Hawaii passes law to allow “shoulder surfing”

Lane splitting is a practice hotly debated by bikers, motorists, and lawmakers across the country. Advocates claim lane splitting helps protect riders in bumper-to-bumper traffic, while drivers often see it as a sneaky way for motorcyclists to skip the lines.

In recent years, several bills have been introduced in efforts to legalize lane splitting. California is the only state to explicitly allow riders to split lanes. A handful of others don’t specifically regulate or prohibit the practice, leaving it up to riders and law enforcement to hash out the details.

What is “shoulder surfing?”

In Hawaii, lawmakers are taking a different approach. A new state law will allow motorcyclists to “shoulder surf,” maneuvering past heavy traffic using the freeway shoulders. According to Hawaii’s House Bill 2589, riders of two-wheeled vehicles will be allowed to travel at 10 mph or less in the shoulder when other traffic is slowed to a stop. The bill was passed into law earlier this month, and will go into effect on January 1, 2019.

The Motorcycle Obsession’s Chris Cope raises valid concerns about shoulder surfing. This section of the road exists to give motorists of all types a place to pull over when they’re experiencing technical difficulties. Directing even a small, slow portion of traffic into the area could cause some issues. The shoulder also tends to be a landing place for all kinds of trash and debris, creating potentially dangerous obstacles for riders.

While there will undoubtedly be some kinks to work out as riding practices like shoulder surfing and lane splitting become more commonplace, the efforts to make the roads safer are something we can all get behind.

Do you think Hawaii’s move to legalize shoulder surfing is a step in the right direction, or does it create unnecessary risks for motorcyclists? Share your thoughts on the practice in the comments.

Can American motorcycle manufacturers hold their ground after shifting production overseas?

From Ducati to BMW, foreign motorcycles have given the classic American manufacturers a run for their money. But for motorcyclists who place great value on the patriotic roots of their bike, U.S.-built models have always been the way to go.

Unfortunately, tense foreign relations between America and the European Union have recently forced makers like Harley-Davidson and Indian Motorcycles to consider some tough decisions.

Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson announced earlier this month it would begin producing a portion of its motorcycles overseas to avoid reciprocal regulatory tariffs, which increased from 6 percent to 31 percent. The shift to international facilities will take place over the next nine to 18 months.

The manufacturer claims the tariffs tack on more than $2,000 to each model exported to European countries. To avoid passing the additional expense on to consumers, Harley-Davidson determined producing the bikes abroad was “the only sustainable option to make its motorcycles accessible to customers in the EU and maintain a viable business in Europe.”

According to Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson (R), “they really don’t have a choice.” Johnson has been vocal about the ways America’s heavy steel and aluminum tariffs on imports from the EU and other countries have hit H-D’s home state.

It’s important to note that the motorcycles produced abroad would only be sold in other countries. None of the bikes manufactured overseas will be brought back to the states, and all Harley-Davidson motorcycles sold in the U.S. will still be produced here.

However, for those diehard fans who feel a strong connection to H-D’s American roots, the move could compromise the brand’s image and values.

Indian Motorcycle – America’s First Motorcycle Company® – is also considering moving a portion of its production operations to Poland to help offset the tariffs.

Do you think these manufacturers are making the right move by shifting production overseas, or would they be better off keeping all production stateside? Tell us how you feel in the comments.

Bosch tests space shuttle-inspired anti-slide system for motorcycles

Every rider knows one wrong move on your motorcycle could send you skidding across the pavement. Even if your bike is equipped with antilock brakes, traction control, and all of the other bells and whistles, there’s only so much current technology can do to give you back control.

According to CNET’s Roadshow, Bosch has been testing a gas-powered anti-slide system to address this very problem. Continue reading “Bosch tests space shuttle-inspired anti-slide system for motorcycles”

4 questions every rider should ask about “full coverage” motorcycle insurance

By William J. Price

motorcycle theftYou’ve probably had an insurance salesperson try to sell you a “full coverage” policy for your motorcycle. You may even think you have one.

Unfortunately, full coverage insurance is one of the biggest myths in the motorcycle community. The truth is there’s no such thing as too much motorcycle coverage. Ask these four questions before purchasing a motorcycle insurance policy to make sure all of your bases are covered.

4 questions to ask about your motorcycle insurance policy

1. Will my insurance coverage repair or replace my brand new motorcycle?

If your policy only covers the actual value of your motorcycle at the time of the crash, your insurance provider can use depreciation and other factors to reduce your payout. Riders who are insuring a new motorcycle should consider replacement cost coverage to ensure you’ll end up with a bike that’s as good as or better than your old one.

2. How much underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage do I have?

If you’re hit by a vehicle insured with the state minimum policy limits of $25,000, how much underinsured motorist coverage do you have in relationship to their minimum coverage? If the person who hit you has no insurance coverage, do you have at least $100,000 in uninsured motorist coverage to pay for your surgery, hospital, and nursing home bills?

3. Does my umbrella policy cover my motorcycle?

Umbrella insurance policies can be purchased in addition to your current auto or motorcycle policy for comprehensive liability protection. The coverage kicks in when your other policies have been exhausted to help protect you and your assets from lawsuits or other major claims. If you’ve purchased an umbrella policy, check with your insurance representative to determine if your motorcycle is covered and if there are any exceptions to the coverage.

4. If I am involved in an accident, how much of my medical payment coverage will pay my doctor bills?

Doctors and other medical professionals don’t care who was at fault for your accident or if your case is still pending. Bottom line: your bills need to be paid. Even if you’re able to recover money from the other person’s insurance company down the line, you may need to fall back on your own medical payment coverage until everything is sorted out. These bills can quickly skyrocket to tens of thousands of dollars, so be sure you have plenty of coverage.

When riding a motorcycle, you can never have enough insurance coverage. We would recommend you have at a minimum the following coverage:

  • $100,000 liability
  • $100,000 underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage
  • $25,000 medical payment coverage

If you can afford more coverage, buy it. There is never enough insurance coverage when you are lying in a hospital waiting to go to surgery.

About Elk & Elk Attorney William J. Price

William J. Price focuses his practice on personal injury litigation for people who have been seriously injured or killed as a result of motorcycle, auto, or trucking accidents, medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, defective products, and negligence in construction sites. He has been recognized by Super Lawyers, Martindale-Hubbell, AVVO, and is a member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

Harley-Davidson redefines internship experience with #FindYourFreedom Program

What comes to mind when you think of an internship?

Fetching coffee? Filing papers? Daydreaming about beautiful summer weather from your dreary cube?

Harley-Davidson is setting out to reinvent the summer internship and get the next generation of riders on the road with the launch of its #FindYourFreedom Internship. This summer, eight lucky interns will gain unique, hands-on experience in integrated marketing communications during the 12-week program.

After getting schooled in proper riding and safety techniques in the H-D Riding Academy, each intern will receive the keys to a brand new motorcycle – which they get to keep at the end of the program to keep the fun rolling.

Their assignment is to spend the summer “finding their freedom” – riding, immersing themselves in motorcycle culture, and attending H-D events – all while documenting their adventures on social media. The job combines aspects of brand ambassador and social media influencer roles to create a one-of-a-kind learning experience.

“We’re continuously working to grow the sport of motorcycling,” Harley-Davidson CEO Matt Levatich said of the program. “What better way to engage future riders than to have a whole team of newly trained enthusiasts share personal stories as they immerse themselves in motorcycle culture and community – all while gaining marketable career skills. I’m looking forward to following their journeys, learning about their experiences, and seeing them out on the road.”

The program is open to college juniors and seniors (or the equivalent) and recent college graduates. Ideal candidates are pursuing a career in social media, communications, public relations, or marketing. Desired skills include an innate talent for social storytelling and the ability to create attention-grabbing content on the fly.

To be considered, you must create a video, essay, photo collage, or other creative project showing what freedom means to you.

Think you’d be a perfect fit? Check out the full job description and send your application materials to FreedomInternship@Harley-Davidson.com by May 11, 2018.

Keep up with the interns on their summer adventures by following Harley-Davidson on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat.

Ride safe this season: 5 tips from a motorcycle accident attorney

By William J. Price

motorcycle crashOhio’s unpredictable spring weather can make motorcycle season a wild ride. Bikers who live here know riding season is often short and drivers aren’t always on the lookout for motorcyclists. With these two obstacles ahead of us, the following tips will make riding a little bit safer.

5 safety tips from a motorcycle accident attorney

1. Check your buddy’s tire pressure first.

If you’re riding with a friend or in a group, check each other’s tire pressure to ensure there will be no problems. You will be laser-focused to make sure your buddy doesn’t get in an accident because you overlooked their tire pressure.

2. “Tight bottoms, loose tops.”

Always remember to squeeze your thighs, legs, ankles, and feet against the motorcycle for stability. Your hands, arms, and shoulders should be as loose as possible when guiding the motorcycle.

3. Assume no one sees you on the roadway.

Your primary defense is to assume no truck, car, or minivan sees you traveling down the highway. Assume every vehicle is out to strike you.

4. What’s your escape plan?

Since there is a possibility every vehicle could strike you traveling down the road, you must have an exit strategy as you approach each curve, intersection, driveway, and school zone.

5. Don’t forget about the critters.

Scan the sides of the roadway for every rodent waddling across your path. If “Thumper” is crossing the street, there’s a good chance “Bambi” will be close behind.

Ride safe this season.

About Elk & Elk Attorney William J. Price

William J. Price focuses his practice on personal injury litigation for people who have been seriously injured or killed as a result of motorcycle, auto, or trucking accidents, medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, defective products, and negligence in construction sites. He has been recognized by Super Lawyers, Martindale-Hubbell, AVVO, and is a member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

 

 

Cleveland’s Skidmark Garage offers tools, workspace, and community for Ohio motorcyclists

skidmark garage
Photo: Skidmark Garage

Whether your motorcycle needs a quick tune-up or extensive repairs, finding the space and tools can be the hardest part of doing the job yourself.

Getting your own can be challenging and expensive – especially for riders who live in apartments. For many, investing the time and money to create a dedicated workspace just doesn’t make sense.

Unfortunately, many mechanics and dealerships charge crazy prices for repairs on older bikes or even refuse to work on them at all. And help can be hard to find for those hoping to learn how to make repairs on their own.

Skidmark Garage opened in 2015 to provide tools, space, and community to local motorcyclists. It offers a no-collar community that thrives on helping each other out and a safe, inclusive space where everyone has something to contribute.

The 10,000 sq. ft. “do-it-ourselves” repair shop located near St. Clair and E. 55th in Cleveland features 10 complete work stations, a lounge area, and storage space. According to owner Brian Schaffran, there are only about 25 community motorcycle garages in the country.

All makes and types of motorcycles are welcome and no prior knowledge or experience in bike repairs is required. In fact, beginners have the most to gain by joining the community and learning from more experienced members.

While members are all expected to lend a hand to one another, you’re not allowed to pay someone to fix your bike in the space. All tools are provided, but parts must be purchased elsewhere.

Skidmark Garage offers a variety of membership options. Work bays can be rented for just $20 per hour. Extended membership options range from $125 per month to $1000 annually. Membership prices are based on the number of bikes, not the number of people, so you’re welcome to bring a few buddies to help out with your repairs.

All membership levels include use of a bike lift and workbench, access to hand tools including a tire changer, access to a variety of electrical tools including drills and air compressors, and a selection of other gear and supplies. Skidmark Garage also offers free Wi-Fi so members can watch instructional videos or research repair techniques on the spot.

Additional services offered by Skidmark Garage include secure bike storage, how-to workshops, and bike listings for those looking to buy or sell a motorcycle.

Interested in becoming a member? Visit www.skidmarkgarage.com to learn more.