National and Regional News
MILWAUKEE - The Harley-Davidson Motor Co. announced it may shift to overseas production of motorcycles for the European market to avoid stiff tariffs approved by the European Union in retaliation for U.S. tariffs on European products. Harley says President Donald Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum will cost Harley as much as $20 million this year, with European Union retaliation adding $45 million in costs. The company has plants in India, Brazil and Australia, where production for its European customers will move. The European Union raised U.S. motorcycle tariffs from 6 percent to 31 percent. Harley sells about 40,000 bikes a year in Europe.
MEDINA, MINN. - Polaris Industries Inc., which produces the Indian brand of motorcycles, said it may shift some production to its plant in Poland because of the European Union tariffs on motorcycles with 500cc or larger engines. The move would include the production of motorcycles aimed at the European market. Polaris said the tariffs will add $15 million a year to the company's costs if it continues to ship U.S.-made motorcycles to Europe. The Twin Cities Business Journal reports that Indian Motorcycles are manufactured and assembled in Roseau, Minn.; Spirit Lake, Iowa; Osceola, Wis. and Huntsville, Ala. Manufacturing and assembly also takes place in Monterrey, Mexico. Polaris' Opole, Poland facility is 345,000 square feet and has a capacity for 500 employees, according to the company. It opened in 2014 for manufacturing off-road vehicles.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced higher proposed levels of ethanol for 2019, which could lead to increases in the number of stations selling fuel blends containing more than 10 percent ethanol by volume. The 2019 renewable volume obligations announced June 26 call for 19.88 billion gallons of ethanol to be blended into the nation's vehicle fuel supply in 2019, up 3 percent from the 19.29 billion gallons mandated for 2018. All of the proposed increase is in advanced biofuels-those made from non-food sources-while the amount of ethanol derived mainly from corn remains flat at 15 billion gallons. The AMA opposes any increase in the amount of ethanol the government mandates for U.S. vehicle fuels, because none of the estimated 22 million motorcycles and ATVs currently in use are approved by the EPA to use fuels containing more than 10 percent ethanol by volume. The AMA also fears that higher-ethanol blends, such as E15 will begin to push ethanol-free and E10 fuel out of the marketplace, much the way E10 has marginalized E0.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The California Off-Road Recreation and Conservation Act (H.R. 857) has passed the U.S. House of Representatives. The AMA supports this bill, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Paul Cook (R-Calif.). The bill would establish or expand six Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Areas in the California desert. Other areas would be designated as wilderness, primarily within these wilderness study areas and Death Valley National Park. H.R. 857 also would protect OHV users by ensuring that OHV areas cannot be closed by administrative action. The bill would add about 39,000 acres to the National Park System at Joshua Tree National Park and Death Valley National Park. The bill also would designate about 18,000 acres of federal land as the Alabama Hills National Scenic Area, restricting large-scale projects, while preserving existing recreational and commercial uses. Motorized vehicle use would be unaffected.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - The Boat Owners Association of The United States is surveying its members about their experiences with fuel that contains ethanol. The 13-question survey (http://sgiz.mobi/s3/EthanolSurvey) is intended to provide an understanding of how ethanol fuels are affecting recreational boating this summer, gauge opinions and seek comments related to the Renewable Fuel Standard. BoatUS says that gasoline use has not increased as forecast when the RFS was enacted, which forces more ethanol into each gallon of gas. As with motorcycles, recreational boats are approved only for use of fuels containing up to 10 percent ethanol. However, 92 percent of readers of Boating Industry magazine reported in 2017 that they have seen damage caused by ethanol, which also decreases fuel economy.
HONOLULU - Gov. David Ige (D) vetoed a bill that would have allowed motorcyclists to use the right shoulder to navigate around congested traffic. H.B. 2589 passed the state House and Senate, with a two-year sunset provision. Ige also has reportedly said he will veto any lane-splitting legislation that reaches his desk.
NEW YORK - The New York Motorcycle & Scooter Task Force has set up a Checkpoint Alert System for riders. The AMA urges New York-area riders to take advantage of this service. Those who sign up for the Checkpoint Alert System get notifications about motorcycle-only checkpoints in New York City. The system also allows them to warn other riders about MOCs. The AMA supports the work of the NYMSTF on this practice and its fight for riders' rights in the city. Whether it's discriminatory checkpoints, ticketing riders for daring to open their face shields at a stop light, unfair congestion pricing proposals or the unnecessary impounding of parked motorcycles for minor infractions, the NYMSTF has organized a community of riders to fight back. Motorcyclists can connect with the NYMSTF on its website (www.nymstf.org), Facebook page (www.facebook.com/groups/nymstf/about) and Twitter to stay up to date on the group's efforts to address motorcycling issues in New York City.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - S.B. 1316 has passed the state Senate and has been referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for consideration. This bill again attempts to deny the OHV community a long overdue opportunity for increased motorized recreational opportunities on property purchased using funds from the Off Highway Vehicle Trust Fund over 20 years ago. This legislation ignores the fact that a majority of the opposition comes from local land owners, many of whom previously agreed to the acquisition, and disregards the legislature's own approval of the purchase expressly for OHV recreation. This important State Vehicle Recreation Area has been part of the California State Parks system since 1980, when the site was purchased by the California Department of Parks and Recreation. Prior to that the 1,500+ acres was privately owned and enjoyed by generations of motorized recreationists, including a period when it was operated as a private motorcycle park. AMA members and indeed all OHV recreationists must immediately contact their elected officials and remind them of the agreement that was made when the expansion properties were acquired. It is also important to remind them that the program uses no general fund monies and is in fact based on a user-pay, user-benefit style model. Monies used to pay for the program include those taxes collected on fuel, SVRA entrance fees and vehicle registrations (green and red stickers). Visit http://cqrcengage.com/amacycle/app/take-action?engagementId=473814 to make your voice heard.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The late Nicky Hayden, an AMA Superbike Champion, is among seven inducted into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame. Hayden, of Owensboro, Ky., grew up dirt bike racing against kids twice his age and raced superbikes at age 17 in 1997 while he was still in high school. Nicknamed "The Kentucky Kid," he began riding professionally in the AMA circuit in 1999, and won his first championship race and AMA Rookie of the year honors. In 2002, at age 21, Hayden became the youngest-ever AMA Superbike Champion. In 2006, he finished first in the pinnacle of world road racing, the FIM MotoGP an 18-race series visiting 13 countries and four continents. Hayden continued his success, earning numerous MotoGP wins and 28 podium trips before transitioning to the Superbike World Championship series . He was killed in Italy in 2017 when struck by an automobile while training on a bicycle.
CYPRESS, Calif. - Yamaha Motor Corp. USA has announced its continued support for former long-distance motorcycle-riding competitor Paul Pelland (Longhaulpaul) and his "Chasing the Cure" million-mile journey to raise funds for the battle against multiple sclerosis. After tallying nearly 300,000 miles on Yamaha Super Ténéré adventure touring motorcycles, Pelland received the keys to a brand-new Yamaha Star Venture outfitted with the Transcontinental Option Package. Pelland is an AMA member and has delivered presentations at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days. In 2012, Pelland made his MS diagnosis public and began documenting his "Chasing the Cure" million-mile motorcycle journey to raise awareness and funds. During the past five years, he has documented more 300,000 miles across 49 states, speaking at over 250 events while raising more than $100,000 for MS research. His Yamaha Super Ténéré, CURECHASER, was retired in 2016 and is on display at the Barber Motorsports Museum in Leeds, Ala.
STOCKHOLM - Cake, a Swedish company, is developing a line of light electric off-road motorbikes, including its Kalk model. The new electric motorcycle features Ohlins suspension, 24-inch tires and a solar charger that can recharge the Kalk's 2.6 kWh battery pack in 90 minutes. The Kalk weighs 150 pounds and sells for about $13,000. More information is available at https://ridecake.com.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio -2018 AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, featuring Royal Enfield, is July 6-8 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. The annual event is the largest fundraiser for the benefit of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame and features racing, bike shows, live music, seminars and motorcycle attractions. Tickets are on sale now through Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course online at www.midohio.com or by calling (419) 884-4000. Tickets also are available at the gate.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio - The AMA has announced the six riders who will represent the United States at the 2018 FIM World Junior Motocross Championship, where the best young riders in the world compete on a fast and flowing track in Horsham, Australia, Aug. 24-26. The event is for competitors ages 11 to 17. Countries from around the world select their best young up-and-coming riders to compete in individual classes and team events. The event, at the Horsham Motorcycle Complex, represents the first time the United States has participated in the FIM World Junior Motocross Championship since 2014. The racing format consists of three classes with three world titles on the line. Riders in the 85cc and 125cc classes compete for the FIM Junior Motocross World Championship for riders and manufacturers. Riders in the 65cc class vie for the FIM Junior Motocross World Cup for riders. And the results of the three classes are combined to determine the FIM Junior Motocross World Championship for national teams. The AMA-supported entry consists of six riders, with two riders representing the United States in each of three competition classes.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio - The AMA congratulates Dallas Daniels, winner of the 2018 Nicky Hayden AMA Flat Track Horizon Award, and Kody Kopp, winner of the 2018 AMA Fast Brain Award. These outstanding AMA competitors were selected from among the riders who participated in the 2018 AMA Flat Track Grand Championship at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, Ill., May 29 through June 1. The Nicky Hayden AMA Flat Track Horizon Award honors the amateur racer who is poised for success at the professional level. The award was renamed in 2017 in honor of the late Nicky Hayden, who was the inaugural winner of the award in 1997. The AMA Fast Brain Award includes a $1,500 educational scholarship that benefits one young racer whose talent with the throttle is matched by his or her aptitude in the classroom. The AMA thanks AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Bill Werner, Zanotti Racing's Dave Zanotti and Bromley Motorsports for funding the award for 2018. Both winners will be honored as part of the AMA's Legends & Champions Weekend, which is scheduled to take place in Columbus, Ohio Dec. 7-9.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio - Plan now to attend the 2018 AMA Legends & Champions Weekend, Dec. 7-9. This event celebrates the past, honors the present and builds for the future. The event at the Hilton Columbus/Polaris in Columbus, Ohio, includes the 2018 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, the 2018 AMA Championship Banquet and the annual AMA Congress. Also during the weekend, the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Pickerington, Ohio, will host an open house in honor of the Class of 2018 and to install their Hall of Fame nameplates and representative motorcycles or memorabilia in the Hall of Fame museum. Tickets for the 2018 AMA Legends & Champions weekend will be available soon. Reservations at the Columbus Hilton/Polaris are available now at a special group rate at the following link: www.hilton.com/en/hi/groups/personalized/C/CMHPOHF-AMOTOA-20181205/index.jhtml. Guests also can call (614) 310-2229 and reference the group "American Motorcyclist Association" or "AMOTOA."
National and Regional News
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Reps. Austin Scott (R-Ga.) and Lois Frankel (D-Fla.) introduced the "Consumer Protection and Fuel Transparency Act of 2018" in the U.S. House (H.R. 5855). The American Motorcyclist Association supports this bipartisan bill. The AMA has repeatedly warned of the dangers of E15 (15 percent ethanol by volume) for motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles because none of the estimated 22 million motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles in use in the United States is certified by the Environmental Protection Agency to operate on fuel containing more than 10 percent ethanol. Inadvertent use of E15 in vehicles not designed for its use can damage fuel system and engine components and void manufacturer's warranties. This legislation would require the EPA to revise the labeling requirements for fuel pumps that dispense E15 and conduct a consumer education campaign to inform the public about the risks of improper use of E15 and the vehicles and equipment that are prohibited from using E15. To learn more and send a prewritten message to your representative, click http://cqrcengage.com/amacycle/app/take-action?engagementId=478753.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Motorcyclist traffic fatalities were down 5.6 percent in 2017, with 296 fewer deaths than in 2016, according to a preliminary report issued in May by the Governors Highway Safety Administration. The report, Motorcyclist Traffic Fatalities by State: 2017 Preliminary Data, projected that 4,990 people died in motorcycle crashes during 2017. Among the leading factors cited as contributing to motorcycle crashes: alcohol or drug impairment, distraction and the aging riding population. The GHSA said more states are considering ignition interlocks to reduce impaired driving. The group also is advocating for universal helmet laws. The AMA strongly encourages helmet use but believes that adults should have the right to voluntarily decide when to wear a helmet.
PORTLAND, Ore. - The Pacific Northwest Region of the U.S. Forest Service has launched of a region-wide mobile app, the Pacific Northwest Forests app. The specialized software program will help the public find hiking trails, camping, picnicking, boating areas and more by using their cell phones' GPS capabilities. This mobile app allows visitors to discover recreational opportunities near them and serves as a complement to the Forest Service's traditional website. For more information and to download the app, visit: www.fs.usda.gov/detail/r6/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD581034.
OCEANO, Calif. - The foredunes of the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area will be closed by Sept. 15 as part of a dust-pollution control plan approved by the San Luis Obispo County, Calif., Air Pollution Control District Hearing Board. The agreement between the Air Pollution Control District and California State Parks, which manages the recreation area, calls for reducing dust emissions by 50 percent during the coming five years. The intention is to reduce the amount of dust that drifts into nearby communities. During the coming year the agencies will work together on a plan, conduct public hearings, involve a scientific advisory committee and increase monitoring. According to Sanluisobispo.com, the approved agreement calls for closing the foredunes area and replanting it so it will return to the conditions depicted in a 1930s aerial photograph.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - State officials, as part of the Strategic Highway Safety Plan, are surveying motorcyclists to compile a list of possible locations for motorcycle barrier installations. The survey form is designed to collect as much information as possible about specific locations on the State Highway System where this safer barrier technology may be considered. The information collected will be given to the state Traffic Safety Office. Forms may be downloaded at www.dot.ca.gov/trafficops/shsp/docs/Motorcycle-Survey-Form.docx. Forms must completed and emailed to SHSP@dot.ca.gov by July 1, with the subject line "RE: SHSP Motorcycle Challenge Area Survey Form." Be sure to provide very specific information. The more information the state has, the better officials can respond to your input.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Gov. Larry Hogan signed into law S.B. 606, which creates within the state Department of Natural Resources an Off-Highway Recreational Vehicle Trail Fund and authorizes the transfer of about $750,000 a year from the Transportation Trust Fund to the trail fund. The new law allows that money to be spent only on ORV trails. The revenue is generated from the title tax paid when ATVs, side-by-sides and dirt bikes are bought. In past years, the funds were spent for highway maintenance. The bill was backed by the Maryland Motorcycle Dealers Association and the Maryland Off-Highway Vehicle Alliance.
WASHOE COUNTY, Nev. - The Washoe County Sheriff's Office has developed a free phone app that makes it easy to report illegal dumping. "One of the elements of that app is an illegal dumping reporting system," said department spokesman Bob Harmon. "And it's very simple. You open the app, you push the illegal dumping option, and really all it asks you to do is take a picture and send it in." The photo submitted will include GPS coordinates, so authorities can find the dump site. To download the app, just go to your phone's app store and type in Washoe County Sheriff's Office.
LEWIS COUNTY, N.Y. - Officials may be headed for a battle with the state over one village's decision to allow ATVs to use its streets, according to a report in the Watertown Daily Times. In May, state Supreme Court Judge Peter A. Schwerzmann found that the village of Constableville violated state law when it allowed ATVs access to public roads. For county officials, ATVs represent an economic development opportunity. Many ATV enthusiasts have built seasonal homes in the area to use the Lewis County ATV Trail System, according to the newspaper report. The town of Leyden, also in Lewis County, enacted an ordinance similar to the one in Constableville. The next move would be for Constableville to appeal the court's ruling.
HARRISBURG, Pa. - The state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced new public involvement in charting the future course of Pennsylvania's state forests. The effort began May 31, when Sproul State Forest District hosted the first of 20 public meetings across the state. Dates and locations of other district public meetings will be announced locally in the future. The public meetings will focus on specifics of district plans and aid the bureau in revising its District State Forest Resource Management Plans. A DSFRMP is written for each of the bureau's 20 forest districts across the state. Both the district-level and statewide plans are designed to provide bureau staff a framework for work and management decisions and to communicate to stakeholders how their forest is being managed. District plans build upon the foundation of the state-wide plan, while providing a greater level of detail and more focus on district-level priorities. A complete schedule of district public meetings can be found on the State Forest Resource Management Plan website at: www.dcnr.pa.gov/Conservation/ForestsAndTrees/StateForestManagement/ResourceManagementPlan/Pages/default.aspx.
HARRISBURG, Pa. - The state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources issued grants totaling $425,700 to three recipients in Pennsylvania for all-terrain vehicle trails, equipment and related facilities. Funding is provided from ATV registrations. "Using funds from ATV riders when they register their vehicles, these grants will help improve riding opportunities," DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said. "ATV trails draw visitors and can have a positive economic impact on nearby communities." The grants by county are:
- Armstrong and Lawrence - Mines and Meadows LLC, $154,600, to prepare a plan to further develop the campground facility at the 870-acre Mines and Meadows ATV Park in New Beaver Township, Lawrence County and a trail study for the development of a 1,700-acre site in Brady's Bend Township, Armstrong County.
- Bradford - Athens Township, $185,100, for development of Round Top Park in Athens Township, including rehabilitation of about 4 miles of ATV trails and a trailhead, construction of a pavilion and comfort station, landscaping and other related site improvements.
- Cambria and Indiana - Rock Run Recreation Inc., $86,000, to buy equipment to build and maintain about 140 miles of off-highway vehicle trails at Rock Run Recreation Area in Cambria and Indiana counties.
CAMERON COUNTY, Texas - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service closed Boca Chica Beach at Boca Chica State Park to ATVs and off-highway vehicles. The affected area includes the dunes, tidal flats and beach. Boca Chica is part of the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge, which in turn is part of the USFWS South Texas Refuge Complex. The ban does not affect beach access for passenger cars and trucks, though it does target specific types of recreational vehicles designed for off-highway use. Violators will be subject to fines and forfeiture of their vehicles.
NASHVILLE - Lane Motor Museum announced it has opened its newest public exhibit displaying The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach's Vintage Harley-Davidson collection. Auerbach's collection consists of Harley-Davidsons that have not been fully restored, yet retain much of the character of the prior owners, including the modifications that reflect their personalities. Ten of these motorcycles will be on display in the exhibit "The Dan Auerbach Collection: Vintage Harley-Davidsons from 1937-1950." Auerbach is a multi-platinum-selling musician and eight-time Grammy Award winner. For more information, visit www.lanemotormuseum.org.
STUTTGART, Germany - The Mobility Solutions sector of The Bosch Group has announced several technological products for motorcycles. Bosch efforts include a sliding mitigation research project, radar-based assistance systems, adaptive cruise control, a forward collision warning system, blind-spot detection, motorcycle stability control and motorcycle-to-car communication. Full details on all these systems can be found at this link: www.americanmotorcyclist.com/Home/News-Story/greater-safety-on-two-wheels-bosch-innovations-for-the-motorcycles-of-the-future.
TOKYO - Honda Motor Co.'s Monkey Bike is making a comeback, this time with a larger 125cc engine. Honda announced that the Monkey will resume production after being discontinued last year. It is expected to be on the domestic market July 12, with a price of $3,700. Honda stopped production in 2017 because of Japanese emissions regulations. The new Monkey 125 was unveiled in the fall as a concept model during the Tokyo Motor Show.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio - The AMA and American Honda Motor Co. are commissioning two custom motorcycles that celebrate the life and career of professional American road racer and flat tracker Nicky Hayden, who passed away on May 22, 2017, as a result of injuries sustained when he was hit by a car while training on his road bicycle in Italy. Honda is donating two motorcycles to the project, a 2018 Honda CBR1000RR and a 2018 Honda XR650L. The CBR1000RR will be decked out in a full Repsol Honda livery, while the XR650L will be heavily modified in a street-tracker motif by award-winning custom bike builder Tony Prust of Analog Cycles in Chicago. Renderings of the custom motorcycles will be unveiled on July 6 at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days in Lexington, Ohio, with the bikes themselves debuting during AMA Legends & Champions Weekend in Columbus, Ohio, on Dec. 7. Throughout 2019, the bikes will tour at select events and be on display at the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame on the AMA campus in Pickerington, Ohio, before being raffled to raise funds for the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation, the 501c3 nonprofit that raises money to support the Hall of Fame.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio - Make arrangements now to attend the 2018 AMA Legends & Champions Weekend, Dec. 7-9. This event celebrates the past, honors the present and builds for the future. The event at the Hilton Columbus/Polaris in Columbus, Ohio, includes the 2018 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, the 2018 AMA Championship Banquet and the annual AMA Congress. Also during the weekend, the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Pickerington, Ohio, will host an open house in honor of the Class of 2018 and to install their Hall of Fame nameplates and representative motorcycles or memorabilia in the Hall of Fame museum. Tickets for the 2018 AMA Legends & Champions weekend will be available soon. Reservations at the Columbus Hilton/Polaris are available now at a special group rate at the following link: www.hilton.com/en/hi/groups/personalized/C/CMHPOHF-AMOTOA-20181205/index.jhtml. Guests also can call (614) 310-2229 and reference the group "American Motorcyclist Association" or "AMOTOA."
PICKERINGTON, Ohio - It's just one more month until 2018 AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, the nation's premier vintage motorcycling event, brings racing, bike shows, live music, seminars and motorcycle attractions to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. The annual event, July 6-8 this year, is the largest fundraiser for the benefit of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. Tickets are on sale now. AMA members can visit www.amavintagemotorcycledays.com or call (614) 856-1900 to order. Non-AMA members can buy tickets through Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course online at www.midohio.com or by calling (419) 884-4000.
|House and Senate legislation would restrict availability of unsafe fuel for motorcycles
Urge your representative and senators to cosponsor these bills
U.S. Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) introduced the "Growing Renewable Energy through Existing and New Environmentally Responsible Fuels Act" (the GREENER Act) in the U.S. House (H.R. 5212) and Senate (S. 2519). The American Motorcyclist Association supports these bills.
The legislation would cap mandated ethanol content in the nation's fuel supply at 9.7 percent and require the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to prioritize the use of cellulosic biofuel ahead of other biofuels when determining volumes below blend wall levels.
In other words, the bill would stop the federal government from forcing E15 fuel (15 percent ethanol by volume) into the market. Capping the ethanol mandate helps ensure the availability of safe fuels, such as E10, and a continuing place in the market for ethanol-free gasoline (E0) for older motorcycles.
None of the estimated 22 million motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles in use in the United States is certified by the EPA to operate on fuel containing more than 10 percent ethanol. Inadvertent use of E15 in vehicles not designed for its use can damage fuel system and engine components and void manufacturer's warranties.
Tell your representative to support H.R. 5212 and your senators to support S. 2519. Send a prewritten message by clicking the "Take Action" link.