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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
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 email@example.com.
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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.
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:
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:
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.
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:
For more information visit www.fs.usda.gov/detail/srnf/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD679013 or contact Devin McMahon at (707) 441-3527 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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:
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:
As part of the grant application process, the field office is asking for public input. Send comments to email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
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|RPM Act reintroduced in U.S. Senate
Tell Congress to support your right to race!
The Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act (RPM Act, S. 2602) was reintroduced in the Senate by Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). The bi-partisan RPM Act would ensure that converting motor vehicles into competition-only vehicles remains legal. Street motorcycles are considered motor vehicles under the federal Clean Air Act.
The RPM Act states that it was the clear intent of Congress when passing and amending the Clean Air Act that motor vehicles, including motorcycles, used solely for competition would be exempt from the Clean Air Act's prohibitions against modifying emission control devices.
The American Motorcyclist Association supports the bill and its protections for amateur and professional racing enthusiasts.
Tell your senators you support S. 2602. Send a prewritten email by using the convenient AMA by following the Take Action link:
National and Regional News
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Reviving America's Scenic Byways Act (S. 349) passed the U.S. Senate by voice vote on Sept. 9 and was signed by the president. The bill passed the House in February. The bill requires the Secretary of Transportation to request nominations for, and make determinations regarding, roads to be designated under the national scenic byways program, which has been closed for six years. The AMA was part of the coalition that helped create this program in 1991 and is part of a coalition now intent on reviving the program. Many of the country's favorite motorcycling roads are National Scenic Byways and benefit from the resources provided to preserve and enhance them. From the Blue Ridge Parkway, stretching 469 miles from North Carolina to Virginia, to the Beartooth Highway between Montana and Wyoming, to Hells Canyon in Oregon, there are 150 roads designated as National Scenic Byways. The program provides resources that help communities along these byways benefit from the tourism they generate, while preserving the characteristics of the roads that made them great destinations in the first place. Officials are prepared to seek National Scenic Byway designation for 44 roads in 24 states as soon as the program is restarted.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency must reconsider its 2018 renewable volume obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard because the agency failed to consider how the policy would affect endangered species, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled. In a suit brought in 2018, the Sierra Club and the Gulf Restoration Network argued that habitats of whooping cranes and gulf sturgeon could be affected if corn production is increased to meet federal standards for ethanol in vehicle fuels. Claims made by refineries and energy companies that the RVOs were too low or too high were rejected by the court. The EPA argued that it did make a determination when it responded to comments on the proposed standards by saying it could not attribute any damage to habitats or species to changes in the rule.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Interior Secretary David Bernhardt signed an order in late August that allows electric bicycles on all trails on Department of Interior land where pedal bicycles are permitted. The new policy covers all of the national parks and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Despite the BLM and U.S. Forest Service still considering e-bikes motorized vehicles, the San Juan Nation Forest in Colorado has allowed some e-bikes on selected nonmotorized trails following an environmental assessment and public input in 2017. In a more controversial move, the Tahoe National Forest also recently allowed electric mountain bikes on some nonmotorized trails without undergoing reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act or seeking public comments. The AMA believes federal lands should be available for use by all Americans engaging in a wide range of recreational activities. However, the AMA believes the growing popularity of e-bikes has posed many questions and agencies should manage their use consistently, especially in terms of soliciting public comments.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Waymo, the self-driving car unit of Google parent Alphabet Inc., has asked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to remove regulatory barriers for self-driving cars that do not have steering wheels or brake pedals, according to a Reuters report. But Waymo still wants NHTSA to ensure the safety of those cars on the road. Automakers currently must meet nearly 75 auto safety standards for self-driving cars, many written under the assumption that a licensed driver is in command of the vehicle using traditional controls. NHTSA should first work on addressing those safety standards that assume a human is behind the wheel before revising rules to address alternative seating configurations, Waymo said in a letter to the agency. That will "enable the timely deployment" of vehicles without manual controls. NHTSA is also grappling with how and where to test self-driving cars to assure they are safe, according to the Reuters report. The agency is considering whether to use simulations or external remote controls in testing. Many automakers plan remote controls to pilot autonomous vehicles through factories or onto trucks. The AMA objects to the deployment of automated vehicles that do not properly detect and appropriately respond to motorcycles, other nearby vehicles or pedestrians.
PHOENIX - The Arizona Motorcycle Safety & Awareness Foundation is teaming with RideNow Powersports on a pilot program to help motorcyclists obtain helmets. Applicants who donate $50 to AMSAF will receive a $125 credit toward one full-face helmet at specified RideNow Powersports locations. Applicants must have a motorcycle endorsement on their driver's licenses. Funds for the program came from donations, sponsorships and grants. For more information, visit www.amsaf.org/helmets or call (888) 951-3732.
PRESCOTT, Ariz. - The Yavapai Resource Advisory Committee is accepting applications through Oct. 6 for grants to be awarded under the Secure Rural Schools and Communities Self-Determination Act. Although the primary location for projects is intended to be in Yavapai County on the Prescott National Forest and portions of the Kaibab, Coconino and Tonto national forests, projects can also be on nonfederal lands within Yavapai County where it is clearly demonstrated that the project benefits resources on the national forest. Grants are for projects that improve roads, trails or recreation facilities or projects that improve forest health and restore and improve land health and water quality. Applications can be made at tinyurl.com/YavapaiRACProposal. For more information, contact Debbie Maneely at (928) 443-8130.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Lawmakers approved S.B. 112, which restores the "fix-it" tickets for vehicles suspected of violating the state's exhaust sound limit. Fix-it tickets allow the vehicle owner 30 days to correct a violation. A.B. 1824, signed into law in 2018, eliminated that option, resulting in immediate fines.
UKIAH, Calif. - The South Cow Mountain OHV Management Area has reopened to the public following repairs related to 2018's Mendocino Complex fires. Fire damage was worsened by winter rains. Some motorized trails will remain closed because of burned bridges, washouts and hazard trees. Visitors are cautioned to pay attention to signs and stay off of closed routes for safety and to protect natural resources. Visitors should use only designated roads and trails and avoid driving on bulldozer fire lines. Visitors can expect to see fallen trees on some trails. The South Cow Mountain OHV Management Area provides more than 100 miles of trails for riders and drivers of all abilities using motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, four-wheel-drive trucks and utility vehicles.
MONTROSE, Colo. - The U.S. Bureau of Land Management will lease about 44 acres to Montrose County, enabling the county to develop the Shavano Gateway Recreation Area. According to the Montrose Press, the county will establish a formal trailhead for the Montrose side of the 160-mile Rimrocker Trail, as well as provide about 20 miles of single-track trails adjacent to the recreation area for mountain bikes, ATVs and non-motorized travel. The county also plans an off-highway vehicle training and obstacle course and infrastructure, such as picnic tables.
DUBUQUE, Iowa - The Dubuque County Supervisors are preparing to open most roads to ATVS and UTVs. Officials approved a $30,000 contract with Northeast Iowa Community College to educate the public about the change through radio, print and social media. The ordinance requires drivers to be 18 or older.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Motorcycle tolls would be cut in half under a plan to modernize Maryland's toll system in 2020. A public comment period extended through Oct. 3 for the new tolling options proposed by the Maryland Transportation Authority board. A final report will be submitted Oct. 31 for review by the MDTA board and will be posted at mdta.maryland.gov for additional public comment. The board is scheduled to vote on a final recommendation at its Nov. 21 meeting. Gov. Larry Hogan said the toll relief package would save Marylanders more than $28 million over five years.
RANDOLPH, N.H. - A memorial is being planned for the seven motorcyclists killed in a June crash caused by a pickup truck driver who crossed the centerline of a highway. American Legion Post 82 in Gorham hopes to create the memorial near the crash site in Randolph, N.H. The memorial would include the Jarheads Motorcycle Club and U.S. Marine Corps logos. The Jarheads is a New England motorcycle club that includes Marines and their spouses. The pickup driver, 23-year-old Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, of West Springfield, Mass., has pleaded not guilty to negligent homicide. Officials say Zhukovskyy's license should have been suspended because of a previous drunken driving arrest.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Three national forests-Cibola, Santa Fe and Carson-have released final draft plans and environmental impact statements. Public hearings were held in August and September. The deadline for comments on the plans is Nov. 7. The final draft Carson National Forest documents is available here: www.fs.usda.gov/detail/carson/landmanagement/planning/?cid=stelprdb5443166. For information about the Cibola National Forest, visit www.fs.usda.gov/detail/cibola/landmanagement/planning/?cid=FSBDEV3_065627. And the Santa Fe National Forest documents are available here: www.fs.usda.gov/detail/santafe/landmanagement/planning/?cid=stelprd3791442.
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Four miles of new all-purpose vehicle trails are planned for a 144-acre property in the Pike State Forest, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources announced. The new trails bring the total in the forest to nearly 20 miles of APV trails. APVs include four-wheelers, dirt bikes, side-by-sides and dual-sport motorcycles.
VERNAL, Utah - The Ashley National Forest is defining the scope of an update to its Forest Plan, which has been amended 24 times since its adoption in 1986. There are nearly 30 OHV trails on the forest. The scoping process is intended to give stakeholders the opportunity to identify issues that should be addressed in the Environmental Impact Statement and Forest Plan. The Forest Service expects to release a draft revised Forest Plan and EIS by the fall of 2020 and the final version of each by the summer of 2021. Comments are due by Nov. 8. Email comments to AshleyForestPlans@usda.gov or send them to Ashley National Forest, Attention: Plan Revision, 355 N. Vernal Ave., Vernal, UT 84078-1703. Plan documents are available online at www.fs.usda.gov/main/ashley/landmanagement/planning.
VILLENEUVE-LE-ROI, France - This Paris suburb has installed cameras and sound detectors near Orly Airport in an attempt to reduce sound levels by ticketing suspected vehicles. The "acoustic cameras" pick up sounds that exceed the legal limit, then snap photos of the offending vehicles. However, French law does not allow vehicle owners to be fined under this approach. The French pilot project is one among several. A 2011 project in Calgary, Canada, was discontinued when it was determined that the acoustic measurements could not be used for enforcement. Edmonton installed cameras and sound recording equipment in 2018, according to a report by Dolf Willigers of the Federation of European Motorcycle Associations. The British Department for Transport has announced that acoustic cameras will be installed as a reaction to excessive vehicle sound. And the Netherlands city of Tilburg is considering acoustic cameras against excessive noise by cars and motorcycles in the inner city.
MATTIGHOFEN, Austria - KTM Industries AG will be renamed Pierer Mobility AG to better reflect "the strong role of the majority shareholder" and encompass the company's other brands. KTM also owns Husqvarna Motorcycles, Husqvarna Bicycles and Raymon and the component brand WP.
CALABASAS HILLS, Calif. - Powersports distributor Helmet House has been sold to an industry group. Founders Bob Miller and Phil Bellomy sold the 50-year-old business to Dave Bertram, Scott Link, Don Becklin and Randy Hutchings. MIller and Bellomy said they will retain part ownership. Among the brands distributed by Helmet House are Shoei, HJC, Tourmaster, Cortech and Sena. Bertram is the founder of Cycle Gear. Becklin is the founder of Motorcycle-Superstore and Motorcycle-USA.com. Link was director of sales for North America for Alpinestars. Hutchings is the current CEO of Helmet House.
MARIETTA, Ga. - Yamaha Motor Corp. USA awarded more than $86,000 to five organizations during the second quarter of 2019 as part of its pledge to fund $500,000 in Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative grants this year. Those receiving the most recent grants are Arizona State Association of 4-Wheel Drive, Post Wildfire OHV Recovery Alliance, Save the Rider's Dunes, Southern California Mountain Foundation and The Great Outdoors Fund. For further information on Yamaha's Outdoor Access Initiative program, or to submit a grant application, visit YamahaOAI.com.
AUSTIN, Texas - WomenRidersNow.com, a website for female motorcyclists, has formed a Leadership Board to guide its strategy. Board members include Co-Chairwomen Erin Sills and Sarah Schilke. WRN founder Genevieve Schmitt, the 2019 AMA Bessie Stringfield Award recipient, will serve on the board in an advisory capacity.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio - The 2019 AMA Legends & Champions Weekend is Dec. 6-7 at the Hilton Columbus Downtown in Columbus, Ohio. The AMA Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Dec. 6 will welcome the Hall of Fame Class of 2019: rights advocate Mark Buckner, off-road racing champion Kurt Caselli, motocross champion Ron Lechien, trials pioneer Wiltz Wagner and museum founder Dale Walksler. On Dec. 7, the 2019 AMA Championship Banquet which honors the national champions in all disciplines sanctioned by the AMA. In addition, the hotel will host AMA Congress on Dec. 6-7, where AMA Commission members will discuss rules governing AMA-sanctioned events. Tickets for AMA Legends & Champions Weekend are available now at http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=vw9ldxbab&oeidk=a07egk6666t3e98bda6. Tickets also can be purchased over the phone at (800) 262-5646. Reservations can be made at the Hilton Columbus Downtown at https://book.passkey.com/event/49921089/owner/9521521/home.
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National and Regional News
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The federal government's final management plans for 1.86 million acres in and around the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument includes additional areas for motorized off-highway recreation. The plans call for 116 acres of cross-country travel in the Little Desert Recreation Management Zone and two new motorized routes totaling about 10 miles. The plan also would close 1,464 acres in the No Man's Mesa Recreation Management Zone to motorized use. The plan also calls for consideration of specific motorized routes in the next Travel Management Plan on 1.21 million acres newly designated for limited OHV access. The full report can be downloaded at https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-office/projects/lup/94706/20001993/250002378/02_GSENM-KEPA_Proposed_RMPs-Final_EIS_Volume1.pdf.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - With the government's approval of the year-round sale of fuel containing as much as 15 percent ethanol, motorcyclists and ATV riders need to be even more vigilant when filling up their vehicle's tanks. The Nebraska Corn Board is promoting increased availability of E15 fuel by offering $50,000 grants to service stations that upgrade to blender pumps that would supply the higher-ethanol blend. The blender pumps also would handle E30 and E85, which are approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for use in flex-fuel vehicles only. As more retailers install E15 pumps and offer the product throughout the year as "Unleaded88," the risk rises for motorcyclists to unintentionally pump E15 or higher blends into their tanks. None of the estimated 22 million motorcycles and ATVs in use in the United States is certified by the EPA to operate on fuel containing more than 10 percent ethanol.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - AMVETS has stepped in to organize the Rolling Thunder First Amendment Demonstration Run, an annual Memorial Day protest and gathering in the nation's capital to increase awareness of American prisoners of war and those still missing in action. Organizers of the 31-year-old event said that 2019 would be the last run, because the associated costs were too high. But AMVETS has applied for a permit for a 2020 event May 22-24 with 50,000 participants, a podium and sound system, 18 portable restrooms, a stage and more, according to a report by ConnectingVets.com. AMVETS Executive Director Joe Chenelly said his group "is not trying to take over Rolling Thunder or their organization or other rides they plan." He said he also hopes to use the 2020 event to increase knowledge about suicide among veterans.
RENO, Nev. - Tickets are on sale for the annual conferences for the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council and the International OHV Administrators Association, scheduled for Oct. 15-19. The joint conferences bring together members of the OHV community, including enthusiasts and land managers, and provide an opportunity to share insights on issues, hurdles and successes. More information is available at www.nohvcc.org/annual-conference-2019.
DES PLAINES, Ill. - Motorcycle thefts in the United States fell about 6 percent in 2018, according to a report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau. In 2018, 41,674 motorcycles were reported stolen, compared with 44,268 in 2017. The states reporting the highest number of thefts in 2018 California were (7,035), Florida (4,279), Texas (3,073), New York (1,777), South Carolina (1,743), North Carolina (1,466), Indiana (1,229), Missouri (1,194), Georgia (1,174) and Colorado (1,109). The top 10 cities for motorcycle thefts in 2018 were New York (1,310), Los Angeles (628), Miami (595), Las Vegas (540), San Diego (527), San Francisco (520), Houston (460), Philadelphia (404), Austin (329) and San Jose (322).
BARSTOW, Calif. - The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is hosting a public meeting from 10 a.m. to noon Sept. 17, at the Barstow Field Office to present information about the management of the Dumont Dunes Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area. The BLM is seeking public comments on its proposed actions. Discussions will include dates for the five holidays, road maintenance and signs and visitor center dates, hours and activities. For more information, contact Katrina Symons, Barstow field Manager, at (760) 252-6004.
CLARK FORK, Idaho - The U.S. Forest Service is seeking public comments on the Buckskin Saddle Integrated Restoration Project. This scoping, or public comment period, is open and comments will be accepted through Sept. 9. Information and instructions on how to comment are available at www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=52563. The project area is about 50,000 acres in size and is located southeast of Clark Fork, Idaho and Lake Pend Oreille. The project is being proposed to address forest health, hazardous fuels and a number of other resource management needs. The proposal includes treating about 20,000 acres with both commercial and non-commercial methods. About 33 miles of roads would be constructed, 160 miles of existing roads would be reconstructed or maintained, and 8 miles of road would be decommissioned. Fifty-six miles of existing trails would be reconstructed, two new trail bridges would be installed, and two trailheads developed. For questions about this project, contact Michelle Norton at (208) 265-6667 or email@example.com. The deadline for comments is Sept. 9. To submit comments, use the Forest Service's website: cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public//CommentInput?Project=52563. The project website is at www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=52563.
AUBURN, Wash. - The Washington Off Highway Vehicle Alliance and the Northwest Motorcycle Association received more than $600,000 in grant funding to improve trails in the state. The groups said their grant is the first such award in the state for nonprofit OHV organizations.
SNOHOMISH, Wash. - The City Council approved a one-year pilot program that will allow ATVs on city street that have speed limits of 35 mph or slower. Residents told the Council they wanted an alternative form of transportation that was nimble and fuel efficient. Drivers must be licensed and insured and follow all vehicle driving laws. The Snohomish County Council scheduled a public hearing for Sept. 11 to discuss allowing ATVs on all 35 mph roads east of Highway 9.
PARIS - Increasing the use of powered two-wheelers and reducing the use of cars, trucks and buses would help reduce pollution, according to a report from the French National Agency for Food, Environment and Occupational Health and Safety. The agency recommends a 50 percent increase in the number of powered two-wheelers, gas or electric. The report also calls for a 25 percent reduction in the number of passenger cars, a 20 percent cut in use of light trucks and a 75 percent increase in diesel and electric buses. The recommendation echoes the position of the Federation of European Motorcyclist Association and its French affiliate, the Fédération Française des Motards en Colère, or FFMC, also known in English as the French Federation of Angry Bikers.
KIGALI, Rwanda - The government plans to issue a policy that would eliminate gas-powered motorcycles in the taxi section and encourage the use of electric motorcycles. Official estimate that 20,000 to 30,000 moto-taxis operate in the capital city. The new policy is part of an overall plan to convert the country's entire transportation network to electric power.
IRVINE, Calif. - The Motorcycle Industry Council is launching a broad, long-term initiative to bring more people into the world of motorcycling. The MIC hired consulting firm Centauric LLC to lead the first phase of its initiative. The plan will be presented at the MIC's American International Motorcycle Expo Presented by Nationwide in September in Columbus, Ohio.
PUNE, MAHARASHTRA, India - India's Bajaj Auto and its Austrian partner KTM are developing high-end electric motorcycles, Bajaj's Executive Director Rakesh Sharma told MoneyControl.com. Bajaj holds a 48 percent stake in KTM. The Indian government is aggressively pushing for electric vehicles to curb pollution and reduce India's dependence on fossil fuels. KTM's only electric model, the Freeride E-XC, is not available in India.
COLUMBUS, Ohio - AIMExpo presented by Nationwide, one of the largest motorcycle expositions and powersports trade shows in the country, will bring distributors, dealers, media, enthusiasts and riders to the Greater Columbus Convention Center Sept. 26-29. AIMExpo Outdoors! will be open to the general public on all four days of the show, featuring demo rides on 2020 models from nine manufacturers. The show floor is open to general public on Saturday and Sunday. More information, including ticket prices, is available at aimexpousa.com/aimexpo-general-information.
STURGIS, S.D. - The final traffic count for the 2019 Sturgis motorcycle rally was about 1 percent lower than the 2018 event. The state Department of Transportation said 499,654 vehicles entered Sturgis between Aug. 2 and Aug. 11, compared to 505,969 during the 2018 rally.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio - Everyone is invited to the 2019 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Fall Bike Night, offering free admission to the Hall of Fame museum, a bike show, exhibitions, live music, vendors and more from 5-9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27. The event, which starts when AIMExpo closes for the day, will be on the campus of the American Motorcyclist Association, 13515 Yarmouth Drive in Pickerington. AIMExpo presented by Nationwide, a motorcycle and powersports trade show, is Sept. 26-29 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio, just a short ride or drive from Pickerington. The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Bike Show, presented by Old Bike Barn, includes classes for custom, classic and current bikes. Entry is a $5 donation to the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation. 2019 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Spring Bike Night drew hundreds to the AMA campus. Bands will perform throughout the evening on the Old Bike Barn stage. National pro trials rider Sam Fastle will be demonstrating his motorcycle mastery at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Beer from North High Brewing will be available for purchase, as well as food from various food trucks. All proceeds from Bike Night benefit the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. Complete information is available at www.americanmotorcyclist.com/Home/AMA-News-And-Press-Releases/ama-motorcycle-hall-of-fame-fall-bike-night-features-bike-show-live-music-food-vendors-more.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio - The AMA has added Motorcycle Shippers as a member benefit partner, providing AMA members with savings of $25 per bike or $100 round trip on shipping, door-to-door transport, with online tracking and booking. Motorcycle Shippers, based in Fountain Valley, Calif., specializes in transporting motorcycles in enclosed trucks. The company uses custom-designed straps to secure motorcycles to pallets and provides $7,000 of valuation coverage at no additional cost. The Motorcycle Shippers AMA Partner page is at www.americanmotorcyclist.com/For-Members/Member-Discount-Codes/motorcycle-shippers-1.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio - Sideways Saturday, an AMA-sanctioned indoor flat track event will be held Sept. 28 in Columbus, Ohio, as part of AIMExpo presented by Nationwide. This event will feature hooligans, e-bikes, wild customs ridden by amateur and pro racers. Classes include Hooligans, Flat Track Futures (ages 11-14), Run What Ya Brung, E-bike and Industry. Tickets to Sideways Saturday are available through www.motoshowtickets.com.
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