" 'Global Harmoniztion' is not a bunch of bikers standing in one big, happy circle singing Kumbaya." That's the way Bill Bash, the executive coordinator of the National Coalition Of Motorcyclists [NCOM], led off his introduction to what is arguably the most seevere threat, bar none, to morotcycling today in this and other countries. In a strightforward presentation at the recent NCOM 14th annual convention in Phoenix, Bash did his damnedest to alert bikers'-rights activists of the slavering wolf beating in our front door while the majority of us are myopically preoccupied with strictly domestic issues.
"Our European brothers and sisters think we're squandering our energies by fighting [only] the lid laws," Bash noted. In essence, what the hell will be the advantage of being able to ride hatless when Big Brother steps in soon and informs us that --surprise, surprise-- due to the new "Anti-tampering Act" that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is intent on adopting, we motorcyclist will no longer be able to work on our own bikes, not even to give our trusty workhourses a simple tuneup? Well, fuck 'em 'em you say -- I'll do it anyway. Wrongo, Satchmo, becaue all new scoots will by then be equipped with "sheer bolts" that break off like pretzels if you take an unauthorized wrench to them. and aftermarket parts? Forget about it [goodbye, choppers].
Worried yet? Okay, how about an outright ban on all new air-cooled engines [goodbye, Harleys], open chain drives, and any vehicle more than, say, 20 years old [goodbye, flatheads, knuckleheads, panheads, Seervi-Cars, K models, and shovelheads, not to mention all those sweetheart vintage Indians, Trumphs, BSAs, Nortons, Matchlesses, Ariels, ect.] Then add to those ball-tweaking provisions a limitatin on peak horsepower output, plus mandatory motor-suffocatin pollution standards, including the retrofitting of present sleds. It's in the works.
Still strugging your shoulders? Then try these on: mandatory high-visibility clothing, multistage licensing, airbags and air vests, leg protectors, exhaust decibel restriction on anything louder than a gnat's fart, compulsory headlights and running lights, safety bars front and back---and if all that doesn't make you hang it up forever, maybe a trump-card ban of motorcycles altogether , as Sweden has already attempted to do [goodbye sanity].
Bottom line: If you think NCOM, the American Motorcyclist Association, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation, your local rights organizations and this magazine have been screaming "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!" all these years just because we like to hear ourselves talk I've got news for you. Over a year ago the U.S signed an international agreement with Japan and the 15 member countries of the European Union to develop these same global regulations, to be overseen by the United Nations. Bros, the totalitarian shit-flood is coming, and we'd better get off our isolationist asses and get busy erecting a bulwark against this government-endorsed tsunami before it washes our scooters right out from underneath us.
I mean it troops---we've been warned. Repeatedly