US Senate Establishes Motorcycle Caucus

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The motorcycle industry has found more allies on Capital Hill this week, with the creation of the first “motorcycle caucus” in the United States Senate.

Established so motorcycle manufacturers and motorcyclists would have a greater voice in the upper chamber of the American legislature, the Senate Motorcycle Caucus is the work of Senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Gary Peters (D-Michigan).

Motorcyclists typically aren’t single-issue voter – not for issues pertaining to motorcycles, at least – but with several important political issues currently affecting the motorcycle industry, the formation of the Senate Motorcycle Caucus comes at an advantageous time.

The most pressing issue right now is the mounting pressure over the beef trade war brewing between the United States and European Union, as the US Trade Representative is threatening to levy a 100% tariff on small-displacement motorcycles from European manufacturers, if the EU doesn’t repeal its ban on hormone-fed beef imports from the USA.

Other pressing issues of concern for motorcyclists are motorcycle-only checkpoints, ethanol-blended gasoline, helmet laws, off-highway riding areas, and of course lane-splitting.

For motorcycle manufacturers, emission and noise standards from the EPA are an obvious concern, as are incentives for manufacturing and other corporate advantages.

Recently too, several motorcycle manufacturers have been trying to revoke “right to repair” laws, which would make it illegal for many motorcyclists to work on their own motorcycles.

Looking further down the road (no pun intended), the Senate Motorcycle Caucus will play an important role for the motorcycle industry, as autonomous vehicles gain in popularity, and we see the advancement of vehicle-to-vehicle communications in the cityscape.

Having not only more political voices, but also advocates for motorcycles and motorcyclists has never been more important, as transportation is about to be fundamentally changed in the coming decades. Hopefully the Senate Motorcycle Caucus can grow not only in numbers, but also in influence.

Source: American Motorcyclist Association

Jensen Beeler

Despite his best efforts, Jensen is called one of the most influential bloggers in the motorcycle industry, and sometimes consults for motorcycle companies, whether they've solicited his expertise or not.