AMA News & Notes: June 2018

National and regional news for motorcyclists

AMA News Author (no byline)

National and Regional News

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Reps. Austin Scott (R-Ga.) and Lois Frankel (D-Fla.) introduced the "Consumer Protection and Fuel Transparency Act of 2018” in the U.S. House (H.R. 5855). The American Motorcyclist Association supports this bipartisan bill. The AMA has repeatedly warned of the dangers of E15 (15 percent ethanol by volume) for motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles because none of the estimated 22 million motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles in use in the United States is certified by the Environmental Protection Agency to operate on fuel containing more than 10 percent ethanol. Inadvertent use of E15 in vehicles not designed for its use can damage fuel system and engine components and void manufacturer's warranties. This legislation would require the EPA to revise the labeling requirements for fuel pumps that dispense E15 and conduct a consumer education campaign to inform the public about the risks of improper use of E15 and the vehicles and equipment that are prohibited from using E15. To learn more and send a prewritten message to your representative, click here.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Motorcyclist traffic fatalities were down 5.6 percent in 2017, with 296 fewer deaths than in 2016, according to a preliminary report issued in May by the Governors Highway Safety Administration. The report, Motorcyclist Traffic Fatalities by State: 2017 Preliminary Data, projected that 4,990 people died in motorcycle crashes during 2017. Among the leading factors cited as contributing to motorcycle crashes: alcohol or drug impairment, distraction and the aging riding population. The GHSA said more states are considering ignition interlocks to reduce impaired driving. The group also is advocating for universal helmet laws. The AMA strongly encourages helmet use but believes that adults should have the right to voluntarily decide when to wear a helmet.

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Pacific Northwest Region of the U.S. Forest Service has launched of a region-wide mobile app, the Pacific Northwest Forests app. The specialized software program will help the public find hiking trails, camping, picnicking, boating areas and more by using their cell phones’ GPS capabilities. This mobile app allows visitors to discover recreational opportunities near them and serves as a complement to the Forest Service’s traditional website. For more information and to download the app, click here.

State News

OCEANO, Calif. — The foredunes of the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area will be closed by Sept. 15 as part of a dust-pollution control plan approved by the San Luis Obispo County, Calif., Air Pollution Control District Hearing Board. The agreement between the Air Pollution Control District and California State Parks, which manages the recreation area, calls for reducing dust emissions by 50 percent during the coming five years. The intention is to reduce the amount of dust that drifts into nearby communities. During the coming year the agencies will work together on a plan, conduct public hearings, involve a scientific advisory committee and increase monitoring. According to Sanluisobispo.com, the approved agreement calls for closing the foredunes area and replanting it so it will return to the conditions depicted in a 1930s aerial photograph.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — State officials, as part of the Strategic Highway Safety Plan, are surveying motorcyclists to compile a list of possible locations for motorcycle barrier installations. The survey form is designed to collect as much information as possible about specific locations on the State Highway System where this safer barrier technology may be considered. The information collected will be given to the state Traffic Safety Office. Forms may be downloaded at www.dot.ca.gov/trafficops/shsp/docs/Motorcycle-Survey-Form.docx. Forms must completed and emailed to SHSP@dot.ca.gov by July 1, with the subject line "RE: SHSP Motorcycle Challenge Area Survey Form." Be sure to provide very specific information. The more information the state has, the better officials can respond to your input.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Gov. Larry Hogan signed into law S.B. 606, which creates within the state Department of Natural Resources an Off-Highway Recreational Vehicle Trail Fund and authorizes the transfer of about $750,000 a year from the Transportation Trust Fund to the trail fund. The new law allows that money to be spent only on ORV trails. The revenue is generated from the title tax paid when ATVs, side-by-sides and dirt bikes are bought. In past years, the funds were spent for highway maintenance. The bill was backed by the Maryland Motorcycle Dealers Association and the Maryland Off-Highway Vehicle Alliance.

WASHOE COUNTY, Nev. — The Washoe County Sheriff's Office has developed a free phone app that makes it easy to report illegal dumping. "One of the elements of that app is an illegal dumping reporting system," said department spokesman Bob Harmon. "And it's very simple. You open the app, you push the illegal dumping option, and really all it asks you to do is take a picture and send it in." The photo submitted will include GPS coordinates, so authorities can find the dump site. To download the app, just go to your phone's app store and type in Washoe County Sheriff's Office.

LEWIS COUNTY, N.Y. — Officials may be headed for a battle with the state over one village's decision to allow ATVs to use its streets, according to a report in the Watertown Daily Times. In May, state Supreme Court Judge Peter A. Schwerzmann found that the village of Constableville violated state law when it allowed ATVs access to public roads. For county officials, ATVs represent an economic development opportunity. Many ATV enthusiasts have built seasonal homes in the area to use the Lewis County ATV Trail System, according to the newspaper report. The town of Leyden, also in Lewis County, enacted an ordinance similar to the one in Constableville. The next move would be for Constableville to appeal the court's ruling.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced new public involvement in charting the future course of Pennsylvania’s state forests. The effort began May 31, when Sproul State Forest District hosted the first of 20 public meetings across the state. Dates and locations of other district public meetings will be announced locally in the future. The public meetings will focus on specifics of district plans and aid the bureau in revising its District State Forest Resource Management Plans. A DSFRMP is written for each of the bureau’s 20 forest districts across the state. Both the district-level and statewide plans are designed to provide bureau staff a framework for work and management decisions and to communicate to stakeholders how their forest is being managed. District plans build upon the foundation of the state-wide plan, while providing a greater level of detail and more focus on district-level priorities. A complete schedule of district public meetings can be found on the State Forest Resource Management Plan website.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources issued grants totaling $425,700 to three recipients in Pennsylvania for all-terrain vehicle trails, equipment and related facilities. Funding is provided from ATV registrations. “Using funds from ATV riders when they register their vehicles, these grants will help improve riding opportunities,” DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said. “ATV trails draw visitors and can have a positive economic impact on nearby communities.” The grants by county are:

  • Armstrong and Lawrence — Mines and Meadows LLC, $154,600, to prepare a plan to further develop the campground facility at the 870-acre Mines and Meadows ATV Park in New Beaver Township, Lawrence County and a trail study for the development of a 1,700-acre site in Brady’s Bend Township, Armstrong County.
  • Bradford — Athens Township, $185,100, for development of Round Top Park in Athens Township, including rehabilitation of about 4 miles of ATV trails and a trailhead, construction of a pavilion and comfort station, landscaping and other related site improvements.
  • Cambria and Indiana — Rock Run Recreation Inc., $86,000, to buy equipment to build and maintain about 140 miles of off-highway vehicle trails at Rock Run Recreation Area in Cambria and Indiana counties.

CAMERON COUNTY, Texas — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service closed Boca Chica Beach at Boca Chica State Park to ATVs and off-highway vehicles. The affected area includes the dunes, tidal flats and beach. Boca Chica is part of the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge, which in turn is part of the USFWS South Texas Refuge Complex. The ban does not affect beach access for passenger cars and trucks, though it does target specific types of recreational vehicles designed for off-highway use. Violators will be subject to fines and forfeiture of their vehicles.

Industry News

NASHVILLE — Lane Motor Museum announced it has opened its newest public exhibit displaying The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach’s Vintage Harley-Davidson collection. Auerbach’s collection consists of Harley-Davidsons that have not been fully restored, yet retain much of the character of the prior owners, including the modifications that reflect their personalities. Ten of these motorcycles will be on display in the exhibit "The Dan Auerbach Collection: Vintage Harley-Davidsons from 1937-1950." Auerbach is a multi-platinum-selling musician and eight-time Grammy Award winner. For more information, visit www.lanemotormuseum.org.

STUTTGART, Germany — The Mobility Solutions sector of The Bosch Group has announced several technological products for motorcycles. Bosch efforts include a sliding mitigation research project, radar-based assistance systems, adaptive cruise control, a forward collision warning system, blind-spot detection, motorcycle stability control and motorcycle-to-car communication. Full details on all these systems can be found at this link: www.americanmotorcyclist.com/Home/News-Story/greater-safety-on-two-wheels-bosch-innovations-for-the-motorcycles-of-the-future.

TOKYO — Honda Motor Co.’s Monkey Bike is making a comeback, this time with a larger 125cc engine. Honda announced that the Monkey will resume production after being discontinued last year. It is expected to be on the domestic market July 12, with a price of $3,700. Honda stopped production in 2017 because of Japanese emissions regulations. The new Monkey 125 was unveiled in the fall as a concept model during the Tokyo Motor Show.

AMA News

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The AMA and American Honda Motor Co. are commissioning two custom motorcycles that celebrate the life and career of professional American road racer and flat tracker Nicky Hayden, who passed away on May 22, 2017, as a result of injuries sustained when he was hit by a car while training on his road bicycle in Italy. Honda is donating two motorcycles to the project, a 2018 Honda CBR1000RR and a 2018 Honda XR650L. The CBR1000RR will be decked out in a full Repsol Honda livery, while the XR650L will be heavily modified in a street-tracker motif by award-winning custom bike builder Tony Prust of Analog Cycles in Chicago. Renderings of the custom motorcycles will be unveiled on July 6 at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days in Lexington, Ohio, with the bikes themselves debuting during AMA Legends & Champions Weekend in Columbus, Ohio, on Dec. 7. Throughout 2019, the bikes will tour at select events and be on display at the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame on the AMA campus in Pickerington, Ohio, before being raffled to raise funds for the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation, the 501c3 nonprofit that raises money to support the Hall of Fame.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — Make arrangements now to attend the 2018 AMA Legends & Champions Weekend, Dec. 7-9. This event celebrates the past, honors the present and builds for the future. The event at the Hilton Columbus/Polaris in Columbus, Ohio, includes the 2018 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, the 2018 AMA Championship Banquet and the annual AMA Congress. Also during the weekend, the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Pickerington, Ohio, will host an open house in honor of the Class of 2018 and to install their Hall of Fame nameplates and representative motorcycles or memorabilia in the Hall of Fame museum. Tickets for the 2018 AMA Legends & Champions weekend will be available soon. Reservations at the Columbus Hilton/Polaris are available now at a special group rate at this link: www.hilton.com/en/hi/groups/personalized/C/CMHPOHF-AMOTOA-20181205/index.jhtml. Guests also can call (614) 310-2229 and reference the group "American Motorcyclist Association" or "AMOTOA."

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — It's just one more month until 2018 AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, the nation's premier vintage motorcycling event, brings racing, bike shows, live music, seminars and motorcycle attractions to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. The annual event, July 6-8 this year, is the largest fundraiser for the benefit of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. Tickets are on sale now. AMA members can visit www.amavintagemotorcycledays.com or call (614) 856-1900 to order. Non-AMA members can buy tickets through Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course online at www.midohio.com or by calling (419) 884-4000.

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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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