Overseas motorcycle news may be a grim indicator of how easily things might go awry in America. Recently Paris announced a plan to ban motorcycles produced before 1999 from parts of the city during the day. Since the French capital continues to have some of the worst air pollution in the world, the reasoning is the new law will address older motorcycles manufactured before current Euro emissions standards. And now London has jumped on the anti-motorcycle wagon in a desperate attempt to reduce its pollution levels. (Within the first week of 2016, London exceeded its pollution limit for the entire year.)
London has had a long-standing congestion charge (US$17) to discourage cars from entering the center of the city but motorcycles and scooters had been exempt. But plans are being drawn to begin charging motorcycles made before 2007 when Euro 3 emissions standards were first applied to bikes. This was supposed to be a part of London’s new Ultra Low Emission Zone initiative that was scheduled to be introduced in 2020 but could now be implemented as early as 2017. Hanoi is also getting in on the action, announcing plans to completely ban motorcycles by 2025 in hopes of reducing traffic congestion by promoting public transportation. The city of Hanoi presently has 4.9 million motorcycles and scooters on the road which is expected to jump to nearly 7 million in the next four years.
Here in America, it seems our biggest advocate to protect against government overreach may be our newly elected Vice President. Seems VP Mike Pence is a two-wheel enthusiast and a supporter of motorcycle rights, working directly with ABATE of Indiana. He has completed a personalized basic rider training course and has participated in the Ride with the Governor event in Indiana as well as serving as an escort to riders passing through the state on their way to the nation’s capital for the Rolling Thunder rally in Washington, D.C. Sporting a vest festooned with various patches, last July Pence, aboard his Project RUSHMORE Street Glide, took part in a motorcycle ride to promote motorcycle safety awareness and to raise funds for the Indiana National Guard. Two weeks later he was nominated as Donald Trump’s running mate and will be sworn into office in January 2017. Hopefully his affection for motorcycles and rider’s rights will continue once he takes his national position. We at THUNDER PRESS are currently seeking an invite to the first White House Biker Bash—tent camping, a fire pit and some keg beer in the Rose Garden, anyone?