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January 2018

 

National and Regional News

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - Scot Harden, a former motorcycle industry executive and a member of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, has launched his Plus 1 initiative, an effort to encourage motorcyclists to become evangelists for the lifestyle. Harden has outlined several simple actions motorcyclists can take to help friends, family members, coworkers and neighbors better understand the appeal of the motorcycling, whether for recreation, competition or transportation. Harden outlined his concept in an article for the January issue of American Motorcyclist, the AMA member magazine. You can read the complete story here: www.americanmotorcyclist.com/Home/News-Story/advocating-for-motorcyclings-future.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -President Donald Trump signed two proclamations Monday, Dec. 4, dividing the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante national monuments and reducing them in size. The move was expected, after Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke conducted a review of all presidential monument designations dating to the Clinton Administration. Zinke did not recommend any monuments be rescinded. Instead, he recommended some be reduced in size to more closely align with the American Antiquities Act of 1906, which grants presidents designation authority. The Antiquities Act limits the area of new monuments to "to the smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected." The AMA believes that previous presidents overstepped their authority under the act and designated much larger swathes of land as monuments, sometimes encompassing millions of acres. Such sweeping designations may jeopardize opportunities for responsible motorized recreation. Under the president's plan, Bears Ears National Monument will be modified to two units named Shash Jáa, Navajo for Bears Ears, and Indian Creek, encompassing a total of 228,784 acres of land. Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument will be modified to three units encompassing a little more than 1 million acres.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The renewable fuels mandates released in late November by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are higher than the 2017 levels and the 2018 levels the agency proposed in June. The EPA's final 2018 Renewable Volume Obligations call for 19.29 billion gallons of renewable fuel-primarily corn ethanol-to be blended into the nation's gasoline supplies. That figure is higher than the 19.24 billion gallons the agency proposed in June and slightly higher than the 19.28 billion gallons required in 2017. The EPA mandates continue to rise, even as cars become more fuel efficient and drivers travel fewer miles each year. Forcing more ethanol into fewer gallons of gasoline results in higher-ethanol blends for consumers. Most gasoline sold in the United States contains 10 percent ethanol (E10), which all modern automobile engines and many motorcycle engines are built to accommodate. However, if the RFS requirements continue to be implemented, it will result in higher-ethanol blends-such as E15 (15 percent ethanol)-to become more prevalent at retail outlets. An increase in the supply of E15 can lead to inadvertent misfueling-caused by blender pumps and confusing pump labels-by motorcyclists. None of the estimated 22 million motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles in use in the United States is approved by the EPA to operate on ethanol blends higher than 10 percent. The AMA also is concerned the increased reliance on ethanol could further reduce the availability of E0 fuel, which is necessary to operate older and vintage motorcycles.

State News

CLOVIS, Calif. - The Sierra National Forest is seeking public input for the California 2019 Off-Highway Vehicle Grants and Cooperative Agreements Program application cycle. Part of the grant process is gathering input and project ideas for the 2018 submission. This feedback will be considered in development of the preliminary grant applications and as final applications are prepared. Written comments may be submitted to: Sierra National Forest, Attn. Jody Nickerson, 1600 Tollhouse Road, Clovis, CA 93611. You also may email jnickerson@fs.fed.us. Comments regarding the OHV funding proposal should be received by close of business Jan. 19. On Jan. 17, the SNF will host an open house from 6-8 p.m. at its forest headquarters in Clovis to allow public review and comment on the preliminary 2018 grant cycle applications. Other important 2018 grant cycle dates include:

March 5 - Preliminary applications due to OHMVR by 5 p.m.

  • March 6 to April 2 - Second public review and comment period
  • May 7 - Final applications due to OHMVR
  • May 2018 - OHMVR Division reviews final applications
  • June 4 - Application Results/Intent to Award posted on the state OHMVR Division's website (http://ohv.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=1164)
  • June 5 to July 4 - 30-day appeal period
  • July 5 - Final awards posted on state OHMVR Division's website upon resolution of any appeals

For more information, contact Sierra National Forest recreation officer Jody Nickerson at (559) 297-0706, ext. 4943.

LANSING, Mich. - Beginning today, Jan. 1, the state Department of Natural Resources will add a $5 convenience fee for resident Recreation Passport purchases made at state parks. This is the same fee the Secretary of State charges when a resident adds a Recreation Passport to a vehicle outside the annual registration renewal cycle. To avoid paying the convenience fee, residents can buy the Recreation Passport online at www.expressSOS.com, by mail, at a self-service station or in person at a branch office at the time of registration renewal. The fees are for $11 for motorcycles ($6 Recreation Passport plus $5 processing fee) and $16 for other vehicles ($11 Recreation Passport plus $5 convenience fee). The $5 convenience fee will not be assessed on Recreation Passport purchases for non-street-legal vehicles at the ORV area at Silver Lake State Park in Oceana County. To learn more about the Recreation Passport-including a new video and details on the nonresident purchase option-visit the DNR website at www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport.

Industry News

DETROIT - A former employee of American Suzuki Motor Corp. was sentenced to one day in prison in federal court in Detroit for violating the Clean Air Act when he submitted a false end-of-year report to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Justice Department announced. Wayne Powell was a government relations analyst for Suzuki and was responsible for submitting documents to the EPA regarding Suzuki's compliance with motorcycle emission standards. Powell submitted Suzuki's 2012 application to the EPA for a "certificate of conformity," which allows a vehicle manufacturer to sell vehicles in the United States. At the end of the model year, Suzuki was required to submit to the EPA an end-of-year report to show that it was in compliance with emission standards. The first end-of-year report Powell submitted in 2013 purported to claim "banked credits" to offset excess emissions. However, because Suzuki had not participated in the banked credit program, it had no credits to use. The EPA informed Powell it could not accept that report. On March 28, 2014, Powell submitted an amended end-of-year report to the EPA which resulted in a calculation that was within the emission limit, but was subsequently determined to include falsified numbers of four motorcycle engine families.

STURGIS, S.D. - The Sturgis Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame plans to double in size within three years, with its Hall of Fame section getting its own campus. Meanwhile, the museums' Main Street location will get a major revitalization, courtesy of donations from supporters, board members and the Law Tigers. Preliminary plans are complete for the second site. The larger building will house the Hall of Fame, the pre-1938 collection and various galleries. Key features include permanent collections, featured galleries, a café, meeting rooms, a gift shop and training areas. Completion for Campus 1-Legendary Main Street-is July 2019. Campus 2-Heritage Hill-is scheduled for completion in time for the Sturgis Rally's 80th anniversary in 2020.

International News

RIYADH - By royal decree, the Saudi government lifted a ban on women driving vehicles, including motorcycles. The decree means there will be no discrimination between men and women regarding traffic laws and regulations, but female offenders will be detained at women care centers. Women also will be employed at traffic checkpoints and recruited as field inspectors.

STOCKHOLM - The Swedish government has announced a scheme to financially support people that buy an electric bicycle, moped or motorcycle, according to the Federation of European Motorcyclists' Associations. In the next three years, 35 million Euros will be available annually to those who buy electric motorcycles, electric mopeds or electric bicycles. The regulation on contributions to private individuals for the purchase of electric bikes, mopeds or motorcycles will become effective Feb. 1. The premium is a maximum of 1,000 Euro and is limited to one per person. When the Swedish government presented the proposal for the first time, motorcycles were excluded. Swedish FEMA member SMC talked to the ministry and sent a proposal that included motorcycles. When the proposal was amended Dec. 15, it included not only electric bicycles and electric mopeds, but also electric motorcycles.

AMA News

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - Bob Ham, a California activist who led the effort to make that state's renowned off-highway vehicle program a permanent part of the Department of Parks and Recreation, is the American Motorcyclist Association 2017 Motorcyclist of the Year. Awarded annually, the AMA Motorcyclist of the Year designation recognizes the individual or group that had the most profound impact on the world of motorcycling in the previous 12 months. Ham led a coalition of OHV groups during hard-fought negotiations to turn an anti-OHV bill in the legislature into a law that provides stability and funding to the California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Program. The full press release can be found here: www.americanmotorcyclist.com/Home/News-Story/american-motorcyclist-association-announces-ama-motorcyclist-of-the-year.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - The AMA has announced the nominees for the 2017 AMA Championship Banquet awards. The awards recognize individuals and organizations that excelled in AMA-sanctioned competition and recreational activity in 2017. AMA members help choose the winners of selected categories, including the coveted AMA Athlete of the Year award. The special award winners will be announced at the 2017 AMA Championship Banquet on Saturday, Jan. 20, at the Hilton Downtown Columbus in Columbus, Ohio. Class champions from national and regional motorcycle and ATV championships will be honored with AMA National No. 1 plates. To reserve your space at the event, visit www.americanmotorcyclist.com/events/ama-championship-banquet. More information is available at www.americanmotorcyclist.com/Home/News-Story/award-nominees-announced-for-2017-ama-championship-banquet.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - Legendary filmmaker Bruce Brown, who produced the classic motorcycling movie "On Any Sunday," died Dec. 10. He was 80. "Bruce Brown's influence on motorcycling in the 1970s was profound," said American Motorcyclist Association President and CEO Rob Dingman. "'On Any Sunday' highlighted the unique talents needed for different forms of racing and showcased the fun that people find in motorcycling." Mr. Brown's early acclaim resulted from his groundbreaking surfing movie, "Endless Summer," which was released in 1966. "On Any Sunday," released in 1971, helped spur the explosive growth of motorcycling in the 1970s. "I think many people changed their minds about motorcyclists after watching the movie," Mr. Brown once said. "On Any Sunday" earned Mr. Brown an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary in 1971. Mr. Brown was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1999. His complete biography can be found at www.motorcyclemuseum.org.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio -Derek "Nobby" Clark, who played a key role in capturing 17 world roadracing titles across multiple displacements over three decades, died Dec. 17 after a long illness. He was 81. The greats Mr. Clark worked with include AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famers Mike Hailwood, Giacomo Agostini, Kel Carruthers and Kenny Roberts. In addition to the 17 FIM Grand Prix world titles that he earned in classes ranging from 50cc to 500cc, Mr. Clark contributed to winning three Daytona 200s, one Daytona 100, four Imola 200s and eight Italian championships. Mr. Clark was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2012. His full biography can be found at www.motorcyclemuseum.org.

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AMA News & Notes is a monthly publication compiled and edited by the American Motorcyclist Association. Designed to inform motorcyclists of rights-related issues and events in the United States and around the world, AMA News & Notes welcomes your input. Suggestions and editorial contributions can be sent to AMA Managing Editor Jim Witters at jwitters@amacycle.org.

Sign up and stay informed: AMA News & Notes keeps motorcyclists up-to-date on hot topics, news affecting the motorcycling community and opportunities to communicate with elected officials. Click here to check the "Sign me up for News & Notes" box.

AMA Action Alerts notify motorcyclists when and how to make a difference on important issues. Click here to see the most recent AMA Action Alerts, or to sign up and receive them.

Readers also may sign up for other AMA e-newsletters, including Hall of Fame Insider, which focuses on the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. To subscribe, click here.

Protect your right to ride! Volunteering is easy, and it's rewarding. To learn how you can help, visit us online.

Follow the AMA on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AmericanMotorcyclist, on Twitter @ama_riding and @ama_rights and on Instagram at @ama_riding.


December 2017

 

National and Regional News

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - The American Motorcyclist Association filed an amicus brief with the highest court in the land Nov. 20 defending the rights of motorcyclists against unlawful search and seizure as protected by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The amicus brief was filed in case No. 16-1027, Ryan Austin Collins v. Commonwealth of Virginia. The Supreme Court of Virginia ruled that, because Collins' vehicle was a motorcycle and not a car or truck, the officers who searched under Collins' motorcycle cover did not need a warrant to do so. The AMA's brief argues that the judgment of the lower court should be reversed. AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman stated that the amicus brief points out an example of how motorcyclists' rights can be threatened at all levels-and branches-of government. The AMA's brief states: "This Court's analysis should not be affected by the fact the vehicle searched was a motorcycle rather than a car or truck. ... There is nothing inherently suspicious-and no inherent justification for a search-in the use or ownership of a motorcycle." The brief points out that a motorcycle cover is commonly used to protect motorcycles from the elements, to provide privacy and to prevent theft. "By removing and looking beneath the cover of the motorcycle parked in the curtilage of the home, the police conducted a warrantless search in violation of the Fourth Amendment," the brief continues. While the AMA's brief expresses no opinion regarding the petitioner's ultimate guilt or innocence of the alleged crime, it emphasizes that motorcycles should not be subjected to unreasonable searches and seizures. The consequences of the erosion of motorcyclists' protections under the Fourth Amendment would be severe.

State News

RIVERSIDE. Calif. - The Wildomar Off-Highway Vehicle Area will be closed for at least a year due to the effect of an 866-acre blaze that started Oct. 26, Cleveland National Forest spokeswoman Olivia Walker said. The campsite at the south end of the trails also is closed. The OHV area has 8 miles of dirt trails and typically attracts 50 to 100 riders each weekend. It's the only OHV trail in western Riverside County.

MORENO VALLEY, Calif. - The Bureau of Land Management's California Desert District is soliciting nominations for five members of its California Desert Advisory Council to serve three-year terms. The council's 15 members provide advice and recommendations to the BLM on the management of more than 10-million acres of public lands in eight counties of southern California. The BLM will consider nominations until Dec. 4. The five positions to be filled are: one renewable energy industry, two public-at-large and two elected officials. Members help the BLM carry out its multiple-use mission and stewardship of 245-million acres of public lands. The nomination form is available for download on the Desert Advisory Council webpage.

CARRIER MILLS, Ill. - A federal grant will allow officials to develop a 26-mile off-road vehicle trail system at the Sahara Woods State Fish and Wildlife Area in southern Illinois. The state Department of Natural Resources received a $1.2 million grant from the federal Recreational Trails Program for a $1.5 million project announced in November by Gov. Bruce Rauner. State DNR funding will account for about $300,000 of the project and RTP funds, administered by the Federal Highway Administration, will provides up to 80 percent of its approved project costs. The governor said demand is growing for off-highway vehicle recreation, and the development will become a destination for riders from across the Midwest. Sahara Woods is about 340 miles south of Chicago.

HELENA, Mont. - Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks named Beth R. Shumate the new state parks administrator Monday following a nearly year-long vacancy at the post. Shumate has served as manager of Hell Creek State Park and, most recently, as FWP's state trails program manager. Shumate is scheduled to begin work Dec. 4.

RUIDOSO, N.M. - Jill and Ron Andrews, who founded and organized the Golden Aspen Motorcycle Rally and AspenCash Motorcycle Rally/Poker Run, are retiring. The couple started the Golden Aspen rally 30 years ago. AspenCash is 20 years old. The two rallies, which drew about 25,000 registered participants to the area each year, will end unless someone steps in to take over. The Andrewses won the AMA Outstanding Road Rider of the Year Award in 2005 and were featured on the cover of the July 2016 issue of American Motorcyclist.

AUSTIN, Texas - A proposed change in park management could place decisions about access to public land in the hands of one person. The Austin City Council and Travis County commissioners are considering amendments to Chapter 12 of the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve Land Management Plan, which governs Emma Long Motorcycle Park. Off-road motorcycle riding was among the grandfathered uses in Emma Long Metropolitan Park when the BCP was established in 1996 and has continued since, despite some trail closures contested by enthusiasts. In fact, all grandfathered uses were included in the original Habitat Conservation Plan and are acknowledged in the current proposal, which states, "continued public access at the same levels as were occurring in 1996." Nevertheless, the current proposal goes on to say: "Any existing trails not approved by the Coordinating Committee Secretary will be closed." The AMA is working with Austin-area riders to keep trails open and to stop this move to concentrate power in the hands of one bureaucrat. For more information, contact Friends of Emma Long Motorcycle Park leader Tomas Pantin at moto@pantin.com, visit www.BestAustin.com or contact the AMA at grassroots@amacycle.org.

Industry News

IRVINE, Calif. - Pamela Amette, vice president of the Motorcycle Industry Council, will be retiring in 2018 after a career of more than 40 years, announced Tim Buche, president and CEO of the MIC. Amette joined the MIC in 1975 as research director after nearly three years with Kawasaki Motors Corp., USA. MIC Executive Vice President Erik Pritchard is responsible for finding Amette's successor. He expects the recruitment and selection process to take several months.

SAN DIEGO - "No Roads Required," an exhibit featuring Kawasaki KX motorcycles and highlighting the bike's 50-year history in the United States continues through January at the San Diego Automotive Museum. On display are:

  • 1973 F11m 250cc Moto crosser
  • 1978 KX80 Pre-Production - Frame No.12
  • 1995 KX500 Baja 1000
  • 2000 KX80 - James Stewart Team Green Championship bike
  • 2000 KX250 - Ricky Carmichael AMA Motocross National Championship race bike
  • 2004 KX125 - James Stewart AMA Motocross Championship race bike
  • 2017 KX450 - Eli Tomac AMA Pro Motocross Championship race bike
  • ​Ninja H2R Hybrid - Ricky Gadson Drag Race bike

​The San Diego Automotive Museum is at 2080 Pan American Plaza and is open daily from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.sdautomuseum.org.

WILIMINGTON, Del. - Motorsport Aftermarket Group has announced it is using federal Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings to eliminate about $300 million in debt through a debt-for-equity exchange supported by more than 90 percent of the principal amount of the company's prepetition first lien secured lenders and its asset-backed lenders. Chapter 11 provides protection from creditors while companies reorganize. Monomoy Capital Partners, BlueMountain Capital and Contrarian Partners will lead a new owners group when the company emerges from Chapter 11 proceedings. MAG has secured $135 million in debtor-in-possession financing from some of its secured lenders to keep the company functioning during the bankruptcy. MAG's brands include J&P Cycles, Motorcycle Superstore, First Gear, Kuryakyn, Roland Sands Design, Vance & Hines, Renthal and more.

MILAN, Italy - Honda displayed a CB4 Interceptor Concept at the 2017 EICMA that included a fan that uses wind power to generate energy. The bike was built by the company's Rome research and development center and was meant to meld café racer styling with the features of an endurance bike. The wind energy powers a touchscreen on the bike's fuel tank that controls GPS and other electronic features. The fan is built into the motorcycle's headlight housing.

SARASOTA, Fla. - Harley-Davidson has signed on as a "Lifetime Sponsor" of GreenZone Hero and became the exclusive motorcycle sponsor of GreenZone Hero. The GreenZone Hero mission is to recognize businesses that honor the country's veterans. Harley-Davidson will be listed on the GreenZone Hero Founders page and each Harley-Davidson dealership will have the opportunity to have its own page on the GreenZone Hero website.

MADRID - Bultaco revealed its Albero electric motorcycle/bicycle at the EICMA in Milan, Italy. The company says the new bike "is all about fun and getting you places in the big city, and with zero emissions along the way." The Albero is part of the company's Brinco line, which mixes motorcycle and bicycle features for urban transportation. The Albero comes with a combination of electric propulsion-activated by a grip throttle-and independent pedaling, allowing the rider to adjust the level of effort he or she wishes to make.

International News

GOULBURN, New South Wales, Australia - New road repair materials are being blamed for motorcycle crashes, according to a report on MotorbikeRider.com. One rider died in a crash on a bridge near Goulburn. Journalist Mark Hinchliffe visited the area and wrote that "Less than a month after the roadworks were finished and the road returned to 80km/h, hot weather caused the road to literally melt." He continued: "We were able to pick up gummy pieces of tar and could see where the surface was coming loose from a vehicle doing a U-turn." Queensland Main Roads Department intended to place an electronic warning sign on the most dangerous corner, but posted the sign at the wrong location, despite being provided with GPS co-ordinates. "When advised of the error, they promised to change it and to fix the road," according to Hinchliffe.

ISTANBUL, Turkey - A new app with a name derived from the Start Trek TV show helps residents and visitors find a ride on a motorcycle. The app, called Scotty, features a "Beam Me Up" button that summons a motorcyclist to your location. The service is similar to Uber and Lyft, with 2,000 riders logging 150,000 rides since it was introduced. According to a report in USA Today, Scotty is strict about its hiring practices. Riders must have five years of experience, pass Scotty's driving exams, take a psychological evaluation and bring their bikes in for a monthly checkup. The riders' skills are also tested on a track.

AMA News

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - Former AMA Board Member Charles R. Goman, of Winder, Ga., passed away Nov. 14 after a long illness. He was 73. Mr. Goman was an AMA member for 34 years and represented the Southeast Region on the AMA Board of Directors from 2009 until 2012. Mr. Goman's widow, Donna, said he was diagnosed with dementia in 2011 and his health issues led to his leaving the AMA Board, but he never lost his enthusiasm for motorcycling.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - Today (Dec. 1) is the deadline for nominating an individual or organization for one of the AMA Board of Directors Awards for 2018. The program recognizes the individuals and organizations who have demonstrated leadership, uncommon excellence, and dedication to the AMA mission of promoting the motorcycle lifestyle and protecting the future of motorcycling. Send your nomination to submissions@ama-cycle.org or mail it to: AMA Awards Program, American Motorcyclist Association, 13515 Yarmouth Drive, Pickerington, OH 43147. Individuals are encouraged to submit the name of a person or group that may qualify as an applicant for one the AMA Awards. A full list of the award categories can be found at www.americanmotorcyclist.com. When making a nomination, be sure to include the name of the award you wish the nominee to be considered for and, in 500 words or fewer, tell us why you think the person, organization or group stands out. Please, no self-nominations.

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AMA News & Notes is a monthly publication compiled and edited by the American Motorcyclist Association. Designed to inform motorcyclists of rights-related issues and events in the United States and around the world, AMA News & Notes welcomes your input. Suggestions and editorial contributions can be sent to AMA Managing Editor Jim Witters at jwitters@amacycle.org.

Sign up and stay informed: AMA News & Notes keeps motorcyclists up-to-date on hot topics, news affecting the motorcycling community and opportunities to communicate with elected officials. Click here to check the "Sign me up for News & Notes" box.

AMA Action Alerts notify motorcyclists when and how to make a difference on important issues. Click here to see the most recent AMA Action Alerts, or to sign up and receive them.

Readers also may sign up for other AMA e-newsletters, including Hall of Fame Insider, which focuses on the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. To subscribe, click here.

Protect your right to ride! Volunteering is easy, and it's rewarding. To learn how you can help, visit us online.

Follow the AMA on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AmericanMotorcyclist, on Twitter @ama_riding and @ama_rights and on Instagram at @ama_riding.


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