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.
National and Regional News
Washington, D.C.: Congratulations on surviving another election cycle and thank you for voting. An additional “thank you” to all who volunteered on a motorcycle-friendly candidate’s campaign. Your efforts to support those who support motorcyclists are critical to advancing rider interests in public policy.
The 2014 AMA Voter Guide, an exclusive AMA member benefit, has been updated with election results for federal and gubernatorial candidates at http://americanmotorcyclist.com/votelikeamotorcyclist.
The AMA urges all riders to build relationships with their lawmakers. The best way to influence motorcycle-related issues is to establish and maintain positive relationships with elected officials before you need their help.
If you already have started working with an elected official, by volunteering on a campaign or through previous efforts, the AMA would like to hear your story. Please send your activism-in-action photos, with a brief summary of your efforts including the name of the candidate and your state, to email@example.com.
Again, thank you to all who voted for motorcycle-friendly candidates and especially to those who volunteered on campaigns.
Washington, D.C.: Four federal agencies have announced dates during the coming year when the public can enter designated areas without paying a fee. The Bureau of Land Management, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Forest Service and the National Park Service are making fee-free access available under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act.
The fee-free dates for 2015 are:
Jan. 19 Martin Luther King Jr. Day (BLM, NPS, USFS, USFWS)
Feb. 14-16 Presidents Day weekend (BLM, NPS, USFWS) (USFS -16th only)
April 18-19 Opening Weekend of National Park Week (NPS)
June 13 National Get Outdoors Day (USFS)
Aug. 25 National Park Service Birthday (NPS)
Sept. 26 National Public Lands Day (BLM, NPS, USFS, USFWS)
Oct. 11 First Sunday of National Wildlife Refuge Week (USFWS)
Nov. 11 Veterans Day (BLM, NPS, USFS, USFWS)
Silurian Valley, Calif.: The Bureau of Land Management has rejected an application for a solar energy right-of-way in San Bernardino County, Calif. The project application, submitted by a subsidiary of Iberdrola Renewables, LLC, had proposed a 200-megawatt photovoltaic solar project on 1,616 acres about 10 miles north of Baker along State Route 127. The BLM determined that the solar project would not be in the public interest after undergoing a rigorous review process in accordance with the BLM's Western Solar Plan.
The plan, approved in October 2012, created Solar Energy Zones across the West where solar energy projects would be prioritized. The plan does allow for solar development outside of Solar Energy Zones; however, applications in these variance areas must go through a review process based on required factors specified in the plan before determining if the area is suitable for solar development.
In a May 8 letter from the AMA to the BLM Barstow Field Manager, the AMA expressed concern that the project may diminish the quality of the Tonopah and Tidewater OHV Trail by degrading its scenic attributes, adversely affecting the local economy and potentially repurposing part of the trail for maintenance of the solar project.
In making its determination on the Silurian Valley project, the BLM said it analyzed environmental data, in addition to gathering information from the public and local, state, federal and tribal governments. The initial review and analysis indicated that the impacts to the Silurian Valley, a largely undisturbed valley that supports wildlife, an important piece of the Old Spanish National Historic Trail, and recreational and scenic values, had too great of an impact on the resources. The BLM concluded that these impacts likely could not be mitigated and that the project would not be in the public interest.
Pocatello, Idaho: The BlueRibbon Coalition is seeking an executive director to lead the organization, which champions responsible use of public lands and land access for outdoor recreation.
The executive director is hired by the BRC board of directors and serves as a full-time, salaried employee to execute the business of the BRC, except for those functions reserved for the board in its by-laws. Interested individuals should submit resumes to:
Glen Zumwalt, Chair
Executive Director Search Committee
c/o BlueRibbon Coalition
4555 Burley Drive, Suite A
Pocatello, ID 83202
208-237-1008 ext. 105
Great Falls, Mont.: The Right Rider Access Fund is sponsoring a Spring 2015 OHV Recreation Management Course Scholarship. The Marshall University Recreation and Park Resources program, in cooperation with the Nick J. Rahall II Appalachian Transportation Institute and the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council, has developed a series of four off-highway vehicle courses. The scholarship being offered by the Right Rider Access Fund will be administered by NOHVCC.
For more information regarding the scholarship or to receive an application, contact NOHVCC staff at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications are due in the NOHVCC office on December 3rd, 2014. NOHVCC will then review applications and choose a recipient in the shortest amount of time possible. Spring courses begin January 12th, 2015.
The objective of these courses is to provide university students and professional employees of planning and land management agencies with state-of-the-art courses dealing with the general aspects of OHV recreation and the planning, construction, operation and management of OHV trails and facilities. Career employees can obtain academic credit after completing the courses and students attending other colleges and universities may have these credits transferred to their own institutions. Information about the courses is available at: www.nohvcc.org/Education/MarshallU.aspx. For additional information, contact Theresa Litteral at email@example.com.
Irvine, Calif.: The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has released a new video to help motorcycle riders perform crucial, pre-ride safety inspections of their bikes. The video, titled “T-CLOCS” (a six-letter acronym representing the six main categories of inspection steps), can be viewed on the MSF's website.
T-CLOCS is so crucial to MSF’s goal of keeping motorcyclists safe that a handy tear-out version of the T-CLOCS Pre-Ride Inspection Checklist is provided to each MSF Basic RiderCourse student in the back of the MSF Basic RiderCourse Rider Handbook. A free PDF version of the T-CLOCS Checklist can be found here.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation promotes safety through rider training and education, operator licensing tests and public information programs. The MSF works with the federal government, state agencies, the military and others to offer training for all skill levels so riders can enjoy a lifetime of safe, responsible motorcycling. Standards established by the MSF have been recognized worldwide since 1973.
Torrance, Calif.: Achieving a milestone more than 65 years in the making, Honda Motor Co. Ltd. recently announced production of its 300-millionth motorcycle. The milestone bike is a Honda Gold Wing produced at the company’s Kumamoto factory in Japan. Honda will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the iconic Gold Wing in 2015.
Honda began mass production of motorcycles in Japan in 1949 when it built the Honda 98cc Dream Type-D. Today, Honda produces motorcycles, ATV’s and side-by-sides at 32 plants in 22 countries, including two plants in North America.
In 1958, Honda introduced the Honda 50, known globally as the Super Cub, which would go on to revolutionize the industry. This iconic bike paved the way for Honda’s expansion into the U.S. in 1959 and Canada in 1969. The Super Cub, which has sold nearly 90 million units globally since its inception, was the focus of a mid-1960s advertising campaign, “You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda,” that played a major role in the transformation and growth of the U.S. motorcycle market.
In the 1960s, Honda became the best-selling motorcycle brand in the U.S. and the world, leading to the establishment of Honda of America Mfg. and the company’s first U.S. production facility, the Marysville Motorcycle Plant. The plant, which opened on September 10, 1979 in Marysville, Ohio, produced both motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles until 2009. Production of ATVs has since shifted to Honda of South Carolina Mfg. in Timmonsville, S.C. Since the start of production in 1979, Honda has manufactured more than 5 million power sports products in North America using global and domestically sourced parts. Today, HSC manufactures FourTrax ATVs and Pioneer side-by-sides and engines, while the Honda plant in El Salto, Jalisco, Mexico, produces motorcycles.
Furthermore, the research and development of Honda ATVs and side-by-side vehicles for both local and global markets is now being led by a team of engineers at Honda R&D Americas—with Powersports R&D operations in Los Angeles, Ohio and South Carolina.
Pickerington, Ohio: The AMA is pleased to announce recent additions to its board of directors. On Oct. 17 at the AMA National Convention in Orlando, Fla., Jeff Skeen was elected as an at-large individual member representative during the annual AMA member meeting.
During the AMA business member meeting later that day, Robert Pearce was elected to a full term as a business member representative. Earlier this year, Pearce was appointed to the board to serve the remainder of departing business member representative Sean Hilbert's term.
In addition, business member representative Paul Puma was elected to hold the seat being vacated by John Ulrich. Ulrich's term-limited position on the board expires in February 2015.
The AMA Board of Directors meets regularly to discuss broad policy for the association, including crafting AMA position statements on important issues and ratifying rules of AMA-sanctioned competition written by AMA Congress delegates. Board members represent both individual members and business members.
To view all of the AMA Board of Directors, visit www.americanmotorcyclist.com/about/board.
Pickerington, Ohio: The AMA and the U.S. Forest Service's Wayne National Forest have jointly produced two YouTube videos promoting safe and responsible off-road motorcycling. The videos encourage riders to stay on designated trails, offer courtesy to other trail users, obtain all the required permits, stay sober and resist the urge to race each other while trail riding.
Land managers at the Wayne National Forest -- the largest off-highway-vehicle trail system in Ohio -- say they are optimistic that the video will encourage riders to ride responsibly, while being mindful of natural resources. The Wayne National Forest covers almost a quarter of a million acres of Appalachian foothills in Southeastern Ohio.
One video (http://youtu.be/OjcXivy3b8c) features Walker Fowler, who finished second in the XC1 ATV class in the 2014 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series, presented by Maxxis, an AMA National Championship.
The second video (http://youtu.be/oEWOz6GvoYY) features AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman, AMA Chief Operations Officer Jeff Massey and AMA Chief Financial Officer Bruce Moffat at Wayne National Forest riding with some family members.
The messages in that video include:
- Using the right equipment
- Obtaining the proper permits and registrations
- Staying on the designated trail
- Extending courtesy to other riders
- Never drinking alcohol when riding
Funding for the videos was made available from the Recreational Trails Program, an assistance program of the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration, administered by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
Pickerington, Ohio: The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum is a registered drop-off location for the Toys for Tots campaign. Each individual who visits the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum through Dec. 19 and donates a new toy will receive free admission to the museum that day.
“This is a great opportunity for motorcyclists to show the community we care,” said Connie Fleming, manager of events and operations for the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum. “Donate a toy and help make the holidays a little brighter for a child in need. You do not have to be an AMA member to participate. We invite all of the local community to join us in this effort and receive free admission to the museum where you can see the rich history of motorcycling.”
The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum is at 13515 Yarmouth Drive, Pickerington, Ohio, 43147. The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week, closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
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 Western States Representative Nick Haris.
Protect your right to ride! Volunteering is easy, and it’s rewarding. To learn how you can help, visit us online at www.americanmotorcyclist.com > Rights > Get Involved.
Sign up and stay informed. Electronic AMA Action Alerts and AMA News & Notes keep you up-to-date on hot topics, news affecting the motorcycling community and opportunities to communicate with your elected officials. By signing up to receive AMA Action Alerts, you will be notified when and how you can make a difference on important issues. Click here to see the most recent AMA Action Alerts, and click here to sign up.
You can also sign up to receive the monthly electronic edition of AMA News & Notes. Plus, you can subscribe to our various e-newsletters: AMA Extra includes a summary of AMA news, ATV Extra includes a summary of ATV-related news and Hall of Fame Insider focuses on the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. Other event specific e-newsletters go out at various times of the year.
Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/americanmotorcyclist and on Twitter @ama_rights.