MRF Alerts

  • 09/17/2021 6:30 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    This week Senators Richard Burr (R-NC), Jon Tester (D-MT), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Joe Manchin (D-WV) reintroduced the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports (RPM) Act of 2021.  The bill, S. 2736, ensures that racing enthusiasts continue to have the ability to convert motor vehicles into vehicles used solely for competition. This bill also clarifies that it is legal under federal law to manufacture, sell, distribute, and install race parts that modify the emissions system of a motor vehicle that is used solely for racing.  

    The bill is in response to actions taken by the EPA in 2015. At that time, the EPA issued a proposed regulation that would prohibit the conversion of emissions-certified motor vehicles into vehicles used in motorsports competitions. The 2015 proposed regulation also prevented the sale or use of emissions-related race parts for those modified vehicles.

    An important component of S. 2736 is that it helps protect the aftermarket parts industry. A robust and thriving aftermarket parts industry is vital to the motorcyclist community. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation is part of a broad collation of groups working together in D.C. on this topic.

    As you may remember, earlier this year the House of Representatives introduced a similar bill, H.R. 3281, that now has 101 cosponsors. To see if your member of the House is a cosponsor of the RPM Act, click here.

    If you’d like to read more about the Senate bill, click here.  

    Look for further updates and calls to actions on this issue before the end of the year!

    See you in Atlanta!

    Next week is shaping up to be another great Meeting of the Minds! If you make it down to Atlanta, be sure to introduce yourself to our D.C. lobbyist, Rocky Fox. Rocky is always looking to learn about what you are working on back home.

    An important part of Meeting of the Minds is making connections between our members around the country and back in D.C. If you have relationships with your hometown Senators or Congressman, make sure Rocky knows!

    Let’s have a great few days down South!

  • 08/21/2021 7:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    For Immediate Release

    August 21, 2021

    Freedom -- promoting and protecting the rights of all motorcyclists – that’s what the Motorcycle Riders Foundation is all about.
    Thirty-seven years ago, a handful of bikers’ rights advocates met in a cheap hotel in St. Louis, Missouri, and from that first Meeting of the Minds came a commitment to be eternally vigilant in protecting motorcycling and the freedoms that motorcycling represents.

    That commitment is just as strong today as it was thirty-seven years ago.  Freedom isn’t cheap, free, or easy; the price is eternal vigilance.  And sometimes eternal vigilance isn’t enough...  
    Protecting freedom takes personal commitments to be eternally vigilant.  Sometimes it takes out-of-pocket money and giving up a weekend to learn what’s needed to maintain eternal vigilance.

    Do you know that just below corporate America, motorcyclists, and their businesses, are the largest contributors to charitable causes?  Do you know that motorcyclists give more to charity than they give to protecting their own freedoms?  

    Protecting your rights, your motorcycle and your lifestyle is what the Meeting of the Minds is all about.  Isn’t it time that you gave something to yourself and the future of motorcycling?  For the first time ever, the MRF is bringing the Meeting of the Minds to Georgia; and Atlanta is one of the easiest cities in the world to get to.

    Along with eternal vigilance comes individual commitments.  The MRF, along with ABATE of Georgia, ABATE of South Carolina, and CBA/ABATE of North Carolina, and a few hundred of your freedom loving brothers and sisters are committed to bringing the components of the 37th Annual Meeting of the Minds together.  

    With increasing registrations, the MRF requested the JW Marriott Atlanta Buckhead to increase the reserved block of rooms held for September 23-26, 2021.  Yes, rooms are still available!

    It’s time to give yourself something beyond a weekend on the couch or mowing grass that’ll be covered with snow in three months!  You don’t have much time left to make your reservations and join freedom loving motorcyclists from around the country at the Meeting of the Minds.

    Missed Daytona? Too much fun in Sturgis? Too early to plan for Laconia?  
    While 700,000 fun loving attendees partied it up in the Black Hills of South Dakota, 650 bikers, industry representatives, and freedom fighters joined together to recognize the hard work of individuals who have gone above and beyond just riding motorcycles.  They met at the Sturgis Museum & Hall of Fame Breakfast to commemorate and honor men and women who have gone the extra mile to promote motorcycling and stand up for the freedoms we love and enjoy.

    It’s time to give yourself something that keeps on giving — something beyond a week-long party, something that will be with you as you stand eternally vigilant in the quest to protect motorcycling and the freedoms it represents.  
    How about 48 hours of in-depth workshops that will help protect motorcyclists’ rights beyond any over-crowded event in Florida, South Dakota, or New Hampshire?  Join a few hundred of new and old friends and have something to show for it beyond a thin wallet and a hangover!  

    The September 10 cut-off date is rapidly approaching, for hotel reservations call JW Marriott Atlanta Buckhead @ 404-262-3344 and mention MRF.  For Meeting of the Minds registration, use this link: Meeting of the Minds 2021

    Registration includes all workshops, workshop materials, and Saturday banquet. Registration questions call the MRF at 202-546-0983, or email Fred Harrell at fred@mrf.org.

    Based on the input we received after Meeting of the Minds 2020, the MRF has “up’d our game” and this year’s event promises to rival anything we’ve done in the past few years.  Keynote speakers are being lined up.  Workshops are being finalized, along with a stack of legislative updates.

    Eternal vigilance turns our goals to legislative accomplishments on Capitol Hill.  Those successes don’t happen just because a hundred bikers meet with members of Congress.  In our world, successes happen because you’ve taken the time to educate yourself on the issues, attend workshops, and stay active on behalf of motorcyclists’ rights.  You are a keystone in the quest to remain eternally vigilant.

    Thanks, and we look forward to seeing you in Atlanta at the 37th Annual Meeting of the Minds Conference!!!
    Yours in Freedom,
    Fred

    Fredric Harrell
    Director, Conferences & Events
    Motorcycle Riders Foundation

    P.S. A 2021 Meeting of the Minds t-shirts go fast. To guarantee you’ll get your size, reserve your shirt now.

    P.P.S.  Getting to Atlanta early?  Then make plans to attend the MRF Board Meeting on Thursday, September 23; it starts at 8:00 a.m.
  • 08/10/2021 11:33 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Tuesday morning, the U.S. Senate passed a $1.2 trillion dollar highway bill by a vote of 69 to 30. The bill includes increased funding for roads, bridges, safety programs and of interest to motorcyclists, the reestablishment of the Motorcyclists Advisory Council (MAC) at the U.S. Department of Transportation.

    Despite the efforts of bipartisan Senators including, Tammy Baldwin (WI-D), Marsha Blackburn (TN-R), Joni Ernst (IA-R) and Ron Johnson (WI-R) the bill fails to match provisions for motorcyclists that the House of Representatives included in its version of highway bill. Nearly 500 amendments were offered to the Senate highway bill. In that group of amendments two focused on motorcyclists, one that expanded protections on the profiling of motorcyclists at check points, and one that included motorcyclists in studies of connected and autonomous vehicles. Frustratingly, these two amendments were not given a vote, as the Senate limited debate on amendments. Allowing only about 20 amendments of the 500 or so offered to be debated and voted on.

    The Senate version of the highway bill now goes to the House of Representatives where Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has pledged to not bring the Senate highway bill up for a vote until the Senate passes a separate “reconciliation bill.” This bill includes $3.5 trillion in spending on sweeping programs to address climate change, health, education, and paid leave.

    At this point, there are three possible outcomes to the highway bill. First, the House passes the Senate bill with no changes and the MAC is reestablished. Second, a conference committee is created where the Senate and the House merge their two bills into a new final bill. This opens the door not only for reestablishment of the MAC, but also inclusion of the check point profiling language and autonomous vehicle language from the House bill to be included in a final bill. Finally, with the September 30th deadline fast approaching, Congress could kick the can once again, extending the current highway bill for weeks, months or years…

    Regardless of the potential stalemate in Washington D.C., the Motorcycle Riders Foundation is committed to sustaining the fight for motorcyclist rights. We will not rest until our voices are heard and our priorities are included in laws that protect our rights and safety. We will continue to keep riders informed of the bill’s status and advise you if any calls to action are needed.

  • 08/06/2021 11:28 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    For Immediate Release

    August 6, 2021

    MRF 2021 HOF Inductee Announcement

    The Motorcycle Riders Foundation announces the 2021 Freedom Fighter Hall of Fame Inductees.

    The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) is pleased to release the names of the 2020 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 25-26, in Indianapolis, Indiana.

    This year’s MRF HOF Class of 2021 - Freedom Fighter Inductees are:

    • Butch Brown
    • Deb Butitta
    • Jim Dahling
    • Carol Downs

    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 and Michael "Boz" Kerr.

    Congratulations to all from the Motorcycle Riders Foundation Board of Directors.

  • 08/03/2021 7:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    If you have turned on the news, you’ve heard that the U.S. Senate is working on a massive infrastructure bill. It’s a complicated topic so the Motorcycle Riders Foundation thought you might like a cheat sheet.

    As you know, every 5 years Congress is required to pass a “Highway Bill” to reauthorize many of the programs at the U.S. Department of Transportation. The current law expires on September 30, 2021, and without a new bill or an extension, countless transportation projects will run out of money.

    In June, the U.S. House of Representatives passed their version of the “Highway Bill,” called the INVEST ACT. The INVEST ACT has nearly $550 billion budgeted for infrastructure projects. The House passed a similar bill in 2020 that died in the Senate, forcing a 1-year extension of highway funding programs, leading to the current 2021 deadline.

    The Senate, late Sunday night, motivated by President Biden’s call for massive infrastructure spending, released a 2,702 page “Highway Bill” negotiated by a group of 20 bipartisan senators.  This is a “Highway Bill” on steroids, as it almost doubles the amount of money the House has authorized, with a price tag in the $1 TRILLION range. After hours of debate the Senate will likely pass their version of a “Highway Bill” in the next two weeks. Since both chambers of Congress must agree to a bill, next comes the game of chicken…

    Members of the House were not included in the negotiations surrounding the Senate bill and are angry that in the past two years they have passed two separate highway bills while the Senate has sat on their hands. Add to that a desire by the far-left progressive wing of the House to pass 3.5 trillion in “Human Infrastructure” under something called a reconciliation bill and you have a mess of epic proportions. Left wing members of the House have threatened to hold the “Highway Bill” hostage until they get a vote on a reconciliation bill that will include a laundry list of progressive priorities.  

    Things are getting messy in D.C. There are three separate battles currently being waged. One battle is in the Senate, where conservative Republicans are opposed to efforts by moderates to pass the $1 trillion infrastructure deal, giving President Biden a victory. The second battle in the House, where progressive Democrats are unhappy with a highway bill that was negotiated without their input but with the input of Republican Senators. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, there is a battle between the House and the Senate about who should be driving the agenda and who’s priorities should take center stage.

    One thing seems certain, the September 30th deadline will play a huge factor. All the members of the House left D.C. for their August recess last week and will not return until September. So regardless of what the Senate does, the House will not be around to act until after Labor Day. This fall is shaping up to be a confrontation not only between Republicans and Democrats but also between U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives.  Stayed tuned!

  • 07/30/2021 7:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    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.

  • 07/28/2021 7:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Late Monday night, three Congressional champions for motorcyclists’ rights asked Congress to add language to a massive spending bill that would help protect motorcyclists from profiling by law enforcement. The amendment to a Department of Transportation funding bill would have prohibited federal funds being used to “Encourage States to adopt legislation, regulations, policies, directives or guidance to profile motorcycle riders, nor shall such funds be used by States to implement any activity with the primary intent of profiling motorcycle riders.”

    The amendment failed, as the House Parliamentarian ruled it “not in order,” citing a prohibition on policies proposals like this being attached to funding bills. Of the nearly 700 amendments submitted, almost 400 other amendments were handed the same fate. Frustratingly, the Rules Committee members were not even allowed to vote on these provisions.

    The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) is disappointed that a commonsense concept like the one offered today was blocked by an unelected bureaucrat.  Nevertheless, we will remain vigilant in our fight against the profiling of bikers. We thank Representative Tim Walberg (Michigan), Representative Michael Burgess (Texas) and Representative Troy Balderson (Ohio) for drafting the amendment and seeking ways to combat the profiling of bikers in the country.

    Additionally, the MRF would like to thank the other members of the House Rules Committee who expressed support for the amendment including Rep. Cole (Oklahoma), Rep. Reschenthaler (Pennsylvania) and Rep. Fischbach (Minnesota).

    All bikers should thank their fellow riders from Colorado, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Texas who lobbied members of the committee to pass this amendment. Rest assured that the MRF will continue to fight in the halls of Congress until lawmakers act on this important issue.
  • 07/22/2021 6:30 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Next week the House of Representatives will vote on a bill to fund several transportation related agencies, including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), for fiscal year 2022. To ensure the federal government protects the rights of all motorcyclists, three members of the House of Representatives are offering an amendment to the transportation funding bill. Congressman Tim Walberg of Michigan, Congressman Troy Balderson of Ohio and Congressman Michael Burgess of Texas have submitted the following amendment to the House Rules Committees for consideration on Monday. The amendment states:

    “None of the funds made available by this Act may be used by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for activities intended to encourage states to adopt legislation, regulations, policies, directives or guidance to profile motorcycle riders, nor shall such funds be used by States to implement any activity with the primary intent of profiling motorcycle riders.

    The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) is committed to pursuing all avenues to end biker profiling in this country. The MRF worked hand in hand with these Members of Congress on similar language in 2019 and again this year.

    How can you help? This amendment is being considered by the House Rules Committee, a very small committee with only 13 members. If one of these 13 lawmakers is your Representative, please contact Rocky Fox, the MRF lobbyist in D.C., at wfox@hbstrategies.us to learn how you can help!

    • Chairman Jim McGovern (D-MA)
    • Ranking Member Tom Cole (R-OK)
    • Rep. Norma J. Torres (D-CA)
    • Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX)
    • Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO)
    • Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA)
    • Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD)
    • Rep. Michelle Fischbach (R-MN)
    • Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA)
    • Rep. Joe Morelle (D-NY)
    • Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA)
    • Rep. Deborah K. Ross (D-NC)
    • Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CO)

    If you are unsure who your member of Congress is click here to find out.

    To see the official version of amendment click here.

  • 07/16/2021 7:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    In the last few weeks, the ethanol industry has suffered two major court case defeats. Earlier this month, the D.C. Court of Appeals struck down the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule allowing for year-round sales of E15.  In May 2019 the EPA issued a rule change ending a summer ban on the sale of E15 blend. Provisions of the Clean Air Act have prohibited the sale of certain fuels with a higher volatility from June 1 through Sept. 15, including E15.  The court ruled that Congress did not intend to allow ethanol blends higher than 10% to be sold year-round and that the EPA overstepped its authority by implementing the change.

    Not surprisingly, in response to the court ruling, a bipartisan group of lawmakers from major corn producing states introduced a bill Wednesday that aims to allow the year-round sale of gasoline containing 15 percent ethanol.  U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Deb Fischer (R-NE) and U.S. Representatives Angie Craig (D-MN) and Adrian Smith (R-NE) introduced bipartisan bills to permit the year-round sale of E15. The bill was cosponsored in the Senate by Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Tina Smith (D-MN) and John Thune (R-SD). In the House Representatives, Cindy Axne (D-IA), Rodney Davis (R-IL), Dusty Johnson (R- SD) and Mark Pocan (D-WI) were all original cosponsors of the bill.

    This legislation faces a tough road ahead in Congress with a diverse set of stakeholders and lawmakers opposed to increased ethanol mandates. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation applauds the court for striking down the year-round mandate and will work with like-minded groups to oppose legislation that would reopen the door to the year-round sale of E15.

    To read what pro ethanol Senators are saying about their bill and the need for year-round E15 click here.  To read what pro ethanol Representatives are saying on the topic click here.

    Also in June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in favor of a small Wyoming refinery that had previously been granted waivers from the EPA to comply with blending requirements of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The RFS, passed by Congress over a decade ago, recognized that small refiners face unique economic challenges to comply with ethanol blending requirements.

    Congress delayed implementation of some requirements for small refiners and created a waiver process run by the EPA. During the Trump Administration the number of waivers given to refineries increased greatly and the ethanol industry sued to rescind some of the waivers. The decision by the Supreme Court last month opens the door for continued use of these waivers by refiners to avoid blending their fuel with ethanol.

  • 07/15/2021 6:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This month, as part of a massive roll out of over 70 Executive Orders, President Biden included a directive to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding “right to repair.” President Biden’s order encourages the FTC to “exercise statutory rulemaking authority, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, in areas such as:unfair anti-competitive restrictions on third-party repair or self-repair of items.”

    The right to repair is a concept that allows consumers the power to repair products themselves or choose a third-party provider to make repairs, instead of going through the manufacturer. Consumer advocates and a variety of industries have long battled over the idea of right to repair.  Industries traditionally opposed to right to repair include: the computer industry, appliance manufacturers, farm equipment companies and automakers.  

    This action by the Biden Administration comes on the heels of a bipartisan FTC report in May entitled “Nixing the Fix” that concluded “there is scant evidence to support manufacturers’ justifications for repair restrictions.” In support of the order the White House stated that companies’ restrictions on “the distribution of parts, diagnostics, and repair tools” makes repairs more expensive and time-consuming for the end user.

    The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) believes that the ability of individuals and third-party vendors to replace and repair products is an important part of the motorcycle ecosystem. A vibrant after-market industry is critical to sustaining motorcycling in this country. The right to repair has been, and remains, a key part of the MRF legislative agenda. We applaud the efforts of the Biden Administration to protect consumers rights.

    To read more about President Biden’s Executive Orders click here

    To read about the Federal Trade Commission report on right to repair click here

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