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AMA News

May 2020

 

National and Regional News

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Clean Fuels Deployment Act of 2020 authorizes $500 million over five years to help retailers sell higher ethanol blends-primarily E15-expand the geographic area selling ethanol blends and support the biodiesel, bioheat and aviation fuel markets. Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D-Iowa) introduced the bill-which does not yet have a bill number-which is cosponsored by U.S. Reps. Angie Craig (D-Minn.), Don Bacon (R-Neb.) Roger Marshall (R-Kan.). The AMA opposes the expansion of E15 fuel into the marketplace, because it contains 15 percent ethanol by volume, 50 percent more ethanol than motorcycles and ATVs are certified to operate on by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has opened the nomination process to fill five seats on the Bears Ears National Monument Advisory Committee. The committee provides advice and recommendations for the BLM to consider on a wide range of public land management issues. Members should plan to meet quarterly. Although members serve without monetary compensation, travel and per diem expenses are reimbursed at current rates for government employees. Committee members will be appointed to three-year terms. At least one letter of reference must accompany all nominations from any represented interests or organizations, a completed RAC application and any other information that speaks to the nominee's qualifications. Nominees should note the interest area(s) they are applying to represent on their application. Visit www.blm.gov/get-involved/rac-near-you/utah/benm-mac for additional information. The deadline to apply is May 22.

State News

EL CENTRO, Calif. - The U.S. Bureau of Land Management El Centro Field Office is seeking written comments on additional off-highway vehicle routes in the Vinagre Wash Special Management Area near Palo Verde, Imperial County. The comment period ends May 21. This Special Management Area, designated under the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act in March 2019, allows for the consideration of additional routes that would provide significant or unique recreational opportunities and are consistent with the purposes of the Management Area. The purpose of the Special Management Area is to conserve, protect and enhance the plant and wildlife values and the outstanding and nationally significant ecological, geological, scenic, recreational, archaeological, cultural, historic and other areas of the area. The map identifying the current designated route network and wilderness system is available at  https://on.doi.gov/3cESOTw. Comments help shape public recreation opportunities for hiking, camping, hunting, sightseeing, mountain biking, horse riding and OHV use. The BLM will accept written comments on proposed additional routes via email at blm_ca_web_ec@blm.gov, or by mail to El Centro Field Office, Attn: Vinagre Wash, 1661 S. 4th St., El Centro, CA 92243.

FOLSOM, Calif. - The AMA encourages riders to review and comment on the recently released Mammoth Bar motocross track project details and associated environmental documents. The project involves moving the motocross track back from the river to an existing parking and picnic area, reducing the chances of flood damage in the future. The existing parking area, picnic tables, and trials area would be relocated to the east side of the river bar. Fill from the old track would be used to build bank turns and jumps on the level portions of the relocated track. After boulders are removed from the slope of the trials area, fill would be used to incorporate additional turns, minimizing the need for fill placement. Because this area is adjacent to the ascending canyon flank, the track would be engineered to effectively control surface runoff from the upslope terrain. The track would be fenced to prevent access during non-operating days. Access to the river boating put-in will be re-established around the relocated track. The Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration can be viewed and downloaded from the California State Parks website at www.parks.ca.gov. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Governor's executive order (N-33-20) and related county orders, which require "shelter in place," restricted movement and closure of many public buildings, physical hard copies of the document are not being made available at public offices at this time. Written comments must be received by 5 p.m. May 27, and may be sent to Peter.Jones@parks.ca.gov (enter "Mammoth Bar Project" in the subject line) or sent via U.S. mail to Peter Jones, Environmental Scientist, California State Parks, Gold Fields District, 7806 Folsom-Auburn Road, Folsom, CA 95630. For more information, can contact the Gold Fields district office at (916) 985-5662.

OCEANO, Calif. - An online meeting about the Oceano Dunes Habitat Conservation Plan draft environmental impact report is scheduled for 5 p.m. May 13. Registration is required to receive a link to the meeting. Registration may occur any time prior to the meeting and up to 30 minutes after the meeting has started. Meeting participation is the only way to submit verbal comment on the report. Click here to register. The public may also submit written comments by emailing OceanoDunesHCP@parks.ca.gov. Additional information on the public meeting, HCP, and EIR can be found at the project website at OceanoDunesHCP.com.

PLACERVILLE, Calif. - The seasonal closure of dirt roads and motorized trails in the Eldorado National Forest will be lifted beginning today, May 1. However, damage could still occur from driving in wet areas and visitors will be responsible for any damage caused by inappropriate use. Due to melting snow, wet areas will be present in the forest for some time, especially at higher elevations. Many routes change in elevation over several miles. Visitors are encouraged to be aware of changes in the conditions of the roads they are using, and to adjust travel plans if they reach a wet section. This seasonal closure is designed to protect roadbeds and watersheds from damage and to protect water quality, and is not a result of the coronavirus closures. While trails in the forest are open for use, the forest does recommend complying with local and state guidance and not traveling for your recreation needs. Closures also remain in effect for developed campgrounds, cabin rentals, picnic areas, public restrooms, boat ramps and other recreation facilities in response to the COVID-19 emergency. For a list of closed sites in the Eldorado National Forest, see the March 27 news release.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The AMA joins ABATE of Maryland and other SMROs in mourning the passing of Gary "Pappy" Boward on April 17. He became state director of ABATE of Maryland in 1995 and later became chairman of the Board of Advisors of Past Directors before again returning to serve as state director. Boward was a fixture in Annapolis, representing Maryland's motorcyclists in the halls of the state legislature advocating for rider education and motorcycle awareness and fighting discrimination against motorcyclists. His obituary can be read at www.tributearchive.com/obituaries/12743963/Gary-Pappy-Boward. A tribute to Boward can be found on the ABATE of Maryland website at www.abateofmd.org/memorial-tributes.

ELKO, Nev. - The BLM, in cooperation with the Southern Nevada Conservancy and The Nevada Outdoor School, has canceled California Trail Days planned for June 13-14. "This is the first cancellation in 17 years," said Gina Mele, BLM supervisory park ranger. "Although unfortunate, it is necessary for the health and safety of all involved." The California Trail and Interpretative Center, the site of the event, closed March 19 following guidance to limit the spread of COVID-19 and canceled all programs until further notice.

LACONIA, N.H. - Progressive Laconia Motorcycle Week has been postponed to Aug. 22-30. The announcement was made shortly after the Laconia City Council unanimously decided to reschedule the rally in keeping with the governor's mid-May extension of the state's stay-at-home order. The consensus was that June was too early for a gathering of tens of thousands of people in Weirs Beach and beyond, particularly considering that most visitors travel from out of state. More information and updates are available at www.LaconiaMCWeek.com.

OLYMPIA, Wash. - The Washington State Department of Natural Resources announced that DNR-managed lands will reopen for public recreation May 5. The reopening will occur in conjunction with the reopening of lands managed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and Washington State Parks and Recreation. The reopening will apply to state-managed parks, wildlife areas, recreation land, boat launches and natural areas. Camping and other overnight accommodations will remain closed. DNR recreation sites will be opened as soon as possible, beginning May 5. The public can find the latest information on site openings at dnr.wa.gov/open.

AMA News

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - 2020 AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days is still scheduled for July 10-12 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Should the outbreak of COVID-19 and its resulting restrictions affect the event in any way, the AMA will issue an announcement and post it to www.americanmotorcyclist.com and all AMA social media outlets. Meanwhile, AMA members can purchase discounted tickets at www.amavintagemotorcycledays.com/tickets. AMA members save an additional $5 off the already discounted early bird pricing. AMA members can also call (614) 856-1900 to order their tickets. A fundraiser for the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days showcases classic motorcycles of all makes and styles, and honors the riders who made them famous. Activities at the event include the AMA Vintage Grand Championship, which features road racing, motocross, hare scrambles, trials and flat-track racing. In addition, North America's largest motorcycle swap meet is packed with parts, bikes and memorabilia from all eras. Bike shows feature some of history's most beloved motorcycles. Attendees will be entertained by stunt shows, demo rides of current production bikes and live music, while seminars on numerous topics by noted motorcycling experts keep them informed. Non-AMA members and those reserving RV spaces must purchase tickets through Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course at midohio.com or by calling (419) 884-4000. AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days is a family-friendly event. Admission is free for children under 12 accompanied by a ticketed adult. Free parking is also available on site.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - The AMA has named Matthew Miles as its director of communications. Miles, most recently with American magazine publisher Bonnier Corp., begins his new job May 1 at the AMA campus in Pickerington, Ohio, which also houses the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum. As director of communications, Miles will be responsible for AMA editorial content, both digital and print, as well as media relations. He also will direct the communications department's support of all areas of the organization, including government relations, membership and marketing, amateur and professional competition, recreational riding and the Hall of Fame. Miles received a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Indiana University in 1989. He has spent his entire professional career in the motorcycle industry.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - Marty Smith, a 2000 inductee into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, and his wife Nancy Smith, died Monday, April 27, from injuries sustained in a dune buggy crash in Southern California. A three-time AMA Motocross National Champion, Marty Smith won the inaugural AMA 125cc Motocross Championship in 1974. He successfully defended his title in 1975, and also won the 1977 AMA 500cc Motocross Championship and the 1975 and 1976 125cc U.S. Motocross Grand Prix events. Smith won all of his championships with Honda, and the company featured him in its advertising, using his long hair and youthful good looks as a selling point. Read more at www.americanmotorcyclist.com/ama-motorcycle-hall-of-famer-marty-smith-dies-in-crash.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - Joe Bolger, a 2004 inductee into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, died Tuesday, April 21, from complications resulting from a fall at his Barre, Mass., home, his family said. He was 90 years old and had been in failing health the past few months. Mr. Bolger was a five-time New England Scrambles Champion in the mid-1960s and the 1970s. He also was a self-taught designer and engineer who worked in metal and wood in a small shop behind his home. Read more at www.americanmotorcyclist.com/ama-motorcycle-hall-of-famer-joe-bolger-passes.

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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_rights, @ama_riding and @ama_racing and on Instagram at @ama_riding and @ama_racing.

 


An Important Message from the AMA

PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- During the COVID-19 outbreak, riders everywhere are anxious to see a return to normal so that we can head out to our favorite trails, scenic roadways, and motorcycling events.

For now, many of us are following directives to stay at home. Others live in areas where riding may be limited but still possible. We encourage each of you to adhere to local, state, and federal guidelines and restrictions, and take all necessary precautions.

For those of us waiting for the "all-clear," this is the time to prepare to ride again. While some riders do routine maintenance at home, many others may be wondering when their local dealer will reopen for business. The fact is, dealers in most states are available now to provide parts, service, and sales in one form or another.

If you need these services now, or anticipate that you will need them soon, we urge you to contact your local dealer today to determine how they can help you. Your dealer can put your mind at ease by telling you the measures they are taking to ensure your safety, such as phone or online orders, social distancing, drop-off procedures, and more.

Another advantage to contacting your dealer now is that you can schedule the services you need in advance, avoiding the inevitable delays that will occur when everyone starts contacting their dealers once authorities issue the all-clear signal.

If you are shopping for a new bike, some manufacturers are offering home delivery programs, so be sure to ask your dealer about that, too.

Riders can also stay sharp and keep learning at home with the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's online library. Most educational materials are free, including a fun MSF Rider Perception Challenge. Riders visiting the MSF's YouTube channel can also take a dozen narrated virtual rides to learn about street strategies.

Also, for a limited time digital issues of American Motorcyclist magazine can be viewed online for free at https://americanmotorcyclist.com/Members-Magazine-Archive, providing news and features about rights, riding, racing and the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.

Finally, share what you have learned with your riding friends and family. Here at the AMA, the MIC, and the MSF, we will continue to share the latest news through email and our social media channels - Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Stay well and ride safe.

 


April 2020

 

National and Regional News

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - The outbreak of COVID-19 has forced the cancellation or postponement of dozens of AMA-sanctioned competition and recreation events. Please check directly with event organizers for up-to-date information. At the same time, state and federal agencies are altering the hours of parks and riding areas used by OHV riders. And some are being closed. Please check the websites of the federal and state agencies that oversee parks and other facilities in your area for the latest information.

Readers: Are you aware of motorcyclists helping out during the coronavirus crisis? Do you have examples of how your local and state government's responses to the outbreak are unnecessarily infringing on motorcyclists' rights? If so, please send an email to grassroots@ama-cycle.org.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal lawsuit filed in February by the group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility and three other conservation groups challenges the government's decision to allow electric bicycles on nonmotorized trails in the National Park System. The Federal Advisory Committee Act requires meetings to be publicized in the Federal Register and open to the public, neither of which occurred, the lawsuit alleges. The lawsuit charges the Interior Department, National Park Service, former Park Service Deputy Director P. Daniel Smith and current Park Service Deputy Director David Vela with ignoring a number of laws, including the National Environmental Policy Act, to push through e-bike access. The groups behind the lawsuit want the e-bikes restricted to approved motorized trails.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Agriculture Department will make available up to $100 million in grants to expand the infrastructure needed to sell more ethanol, biodiesel and other renewable fuels. A department press release, issued in March, stated that the "USDA is making grants available... to increase significantly the sale and use of higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel by expanding the infrastructure for renewable fuels derived from U.S. agricultural products." The AMA opposes the continued expansion of availability of fuel containing more than 10 percent ethanol by volume. None of the estimated 22 million motorcycles and ATVs in use in the United States is certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to operate on E-15 (15 percent ethanol by volume) or higher-ethanol fuel blends. Use of those fuels may cause engine and fuel system damage and void manufacturer warranties.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The land speed racetrack at Bonneville-once 13 miles long-is now less than 8 miles, due to salt erosion. It is critically important that the U.S. Department of the Interior contribute funds toward a 10-year restoration program that will dramatically increase the amount of salt pumped onto Bonneville Salt Flats. The AMA needs your help in urging Interior Secretary David Bernhardt to fund the Restore Bonneville program in 2020. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the Utah Department of Natural Resources, local company Intrepid Potash and the land speed racing community have identified a strategy and are collaborating to restore Bonneville. But without federal funding, the project cannot succeed. To take action, go to https://tinyurl.com/uzl6h2x.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In March, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management New Mexico state director signed the Record of Decision for the Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas Final Joint Environmental Impact Statement associated with the Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas Bureau of Land Management Resource Management Plan. The plan governs land use and resource management decisions for public lands managed under the jurisdiction of the BLM and the U.S Bureau of Indian Affairs. BIA regional directors for the Southern Plains and Eastern Oklahoma Regions signed RODs for their respective Bureau of Indian Affairs Integrated Resource Management Plans. Within the planning area, the BLM administers 15,100 acres of public land and 4.8 million acres of federal mineral estate. The BIA Eastern Oklahoma Regional Office manages 394,200 surface acres and 2.03 million acres of mineral estate. And the BIA Southern Plains Regional Office manages 457,500 surface acres and 632,000 acres of mineral estate acres. The BIA-administered trust lands include multiple tribal jurisdictional boundaries. The documents update land use management decisions for resource values, such as vegetation, fish and wildlife, energy and minerals, lands and realty, recreation and others. The document also facilitates future environmental analysis and permitting of Indian minerals. Copies of the Final Joint EIS, BLM RMP, and BIA Integrated RMP are available for review at the following BLM offices: Oklahoma Field Office, 201 Stephenson Parkway, Suite 1200, Norman, Okla.; New Mexico State Office, 301 Dinosaur Trail, Santa Fe, N.M. They are available online at www.blm.gov.

KENNESAW, Ga. - Yamaha Motor Corp. USA awarded more than $127,000 to eight organizations in the fourth-quarter 2019 grant cycle of the Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative, bringing the annual total to more than $400,000. Projects receiving OAI grants often have a strong stewardship component, as well as an inclusive community of users working together to ensure all types of outdoor recreationists can access and enjoy public land sustainably and safely. Since it began, the program has contributed more than $4 million to more than 360 projects. Projects support diverse communities, including motorized recreation, biking, hunting, fishing, camping and other outdoor recreationists. More information, including grant applications, is available at www.yamahaoutdoors.com.

State News

PAYSON, Ariz. - The Tonto National Forest, Mesa Ranger District, is discontinuing paper permits due to increased demand from visitors to the popular Bulldog Canyon OHV area. Those wishing to visit the area are instead required to obtain a permit online through recreation.gov. This transition to an online system also means the public will no longer will have to travel to the district office to obtain a permit. The online process includes a $6 administrative fee. Additionally, while past permits allowed up to five additional household members to be added to the permit, each OHV operator, age 16 or older, will now need a permit on hand while riding in the Bulldog Canyon OHV area. Passengers not operating motorized vehicles in the permit area will not need a permit. To reserve a permit on recreation.gov, search for 'Tonto National Forest Off-Highway Vehicle Permit' and follow the prompts to purchase and then print the permit. The permit will include six months of gate code combinations to unlock access gates to the Bulldog Canyon OHV area. For more information, contact the Mesa Ranger District, (480) 610-3300 from 8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. weekdays. You can also visit www.fs.usda.gov/detail/tonto/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD709010 for information regarding access points.

POLAND, Maine - Selectpersons in the town of Poland tabled proposed changes to its ATV ordinances to await the results of a two-year trial use of an abandoned railroad bed alongside Waterhouse Park, according to a report in the Sun Journal. The Bog Hooters Tri-Town ATV Club will be using the rail bed for recreational riding, beginning in May. The proposed changes to the ATV ordinance include: changing the name of the provision to the Motorized Recreation Vehicle Ordinance-to include ATVs, snowmobiles, motorbikes and utility task vehicles; deleting rules already addressed in state laws, but subject to only local control; lowering the speed in designated wildlife habitats or shared pedestrian trails; and changing the wording regarding when recreational vehicles can be used, from "May 15 to Dec. 1" to "during a time frame as designated by the Board of Selectpersons, dependent upon weather and trail conditions."

ST. PAUL, Minn. - H.F. 3699, introduced in the Minnesota House, and companion bill S.F. 3605 in the Senate would require the state to move to an E15 blend of vehicle fuel. If the bills become law, Minnesota would be the first state to require the use of the fuel, which contains 15 percent ethanol by volume. The national standard for fuel is E10 (10 percent ethanol by volume). The bills would exempt fuel sold at airports; resorts, marinas, houseboat rental companies; and fuel sold for use in motor sports racing, collector vehicles, and off-road use. The legislation also requires retail stations to provide one fuel pump with a dedicated hose and nozzle dispensing a fuel blend containing 9.2 to 10 percent biofuel for use in vehicles-such as motorcycles-that are not approved by the U.S. EPA for use with more than 10 percent ethanol.

ALBANY, N.Y. - Lewis County legislators approved a resolution in March asking the state Department of Environmental Conservation to include ATV trails in the recreation management plan for the Croghan Tract Conservation Easement in the Adirondack Park, the Watertown Daily Times reported. "Taxpayer dollars are used to purchase conservation easements and should provide for all recreation rights and access, including ATV access, especially in Lewis County which is known for its extensive ATV trail system," the resolution says. "With expansion of the system only enhancing [the county's] economic development through recreational and tourism features." The resolution asks the DEC to work with county representatives, "to develop a plan that acknowledges the economic importance and significance of ATV access and use for recreational and sporting activities in Lewis County" so the ATV-using public can use the "tract like others who are provided access simply because they are in other motorized vehicles." The Croghan Tract Conservation Easement includes 12,800 acres in Croghan and Watson To obtain a copy of the full plan, go to the DEC website, email r6.ump@dec.ny.gov or call (315) 785-2263. Written comments on the draft plan can be sent to NYS DEC, Attn: Matt Nowak, 7327 State Route 812, Lowville, NY 13367 or to the email address above.

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Gov. Mike DeWine signed into law a bill that allows motorcyclists to wear earplugs or earphones for ear protection while riding. Ear plugs can help protect riders and passengers from potential damage to their eardrums from exhaust and wind noise. The bill was supported by the AMA and ABATE of Ohio.

STURGIS, S.D. - The Sturgis City Council delayed the annexation of the Jackpine Gypsies Motorcycle Club property until May 4 to give the club and the owners of other land time to assess the effect of the annexation. Jackpine Gypsies representatives told the Council that annexation of the club grounds-which includes a dirt oval race track, motocross and hill climb course-might fall under current or future city restrictions on continuing the club's activities. The club earlier estimated the annexation would result in about $2,500 a year in additional property taxes. The proposed annexation is part of a strategy by the Sturgis city manager to ensure residents and businesses that receive city services help pay for them, according to the Rapid City Journal.

Industry News

CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA, Calif. - The 2020 Quail Motorcycle Gathering has been canceled, due to the CoVID-19 outbreak, and organizers have announced May 14-15 as the dates for the 2021 event. Ticketholders, display entrants, and ride participants will all have the option to roll their current status over to the 2021 event, or receive a full refund. Those holding reservations at Quail Lodge & Golf Club can cancel their reservations without penalty.

HAMAMATSU, Japan - Suzuki Motor Corporation is celebrating its 100th anniversary during 2020. The company manufactures cars, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), marine engines, wheelchairs, and other internal combustion engines. Suzuki has over 45,000 employees and has 35 production facilities in 23 countries and 133 distributors in 192 countries. Suzuki's domestic motorcycle sales volume is the third-largest in Japan.

STURGIS, S.D. - Mayor Mark Carstensen said the annual Sturgis motorcycle rally is still scheduled for August, according to the Rapid City Journal. He said he hopes the COVID-19 virus will have run its course by August, saying he hopes to reach a final decision about the rally in June.

AMA News

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - 2020 AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days is still on the schedule for July 10-12 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Should the outbreak of COVID-19 and its resulting restrictions affect the event in any way, the AMA will issue an announcement and post it to www.americanmotorcyclist.com and all AMA social media outlets. Meanwhile, AMA members can purchase discounted tickets at www.amavintagemotorcycledays.com/tickets. AMA members save an additional $5 off the already discounted early bird pricing. AMA members can also call (614) 856-1900 to order their tickets. A fundraiser for the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days showcases classic motorcycles of all makes and styles, and honors the riders who made them famous. Activities at the event include the AMA Vintage Grand Championship, which features road racing, motocross, hare scrambles, trials and flat-track racing. In addition, North America's largest motorcycle swap meet is packed with parts, bikes and memorabilia from all eras. Bike shows feature some of history's most beloved motorcycles. Attendees will be entertained by stunt shows, demo rides of current production bikes and live music, while seminars on numerous topics by noted motorcycling experts keep them informed. Non-AMA members and those reserving RV spaces must purchase tickets through Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course at midohio.com or by calling (419) 884-4000. AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days is a family-friendly event. Admission is free for children under 12 accompanied by a ticketed adult. Free parking is also available on site.

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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_rights, @ama_riding and @ama_racing and on Instagram at @ama_riding and @ama_racing

 


Support the plan to restore Bonneville

Salt Flats land speed record course

Let Interior Secretary Bernhardt know BLM funding is essential

The land speed racetrack at Bonneville -- once 13 miles long -- is now less than 8 miles, due to salt erosion. It is critically important that the U.S. Department of the Interior contributes funds toward a 10-year restoration program that will dramatically increase the amount of salt pumped onto Bonneville Salt Flats. Help restore the Salt Flats before it's too late.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the Utah Department of Natural Resources, local company Intrepid Potash and the land speed racing community have identified a strategy and are collaboratiing to restore Bonneville. Please urge Interior Secretary David Bernhardt to fund the Restore Bonneville program through the department's fiscal 2020 budget.

By following this link Take Action and providing your contact information, you'll sign and send our email to Bernhardt, explaining the importance of the Bonneville Salt Flats and how he can directly affect funding for the needed restoration.

Even better, if you personalize the email by adding what Bonneville means to you, it will have far more impact. An easy way would be including a sentence at the beginning describing what it is like to attend or even take part in a race on the Salt Flats. Also feel free to amend the subject line of the email to read "I visit" or "I race at" the Bonneville Salt Flats.

Thank you in advance for commenting. If you do submit edited comments, please forward a copy to us at grassroots@amacycle.org. Please forward this alert to your friends and ask them to submit comments, too.


March 2020

 

National and Regional News

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.) introduced S. 3249, the Motorcyclist Advisory Council Reauthorization Act, which would refine the membership seats of the federal Motorcyclist Advisory Council to ensure more national motorcycle organizations are represented and authorizes the council for six years. The AMA worked closely with the Motorcycle Riders Foundation and Harley-Davidson Motor Co. on the legislation, which is the companion bill to H.R. 5234 introduced in late November. S. 3249 would require the MAC to include five highway engineering experts from state or local governments, one state or local traffic safety engineer who is a motorcyclist, one roadway safety data expert on crash testing and analysis and one representative from each of the following groups: a national association of state transportation officials, a national motorcyclist foundation, a national motorcyclist association, a national motorcycle manufacturing association and a national safety organization. The current MAC, chaired by Mike Sayre-AMA government relations manager for on-highway issues-was authorized in 2015 and is finalizing its report to the U.S. Department of Transportation. The MAC advises the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, the administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the administrator of the Federal Highway Administration on transportation issues of concern to motorcyclists, including barrier design; road design, construction, and maintenance practices; and the architecture and implementation of intelligent transportation system technologies.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has granted Nuro's request for a temporary exemption from some low-speed vehicle standard requirements, so the company can test its electric delivery vehicle, the "R2." This exemption marks the first time the U.S. government has approved a company's request to deploy a vehicle that does not meet the standards for cars and trucks operated by humans. Unlike a conventional low-speed vehicle, the R2 is designed to have no human occupant and operates exclusively using an automated driving system. Nuro will be permitted to produce and deploy no more than 5,000 R2 vehicles during the two-year exemption period, and NHTSA will closely monitor Nuro's operations during and after that time. Nuro intends to operate these vehicles as part of a local delivery service for restaurants, grocery stores, and other businesses. The AMA opposes the use of public roadways for testing driverless vehicles-even low-speed delivery vehicles-because it increases the risk to motorcyclists and other road users.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Navy has released its final environmental impact statement for the planned expansion of the Fallon Range Training Complex in Nevada, making it available online. The complex is a training area made up of 12,256 square nautical miles of airspace and about 232,000 acres of Navy-managed land. The facility modernization will include:

  • Renewal of the Navy's current public land withdrawal
  • Land range expansion through the additional withdrawal of public lands and the acquisition of nonfederal land
  • Airspace expansion and modernization
  • Upgrades to range infrastructure

The AMA submitted comments on the draft EIS in January, conditionally supporting Alternative 3 as the least disruptive to continued OHV use. However, the AMA also supported local riders, calling for reconnection of cherry-stemmed routes created by the Alternative 3 as originally drafted, and the creation of a special recreation area, codifying OHV use as legitimate, outside the expansion area. The AMA was encouraged by the Navy's agreement to continue the annual "Vegas to Reno" race and, possibly, other competition events near three sections of the training area. Also, taking the Sand Springs Range and Fairview Peak-the latter having many roads and OHV trails and the popular earthquake fault destination-out of the training area was a positive for the OHV community."

State News

TRACY, Calif. - Thirty-seven acres at the east end of the Carnegie SVRA reopened to off-highway vehicle recreation on Jan. 30. The area includes the 4x4 Play Area, Trials Bike area, and Motocross Practice Track. In January of 2019, this part of the park was closed due to litigation. Conclusion of the suit ends the closure of this popular part of the park and allows for recreation in these areas. The reopening re-establishes off-highway vehicle recreation opportunities that have historically been provided in the East Bay. Carnegie SVRA's 1,300 acres serve California's Bay Area communities with hill climbs, trail riding and track riding opportunities.

WILLOWS, Calif. - Mendocino National Forest Supervisor Ann Carlson issued an order that opens more trails and campgrounds for the Ranch Fire area, but continues the temporary closure of selected trails and campgrounds until more fire hazards can be removed. The new closure is effective until Dec. 31. Most of the road system and trails in the Ranch Fire area have been evaluated, and hazards have been removed. Forest Order No. 08-20-02 opens the majority of OHV trails on the Grindstone Ranger District as well as Pine Mountain Lookout and Bear Creek campground on the Upper Lake Ranger District. However, numerous hazards still exist within the general forest, along many roads and trails and in campgrounds. Forest Order 08-20-02, including the order, map and list of closed trails and facilities may be downloaded from the forest website: https://tinyurl.com/urx4jwu.

SOUTH WINDSOR, Conn. - The Town of South Windsor was unprepared for the overwhelming opposition it faced in February when Mayor Andrew Paterna proposed a ban on ATVs. Paterna said a small number of ATV riders had trespassed on and damaged some farms, and at least one resident complained about excessive sound from ATVs. But, when word got out that the ban would be considered, motorcycle and ATV enthusiasts packed the meeting chamber. A report from TV station WFSB stated that, "Every town resident who spoke at the Monday night meeting spoke out against the proposal." Paterna later confirmed to the AMA that he will not raise the issue again.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - State Delegate Kathy Szeliga (R-Baltimore County, Hartford County) has reintroduced a bill that would allow lane splitting in Maryland, as well as require state agencies to create guidelines for safe lane splitting and ways to incorporate the practice into rider education. Szeliga's H.B. 920 bill was referred to the House Environment and Transportation Committee. This is just the second time a lane splitting bill has been introduced in Maryland. This bill would require that the state agencies, including the Motor Vehicle Administration and State Highway Administration, develop guidelines for safe and appropriate lane splitting for motorcyclists and other road users.

CONCORD, N.H. - The decades-old tradition of riding motorcycles on a frozen Concord pond came to a halt this year, due to an obscure amendment to the state's budget. Concord hired Suzi Pegg as its new economic development director in 2017, and she objected to the sound of motorcycles on the pond near her new home. So, she convinced the mayor to talk to state legislators, who included a ban on such riding in the $13 billion 2019 budget bill. Outraged motorcyclists visited the state capitol to urge lawmakers to reverse the ban. They caught the ear of state Rep. Jack Flanagan (R-Brookline), who proposed an amendment to House Bill 1316 that would reopen the pond for vehicular use on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. till 4 p.m. The AMA has supported the Flanagan amendment with letters to state Rep. Suzanne Smith, chair of the House Committee on Resources, Recreation and Development, which is investigating the change.

NEW YORK - The New York City Council is considering a law that would require side guards on trucks fulfilling contracts with the city, such as private garbage private trucks contracted by the city to plow snow. The side guards are designed to prevent motorcyclists, pedestrians and bicyclists from accidently getting underneath the trucks in traffic. Sponsored by council members Ydannis Rodriguez and Ben Kallos, the bill would require these vehicles would need to be equipped with side guards by Jan. 1, 2021. A law signed by Mayor Bill de Blasio in June 2015 already requires truck side guards on city-operated vehicles and private trash haulers fulfilling a contract with the city.

KANAB, Utah - The U.S. Bureau of Land Management developed new land use plans for the Bears Ears National Monument and for three units of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah. The revised Bears Ears boundaries include two separate units, known as the Shash Jáa and Indian Creek units, that are reserved for the care and management of the objects of historic and scientific interest within their boundaries. The Shash Jáa Unit contains 97,393 acres of BLM-administered lands and 32,587 acres of U.S. Forest Service-administered lands. The Indian Creek Unit contains 71,896 acres of BLM-administered land. Lands that remain part of the 1 million-acre Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument are the Grand Staircase (209,993 acres), Kaiparowits (551,034 acres) and Escalante Canyons (242,836 acres) units. The BLM refers to lands that are now excluded from the national monument (861,974 acres) as the Kanab-Escalante Planning Area. The new management plans were prompted by a 2017 directive from the president, which called for "right-sized" boundaries for these public lands, while providing for the protection of objects consistent with the original intent of the Antiquities Act of 1906. The AMA and Utah officials have urged federal officials to adhere to the provision in the Antiquities Act that requires that monuments should be as small as possible, while still protecting artifacts and cultural resources. The boundary revision process included public meetings, collaboration with local, state and other federal agencies and participation by more than 30 American Indian tribes.

SELAH, Wash. - The Washington Off Highway Vehicle Alliance is asking OHV riders to attend a March 4 meeting with state officials regarding road management on state lands. The state Department of Fish and Wildlife and the state Department of Natural Resources will provide information and accept comments on the Green Dot program, which designates the roads in Yakima and Kittitas counties are open to public motorized use. The meeting is 6-8 p.m. March 4 at the Selah Civic Center, 216 S. First St., Selah. To view Green Dot maps or learn about the program, visit https://tinyurl.com/r5274lc.

Industry News

CARMEL, Calif. - The Quail Motorcycle Gathering will honor Roland Sands as 2020 Legend of the Sport at its May 16 event. Sands has set several track records around the world, and was the 1998 American Motorcyclist Association 250GP Champion. After 10 years of professional racing, Sands founded Roland Sands Design, a motorcycle, product and apparel. During the past five years, RSD has expanded into event promotion, with the Moto Beach Classic in Southern California and the Super Hooligan National Championship, a series that unites the custom-motorcycle scene with flat track racing.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Honda ADV150 may be coming to the United States, according to a report at Motorcycle.com, which said the California Air Resources Board certified the scooter for the 2021 model year. The "adventure scooter" features a 149cc overhead cam engine and an automatic transmission. The ABS model sold in Indonesia claims a curb weight of 293 pounds, while the non-ABS version is 291 pounds.

SHANGHAI - Switch Motorcycles has unveiled plans for its eScrambler electric motorcycle that is scheduled for sale in the 2022 model year. Switch is owned by New Zealand-born Matthew Waddick, who also produced electric conversion kits for the Honda Cub as part of Shanghai Customs. The eScrambler has a top speed of 93 mph, a 0-62 mph time of 3.2 seconds, and a range of 93 miles.

BERLIN - BMW Motorrad is developing a crumple zone for motorcycles, using a patented V-shaped component behind the front wheel. A report at Visordown.com says the device keeps the front wheel of the motorcycle from deflecting to the side in a front impact and holds the wheel straight, creating an impact zone that includes the wheel and forks.

NEW DELHI - Hero MotoCorp executives said they are willing to be Harley-Davidson's partner to design and manufacture locally made, low-powered products, according to a report in The Times of India. Harley-Davidson and Hero have been in talks, but no agreement has been reached.

TÄBY, Sweden - MIPS AB, the Swedish-based developer of multi-directional helmet protection technology, announced that its design is being used in 583 models from 103 helmet brands in motorcycling, bicycling, snow sports, equestrian, hockey, rock climbing and construction. Professional motorcycle racers wearing MIPS-equipped helmets include Ryan Villopoto, Aaron Plessinger, Dean Wilson, Cole Seely, Romain Febvre, Clement Desalle, Taylor Robert and Ricky Brabec.

International News

MELBOURNE - A plan to create 151 on-street motorcycle parking spaces would open up sidewalks for pedestrians and increase pedestrian safety. The plan under consideration by the city would convert 36 car spaces to motorcycle-only use. "By introducing 151 new motorcycle bays we can divert motorcycles from parking in key congested footpath areas," Lord Mayor Sally Capp told Motorbikewriter.com. "We are creating more space for people to walk while still accommodating our riders."

JERUSALEM - Ride Vision has developed a collision-aversion technology for motorcycles that uses standard cameras as visual sensors that recognize and analyze relevant threats to safe operation. The company says its goal is to provide motorcyclists with an advanced driver assist system with off-the-shelf technology. According to a report in the Jerusalem Post, Ride Vision sets up two small cameras on the front and back of the motorcycle. The motorcycle's left- and right-side mirrors have LED lights that flash different colors, depending on the threat detected. Ride Vision also integrates with Bluetooth helmets for audio warnings.

AMA News

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - James Holter has been named the AMA's Chief Operating Officer. Holter, most recently the AMA vice president of communications and marketing, assumes the responsibilities of Jeff Massey, who is leaving his position as AMA chief operations officer on March 6. As COO, Holter reports to Dingman. His direct reports are the department directors who execute the AMA's mission in the areas of government relations, competition, recreational riding, finance, communications, membership and marketing, creative services, industry relations and business development, and all other aspects of operations. Holter has worked at the AMA for 15 years, with responsibilities in editorial, communications, marketing and membership. Massey served as AMA COO since September 2014. He will return to his hometown of Indianapolis and resume a career in education.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - The AMA Board of Directors held its annual election of officers on Feb. 7. The board elected as chair Russ Ehnes, the member representative on the board from the Northwest Region. The board elected as vice chair Gary Pontius, the member representative from the North Central Region; as assistant treasurer Ken Ford, the member representative from the Southeast Region; and as executive committee members Jerry Abboud, an at-large director from Thornton, Colo., and Paul Vitrano, business member representative from Indian Motorcycle. Ehnes replaced outgoing chair Maggie McNally-Bradshaw, former member representative from the Northeast Region. McNally-Bradshaw had been AMA board chair since 2013 and served on the board since 2009. She exited her position due to term limits.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - Get your tickets and make your plans to be at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, July 10-12 for 2020 AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days. AMA members can purchase discounted tickets now at www.amavintagemotorcycledays.com/tickets. AMA members save an additional $5 off the already discounted early bird pricing. AMA members can also call (614) 856-1900 to order their tickets. A fundraiser for the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days showcases classic motorcycles of all makes and styles, and honors the riders who made them famous. Activities at the event include the AMA Vintage Grand Championship, which features road racing, motocross, hare scrambles, trials and flat-track racing. In addition, North America's largest motorcycle swap meet is packed with parts, bikes and memorabilia from all eras. Bike shows feature some of history's most beloved motorcycles. Attendees will be entertained by stunt shows, demo rides of current production bikes and live music, while seminars on numerous topics by noted motorcycling experts keep them informed. Non-AMA members and those reserving RV spaces must purchase tickets through Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. These tickets will be available in December online at midohio.com or by calling (419) 884-4000. AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days is a family-friendly event. Admission is free for children under 12 accompanied by a ticketed adult. Free parking is also available on site.

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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_rights, @ama_riding and @ama_racing and on Instagram at @ama_riding and @ama_racing.


February 2020

 

National and Regional News

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is seeking public input in compiling a list of BLM land that is used for recreation, but has no legal public access or where access is heavily restricted. This effort advances a primary goal of the Dingell Act (S. 47), which was signed into law by President Trump in March 2019. The BLM plans to post its first priority list at its ePlanning website by March 12, then update it every two years for at least the next decade. The public nomination period opened Jan. 31 and closes Feb. 29. Nominations can be made by visiting www.blm.gov/programs/planning-and-nepa/eplanning.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking public input to help with the creation of the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program, a new program that will expand the availability of domestic ethanol and biodiesel by providing incentives for the expansion of sales of renewable fuels. The USDA is also considering infrastructure projects to facilitate increased sales of higher biofuel blends (E15 or higher). The effort builds on the Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership, administered by the USDA from 2016-2019 through state and private partners, to expand the availability of E15 and E85 fuels and infrastructure. The AMA opposes additional E15 in the marketplace, because it increases the risk of inadvertent misfueling by motorcyclists whose machines are not EPA-certified for fuels containing more than 10 percent ethanol.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Navy has released its final environmental impact statement for the planned expansion of the Fallon Range Training Complex in Nevada, making it available online. The complex is a training area made up of 12,256 square nautical miles of airspace and about 232,000 acres of Navy-managed land. The facility modernization will include:

  • Renewal of the Navy's current public land withdrawal
  • Land range expansion through the additional withdrawal of public lands and the acquisition of nonfederal land
  • Airspace expansion and modernization
  • Upgrades to range infrastructure

The AMA submitted comments on the draft EIS in January, conditionally supporting Alternative 3 as the least disruptive to continued OHV use. However, the AMA also supported local riders, calling for reconnection of cherry-stemmed routes created by the Alternative 3 as originally drafted, and the creation of a special recreation area, codifying OHV use as legitimate, outside the expansion area. The AMA was encouraged by the Navy's agreement to continue the annual "Vegas to Reno" race and, possibly, other competition events near three sections of the training area. Also, taking the Sand Springs Range and Fairview Peak-the latter having many roads and OHV trails and the popular earthquake fault destination-out of the training area was a positive for the OHV community. A 30-day waiting period before the Navy can chose a management alternative and implement its criteria ends Feb. 8. A final record of decision is expected in February.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The AMA has joined with a broad spectrum of trail advocacy organizations in a joint project with the U.S. Forest Service to improve both motorized and nonmotorized trails in national forests. Any project that meets national quality standards will qualify for consideration, including:

  • Clearing and brushing
  • Tread repair
  • Structure repair or replacement
  • Replacement or installation of trail signs

The program originated in a partnership between the Forest Service and the National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance. It is being administered collaboratively with the AMA, the Back Country Horsemen of America and the International Mountain Biking Association, the American Hiking Society and American Trails. Grants are intended for summer use trails, to cover either newly identified or deferred maintenance needs. Any nonprofit organization is eligible and should have a sponsored volunteer agreement or other agreement with the local Forest Service office for work under these grants. The application deadline if March 30. All forms are available at www.wildernessalliance.org.

SAN FRANCISCO - As the popularity of electric scooters has grown, so has the number of injuries associated with their use, according to a report from JAMA Surgery. Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, analyzed U.S. government data on nonfatal injuries treated in emergency rooms. An Associate Press report on the study said nearly 40,000 broken bones, head injuries, cuts and bruises resulting from scooter accidents were treated in U.S. emergency rooms from 2014 through 2018. The scooter injury rate among the general U.S. population climbed from 6 per 100,000 to 19 per 100,000. Most occurred in riders aged 18 to 34, and most injured riders were not hospitalized.

State News

HUMBOLDT COUNTY, Calif. - The Humboldt and Del Norte County Resource Advisory Committees are seeking proposals for natural resource improvement projects that benefit national forest system lands and local communities. Authorized through the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act, each RAC has nine to 15 members representing diverse interests related to public land management. About $64,000 is expected to be available for RAC-approved projects in Humboldt County, and $169,000 for Del Norte County. Project proposals may be submitted by community-based organizations, tribes, individuals or government agencies that are eligible for funding consideration with the U.S. Forest Service. They must demonstrate a benefit to NFS lands or resources and should have broad-based support with objectives that may include, but are not limited to:

  • Road, trail, and infrastructure maintenance or obliteration
  • Soil productivity improvement
  • Improvements in forest ecosystem health
  • Watershed restoration and maintenance
  • Restoration, maintenance and improvement of wildlife and fish habitat
  • Control of noxious and exotic weeds
  • Re-establishment of native species

For more information visit www.fs.usda.gov/detail/srnf/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD679013 or contact Devin McMahon at (707) 441-3527 or devin.mcmahon@usda.gov.

TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - The Marine Corps has announced plans to close the Johnson Valley Shared Use area to the public while the Marines conduct military training during the following periods:

  • Thursday, April 30 - Monday, May 11, 2020
  • Friday, Oct. 30 - Monday, Nov. 9, 2020
  • Friday, April 30 - Monday, May 10, 2021
  • Friday, Oct. 29 - Monday, Nov. 8, 2021

The closure period will include the necessary time required to complete pre and post inspections of the land with the Bureau of Land Management area.

POCATELLO, Idaho - The U.S. Bureau of Land Management's Pocatello field office is moving forward with three specific recreational improvements in Southeast Idaho. To help fund these important recreation enhancements, the PFO is applying for grants through the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation and is seeking public comment related to the projects. The proposed projects are:

  • Improving trail systems in the Soda Hills and Bear Lake areas. This project involves installing new route markers along designated routes, installing Travel Management Area signs and kiosks, and revising and printing travel plan maps that reflect the designated routes on the ground.
  • Developing a nonmotorized watercraft launch site along the Blackfoot River below the Blackfoot Reservoir dam
  • Improvements to the boat ramp and trailer parking area at the Maple Grove campground

As part of the grant application process, the field office is asking for public input. Send comments to cpatterson@blm.gov or by mail to Bureau of Land Management, Attn: Chuck Patterson, 4350 Cliffs Drive, Pocatello, ID 83204. For more information visit www.blm.gov/press-release/blm-seeks-public-input-proposed-recreation-projects-southeast-idaho or contact the Pocatello field office at (208) 478-6340.

CHICAGO - Police vowed to crack down on motorcyclists who race and perform stunts on city streets, according to a report in the Sun-Times. Officers plan to use helicopters, license-plate-recognition cameras and sound monitors on Lake Shore Drive, Columbus Drive and Lower Wacker and in the South Loop. Officials said hundreds of riders take to the streets, interfering with traffic and endangering other drivers. They said the motorcyclists often try to goad police into giving chase.

ST. PAUL, Minn. - State officials have created an Outdoor Recreation Task Force to identify economic and participation opportunities for the state's outdoor recreation resources. The effort to create the task force came from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Explore Minnesota. The 20-member task force is one of 17 in the country designed to maximize the social and economic benefits of outdoor activity.

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio motorcyclists would be allowed to use earplugs while riding under a bill passed by the state legislature and forwarded to Gov. Mike DeWine. It currently is illegal to use headphones or earplugs while riding in Ohio. The use of earplugs can help protect riders' hearing from the noise caused by wind, loud exhaust notes or other traffic. The new law (H.B. 129) would still prohibit the use of earphones for listening to music or other entertainment while riding. The definition of earphones does not include speakers or other listening devices that are built into protective headgear.

NELSONVILLE, Ohio - The Wayne National Forest is seeking public review of a draft assessment, the first step in revising the plan that guides management of the forest. The draft assessment outlines ecological, social and economic changes on the forest and surrounding area. Public input will help determine what is important to local communities and the people who use and care about the forest. The Wayne National Forest is in the assessment phase of a three-phase process, including plan development and implementation and monitoring. The goal is to evaluate relevant current conditions and trends in the forest and southeastern Ohio. Release of the draft assessment begins a 45-day public review period and can be viewed at www.fs.usda.gov/detail/wayne/landmanagement/planning/?cid=fseprd695580. A printed copy of the draft assessment and supplemental reports will be available at the three national forest offices in Nelsonville, Marietta, and Pedro. Submit input through the online commenting system (https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public/CommentInput?Project=53485). Input can also be submitted by letter to Forest Plan Revision Assessment Feedback, Wayne National Forest, 13700 Highway 33, Nelsonville, OH 45764, or by phone at (740) 753-0555. Questions should be directed to the forest plan revision team at (740) 753-0555 or wayneplanrevision@usda.gov.

International News

TOKYO - After hitting another record low in 2019, annual sales of motorcycles in Japan are just a tenth of what they were 30 years ago, according to a VisorDown report. The sales slide is attributed by Motorcycles Data to a government decision to increase sales tax from 8 percent to 10 percent, the impact of Typhoon Hagibis on production and consumers moving away from motorized vehicles and toward pedal power.

KANCHANABURI, Thailand - Two female tourists were knocked off their motorcycle by a cable left hanging across the road at neck level. Christina Serma Gandia, from Spain, who was driving the motorbike, sustained a deep cut in the neck while pillion rider Ana Clara Moncada, from Argentina, suffered minor injuries. Police were investigating the incident to determine which company owns the cable and who is legally responsible for the women's injuries.

AMA News

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - The AMA congratulated Ricky Brabec on his historic victory at the 2020 Dakar Rally. The Monster Energy Honda Team rider from Hesperia, Calif., is the first American to win the Bike Class at the Dakar Rally. "The AMA is delighted to congratulate Ricky Brabec on his phenomenal performance at this year's Dakar Rally," AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman said. "Ricky has earned his place in American motorcycling history and we are pleased at his success as America's first Dakar champion." Brabec claimed his victory with both speed and consistency. He won two of the event's 12 stages and did not relinquish the lead after claiming it on Day Three. His margin of victory was 16 minutes, 26 seconds over Husqvarna rider Pablo Quintanilla of Chile. It was Brabec's eighth time competing at the Dakar Rally. Brabec's victory also marked Honda's first triumph in the rally's Bike Class in more than 30 years. Saudi Arabia played host to the 2020 edition of the rally, which featured a 5,000 kilometer course over mostly sandy terrain. The grueling annual off-road competition first took place in 1978-1979 and has been held annually since then, except for 2008. Casey Currie became the first American to win Dakar on four wheels, driving a Can-Am side-by-side to victory.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio -AMA member Kevin Morris of Montville, N.J., won the 2019 AMA Classic Grand Tour, scoring 105 locations where the letters A-M-A appeared in sequence on a sign. The 2019 AMA Classic Grand Tour celebrated the 95th anniversary of the American Motorcyclist Association, which was founded in 1924. Previous AMA Classic Grand Tours were in 2009 and 2003. AMA members registered to participate in the tour, which required riders to find signs-including business signs, road signs, street signs and more-with the letters A-M-A in sequence, then photograph their motorcycles and their grand tour flag with the sign. Rules required the signs to be in the United States. The AMA-sanctioned event ran from April 1 through Nov. 1.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - Get your tickets and make your plans to be at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, July 10-12 for 2020 AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days. AMA members can purchase discounted tickets now at www.amavintagemotorcycledays.com/tickets. AMA members save an additional $5 off the already discounted early bird pricing. AMA members can also call (614) 856-1900 to order their tickets. A fundraiser for the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days showcases classic motorcycles of all makes and styles, and honors the riders who made them famous. Activities at the event include the AMA Vintage Grand Championship, which features road racing, motocross, hare scrambles, trials and flat-track racing. In addition, North America's largest motorcycle swap meet is packed with parts, bikes and memorabilia from all eras. Bike shows feature some of history's most beloved motorcycles. Attendees will be entertained by stunt shows, demo rides of current production bikes and live music, while seminars on numerous topics by noted motorcycling experts keep them informed. Non-AMA members and those reserving RV spaces must purchase tickets through Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. These tickets will be available in December online at midohio.com or by calling (419) 884-4000. AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days is a family-friendly event. Admission is free for children under 12 accompanied by a ticketed adult. Free parking is also available on site.

* * * * *

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_rights, @ama_riding and @ama_racing and on Instagram at @ama_riding and @ama_racing.


January 2020

 

National and Regional News

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Office of United States Trade Representative has again proposed tariffs on motorcycles with an engine size between 500cc and 700cc, along with parts and accessories, imported from countries in the European Union, as part of a dispute over aircraft subsidies. This proposal comes after the USTR announced in October that these motorcycles would not be subject to tariffs originally proposed in April. This continued targeting of the motorcycle community and industry only brings uncertainty and harm to American motorcyclists and the small businesses that support them. The AMA is joining others in the motorcycling community to oppose the USTR's ill-conceived proposal. Motorcyclists should not be penalized with exorbitant tariffs because of an unrelated trade dispute. Any trade sanctions imposed as a result of this dispute should come from more closely related industries or products. You can make your voice heard on this issue by following this link: https://tinyurl.com/qspkcrc.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Motorcyclists rode a little less in 2018 than in the year before, according to a report from the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Riders traveled 20.1 billion miles in 2018, down about 1 percent from 2017.

State News

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - State parks and recreation officials are closing part of the Oceano Dunes area to meet a Jan. 1 air quality requirement. About 48 acres of the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area will be closed "to improve air quality conditions for nearby communities." A San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District standard goes into effect Jan. 1.

PLACERVILLE, Calif. - U.S. Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) and the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors expressed their appreciation for Forest Supervisor Laurence Crabtree. calling him "an indispensable steward of our forests." Crabtree will be retiring from the U.S. Forest Service on Jan. 6. Liz Berger, currently deputy forest supervisor for the Tahoe National Forest, has been selected to serve as acting forest supervisor for the Eldorado National Forest beginning in January.

DENVER - A series of listening sessions is scheduled to give OHV riders a chance to share their experiences and vision for off-highway recreation with the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S, Bureau of Land Management, the Colorado Department of Parks and Wildlife, the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council and the Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle Coalition. More information is available at https://tinyurl.com/w5oefry. The sessions, organized by NOHVCC, are:

  • 6-9 p.m. Jan. 27 at the Alamosa Family Recreation Center, 2222 Old Sanford Road, Alamosa, Colo.
  • 6-9 p.m. Jan. 28 at the Pueblo Convention Center, 320 Central Main St. Pueblo, Colo.
  • 6-9 p.m. Jan. 29 at the Colorado Springs Marriott, 5580 Tech Center Drive, Colorado Springs, Colo.
  • 6-9 p.m. Jan. 30 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Vail, 2211 N. Frontage Road W., Vail, Colo.
  • 6-9 p.m. Jan. 31 at Fay Myers Motorcycle World, 9700 E. Arapahoe Road, Greenwood Village, Colo.
  • 9 a.m.-Noon Feb. 1 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Denver-Thornton, 83 E. 120th Ave., Denver.
  • 6-9 p.m. Feb. 3 at the Fort Collins Marriott, 350 E. Horsetooth Road, Fort Collins, Colo.

SUCHES, Ga. - The U.S. Forest Service has released the environmental assessment for the Foothills Landscape Project, calling for three off-highway vehicle trails in the Chattahoochee National Forest in Georgia to be closed. Those closings and the reclassification of 83.1 miles of Forest Service roads to reduce maintenance costs or implement seasonal access are part of a broad program intended to improve environmental conditions on 157,625 acres of the forest, but could impact the ability to ride. The assessment calls for the closing of parts of the Tibbs, Tatum Lead and Milma Creek ATV trails. Seasonal access would be limited on 2.9 miles of the Muskrat Creek route starting at the Windy Gap trailhead. Finally, a rerouting is proposed on the Oakey Mountain OHV System. Riders can tell officials how they feel about this plan by following this link https://tinyurl.com/u8dpkou. The comment deadline is Jan. 10.

ALBANY, N.Y. - Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) vetoed a bill that could have lifted state restrictions on electric scooters and bicycles, but that also would have allowed local jurisdictions to regulate or ban them. Cuomo wanted the bill to include a helmet requirement, according to a report in the New York Post.

HARRISBURG, Pa. - About 157 new miles of all-terrain vehicle trails are planned for five projects funded by $647,300 from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources ATV grant program. The projects include:

  • Cambria and Clearfield counties, Rock Run Recreation Inc., $121,300, to buy equipment to build and maintain about 140 miles of trail at Rock Run Recreation Area in Chest Township;
  • Lawrence County, Mines and Meadows LLC, $390,600, to help buy about 213 acres in New Beaver Borough for the expansion of Mines and Meadows ATV Park;
  • Luzerne County, Earth Conservancy, $62,000, for a feasibility study for an ATV facility in Newport Township;
  • Northumberland County, Northumberland County Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area Authority, $19,000, to develop about 4 miles of trail on the Western Reserve of the AOAA in Coal Township; and
  • Susquehanna and Wayne counties, Northeast Pennsylvania Sno Trails Inc., $54,400, to prepare a trail study for the development of about 13 miles of the former Ontario and Western Railroad corridor for ATV use.

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Beginning today, Jan. 1, residents must pass a basic knowledge and skills test to obtain a motorcycle learner's permit and pass advanced knowledge and skills tests to get a motorcycle endorsement on their driver's licenses. Those caught riding without an endorsement face a fine of $48 that can rise to $136 with fees and assessments. The new law also includes an additional penalty of $250. The new law also creates a for a subsidy program to help make rider training more affordable.

International News

ANTWERP - A 10-year-old ban on quads in the city will be lifted Jan. 17. The city enacted the ban on the use of quads in the developed area and on the unpaved roads outside in 2009. Motorcycle Action Group Belgium opposed the ban and has been working since to get quad use restored. According to the MAG lawyer, Stefaan Claeys, the ban was annulled because a general ban is disproportionate and "there is no reasonable link of proportionality between this ban and the intended purpose." Claeys said that, "You cannot prohibit legal road users from using their vehicles to avoid the inconvenience caused by some of them. Those who cause a nuisance must be tackled by means of road traffic regulations, as is the case for all other road users."

BRADFORD, Ontario, Canada - Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney announced plans to allow off-highway vehicles easier access to roads, which would allow riders to connect to more trail networks across the province. "Tourism and local businesses in many municipalities-especially rural and northern-are anticipated to benefit when more off-road enthusiasts are able to connect to more trail networks and surrounding community attractions," said Prabmeet Sarkaria, associate minister of small business and red tape reduction.

Industry News

LOS ANGELES - The Petersen Automotive Museum has announced the promotion of Richard Varner to chairman of its board of directors. Having served as treasurer since 2013, Varner brings more than 40 years of experience as a respected business leader, car collector, vintage racer and professional motorsports series co-owner to his new role. A Wichita, Kansas native, Varner has been collecting and restoring automobiles and motorcycles for several years; his passion led to the formation of professional motorcycle road racing series, MotoAmerica. In addition to serving on the Petersen board of directors, Varner is the Chairman of the California Highway Patrol 11-99 Foundation and a member of the Dean's Advisory Board at the University of Nebraska School of Business, his alma mater.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History will be the new home of American author Robert M. Pirsig's 1966 Honda Super Hawk motorcycle featured in his book, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values. Pirsig's book, originally published by William Morrow in 1974, has sold more than 5 million copies and has been translated into 27 languages. The inspiration for Zen stemmed from a monthlong road trip Pirsig (1928-2017) took with his 11-year-old son Chris in 1968. Stored for decades in the family's New England garage and recently mechanically restored, the motorcycle is a gift from Pirsig's widow, Wendy K. Pirsig. In addition to the motorcycle, the gift includes Pirsig's leather jacket, maps, shop manual and other gear from the 1968 ride, together with a manuscript copy and signed first edition of the book. Pirsig's favorite toolboxes, with tools for maintaining his bike and other vehicles as well as tools he made himself, are also part of the donation.

PARIS, Texas - American motorcycle enthusiast Adam Sandoval set the Guinness World Record for largest parade of Harley-Davidson motorcycles by organizing 3,497 bikes on Oct. 5. Riders from 48 states and Canada participated in the event, which broke a 2010 record set by a group from Greece. In addition to the record achievement, more than $54,000 in registration proceeds were donated to Motorcycle Missions, a nonprofit organization that teaches Veterans and First Responders how to build and fabricate motorcycles.

AMA News

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - Hayley Bell, founder of the Women Riders World Relay, is the 2019 AMA Motorcyclist of the Year. Bell launched the WRWR movement, which attracted thousands of riders from 84 countries to participate in a leg of the relay, during which a baton made its way around the world. The original intent of the relay was to call attention to the lack of quality women's riding gear that fits properly and provides adequate protection. But the event also built a network of female riders that Bell calls "a global sisterhood of inspirational women." The AMA Motorcyclist of the Year designation, awarded annually by the AMA Board of Directors, recognizes the individual or group that had the most profound impact on the world of motorcycling in the previous 12 months.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - The world of motorcycling has lost three  staunch advocates with the passing of AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famers Ed Waldheim and Clark Collins and former AMA Board of Directors member Jim Viverito. Waldheim was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2007 for his ongoing dedication to the riding community and his tireless efforts to secure, maintain and expand off-road riding opportunities in his home state of California. Collins' storied career as an advocate for off-road motorcycling includes helping found the BlueRibbon Coalition public land access group, building national and regional coalitions among trail users and helping get the federal Recreational Trails Program enacted into law. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010. Viverito served on the AMA Board of Directors from February 2010 to July 2016. His service on the AMHF Board, which is tasked with raising money to fund the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, began July 2014.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Dick Klamfoth passed away Dec. 13. He scored his 12 victories in AMA Grand National competition, three of which came in the Daytona 200 - in 1949, 1951 and 1952. He was the first rider to win the Daytona 200 three times and went on to be a motorcycle dealership owner and race promoter. Klamfoth was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1998.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - Bradley Timm of Westerville, Ohio, was selected Dec. 6, as the winner of the two Honda motorcycles that were customized to celebrate the life of AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Nicky Hayden, the late MotoGP World Champion. Maggie McNally-Bradshaw, chair of the American Motorcyclist Association Board of Directors, selected the winning ticket in a drawing at the Hilton Downtown Columbus before the 2019 KTM AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - Get your tickets and make your plans to be at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, July 10-12 for 2020 AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days. AMA members can purchase discounted tickets now at www.amavintagemotorcycledays.com/tickets. AMA members save an additional $5 off the already discounted early bird pricing. AMA members can also call (614) 856-1900 to order their tickets. A fundraiser for the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days showcases classic motorcycles of all makes and styles, and honors the riders who made them famous. Activities at the event include the AMA Vintage Grand Championship, which features road racing, motocross, hare scrambles, trials and flat-track racing. In addition, North America's largest motorcycle swap meet is packed with parts, bikes and memorabilia from all eras. Bike shows feature some of history's most beloved motorcycles. Attendees will be entertained by stunt shows, demo rides of current production bikes and live music, while seminars on numerous topics by noted motorcycling experts keep them informed. Non-AMA members and those reserving RV spaces must purchase tickets through Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. These tickets will be available in December online at midohio.com or by calling (419) 884-4000. AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days is a family-friendly event. Admission is free for children under 12 accompanied by a ticketed adult. Free parking is also available on site.

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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_rights, @ama_riding and @ama_racing and on Instagram at @ama_riding and @ama_racing.


RPM Act reintroduced in U.S. House of Representatives

Tell Congress to support your right to race!

The Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act (RPM Act, H.R. 5434) was reintroduced in the House by U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) and cosponsored by Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.), along with five other original sponsors: Reps. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.), Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), Bill Posey (R-Fla.), Gil Cisneros (D-Calif.), and Michael Burgess (R-Texas).

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 represenative you support H.R. 5434. Send a prewritten email by using the convenient AMA Action Center.

Take Action


November 2019

 

National and Regional News

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Park Service has reversed its September decision to allow ATVs and side-by-sides in Utah's five national parks. The change was scheduled to go into effect Nov. 1. The Park Service initially intended to allow the vehicles, because Utah law allows some of them to be registered and operated on state roads. Anti-access groups and Grand County officials objected to the change and urged the NPS to rescind its decision.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) re-introduced S. 2602, Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act, which would protect the right of vehicle owners to convert their personal vehicles, including motorcycles, into competition machines. In 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was granted authority to fine amateur racers for such modifications. The AMA supports this legislation. Click on this link to contact your senator http://cqrcengage.com/amacycle/app/take-action?engagementId=503034.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released highway crash fatality data for 2018, showing a 2.4 percent decline in overall fatalities, the second consecutive year of reduced crash fatalities. Motorcyclist fatalities declined 4.7 percent. The report shows that 4,985 motorcyclists died in crashes in 2018, down 244 from the 5,229 fatalities in 2017.

RENO, Nev. - The National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council's annual conference drew about 200 people from across the country in October. The AMA was represented by Western States Representative Nick Haris and Steve Salisbury, government relations manager for off-highway issues. The conference brings together off-road enthusiasts, government officials, industry leaders, OHV rights advocates and vendors. The 2020 conference is scheduled for Aug. 17-22 in Knoxville, Tenn.

COLUMBUS, Ohio - To attract new riders and encourage motorcyclists to ride more, the motorcycle industry must tap into people's positive emotions, while offering easy and practical ways to enter and stay a part of the two-wheeled community, four presenters from the Motorcycle Industry Council said during the AIMExpo in September. Those were the findings by the research firm Centauric LLC, hired by the MIC to determine why some people ride and others don't. Among the suggestions to attract riders were more support for rider communities and networks, development of rider mentorship programs and offering new ways to access motorcycles that are not ownership-based. The MIC is refining these elements into an action plan, which will be presented to MIC members at the MIC annual symposium in November.

State News

WRANGELL, Alaska - At a Nov. 6 meeting, the Wrangell-Petersburg Resource Advisory Committee will review the progress of previously funded projects, consider new project proposals and take up remaining recommendations for the allocation of Title ii project funding. The meeting is 6:30-9 p.m. in two locations: Wrangell Ranger District Office, 525 Bennett St., Wrangell, Alaska; Petersburg Ranger District Office, 12 N. Nordic Drive, Petersburg, Alaska. The locations will be connected via videoconference. For more information, contact Linda Slaght, RAC coordinator, (907) 772-5948 or lslaght@fs.fed.us.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - California Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill that would have denied the off-highway vehicle community a long-overdue opportunity for additional motorized recreation at the Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area. Assembly Bill 1086, introduced in the last days of the legislative session, was a "gut and amend" bill that used language from the failed Senate Bill 767. Both bills would have declared the 3,100-acre Alameda-Tesla Expansion Area to be surplus property, making it available for sale. Newsom's veto message cited a lack of evidence regarding mismanagement of the property. The agency that oversees the property has procedures in place for disposing of unneeded property. Carnegie SVRA has been part of the California State Parks system since 1980, when the site was acquired by the California Department of Parks and Recreation. Prior to that, the site was privately owned and was enjoyed by generations of motorized recreationists, including a period when it was operated as a private motorcycle park.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Using a $700,000 federal grant, the California Highway Patrol developed the Get Educated and Ride Safe II campaign, or GEARS II, to promote motorcycle safety and awareness. The GEARS II goal is to reduce the number of crashes and crash victims. With the grant, the regions with the highest number of motorcycle incidents will see increased safety operations. A year-long series of safety education campaigns, including the "May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month," is planned. The campaigns will promote the use of motorcycle helmet that meet U.S. Department of Transportation standards and will work to increase motorists' awareness of motorcyclists on the road. The campaigns will also focus on the most dangerous traffic violations, including speeding, improper turning and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Funding came from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Steve Salisbury, AMA government relations manager for off-highway issues, attended the fourth of six planned meetings of the Maine Governor's ATV Task Force in October. The task force is charged with six tasks, primarily considering ATV trail funding and the size and weight of vehicles allowed on Maine's state-administered 6,500-mile ATV trail system, nearly all of which is on private land. Before the task force meeting, Salisbury huddled with members of the AMA-chartered Pine Tree Trail Riders and with Maine AMA State Chapter coordinator John Painter. The state's off-highway motorcycle riders are concerned, because two influential task force members suggested revising the ATV definition to exclude OHMs, ending riders' legal access to the trails. During the public comment portion of the task force meeting, Salisbury described the AMA's familiarity with private land issues, highlighted misconceptions around OHM trail use, addressed best management practices for OHM trails, noted the available OHV ethics messaging and strongly supported OHM registration options that would encourage club membership.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Ninety-two percent of those commenting on a proposal to reduce tolls for motorcyclists favored the idea. Seven percent opposed it. And 1 percent were neutral. The Maryland Transportation Authority has proposed reducing tolls for motorcycles by 50 percent, among other changes. Of the 287 comments received, 167 addressed the motorcycle proposal. The AMA put out a call in July to support the proposal and also urge officials to simply eliminate the tolls for motorcycles. A final decision on the proposal is expected by the end of the year. The MTA report is available for download at https://mdta.maryland.gov/sites/default/files/Files/Documents/TollModernization/Toll_Moderization_Public_Comments_Final_Report.pdf

ALBANY, N.Y. - The Adirondack Council filed a lawsuit Oct. 7 against the town of Clare in St. Lawrence County over its use of a road through a forest preserve as an all-terrain vehicle trail. The lawsuit seeks to overturn a law passed this year by the town that authorized the use of the road by ATVs. The Grass River Wild Forest holds about 14,000 acres of forest preserve, which is managed with three conservation easements-Grass River, Tooley Pond and Long Pond-for a total of more than 125,000 acres of public access. Some ATV use is allowed on the conservation easements, according to a report by NNY360.com.

International News

Brussels - The Brussels government plans a study to determine whether motorcycles should be banned from the Capital Region, based on the amount of fine dust and greenhouse gases emitted in 2020. The Capital Region is Brussels' low-emissions zone. A report in The Brussels Times states that a recent French study showed motorcycles emit as much as 11 times the carbon monoxide and six times as much nitrogen as cars. New motorcycles fall under the Euro 4-norm, while cars must meet the Euro 6-rating. The car and motorcycle federation Febiac said the idea is "pure provocation" and called a motorcycle ban "simplistic reasoning." "It has been proven that daily traffic jams could be reduced 40 percent if only 10 percent of drivers would choose a motorcycle instead of a car," said Febiac Chairman Philippe Dehennin. "We invite the Region to look at mobility in a different way instead of announcing a ban."

VARANO MELEGARI, Italy - Carboni e Metalli, a startup manufacturer, has produced a "composites-intensive concept motorcycle" that pays homage to the U.S. Apollo missions, according to a report at CompositesWorld.com. The Lunar Project motorcycle won the "Best of Show" award for best motorcycle at the 2019 Wildays in Italy. The motorcycle is based on a KTM 250GS. It uses the bike's original steel frame and engine, with a carbon fiber composite sub-frame, a rear swingarm built from a combination of carbon fiber and 3D-printed titanium. "In 1969, mankind first stepped on the moon. Now, 50 years later, we wanted to pay homage to that historical achievement doing what we do best in the part of the world: combining unique materials and advanced technologies with artisanal craftsmanship and passionate design," said Massimo Bercella, co-founder of Carboni e Metalli.

Industry News

AUSTIN, Texas - Porsche Taylor, Alisa Clickenger, and Robyn Kocienski have joined the Women Riders Now Leadership Board. The board also includes co-chairwomen Erin Sills and Sarah Schilke. The WRN Leadership Board will help guide the strategic direction of WomenRidersNow.com, which was founded in 1999 by 2019 AMA Bessie Stringfield Award winner Genevieve Schmitt. Taylor is the founder of Black Girls Ride magazine, an online publication serving African-American riders. Clickenger is a motorcycle journalist and tour leader. Kocienski is a motorcycle tour guide with Motoquest Tours.

CHARLOTTETOWN, Prince Edward Island, Canada - Havoc Motorcycles, the makers of Canada's Performance Supercruisers, has announced details of its newest muscle bike to be released for the 2020 model year. The Havoc 127 Voodoo sports a 2.081 liter (127ci) V-Twin producing 140 horsepower and 140 pound feet of torque. With 1960s styling, the 127 Voodoo is a retro-themed bike, including a hidden shock frame, springer front end, thick spoke wheels, sprung solo saddle and high tracker pipe. The company is taking orders for spring delivery. Pre-order pricing is $22,500. Get more information at www.havoc-motorcycles.com/127-voodoo.html.

VARESE, Italy -MV Agusta, a producer of premium motorcycles, has announced its five-year business plan, with funding provided by the Sardarov family, MV Agusta's shareholder. The business plan calls for reaching a sales volume of more than 25,000 motorcycles in the five-year time frame and includes investments in a new premium and medium-capacity range bikes. The company's plan also provides for an investment in its global distribution network, focused primarily on Europe, Asia and the United States.

MATTIGHOFEN, Austria - KTM Industries AG successfully concluded negotiations with Black Toro Capital-the owners of GASGAS Motorcycles-for future industrial cooperation with GASGAS under the lead of KTM Industries AG. New models will be developed alongside the Trial and Enduro bikes of GASGAS. As part of the Joint Venture the production of GASGAS products and TORROT electric vehicles will be continued in Girona/Spain. GASGAS will be added-alongside KTM and HUSQVARNA Motorcycles & eBikes-to the sales network of the KTM Industries group, which will soon change its name to PIERER Mobility group. The deal is subject to antitrust authorities' approval.

COVENTRY, United Kingdom - Arc Vehicles Ltd., which planned to produce the $114,000 Arc Vector electric motorcycle, has entered administration, the British equivalent of filing for bankruptcy. The motorcycle was expected to produce 95 kW (127 horsepower), with a top speed of 150 mph. And the company claimed a range of 362 miles, with a recharge time of 45 minutes.

AMA News

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - Get your tickets and make your plans to be at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, July 10-12 for 2020 AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days. AMA members can purchase discounted tickets now at www.amavintagemotorcycledays.com/tickets. AMA members save an additional $5 off the already discounted early bird pricing. AMA members can also call (614) 856-1900 to order their tickets. A fundraiser for the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days showcases classic motorcycles of all makes and styles, and honors the riders who made them famous. Activities at the event include the AMA Vintage Grand Championship, which features road racing, motocross, hare scrambles, trials and flat-track racing. In addition, North America's largest motorcycle swap meet is packed with parts, bikes and memorabilia from all eras. There are shows with examples of some of history's most beloved motorcycles. Attendees are entertained by stunt shows, demo rides of current production bikes and live music, while seminars on numerous topics by noted motorcycling experts keep them informed. Non-AMA members and those reserving RV spaces must purchase tickets through Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. These tickets will be available in December online at midohio.com or by calling (419) 884-4000. AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days is a family-friendly event. Children 12 and under get in free with a ticketed adult. Free parking is also available on site.

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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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_rights, @ama_riding and @ama_racing and on Instagram at @ama_riding and @ama_racing.


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:
Take Action


October 2019

 

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.

State News

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.

International News

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.

Industry News

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.

AMA News

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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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.

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Bill would cap ethanol in nation's fuel supply

Tell your representative to support H.R. 2540 today

H.R. 2540, the bipartisan Food and Fuel Consumer Protection Act of 2019, introduced by U.S. Reps. Bill Flores (R-TX) and Peter Welch (D-VT), would cap the volume of ethanol blended into the nation's fuel supply at 9.7 percent of the total volume of gasoline. The American Motorcyclist Association supports this bill and other efforts to reform the Renewable Fuel Standard.

This 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.

The AMA, along with other partners on Capitol Hill dedicated to protecting consumers adversely affected by E15, is working to generate more support for this bill and others at a time when E15 is set to become more available throughout the country, thanks to rule changes by the Environmental Protection Agency that allow its sale year round.

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. 2540 by sending a prewritten message by clicking the "Take Action" button.

Take Action


September 2019

 

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).

State News

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 michelle.norton@usda.gov. 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.

International News

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.

Industry News

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.

AMA News

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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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_rights, @ama_riding and @ama_racing and on Instagram at @ama_riding and @ama_racing.


August 2019

 

National and Regional News

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The federal highway bill introduced July 29 in the U.S. Senate contains a provision calling for a study of funding levels for the Recreational Trails Program, which the AMA believes has been underfunded for years. The program receives revenue from the sale of fuel for nonhighway use. That money helps pay for recreational trails for motorized and nonmotorized use. Typically, annual funding is about $84 million. But the Recreational Trails Coalition-which includes the AMA-believes the trail fund should receive more than $270 million a year.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -The Office of United States Trade Representative has proposed 100 percent tariffs on motorcycles imported from countries in the European Union with an engine size between 500cc and 700cc, along with parts and accessories. The AMA is joining others in the motorcycling community to oppose the latest ill-conceived proposal -- part of a dispute over aircraft subsidies -- which would cause serious, and potentially irreversible, harm to American small- and medium-sized business owners selling the motorcycles, parts and accessories. To register your opinion, go to https://tinyurl.com/y2x7oq8m.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The federal government has closed about 42 square miles of the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah to motorized recreation, much less than the 184 square miles targeted for closure by anti-access advocates and tribal officials. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management plan for the monument says that the historic sites most at risk will remain off limits to motorized access.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Bureau of Land Management plans to move its headquarters from Washington, D.C., to Colorado to put more agency officials closer to the land they oversee. About 4 percent of BLM employees live in D.C., according to a report in The Hill. The move would leave just 60 of the nearly 400 BLM employees in the nation's capital. Twenty-seven BLM employees will be transferred to the new headquarters in Grand Junction, Colo., while others will be in Utah, Nevada and other existing local BLM offices. The agency has about 10,000 employees. The House Committee on Natural Resources has scheduled a Sept. 10 hearing about the proposed move.

State News

FOLSOM, Calif. - The city has installed new traffic signals that use high-definition cameras that can tell how fast vehicles are approaching, triggering the light to change according to traffic flow. Six of the lights were installed along Empire Ranch Road, where city officials say drivers frequently were speeding. The lights change their timing, so someone driving faster than the posted speed limit will be stopped at several red lights. City officials say the lights will not be used for law enforcement.

TRACY, Calif. - Senate Bill 767, which encourages the sale of the Carnegie expansion property, known as the Alameda-Tesla Expansion Area, was approved by the California State Assembly Committee on Accountability and Administrative Review. The land in question was purchased using funds from the Off Highway Vehicle Trust Fund, and adjacent landowners agreed to the future use of the land for motorized recreation. Subsequently, extensive work was undertaken to correct previous neglect and to bring the property up to the environmental standards mandated by state law. However, the current bill seeks to deny the OHV community a long overdue opportunity for increased motorized recreation, penalizing Californians who enjoy recreation on state-owned public lands. The AMA opposes this bill and urges all riders and their supporters to contact their elected officials.

OCEANO, Calif. - The California Coastal Commission rejected a staff recommendation on July 11 and voted to keep the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area open for responsible motorized recreation. In a June 21 report, the staff said the change is needed because of issues regarding "air quality and public health, rare and endangered species and habitats, environmental justice, and tribal concerns." The report is part of the State Parks effort to develop a new long-term plan for its programs, facilities, campgrounds and OHV areas at Oceano Dunes. The AMA applauds the commission decision.

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-use 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. 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. Visitors can expect to see fallen trees on some trails.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Motorcycle tolls would be cut in half under a plan to modernize Maryland's toll system in 2020. A public comment period begins today, Aug. 1, for the new tolling options proposed by the Maryland Transportation Authority board. The public comment period ends at 5 p.m. Oct. 3. 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.

CONCORD, N.H. - A memorial is being planned for the seven motorcyclists killed in a June crash caused by a pickup truck that crossed the centerline. American Legion Post 82 in Gorham hopes to create the memorial near the crash site in Randolph, N.H. The memorial would include a granite slab with the Jarheads Motorcycle Club logo on it, as well as benches, the U.S. Marine Corps logo and a parking area. 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.

PORTLAND, Ore. - The state Parks and Recreation Department is seeking volunteers for two upcoming vacant positions on the All-Terrain Vehicle Advisory Committee. Successful candidates will also serve on the ATV Grant Subcommittee. The committees review crashes and fatalities resulting from ATV recreation; review changes to statutory vehicle classifications for safety considerations; review safety features of all classes of OHVs; and recommend safety requirements to protect child and adult OHV operators. To apply for one of the open positions, visit www.oregon.gov/oprd/ATV/Pages/ATV-Advisory-Committee.aspx and click the "Committee Interest Form" at the bottom of the page. Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. Aug. 30. For more information, contact Jeff Trejo, OPRD ATV safety education coordinator, at jeff.trejo@oregon.gov or (503) 986-0585.

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Fines increased July 28 for repeat offenders and new fines became effective for those violating the high-occupancy-vehicle lane law by using dummies to cheat the rules that require two or more occupants per car. The maximum fine is $536. Motorcycles are permitted in Washington's HOV lanes whether the rider is carrying a passenger or not.

MADISON, Wis. - ABATE of Wisconsin reports that two state senators are circulating a draft bill that would allow retailers to dispense all blends of fuel through one pump nozzle. The bill (LRB 2170/P1) would apply to fuel blends up to 15 percent ethanol (E15). The AMA joins ABATE of Wisconsin in opposing this bill, which would dramatically increase the likelihood of inadvertent misfueling by motorcyclists. No motorcycles or ATVs sold in the United States are certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to operate on fuel containing more than 10 percent ethanol (E10).

International News

LONDON - Drivers who cause someone's death as a result of looking at their phones while driving could face life in jail. The current maximum penalty is 14 years. Last year, 122 people were sentenced for causing death by dangerous driving and a further 21 people were convicted for killing someone when under the influence of drink or drugs. British Transport Secretary Chris Grayling backs the plan to make the punishment better fit the crime.

Industry News

MILWAUKEE - The Harley-Davidson Motor Company is offering two years of free charging for its LiveWire electric motorcycle at ChargePoint stations at participating Harley dealers. The company also is providing 500 kWh of charging service at Electrify America stations. The LiveWire is Harley's first electric motorcycle, claiming a range of 140 miles of city driving per charge.

MILWAUKEE - The Harley-Davidson Museum's new exhibition, "Daredevils: A Century of Spine-Tingling Spectacles," shines a new light on daredevil shows. The oldest artifacts on display include the "Globe of Death" from 1912; photos of the Parry Sisters in action from around 1915; and old show posters. Covered are the exploits of Buffalo Bill Cody, Evel Knievel, Super Joe Einhorn, Matt MacDuff, Debbie Evans, Dar Robinson, Bubba Blackwell, Joey Chitwood, and others. There are motorcycles, costumes, posters, photographs and videos to see.

IRVINE, Calif. - Bonnier Motorcycle Group has launched a digital media brand focused on electric mobility called Cycle Volta. The digital brand covers electric-assist bicycles, micromobility and electric motorcycles across digital, video (including YouTube) and social media platforms. Additional e-bike information will be distributed through content-syndication partners.

AMA News

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - Tens of thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts spent July 5-7 reveling in the vintage motorcycling experience at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, where they found racing, entertainment, the world's largest vintage motorcycle swap meet, seminars, a bike show and more during 2019 Honda AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, presented by Avon Tyres. The three-day event in Lexington, Ohio-organized and promoted annually by the American Motorcyclist Association-raises funds to maintain the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame museum in Pickerington, Ohio. For a full recap of the event, see the September issue of American Motorcyclist magazine.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - Cameron Krezman and Levi Leutz won the 250cc Class and 150cc Class titles at the 2019 AMA Youth Speedway National Championship at Fast Friday's Motorcycle Speedway in Auburn, Calif., on July 12. The event pitted the nation's best speedway racers, 17 years old or younger, against each other in two competition classes. The 2019 national championship event featured 26 riders vying for AMA No. 1 plates. Read more at www.americanmotorcyclist.com/Home/AMA-News-And-Press-Releases/krezman-leutz-named-class-champions-at-2019-ama-youth-speedway-national-championship-1.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - Fourteen riders won 21 class titles during the 2019 AMA Flat Track Grand Championship, which featured short track, TT and half-mile competition July 23-26 in Ohio. The top performer was Trevor Brunner, a 16-year-old from Aurora, Ind., who claimed four AMA No. 1 plates. He won eight main events and finished runner up in seven to capture the 251cc-500cc DTX, 450cc Modified, 450cc-Open Singles and 450cc-Open Modified class titles. Brunner also was named the 2019 Nicky Hayden AMA Flat Track Horizon Award winner. Established in 1997, the award is designed to recognize riders who are about to move from the youth ranks into amateur racing and from the amateur ranks into pro competition. Also named at the event was the winner of the 2019 Fast Brain Award, 10-year-old Ryder Reese of Elmira, N.Y. The AMA Fast Brain Award is an educational scholarship that is funded by contributions from AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Bill Werner of Bill Werner Racing, Zanotti Racing's Dave Zanotti and flat track and road racing team owner Tim Estenson.

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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.

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