AMA News & Notes: 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.

WASHINGTON, 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

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

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