A long-running dispute over U.S. beef imports to the European Union has somehow spilled over in the motorcycle world and threatens to disrupt the entire industry.
At the heart of the matter is a proposed tariff as high as 100% for bikes with an engine size between 51cc and 500cc, which would impact some of our most beloved brands like Aprilia, BMW, Ducati, Husqvarna, KTM, Piaggo and Vespa.
Meanwhile, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said he was “sympathetic” to dealers and motorcyclists, but added that he won’t remove these bikes from the proposed import tariff. An article from Dealer News noted that “a member of Lighthizer’s staff stated that motorcycles were placed on the list because officials hoped the outrage of motorcyclists and the motorcycle industry would provide leverage for the U.S. beef industry”.
As a motorcyclist, I’m positively pissed off. While we’re at it, let’s also slap a tariff on European beer, cosmetics, and cars. Hell, let’s just ban anything that’s not made in America and be done with it.
Economic integration is what makes our modern world tick. Let’s hope our government officials acknowledge this essential fact before they cause irreversible damage to our sport and to our economy. Click here to contact Mr. Lighthizer directly.
This morning I saw a video of an incident between a car and a motorcycle in California. In the video, a biker appears to try to kick the car at highway speeds and moments after, the car responds by swerving wildly, an act that could have easily killed the biker.
As of now, no one knows who started the altercation and frankly, it doesn’t really matter. What matters (in my opinion) is the current state of affairs where people think it’s ok to take disproportionate actions when they are slighted. Sure, the biker might have been in the wrong and certainly needed to stop his aggressive actions. However, that does not justify the even more violent reaction from the car driver, which ended up injuring the passengers of the white truck, although miraculously no one was seriously hurt or killed.
I’ve ridden everywhere across America, Canada, Mexico and most of Europe as a private citizen and also as a representative of a major bike brand. A small piece of advice? Never, ever try to go toe to toe with a car, even if they clearly deserve it. Skill and speed may get you out of trouble some of the time, but getting clipped by several tons of metal will most likely end your riding career and perhaps even your own life. Call the police, ask for help, follow at a distance and take pictures or video, but don’t expose yourself. Your family and your bike will thank you.