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Bikers Inside The Beltway

What are we going to Lobby for?
A successful Bikers Inside the Beltway is days from happening.  This one-of-a-kind hybrid event has raised questions that the MRF is here to answer.

“I can’t make it to Bikers Inside the Beltway, is there something I can send my representative?”
  Attached is a brief explanation of who the MRF is, what the MRF does and seven key policy priorities.  Feel free to send this attachment to any lawmaker’s office that asks.

“I’ll be at Bikers Inside the Beltway, will this material be available there?”   Yes!  And much more, plus a guest appearance by Congressman Troy Balderson from Ohio will address the briefing session.

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation is sound, flexible, and dedicated to protecting the rights of all motorcyclists.  Thanks for your support.

Fredric Harrell
Director, Conferences & Events
Motorcycle Riders Foundation
P.O. Box 250
Highland, Illinois 62249



For Immediate Release

May 3, 2021

Last Friday, champions of the motorcycling community in the House of Representatives introduced a resolution addressing motorcyclist profiling. The resolution H. Res. 366 has three key points:

(1) promoting increased public awareness on the issue of motorcyclist profiling;
(2) encouraging collaboration and communication with the motorcycle community and law enforcement to engage in efforts to end motorcycle profiling; and
(3) urging State law enforcement officials to include statements condemning motorcyclist profiling in written policies and training materials.

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) applauds Congressman Tim Walberg (R-MI), Congressman Michael Burgess (R-TX), Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-IL), and Congressman Mark Pocan (D-WI) for introducing this bipartisan resolution in the House of Representatives.

During the 116th Congress, a record 138 Representatives cosponsored a similar resolution to the one introduced today yet it failed to reach the House floor for a vote. This came on the heels of the United States Senate unanimously passing a related resolution in 2018.

Legislative action against the profiling of motorcyclists is not limited to Washington, D.C. Across the country, state legislatures are considering measures aimed at combating the profiling of motorcyclists. The MRF is joined by the Motorcycle Profiling Project, state motorcyclist’ rights organization, motorcycle clubs and individual riders taking a stand on this issue.

With the U.S. Senate on record on the topic and state capitals around the nation taking action it is imperative the House of Representatives follow suit and pass H. Res 366.

President of the MRF, Kirk ‘Hardtail’ Willard, stated “We thank Representatives Walberg, Burgess, Bustos and Pocan for their leadership on this important issue. Motorcyclists in every state are impacted by profiling. This issue isn’t going away, and it’s well past time for the House of Representatives to go on the record about the need to end motorcyclist profiling.”



Save the Motorcyclist Advisory Council:
Ask You Representative to Cosponsor H.R. 2141


Congress is back from Easter break and it's time for them to hear from bikers!  Last month Congressman Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin and a bipartisan group of House members introduced H.R. 2141, the Motorcyclist Advisory Reauthorization Act. As you may remember the Motorcyclist Advisory Council (MAC) is a group within the U.S. Department of Transportation that serves as the only official forum for motorcyclists to discuss motorcycle issues with the federal government.  The MAC is set to expire and be disbanded September 30th, 2021 if Congress doesn't act!


We need to help Congressman Gallagher gain cosponsors to H.R. 2141 and ensure motorcyclists continue to have an official voice within the federal government. Click here to contact your member of the U.S. House of Representatives and ask them to cosponsor H.R. 2141.



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April 2, 2021

A Trillion Here, A Trillion There…

Former Illinois Senator Evert Dirksen is long credited with this quip about spending in Washington D.C., “A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon it begins to add up to real money.” An updated 21st century version of that quote would replace billion with trillion!

In March Congress passed a $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill. With the ink barely dry on that piece of legislation, conversations began about the next major bill, this one focused on infrastructure.  As all MRF members know, Congress failed to pass a Highway Reauthorization bill in 2020 and extended the deadline to September of 2021. This was the bill in 2020 that had so many victories for motorcyclists, including wins on autonomous vehicles, motorcycle only check points and safety funding.  It now appears likely that the Biden Administration and Congress will use the 2021 version of the highway bill as the mechanism to pass massive infrastructure spending before the end of the year.

President Joe Biden said Wednesday at an event in Pittsburgh, PA that his plan, “Will modernize 20,000 miles of highway, roads and main streets that are in difficult, difficult shape right now." Adding that, "I don't think you'll find a Republican today, in the House or Senate, who doesn't think we don't have to improve our infrastructure. They know China and other countries are eating our lunch. So, there's no reason why it can't be bipartisan again."

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg insisted that the Biden administration will move swiftly to reauthorize the highway bill, which is set to expire in a little over six months. “We’ve got a clock on everything we’re doing,” Buttigieg said. “We’re not waiting until September in order to act. Conversations are taking place right now.” Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has set July 4th as a goal for passage of a House version of this legislation.

As we enter spring, congressional hearings are being scheduled about the scope and breadth of what this huge new bill will entail. We at the MRF will keep you updated as this enormous piece of legislation moves forward. We will fight to ensure motorcyclists priorities included in the 2020 version of the highway bill appear again in a 2021 version.

Where’s the Money Coming From?

One thing that seems clear is that any infrastructure package is going to cost a lot of money. In 2020 the House of Representatives passed version of the highway bill topped $1.5 trillion and President Biden’s 2021 infrastructure plan is in the neighborhood of $2.25 trillion.  Of that $2.25 trillion, about $621 billion would go to items like road construction and repairs, mass transit improvements, passenger and freight rail modernization, investments in electric vehicles and airport upgrades. The remaining $1.6 trillion or so would go to items including the expansion of broadband, rebuilding the electric grid, drinking water projects and a laundry list of other items.

So, while Congress and the President may have the appetite for big spending, where will those dollars actually come from?

Nearly all highway funding comes from the Highway Trust Fund (HTF). Taxes on gasoline and diesel, which are the main support of the HTF, are fixed in terms of cents per gallon (18.3 cents for gasoline and 24.3 cents for diesel), and do not adjust for inflation or change with fuel prices. The rates were last raised in 1993. These taxes no longer raise enough money to support the programs Congress has authorized. In the last highway bill, the FAST Act, $70 billion was transferred from general government funds to the HFT to make up for the deficit. With the 2021 bill topping $2 trillion, the deficit between what the HFT has and what Congress spends will almost certainly be greater than in past years.

To close this deficit, Congress could cut spending, increase revenue or borrow the money. It’s clear that the first option of cutting spending is off the table. Both Republicans and Democrats have long championed spending on infrastructure as important to economic stimulation.

To raise revenue two main options have been debated. The first option is to raise the tax collected by consumers at the pump. On this topic U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg recently said that President Biden opposes raising the federal gasoline tax to pay for an infrastructure bill because it would violate his pledge to not raise taxes on middle-class Americans. “The President’s made a commitment that this administration will not raise taxes on people making less than $400,000 a year. That rules out approaches like the old-fashioned gas tax.”

The second option being debated to raise revenue is creation of a Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) tax. In its most basic sense, a VMT is tax based on how many miles a roadway user has traveled.  Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO.), ranking member on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said he thinks adequate technology is available to implement a VMT tax. “We can do it at the pump if we just do a simple formula,” he said, by using a national average for miles-per-gallon. “And it goes directly to the trust fund the same way it’s being done now.”   Last week the U.S. Department of Transportation released a statement to reporters saying that the White House was not considering a VMT to fund infrastructure spending.

The most likely outcome is a direct transfer of funds from the U.S. Treasury to cover this proposed spending. In other words, revenue will be raised but through different tax increases or borrowing the money.  Increases in the corporate tax rate as well as an increase on income taxpayers in the highest tax bracket have been floated as potential ways to generate revenue.

This spring and summer will see two monumental battles in Congress; first, how to improve our aging infrastructure and just as importantly, how to pay for it.



For Immediate Release

March 16, 2021

The MRF pushes back on EPA about Current Ethanol Labeling Requirements

This week the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) joined other national groups in pushing back on proposed rule changes to current ethanol labeling requirements. Representatives of manufacturers, suppliers, and consumers of boats, motorcycles, off-road vehicles, and outdoor power equipment made clear that elimination or changes to current E-15 labels at fuel pumps would cause irreparable harm to millions of consumers.

In a letter to the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Administrator Michael Regan, the group stated that, “The misfuelling of marine engines and vessels, motorcycles, off-road vehicles, and outdoor power equipment places significant burdens on both the American consumer and product manufacturers. The risk to consumers is that they will experience product damage, compromised performance and emissions requirements, economic loss, and fuel leaks resulting in unsafe products.”

As a reminder, in January the EPA proposed elimination of the current E15 label altogether or the significant changes listed below:

  • Removing the “Attention” stripe along the upper right corner of the label.
  • Removing the phrase “E15” from the label, while including the language “contains up to 15% percent ethanol”.
  • Revising the language “Use only in” to “Safe for use in”.
  • Revising the language “Don’t use in” to “Avoid use in”.
  • Revising the format of the word “prohibited” such that it is not in bold and italicized type.

The MRF has long advocated consumer education to combat the increased prevalence of E15 nationwide. The letter to EPA points out that a recent survey shows, “Three in five consumers mistakenly assume E15 is safe for all their products.” Additionally, consumers should be aware that many manufacturer warranties are voided if improper fuel is used.

The MRF thanks the diverse set of partners that have worked together on this issue. Other signatories of the letter include the American Motorcyclist Association, American Sportfishing Association, Boat Owners Association of the United States, Briggs & Stratton, Marine Retailers Association of the Americas, Motorcycle Industry Council, National Marine Manufacturers Association, Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association, Special Vehicle Institute of America and the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association.

MRF President, Kirk “Hardtail” Willard said, “Whether it be the boat guys, the chainsaw guys or the flying cars guys, the MRF will work with almost anyone when our interests are aligned.”
To read the full letter to EPA click here.




House of Representatives Fails to Pass

Profiling Resolution

On January 3rd the 117th Congress was sworn in and all bills and resolutions not agreed to from 2019-2020 must be reintroduced. The MRF is disappointed that, despite over 130 bipartisan cosponsors, House leadership failed to bring this the motorcyclist profiling resolution, H. Res. 255, to the floor for a vote.
The issue of motorcyclist profiling continues to gain traction on Capitol Hill and the growth in cosponsors over the last 5-years is a testament to the work of individual MRF members and state motorcycle rights organizations. The first version of the resolution introduced during the 114th Congress had only 18 cosponsors. Two years later the version before the 115th Congress had 37 cosponsors while this version had 139 cosponsors. Additionally, the Highway Reauthorization bill that passed the House in July of 2020 included language that focused on motorcyclists profiling.
Despite this setback our champions on Capitol Hill remain in the fight. The leadership of the House Motorcycle Caucus has already reach out to the MRF about plans to reintroduce the profiling resolution in early 2021. The MRF remains committed to seeing the House of Representatives do what the Senate did in 2018, go on the record about the need to end motorcyclists profiling!

Biden Picks Transportation Secretary

Last month President-elect Joe Biden selected former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a onetime Democratic primary rival, to lead the Transportation Department.
Mr. Buttigieg dropped out of the race in March and endorsed Mr. Biden along with other moderate Democrats. Leading the Transportation Department, Mr. Buttigieg is expected to play a prominent role in the incoming Biden administration's push to rebuild the nation's roads and bridges.
Mr. Biden campaigned on a $2 trillion plan to rebuild the nation's infrastructure, much of it related to transportation. Mr. Buttigieg would take over a department whose most critical functions are setting transportation regulations and distributing vast sums of money, mostly to states to fund their respective highway, road and transit systems. If confirmed by the Senate, he will begin his tenure, as pressure mounts for the Biden administration and Congress to reach a deal on paying for infrastructure spending. Congress faces a September deadline to reauthorize federal funding for highways, transit, rail, and safety programs. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle point to infrastructure spending as a way to stimulate the coronavirus-ravaged economy.


November 20, 2020

For Immediate Release

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) has long partnered with the Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations (FEMA) in the European Union. This week FEMA alerted the MRF to potential changes regarding end-of-life vehicle directives that could have a dramatic impact on European motorcyclists.

MRF President Kirk “Hardtail” Willard stated, “Policy ideas that first appear in Europe have a history of popping up in the United States. The ability to own, collect, work on, and refurbish older motorcycles is a fundamental part of who we are as motorcyclists. We stand side by side with FEMA in their battle to protect motorcycle owners from changes to the end-of-life vehicle rules in Europe.”

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?”

Below is the full statement from FEMA and their response to the European Union on potential changes to European law.

Europe has rules in place for the collection and destruction of cars that have come to the end of their life. Motorcycles are exempt from these rules. That may change, if it’s up to the European Commission.

These rules are part of the End-of-life Vehicles Directive, aimed at the prevention of waste from vehicles that have come to the end of their life. The directive also tells Member States to set up systems for the collection and de-registration of all end-of life vehicles. The directive also pushes producers to manufacture new vehicles without hazardous substances (in particular lead, mercury, cadmium and hexavalent chromium), thus promoting the reuse, recyclability and recovery of waste vehicles. The directive tells Member States to have all vehicles that have reached the end of their life ‘transferred to authorized treatment facilities’ to be demolished in an environmentally friendly way.

If motorcycles were to be included in the scope of the directive, that could mean the end of so-called home recycling. Recycling of motorcycles and motorcycle parts is an inherent part of motorcycle use. Home recycling, where you end the bike’s registration and take it apart for reuse of its parts, is a significant part of the motorcycle culture. Home recycling helps to keep bikes on the road with used spare parts, instead of using new parts that have to be produced from raw materials. As we did in the 1990s, FEMA still believes that the private reuse of motorcycle parts is one of the best ways to prevent waste and to prevent the unnecessary use of raw materials. This way, motorcyclists play their part in the circular economy as well as being environmentally friendly.

Luckily motorcycles and other powered two-wheelers are not included in the scope of the current directive, a position that was lobbied for by FEMA when the directive was written and adopted in the late 1990s.

The European Commission now plans to revise the End-of-life Vehicles Directive and asked for feedback (there will be a public consultation in the second quarter of 2021 and the Commission’s adoption of a revised directive is planned for the second quarter of 2022). As part of the revision of the directive, the European Commission wants to explore the need to have powered two-wheelers include in the scope.

FEMA responded to the European Commission’s request for feedback with the following statement and explains why in their view motorcycles and other powered two-wheelers should not be included in a new directive.

The Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations (FEMA) thanks the European Commission for the opportunity to give its vision on the revision of the End-of-life Vehicles Directive (2000/53/EC).

In FEMA’s view, the current Directive succeeded in preventing waste from vehicles, the reuse of parts from vehicles and improvement of the environmental performance of all economic operators involved in the life cycle of vehicles. We can also understand the need to extend the scope of the directive to other kinds of vehicles than cars.

However, extension of the working of the Directive to powered two-wheelers (PTWs) is less obvious because of the different nature of both use and build of PTWs. PTWs do not have a body like cars; they can have body parts attached to the frame, but this cannot be compared with the body of cars. Most PTWs spend the largest part of their live indoors and as a rule are used for far less kilometers than cars. Because of this, and because parts can easily be removed, PTWs seldomly reach the end of their life like other vehicles do.

Virtually all PTW parts can be reused, through a large network of specialized second-hand part suppliers throughout the European Union, or by users themselves who swap and change parts with other owners. Parts that are not reused are recycled through local recycling schemes or sent on by second-hand part shops. There is no evidence of PTWs being dumped beside the road or otherwise disposed of in an inappropriate manner. Inclusion of PTWs could even be contrary to the aim the directive, by causing a problem where none exists now. In particular, the certificate of destruction may prohibit users from dismantling their vehicles for the purpose of reusing components. Furthermore, the administrative requirement on specialized second-hand parts businesses, which are generally small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), could mean job losses.

An exception could be made for electric powered vehicles (EVs). The demolition of EVs is specialistic work that should not be done by unqualified people. To ensure that the demolition of PTWs with a combustion engine can still be done in-house by the owners themselves or by SMEs, and to ensure that demolition of electric PTWs is done by qualified specialists, FEMA suggests not to include PTWs in the End-of-life Vehicles Directive but to draw a separate Directive for powered two-wheelers and perhaps other L-category vehicles.

If the European Commission does propose to include motorcycles and other powered two-wheelers in an End-of-life Vehicles Directive, FEMA would ask the Commission to ensure that the possibility of controlled in-house demolition remains possible (as part of a circular economy), either by including it in the Directive, or by allowing Member States to make their own rules and regulations for in-house demolition.

If the European Commission does propose to include motorcycles and other powered two-wheelers in an End-of-life Vehicles Directive, FEMA would ask the Commission to ensure that historic PTWs or PTWs of value to collectors or intended for museums, kept in a proper and environmentally sound manner, either ready for use or stripped into parts, do not fall within the scope of this Directive.



Your Weekly Biker Bulletin from Inside the Beltway

Your Motorcycle Riders Foundation team in Washington, D.C. is pleased to provide our members with the latest information and updates on issues that impact the freedom and safety of American street motorcyclists. Count on your MRF to keep you informed about a range of matters that are critical to the advancement of motorcycling and its associated lifestyle. Published weekly when the U.S. Congress is in session.

As votes continue to be counted and races decided here is an update on how some of our champions and allies fared on election day.

MRF Legislative Champions:

  • Senator Ron Johnson (Wisconsin) – Not Up for reelection in 2020
  • Senator John Thune (South Dakota) – Not up for reelection in 2020
  • Senator Joni Ernst (Iowa) – Won reelection to new 6-year term
  • Senator Gary Peters (Michigan) – Won reelection to new 6-year term
  • Congressman Tim Walberg (Michigan)- Won reelection to new 2-year term
  • Congressman Michael Burgess (Texas) – Won reelection to new 2-year term
  • Congressman Collin Peterson (Minnesota) – Lost reelection
  • Congressman Troy Balderson (Ohio) – Won reelection to new 2-year term

All four co-chairs of the House and Senate Motorcycle Caucuses were successfully reelected. In the Senate the co-chairs are Senator Ernst and Senator Peters. The House co-chairs are Rep. Burgess and Rep. Walberg.

Congressman Peterson, a longtime friend and ally to the riders in Minnesota was defeated. He has served in Congress since 1991. We at the MRF wish him well and thank him for his countless years looking out the interests of all motorcyclists.


One of the important things the MRF has done over the last two years is drive cosponsors to H. Res 255 regarding profiling. Not only does adding cosponsors help in passing the resolution but it is a great way to build new relationships with lawmakers. Additionally, it raises the profile of the MRF on Capitol Hill and shows us which Congressional offices have an open mind to our concerns.

As of election day we have 139 cosponsors of the resolution. How many of those will return in January for the opening of the 117th Congress?

  • Returning Cosponsors: 124
  • Defeated Cosponsors: 5
  • Retiring or Ran for Other Office: 10

Remember, as more votes are counted these numbers could change slightly. Nevertheless, we should see nearly 120 lawmakers who supported one of our main priorities returning to the House of Representatives next year.

A MRF Member in Congress?

On Tuesday, Lisa McClain was elected to Congress to represent the 10th District of Michigan. A handful of riders in Michigan connected with Ms. McClain early in the year, supported her during the Republican Primary and attended her victory party this week. Not only did they talk to Ms. McClain about motorcycle issues, they convinced her to join the MRF! In October she became an official member of the MRF and in January she will become a U.S. Congresswoman! Congratulations to her and the folks in Michigan for their hard work.


Legislative Agenda set during Meeting of the Minds 2020
One of the most important events at Meeting of the Minds is the legislative strategy session. Each year, during this session, state motorcycle rights groups develop the federal legislative priorities for the following year. Items are discussed, debated and eventually voted on, with each Sustaining State Motorcyclists’ Rights Organization (SSMRO) having a voice and a vote. Legislative priorities are placed in one of three categories, “High,” “Medium” and “Monitor”. These priorities will serve as a roadmap, for the Motorcycle Riders Foundation Washington D.C. team, as we focus on 2021.

While you can see the full detailed list of priorities in the next American Bikers’ Journal, below is brief preview of the “High” priority items approved during the session.

  • Profiling: Continue pursuit of the House anti-profiling resolution mirroring the Senate version that passed unanimously. Build momentum for inclusion of anti-profiling language in other legislation.
  • Renewable Fuels: Advocate for targeted changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
  • Autonomous Vehicles: Advocate and monitor any legislation or regulations related to motorcycles concerning connected and autonomous vehicles.
  • Emission Regulations: Engage the EPA & Congress on any activity related to motorcycle emission regulations.
  • Definition of a Motorcycle: Educate policymakers and advocate for change to current definition, that better reflects the current two- and three-wheel motorcycle landscape.
  • Crash Avoidance: Continue to promote the theme of crash avoidance versus safer crashing urging NHTSA and the DOT to focus on crash prevention and rider education.
  • Helmet Laws: Oppose any mandatory federal helmet, apparel or conspicuity standards.
  • Black Box: Pursue legislative language that any collected or available vehicle data is the property of the consumer and in which the consumer has the choice to opt-out of having their personal data communicated to interested parties.
  • Surface Transportation Reauthorization (Highway Bill): Advocate and pursue legislative efforts that impact motorcyclists in the Highway Bill, now set to expire in 2021.

Remember, as part of your MRF membership you receive an issue of each American Bikers’ Journal (ABJ). Not a Member of MRF? Click here and join today! The next ABJ is where you will find more details on these specific priorities, as well as the list of over a dozen other priorities in the “Medium” or “Monitor” categories.

Looks like 2021 will be a busy year!


September 17, 2020

For Immediate Release

“Proposed California Fee Increases Threatens Motorcycle Industry”

Empowered by changes to state law, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has begun the process of increasing certification fees for original equipment manufacturers and aftermarket manufacturers. The CARB certification is required to sell motorcycles and parts in the state of California and has ripple effects throughout the nation. The stated goal of the increases is to help offset the cost to California for enforcement and operations of its clean air policies.

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) is concerned that grossly inflated certification fees will further hamper the aftermarket parts industry’s ability to remain viable. In these trying economic times, increasing fees on the manufacturing industry will no doubt have wide ranging effects.

MRF President Kirk “Hardtail” Willard stated, “Putting additional financial strain on aftermarket parts manufacturers will without question impact the average consumer. Motorcycle shops, dealers, manufacturers and distributors are all key components of the motorcycle ecosystem. Anything that impacts the motorcycle industry eventually impacts the motorcycle consumer. The state of California should not destroy the motorcycle industry in an attempt to balance its budget.”






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