DOUGLAS, Ariz., – The motorized travel system in the Coronado National Forest’s Douglas Ranger District is the target of proposed changes. A preliminary environmental assessment has been prepared. The proposed project includes roads, trails and motor-vehicle-use areas on National Forest System lands in Cochise County, Arizona, and Hidalgo County, New Mexico. Comments on the proposal are being sought by the ranger district through April 4. The environmental assessment is available online at http://tinyurl.com/zlso6qz. Comments must fall within the scope of the project and include supporting reasons. Electronic comments may be made at http://tinyurl.com/zk5ubxp. Written comments should be submitted by mail, fax or in person to Robert Walter, District Recreation Officer, 1192 W. Saddleview Road, Douglas, AZ, (520) 364-6667.
DENVER – Motorcyclists would no longer have to carry transponders to use high-occupancy-vehicle lanes under H.B. 16-123. But, according to ABATE of Colorado, the proposal is stalled because transportation officials can’t figure out how to provide motorcyclists free access to the lanes without the transponders. Federal regulations permit motorcyclists to use HOV lanes toll-free.
BALTIMORE – A City Council committee began discussions in March to bring an off-highway-vehicle park to the community. With City Councilman Pete Welch leading the effort, committee members hope to establish a park that will attract dirt bike riders, as well as BMX riders, skateboarders and other “wheeled” recreational users. The idea was sparked in the summer of 2015 when dirt bike riders resumed weekly events along Reistertown Road near Druid Hill Park. City officials, residents and riders hope an OHV park will help alleviate complaints about traffic congestion and public welfare concerns created by the illegal riding. The AMA is participating in the process in an advisory role.
BOSTON – Motorcycle-only checkpoints would be prohibited under S. 1832, sponsored by motorcyclist and state Sen. Anne Gobi (D-Spencer). Specifically, the bill would prohibit a motor vehicle checkpoint that targets a particular type of motor vehicle decoration or adornment of the vehicle or rider.
CARSON CITY, Nev. – The Division of State Parks is seeking applicants for grants from the 2016 round of federal Recreation Trails Program funding. Nevada expects to receive about $1.1 million. Grants may be awarded to counties, municipalities, federal agencies, private organizations, nonprofits or Native American tribal governments. The grants may be used for outdoor recreational trail activities. An ad hoc Recreation Trails Program Committee will review the applications. To review the RTP manual and assess eligibility, visit www.parks.nv.gov. The full application also is available there for download. Applications are due by 5 p.m. local time on May 6. Questions may be directed to Jenny Scanland at (775) 684-2787 or email@example.com.
TAOS, N.M. – The Carson National Forest has scheduled community meetings during April to gather input concerning land being evaluated for Wilderness designation. The forest has six Wilderness areas. The Forest Service is examining all of the land it manages for characteristics that would allow for the Wilderness designation. The federal Wilderness designation includes “an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain. An area of wilderness is further defined to mean … an area of undeveloped federal land retaining its primeval character and influence, without permanent improvements or human habitation.” The community meetings are scheduled for 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.:
- April 6 at the Rural Events Center, U.S. Highway 84/State Road 554, Abiquiu, N.M.
- April 8 at the Coronado Hall, 120 Civic Plaza Drive, Taos, N.M.
- April 11 at the Amalia Senior Center, 191 Vallejos Road, Amalia, N.M.
- April 13 at the Manassa Opera House, 4th Street, west of the Mormon Church, Manassa, Colo.
More information is available from the New Mexico Off Highway Vehicle Alliance (www.nmohva.org).
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Motorcycle Ohio rider training program is changing its course curriculum and taking the program in-house, beginning in January 2017. The new curriculum is based on the Idaho STAR materials and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration model standards for state motorcycle rider training programs. The revamped program will be known as Motorcycle Ohio Rider Enhancement, or MORE. Motorcycle Ohio will control content, delivery, instructor certification and future development. These materials will also form the basis for upper-level courses. MORE will be the only curriculum approved for motorcycle endorsement in Ohio, the memo states. More information about Motorcycle Ohio is available here: www.motorcycle.ohio.gov.
HARRISBURG, Pa. – The profiling of motorcyclists would be prohibited under H.B. 1580, which passed the state House by a 179-18 vote and is in the Senate for consideration. The bill would require that law enforcement training include instruction on what constitutes motorcyclist profiling and that each police department include in its procedures and operations policies a statement condemning motorcyclist profiling.
RICHMOND, Va. – Auxiliary lights, such as LED accent lights, would be allowed on motorcycles under H.B. 939, passed the House of Delegates and being considered by the state Senate. Current law requires that all vehicle lighting be approved by the superintendent of the state police.
OLYMPIA, Wash. – S.B. 5623 would authorize a trial project allowing motorcycles to move around slow traffic. The bill, which passed the state Senate, would allow motorcyclists to use the left lane or shoulder to pass traffic, if the traffic is traveling no more than 25 mph and the rider is traveling no more than 10 mph faster than other traffic. The pilot project would run through July 31, 2018.
Samsung and Yamaha are developing a “Smart Windshield” that would display information – such as navigation instructions – from a motorcyclist’s smartphone and trigger automatic responses to text messages and phone calls. The effect would be similar to a head-up display on a helmet. Samsung touts the concept as a safety feature, allowing riders to watch the road while checking their smartphone information. A video presentation is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAWpq4eW7FE.
SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif., – BRG Sports has announced the sale of its action sports business to Vista Outdoor Inc. Vista Outdoor will acquire the Bell, Giro, Blackburn and C-Preme brands for $400 million in cash plus an earn-out related to the future performance of the powersports business. The deal is expected to close by the end of April.
EAST TROY, Wis. – The first 2016 model motorcycles from Erik Buell Racing were produced on March 17 under the ownership of Liquid Asset Partners of Grand Rapids, Mich. Liquid Asset Partners bought the manufacturing assets of EBR at a court-ordered auction under Wisconsin’s state bankruptcy procedures. The company says it expects to produce 1190RX and 1190SX models, slowing increasing production during the rest of this year.
IRVINE, Calif. – Motorcycle USA, magazine covering the motorcycling community, closed in March after 20 years of production. The magazine announced the move on Twitter on Feb. 24. The sister publication of Cycle News was part of Motorsport Aftermarket Group, which also includes such brands as J&P Cycles, Kuryakyn, Mustang Motorcycle Seats, Motorcycle Superstore and Vance & Hines. Motorcycle USA reported its website will remain active for an extended period of time to serve readers with content that has accumulated over the years.
BANGKOK, THAILAND – Uber, the taxi service that passengers hail with their smartphones, has established a motorcycle-on-demand service called Uber MOTO in Bangkok. The pilot project will evaluated the service, which was developed for emerging markets.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio – Changes at the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame expand the field of possible Hall of Fame candidates, open Hall of Fame voting to AMA Life Members with at least 25 consecutive years of membership and adds a new benefit for all AMA members. The American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation added the “Highly Qualified Candidate” category that includes candidates whose accomplishments have taken place outside the public eye but have played a significant role in motorcycling. The new category gives the independent Hall of Fame selection committees a tool to recognize advocates and other behind-the-scenes workers whose accomplishments have played a major role in motorcycling but often go unrecognized. The added benefit for AMA members is free entry into the Hall of Fame museum when a valid AMA membership card is presented.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio – A new partnership with CycleTrader.com provides a 20 percent discount for AMA members on top-of-the-line classified ads to sell or trade their motorcycles. AMA members can take advantage of the discount by using an exclusive promo code found in the members-only section of the AMA website (www.americanmotorcyclist.com). Additionally, powersports enthusiasts can now access bikes for sale on Cycle Trader through the AMA website, under the heading, “Classifieds.” CycleTrader.com features nearly 400,000 units for sale and attracts more than 2 million visitors each month. The partnership also includes a new resource page on CycleTrader.com showcasing AMA information and providing greater exposure for the AMA to recruit powersports enthusiasts to become AMA members. AMA and CycleTrader.com will work together on additional promotions in 2016.
AMA News & Notes is a monthly publication compiled and edited by the American Motorcyclist Association Government Relations Department. 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 Government Affairs Editor, Jim Witters.
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 at the bottom of the page.
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, and click here to sign up.
Readers can also 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.
Protect your right to ride! Volunteering is easy, and it’s rewarding. To learn how you can help, visit online at www.americanmotorcyclist.com > Rights > Get Involved.
Follow the AMA on Facebook at www.facebook.com/americanmotorcyclist, on Twitter @ama_rights and on Instagram at @ama_riding.