Join the AMA

AMA News & Notes: November 2019

National and regional news for motorcyclists

National and Regional News

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

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) re-introduced S. 2602, Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act, which would protect the right of vehicle owners to convert their personal vehicles, including motorcycles, into competition machines. In 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was granted authority to fine amateur racers for such modifications. The AMA supports this legislation. Click on this link to contact your senator https://cqrcengage.com/amacycle/app/write-a-letter?2&engagementId=503034.

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

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

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

State News

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

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

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

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

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

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

International News

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

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

Industry News

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

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

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

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

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

AMA News

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

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The 2019 AMA Legends & Champions Weekend is Dec. 6-7 at the Hilton Columbus Downtown in Columbus, Ohio. The AMA Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Dec. 6 will welcome the Hall of Fame Class of 2019: rights advocate Mark Buckner, off-road racing champion Kurt Caselli, motocross champion Ron Lechien, trials pioneer Wiltz Wagner and museum founder Dale Walksler. On Dec. 7, the 2019 AMA Championship Banquet which honors the national champions in all disciplines sanctioned by the AMA. In addition, the hotel will host AMA Congress on Dec. 6-7, where AMA Commission members will discuss rules governing AMA-sanctioned events. Tickets for AMA Legends & Champions Weekend are available now at http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=vw9ldxbab&oeidk=a07egk6666t3e98bda6. Tickets also can be purchased over the phone at (800) 262-5646. Reservations can be made at the Hilton Columbus Downtown at https://book.passkey.com/event/49921089/owner/9521521/home.

* * * * *

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 to receive AMA e-newsletters: AMA Extra includes a summary of AMA news, ATV E-News includes a summary of ATV-related news and Hall of Fame Insider focuses on the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. To subscribe to one or more, 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_riding and @ama_rights and on Instagram at @ama_riding.