Tuesday, December 29, 2015

OEM works to deliver tax credits for electric motorcycles

Zero Feat
Zero Motorcycles, the global leader in the electric motorcycle industry, today announced that the company's complete 2016 model line of electric motorcycles will again be eligible for a 10 percent federal tax credit for plug-in vehicles. The tax credit was included in the "last minute" tax extenders bill approved by Congress on Friday and signed into law by President Obama that afternoon.
Zero Motorcycles took the lead in working with Plug-In America and a coalition of other electric motorcycle companies to ensure the plug-in tax credit would be extended and include electric motorcycles. Standing together with companies coast-to-coast, the coalition rallied Congress to take action and expand green jobs in this exciting and emerging industry. Zero Motorcycles dealers, customers and fans weighed in as well, urging Congress to support the extension of the plug-in tax credits.
"Tax credits for electric motorcycles are not only an effective way to create jobs, they are also an investment in clean energy technology. We think that America can and should lead the world in electric motorcycle technology," said Richard Walker, CEO of Zero Motorcycles. "The electric motorcycle industry is rapidly responding to our country's need for affordable and environmentally responsible transportation. We're naturally excited to combine our passion for motorcycles with something that benefits everyone."
After many months of consistent work with Congress, two major plug-in tax credits, including the 2-3 wheeled plug-in tax credit, which had expired at the end of 2013, were extended as part of the final tax extenders legislation signed by President Obama. The signed bill includes the following provisions:
  • Extends the EV infrastructure tax credit from the beginning of 2015 until the end of 2016.
  • In the case of the 2-3 wheeled plug-in tax credit, this covers 10 percent of the purchase price, up to $2,500 maximum, and applies only to vehicles capable of over 45 mph and with a 4 kilowatt-hour or larger battery pack.  The 2016 Zero S, Zero SR, Zero DS, Zero DSR, Zero FX and Zero FXS all qualify for the incentive.
  • These tax credits are retroactive and apply to electric motorcycles and EV chargers purchased in 2015. All new Zero models purchased in 2015 or 2016 are eligible for the tax credits.
Consumers are encouraged to speak with an authorized Zero Dealer to obtain more information about this federal tax credit.
This article originally appeared on PowersportsBusiness.com.
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Six California Motorcycle Laws You Need to Know

This article was provided by RussBrown.com.
Though the sense of freedom on the open road is what draws so many of us to motorcycles, it is important to understand and follow California motorcycle laws. Responsible riding can help you avoid traffic citations and fines, but more importantly, seriously reduce your risk of getting into a motorcycle accident. Here are six California motorcycle laws you need to know, from the Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyers at Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys:
  1. Are there any restrictions on handlebar height?According to California law, a person “shall not drive a two-wheel motorcycle that is equipped with handlebars so positioned that the hands of the driver, when upon the grips, are more than six inches above his or her shoulder height when sitting astride the seat.”
  1. Are turn signals required on motorcycles in California?According to California state law, Motorcycles are required to have proper working turn signals, front and rear. Turn signals are not required on a motorcycle built and first registered prior to Jan. 1, 1973.
  1. Are there regulations on motorcycle exhaust systems?California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger enacted the Motorcycle Anti-Tampering Act in 2010. The law took effect on Jan. 1, 2013 and gives police the authority to ticket motorcycles with non-compliant exhaust systems. However, the law applies only to 2013 and newer motorcycle models and exhaust systems. Older bikes equipped with aftermarket systems purchased before Jan. 1, 2013, are not affected.
  1. Is it legal to lane split on a motorcycle?Lane splitting by motorcycles is not illegal in California when “done in a safe and prudent manner”.  The California Highway Patrol and other statewide traffic safety groups have long endorsed a basic guideline for motorcycle “lane-splitting.” Recently introduced legislation may place limitations on the practice. In addition, it is illegal for motorists the intentionally block or impede a motorcyclist in a way that could cause harm to the rider.
  1. What age can minors ride as motorcycle passengers?There is no specific age specified in the California Vehicle Code regarding when a minor can begin riding as a motorcycle passenger. However, the California laws require that all passengers must have a “seat securely fastened to the machine at the rear of the driver and (be) provided with footrests.” The law continues to state that “every passenger…shall keep his feet on the footrests while such vehicle is in motion.” To ensure safety and compliance with the law, some motorcyclists have had footrests moved to fit the height of their child or have purchased a special seat for children with built-in footrests.  Beyond the law, it is important to educate your passengers on the fundamentals of leaning and riding as a team.
  1. How old do you have to be to drive a motorcycle in California?In order to obtain a motorcycle license in the state of California, you must be 16 years of age and have not only completed a driver’s education and training course, but also have completed a motorcycle rider training course.
Even if you follow every California motorcycle law, you cannot rely on other motorists to always abide by traffic laws. If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, you need to find a California motorcycle accident lawyer that can get you the settlement you deserve and will see that you are treated fairly. With a 98 percent success rate and reputation for winning difficult cases,Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys are the Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyers you can trust with your case. To learn more about the services offered by Russ Brown’s motorcycle injury lawyers visit russbrown.com.
For the most up to date information on California motorcycle laws, visit:http://www.dmv.org/ca-california/motorcycle-manual.php
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4 Social Media Tips for Your Motorcycle Dealership

Even if you feel like selling bikes or twisting tools is more your thing than computers and tablets, it's important to stay on top of your social media game if you want your motorcycle dealership to flourish. Social media is an excellent way to bring in newer, younger customers that are constantly connected, and to gain exposure with potential customers who might not see your brick and mortar dealership or the traditional ads you place. If you want to know how to use social media to boost business, the how-to guide below can help.

1. Use Facebook to keep people up-to-date about inventory.

Facebook is a great tool because it allows you to share photos, videos, and messages with people interested in your dealership. To show customers what they can buy, upload photographs of the bikes you have for sale. Create albums for different types of bikes, or organize the albums by date to show what is currently available. Sharing your inventory will get people excited and make them more likely to come into your shop.

2. Promote products with Vine videos.

Vine is a video-sharing platform where users can post 6-second video clips to their followers. Use Vine to showcase new products, or to share deals that you want to promote. You can stand in front of bikes and explain the product or deal customers can expect, boosting excitement and giving people a better sense of your business' personality.

3. Target the right audience via Twitter.

Twitter is an effective tool for sharing up-to-date information with people who are interested in motorcycles, or people who are in your local area. To find the right followers (who can then become sales leads), follow other motorcycle dealerships or bike-related organizations in your area. Then, see what users follow their account, and follow them. Chances are many will follow you back, and you can join their conversation by re-tweeting their Tweets, replying to them, and tweeting your own cool industry news.

4. Make your photos awesome with Instagram.

With photo-sharing platform Instagram, you can also find followers by seeking out related businesses and following their followers. One of the best things about Instagram for a motorcycle dealership is that it allows you to entice customers visually-- and it has excellent photo editing and filter options, so you can make all the pictures you share look great. Take pictures of inventory or happy people making purchases (with their permission), and people will want to check out the amazing bikes you sell in person.

Want to know more about using social media to boost business for your dealership? Check out more helpful tips on CycleTrader.

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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Equal Access For Motorcyclists

This article was provided by RussBrown.com.

Restricted access to public accommodations and public spaces is one of the most common issues facing motorcycle club members across America. Individuals wearing clothing displaying the names or symbols of motorcycle organizations are commonly denied access to bars, restaurants, conventions, courthouses, fairs, race tracks, shows and other events. And although motorcycle organization colors are protected by the 1st Amendment, it is important to understand the distinction between private and government discrimination and what options are available to an individual in each circumstance.
Motorcycle Organization Colors Are Protected By The 1st Amendment.
• Cohen v. California (1971) established that individuals have a 1st Amendment right to wear clothing which displays writing or designs in public spaces. The Supreme Court concluded that an individual wearing a shirt reading “F*#K THE DRAFT was protected expression in a courthouse. See Cohen v. California, 403 U.S. 15 (1971).
There are even Federal cases specific to motorcycle club colors.
• In Sammartano v. First Judicial District Court (2002) the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said that wearing of motorcycle club colors in a courthouse building is protected speech under the 1st Amendment. Arguments relating to intimidation or the potential for violence based on general stereotypes do not overwhelm this right. See Sammartano v. First Judicial District Court, 303 F.3d 959 (9th Cir.2002).
• In Coles v. Carlini (2015), relying on Supreme Court precedent, a US District Court recently concluded that the government may not impose restrictions on an individual solely because of displaying membership in a motorcycle club. Importantly, these protections extend to members of clubs that law enforcement has labeled gangs or criminal organizations.
There is “no evidence that by merely wearing Pagans “colors,” an individual is “involved in or associated with the alleged violent or criminal activity of other Pagans members. It is a fundamental principle that the government may not impose restrictions on an individual “merely because an individual belong[s] to a group, some members of which committed acts of violence.” In fact, the Supreme Court has long “disapproved governmental action . . . denying rights and privileges solely because of a citizen’s association with an unpopular organization.” Healy v. James, 408 U.S. 169, 185-86 (1972) (See Coles v. Carlini, US District Court for the District of New Jersey, Civil No. 10-6132 OPINION, 9/30/2015, p.28)
Government Discrimination
• Motorcycle club members and supporters are Constitutionally protected from government intrusions on expression and association at the state and federal level. Federal intrusions are prohibited by the 1st Amendment. These obligations have been incorporated under the 14th Amendment and are extended to the states under the Equal Protection Clause.
• No agent of the government may force or coerce any establishment to impose a dress code that prohibits attendees from wearing clothing displaying the name or symbols associated with a motorcycle organization. It is, for example, illegal for an agent of the government to threaten derogatory action against an entity because they allow individuals to wear patches or supporter shirts in places of public accommodation.
• What relief is available for a victim of government discrimination? An individual that has been denied access to a public space at the hands of a government agent can pursue relief under federal law. Prohibiting individuals from expressing themselves and wearing t-shirts or protective equipment with patches or insignia exposes the government to liability under 42 USC §1983.
Private Discrimination
Although the practice of restricting access to motorcyclists should be prohibited in all circumstances, it is not quite that simple.
• Private discrimination against motorcyclists is not prohibited. The Constitution is primarily intended to protect individuals from the actions of government as opposed to the actions of other private citizens. This means that a private owner of a public establishment is permitted to deny access to any individual unless they are a member of a “protected class”, a term used to describe groups that the legislature has granted protection in public accommodations that are owned by private parties.
So what can be done?
• Seek legislative relief. Currently, Minnesota is the only state that has adopted a law prohibiting access restrictions to motorcyclists in all public accommodations, even those privately owned. This model should be replicated in other states. All access denials should be documented because these examples can be used to demonstrate the breadth of the issue when lobbying for legislative change. Through legislative action motorcycle riders could be protected from all public discrimination and even private owners of public establishments could be prohibited from restricting access.
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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Motorcycle Profiling Defined

This article was provided by RussBrown.com.
There are an estimated 10 million registered motorcyclists in America representing all walks of life.  They include doctors, lawyers, business owners, military veterans, blue collar workers, and even state legislators. Unfortunately, the overly-broad outlaw biker stereotype embraced by many in law enforcement results in selective enforcement and discriminatory traffic stops targeting a sizable portion of the motorcycling community. It is important to understand the legal definition of “motorcycle profiling” and what your options are as a victim of profiling.
“Motorcycle Profiling” Defined:
The legal definition of motorcycle profiling is different from the federal level to the state level.
  • Federal Law: There is no federal law specifically prohibiting motorcycle profiling. However, a traffic stop is prohibited where the ‘sole factor’ in the stop is membership (or expression of membership) in a motorcycle club. But as long as there is reasonable suspicion or probable cause for a traffic infraction then other motives become immaterial to a 4th Amendment analysis. Because most profiling stops are accompanied by a traffic pretext, federal lawsuits become difficult and problematic unless there are other circumstances such as unreasonable stop duration.
  • State Law: In Washington State, the only state with a law addressing the issue, the definition of motorcycle profiling provides more protection than federal law because it prohibits pretext-based traffic stops. If discrimination is even ‘a factor’ in the stop, not the ‘sole factor’, the stop is illegal. Washington Revised Code 43.101.419 says, “Motorcycle Profiling means the illegal use of the fact that a person rides a motorcycle or wears motorcycle-related paraphernalia as a factor in deciding to stop and question, take enforcement action, arrest, or search a person or vehicle, with or without a legal basis under the State or US Constitution.” Motorcycle profiling amounts to a publicly funded campaign of discrimination.
Options To Combat Profiling At The Federal Level:
Solely relying on appearance as opposed to the legal requirement of conduct amounts to discrimination and violates federal law. You should immediately consult an attorney and explore your options. Depending on the circumstances of the stop there are numerous potential claims that may be brought under Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act.
  • Profiling violates the 1st Amendment. Being in a motorcycle club or organization, and displaying symbols of association, are both irrefutably protected by the 1st Amendment. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the case of Cohen v. California, 403 U.S. 15 (1971) that individuals have the constitutional right under the 1st Amendment to wear clothing which displays writing or designs and has long recognized and protected the right of an individual to freedom of association. More recent cases confirm that 1st Amendment protection specifically applies to motorcycle club and organization colors and clothing.
  • Profiling violates the 14th Amendment. In Whren v. US (Supreme Court, # 95-5841, 1996) the Court made a clear distinction between discriminatory stops and mere investigatory stops. The court said “The Constitution prohibits selective enforcement of the law.”  Although the 4th Amendment is not the proper basis for a complaint, discriminatory or selective enforcement stops are a violation of the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the 14th Amendment.
  • Profiling violates the 4th Amendment. When the duration of the stop extends beyond the reasonable amount of time to adjudicate the traffic infraction then the stop is may be found unreasonable under the 4th Amendment. There is no set time for a reasonable stop because the circumstances of each stop are unique.

Options To Combat Profiling At The State Level:
In Washington, state law prohibits even pretext-based stops not currently prohibited by federal law.  But if you live elsewhere there is still much you can do.  Many times there are state options available. And every profiling stop provides the opportunity to add tangibly to the pattern of evidence that can ultimately be used to justify a law in your state.
  • Document the stop. This sounds obvious but is extremely important. Time, place, agency, duration of stop and any other details. These basic details are the foundation that everything going forward relies upon.
  • Contact the Motorcycle Profiling Project. Email details of your profiling stop toinfo@motorcycleprofilingproject.com. The MPP can assist you in submitting public information requests, media responses, and the preparation of legislative proposals. The MPP is also well networked and may be able to connect you to others working on profiling issues in your state or region.

Legislative Solutions:
Ultimately, legislative solutions provide the most comprehensive potential protection for motorcyclists at the state and federal level. Legislative solutions reduce the incidents of profiling and provide a mechanism of relief for incidents that do still occur. This policy reinforces Constitutional policing, responsible management of resources, focus on conduct as opposed to appearance and helps repair the relationship between law enforcement and the community.
  • The MPP proposes legislation that would require federal, state and local law enforcement to adopt a written policy to condemn and prevent motorcycle profiling, coupled with the integration of basic training. This policy is empirically a highly effective solution, with no fiscal impact, and does not prevent law enforcement from doing their job. Washington State’s positive experience is indisputable and has remained consistent since adoption in 2011.
  • Profiling legislation eliminates gross resource mismanagement and reduces the state’s exposure to civil liability. More economic efficiency and resource allocation results in positive economic advantages dwarfing any potential costs of implementation.
  • Legislative action closes loopholes that allow profiling to continue. Many times following profiling stops motorcyclists are not arrested or given a ticket. This makes it difficult to establish damages. Requiring all law enforcement agencies to change their policy towards motorcyclists would close this loophole preventing less quantifiable (but no less important) damages to expression and equal protection.
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Top Six Motorcycle Hangouts in Southern California

This article was provided by RussBrown.com.
If you’re a biker, Southern California is the place to be. The area boasts some of the best highways and open roads – not to mention the most incredible coastal views in the world. Southern California is also home to some of the best biker bars and hangouts in the nation. Here are some top motorcycle hangouts in Southern California.
• The Rock Store, Cornell: The Rock Store is one of the most iconic motorcycle hangouts in the world, not just Southern California. With an amazing location on the windy Mulholland Highway, riders are able to enjoy a few thrills and eat their fill—all while enjoying the exciting canyon roads, great food and a slice of history served at the Rock Store every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. If you have never been, it is worth the trip!  The Rock Store really is the perfect pit stop for Motorcycle Riders.
Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys has a BAM Booth setup on Saturday and Sundays for any motorcycle rider looking to get their BAM Benefit Card. This unique card gives you free breakdown and legal assistance– for motorcyclists only–twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
• Cook’s Corner, Trabuco: Cook’s Corner is all about live music, cold beer, and good times. Cook’s is more than just a place for bikers, it’s a destination!  This biker bar is well-known in Southern California for their awesome food, camaraderie, great prices, and most importantly, the amazing atmosphere. Located in beautiful Trabuco Canyon, riders are guaranteed to enjoy this biker bar almost as much as the ride getting there.
The BAM Booth is also set up at Cook’s Corner in Orange County on the weekends. If you are out riding this weekend in Orange County be sure to stop into Cook’s and sign up. This bar is a definite can’t miss when it comes to biker destinations in Southern California.
• The Buckhorn Bar and Grill, Dixon: The Buckhorn is a very pro-biker bar and assists with many SoCal runs and rallies throughout the year. Every Friday and Saturday night, Buckhorn’s has live rock bands and has a Tuesday karaoke night that can’t be missed. Also not to be missed: the bartenders, who regulars say are the best (and best looking) around. This is a local bar, but very friendly to traveling bikers. To get there, just travel 20 miles west of Sacramento to Hwy 113 S and take the North First Street exit off I-80.
• Whiskey Creek Saloon, Hollister: This bar is the main hangout for the Hollister Rally and is like stepping into a living history book. Photos from across decades adorn the walls – and there always seems to be an “old timer” on hand with some great stories to tell. Located off of the 101, on exit 25 to Hollister at 201 5th St.
• Wine and Beer Garden, Temecula: The Biker Sunday here is a MUST. On any given Sunday, you’ll find between 50 to 100 bikes lined up. The vibe is friendly, with lots of locals and regulars who welcome new riders and make them feel at home. To get there, head off the 15 in Old Town Temecula, right on Front Street next to Soro’s Mediterranean restaurant
• Neptune’s Net, Malibu: This great seafood restaurant also boasts one of the liveliest biker scenes in Southern California. Neptune’s Net is located right off of the Pacific Coast Highway and features fresh seafood, amazing ocean views and an easy, biker-friendly vibe. Neptune’s Net is a popular place for riders to meet before or after riding on Mulholland Highway or PCH and is located at 42505 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu.
Now that you know some of SoCal’s best biker bars – you need to know Southern California’s best motorcycle accident law firm. Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys are the California motorcycle accident lawyers that bikers trust to handle their motorcycle accident and injury cases – and for good reason. With a 98 percent success rate and unmatched expertise in motorcycle law, the Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorneys at Russ Brown are the attorneys that ride – and who get results for their clients. Learn more at Russ Brown’s web site.
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Monday, December 07, 2015

Unifying the Motorcycle Rights Movement In Your State

This article was provided by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys.

Washington State represents a model for unifying motorcycle clubs and independents towards the common goal of protecting motorcycle rights and liberties. Many states are preparing legislative agendas as the 2016 legislative session quickly approaches.  In 2011, Washington State unanimously passed the first law addressing motorcycle profiling in America and a large part of that success was due to successfully unifying clubs and independents.  So a glimpse into the process in Washington State should help shed light on why unification is so important to successfully implementing the motorcycle rights agenda in every state.
The motorcycle community in every state consists of two broad categories of motorcyclists and Washington is no exception. Everyone who rides a motorcycle is either a member of a motorcycle club or they are commonly referred to as independents. Legislative success becomes far more probable when these two elements of the community are unified and focused on the same legislative agenda.
In Washington, club members are politically organized through the Confederation of Clubs and most active independents belong to ABATE. The first step in our process was unifying the COC and ABATE through an agreement to communicate and agree to a common agenda. A common agenda helps prevent political Capitol from being spread to thin due to too many issues on the table. Motorcyclists have far more in common than differences and what impacts patch holders impacts independents and vice-versa.
In 2010, ABATE for the first time agreed to primarily focus on legislation addressing the issue of motorcycle profiling. In exchange, the COC agreed to focus an equal amount of time and energy on helmet repeal, ABATE’s primary issue, following success on the profiling law.  After the profiling bill passed into law in 2011, the COC kept its word and supported ABATE’s primary issue for 3 years. SB 5198, a bill repealing mandatory helmet requirements, received a hearing and successfully passed out of committee for the first time in 2015. And although it has yet to pass into law, Washington has 2 year sessions and the bill is still alive through 2016.
This spirit of communication and shared agendas that began in 2010 continues to this day and becomes the first step in our process annually.  The Chair of the COC and the State Coordinator of ABATE stay in regular communication. This helps keep us all on the same page and allows immediate conflict resolution.
The impact of unification on Washington’s success is irrefutable.  Until 2011 no meaningful legislation advancing motorcyclists rights had passed in Washington for over 30 years and the profiling bill passed into law unanimously. Notably, 2013 was also the first time a mandatory helmet repeal bill received a public hearing since choice was repealed in 1990.
This unified agenda maximizes the entire communities political capital, energy and focus. Operating as a unified movement prevents competing messages and agendas from confusing legislators resulting in the perception of an organized and professional constituency. Connecting manpower also fuels this perception when, for example, a hearing room is filled wall to wall with bikers. The voices of those speaking for the community are amplified to the point they cannot be ignored.
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Wednesday, December 02, 2015

5 Must-Have Items for Storing Your Bike

You might know just what to do to keep your motorcycle in gnarly condition during the summer months while you're riding it frequently, but like many, you may be unsure how to properly keep it stored when it's not in use. Storing a motorcycle isn't as simple as keeping it parked. There are some must-have items you need to keep your hog in the best possible condition.

1. Motorcycle Cover

One of the most important items you can have for your ride is a motorcycle cover. Moisture from snow and rain can quickly cause your bike to rust and even wear away the paint. Using a cover will add as a protective shield to be sure this doesn't happen.

2. Blocks

A motorcycle's tires will quickly deflate if it is left for long periods of time on pavement. If your bike will be sitting for a few months, prop it up on blocks or on a wood board. This will allow the tires to remain even and inflated so your hog will be in riding condition when you're ready to go out again.

3. Rag

The muffler can fill with water when rain drips or snow melts inside it, and having standing water in the muffler will cause it to rust from the inside out. Keeping a rag in the muffler to absorb moisture will prevent rust from forming.

4. Fuel Stabilizer

Fuel should not be left in the tank while you keep it stored unless there's fuel stabilizer inside it. Fuel stabilizer keeps fuel in the best possible condition so it does become affected by storage time. Without fuel stabilizer, gas mileage can decrease. You can find fuel stabilizer at gas stations and auto stores.

5. Wax

Buy motorcycle wax to give your bike an added protective layer. Moisture can impact the metal greatly, causing it to rust and wear with time. A layer of wax will not allow standing moisture to cause metal damage.

With these five items on hand, you have everything you need to guide you in keeping your ride stored efficiently. For additional tips delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for the Cycle Trader newsletter.
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