|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.
National and Regional News
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Coalition for Recreational Trails is seeking nominations for its 2018 Recreational Trails Program Achievement Awards. The awards recognize trail projects funded by the federal Recreational Trails Program. The CRT is a national organization representing motorized and non-motorized recreation groups, environmental advocates and powersports manufacturers, including the AMA. To be eligible for an award the project must be completed, however projects completed before 2010 are not eligible. Award categories include: construction and design; maintenance and rehabilitation; public-private partnerships and access to public lands; community linkage; education and communication; accessibility enhancement; multiple-use management and "corridor sharing;" use of youth conservation/service corps and community outreach; engaging public-sector partners; and enhancement of federal lands. Nomination forms are available at atfiles.org/files/doc/2018-CRT-Nomination-Form.doc. Nominations should be sent to the chair of the coalition's awards committee: Duane Taylor, Executive Director, National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council, at firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for nominations is April 6. The CRT also is encouraging those making nominations to solicit support from their members in Congress to build awareness of deserving RTP-funded projects and the RTP program itself.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Motorcyclist profiling is the target of A.B. 2972, co-authored by Assemblymember Anna Caballero (D- Salinas) and Speaker Pro-Tem Kevin Mullin (D-San Mateo). The bill would prohibit law enforcement officers from stopping motorcyclists based on "the fact that a person rides a motorcycle or wears motorcycle or motorcycle club-related clothing, ... without any individualized suspicion." The AMA supports this bill, which is in keeping with the organization's position statement on motorcyclist profiling.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A.B. 1874, sponsored by Assemblymember Randy Voepel (R-Santee), would end the transfer of funds from the state Off-Highway Vehicle Trust Fund to the General Fund. Currently, state law requires the Controller to transfer $833,000 a month.
LUCERNE VALLEY, Calif. - The Johnson Valley Shared Use Area will be temporarily closed to the public Aug. 1-30, while the Marine Corps conducts military training to support a large-scale exercise. This closure period will include the time required to ensure the Shared Use Area is clear of recreation activity prior to training, and confirm the land is clear of hazards prior to reopening the land for public access. The adjacent Johnson Valley OHV Recreation Area will remain open to the public during the closure of the Shared Use Area. The Marine Corps will continue to conduct outreach to ensure the public is informed of the temporary change in land use. A public meeting with the Representatives from the Marine Corps and the Bureau of Land Management will host a Resource Management Group is scheduled for 10 a.m. April 14 at the Lucerne Valley Community Center, 33187 Highway 247 East, Lucerne Valley, Calif. For more information, call (760) 830-3737 or email email@example.com.
BUENA VISTA, Colo. - The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has published a draft environmental assessment on a proposal to establish new motorized and non-motorized trails on the trail system in the Fourmile Travel Management Area outside Buena Vista, Colo. "The public lands in the area have fantastic recreation opportunities for locals and visitors alike," according to BLM Royal Gorge Field Manager Keith Berger. "BLM strives to be a good neighbor, and we would like to hear from the community about why the proposed trails are important to them, as well as any potential concerns with building them." Since 2002, the Fourmile trail system, managed jointly by the U.S. Forest Service and BLM, has created several routes and benefitted from a series of trail improvement projects. A copy of the assessment is available at https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-office/eplanning/projectSummary.do?methodName=renderDefaultProjectSummary&projectId=60938. Comments may be submitted through the website until the March 2 deadline. For more information, contact Amber Iannella by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (719) 269-8553.
HONOLULU - All motorcyclists, their passengers and all bicyclists would have to wear helmets if H.B. 1749 passes. The bill was cosponsored by eight legislators. Current state law requires riders and passengers younger than 18 to wear helmets.
CARSON CITY, Nev. - A.B. 261, which took effect this year, closes a loophole that allowed adults to continue to obtain learner permits, rather than move on to a full motorcycle endorsement on their driver's licenses. Under the new law, the permit expires after six months and may be renewed no more than once. Also, the applicant may not reapply for another permit for five years.
CRATER LAKE, Ore. - Crater Lake National Park is proposing an increase to entrance fees into the park. The single vehicle entrance fee would change from $15 to $25 for a seven-day pass. The park's annual pass would increase from $30 to $50. The current rate of $10 per individual and $10 per motorcycle would increase to $12 for an individual and $20 for a motorcycle. The park is proposing these increases begin on May 1. The AMA believes singling out motorcyclists for a disproportionate entrance fee increase is unfair and discriminatory. Instead, any increase for motorcycle fees should be proportional with other visitors fee increases. A public engagement period on the proposed fee increase is open through March 25. Visit https://parkplanning.nps.gov/projectHome.cfm?projectID=78764 for more information.
CHARLESTON, W. Va. - The Hatfield-McCoy Recreation Area would expand by five counties under S.B. 4488, sponsored by Delegate Roger Hanshaw (R-Clay). The bill would add Braxton, Clay, Fayette, Nicholas and Webster counties to the Hatfield-McCoy Recreation Area. The bill also would prohibit the consumption of non-intoxicating beer, non-intoxicating craft beer or wine at any time within the Hatfield-McCoy Recreation Area; prohibit a child younger than 6 from being on any trail within the area; prohibit children younger than 8 who are required to be in a child passenger safety device from being on any trail within the area; and require anyone operating or riding an ATV, UTV or motorcycle to follow the manufacturer's recommendations regarding age and size limitations for operators and passengers.
MILWAUKEE - Harley-Davidson plans to launch its first production electric motorcycle in 2019. "The EV market is in its infancy today and we believe it will drive excitement into our sport globally in both traditional and nontraditional spaces," Harley Davidson CEO Matt Levatich told analysts and investors. The company's Project LiveWire prototype toured the country in 2014 and 2015 to give the public a glimpse of the company's direction with electric motorcycles.
MILWAUKEE - Harley-Davidson rejected pleas from Missouri lawmakers to reconsider plans to close the manufacturer's plan in Kansas City. U.S. Sens. Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill sent a letter to Harley CEO Matt Levatich, along with U.S. Reps. Sam Graves and Emanuel Cleaver, pointing out that Harley received a "considerable incentive package" from the state, Kansas City and Platte County to build the plant in 1996. The letter claims the incentives totaled $6.4-million. Harley responded that the plant closing is based on market factors. Harley announced in January that work done in Kansas City will be moved to its York, Pa., plant. About 800 workers will lose their jobs when the Missouri plant closes in the fall of 2019.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Curtiss Motorcycles is poised to release its first bike since the company's rebranding and the first Curtiss to be introduced in more than 100 years. Dubbed "Warhawk," the design is a nod to Glenn Curtiss, the inventor of the first American V-twin motorcycle. Only 35 units are being produced, highlighted by an aluminum frame, an air-cooled 2200cc V-twin and a five-speed stacked gearbox with clear covers. The projected retail price is $105,000. The Curtiss is the first bike produced since the former Confederate Motors Inc. bought the brand and changed the company name in 2017.
VICTORIA, Australia - Motorcyclists plan a May 18 ride to protest the installation of wire rope barriers along Victoria's roadways. The Independent Riders Group is organizing the protest. Group spokesman Damien Codognotto said the Victoria government plans to spend $4 billion on wire rope barriers between 2015 and 2020, "yet admits WRB posts pose a deadly threat to riders." The Victorian Country Fire Authority also said the barriers block access to crashes and bushfires.
KOLKATA, India - India Kawasaki Motors Pvt. Ltd is considering establishing its own manufacturing plant following its split with Bajaj Auto Ltd., which occurred in March 2017. The company is establishing a new development center in Pune, where it has an assembly line. Kawasaki plans to increase its local procurement, according to the company's Managing Director Yutaka Yamashita. Currently, the company imports bikes as completely knocked down and semi-knocked down units.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio - AMA Board Chair Maggie McNally Bradshaw will be part of a Women in Racing Conference on March 12 at Daytona International Speedway, in conjunction with Daytona Bike Week. The goal of the one-day conference-hosted by MX Sports and Racer Productions-is to conduct an in-depth inventory and evaluation of the current women's racing programs and an examination of their performance. Topics for discussion will include the risks and rewards of 'racing with the boys,' sponsorship and career opportunities in the industry, the value of peer support, and the development of new ideas and initiatives. the conference will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with working lunch served. Women involved in all forms and at all levels of motorsports racing are invited to attend. To reserve your seat at the table and your opportunity to make a difference, email email@example.com or call Dana at (304) 284-0084. Attendance is free and is open to women and men.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio - The 2018 AMA Dud Perkins Lifetime Achievement Award, the most prestigious of the AMA Board of Directors Awards, went posthumously to Tom White (1949-2017), a motorcycle racer and co-founder of White Brothers Cycle Specialties who went on to become a noted historian, philanthropist and the founder of the Early Days of Motocross Museum. White was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2014. A total of six national awards recognize outstanding contributions in the world of motorcycling and acknowledge support of the AMA mission to promote the motorcycle lifestyle and protect the future of motorcycling. For a complete list of the 2018 AMA Awards winners, visit www.americanmotorcyclist.com/Home/News-Story/american-motorcyclist-association-announces-recipients-of-2018-ama-board-of-directors-awards.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio - Spurgeon Dunbar of Fogelsville, Pa., is the grand prize winner in the 2017 KTM AMA National Adventure Riding Series sweepstakes. Dunbar won the opportunity to experience what it's like to be a factory rider for the weekend and hang out with eight-time AMA National Enduro Champion Mike Lafferty and the KTM staff. The KTM AMA National Adventure Riding Series featured 21 events in 2017. Every participant was automatically entered to win prizes from series sponsors KTM, Sidi and Seat Concepts. The 2018 series schedule can be found at www.americanmotorcyclist.com/Riding/Adventure-Riding.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio - The 2018 AMA Gypsy Tour, a national series of premier road-riding events, launches in March, with 15 events on the schedule for riders across the country. Some of the largest and best-known U.S. motorcycle gatherings have received the AMA National Gypsy Tour designation. These events allow riders of all makes and models to get together and enjoy food, entertainment, group or individual riding and vendors. AMA members can visit the pin stop at each event to show their membership cards and receive a 2018 AMA Gypsy Tour pin. New this year, riders can sign up for AMA membership at a Gypsy Tour event and receive free registration for the AMA LongRider program, the AMA's mileage-recognition program for members. Riders can join on their phone at the event and show the AMA staff or volunteers their completion screen to receive this benefit. For the full schedule, visit www.americanmotorcyclist.com/Home/News-Story/2018-ama-national-gypsy-tour-schedule-released.
* * * * *
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
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_rights, @ama_riding and @ama_racing and on Instagram at @ama_riding and @ama_racing.