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AMA News

January 2021

 

National and Regional News

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Scenic Byways Program, which the AMA helped initiate, will receive $16 million in dedicated funding as part of the fiscal 2021 omnibus spending package announced by Congress. This marks the first time in nine years that grant funds have been made available for the program. Established in 1991, the National Scenic Byways Program recognizes roadways with notable scenic, historic, cultural, natural, recreational and archaeological qualities. The funding in this spending package is available to the 150 roadways that carry this national distinction, as well as to the more than 1,000 state and tribal scenic byways throughout the country.

State News

PLACERVILLE, Calif. - The annual seasonal closing of dirt roads goes into effect on the Eldorado National Forest today, Jan. 1. The roads will remain closed until at least April 1. The seasonal closure is designed to protect roadbeds and watersheds from damage and to protect water quality. A minimum three month closure period from January 1 through March 30 was designated for the winter in the Eldorado National Forest Travel Management Plan. The closings do not affect routes in the Rock Creek Area of the Eldorado National Forest near Georgetown, which has its own route closure process. Roads subject to closing are identified on a free map available at all Eldorado National Forest offices and on the forest website at fs.usda.gov/eldorado.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The state Department of Motor Vehicles has issued the state's first autonomous vehicle deployment permit to Nuro Inc., allowing the company to charge a fee and receive compensation for its driverless delivery service. The AMA objects to the deployment of autonomous vehicles on roadways unless they can adequately detect and appropriately react to motorcycles in their immediate vicinity. Unlike an autonomous testing permit, which limits the compensation that a manufacturer can receive from the public while validating the technology on public roads, a deployment permit authorizes a company to make its autonomous technology commercially available outside a testing program. The deployment permit grants Nuro permission to use a fleet of light-duty driverless vehicles for a commercial delivery service on surface streets within designated parts of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, which includes the cities of Atherton, East Palo Alto, Los Altos Hills, Los Altos, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Sunnyvale and Woodside. The vehicles have a maximum speed of 25 mph and are only approved to operate in fair weather conditions on streets with a speed limit of no more than 35 mph. Nuro has had state authority to test autonomous vehicles on public roads with a safety driver since 2017 and received a driverless testing permit in April 2020.

DURANGO, Colo. - The Chicken Creek Trail Project decision notice was signed, clearing the way for new motorized and nonmotorized trails in the San Juan National Forest. The plan includes a motorized connector trail in the Owen's Basin and Deer Lick areas, which offer single-track and two-track motorized trails that connect to the West Mancos, Golconda and Aspen Loop Trails.

GRAVOIS MILLS, Mo. -Ozarks International Raceway is under construction and is scheduled to open in the summer of 2021 at the junction of Highway 135 and State Road J. The complex, developed by PF Racing, will include an asphalt track, a dirt tri-oval, a truck off-road track and trail and rally courses. One unique feature of the raceway is a 58-bay car garage made from renovated turkey barns that were on the property. The garage will be a fully functioning maintenance center for race cars.

LACONIA, N.H. - A fire destroyed the Laconia Motorcycle Week office on Christmas Day resulting in the loss of a century's worth of memorabilia and a beloved cat. A post on the organization's Facebook page said "collectibles and souvenirs spanning the history of Laconia Motorcycle Week's 97-year legacy" were lost in the blaze. It remained unclear how the fire started.

Industry News

IRVINE, Calif. - Motorcycle Industry Council members elected Nicole Allen of Akrapovič, Jeff Brown of EagleRider and Tim Calhoun of Quin Design Helmets to two-year terms on the MIC board of directors. Brown and Calhoun were re-elected for a second term on the 12-member board, and newly elected Allen will take the seat vacated by Andy Leisner.

MEDINA, Minn. - Polaris Inc. Chairman and CEO Scott Wine has resigned to become the new CEO of CNH Industrial N.V., the maker of Case and New Holland agricultural equipment. A search is underway for Wine's successor. Polaris, one of the nation's largest makers of motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles, reports about $7 billion in annual revenue. Wine became Polaris CEO in 2008, when it had $1.9 billion in sales.

International News

PARIS - A French decree allows electric mopeds, electric motorcycles and electric quadricycles to use lanes normally reserved for buses and taxis. Before the publication of the French Decree 2020-1412, only heavy electric vehicles, such as cars and vans, were allowed to use the lanes because of their low emissions figures.

OSLO, Norway - A coalition of organizations led by the Norwegian Motorcycle Importers' Association has convinced the government to reduce taxes on motorcycles and snowmobiles, according to the Federation of European Motorcyclists Associations. The tax reduction is expected to save consumers up to €8.5 million in taxes in 2021.

AMA News

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - Members of the Safe-to-Race Task Force, the key players in getting American motorcycle racing started again during the coronavirus pandemic, are the 2020 AMA Motorcyclists of the Year. 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. Read the full story about the task force's efforts at magazine.americanmotorcyclist.com/13595/lets-go-racing.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - The AMA and INIT ESPORTS formed the AMA eSports National Championship, an AMA-sanctioned national championship that INIT ESPORTS will organize and promote under a multi-year agreement as an AMA-chartered promoter. The AMA-sanctioned esports calendar will include two-wheel video game competitions of varying size and scope, culminating in an annual national championship that will award AMA National No. 1 plates to class champions as early as 2021. The AMA and INIT ESPORTS will announce schedule and registration information as it becomes available. Read more at americanmotorcyclist.com/american-motorcyclist-association-awards-sanction-to-init-esports-for-ama-esports-national-championship.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - Two AMA-sanctioned International Six Days Enduro Qualifier Series will be used to determine which amateur off-road racers will represent the United States at the 2021 FIM International Six Days Enduro in Italy. The 2021 AMA East Region ISDE Qualifier Series and the 2021 AMA West Region ISDE Qualifier Series each consist of three rounds, beginning in March and ending in May. Visit the AMA ISDE webpage for more information: americanmotorcyclist.com/isde.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - The AMA has selected the members of four AMA Recreational Riding Commissions, which are the volunteer groups that develop ways to improve and promote recreational motorcycle riding in the United States. Fifty volunteers were appointed to four committees. Learn their names at americanmotorcyclist.com/members-appointed-to-ama-recreational-riding-commissions.

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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 facebook.com/AmericanMotorcyclist, on Twitter @ama_rights, @ama_riding and @ama_racing and on Instagram at @ama_riding and @ama_racing.

 


 

December 2020

 

National and Regional News

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Federal Communications Commission decided in November to divide the communications spectrum block allotted to vehicle safety, bending to demands from cable, telecom and content companies who want to expand their Wi-Fi services. The 5.9 GHz spectrum band had been reserved since 1999 for use by automakers and technology companies to develop dedicated short-range communications to connect vehicles with other vehicles and "smart" infrastructure. Few companies made use of the spectrum, though. Reuters reported that the technology has been offered on just one General Motors Co. vehicle. So the FCC plans to move the upper 30 megahertz from DSRC to a different vehicle-communications technology called Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything. The remaining 45 megahertz will be allocated to wireless use. "The move is not surprising, given the FCC's statements about the spectrum in question," said Mike Sayre, AMA government relations director. "But the AMA, automakers and the U.S. Department of Transportation think this will ultimately hurt road safety technology."

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is considering changes to its warning labels on service station fuel pumps that will alert motorcyclists, and consumers in general, to the potential dangers of using E15 fuel in some vehicles. The AMA supports stronger warnings, especially for motorcyclists, about the engine and exhaust-system damage that could occur if using fuel that contains more than 10 percent ethanol. Current federal E15 labels warn of possible engine damage, but do not mention motorcycles specifically. But the ethanol industry has pressured the federal agency to relax the warning, saying the labels discourage the purchase of higher ethanol blends for use in vehicles certified by the EPA to use them.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is seeking public comment on the development of principles to govern the safe behavior of automated driving systems. Automated driving systems hold potential to reduce crashes for motorcyclists. But the AMA is concerned about the ability of driver-assist and autonomous systems to detect nearby motorcycles and react appropriately to their presence. The advance notice of proposed rulemaking was submitted to the Federal Register on Nov. 19 and is available online at tinyurl.com/y6djebk5. "This rulemaking will help address legitimate public concerns about safety, security and privacy without hampering innovation in the development of automated driving systems," said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The RPM Act (H.R. 5434 and S. 2602) has one more chance to pass both chambers of Congress before the end of the legislative session. Lawmakers must hear from supporters of the RPM Act before they decide which issues will be addressed in the final days of the year. The bipartisan RPM Act would ensure that converting motor vehicles into competition-only vehicles remains legal. Street-legal motorcycles are considered motor vehicles under the federal Clean Air Act. The AMA supports the bill and its protections for amateur and professional racing enthusiasts. Take action here: cqrcengage.com/amacycle/app/write-a-letter?2&engagementId=509917.

RANDOLPH, N.H. - The National Transportation Safety Board scheduled a public meeting for today, Dec. 1, to examine the probable cause, findings and any safety recommendations from its investigation of a 2019 crash that killed seven members of the Jar Heads Motorcycle Club. The other riders were injured in the crash, which occurred when a pickup truck towing a flatbed trailer went left of center and struck the riders, who were traveling the opposite direction. The pickup driver, Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, 24, of West Springfield, Mass., has been charged with reckless manslaughter, negligent homicide and negligent homicide/DUI, as well as single felony counts of aggravated driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs and reckless conduct. He pleaded not guilty and is being held in protective custody in Coos County Jail in West Stewartstown, N.H. A post-crash compliance report by the Federal Motors Carrier Safety Administration found 25 violations of regulations.

State News

PHOENIX - The U.S. Forest Service Arizona Resource Advisory Council scheduled a public meeting for 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. today, Dec. 1 to receive updates on resource management and U.S. Bureau of Land Management projects, among other agenda items. Contact Dolores Garcia, public affairs specialist, (602) 417-9241 or dagarcia@blm.gov, for more information. Find more information at blm.gov/get-involved/resource-advisory-council/near-you/Arizona.

PLACERVILLE, Calif. - Nick Haris, AMA western states representative, was named to the recently reauthorized El Dorado County Resource Advisory Committee, which scheduled its first meeting for Dec. 17. The El Dorado County RAC is a federal advisory committee which was established in 2010 under the authority of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act. The purpose of a RAC is to improve collaborative relationships among the people who use and care for national forests and to provide advice and recommendations to the Forest Service concerning funding for conservation projects consistent with Title II of the Secure Rural Schools Act. The initial, two-hour orientation meeting will be held virtually at 4 p.m. PT Dec. 17. Those wishing to attend should visit usfs.zoomgov.com/j/16026278780 and use meeting ID 160 2627 8780 or call (669) 900-9128. All RAC meetings are open to the public. The agenda will include time for people to make oral statements of three minutes or less.

ST. PAUL, Minn. - The state Department of Natural Resources needs residents to provide feedback about the Minnesota off-highway motorcycle trail system. The DNR worked with AMA District 23/Amateur Riders Motorcycle Association and Up! Outside to devise a survey (surveymonkey.com/r/vzvyxpy), the results of which will be used in the development of a master plan for the state. The master plan will be used to gauge current use and trends, the desires of the riders and current and proposed opportunities. It also will serve as a strategic tool to guide the department's management of this recreation. The deadline for completing the survey is Dec. 20.

PARK COUNTY, Mont. - The Gallatin and Southern Montana Resource Advisory committees have scheduled virtual meetings on Dec. 8 and Dec. 9. These committees have scheduled virtual meetings on Dec. 8 and Dec. 9. These committees serve in an advisory capacity for issues related to land-use planning or the management of the public land resources in the Custer Gallatin National Forest. The Southern Montana Resource Advisory Committee meets at 9 a.m. Dec. 8. The Gallatin Resource Advisory Committee meets at 9 a.m. Dec. 9. Contact Lauren Oswald, staff officer, (406) 587-6743 or lauren.oswald@usda.gov, for more information and virtual meeting call-in information.

ALBANY, N.Y. - Gov. Andrew Cuomo vetoed a bill (A. 5390B) that would have eliminated the need for autocycle drivers to obtain a motorcycle endorsement on their driver's licenses. Current law requires an endorsement and prohibits the taking of an autocycle on a road test. Autocycles, such as the Polaris Slingshot, are three-wheeled vehicles that have steering wheels, side-by-side seating and other features not typically associated with motorcycles.

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources announced its changes to agency policies on ATV trails on state forest land. There has been a moratorium on new trails under the previous policy. The changes, developed to respond to increased demand for riding opportunities, include:

  • Allowing the DCNR secretary to designate portions of the state forest road system as temporary, seasonal or permanent ATV trails.
  • Allowing the department to request public comment for projects that have broader effects on the community or region.
  • Supporting acquisition of lands specifically for motorized recreation use.

Industry News

BREA, Calif. - Suzuki Motor of America Inc. will restructure its operations in the United States, including reorganizing the Suzuki Motorcycle/ATV and Marine Divisions into two separate companies. The new companies, which begin operation April 1, will focus on their specific industry "to give both new companies the best opportunity to optimize their success," a company release stated. Suzuki Motor USA LLC will be based in Brea, Calif, Suzuki's corporate home in the United States since 1981. Suzuki Marine USA LLC will be based in Tampa, Fla. Satoshi Uchida will serve as chairman, and Masami Haga will serve as president of the new motorcycle/ATV company.

IRVINE, Calif. - Robert Heilbron, lead administrator at Honda Rider Education, has joined the board of trustees of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. The MSF is currently at work on expanding online course offerings, exploring opportunities in emerging markets and updating the RiderCourse catalog, as demand for RiderCourses and online information remains strong.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Mark Buckner, an AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer and former president of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation, has been named MRF executive director. Buckner's priorities will be the corporate strategic plan, membership retention and growth and operational efficiency. Also announced were MRF officers Kirk "Hardtail" Willard, who will serve his ninth term as president and board chairman, and Dave Cazel, who will serve his second term as treasurer. Former treasurer Frank Carbone was ratified as an ex-officio member of the MRF board.

INDIANA, Pa. - The organization formerly called the National Association of State Motorcycle Safety Administrators has changed its name to the State Motorcycle Safety Association. The association was organized to assist motorcycle safety programs implement comprehensive, data-driven motorcycle safety programs and countermeasures to achieve a significant reduction in motorcycle operator traffic crashes, fatalities and injuries.

MILWAUKEE - The Harley-Davidson Museum closed its campus Nov. 20 because of the coronavirus outbreak. Museum officials said the facility will remain closed at least until Jan. 3. Check h-dmuseum.com for updates.

International News

MUMBAI, India - Billionaire Anand Mahindra, chairman of the Mahindra Group conglomerate, plans to revive the BSA motorcycle brand, with a goal of beginning to assemble bikes before the end of 2021. BSA was among the world leaders in motorcycle manufacturers in the 1950s, but ceased production in the 1970s after filing for bankruptcy protections. Mahindra received support from the U.K. government, which awarded the BSA Co. a $6.1 million grant to develop electric bikes.

KIRCHBERG, Luxembourg - The European Investment Bank and nine other multilateral development banks signed a joint statement on road safety in November, under the auspices of the World Health Organization and the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration. The banks called for increased international cooperation and effort to improve road safety. "Millions suffer and succumb to road injuries and deaths every year. This needs to change," said EIB Vice President Lilyana Pavlova, who is responsible for the bank's transportation operations and serves as chair of the Multilateral Development Banks' Road Safety Working Group. "I am convinced that bringing together the reach and impact of the world's leading development banks and our continued joint commitment to safer roads can make a big difference-and help to save lives." The complete press release is available at tinyurl.com/yye367m3.

AMA News

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - Three inductees of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame-Bill Tuman, Carl Cranke and Everett Brashear-passed away recently. Mr. Tuman was a member of Indian Motocycle's famous racing team dubbed the "Indian Wrecking Crew" and winner of five AMA Grand Nationals during a professional racing career that spanned from 1947 to 1955. The Indian Wrecking Crew was a group of top racers in the late 1940s and early '50s that included Mr. Tuman, Bobby Hill and Ernie Beckman. Mr. Cranke was a 10-time member of the U.S. International Six Days Trials (now known as the International Six Days Enduro) team and a 2000 inductee to the Hall of Fame. Mr. Cranke earned seven gold medals and two silvers in ISDT competition aboard Penton, KTM and Yamaha motorcycles. Mr. Brashear was one of the top AMA flat-track racers in the 1950s. Between 1952 and 1960, Mr. Brashear won 15 AMA flat-track nationals and dozens of regional races. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998.

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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 facebook.com/AmericanMotorcyclist, on Twitter @ama_rights, @ama_riding and @ama_racing and on Instagram at @ama_riding and @ama_racing.

 


 

Pass the RPM Act before the end of the year

Tell Congress to support your right to race!

The Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act (RPM Act, H.R. 5434 and S. 2602) has one more chance to pass both chambers of Congress before the end of the legislative session. Lawmakers must hear from supporters of the RPM Act before they decide which issues will be addressed in the final days of the year.

The bipartisan RPM Act would ensure that converting motor vehicles into competition-only vehicles remains legal. Street-legal 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 emissions control devices.

The American Motorcyclist Association supports the bill and its protections for amateur and professional racing enthusiasts.

Tell your elected officials that you support the RPM Act by clicking the Take Action button below.

Take Action

 


November 2020

 

National and Regional News

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The federal Motorcyclist Advisory Council ended its official duties Oct. 24, after meeting regularly since 2017 and sending its recommendations to the U.S. Department of Transportation in February. Legislation to reauthorize the MAC was contained in an amendment to the federal highway bill that passed the House of Representatives. The MAC was established to provide advice and recommendations concerning infrastructure issues related to motorcyclist safety, including barrier design; road design, construction, and maintenance practices; and the architecture and implementation of intelligent transportation system technologies. Mike Sayre, AMA government relations director, was the MAC chair.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Motorcycle fatalities declined 0.5 percent to 5,014 in 2019, the third consecutive year that fewer riders died on America's roads, according to preliminary statistics released in October by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The decline in motorcyclist deaths compares to a 2 percent decline in overall vehicle fatalities in 2019. There were 36,096 fatalities in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2019, while 36,835 were reported in 2018. The data indicate that an estimated 8,870 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in the second quarter of 2020, a decrease of about 3.3 percent compared to the second quarter of 2019, which translates into 302 fewer fatalities as compared to the same period in 2019. NHTSA officials noted, however, that the 2020 numbers reflect a significant reduction in driving during the coronavirus pandemic. The total traffic volume decreased by more than 16 percent in the first six months of 2020.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The AMA urges motorcyclists and other off-highway vehicle enthusiasts to apply for positions on the 11 state or regional Resource Advisory Councils of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. These RACs provide advice and recommendations to the BLM on land use planning and management of the National System of Public Lands within their geographic areas. Nominations are due by Nov. 13. Find the AMA alert at cqrcengage.com/amacycle/app/write-a-letter?4&engagementId=509582. Additional information and applications are available from Carrie Richardson, BLM Communications, 1849 C Street NW, Room 5614, Washington, DC 20240, or crichardson@blm.gov.

State News

AUBURN, Ala. - Auburn University's GPS and Vehicle Dynamics Laboratory is building a garage with multiple bays and lifts for commercial trucks and passenger vehicles, office space for researchers, a conference room and an observation area overlooking a 1.7-mile oval test track. The $800,000 facility will be one of a few autonomous vehicle research facilities in the nation attached to a test track. University officials said the indoor facility will provide protection from the sweltering summer heat and popup thunderstorms that interfere with testing procedures.

KETCHIKAN, Alaska - The Ketchikan Resource Advisory Committee has scheduled a virtual meeting at 6 p.m. Nov. 5 to provide updates on past projects and to propose new ones. The meeting is open to the public, and the agenda includes time for people to make oral statements of three minutes or less. Individuals wishing to make an oral statement should request in writing by Oct. 29, to be scheduled on the agenda. Anyone who would like to bring related matters to the attention of the committee may file written statements with the committee staff before or after the meeting. Contact Penny L. Richardson, RAC coordinator, (907) 228-4105 or (907) 419-5300, or penny.richardson@usda.gov, for meeting dial in information.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The AMA cautioned the California Air Resources Board and offered to work with the agency as it revamps its testing fee structure for off-highway and dual-sport motorcycles. Fee increases that raise the price of motorcycles or aftermarket equipment reduce the demand for those products. And that reduced demand affects economic opportunities related to the use of those products, such as hotel stays, restaurant visits and other spending by individuals and families. "With respect to youth-oriented off-road models, recognition of different use and cost implications of a new testing fee structure is critical," the AMA wrote to CARB. "AMA members and their families need continued access to reasonably priced, youth-appropriate vehicles. Without access to these appropriately sized vehicles, younger riders might be wrongly encouraged to ride adult-sized machines."

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order in September directing state officials to ensure that by 2035 all new cars and passenger trucks sold in California be zero-emissions vehicles. The intent, the governor said, is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The transportation sector is responsible for more than half of all of California's carbon pollution, 80 percent of smog-forming pollution and 95 percent of toxic diesel emissions, the order states. The move is expected to quicken the shift to electric vehicles and those powered by other alternative fuels.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The state Department of Motor Vehicles issued a permit to Zoox Inc. to operate two driverless vehicles on some streets in Foster City. The vehicles may operate in fair weather conditions (light rain/fog) on streets with a speed limit of no more than 45 mph. The AMA recognizes the potential of autonomous and driver-assist vehicles to improve road-user safety, but objects to the testing of these new technologies on public roadways. Zoox is the fourth company to receive a driverless testing permit in the state. Currently, 60 companies in California have permits to test AVs with a driver.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The draft 2020 Soil Standard and Guidelines from the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division of the California Department of Parks and Recreation is available for public review and comments. The document, an update to the 2008 Soil Conservation Standard and Guidelines, is available at ohv.parks.ca.gov/pages/1140/files/2020scsg_3rd_draft_formatted.pdf. Written comments may be sent to michelle.winn@parks.ca.gov by 5 p.m. Nov. 5. A public meeting about the update is scheduled for 2-4 p.m. Nov. 5. For more information, contact Jon M. O'Brien, environmental program manager, jon.obrien@parks.ca.gov.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has reduced fire restrictions in some areas of public lands in Southern California managed by the California Desert District. Areas previously designated Stage II fire restrictions have been redesignated to Stage I fire restrictions. These areas include public lands managed by the California Desert District in Imperial and eastern Mono Counties and portions of Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, southern Inyo and Kern counties. For specific descriptions of fire restrictions, a fire restrictions map and a copy of the fire order, visit go.usa.gov/xmueg.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Police launched a task force to identify people illegally riding dirt bikes and ATVs on city streets, and the Board of Alders approved a new ordinance that increases fines for illegal riding to $1,000 for a first offense, $1,500 for a second violation, and $2,000 for the third. The new law also includes a $100 fine for service stations that sell fuel to anyone who arrives riding a dirt bike or an ATV.

LANSING, Mich. - Motorcyclists are trying to fix a dangerous defect in the state's new automobile insurance system that took effect in July, limiting access to lifetime medical benefits to motorcyclists injured in traffic crashes. Previously, motorcyclists involved in a crash with an automobile were covered by the no-fault system's potentially unlimited, lifetime medical benefits, known as personal injury protection coverage or PIP. Under the revamped system, the amount of no-fault benefits available to motorcyclists in a crash involving a car or truck now depends on how much PIP the other vehicle's owner or driver chose to purchase. About 60 members of ABATE of Michigan gathered on the capitol steps in September to draw attention to the change in coverage. S.B. 528, introduced by state Sen. Peter Lucido (R-Macomb Count) would fix the situation by allowing motorcyclists to file a claim against their own policy, just as other road users can.

PHILADELPHIA - Six members of the Philadelphia City Council voiced support in October for a dirt-bike and ATV park in the city. Philadelphia is one of several large cities overwhelmed by people-mostly youth-illegally riding dirt bikes on city streets and through public parks. Urban OHV parks, which the AMA supports and has promoted in Philadelphia and other communities, offer at least a partial solution to the problem by providing a safer and legal space for responsible riding. Councilwoman Katherine Gilmore Richardson said the "bike life" is a culture that is part of the city. The local CBS-TV affiliate reported that from May 13 through Oct. 3, Philadelphia police confiscated 263 ATVs and dirt bikes. Deputy Police Commissioner Joel Dales testified that enforcement is making a difference, but by itself is not a long-term solution.

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The state Department of Transportation resumed motorcycle training courses in September after instituting coronavirus mitigation measures. American Motorcycle Training Inc., P&P Enterprises Inc./dba Appalachian Cycles, Shaeffer's Harley-Davidson and Total Control Training Inc. are the first approved vendors that will provide motorcycle safety training. Classes operating under the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program are free to Pennsylvania motorcycle permit and license holders. Successful completion of a basic or intermediate course waives the requirement to take a skills test at a PennDOT Driver License Center and automatically earns the permit holder their motorcycle license.

MONTPELIER, Vt. - Gov. Phil Scott vetoed H. 926, an update to the state's land-use law, and instead signed Executive Order 04-20, which empowers the state Natural Resources Board to issue rules governing the state trail system. By March 2021, the state commissioner of Forests, Parks and Recreation is to make recommendations for an alternative program for overseeing the planning, construction, use and maintenance of recreational trails in the Vermont Trails System.

RIPON, Wis. - The Common Council tabled an ordinance that would have allowed ATVs and UTVs to operate on city streets. While the council heard from those who ride between area communities to visit businesses, a group of residents objected to the potential of excessive sound from the vehicles and reckless riding. Opponents also said Ripon would be "an island" of ATV activity, since no nearby community allows the vehicles on public roadways.

Industry News

MINNEAPOLIS - Polaris Inc. created the Empowersports Women's Riding Council, a panel of 12 women intended to increase the representation and inclusion of women in motorcycling and other powersports. Participants include Michelle Barraza, Carrie Barton, Julie-Ann Chapman, Amy David, Gevin Fax, Vicki Gray, Lisa Lockhart, Kristen Matlock, Jody Perewitz, Porsche Taylor, Jolene Van Vugt and Kelly Yazdi.

GREAT FALLS, Mont. - The National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council announced that Steve Newton from Alabama is the new Clubs and Association Issue Area Representative. Newton has been riding ATVs for 15 years and has served as president of the Cheaha Trail Riders and as a NOHVCC state partner.

SMITHFIELD, R.I. - Harry Grant was inducted into the New England Trials Association Hall of Fame on Oct. 22 during a ceremony at his home. Grant, 68, began competing in off-road Observed Trials competition in the early 1970s, quickly rising to the Top Ten Riders and achieving Expert ranking. In addition to competing in New England events, Grant participated in many national competitions in the 1970s. In 1975, he was one of a few U.S. riders to compete in the first World Championship Observed Trials Competition held in the United States. As recently as 2019, Grant was still competing in the Senior classes of Observed Trials in various New England locations.

International News

TORONTO - Winners at the 2020 Toronto Motorcycle Film Festival, conducted online Oct. 1-10, included:

  • People's Choice Award-"When The Road Ends-Lost In The Pacific"
  • Best Feature Film-"The Space Between"
  • Best Short Film-"Reappear"
  • Best Short Documentary-"Fast Eddie"
  • Best Canadian Film-"Biker Bob's Posthumous Adventure"

AMA News

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - The AMA has announced the professional competition numbers for pro-licensed riders competing in Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, and the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship for the 2021 season. Each rider uses the assigned professional number for competition. In addition, the current champion runs the No. 1 plate, instead of an assigned professional number, when competing in the class or region in which the No. 1 plate was earned. Find the complete list at americanmotorcyclist.com/2021-professional-supercross-and-motocross-numbers-announced.

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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 facebook.com/AmericanMotorcyclist, on Twitter @ama_rights, @ama_riding and @ama_racing and on Instagram at @ama_riding and @ama_racing.

 

 


October 2020

 

National and Regional News

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal judge approved a revised settlement in September between the U.S. Justice Department and Harley-Davidson Inc. over excess emissions. The revised settlement drops a requirement that the motorcycle manufacturer spend $3 million to reduce air pollution. In August 2016, Harley agreed to pay a $12 million civil fine and stop selling illegal after-market devices that caused its vehicles to emit too much pollution. The settlement resolved allegations that Harley sold about 340,000 "super tuners" that enabled motorcycles to pollute the air at levels greater than what the company certified.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - President Trump tweeted in September that, subject to state approval, fuel containing as much as 15 percent ethanol (E15) may be sold using pumps that currently dispense fuel with no more than 10 percent ethanol. U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) has been pushing for easier access to E15 for consumers in an effort to bolster demand for corn and ethanol. Allowing E15 and E10 to be dispensed from the same pumps increases the chance that motorcyclists and ATV owners may misfuel their vehicles. 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 fuel containing more than 10 percent ethanol.

State News

EL CENTRO, Calif. - The U.S. Bureau of Land Management El Centro Field Office is seeking public input on an Environmental Assessment for proposed upgrades and modifications at Lark Canyon campground, day use area, Cottonwood campground within McCain Valley in Eastern San Diego county. The 30-day public comment period closes on Oct. 14. The assessment evaluates the potential effect on the environment of the proposed upgrades and modifications, as well as the potential effect on the natural or cultural resources, based on current and projected land use. For more information on the project and to review the document, visit go.usa.gov/xfaVg. Comments may be submitted through the project website, by email, aswilliams@blm.gov, by fax, Attn: Alexia Williams, (760) 337-4490 or mailed to Bureau of Land Management, Attn: Alexia Williams, 1661 S. Fourth St., El Centro, CA 92243.

DURANGO, Colo. - The San Juan National Forest's Columbine Ranger District is seeking public comment on a proposal for the Southern HD Mountains Landscape Restoration Project. The proposed activities include managing vegetation and includes the possible designation of one proposed fire control line as a motorized OHV trail. The AMA encourages riders to engage with land managers and share their views. As part of the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement, the National Environmental Policy Act requires that there be an early and open process for determining the scope of the issues to be addressed by a study. This process is commonly known as "NEPA scoping," during which an agency will solicit your input. The public scoping period is open until Oct. 13. Provide input online at: fs.usda.gov/project/?project=58742.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Biketoberfest is scheduled for Oct. 15-18 in Volusia County, Fla., but the annual gathering of motorcycling enthusiasts likely will be smaller than any in its previous 28 years. The coronavirus restrictions put in place by state and local health officials, coupled with concern by city officials, prompted the Daytona Beach City Commission to deny vendor permits for the 2020 event, eliminating much of the draw for Main Street and Ocean Avenue. Nearby Ormond Beach approved vendor permits, so popular attractions, such as the Iron Horse Saloon and Destination Daytona will be open. And vendors are expected to be on hand at Daytona International Speedway. The latest information can be found on the official event website biketoberfest.org.

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - The Idaho Panhandle National Forests' Resource Advisory Committee is seeking applications until Nov. 20 for project proposals that benefit public lands to be implemented with Secure Rural Schools Act funding. The committee is seeking ideas and applications for projects that improve forest health, watersheds, roads and facilities on or adjacent to the Idaho Panhandle National Forests. Applicants must be a resident of Idaho and should reside within Boundary, Bonner, Kootenai, Shoshone, Benewah or Latah counties to the extent practicable. For more information contact Patrick Lair at (541) 233-7770 or patrick.lair@usda.gov. Applications are available at fs.usda.gov/main/ipnf/workingtogether/advisorycommittees. Download a PDF at fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd804881.pdf.

KANKAKEE, Ill. - Genevra Walters, superintendent of Kankakee schools, is seeking to remedy the problem of youngsters riding unlicensed dirt bikes and ATVs on city streets by working on a Kankakee County Youth Empowerment Program grant. The grant would establish an off-road course and encompass mentoring, tutoring, job training and community service. Walters hopes to include the National Youth Project Using Minibikes, a 50-year-old program that mentors more than 1,500 boys and girls each year.

HAMILTON, Mont. - The U.S. Forest Service Ravalli Resource Advisory Committee is holding a virtual meeting at 7 p.m. Oct.16 to vote on nominations for chairperson and vice-chairperson, make recommendations on recreation fees and discuss outreach for project proposals. Now is the time to engage with land managers and share your views. The purpose of the committee is to improve collaborative relationships and to provide advice and recommendations to the Forest Service. Contact Joni Lubke, RAC coordinator, (406) 363-7100 or joni.lubke@usda.gov, for meeting dial-in information.

Industry News

MINNEAPOLIS - Polaris Inc. and Zero Motorcycles entered into a 10-year partnership as part of Polaris' rEV'd up initiative, which seeks to include an electric vehicle option in each of Polaris' core product segments by 2025. The companies plan to collaborate on off-road motorcycles and on snowmobiles. The first vehicle from the Zero-Polaris partnership is expected by the end of 2021. Zero Motorcycles has been designing and manufacturing electric motorcycles since 2006. Polaris produces Indian brand motorcycles, along with a range of ATVs and snowmobiles. In 2011, Polaris acquired both Goupil, a French manufacturer of on-road, commercial light-duty electric vehicles for the European market, and GEM, the street-legal passenger and utility electric vehicles. Four years later, the company acquired Brammo Electric Motorcycles.

BUENOS AIRES - Royal Enfield plans to open an assembly plant in Argentina, the company's first such venture outside its manufacturing facilities in Chennai, India. The Simpa Group facility will begin assembling the Royal Enfield Himalayan, the Interceptor 650 and the Continental GT 650. "This launch is a major accomplishment because it is the first time that a motorcycle manufacturer of this size has put its faith in Argentina," said Alberto Fernández, president of Argentina.

MILWAUKEE - Harley-Davidson has announced its decision to discontinue its manufacturing operations in India, at a cost of more than $75 million. The company is revamping its worldwide operations as part of a "Rewire" plan under new CEO Jochen Zeitz. The company also hired former Tyson Foods finance executive Gina Goetter as its new chief financial officer.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Carl Morrow, longtime owner of Carl's Speed Shop, died Sept. 11. He was 82. Morrow was a high-performance motorcycle engine builder whose clients and friends during his lifetime included Evel Knievel, "Rat Fink" cartoonist and hot rod designer Ed "Big Daddy" Roth and reality television star Jesse James, founder of West Coast Choppers. Morrow also was a motorcycle racer who set numerous land speed records in the early 1970s. Morrow received a special award from the Daytona Beach Area Conventions & Visitors Bureau in 2003 for his "outstanding efforts and contributions" to the success of Biketoberfest as a member of the event's development committee.

CENTERVILLE, Utah - Tread Lightly!, a nonprofit organization that supports and encourages stewardship of lands and waterways, has appointed Matt Caldwell as executive director, effective Oct. 1. Jan Rintamaki, chairman of the Tread Lightly! board of directors, announced the leadership change following an extensive, nationwide search. Caldwell has more than a decade of experience in operations and marketing, including time at Jackson Marketing, Motorsports and Events, Infinite Scale Design Group and Michelin. He most recently served as the director of client services for Saxton Horne Communications, the in-house advertising agency for the Larry H. Miller Corporation in Sandy, Utah.

International News

LONDON - The Motorcycle Action Group UK opposes changes to the Highway Code that would result in a "negative safety impact" for motorcyclists, according to a report from the Federation of European Motorcyclists' Associations. In the United Kingdom, the Highway Code is a set of information, advice, guides and mandatory rules for road users. Its objective is to promote road safety. The Highway Code applies to all road users including pedestrians, horse riders, cyclists, motorcyclists and drivers. While the proposed changes include additional protections for pedestrians, bicyclists and horse riders, there are no new provisions for improved motorcyclist safety. MAG UK said the proposed new rules and rule changes would actually increase risks, not just for motorcyclists, but for the cyclists and pedestrians that the proposals are designed to protect.

AMA News

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - Veteran campaign manager Peter Stockus has joined the American Motorcyclist Association staff as the government relations manager for off-highway issues. Stockus most recently oversaw land-use, candidate campaigns and other issues for the Calvert Street Group, a political consulting firm in Nashville, Tenn. His campaign experience dates to 2016. At the AMA, Stockus will report to AMA Government Relations Director Mike Sayre. Read more at americanmotorcyclist.com/peter-stockus-joins-american-motorcyclist-association-government-relations-department.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - The AMA Road Race Grand Championship returns to Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala., Oct. 22-25, with the 2020 WERA Grand National Final. The official U.S. amateur road racing championship, sanctioned by the AMA and operated by WERA Motorcycle Racing Inc., features 13 competition classes for motorcycles from 400cc to 1,000cc. The country's top amateur racers will compete for AMA National No. 1 plates, as well as for the Nicky Hayden AMA Road Race Horizon Award, which goes to the rider showing the most promise for success in the professional ranks. Past winners of the AMA Road Race Horizon Award have included Xavier Zayat, Anthony Mazziotto III, Jason DiSalvo, Hayden Gillim, Jake Lewis, Ben Spies, Miles Thornton and Blake Young. Other awards presented at the event include the AMA Road Race Youth Award, the AMA Road Race Top Novice Award and the AMA Road Race Vet/Senior Award. Get complete information at americanmotorcyclist.com/ama-road-race-grand-championship-takes-place-oct-22-25-at-barber-motorsports-park.

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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 facebook.com/AmericanMotorcyclist, on Twitter @ama_rights, @ama_riding and @ama_racing and on Instagram at @ama_riding and @ama_racing.

 


September 2020

 

National and Regional News

WASHINGTON, D.C. - President Trump is withdrawing his nomination of William Perry Pendley as the head of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. The nomination was announced in June. Both Democrats and Republicans pressured the administration to withdraw Pendley's name, in part because of his previous support for selling off federal lands. He continues to serve as the acting director.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The AMA joined the Motorcycle Industry Council and others to defeat a proposed tariff on motorcycles, parts and accessories. The U.S. Trade Representative had tried to use motorcyclists as a lever against the European Union and the United Kingdom. This effort was the third by the Trade Representative to include motorcycles and accessories in the tariff discussions. Motorcyclists and the manufacturers have prevailed each time in getting motorcycles and accessories removed from the proposal.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Reps. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) and Tim Walberg (R-Mich.), co-chairs of the House Motorcycle Caucus, asked House leaders in August for a floor vote on H. Res. 255, which addresses motorcyclist profiling. The Senate passed an identical version of this resolution in 2018. The AMA position statement on motorcyclist profiling can be found here.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the Utah Department of Natural Resources agreed in April to establish a program to restore the Bonneville Salt Flats. As part of the fiscal year 2020 BLM budget, Congress expressly authorized money to start the program. The Interior Department, however, has not released the funds, which are subject to a Sept. 30 deadline. AMA members and other supporters of this important program are asked to contact the Secretary of the Interior immediately and demand that these funds are allocated, as instructed by Congress. Click here to take action to make your voice heard on this important issue. Whether you are a racer, on-site spectator or fan, please add a few sentences describing the importance of Bonneville Salt Flats to you, your family or your business.

State News

SHOSHONE, Idaho - The South Central Idaho Resource Advisory Committee has scheduled a virtual meeting for 9 a.m. Sept. 24. The committee is authorized under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The purpose of the committee is to improve collaborative relationships and to provide advice and recommendations to the Forest Service concerning projects and funding consistent with Title II of the Act. RAC information can be found at fs.usda.gov/main/bdnf/workingtogether/advisorycommittees. Contact Julie Thomas, RAC coordinator, (208) 423-7500, or, by email, julie.thomas@usda.gov, for meeting call-in information.

DETROIT - The University of Michigan is a partner in a first-of-its-kind corridor for connected and autonomous vehicles. The first phase of the project is a two-year feasibility assessment to test technology and explore the viability of a 40-mile driverless vehicle corridor between Downtown Detroit and Ann Arbor. Initial project partners include Ford Motor Co.; U-M, home to the Mcity Test Facility, the U-M Transportation Research Institute, the Center for Connected and Automated Transportation and facilities along the proposed corridor; and the American Center for Mobility.

MISSOULA, Mont. - The U.S. Forest Service's Missoula Resource Advisory Committee has scheduled its next virtual meeting for 3 p.m. Sept. 8. The purpose of the meeting is to hear proposal presentations, approve meeting minutes, discuss, recommend and approve new projects and discuss and make recommendations on recreation fee proposals for sites located within Missoula County on the Lolo National Forest. For meeting call-in information, contact Quinn Carver, designated federal officer, (406) 677-3905 or quinn.carver@usda.gov, or Kate Jerman, (406) 552-7944, katelyn.jerman@usda.gov. For more information, visit federalregister.gov/documents/2020/07/23/2020-15938/missoula-resource-advisory-committee.

GORHAM, N.H. - The municipalities of Gorham and Shelburne are backing a state application for a Forest Legacy grant to buy conservation easements that would keep nearly 5,000 acres of the Gorham Land Company as a privately owned working forest, prohibiting motorized use. The 4,881-acre Androscoggin Valley Corridor project includes three tracts in Gorham totaling 3,851 acres and a single, 1,030-acre tract in Shelburne. The Gorham selectmen voted unanimously at their Aug. 19 meeting to endorse the Conservation Fund project that would "permanently protect these lands (to) guarantee public access and sustainable timber management," as they stated in a letter. The easement designates that the area is to be maintained in its natural condition, permitting no excavation for sand or gravel, no building, no off-road-vehicle use-although a snowmobile trail would be included-and no roads, other than the current access for the Pine Mountain tower or temporary roads for logging.

NEW YORK - Riders on Revel scooters in New York, Miami, San Francisco and the District of Columbia must wear helmets while riding and send a selfie image to the company to ensure compliance. And riders also will have to complete a three-minute safety video and a 20-question test. The requirements were put in place after a third person died from injuries sustained in a Revel scooter crash. All that was previously required to ride a Revel was a standard driver's license, because the 30-mph vehicles don't require a motorcycle permit.

SALEM, Ore. - The state Parks and Recreation Department is seeking volunteers for two positions on its All-Terrain Vehicle Advisory Committee. One of the successful candidates will also serve on the ATV Grant Subcommittee. The positions are for an at-large ATV user representative, who also will serve on the ATV Grant Subcommittee, and an ATV dealer representative. Volunteers serve up to two consecutive four-year terms. To apply, visit oregon.gov/oprd/ATV/Pages/ATV-committee.aspx#1 and click the "Committee Interest Form" link at the bottom of the section. Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. Sept. 10.

RAPID CITY, S.D. - The Black Hills National Forest Advisory Board is holding a virtual meeting 1 p.m. Sept. 16. Board information, including the meeting agenda and the meeting summary and minutes, can be found at: fs.usda.gov/main/blackhills/workingtogether/advisorycommittees. Board members bring their own distinctive perspectives to the planning process, and they also need members of the public to join the discussion. Now is the time to engage with land managers and share your views. Contact Scott Jacobson, committee coordinator, (605) 440-1409 or scott.j.jacobson@usda.gov for dial-in information.

STURGIS, S.D. - COVID-19 cases in eight states have been linked by health officials to attendance at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally held in early August. The North Dakota Health Department tweeted that 17 people "who are connected to" the rally have tested positive for the virus. Other cases have been confirmed in Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming and South Dakota. The Associated Press reported more than 100 cases in total have been linked to the event, which drew a crowd estimated at more than 450,000. South Dakota does not require that masks be worn in public.

POWNAL, Vt. - Residents petitioned officials for a town-wide vote on an ordinance passed in July that allows ATVs on most public streets and roads, beginning Sept. 7. The petition prevents the ordinance from becoming effective until a vote is held.

Industry News

MILWAUKEE - Harley-Davidson has delayed the launch of its Bronx streetfighter motorcycle, focusing instead on the rollout of its Pan America adventure bike for 2020. The decision on the Bronx is part of the company's new five-year strategic plan, dubbed The Hardwire, which includes extensive changes to Harley's operating model, updated motorcycles, new products and a focus on accessories and general merchandise.

IRVINE, Calif. - Off-highway motorcycle sales were up 50.3 percent in the first half of the year, compared with the same period last year, while dual-purpose motorcycle sales jumped 20.9 percent, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council Retail Sales Reporting System. Off-highway motorcycles include dirt bikes, trail bikes, competition motorcycles and other motorized two-wheelers that cannot be used on public roads. Dual-purpose motorcycles are street legal and are also designed to be used on off-road trails. On-highway motorcycles saw sales dip 9.6 percent, while scooter sales rose 4 percent. Combined with off-highway and dual-purpose, total motorcycle sales in the first half of the year were up 6.4 percent, compared with 2019.

AMA News

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - The AMA promoted Mike Pelletier to director of racing from his role as AMA Supercross manager. In his new role, Pelletier will manage the AMA's domestic amateur and professional competition operations, and will continue to oversee the AMA's responsibilities for the AMA Supercross Championship and work with AMA Competition Commissions and their role in the maintenance and development of the AMA Amateur Competition Rulebook. Bill Cumbow, who was the acting director of racing, is now the director of international competition, transitioning from his previous role as director of road racing relations. Working closely with Pelletier, Cumbow will manage all of the AMA's activity in events sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme and FIM North America. Cumbow will continue his responsibilities for MotoAmerica, home of the AMA Superbike Championship and the FIM North America Road Racing Championship. Read more here.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - AMA member Tiffany Cipoletti, who has worked on motorcycle rights issues in Washington, D.C., for more than a decade, is the new American Motorcyclist Association government relations manager for on-highway issues. She will be based at the AMA Government Relations office in Washington, D.C., reporting to AMA Government Relations Director Mike Sayre. Read more about Cipoletti here.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - The AMA recognized four outstanding racers with special awards at the conclusion of the 2020 Monster Energy AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship held Aug. 3-8 at Loretta Lynn's Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn. Levi Kitchen is the 2020 AMA Amateur Motocross Rider of the Year. AMA National No. 1 plates were awarded in 36 competition classes at the event, as well. For the full story, click here.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - More than 725 riders from as far away as California and New York turned out July 19-25 for the 2020 AMA Flat Track Grand Championship, first at Plymouth Speedway in Plymouth, Ind., and, then, at Ashland County Fairgrounds in Ohio. Rainstorms forced adjustments to the event schedule and racing disciplines. At the close of the week, three days of half-mile and one day of TT racing were completed. AMA National No. 1 plates were awarded in 10 Amateur and nine Youth classes. Kody Kopp, son of 2000 AMA Grand National Champion Joe Kopp, is the recipient of the 2020 Nicky Hayden AMA Flat Track Horizon Award. For the full story, click here.

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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 facebook.com/AmericanMotorcyclist, on Twitter @ama_rights, @ama_riding and @ama_racing and on Instagram at @ama_riding and @ama_racing.

 


August 2020

 

National and Regional News

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congress passed the Great American Outdoors Act on July 22, approving $9.5 billion during the next five years to address a maintenance and repair backlog in national parks and other public lands. The National Park Service will get 70 percent of the money; the U.S. Forest Service will receive 15 percent; and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the Bureau of Indian Education schools each will receive 5 percent. The funding for the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund comes from energy production on federally controlled lands and waters, including renewable energy and oil and gas drilling.

SHOSHONE, Idaho - The U.S. Bureau of Land Management Shoshone field office, Twin Falls district, is asking the public to review and provide input on an environmental assessment that analyzes recreation and public access in the Wood River Valley. The overall purpose of the environmental assessment is to consider expanding trail-based recreation and camping opportunities. Specifically, it examines the construction of trails, trailheads and campsite roads, changing existing trail designations and modifying seasonal OHV and temporary restrictions. The 30-day public comment period ends on Aug. 21. The environmental assessment can be viewed on the BLM National Environmental Policy Act register website at eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/home. Written comments can be submitted online at the NEPA register site; mailed to the BLM Shoshone Field Office at 400 W. F St., Shoshone, ID 83352, or emailed to blm_id_shoshoneoffice@blm.gov. Before including personally identifiable information in comments, be advised that the entire comment may be made publicly available.

NELSONVILLE, Ohio - The Wayne National Forest in Ohio has released initial assessment and supporting documents, the first step in the process of revising its forest plan. The plan revision is a three phase process: assessment, plan development and implementation and monitoring. With the release of the assessment, the forest will be entering the plan development phase of this process. The assessment is intended to be a rapid evaluation of existing information on the current and changing ecological, social and economic conditions prevalent across the forest and the broader study area. The assessment helps justify the need to change the current forest plan, which was released in 2006. The documents are available on the forest's plan revision web page. Along with the assessment documents, information on species of conservation concern and the recommended wilderness process are available for public review and feedback. Information about how to provide input on these processes is also provided on the webpage. As the forest enters the next phase of the plan revision process, engagement opportunities will be available to members of the public. Details will be posted at the plan revision web page and Facebook page. Members of the public with questions are encouraged to contact the revision team at (740) 753-0555 or wayneplanrevision@usda.gov.

State News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The state Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission has scheduled a virtual meeting for Aug. 6. The OHMVR Commission will be using the video conferencing service Zoom to host the meeting and allow remote public participation. To register for the meeting, visit us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_2XWQqZxzTReqW8uMxsL0rQ. Additional information, including the meeting agenda, is available on the OHMVR Commission Meetings web page.

BURLEY, Idaho - The U.S. Bureau of Land Management Burley field office is seeking public comment on a proposal to change the overnight camping and entrance fees at both the Lud Drexler park and Milner historic recreation area. The fee changes are proposed due to increased maintenance costs. The proposed fees will enable the agency to improve services and amenities. The current overnight camping fee at Lud Drexler park, unchanged since 1992, is $5 per vehicle. Current fees at Milner historic recreation area, unchanged since 1997, are $5 per vehicle for overnight camping and $3 per vehicle for day use. The proposed changes would raise the overnight camping fee to $15 per night per campsite and raise day use fees to $5 at both locations. Annual passes will increase from $25 to $50 and be valid for both sites. The changes are expected to raise approximately $30,000 annually, which would be used at both recreation areas. The draft business plan is available for review at blm.gov/programs/recreation/permits-and-fees/business-plans or as a hard copy at the Burley field office. Comments, including questions, should be submitted before Aug. 10 to Bureau of Land Management, Attn: Recreation Program, 15 E. 200 S., Burley, Idaho, 83318, or submit electronically to BLM_ID_BurleyOffice@blm.gov, subject line, Recreation Program.

SMELTERVILLE, Idaho - The U.S. Forest Service Idaho Panhandle resource advisory committee will hold a virtual meeting at 1 p.m. on Aug. 6. The committee is authorized under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The purpose of the committee is to improve collaborative relationships and to provide advice and recommendations to the Forest Service concerning projects and funding consistent with Title II of the Act. Additional meeting information can be found at fs.usda.gov/main/ipnf/workingtogether/advisorycommittees. Agenda items include introducing new RAC members; discussing the status of 2019 RAC-approved projects; and discussing the solicitation and review of new Title II project proposals. This meeting is open to the public. Written comments must be sent to Phillip Blundell, RAC coordinator, P.O. Box 159, Smelterville, ID 83868; to phillip.blundell@usda.gov; or to (208) 783-2101.

BOZEMAN, Mont. - Completing a four-year process that included 98 meetings and webinars and collaboration with forest users and nearby communities, the Custer Gallatin National Forest has released its final revised land management plan and environmental impact statement. The plan highlights the potential for more than 200 new jobs in the region and about $10 million in additional labor income. The plan also will help set priorities for investments that support work with state partners, tribes, communities and stakeholders to achieve active landscape management, vegetation and wildlife conservation, and help maintain sustainable mining, grazing, forest products and recreation industries. The plan details the desired conditions, standards, guidelines and objectives that would provide the foundation of future management activities across the forest for the next 10 to 15 years or longer. The final environmental impact statement analyzes the environmental, social and economic effects of the proposed land management plan and lays out several alternatives. The draft record of decision describes the selected alternative, which will become the land management plan. All project documents, including instructions on how-to object, are available on the Forest Plan Revision website. Master hardcopies are available for reference by appointment only at local ranger district offices or on thumb drive. Objection or resolution-centered meetings will be announced upon the determination of objection standing, and information will be available in the late fall. The objection process also includes an "interested persons" format for those who wish to know how objections are resolved. "Interested persons" includes any party not named in the objection and individuals who submitted substantive formal comments demonstrating their participation in the planning process. Information for filing as an interested person is available online at fs.usda.gov/custergallatin. Click on "Forest Plan Revision." Final documents, maps, how-to and archived information also are available online. For more information, contact Mariah Leuschen-Lonergan at (406) 587-6735.

LACONIA, N.H. - The City Council agreed in July to allow Laconia Motorcycle Week to occur Aug. 22-30, but without many of the activities attendees have enjoyed at past rallies. Vendor booths are banned, except for the Motorcycle Week Association and some local nonprofit organizations. Mayor Andrew Hosmer said before the vote that the council was trying to strike a balance between the economic concerns of local businesses which rely on the event for a large part of their income, and the need to safeguard public health during the coronavirus pandemic.

QUEENSBURY, N.Y. - About 50 motorcyclists gathered in a business parking lot for Americade Underground on July 25, an effort to keep some of their traditions alive despite the fact that the Americade motorcycle touring rally in Lake George was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The riders rode from Queensbury to Lake George and spent the day, maintaining proper distancing and wearing face coverings, an organizer said.

PIERRE, S.D. - The state Department of Transportation and the Department of Tourism are gathering information on the effect of tribal coronavirus checkpoints on those traveling to the state for the Sturgis motorcycle rally, which is scheduled for Aug. 7-16. Since April, the Cheyenne River Sioux and the Oglala Sioux tribes have operated COVID-19 traffic checkpoints on several state and federal highways that cross their reservations. The checkpoints are not motorcycle-only, but apply to all vehicles. The annual rally drew an estimated 490,000 people in 2019. Organizers and government officials expect far fewer this year-200,000 to 250,000-for a rally scaled down considerably because of the pandemic.

AUSTIN, Texas - The state Department of Transportation has launched a "Share the Road; Look Twice For Motorcycles Campaign" to call attention to rider safety. According to a DOT press release, 61 percent of fatal motorcycle crashes occur between May and October each year, peak riding season. In 2019, 30 percent of fatal crashes occurred in an intersection. "You need to pay attention, stay back, and give everybody, especially motorcyclists, extra room," said Sonja Gross, DOT Amarillo District public information officer. "Give driving your full attention. Pay attention at those intersections and be extra careful when you're making left turns, and most importantly, slow down."

Industry News

IRVINE, Calif. - Motorcycle industry veteran and 2013 AMA Motorcyclist of the Year Larry Little is retiring after more than 40 years of involvement in publishing, consulting, co-founding the American International Motorcycle Expo, volunteering at the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and serving the Motorcycle Industry Council. "We're looking forward to spending time with grandkids and visiting those folks whom we've missed over the years while being active participants in the industry," Little said of his wife, Stephanie Britt Little and himself.

AMA News

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - The AMA Board of Directors has voted unanimously to cancel the 2020 AMA Championship Banquet and AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony for 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony was part of the 2019 AMA Legends & Champions Weekend, Dec. 6-7. The board further asked AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman to direct staff to: Make provisions for delivering AMA National No. 1 plates to riders who win national championships in series and AMA Grand Championships successfully held in 2020; and explore remote alternatives for AMA Congress, the annual meeting for debating and proposing rule updates for AMA-sanctioned activity. "The board made clear that its decision was to protect attendees from exposure to the coronavirus, particularly with the likelihood for an additional surge in cases next winter when the year-end celebrations are traditionally held," said AMA Chief Operating Officer James Holter. "The board also felt that canceling the events was a responsible financial decision in light of expected low attendance, and the time and resource commitment necessary to hold such celebrations."

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - The 2020 American Motorcyclist Association Hillclimb Grand Championship, the amateur national championship event for motorcycle and ATV hillclimb, is rescheduled for Sept. 19-20 at the Pioneer Motorcycle Club in Waterford, Ohio. The event, originally planned for Aug. 7-9 in Wisconsin's Pierce County, was canceled in response to the coronavirus pandemic. To comply with the AMA's requirement for rescheduling the event, Pioneer Motorcycle Club President Les Wolfe and the WCHD created a COVID-19 mitigation plan, including health checks, face masks, social distancing, hand sanitizers, appropriate signage and a spectator ban.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - About 200 motorcyclists attended an open house and bike night supporting the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame museum July 11. During the event, AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman drew the winning ticket for a 1973 BMW R75/5 sidecar rig raffle bike restored by Jay Medieros of Vintage Triumph Supply in Bedford, Mass. The winner was AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Mary McGee. Also at the event, U.S. Rep. Troy Balderson (R-Ohio) introduced a resolution recognizing July 11 as "Antique Motorcycle Enthusiast Day."

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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 facebook.com/AmericanMotorcyclist, on Twitter @ama_rights, @ama_riding and @ama_racing and on Instagram at @ama_riding and @ama_racing.

 


July 2020

 

National and Regional News

WASHINGTON, D.C. - President Trump intends to nominate William Perry Pendley to be the director of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Pendley currently serves as the BLM deputy director for policy and programs. He has decades of experience in federal land management policy as an attorney, according to a BLM press release.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Coalition for Recreational Trails is calling for nominations for outstanding projects that used funds from the federal Recreational Trails Program for consideration for a 2020 achievement award. Award winners will be selected from projects nominated by public agencies, trail administrators or other project sponsors. Projects must be completed to receive an award. Award categories include construction and design; maintenance and rehabilitation; public/private partnerships and access to public lands; community linkage; education and communication; accessibility enhancement; multiple-use management and "corridor sharing;" use of youth conservation/service corps and community outreach; engaging public-sector partners; and enhancement of federal lands. There will be no in-person awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., this year, however there will be an online virtual ceremony this summer. And all award winners will be invited to participate in the next in-person event on Capitol Hill, which organizers hope will be in 2021. For more information, visit americantrails.org/crt.

State News

PISMO BEACH, Calif. - The California Coastal Commission has scheduled a multi-day virtual hearing. Of particular interest to the riding community, at 9 a.m. July 9 will be a status report by California State Parks on the progress of State Parks' Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area Public Works Plan, as well dust reduction efforts. For a complete agenda and information about hearing procedures and requests to speak during the meetings, visit coastal.ca.gov/meetings/agenda/#/2020/7. The public may also submit comments before the meeting.

SUSANVILLE, Calif. - The Lassen National Forest and Lassen County Resource Advisory Committee are seeking proposals for projects that qualify for funding under the authority of the Secure Rural Schools and Communities Self-Determination Act. The deadline for submission of project proposals is July 21. Projects must benefit forest system lands and ecosystems in Lassen County. The projects must have broad-based support with objectives that may include, but are not limited to road, trail and infrastructure maintenance or obliteration; soil productivity improvements; improvements in forest ecosystem health; watershed restoration and maintenance; wildlife and fish habitat improvements; control of noxious and exotic weeds; reintroduction of native species and hazardous fuels reduction. A hard copy application package must be submitted no later than July 21 and be addressed to the Lassen RAC, c/o Lassen National Forest, 2550 Riverside Drive, Susanville, CA 96130, Attn: Mark Gaston. For information about the Lassen National Forest, copies of the application and other related instructions, visit ufs.usda.gov/main/lassen/workingtogether/advisorycommittees.

MONTROSE, Colo. - The BLM issued a notice in June to lease about 44 acres of public land to Montrose County to develop the Shavano Gateway Recreation Area just west of Montrose. The new area will improve recreation opportunities and experiences on the western slope and will be part of the popular 4x4 Rimrocker Trail that runs from Montrose, Colorado, to Moab, Utah. Improvements will include a staging area with an off-highway vehicle obstacle and training course, trailhead parking, restrooms, barbeques, cabanas and picnic sites. Twenty miles of single-track trails will be developed on public lands adjacent to the area, which will accommodate large group events. The improvements and facilities will support the Dry Creek Recreation Area trails, Rimrocker Trail and the new 20-mile single-track trail system. Eventually, the BLM may convey this public land to Montrose County. The BLM notice is available for review at go.usa.gov/xvSve. Comments must be submitted by July 6. Send written comments to the Bureau of Land Management, Attn: Jana Moe, 2465 S. Townsend Ave. Montrose, CO 81401, or submit electronically to Jana Moe at jpmoe@blm.gov.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - State Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and the Florida Forest Service announced that additional Florida State Forest recreation areas are reopening, as they move to an online, cash-free point-of-sale system. Annual Off-Highway Vehicle passes went on sale June 24. Passes are valid through June 30, 2021. Beginning July 1, day-use passes for recreation areas, including trailheads and OHV riding areas, will be available. On July 10, group campsites, picnic pavilions and group recreation areas will reopen, with a capacity of 50 people. To purchase passes or to make a campsite reservation, visit floridastateforests.reserveamerica.com or call (877) 879-3859.

LACONIA, N.H. - Weirs Beach business owners urged the City Council on June 22 not to cancel Laconia Motorcycle Week, which was postponed to Aug. 22-30 due to concerns about the coronavirus. Charlie St. Clair, Laconia Motorcycle Week Association executive director, said the event likely be much smaller than typical annual attendance of 250,000 to 325,000. The council took no action at the June meeting.

RIO PUERCO, N.M. - The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has opened the nomination process to fill several positions on the newly established Rio Puerco management committee. The committee advises the Secretary of the Interior on the development and implementation of the Rio Puerco Management Program. The committee serves as a forum for information about activities that may affect or further the development and implementation of best management practices, identify objectives and develop alternative watershed management plans for the Rio Puerco drainage basin. Members serve three-year terms. The application form can be downloaded at blm.gov/get-involved/resource-advisory-council/near-you/New-Mexico. The BLM will consider nominations received through July 8.

COLUMBUS, Ohio - In an effort to stop distracted driving, the Ohio Department of Transportation is teaming up with the Ohio State Highway Patrol to create Central Ohio's first "Distracted Driving Safety Corridor." The 22-mile stretch of I-71 in Delaware and Morrow counties will be staffed with more troopers looking for violations, as well as signs warning drivers they have entered the corridor, where there is zero-tolerance for distracted and unsafe driving.

LEXINGTON, Ohio - After nearly a two-month pause, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course reopened to spectators on a limited basis June 26-28 for the Vintage Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio. The race weekend is the longest continuously running annual event at the facility. The Vintage Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio operated under the "Responsible RestartOhio" guidelines for the coronavirus after receiving approval from government officials for limited spectator attendance. The grandstands were not open. Spectators were subject to a temperature check and health screening when entering the facility.

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation ended its contractual relationship with Total Control Training Inc. on April 18, canceling all motorcycle training clinics scheduled through its Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program. Mandatory motorcycle training for individuals younger than 18 who wish to obtain a motorcycle license will be completed online. PennDOT is evaluating its program and vowed to continue motorcycle training. The agency also said it is "committed to ensuring the program is sustainable for the future following the COVID-19 emergency." More information is available at msp-info@pa.gov.

STURGIS, S.D. - The Sturgis City Council voted June 15 to proceed with preparations for the Aug. 7-16 rally, now in its 80th year, according to the Rapid City Journal. The event draws hundreds of thousands of motorcycle fans to the area. Officials estimated the economic impact of last year's rally was about $665 million. The council voted 8-1 to allow the rally to take place, but without the usual parade, opening ceremony and B-1 bomber flyover. Earlier in June, a group of business owners vowed to stage a rally, with or without cooperation from the city.

CHARLESTON, W. Va. - The U.S. Forest Service West Virginia Resource Advisory Committee has scheduled a virtual meeting for 9 a.m., July 21 to review and discuss Title II projects.  For meeting details, contact Julie Fosbender, RAC coordinator, at (304) 635-4446 or julie.fosbender@usda.gov. More information is available at: cloudapps-usda-gov.secure.force.com/FSSRS/RAC_Page?id=001t0000002JcuqAAC.

AMA News

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - 2020 AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, has been postponed, due to restrictions related to the coronavirus. No new dates have been announced. When additional information is available, the AMA will issue an announcement and post it to americanmotorcyclist.com and all AMA social media outlets. Purchased tickets will be honored on the new dates. Those who bought tickets through the AMA and wish to receive a refund may contact AMA Member Services at (800) AMA-JOIN (262-5646) or membershipmailbox@ama-cycle.org. Those who bought tickets through Mid-Ohio should contact the facility at midohio.com or (419) 884-400. Established in 1990 and held at Mid-Ohio for the past 24 years, AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days is hailed as an annual celebration of America's motorcycling heritage, welcoming thousands of enthusiasts and hundreds of vendors for bike shows, racing, seminars, the country's largest motorcycle swap meet and more. Proceeds from AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days support the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. For the latest news about the event, visit vintagemotorcycledays.com or facebook.com/AMAVintageMotorcycleDays. 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 created the Member Activity Department to enhance and consolidate efforts to engage members in recreational riding, volunteering and other non-competition activity. Heather Wilson has been promoted to director of member activity to manage the department. The Member Activity Department includes all AMA-sanctioned member non-competition activity, including riding and volunteer programs, and promotes and facilitates sanctioned recreational activities organized by AMA-chartered clubs and promoters. The department also will direct recreational engagement elements of AMA-promoted non-competition events and organize AMA Recreational Riding Commissions, which advise AMA staff on how the association can support AMA-sanctioned recreational activity. Wilson, who joined the AMA communications staff in 2014, most recently was the recreational riding manager. Wilson will report to Chief Operating Officer James Holter. Wilson can be reached at hwilson@ama-cycle.org.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, closed to visitors since March 20 in compliance with Ohio's coordinated response to the coronavirus pandemic, reopened June 22. In accordance with Ohio's Responsible RestartOhio plan, the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame will follow all safety guidelines in the Consumer, Retail, Services & Entertainment category. These include personal spacing, daily symptom assessments for employees, frequent cleaning of high-touch items and surfaces, directional signage, limited capacity and no groups larger than 10. Groups from five to 10 visitors are encouraged to call (614) 856-2222 or email saustin@ama-cycle.org to schedule visits. In addition, the first hour of operation, 9-10 a.m., will be exclusive to older guests and those who place themselves in at-risk populations. The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, on the AMA campus, is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET. It features two floors. The upper level honors the lives and careers of AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famers and men and women who have shaped motorcycling in America in racing, rights, design, industry and ambassadorship. The lower level includes themed exhibits, as well as examples of historic motorcycles from the museum's permanent collection. AMA members can visit the museum for no charge. Nonmember rates are $10 for adults, $3 for students and $8 for seniors. Children 11 and younger can visit for free with an accompanying adult.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - AMA members receive a 20 percent discount on Blendzall racing lubricants, including Blendzall's castor racing blends that have been used in many championship-winning motorcycles. Blendzall, based in Martins Ferry, Ohio, produces a premium racing lubricant from degummed castor oil and proprietary additives. A special blending catalyst allows Blendzall to mix permanently with gasoline and methanol. For more information, visit americanmotorcyclist.com/ama-members-receive-20-percent-discount-on-blendzall-racing-lubricants.

* * * * *

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 facebook.com/AmericanMotorcyclist, on Twitter @ama_rights, @ama_riding and @ama_racing and on Instagram at @ama_riding and @ama_racing.

 


June 2020

 

National and Regional News

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A draft proposal of the federal transportation reauthorization circulating among congressional staff members would remove incentives for states to fund motorcycle training and awareness programs. Currently, states must meet two of six criteria to qualify for motorcyclist safety grants from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Having a training program and a motorcyclist awareness program are two of the six. The draft proposal would add a seventh category, mandatory helmet laws for minors, which already are required 48 states. So, the new option would provide states with the opportunity to defund training or awareness and still qualify for the federal grant money. With states desperately searching for revenue in the wake of the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the AMA is concerned that lawmakers will siphon money from those important motorcycle programs. The AMA has long advocated a comprehensive motorcycle safety program as a means of preventing motorcycle crashes and reducing injuries and fatalities. In addition to strongly encouraging the voluntary use of helmets, gloves, sturdy footwear and protective garments, and strongly discouraging impaired operation, the AMA has aggressively supported research-based, state-approved motorcycle rider training. The full AMA position statement on Motorcycle Rider Education is at americanmotorcyclist.com/motorcycle-rider-education.

WASINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency hopes to increase the biofuels blended into the nation's fuel supply to 20.17 billion gallons in 2021, up from 20.09 billion gallons this year. The 2021 volumes under the Renewable Fuels Standard would include 15 billion gallons of conventional biofuels, such as ethanol, and 5.17 billion gallons of advanced biofuels. At the same time, the administration's $19 billion farm relief package includes major support for more E15 fuel. "We're unleashing the power of E15 to fuel our country all year long," President Donald Trump said in May during a visit to Council Bluffs, Iowa, according to NTV News. The AMA opposes any increase in the amount of ethanol blended into vehicle fuels and the increased availability of fuel blends containing more than 10 percent ethanol (E10). None of the estimated 22 million motorcycles and ATVs currently in use in the United States is certified by the EPA to operate on ethanol blends higher than E10. And the availability of E15 blends or higher can lead to inadvertent misfueling by riders.

State News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Senate Bill 1024 would exempt specially constructed motor vehicles used in organized racing or competitive events on a closed course from the identification device requirement for motor vehicles operated exclusively off the highways. The AMA supports this bill, because it is critical that any new rules governing the sale and use of competition vehicles recognizes and preserves a rider's ability to purchase, test, practice and train using these specialized vehicles.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Tina Brazil and Roger Salazar have been appointed to the state Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission. Brazil, 59, of Turlock, has been a public safety dispatcher at the California Highway Patrol since 1997. She is president of the CHP-Public Safety Dispatchers Association and senior vice president of the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association. Salazar, 50, of Sacramento, has been president of ALZA Strategies since 2014. He was managing director of Mercury Public Affairs from 2012 to 2014, partner at Acosta/Salazar LLC from 2004 to 2012, and senior vice president at Porter Novelli LLC from 2003 to 2004. Salazar served as press secretary and deputy press secretary in the Office of Governor Gray Davis from 2000 to 2002, deputy press secretary for Gore 2000 from 1999 to 2000, and assistant press secretary in the Office of President Bill Clinton from 1995 to 1999. He is a lifetime member of the California Four Wheel Drive Association and California Off-Road Vehicle Association, a member of Sierra Treasure Hunters 4×4 Club, and the University of Redlands Board of Trustees. Both positions require senate confirmation and carry compensation of $100 a day.

DENVER - The Colorado Wildlife Commission awarded several area off-highway vehicle trail grants, as part of an overall $4.23 million funding award to 60 trail projects across the state. The bulk of the funding comes from OHV registrations in Colorado, with the federal Recreational Trails Program providing the remaining $273,000.

ST. PAUL, Minn. - State ATV trails opened in May, but training classes for youth riders were postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. The 75 classes typically train more than 2,500 10- to 15-year-olds annually to ride ATVs legally and more safely. Anyone born after July 1, 1987, who is age 12 or older, must have a valid ATV Safety Certificate to operate on public lands, trails and frozen waters and when crossing road rights-of-way. Youth ages 10 to 15 must complete both an online class and a hands-on riding course taught by state-certified instructors, but those are now postponed. Riders born after July 1, 1987, who are age 16 and older are required to take only the online class to get their certificate, but are encouraged to take the "hands-on" course.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Motorcyclists 26 years old or older who have health insurance could ride without a helmet if Gov. Mike Parson (R) signs a bill passed by the legislature in May. Parson vetoed a helmet bill in 2019 that would have allowed anyone 18 or older to ride without a helmet. If signed by the governor, the law would be effective Aug. 28.

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The AMA wrote a letter of support for House Bill 2489, which would allow outdoor recreational activities, including professional and amateur motorsports, to resume immediately, under guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The bill would provide economic stimulus to many areas affected by the state's emergency order for the coronavirus pandemic, help support local motorcycling and automotive markets and provide a legal alternative to street racing and the use of illegal vehicles on public roads.

SAN ANGELO, Texas - The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has designated for authorized off-road vehicles the federal lands surrounding the Twin Buttes reservoir in Tom Green County. The 9,000-acre lake is surrounded by about 3,200 acres of land near San Angelo. More information is available from Trent Parish, Bureau of Reclamation, Oklahoma-Texas Area Office, Austin, Texas; (512) 899-4150; jparish@usbr.gov.

COVENTRY, Vt. - Residents of Coventry objected to an ordinance passed in April by the Select Board that opened all of the town's roads to ATV use. The complainants said the change was made with little public input and no vote by the residents. The ordinance allows ATVs on the streets between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. and restricts them to riding single-file at 35 mph or slower. Meanwhile, in Newport, ATV riders gained access May 15 to a selection of public roads, as long as the riders are licensed and obey all traffic laws.

MERRILL, Wis. - A portion of County Road W in Lincoln County is now open to ATV use. On May 7, the Lincoln County Highway Committee voted to open a 2-mile portion of County Road W south of Merrill as a connector for ATV routes on County Road P and Town of Pine River roads Center and Big Eddy Roads. Local officials said they hope the additional route will help draw more tourists to the area.

Industry News

MUNDERFING, Austria -Pierer Mobility AG (formerly KTM Industries AG) has established Husqvarna E-Bicycles GmbH as a wholly owned subsidiary, with headquarters in Munderfing. The company said the move puts e-bicycles on the same level as the powered two-wheeler KTM subsidiary.

SAN FRANCISCO - Kirsten Midura and Moira Zinn have been appointed to the Women Riders Now Leadership Board, filling the remaining open positions. The WRN Leadership Board guides the strategic direction of WomenRidersNow.com, a source of motorcycling news and advice aimed at women riders. Midura founded Engines for Change, an organization that brings motorcyclists together to enact positive change through beach cleanups, blood drives, fundraisers and, most recently, COVID-19 relief efforts. Her other activities include the Moto Market NYC, The MotoSocial and the Distinguished Gentleman's Ride. Former road racer and a voice in the powersports industry, Zinn is the founder of Powertrip Industries, an event-management and marketing agency. She also is a public speaker, emcee, trainer and frequent radio and podcast guest. She moderates the Women Adventure Riders Facebook group and hosts a series of live virtual round-table discussions there for female riders. The other members of the WRN Leadership Board are Co-Chairwomen Erin Sills and Sarah Schilke and members Alisa Clickenger, Porsche Taylor and Robyn Kocienski.

MARIETTA, Ga. - Yamaha Motor Corporation USA has announced the 2021 Ténéré 700 will arrive for the U.S. market during the first week of June. Earlier this year, Yamaha connected with customers interested in making the first Ténéré 700 purchases through the company's website and dealer network. While the first shipment of Ténéré 700 motorcycles is expected to sell out, additional inventory will be arriving at Yamaha dealerships during summer and fall.

AMAMOSA, Iowa -  The National Motorcycle Museum reopened May 22. Museum workers are wearing masks, and visitors are encouraged to do the same, to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. No children younger than 16 years old are permitted in the museum. And the gift shop has a limit of no more than five people inside at a time. About 25,000 people visit the museum annually.

CORNELIUS, N.C. - Huck Cycles has built an electric moped that meets the criteria to obtain a valid vehicle identification number and a manufacturer certificate of origin and be registered as a motor vehicle. The company's 1,000-watt and 3,000-watt models can reach 60 mph, which pushes them out of the bicycle category in most, if not all, states. Most states require a VIN and a manufacturer certificate of origin to register a vehicle for use on public roadways and property.

International News

LONDON - As the prime minister loosens the coronavirus-related lockdown on June 1, motorcycle and car dealerships will be permitted to reopen across Great Britain. All businesses must adhere to the health guidelines to protect shoppers and workers. The dealerships have been closed since March 23.

AMA News

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - The American Motorcyclist Association and INIT ESPORTS have pledged to work together throughout 2020 and beyond to develop two-wheel esports championships and tournaments, turning riders into gamers and gamers into riders. Toward that goal, the AMA and INIT ESPORTS have signed a Letter of Intent to plan, promote, organize and execute AMA-recognized esports events. INIT will manage esports championships representing a number of traditional motorcycling disciplines that are organized to the highest standards, earning the winners of these events recognition as AMA eSports National Champions and AMA eSports National No. 1 plates. For more information, visit https://tinyurl.com/yabm9lrs.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - Haynes North America Inc., publisher of the popular Haynes, Chilton and Clymer repair manuals, offers members of the American Motorcyclist Association a 15 percent discount on print and online manuals purchased through the company website. The AMA member discount is in addition to any other discount offered by Haynes North America. For more information, visit https://tinyurl.com/y9rgheve.

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 buy 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.

* * * * *

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.

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WHAT ICMS IS NOT

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