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MRF Updates

Motorcycle Riders Foundation Appoints Megan Ekstrom as Vice-President of Governmental Affairs & Public Relations

May 12, 2016

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation announced the hiring of Megan Ekstrom as Vice-President of Governmental Affairs & Public Relations effective immediately. Ekstrom comes to the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) from the International Fragrance Association where she served as the head of government affairs.

“After a rigorous search process with a number of promising candidates, Megan established herself as the clear leader. Her professional background includes work in both the public and private sectors, as well as a unique skill set that will deliver value in continuing to develop the MRF as a national advocate for the advancement of motorcycling and its associated lifestyle,” said Kirk ‘Hardtail’ Willard, President of the MRF Board of Directors.

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Proposed Expansion of E15 Fuels Could Endanger Motorcyclists

April 25, 2016

In March 2016 a bill was introduced in Congress that would provide grants for developing the infrastructure to deliver fuel containing more than 10 percent ethanol.

Introduced by U.S. Rep David Loebsack (D-Iowa), the Renewable Fuel Utilization, Expansion, and Leadership Act (H.R. 4673, otherwise known as the “REFUEL Act”) would provide federal grants for the purchase and installation of equipment (pumps, storage tanks, pipes, etc.) specifically for “dispensing fuel containing covered renewable or alternative energy.” This equipment would be key in expanding the availability of E15 fuel, a blend of gasoline that includes up to 15 percent ethanol.

In cooperation with our Sustaining State Motorcycle Rights Organizations, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) opposes the implementation of any fuel blend that contains anything higher than a 10 percent ethanol content without further research on the effects of these blends on motorcycle engines.

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Modified Motorcycles Potentially Under Attack

April 21, 2016

Members of both Houses of Congress have introduced proposed legislation that would protect the rights of Americans to modify their vehicles for racing purposes. Dubbed the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act of 2016 (RPM Act, H.R. 4715 and S. 2659), this legislation would ensure that converting any motor vehicle (including street motorcycles) into a competition-only vehicle remains legal.

This proposed legislation became necessary after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, under the guise of maintaining emissions as outlined by the Clean Air Act, announced plans to regulate the conversion of street motorcycles and other motor vehicles into race vehicles. This attempt is reminiscent of the EPA's efforts back in 2003 to regulate motorcycling through another unrelated proposed regulation aimed at heavy equipment, steam engines and diesel engines that would have prohibited owners from changing anything on their motorcycles except for paint color or chrome.

Through the Color and Chrome initiative, the MRF was successful in separating motorcycles from the EPA’s regulations and created exemptions to protect the custom and aftermarket industries and our lifestyle.

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Federal Funds Available for Distracted Driving Programs

April 13, 2016

Did you know that funds are available from the federal government for states that enact distracted driving legislation? The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) wants you to know that H.R. 22, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (otherwise known as the FAST Act), authorizes funds for highway safety programs that include distracted driving initiatives.

Section 2005, Article 4 of the bill specifically provides funding for distracted driving legislation, stating, “In each fiscal year, 8.5 percent of the funds provided under this section shall be allocated among States that adopt and implement effective laws to reduce distracted driving.”

While there is specific language that spells out the details of eligibility, in general, states that are interested in applying for these grant monies need to: make distracted driving awareness a part of the driver’s license examination; pass legislation making it illegal to text while driving; and pass legislation that prohibits drivers under the age of 18 (or on a learner’s permit) from using a wireless communications device while driving.

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