The future of MV Agusta has hinged on a crucial court decision for the past five months now – one that would allow the Italian motorcycle brand to restructure its debt, thus reducing its financial liabilities and freeing up a greater portion of its cash flow for continued production. News comes today from Varese, Italy that a local court has approved MV Agusta’s new business plan, and allowed the motorcycle manufacturer to restructure its debts with creditors and suppliers. This is positive news for MV Agusta, and it sets in motion a number of possibilities for the Italian brand, namely closing its investment deal with Black Ocean, an Anglo-Russian private equity firm.
Legalizing lane-splitting in Washington State just got a step closer to reality, as the State Senate of the Washington State Legislature has passed a bill that would allow lane-splitting under very specific circumstances. Senate Bill 5378 (SB 5378) would allow lane-splitting only during slow traffic conditions – up to 10mph faster than the flow of traffic, but no faster than 25 mph – and only on numbered highways that have a median and multiple lanes of traffic in each direction. The bill passed the senate with 32 “yea” votes from both Republicans and Democrats, while the 17 “nay” votes came solely from Democrat members.
Oregon once again is trying to join the 21st century when it comes to pragmatic transportation laws, and as such State Senator Jeff Kruse (R-Roseburg) has re-introduced a lane-splitting law to the Oregon legislature, with the hopes that it will get voted on later this year.
That might be a tall order to ask from the Oregon legislature though, since the proposed lane-splitting law is no different from the one that Oregon shot down back in 2015.
Both proposals aimed to make lane-splitting legal under very stringent conditions: only on roads where the posted speed limit is 50mph or more, only when traffic is traveling 10mph or slower, and only at a rate of no more than 20mph.
Things keep getting worse motorcycle helmet startup Skully, as its production partner Flextronics has filed suit for money and materials allegedly owed it. According to court documents, Flextronics is demanding payment of roughly $2 million dollars – $505,703 in past-due bills, $514,409 in unpaid bills, and another $1.5 million in what Flextronics calls “materials and inventory related to the Skully project.” This lawsuit is the second legal action taken against Skully since the company laid off its workforce and shut its doors for lack of funding. In the first lawsuit, a former employee alleges her wrongful termination from the Skully, but also lists a number of instances where the company and its management team wasted company money on frivolous items.
It finally happened, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 51 into law, making California the first state to put lane-splitting on its books. Lane-splitting has always been legal of course (despite what other headlines might suggest), though was legal only by a technical loophole in the California Vehicle Code (CVC). The passage of AB 51 now formally adds lane-splitting as a condoned practice by the CVC; and more importantly, it expressly allows government agencies, like the California Highway Patrol, to create and teach best-practice guidelines. AB 51 still creates some basic jurisprudence issues, like granting legislative powers to the executive branch, but many in the pro-lane-splitting movement seem to look past that issue, instead focusing on what it brings to motorcyclists.
There is good news for those following California Assembly Bill 51 (AB 51), which would formally codify lane-splitting as legal under the California Vehicle Code and empower state agencies to develop safety guidelines for its practice.
That news is that the California State Assembly yesterday concurred with the California State Senate on the most recent wording of AB 51 (AB 51 had been changed by the State Senate, dropping the provisions about maximum speed and traffic speed deltas for when lane-splitting was permitted).
The State Assembly’s vote yesterday was needed in order to create a concurrence on the same language of the bill between the two legislative bodies. With the Assembly’s unanimous vote, AB 51 now goes to California Governor Jerry Brown for his signature, the last step before making lane-splitting a law.
Gov. Brown is expected to sign AB 51, especially since both the State Assembly and State Senate had unanimously passed the codification of lane-splitting.
California is now just a single signature away from being the first state in the United States of America that expressly allows lane-splitting for motorcyclists. Booyah!
California just got another step closer to formalizing the practice of lane-splitting in the Golden State, as AB 51 just passed the California State Senate.
The bill will now go back to the California State Assembly, which will need to approve of the amendments made by the Senate, but that should be a formality for the legislative body.
This means that California is now just a couple procedural movements away from codifying lane-splitting into its vehicle code. For many lane-splitting advocates, this marks a decisive victory. Though, we’ve had some reservations.
The receivership of Erik Buell Racing continues to go on, as the company’s second round on the auction block ended with no fruitful resolution. It was hoped that Monday would see the announcement of a Erik Buell Racing’s new owner, after the auction on Thursday seemed to show that a new bidder, Liquid Asset Partners LLC, had snatched up the American motorcycle effort and had plans to liquidate EBR’s assets. However, it appears that the winning bid on Erik Buell Racing’s liquid assets has been contested by previous auction-winner Bruce Belfer and potential-bidder US Heritage Powersport. Accordingly, a new date in court set for January 14th, 2016 and formal motions to be submitted by January 4th, 2016.
Valentino Rossi has formally withdrawn his appeal against the three penalty points handed down to him in the clash at Sepang.
The Italian had originally appealed the three points handed down by Race Direction for the incident with Marc Marquez at Turn 14 at Sepang, first to the FIM Stewards, and after the FIM Stewards had rejected his appeal, to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
After filing the appeal to the CAS, Rossi then filed an appeal for a stay of the three-point penalty. If that stay had been granted, then Rossi would not have had to start from the back of the grid at Valencia.
Things have been pretty heavy here lately at Asphalt & Rubber, especially with the “Sepang Clash” nonsense continuing to collapse the sport in like a dying star. The Tokyo Motor Show had a lot of hard news too, with a bevy of models and concepts making an appearance.
So much has been going on, we nearly forgot the number one reason we ride motorcycles: they’re fun! Never fear, we have our eyes on the prize here at A&R HQ, so here’s a little something to brighten your day.
If you ever need a lawyer in Fort Worth, Texas area, we know a guy…Bryan Wilson, the Texas Law Hawk. Click past the jump for so much internet win.
After shutting its doors, and putting the company into receivership, the legal process for Erik Buell Racing is moving right along, with a date now scheduled for the sale of the company’s assets. Slotted to take place on July 21st, potential buyers will be able to bid on EBR’s assets, in bulk. All winning bids are of course subject to court approval, which will be granted/not granted quickly after the auction, on July 23rd. This means that items like EBR’s unsold motorcycles, leftover parts inventory, intellectual property, etc have been grouped together, to raise money to satisfy Erik Buell Racing’s debts to creditors. As such, the sale is considered to be a going-concern, meaning that the sale is meant to factor in the value of Erik Buell Racing as a business, and not just as a collection of assets.