motorcycles and inform the development of countermeasures to improve the safety of interactions between motor vehicles, specifically, motorcycles, and other vehicle types (primarily passenger cars and Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs)).

Click here to read the notice in the Federal Register and learn more about what the federal government plans to study.

Comments to NHTSA are due by June 6th.

Bikers Inside The Beltway 2022

May 11, 2022
BIKERS INSIDE THE BELTWAY 2022
 
Bikers Inside the Beltway – Demand reaches room capacity! – Hotel booked up!

Bikers Inside the Beltway“Let us refuse to be silent! Speaking freely is a decisive step forward on the road to freedom” -- Leyla Zana

“Speaking freely” since its first orchestrated visit with members of Congress in 1989, is exactly what the Motorcycle Riders Foundation does. And the results are evident in the MRF’s history of legislative accomplishments.

Participatory democracy is what the MRF is all about. Bikers Inside the Beltway is a 13-year exercise in participatory democracy. Biker’s Inside the Beltway is about making a difference. You still have time to make a difference and let your voice be heard when you attend Bikers Inside the Beltway on May 17!

Protecting the rights of motorcyclists is not just a collection of words in a press release any more than leaving your motorcycle parked in your garage is about riding.

Profiling, E-15 (ethanol fuel), autonomous vehicles, all part of the present and future of motorcycling. The MRF’s legislative agenda is a result of input from motorcyclists with the directions to take care of business on Capitol Hill. That’s what Bikers Inside the Beltway is all about.

The MRF understands motorcycling, motorcyclists’ rights, and what it takes to keep the siege against your rights, your freedom, your lifestyle, and yes, your motorcycle at bay. However, participatory democracy works best with participants.  Your participation in Bikers Inside the Beltway is needed now.

Your visit to Congress does make a difference. In 2021, co-sponsors on MRF supported legislation rose over 20 percent during Bikers Inside the Beltway. Numbers make a difference. Currently, there are almost ninety co-sponsors on H. Res 366 – an anti-profiling resolution. By joining other freedom loving motorcyclists, you can help increase those co-sponsors and the resolution can move forward.

Day tripping to D.C.?  Make plans to attend MRF Board of Directors meeting on May 16 and the debriefing/recap on May 17 at the Embassy Suites, 1900 Diagonal Road, Alexandria, VA 22314

Bikers Inside the Beltway 2022 – The Motorcycle Riders Foundation – “Let us refuse to be silent! Speaking freely is a decisive step forward on the road to freedom”

Yours in Freedom,

Fred

Fredric Harrell

Dear Colleague

May 9, 2022
Dear colleague...

 

With just 10 days before Bikers Inside the Beltway, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) is gearing up to take our message to Capitol Hill. Co-Chairman of the House Motorcycle Caucus, Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI), has already started greasing the wheels for our arrival. This week he sent a letter to all 434 of his colleagues in the House of Representatives asking for support on the issue of motorcyclist profiling.

Known as a “Dear Colleague Letter” this tactic allows lawmakers to contact each and every member of the House and ask for support. In this case Rep. Walberg is asking for his fellow Representatives to cosponsor H. Res 366. H. Res 366 is one of the major agenda items MRF members will be pushing when they meet with their elected officials in D.C. This action by Rep. Walberg means no congressional office can now honestly say, “I’ve never heard about this motorcyclist profiling issue.”

Thank you for your leadership, Representative Walberg!

Below is the full text of Rep. Walberg’s letter:

 

May 4, 2022

Dear colleague,

May is Motorcycle Awareness Month. As the co-chair of the House Motorcycle Caucus, I am proud to represent the nearly 10 million motorcyclists in this country.

Motorcycles and motorcyclists not only represent an important part of our transportation network but are also an iconic part of the fabric of Americana. Over the years numerous motorcyclists have reached out to my office and others to discuss their concerns over the profiling of motorcyclists.

In response to these concerns, myself, Congressman Burgess (TX), Congresswoman Bustos (IL) and Congressman Pocan (WI) introduced H. Res. 366 a resolution that promotes awareness of motorcyclist profiling and encourages collaboration between the motorcycle community and law enforcement officials to prevent instances of profiling.

As of this week, 90 bipartisan members of the House have cosponsored the resolution including at least one member from 34 different states. In December of 2018, the U.S. Senate passed a nearly identical resolution on this topic. I am hopeful we in the House can do the same.

Please consider joining me and cosponsor H. Res. 366 and support the thousands of bikers back home in your district.

Sincerely,

Tim Walberg

Member of Congress

Speak Freely

May 9, 2022
Bikers Inside the Beltway“Let us refuse to be silent! Speaking freely is a decisive step forward on the road to freedom” -- Leyla Zana

“Speaking freely” since its first orchestrated visit with members of Congress in 1989, is exactly what the Motorcycle Riders Foundation does. And the results are evident in the MRF’s history of legislative accomplishments.

Participatory democracy is what the MRF is all about. Bikers Inside the Beltway is a 13-year exercise in participatory democracy. Biker’s Inside the Beltway is about making a difference. You still have time to make a difference and let your voice be heard when you attend Bikers Inside the Beltway on May 17!

Protecting the rights of motorcyclists is not just a collection of words in a press release any more than leaving your motorcycle parked in your garage is about riding.

Profiling, E-15 (ethanol fuel), autonomous vehicles, all part of the present and future of motorcycling. The MRF’s legislative agenda is a result of input from motorcyclists with the directions to take care of business on Capitol Hill. That’s what Bikers Inside the Beltway is all about.

The MRF understands motorcycling, motorcyclists’ rights, and what it takes to keep the siege against your rights, your freedom, your lifestyle, and yes, your motorcycle at bay. However, participatory democracy works best with participants.  Your participation in Bikers Inside the Beltway is needed now.

Your visit to Congress does make a difference. In 2021, co-sponsors on MRF supported legislation rose over 20 percent during Bikers Inside the Beltway. Numbers make a difference. Currently, there are almost ninety co-sponsors on H. Res 366 – an anti-profiling resolution. By joining other freedom loving motorcyclists, you can help increase those co-sponsors and the resolution can move forward.

Rooms are available until May 15. Call the hotel direct line 703-684-5900 and use reference code MRF. Also, make plans to attend the MRF Board of Directors meeting on May 16 at the Embassy Suites, 1900 Diagonal Road, Alexandria, VA 22314.

Bikers Inside the Beltway 2022 – The Motorcycle Riders Foundation – “Let us refuse to be silent! Speaking freely is a decisive step forward on the road to freedom”

Yours in Freedom,

Fred

Fredric Harrell

Action Needed -- Freedom's Voice Bikers Inside The Beltway 2022

May 3, 2022
BIKERS INSIDE THE BELTWAY 2022
 
Bikers Inside the Beltway – The Motorcycle Riders Foundation has completed the preliminary work to pave the way to Washington, D.C., your attendance at Bikers Inside the Beltway will make a difference.

You still have time to take part in this exercise in participatory democracy. Half-a-world away, Ukrainians are not so blessed. They are defending their country from a despot hellbent on destroying the country and any semblance of democracy. Those freedom fighting Ukrainians would gladly trade places with any one of us if that’s all they had to do to preserve their country and freedom.

Is the MRF’s legislative agenda to support anti-profiling, renewable fuel education, and autonomous vehicle standards benchmarks to protect democracy? Compared to what the Ukrainians are doing to defend their democracy, hardly. However, the siege against your rights, your freedom, your lifestyle, and yes, your motorcycles is not going to go away because motorcyclists wish it so. Ukrainians do not have the luxury of traveling to their capitol in Kyiv. Attending Bikers Inside the Beltway and taking part in participatory democracy is still a luxury you should not take lightly.

“Let us refuse to be silent! Speaking freely is a decisive step forward on the road to freedom” – Leyla Zana

Remaining silent and not acting is an option that the MRF will not exercise, and neither should you. Since 1989, the MRF has brought over a thousand motorcyclists to Washington to meet with their members of Congress with the sole mission of promoting a legislative agenda that continues to successfully become law on behalf of all street riding motorcyclists.

Your personal visit to Congress does make a difference. In 2021, co-sponsors on MRF supported legislation rose over 20 percent during Bikers Inside the Beltway. Numbers make a difference. Currently, there are almost ninety co-sponsors on H. Res 366 – an anti-profiling resolution. By joining other freedom loving motorcyclists, you can help increase those co-sponsors and the resolution can move forward.

The MRF’s legislative agenda – beyond the three items listed below -- recommended and approved by SMRO leaders at the 2021 Meeting of the Minds, is not all-inclusive. Changing ethanol 15 to all-year availability demonstrates why the MRF’s legislative agenda is important:

  • Profiling: Sustain lobbying efforts for the passage of resolutions or legislation that promotes awareness and prohibition of motorcyclists profiling.
  • Renewable Fuels: Advocate for targeted changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Support the universal availability of approved fuel blends, containing no more than 10 percent ethanol by volume. Ensure that consumers are educated on proper fuel usage.
  • Autonomous Vehicles: Advocate and monitor any legislation or regulations related to motorcycles concerning connected and autonomous vehicles (AV) including endorsing rulemaking to set new standards specific to seeing, detecting, and properly reacting to motorcycles. Ensure motorcycles are part of all testing and development procedure.

Join us to ensure that the mission of getting our message to Congress does not fail, please consider the following:

  • Make your appointments locally or in Washington.
  • Familiarize yourself with the briefing points.
  • Confirm your appointment locally or in Washington.
  • Virtual or in person, make notes on your meeting.
  • Share your meeting notes with the MRF.

Numbers do make a difference toward accomplishing the legislative goals of the MRF. All 435 members of the House of Representatives are up for reelection. Thirty-four members of the Senate are up for election. Numbers do make a difference. Like it or not, legislators tend to listen better during election years.

Paving the way for the long haul is what the MRF does to ensure that the future of motorcycling survives. It is not too late to use that “paved way” to help the numbers make a difference.

Rooms are available until May 15, through the hotel direct line 703-684-5900 and use reference code MRF. And while you are there, make plans to attend a meeting of the MRF Board of Directors on May 16 at the Embassy Suites, 1900 Diagonal Road, Alexandria, VA 22314.

Bikers Inside the Beltway 2022 – The Motorcycle Riders Foundation – “Speaking freely is a decisive step forward on the road to freedom”

Yours in Freedom,

Fred

Fredric Harrell
DIRECTOR OF CONFERENCES & EVENTS

May is Motorcycle Awareness Month

May 2, 2022
Sunday marks the start of May and the beginning of Motorcycle Awareness Month. Across the country, state and local governments are issuing proclamations raising awareness of motorcycle related issues. If your local government has taken action to promote motorcycle awareness, please share it with the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF). We love seeing how local bikers, working with elected officials, are spreading the word.

The MRF encourages all motorists to do their part to ensure our roads are safe for all users. All those on the road should look twice, maintain a safe distance and be vigilant when turning or changing lanes, so everyone gets home safety. Motorcycles play a critical part of our transportation network; let’s make sure all Americans think about the 10 million bikers on the road.

Across the country the weather is getting warmer, and bikers are out on the road. Enjoy the month of May and, as always, Ride Safe and Ride Free.

Not involved in a State Motorcycle Rights or the Motorcycle Riders Foundation yet - Join Today.

BIKERS INSIDE THE BELTWAY 2022 - Paving the Way & Rolling Toward Washington, D.C.

April 22, 2022
April 22, 2022

BIKERS INSIDE THE BELTWAY 2022 -- Paving the Way & Rolling Toward Washington, D.C.

The groundwork to pave the metaphorical roads to Washington D.C. and Capitol Hill took time and commitments from freedom loving motorcyclists from throughout the country. Individual attendance to Bikers Inside the Beltway, less than a month away, makes a difference in accomplishing our legislative goals.

Yes, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation is rolling toward Washington. Yes, since 2009 the MRF has hosted Bikers Inside the Beltway, a grassroots tradition orchestrated by SMROs that began with just as much determination but without a name in 1989.

The MRF has brought over a thousand motorcyclists to Washington to meet with their members of Congress with the sole mission of promoting a legislative agenda that continues to successfully become law on behalf of all street riding motorcyclists.

Those visits are effective. Members of Congress know that it is not easy for constituents to make the trip to Washington, D.C. And when constituents from a well-known organization such as the Motorcycle Riders Foundation venture to Washington to meet with their congressional delegation, members of Congress tend to listen.

Your personal visit to Congress does make a difference. Co-sponsors on legislation the MRF supported rose over 20 percent during Bikers Inside the Beltway in 2021. Numbers make a difference. Currently, there almost ninety co-sponsors on H. Res 366 – an anti-profiling resolution. By joining other freedom loving motorcyclists, you can help increase those co-sponsors so that those numbers make an even greater difference.

The MRF’s legislative agenda – beyond the three items listed below -- recommended and approved by SMRO leaders at the 2021 Meeting of the Minds, is not all-inclusive. News items during the past two weeks have repeatedly demonstrated why the following items are at the top of the MRF’s legislative agenda as we move toward Bikers Inside the Beltway:

  • Profiling: Sustain lobbying efforts for the passage of resolutions or legislation that promotes awareness and prohibition of motorcyclists profiling.
  • Renewable Fuels: Advocate for targeted changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Support the universal availability of approved fuel blends, containing no more than 10 percent ethanol by volume. Ensure that consumers are educated on proper fuel usage.
  • Autonomous Vehicles: Advocate and monitor any legislation or regulations related to motorcycles concerning connected and autonomous vehicles (AV) including endorsing rulemaking to set new standards specific to seeing, detecting, and properly reacting to motorcycles. Ensure motorcycles are part of all testing and development procedure.

The pandemic, and the events of January 6, 2021, did not deter the MRF. More than one-hundred motorcyclists attended the first in-person meeting in 2021 with members of Congress last May. The above items are the missing pieces of the 2021 infrastructure legislation, and they are driving the MRF’s need to return to Washington when Bikers Inside the Beltway meets on May 17.

Join us to ensure that the mission of getting our message to Congress does not fail, please consider the following:

  • Make your appointments locally or in Washington
  • Familiarize yourself with the briefing points
  • Confirm your appointment locally or in Washington
  • Virtual or in person, make notes on your meeting
  • Share your meeting notes with the MRF

Numbers do make a difference toward accomplishing the legislative goals of the MRF. All 435 members of the House of Representatives are up for reelection. Thirty-four members of the Senate are up for election. Numbers do make a difference. Like it or not, legislators tend to listen better during election years.

Paving the way for the long haul is what the MRF does to ensure that the future of motorcycling survives. It is not too late to use that “paved way” to help the numbers make a difference.

Rooms are available through the hotel direct line 703-684-5900 and use reference code MRF. And while you are there, make plans to attend a meeting of the MRF Board of Directors on May 16 at the Embassy Suites, 1900 Diagonal Road, Alexandria, VA 22314.

Bikers Inside the Beltway 2022 – The Motorcycle Riders Foundation -- paving the way for the long haul and rolling toward Washington, D.C.!

Yours in Freedom,

Fred

Fredric Harrell

Bikers Inside The Beltway 2022

April 20, 2022
Bikers Inside the Beltway, less than a month away and the Motorcycle Riders Foundation is rolling toward Washington.

Since 2009 the MRF has brought over a thousand motorcyclists to Washington to meet with their members of Congress with the sole mission of promoting a legislative agenda that continues to successfully become law on behalf of all street riding motorcyclists.

The MRF’s legislative agenda – beyond the three items listed below -- recommended and approved by SMRO leaders at the 2021 Meeting of the Minds, is not all-inclusive. The following items are at the top of the MRF’s legislative agenda as we move toward Bikers Inside the Beltway:

  • Profiling: Sustain lobbying efforts for the passage of resolutions or legislation that promotes awareness and prohibition of motorcyclists profiling.
  • Renewable Fuels: Advocate for targeted changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Support the universal availability of approved fuel blends, containing no more than 10 percent ethanol by volume. Ensure that consumers are educated on proper fuel usage.
  • Autonomous Vehicles: Advocate and monitor any legislation or regulations related to motorcycles concerning connected and autonomous vehicles (AV) including endorsing rulemaking to set new standards specific to seeing, detecting, and properly reacting to motorcycles. Ensure motorcycles are part of all testing and development procedure.

The pandemic, and the events of January 6, 2021, did not deter the MRF. More than one-hundred motorcyclists attended the first in-person meeting in 2021 with members of Congress last May. The above items are the missing pieces of the 2021 infrastructure legislation, and they are driving the MRF’s need to return to Washington when Bikers Inside the Beltway meets on May 17.

To ensure that the mission of getting our message to Congress does not fail, please consider the following:

  • Make your appointments locally or in Washington.
  • Familiarize yourself with the briefing points.
  • Confirm your appointment locally or in Washington.
  • Virtual or in person, make notes on your meeting.
  • Share your meeting notes with the MRF.

A meeting of the MRF Board of Directors will take place on May 16 at the Embassy Suites, 1900 Diagonal Road, Alexandria, VA 22314. Rooms are available through the hotel direct line 703-684-5900 and use reference code MRF.

The pre-event briefing and Q&A for visits to Congress at 7:00 p.m., May 16 is required for all attendees. Briefing packets and “leave behinds” will be available during the briefing.

Bikers Inside the Beltway 2022 – The Motorcycle Riders Foundation -- paving the way for the long haul and rolling toward Washington, D.C.!

Self-Driving Cars

April 20, 2022
There is no doubt that next month during “Bikers Insider the Beltway” self-driving cars will be a major topic of discussion!

During every Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) presentation around the country, we lay out our agenda, which includes concerns over the deployment of self-driving or autonomous vehicles. One point that is hammered home is that these vehicles are on the roads right now and bikers should be aware of that fact. Most people understand this, but just in case, a recent story from San Francisco might open some eyes.

Last week a self-driving car was pulled over by police, and NO ONE WAS INSIDE. The vehicle was pulled over for operating without its headlights on, no doubt a safety concern.  Yet after the police officer returned to his patrol car to confer with his partner, the self-driving car took off and fled before being pulled over again.

While it’s hard not to laugh at the idea of a car with no driver fleeing the police, it does raise a major issue the MRF has been worried about, the lack of oversight and rush to deploy this new technology without proper oversight. Specifically, the MRF has pressed lawmakers to require these auto manufacturers attest that their technology can read, respond, and react to all roadway users and more specifically that motorcyclists are accounted for.

Some in Washington D.C. seem to understand, Jennifer Homendy, the chair of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently said about the deployment of this technology “We essentially have the Wild West on our roads right now.” Adding, “It is a disaster waiting to happen.”

To see the 2-minute video of the police interacting with a driverless car click here.

There is no doubt that next month during “Bikers Insider the Beltway” self-driving cars will be a major topic of discussion!

As always, Ride Safe and Ride Free.

 

MRF Flash Alert - Lifting Ethanol Restrictions

April 13, 2022
Tuesday, at an event in Iowa, President Biden announced plans by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to temporarily lift the summer restrictions on the sale of gasoline with 15% ethanol (E15).

The decision will allow E15 to be sold between June 1 and September 15. Normally only a 10% ethanol blend can be sold during that period to reduce smog caused by the 15% blend’s higher volatility. This move by the administration is an attempt to bring down surging fuel prices. However, most estimates predict this change will result in a decrease of just 5 to 10 cents per gallon.

Citing the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the EPA is using its emergency exemption authority to make the policy change. The EPA says it will review the policy every 20 days and make adjustments if needed.

All motorcyclists should be educated on the proper fuel to use in their bikes. More ethanol in the marketplace may limit your fueling options. Be vigilant and as always ride safe and ride free.

Another Successful Heartland STEAM in the Books!

April 8, 2022
Last weekend, ABATE of Illinois hosted the 32nd Annual Heartland STEAM Convention in Springfield, Illinois. Riders from Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin gathered to share information about how state motorcycle rights organizations are tackling issues facing the motorcycle community. Heartland STEAM also serves as an important annual fundraising event for the Motorcycle Riders Foundation.

Originally ABATE of Illinois was scheduled to host STEAM in 2020, however, as with most things in 2020, things didn’t go according to plan! Nevertheless, ABATE of Illinois put on an excellent event this year. The weekend was a great opportunity for riders from different states to share their personal experiences working on motorcyclist issues at the state level. Topics included working with clubs, using modern media to activate your members and the history of the MRF.  However, as we all know, more was learned after hours in the hospitality suite as riders shared their personal experiences, strengthening and building personal relationship, rider to rider.

 

 

The guest speaker at the Saturday evening banquet was Representative Darrin LaHood of Illinois. Rep. LaHood is a longtime friend of the ABATE of Illinois and a champion for biker rights in D.C. At the dinner, Rep. LaHood was presented with the MRF Legislative Champion of the year vest.

Just three days after Heartland STEAM ended, ABATE of Illinois got some more great news.  Thanks to the efforts of ABATE of Illinois and their legislative team, the Illinois General Assembly advanced legislation bringing motorcycles to the forefront of the electric vehicle push in Illinois. To read the press release on the victory for ABATE of Illinois click here. Congratulations on a hard fought victory for the bikers in the Land of Lincoln.

Thank you again to all the Heartland STEAM attendees and thanks to ABATE of Illinois for hosting a great event. We can’t wait to be at STEAM 2023 in North Dakota!

 

Where Does Your State Rank?

March 25, 2022
Where Does Your State Rank?

Last month the Motorcycle Riders Foundation released our first call to action of 2022. The call to action was related to H. Res 366, the anti-motorcyclist profiling resolution in the House of Representatives. Since its release, over 1,600 bikers have taken a moment to click a few buttons and have their voice heard.

One great part about this call to action is that if your lawmaker has already been supportive of the resolution, they get a thank you email. While if your member of congress has yet to act, it explains the issues and asks for support.

We’ve seen great results from this effort. Since the beginning of February, 26 new representatives have signed on as cosponsors!

If there is one thing we know about bikers, they are a competitive bunch. So, to inspire even more engagement, here’s a list of the top 5 states who’ve taken the time to answer the call.

1.     Wisconsin – 176
2.     Michigan 155
3.     New York 136
4.     Texas – 124
5.     Arizona 118

The map also shows you how many bikers from each state have contacted their member of the House.

 

 

If you have already done the call to action, we thank you!  But let’s keep the pressure up! You don’t need to do it again, but you can share the link below, forward this email and hit social media. Let’s get as many bikers as we can to take 2 minutes out of their day to spread the word on profiling.

If you want Washington D.C. to address the profiling of bikers click here.

As always, Ride Safe and Ride Free!

Transportation Funding Unlocked

March 11, 2022
March 11, 2022

For Immediate Release

Transportation Funding Unlocked

 

This week the House and Senate are tackling a self-imposed deadline to pass funding legislation before government departments and agencies run out of money. To avoid a government shutdown, a large omnibus spending bill is being voted on that will fund government operations through the end of September. Importantly for transportation related projects and programs, the omnibus bill unlocks billions of dollars in funding that Washington red tape has delayed.

Lawmakers and transportation officials have been warning for months that full implementation of the $1.5 trillion infrastructure law, which was enacted in November, isn’t possible because government funding is constrained at 2021 levels. So, while the money is actually in the accounts and ready to be spent, transportation agencies are locked out of using a large percentage of the money until this second piece of legislation is enacted.

Only in Washington, D.C. does it take two bills, five months apart, to achieve your policy objectives!

 

 

Lawmakers Focus on Tesla

Recently Tesla has come under criticism for its Autopilot and Full-Self Driving (FSD) features, which critics say give the impression to drivers that the vehicles are capable of hands-off operation. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened two investigations into Tesla’s autopilot system and the automaker has launched nearly a dozen recalls in the U.S. Many of those recalls are related to over-the-air updates which allows Tesla to tweak and change its software remotely.

Last month, Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) sent a letter to Tesla seeking answers to a series of questions regarding its technology. Included in the letter were questions regarding safety programming, issues related to phantom braking and driver monitoring capabilities.

Tesla responded to the letter last week saying in part, “Tesla’s Autopilot and FSD Capability features enhance the ability of our customers to drive safer than the average driver in the U.S.,”

Senators Blumenthal and Markey seemed less than impressed with Tesla’s response to their questions. In a joint statement they said Tesla’s response was "just more evasion and deflection from Tesla. Despite its troubling safety track record and deadly crashes, the company seemingly wants to carry on with business as usual."

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation has long been concerned that safety standards for self-driving and autonomous vehicle technology are inadequate. All motorcyclists should remember that these vehicles are on our roadways right now. Remain vigilant while riding, as the operators and perhaps even the manufacturers are not fully aware of what this technology can and cannot do.

To read the initial letter sent to Tesla click here.

 

Strength In Numbers

March 8, 2022
The street riders in this country are facing many challenges and the Motorcycle Riders Foundation is working hard to fight for your rights. We need your help. There is strength in numbers and that is where YOU can help fight the fight. The MRF is focused on doubling our membership and we need your help. We are challenging ALL our members to sign up one new member so we can pack a bigger punch when we walk the halls of congress and fight for the rights of the street riders in this great country.

Our members are our strength, and we have all made the commitment to take our battle for freedom of the road to the Nation’s Capital and now we are asking you to please consider making the commitment to double our membership and double our strength. Sign up one new member today! mrf.org/join

Total Vigilance,

Todd Riba

MRF Member Representative

NHTSA Overview of Motor Vehicle Crashes in 2020

March 3, 2022
On Wednesday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released its Overview of Motor Vehicle Crashes in 2020. This report provides a snapshot of crashes, fatalities, and injuries sustained on our nation’s roadways in 2020.

The statistics related to motorcyclists were troubling. In 2020, we saw an 11% increase in fatalities from the previous year.  In 2019, 5,044 motorcyclists were killed on our roadways. In 2020 that number grew to 5,579. Thankfully, the number of injuries registered in the study dropped slightly from 83,814 in 2019 to 82,528 in 2020.

In total, 38,824 people died on U.S. roads in 2020. Motorcyclists made up 14% of that number. The loss of life is not contained to one area as motorcyclist fatalities in urban areas increased by 7.8 percent since 2019 and increased by 11 percent in rural areas.

What is perhaps most concerning is that total miles traveled by Americans dropped in 2020 by 11%, yet fatalities increased by 6.8%. Despite less miles being logged more people were killed. Obviously, 2020 was a unique year in which a global pandemic affected every facet of our lives. The data provided in this study can be useful but should be viewed with the understanding that 2020 was an unprecedented year.

Despite that, there is no question that reports like this will spur questions and ultimately action by policymakers in Washington, D.C. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) is committed to ensuring motorcyclists have a voice when issues like safety are debated. Your support and commitment to giving the street rider a voice in our nation’s capital remains vital.

Thank you for supporting the MRF and as always Ride Safe and Ride Free.

To read more about the study and review risk factors and statistics regarding specific states you can click here to read the full report.

 

Please support Antiprofiling House Resolution 366 Call to-Action to support Motorcycle Riders

February 18, 2022

Members of the House of Representatives left D.C. last week for two weeks of recess. While they are away their staff members are sorting through constituent mail and reviewing legislative priorities. Now is a great time to contact those congressional offices and have your voice heard!

  1. Res 366 is a resolution focused on the profiling of bikers and it needs public support from all Members of Congress.

Click on the link below and you will be sent to a site that sends a letter to your Representative based on your zip code.

If your Representative has already signed on, your message will be a thank you note and ask them to push for a full vote on the House floor. If your elected official hasn’t signed on, the message will ask for them to cosponsor H. Res 366 and go on record supporting bikers.

So far this year over 70 Representatives have cosponsored the resolution, but that is just half of where we were in 2020. Let’s make sure the politicians in Washington, D.C. hear from bikers and act.

Click here to contact your Representative regarding H. Res 366.

Join the MRF!

BIKERS INSIDE THE BELTWAY 2022 --Paving the Way for the Long Haul

February 17, 2022
Bikers Inside the Beltway – Since 2009 the MRF has brought over a thousand motorcyclists to Washington to meet with their members of Congress to promote a legislative agenda that continues to successfully become law on behalf of all street riding motorcyclists.

Outside the MRF’s legislative game plan, top MRF legislative agenda items went unaddressed and fell short of reaching our goals as the 2021 infrastructure legislation moved forward. The MRF is in the fight for the long haul and is paving the way beyond 2021.

The MRF’s legislative agenda – beyond the three items listed below -- was recommended and approved by SMRO leaders at the 2021 Meeting of the Minds, is not all-inclusive. The following items are at the top of the MRF’s legislative agenda as we move toward Bikers Inside the Beltway:

  • Profiling: Sustain lobbying efforts for the passage of resolutions or legislation that promotes awareness and prohibition of motorcyclists profiling.
  • Renewable Fuels: Advocate for targeted changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Support the universal availability of approved fuel blends, containing no more than 10 percent ethanol by volume. Ensure that consumers are educated on proper fuel usage.
  • Autonomous Vehicles: Advocate and monitor any legislation or regulations related to motorcycles concerning connected and autonomous vehicles (AV) including endorsing rulemaking to set new standards specific to seeing, detecting, and properly reacting to motorcycles. Ensure motorcycles are part of all testing and development procedure.

The pandemic, and the events of January 6, 2021, did not deter the MRF. More than one hundred motorcyclists attended the first in-person meeting in 2021 with members of Congress last May. The above items are the missing pieces of the 2021 infrastructure legislation, and they are driving the MRF’s need to return to Washington when Bikers Inside the Beltway meets on May 17.

Ongoing security restrictions necessitate visitors to Congress establish appointments before arriving in D.C. The MRF will provide members with contact information to begin the process of setting your meetings with your congressional representatives.

Flexibility with appointments and expectations are essential. Some congressional offices will welcome in-person meetings within the Capitol Complex. Other offices may seek meetings outside the official government buildings. Still others may only conduct meetings over the phone or via Zoom.

Bikers inside the Beltway will be dual-faceted to accommodate in-person visits to Congress plus visits to local offices.

To ensure that the mission of getting our message to Congress does not fail, please consider the following:

  • Make your appointments locally or in Washington.
  • Familiarize yourself with the briefing points.
  • Confirm your appointment locally or in Washington.
  • Virtual or in person, make notes on your meeting.
  • Share your meeting notes with the MRF.

A meeting of the MRF Board of Directors will take place on May 16 at the Embassy Suites, 1900 Diagonal Road, Alexandria, Virginia. Rooms are available through the hotel direct line 703-684-5900 and use reference code MRF.

You do not want to miss the pre-event briefing and Q&A for visits to Congress, scheduled for 7:00 p.m., Monday, May 16. Briefing packets and “leave behinds” will be available during the briefing.

Making appointments with your members of Congress, attending the MRF board meeting, briefing session, and you are encouraged to make appointments with your members of Congress, and attending Bikers inside the Beltway are essential elements of grassroots activism at its best. Thank you for your commitment.

Bikers Inside the Beltway 2022 – The Motorcycle Riders Foundation -- paving the way for the long haul.

Yours in Freedom,

Fred

Fredric Harrell

Threats from Europe

February 2, 2022
The last few months have seen troublesome news for the motorcyclist community in Europe. Yesterday, the website motorious.com reported on a new threat to motorcyclists in Paris, France. Officials there are taking aim at motorcycles and using sound pollution as the justification. According to the report, “Paris authorities have been experimenting with sound radars as a way to fight excessive noise pollution in the city. Such devices allow police to pinpoint which motorcycle is emitting more decibels than is allowed, then fine the rider.”

This news for Paris comes on the heels of a Politico report late last year, that the European Commission has plans to dramatically change emission requirements on vehicles. While motorcycles were not included in the initial blueprint, fears are high in Europe. A ban on internal combustion engines "Would be a disaster,” said Michael Lenzen of the German Motorcyclists' Association.

Don’t forget that in 2020, the Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations (FEMA), issued a warning about end-of-life vehicle directives. Such a policy would require the collection and destruction of motorcycles that have come to the end of their life. At the time, Wim Taal, FEMA’s communications officer said, “Inclusion of motorcycles in the scope of the directive could also mean a serious threat to historical motorcycles. These bikes are especially dependent upon available and affordable original spare parts to keep them in working order. And who wants to see old-timers disappear into state approved demolishing facilities?”

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) is committed to working with and supporting our partners in Europe. As MRF President Kirk “Hardtail” Willard has repeatedly warned, “Policy ideas that first appear in Europe have a history of popping up in the United States.” The MRF is dedicated to opposing policies that destroy the motorcycling lifestyle. Thank you for your continued support as we fight to maintain our rights and freedoms.

Do you really think it couldn’t happen here?

To read the motorious.com article click here.
To read the politico.com story click here.

Nominees Wanted - Class of 2022 Motorcycle Riders Foundation Hall of Fame

February 1, 2022
For Immediate Release

February 1, 2022

Nominees Wanted - Class of 2022 Motorcycle Riders Foundation Hall of Fame

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation Hall of Fame (MRFHOF) was introduced at the Meeting of the Minds in Denver, Colorado. This institution was created to recognize individuals that have worked through the MRF to positively impact motorcycling. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation is proud to announce that the nomination process for the next class of inductees into the MRFHOF is now open.

The nomination form and a timeline are posted on the MRF website at:

https://mrf.org/mrf-hall-of-fame/

Nomination applications are due to the Hall of Fame Committee by March 1st, 2022 – please send completed forms to communications@mrf.org

Past Motorcycle Riders Foundation Hall of Fame inductees are: Keith “Bandit” Ball, Mark Buckner, Wayne Curtin, Michael “Balls” Farabaugh, “Still” Ray Fitzgerald, Richard Gray, Bob Illingworth, Nathan “Buck” Kittredge, Ed Netterberg, Sherman Packard, Todd Vandermyde, Paul Vestal, Penny Walker, Ed Youngblood, Vince Consiglio, Fredric Harrell, Rodney Roberts, Simon Milward, JoAnne Packard, Karen Bolin, Lee Richardson, Jerry “JT” Thomas, Teresa Hepker, Dick "Slider" Gilmore, Charles Umbenhauer, Wanda Hummel-Shultz, "Biker" Jim Rhoades, Lee Ryan, Marc Falsetti, Gary Klinker, Charlie Williams, Dave Dwyer, "Radio" Bob Letourneau, "Farmer" John Eggers, Michael "Boz" Kerr, Butch Brown, Deb Butitta, Jim Dahling and Carol Downs.

 

National Roadway Safety Strategy Announced

January 31, 2022
Thursday afternoon, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg announced a new national road safety campaign. The plan, known as the “National Roadway Safety Strategy,” comes in response to increased year over year fatalities on our nation’s roadways. In 2020, an estimated 38,680 people died as a result of a motor vehicle crash. Of those, approximately 9% were motorcyclists’ fatalities.

What is most alarming about the increase in fatalities, is that the total number of miles traveled on our roads decreased during the pandemic. Americans traveled 13.2% less miles in 2020 than we did in 2019, but we saw a 7.2% increase in deaths.

The preliminary numbers for the first 6 months of 2021 are also troublesome.  From January through the end of June 2021 an estimated 20,160 people died in crashes. That is the largest number of projected deaths in that time frame since 2006.

To combat this trend the plan outlines five key objectives:

  • Safer People: Encourage safe, responsible behavior by people who use our roads and create conditions that prioritize their ability to reach their destination unharmed.
  • Safer Roads: Design roadway environments to mitigate human mistakes and account for injury tolerances, to encourage safer behaviors, and to facilitate safe travel by the most users.
  • Safer Vehicles: Expand the availability of vehicle systems and features that help to prevent crashes and minimize the impact of crashes on both occupants and non-occupants.
  • Safer Speeds: Promote safer speeds in all roadway environments through a combination of thoughtful, context-appropriate roadway design, targeted education, and outreach campaigns, and enforcement.
  • Post-Crash Care: Enhance the survivability of crashes through expedient access to emergency medical care, while creating a safe working environment for vital first responders and preventing secondary crashes through robust traffic incident management practices.

The recently passed infrastructure bill has components and funding to help achieve some of these goals. For example, $14 billion in new funding was specifically allocated for road safety.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also announced plans this week to increase the data it collects on crashes.  The agency wants to boost the number of crashes investigated and add additional studies that examine crashes involving medium-duty trucks, pedestrians, and workers who are hit on the road.

We at the Motorcycle Riders Foundation are encouraged to see that the U.S. Department of Transportation is taking a complete view of traffic safety, incorporating multiple factors to make our roadways safer. We also remain committed to the theory of crash avoidance, as a crash that doesn’t happen is always safer than one that does.

To get more detail and read the 41 page report click here.

January 21, 2022 - Welcome Aboard!

January 21, 2022
Earlier this month the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) Board of Directors (BOD) conducted the annual January meeting. The January meeting allows the BOD to review the work of the MRF over the past year and look forward to what lies ahead.

Two new members of the BOD were seated at the meeting, Eric Ross of Iowa, as a new MRF Reps Representative and Rick “Brick” Lindsay of Louisiana, as a new Sustaining State Motorcycle Rights Organization Representative. Additionally, during meetings last year, Gary Goracke of Minnesota, was added as the new Director of the State Representative Program and Andy Kelly of Pennsylvania, was added as a MRF Reps Representative. If you’d like to see a complete list of board members, with their titles and terms of service click here.

 

 

The end of 2021 and beginning of 2022 also saw the MRF renew and establish new contracts with six different vendors. JPK Services will once again provide office management and membership services, Husch Blackwell Strategies will operate our lobbying arm and Policy Engage will provide our legislative and outreach tracking tools. Additional contracts were agreed to for IT services, editing and publishing the American Biker Journal and a new dedicated social media director.

The January meeting is one of three annual meetings of the MRF BOD and is the only one held virtually. A second meeting occurs during May’s “Bikers Inside the Beltway” event in Washington, D.C. and the final meeting of the year is held during September’s “Meeting of the Minds” conference.  All three meetings are open to MRF members and are great opportunities to understand how the MRF operates.

Thank you to our board members for their service to the MRF and their dedication to the rights of all motorcyclists.

 

MOTORCYCLE RIDERS FOUNDATION TO BE INDUCTED INTO THE STURGIS MOTORCYCLE HALL OF FAME

January 18, 2022
This week the Motorcycle Riders Foundation was notified by Emma Garvin, Executive Director of the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame, that the Motorcycle Riders Foundation will be inducted into the Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2022 Inductees.  The ceremony will take place in August during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

While there are a significant number of individual members associated with the Motorcycle Riders Foundation that have been inducted into the Sturgis Hall of Fame, it is noteworthy that our organization as a whole will now be included.
MRF Chairman and President, Kirk “Hardtail” Willard, had this to say, “Our organization being inducted into the Sturgis Hall of Fame is an outstanding achievement that truly recognizes the impact the Motorcycle Riders Foundation has had on the National and International motorcyclists’ rights scene over the past four decades.  It is truly a celebration of our Founding members and the contributions of each Sustaining Member Organization, Sustaining Motorcycle Club, and individual members since the beginning of this movement. For this recognition to happen in the spiritual center of motorcycling makes it even more special.”

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation would like to thank Gary Sellers and Jiggs Cressy along with all of you that sent in letters in support of our nomination.

Lawmakers Head to the Exits in 2022

January 16, 2022
Happy New Year! As is the case every two years, 2022 is an election year for much of Congress. All 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, and 1/3 of the U.S. Senate are up for reelection in November. Add state and local elections to that and literally thousands of elections will take place this year.

What’s been interesting about this year’s congressional races is the number of lawmakers who are retiring, and not seeking reelection. While every year has a handful of retirements, 2022 might set a record! As of this week, 37 Representatives (26 Democrats and 11 Republicans) as well as 6 Senators (1 Democrat and 5 Republicans) have announced they will be stepping down at the end of the year.

The reasons for retirements vary, some are seeking higher office, others are fed up with Washington D.C. and others are simply avoiding potential election defeat. Regardless of the reason for these departures, it’s surprising that nearly 10% of lawmakers are headed for the exits.

There are two important things you as a Motorcycle Riders Foundation member should take away from these retirements.  First, if your elected official is retiring, have they been supportive of MRF priorities in the past? In the final months of their time in D.C., many congressional offices will change their tune on issues and be more supportive of topics they avoided in the past. It doesn’t hurt to reach out again, and push for MRF priorities before the lawmakers are gone for good. Ask the MRF D.C. team if we can  help!

Second, with so many vacancies around the country, it’s a great time to get to know new candidates. Getting in on the ground floor and building relationships early in the process is one of the best ways to impact change and support your fellow bikers. In 2020, bikers in Michigan developed an early relationship with a candidate for office months before the election.  That candidate won and became a U.S. Representative! She still fondly remembers the support she received early on from riders in her district. So get involved early and introduce yourself to the new crop of leaders headed to D.C.

Below is the current list of lawmakers departing their current positions. This list will grow in the coming months, keep your eyes and ears opened and stay up to date on who represents you in D.C. Reach out to the MRF D.C. team if you have any questions about the changing make up of Congress.

  • Alabama: Brooks, Shelby
  • Arizona: Kirkpatrick
  • California: Bass, Lowenthal, Roybal-Allard, Speier
  • Colorado: Perlmutter
  • Florida: Crist, Demings, S. Murphy
  • Georgia: Hice
  • Illinois: Bustos, Kinzinger, Rush
  • Kentucky: Yarmuth
  • Maryland: Brown
  • Michigan: Lawrence
  • Missouri: Blunt, Hartzler, Long
  • New Jersey: Sires
  • New York: Reed, Suozzi, Zeldin,
  • North Carolina: Budd, Burr, Butterfield, Price,
  • Ohio:  Gonzalez, Portman, Ryan
  • Oregon: DeFazio
  • Pennsylvania: Doyle, Lamb, Toomey
  • Texas: Brady, Gohmert, E.B.  Johnson, Vela,
  • Vermont: Leahy, Welch
  • Wisconsin: Kind

Highway Bill Passes… a Year Late

November 8, 2021

After a 13-month delay and enactment of three separate extensions, Congress finally passed a surface transportation reauthorization bill. This bill, sometimes called the highway bill or the infrastructure bill, has been a hotly debated topic in D.C. for several years. Once signed by the President, the bill will reauthorize many highway programs, provide funding for road and bridge construction and replace the previous highway bill passed in 2015, known as the FAST Act.

Just a week ago, Congress gave itself a third extension running into December. Yet election victories by Republican candidates, especially a win by the GOP in the Virginia governor’s race, seems to have spooked Democrats, and motivated passage of a bill that has been awaiting a vote since the summer.

For the last two years, the House of Representatives and Senate have battled over transportation priorities and funding levels. In both 2020 and 2021, the House of Representatives passed versions of their highway bill, only to be rebuffed by the Senate. Under pressure from President Biden, the Senate finally acted, passing in August a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. This action by the Senate, effectively forced the House to accept the Senate version of the bill or continue to pass short term extensions of current law.

However, pressure from the left wing of the Democratic party delayed a vote on the Senate’s infrastructure bill until an unconnected piece of legislation, referred to as the “human infrastructure bill,” was agreed to. That bill, called “Build Back Better,” had an original price tag of $3.5 trillion and effectively held the infrastructure bill hostage. After months of debate, and Tuesday’s election results, House Democrats agreed to vote on a smaller Build Back Better bill later in the month, opening the door to a final vote on the infrastructure bill.

At 11:27pm Friday night, the House agreed to the Senate’s bill and passed a $1.2 trillion 5-year highway bill, known as the INVEST ACT. The final vote in the House was 228 to 206, with 13 Republicans voting in favor and 6 Democrats voting against.

While not a perfect bill, there are victories for bikers contained in the 2,740 pages of legislation.
First and foremost, the Motorcyclist Advisory Council (MAC) will be reestablished with this new law. The MAC is a forum, within the U.S. Department of Transportation, specifically focused on motorcycle issues. The council is required to provide biannual reports to Congress on three critical areas:

  1. Motorcycle and motorcyclist safety;
  2. Barrier and road design, construction and maintenance practices;
  3. The architecture and implementation of intelligent transportation system technologies.

Importantly, the new MAC will have expanded membership of 13 members, including one designated member from a “National Motorcyclist Foundation.”

Second, grant money allocated to states through the Section 405 funds, specifically dedicated to motorcycle safety, will be increased with this new law. In 2021, approximately $4.2 million dollars was distributed to states for motorcycle safety programs. With this new law, close to $5.1 million dollars will be set aside for grants related to motorcycle safety programs in 2022.

Last year 45 states applied for and were given money for the education and implementation of motorcycle safety programs. The five-year length of this bill will see those funds continue to grow year over year, providing important resources to states for safety training.

Finally, the bill leaves unchanged hard-fought provisions from past highway bills. These include the ban on using federal funds to create motorcycle only check points and a prohibition on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) actively lobbying state governments on pending legislation.

It is unfortunate that it took 13 months from the original expiration date of September 30, 2020, to finally pass a new highway bill. This bill does not meet all the needs of bikers, but it does take some positive steps to ensure motorcyclists remain part of the transportation network. With your help, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) will continue to fight for motorcyclists’ priorities left unaddressed in this bill.  Issues related to the profiling of bikers, autonomous vehicles and ethanol regulations are just a few of the areas that this bill falls short on. The MRF is committed to these priorities and remains the voice of the street rider in Washington, D.C.

FACT OR FICTION - HELMET USE:

August 2, 2021

On a nearly annual basis the media in this country is inspired to report stories about motorcycle fatalities on our nation’s roadways. Invariably, these stories paint motorcycle rider deaths as a product of irresponsible riders who live in states that have some level of helmet choice. Frequently they report statistics that prove their narrative but fail to paint a full and complete picture. The lens with which these stories are reported often takes the naïve view that crashes can be made “safer” if only bikers somehow followed government helmet mandates.

The only true solution to motorcycle safety and reducing fatalities are proactive measures, which prevent a collision from occurring at all, rather than reactive steps that may or may not offer some level of injury mitigation only after a crash has already taken place. Rider education, which prepares motorcyclists to interact with other roadway users by learning and practicing the skills necessary for hazard avoidance and developing a strategy to deal with real world traffic, is the primary component of a comprehensive motorcycle safety plan. Additionally, educating all motor vehicle operators to be alert and free of impairment as they share the road with others is critical in deterring crashes caused by inattention.

When coming across these stories keep in mind some facts that are omitted from their reports.

Fact: Over the last decade motorcycle related deaths have varied between years but for the most part remain flat. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data from 2019 shows 5,014 deaths, a decrease from the 2008 5,307 deaths NTSHA recorded. In that same time period registered motorcycles increased from 7.7 million in 2008 to 8.7 million ten years later. In other words, there are a million more bikes on the road and there were 300 less deaths.

Fact: Twenty-nine percent of motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes in 2017 were riding without proper licensure at the time of the collision. A valid motorcycle license includes a rider having a valid driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement or possessing a motorcycle only license. Proper training and licensing are fundamental parts of motorcycle safety, taking unqualified riders off the road is a commonsense solution to lowering motorcycle fatalities.

Fact: The lack of a helmet mandate in the 31 states who have allowed freedom of choice does not prohibit someone from choosing to wear a helmet. In fact, a 2019 U.S. Department of Transportation audit showed that states without mandatory helmet laws still saw 56.5% of riders choose to wear a helmet.

Fact: A 2019 U.S. Department of Transportation Fatality Analysis Reporting System report showed that in crash study data, where helmet use was known, 36% of motorcyclists killed were not wearing a helmet. Conversely 61% of motorcycle fatalities involved a rider wearing a helmet. The remaining 3% had unknown usage. These numbers closely mirror NHTSA data on overall helmet usage which shows 64% of riders wearing helmets.

Fact: Despite the constant drum beat from safety advocates, the media and Washington D.C. bureaucrats about the ills of helmetless riders, state legislatures continue to trust the judgment of bikers. Just last year Missouri passed a modified helmet law allowing the choice to ride without a helmet to those who are qualified. In at least three other states, West Virginia, Maryland, and Nebraska there are active campaigns to change their helmet mandates and let those who ride decide.

Quick Links

WHAT IS ICMS?

  • A Watchdog on the federal, state and local legislatures, protecting your rights to ride.
  • Your information source, with newsletters, board meetings and information meetings.
  • A major force in promoting positive motorcycle legislation and motorcycle safety.
  • An organization dedicated to fostering brotherhood and mutual benefits for members.

WHAT ICMS IS NOT

  • A motorcycle club.
  • Anti-helmet.
  • A Secret society.
  • A fraternal organization.
  • Afraid to take a position.
  • A branch of government.
© 2016-2022 Idaho Coalition For Motorcycle Safety ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Top licensecartphonecalendar-fullbullhornthumbs-upmagnifiercrosschevron-down