|RPM Act reintroduced in U.S. Senate
Tell Congress to support your right to race!
The Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act (RPM Act, S. 2602) was reintroduced in the Senate by Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). The bi-partisan RPM Act would ensure that converting motor vehicles into competition-only vehicles remains legal. Street motorcycles are considered motor vehicles under the federal Clean Air Act.
The RPM Act states that it was the clear intent of Congress when passing and amending the Clean Air Act that motor vehicles, including motorcycles, used solely for competition would be exempt from the Clean Air Act's prohibitions against modifying emission control devices.
The American Motorcyclist Association supports the bill and its protections for amateur and professional racing enthusiasts.
Tell your senators you support S. 2602. Send a prewritten email by using the convenient AMA by following the Take Action link:
National and Regional News
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Reviving America's Scenic Byways Act (S. 349) passed the U.S. Senate by voice vote on Sept. 9 and was signed by the president. The bill passed the House in February. The bill requires the Secretary of Transportation to request nominations for, and make determinations regarding, roads to be designated under the national scenic byways program, which has been closed for six years. The AMA was part of the coalition that helped create this program in 1991 and is part of a coalition now intent on reviving the program. Many of the country's favorite motorcycling roads are National Scenic Byways and benefit from the resources provided to preserve and enhance them. From the Blue Ridge Parkway, stretching 469 miles from North Carolina to Virginia, to the Beartooth Highway between Montana and Wyoming, to Hells Canyon in Oregon, there are 150 roads designated as National Scenic Byways. The program provides resources that help communities along these byways benefit from the tourism they generate, while preserving the characteristics of the roads that made them great destinations in the first place. Officials are prepared to seek National Scenic Byway designation for 44 roads in 24 states as soon as the program is restarted.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency must reconsider its 2018 renewable volume obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard because the agency failed to consider how the policy would affect endangered species, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled. In a suit brought in 2018, the Sierra Club and the Gulf Restoration Network argued that habitats of whooping cranes and gulf sturgeon could be affected if corn production is increased to meet federal standards for ethanol in vehicle fuels. Claims made by refineries and energy companies that the RVOs were too low or too high were rejected by the court. The EPA argued that it did make a determination when it responded to comments on the proposed standards by saying it could not attribute any damage to habitats or species to changes in the rule.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Interior Secretary David Bernhardt signed an order in late August that allows electric bicycles on all trails on Department of Interior land where pedal bicycles are permitted. The new policy covers all of the national parks and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Despite the BLM and U.S. Forest Service still considering e-bikes motorized vehicles, the San Juan Nation Forest in Colorado has allowed some e-bikes on selected nonmotorized trails following an environmental assessment and public input in 2017. In a more controversial move, the Tahoe National Forest also recently allowed electric mountain bikes on some nonmotorized trails without undergoing reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act or seeking public comments. The AMA believes federal lands should be available for use by all Americans engaging in a wide range of recreational activities. However, the AMA believes the growing popularity of e-bikes has posed many questions and agencies should manage their use consistently, especially in terms of soliciting public comments.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Waymo, the self-driving car unit of Google parent Alphabet Inc., has asked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to remove regulatory barriers for self-driving cars that do not have steering wheels or brake pedals, according to a Reuters report. But Waymo still wants NHTSA to ensure the safety of those cars on the road. Automakers currently must meet nearly 75 auto safety standards for self-driving cars, many written under the assumption that a licensed driver is in command of the vehicle using traditional controls. NHTSA should first work on addressing those safety standards that assume a human is behind the wheel before revising rules to address alternative seating configurations, Waymo said in a letter to the agency. That will "enable the timely deployment" of vehicles without manual controls. NHTSA is also grappling with how and where to test self-driving cars to assure they are safe, according to the Reuters report. The agency is considering whether to use simulations or external remote controls in testing. Many automakers plan remote controls to pilot autonomous vehicles through factories or onto trucks. The AMA objects to the deployment of automated vehicles that do not properly detect and appropriately respond to motorcycles, other nearby vehicles or pedestrians.
PHOENIX - The Arizona Motorcycle Safety & Awareness Foundation is teaming with RideNow Powersports on a pilot program to help motorcyclists obtain helmets. Applicants who donate $50 to AMSAF will receive a $125 credit toward one full-face helmet at specified RideNow Powersports locations. Applicants must have a motorcycle endorsement on their driver's licenses. Funds for the program came from donations, sponsorships and grants. For more information, visit www.amsaf.org/helmets or call (888) 951-3732.
PRESCOTT, Ariz. - The Yavapai Resource Advisory Committee is accepting applications through Oct. 6 for grants to be awarded under the Secure Rural Schools and Communities Self-Determination Act. Although the primary location for projects is intended to be in Yavapai County on the Prescott National Forest and portions of the Kaibab, Coconino and Tonto national forests, projects can also be on nonfederal lands within Yavapai County where it is clearly demonstrated that the project benefits resources on the national forest. Grants are for projects that improve roads, trails or recreation facilities or projects that improve forest health and restore and improve land health and water quality. Applications can be made at tinyurl.com/YavapaiRACProposal. For more information, contact Debbie Maneely at (928) 443-8130.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Lawmakers approved S.B. 112, which restores the "fix-it" tickets for vehicles suspected of violating the state's exhaust sound limit. Fix-it tickets allow the vehicle owner 30 days to correct a violation. A.B. 1824, signed into law in 2018, eliminated that option, resulting in immediate fines.
UKIAH, Calif. - The South Cow Mountain OHV Management Area has reopened to the public following repairs related to 2018's Mendocino Complex fires. Fire damage was worsened by winter rains. Some motorized trails will remain closed because of burned bridges, washouts and hazard trees. Visitors are cautioned to pay attention to signs and stay off of closed routes for safety and to protect natural resources. Visitors should use only designated roads and trails and avoid driving on bulldozer fire lines. Visitors can expect to see fallen trees on some trails. The South Cow Mountain OHV Management Area provides more than 100 miles of trails for riders and drivers of all abilities using motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, four-wheel-drive trucks and utility vehicles.
MONTROSE, Colo. - The U.S. Bureau of Land Management will lease about 44 acres to Montrose County, enabling the county to develop the Shavano Gateway Recreation Area. According to the Montrose Press, the county will establish a formal trailhead for the Montrose side of the 160-mile Rimrocker Trail, as well as provide about 20 miles of single-track trails adjacent to the recreation area for mountain bikes, ATVs and non-motorized travel. The county also plans an off-highway vehicle training and obstacle course and infrastructure, such as picnic tables.
DUBUQUE, Iowa - The Dubuque County Supervisors are preparing to open most roads to ATVS and UTVs. Officials approved a $30,000 contract with Northeast Iowa Community College to educate the public about the change through radio, print and social media. The ordinance requires drivers to be 18 or older.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Motorcycle tolls would be cut in half under a plan to modernize Maryland's toll system in 2020. A public comment period extended through Oct. 3 for the new tolling options proposed by the Maryland Transportation Authority board. A final report will be submitted Oct. 31 for review by the MDTA board and will be posted at mdta.maryland.gov for additional public comment. The board is scheduled to vote on a final recommendation at its Nov. 21 meeting. Gov. Larry Hogan said the toll relief package would save Marylanders more than $28 million over five years.
RANDOLPH, N.H. - A memorial is being planned for the seven motorcyclists killed in a June crash caused by a pickup truck driver who crossed the centerline of a highway. American Legion Post 82 in Gorham hopes to create the memorial near the crash site in Randolph, N.H. The memorial would include the Jarheads Motorcycle Club and U.S. Marine Corps logos. The Jarheads is a New England motorcycle club that includes Marines and their spouses. The pickup driver, 23-year-old Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, of West Springfield, Mass., has pleaded not guilty to negligent homicide. Officials say Zhukovskyy's license should have been suspended because of a previous drunken driving arrest.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Three national forests-Cibola, Santa Fe and Carson-have released final draft plans and environmental impact statements. Public hearings were held in August and September. The deadline for comments on the plans is Nov. 7. The final draft Carson National Forest documents is available here: www.fs.usda.gov/detail/carson/landmanagement/planning/?cid=stelprdb5443166. For information about the Cibola National Forest, visit www.fs.usda.gov/detail/cibola/landmanagement/planning/?cid=FSBDEV3_065627. And the Santa Fe National Forest documents are available here: www.fs.usda.gov/detail/santafe/landmanagement/planning/?cid=stelprd3791442.
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Four miles of new all-purpose vehicle trails are planned for a 144-acre property in the Pike State Forest, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources announced. The new trails bring the total in the forest to nearly 20 miles of APV trails. APVs include four-wheelers, dirt bikes, side-by-sides and dual-sport motorcycles.
VERNAL, Utah - The Ashley National Forest is defining the scope of an update to its Forest Plan, which has been amended 24 times since its adoption in 1986. There are nearly 30 OHV trails on the forest. The scoping process is intended to give stakeholders the opportunity to identify issues that should be addressed in the Environmental Impact Statement and Forest Plan. The Forest Service expects to release a draft revised Forest Plan and EIS by the fall of 2020 and the final version of each by the summer of 2021. Comments are due by Nov. 8. Email comments to AshleyForestPlans@usda.gov or send them to Ashley National Forest, Attention: Plan Revision, 355 N. Vernal Ave., Vernal, UT 84078-1703. Plan documents are available online at www.fs.usda.gov/main/ashley/landmanagement/planning.
VILLENEUVE-LE-ROI, France - This Paris suburb has installed cameras and sound detectors near Orly Airport in an attempt to reduce sound levels by ticketing suspected vehicles. The "acoustic cameras" pick up sounds that exceed the legal limit, then snap photos of the offending vehicles. However, French law does not allow vehicle owners to be fined under this approach. The French pilot project is one among several. A 2011 project in Calgary, Canada, was discontinued when it was determined that the acoustic measurements could not be used for enforcement. Edmonton installed cameras and sound recording equipment in 2018, according to a report by Dolf Willigers of the Federation of European Motorcycle Associations. The British Department for Transport has announced that acoustic cameras will be installed as a reaction to excessive vehicle sound. And the Netherlands city of Tilburg is considering acoustic cameras against excessive noise by cars and motorcycles in the inner city.
MATTIGHOFEN, Austria - KTM Industries AG will be renamed Pierer Mobility AG to better reflect "the strong role of the majority shareholder" and encompass the company's other brands. KTM also owns Husqvarna Motorcycles, Husqvarna Bicycles and Raymon and the component brand WP.
CALABASAS HILLS, Calif. - Powersports distributor Helmet House has been sold to an industry group. Founders Bob Miller and Phil Bellomy sold the 50-year-old business to Dave Bertram, Scott Link, Don Becklin and Randy Hutchings. MIller and Bellomy said they will retain part ownership. Among the brands distributed by Helmet House are Shoei, HJC, Tourmaster, Cortech and Sena. Bertram is the founder of Cycle Gear. Becklin is the founder of Motorcycle-Superstore and Motorcycle-USA.com. Link was director of sales for North America for Alpinestars. Hutchings is the current CEO of Helmet House.
MARIETTA, Ga. - Yamaha Motor Corp. USA awarded more than $86,000 to five organizations during the second quarter of 2019 as part of its pledge to fund $500,000 in Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative grants this year. Those receiving the most recent grants are Arizona State Association of 4-Wheel Drive, Post Wildfire OHV Recovery Alliance, Save the Rider's Dunes, Southern California Mountain Foundation and The Great Outdoors Fund. For further information on Yamaha's Outdoor Access Initiative program, or to submit a grant application, visit YamahaOAI.com.
AUSTIN, Texas - WomenRidersNow.com, a website for female motorcyclists, has formed a Leadership Board to guide its strategy. Board members include Co-Chairwomen Erin Sills and Sarah Schilke. WRN founder Genevieve Schmitt, the 2019 AMA Bessie Stringfield Award recipient, will serve on the board in an advisory capacity.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio - The 2019 AMA Legends & Champions Weekend is Dec. 6-7 at the Hilton Columbus Downtown in Columbus, Ohio. The AMA Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Dec. 6 will welcome the Hall of Fame Class of 2019: rights advocate Mark Buckner, off-road racing champion Kurt Caselli, motocross champion Ron Lechien, trials pioneer Wiltz Wagner and museum founder Dale Walksler. On Dec. 7, the 2019 AMA Championship Banquet which honors the national champions in all disciplines sanctioned by the AMA. In addition, the hotel will host AMA Congress on Dec. 6-7, where AMA Commission members will discuss rules governing AMA-sanctioned events. Tickets for AMA Legends & Champions Weekend are available now at http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=vw9ldxbab&oeidk=a07egk6666t3e98bda6. Tickets also can be purchased over the phone at (800) 262-5646. Reservations can be made at the Hilton Columbus Downtown at https://book.passkey.com/event/49921089/owner/9521521/home.
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National and Regional News
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The federal government's final management plans for 1.86 million acres in and around the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument includes additional areas for motorized off-highway recreation. The plans call for 116 acres of cross-country travel in the Little Desert Recreation Management Zone and two new motorized routes totaling about 10 miles. The plan also would close 1,464 acres in the No Man's Mesa Recreation Management Zone to motorized use. The plan also calls for consideration of specific motorized routes in the next Travel Management Plan on 1.21 million acres newly designated for limited OHV access. The full report can be downloaded at https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-office/projects/lup/94706/20001993/250002378/02_GSENM-KEPA_Proposed_RMPs-Final_EIS_Volume1.pdf.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - With the government's approval of the year-round sale of fuel containing as much as 15 percent ethanol, motorcyclists and ATV riders need to be even more vigilant when filling up their vehicle's tanks. The Nebraska Corn Board is promoting increased availability of E15 fuel by offering $50,000 grants to service stations that upgrade to blender pumps that would supply the higher-ethanol blend. The blender pumps also would handle E30 and E85, which are approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for use in flex-fuel vehicles only. As more retailers install E15 pumps and offer the product throughout the year as "Unleaded88," the risk rises for motorcyclists to unintentionally pump E15 or higher blends into their tanks. None of the estimated 22 million motorcycles and ATVs in use in the United States is certified by the EPA to operate on fuel containing more than 10 percent ethanol.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - AMVETS has stepped in to organize the Rolling Thunder First Amendment Demonstration Run, an annual Memorial Day protest and gathering in the nation's capital to increase awareness of American prisoners of war and those still missing in action. Organizers of the 31-year-old event said that 2019 would be the last run, because the associated costs were too high. But AMVETS has applied for a permit for a 2020 event May 22-24 with 50,000 participants, a podium and sound system, 18 portable restrooms, a stage and more, according to a report by ConnectingVets.com. AMVETS Executive Director Joe Chenelly said his group "is not trying to take over Rolling Thunder or their organization or other rides they plan." He said he also hopes to use the 2020 event to increase knowledge about suicide among veterans.
RENO, Nev. - Tickets are on sale for the annual conferences for the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council and the International OHV Administrators Association, scheduled for Oct. 15-19. The joint conferences bring together members of the OHV community, including enthusiasts and land managers, and provide an opportunity to share insights on issues, hurdles and successes. More information is available at www.nohvcc.org/annual-conference-2019.
DES PLAINES, Ill. - Motorcycle thefts in the United States fell about 6 percent in 2018, according to a report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau. In 2018, 41,674 motorcycles were reported stolen, compared with 44,268 in 2017. The states reporting the highest number of thefts in 2018 California were (7,035), Florida (4,279), Texas (3,073), New York (1,777), South Carolina (1,743), North Carolina (1,466), Indiana (1,229), Missouri (1,194), Georgia (1,174) and Colorado (1,109). The top 10 cities for motorcycle thefts in 2018 were New York (1,310), Los Angeles (628), Miami (595), Las Vegas (540), San Diego (527), San Francisco (520), Houston (460), Philadelphia (404), Austin (329) and San Jose (322).
BARSTOW, Calif. - The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is hosting a public meeting from 10 a.m. to noon Sept. 17, at the Barstow Field Office to present information about the management of the Dumont Dunes Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area. The BLM is seeking public comments on its proposed actions. Discussions will include dates for the five holidays, road maintenance and signs and visitor center dates, hours and activities. For more information, contact Katrina Symons, Barstow field Manager, at (760) 252-6004.
CLARK FORK, Idaho - The U.S. Forest Service is seeking public comments on the Buckskin Saddle Integrated Restoration Project. This scoping, or public comment period, is open and comments will be accepted through Sept. 9. Information and instructions on how to comment are available at www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=52563. The project area is about 50,000 acres in size and is located southeast of Clark Fork, Idaho and Lake Pend Oreille. The project is being proposed to address forest health, hazardous fuels and a number of other resource management needs. The proposal includes treating about 20,000 acres with both commercial and non-commercial methods. About 33 miles of roads would be constructed, 160 miles of existing roads would be reconstructed or maintained, and 8 miles of road would be decommissioned. Fifty-six miles of existing trails would be reconstructed, two new trail bridges would be installed, and two trailheads developed. For questions about this project, contact Michelle Norton at (208) 265-6667 or email@example.com. The deadline for comments is Sept. 9. To submit comments, use the Forest Service's website: cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public//CommentInput?Project=52563. The project website is at www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=52563.
AUBURN, Wash. - The Washington Off Highway Vehicle Alliance and the Northwest Motorcycle Association received more than $600,000 in grant funding to improve trails in the state. The groups said their grant is the first such award in the state for nonprofit OHV organizations.
SNOHOMISH, Wash. - The City Council approved a one-year pilot program that will allow ATVs on city street that have speed limits of 35 mph or slower. Residents told the Council they wanted an alternative form of transportation that was nimble and fuel efficient. Drivers must be licensed and insured and follow all vehicle driving laws. The Snohomish County Council scheduled a public hearing for Sept. 11 to discuss allowing ATVs on all 35 mph roads east of Highway 9.
PARIS - Increasing the use of powered two-wheelers and reducing the use of cars, trucks and buses would help reduce pollution, according to a report from the French National Agency for Food, Environment and Occupational Health and Safety. The agency recommends a 50 percent increase in the number of powered two-wheelers, gas or electric. The report also calls for a 25 percent reduction in the number of passenger cars, a 20 percent cut in use of light trucks and a 75 percent increase in diesel and electric buses. The recommendation echoes the position of the Federation of European Motorcyclist Association and its French affiliate, the Fédération Française des Motards en Colère, or FFMC, also known in English as the French Federation of Angry Bikers.
KIGALI, Rwanda - The government plans to issue a policy that would eliminate gas-powered motorcycles in the taxi section and encourage the use of electric motorcycles. Official estimate that 20,000 to 30,000 moto-taxis operate in the capital city. The new policy is part of an overall plan to convert the country's entire transportation network to electric power.
IRVINE, Calif. - The Motorcycle Industry Council is launching a broad, long-term initiative to bring more people into the world of motorcycling. The MIC hired consulting firm Centauric LLC to lead the first phase of its initiative. The plan will be presented at the MIC's American International Motorcycle Expo Presented by Nationwide in September in Columbus, Ohio.
PUNE, MAHARASHTRA, India - India's Bajaj Auto and its Austrian partner KTM are developing high-end electric motorcycles, Bajaj's Executive Director Rakesh Sharma told MoneyControl.com. Bajaj holds a 48 percent stake in KTM. The Indian government is aggressively pushing for electric vehicles to curb pollution and reduce India's dependence on fossil fuels. KTM's only electric model, the Freeride E-XC, is not available in India.
COLUMBUS, Ohio - AIMExpo presented by Nationwide, one of the largest motorcycle expositions and powersports trade shows in the country, will bring distributors, dealers, media, enthusiasts and riders to the Greater Columbus Convention Center Sept. 26-29. AIMExpo Outdoors! will be open to the general public on all four days of the show, featuring demo rides on 2020 models from nine manufacturers. The show floor is open to general public on Saturday and Sunday. More information, including ticket prices, is available at aimexpousa.com/aimexpo-general-information.
STURGIS, S.D. - The final traffic count for the 2019 Sturgis motorcycle rally was about 1 percent lower than the 2018 event. The state Department of Transportation said 499,654 vehicles entered Sturgis between Aug. 2 and Aug. 11, compared to 505,969 during the 2018 rally.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio - Everyone is invited to the 2019 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Fall Bike Night, offering free admission to the Hall of Fame museum, a bike show, exhibitions, live music, vendors and more from 5-9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27. The event, which starts when AIMExpo closes for the day, will be on the campus of the American Motorcyclist Association, 13515 Yarmouth Drive in Pickerington. AIMExpo presented by Nationwide, a motorcycle and powersports trade show, is Sept. 26-29 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio, just a short ride or drive from Pickerington. The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Bike Show, presented by Old Bike Barn, includes classes for custom, classic and current bikes. Entry is a $5 donation to the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation. 2019 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Spring Bike Night drew hundreds to the AMA campus. Bands will perform throughout the evening on the Old Bike Barn stage. National pro trials rider Sam Fastle will be demonstrating his motorcycle mastery at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Beer from North High Brewing will be available for purchase, as well as food from various food trucks. All proceeds from Bike Night benefit the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. Complete information is available at www.americanmotorcyclist.com/Home/AMA-News-And-Press-Releases/ama-motorcycle-hall-of-fame-fall-bike-night-features-bike-show-live-music-food-vendors-more.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio - The AMA has added Motorcycle Shippers as a member benefit partner, providing AMA members with savings of $25 per bike or $100 round trip on shipping, door-to-door transport, with online tracking and booking. Motorcycle Shippers, based in Fountain Valley, Calif., specializes in transporting motorcycles in enclosed trucks. The company uses custom-designed straps to secure motorcycles to pallets and provides $7,000 of valuation coverage at no additional cost. The Motorcycle Shippers AMA Partner page is at www.americanmotorcyclist.com/For-Members/Member-Discount-Codes/motorcycle-shippers-1.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio - Sideways Saturday, an AMA-sanctioned indoor flat track event will be held Sept. 28 in Columbus, Ohio, as part of AIMExpo presented by Nationwide. This event will feature hooligans, e-bikes, wild customs ridden by amateur and pro racers. Classes include Hooligans, Flat Track Futures (ages 11-14), Run What Ya Brung, E-bike and Industry. Tickets to Sideways Saturday are available through www.motoshowtickets.com.
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