AMA News & Notes: February 2020

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.

National and Regional News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

State News

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

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

For more information visit or contact Devin McMahon at (707) 441-3527 or

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

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

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

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

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

As part of the grant application process, the field office is asking for public input. Send comments to or by mail to Bureau of Land Management, Attn: Chuck Patterson, 4350 Cliffs Drive, Pocatello, ID 83204. For more information visit or contact the Pocatello field office at (208) 478-6340.

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

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

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

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

International News

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

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

AMA News

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

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

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

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