AMA News & Notes: October 2020

National, regional, state and local news for motorcyclists

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 Comments may be submitted through the project website, by email,, 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:

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

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 Applications are available at Download a PDF at

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, 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

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

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