National and Regional News
WASHINGTON, D.C. —The AMA supports a federal bill that would create a national register to preserve the records of historic vehicles, including motorcycles, that have made a significant impact on U.S. history and culture. The bi-partisan National Historic Vehicle Register Act (S. 966), introduced by U.S. Sens. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio), would require the U.S. Department of the Interior to establish a register housed in the Library of Congress to preserve examples of American history and engineering innovation by documenting historically significant automobiles, motorcycles, trucks, and commercial vehicles. The National Historic Vehicle Register Act would create a standalone register to preserve the records of historically significant vehicles that would include short narratives, photographs and engineering drawings of each vehicle. To be eligible for the register, vehicles must be connected to a significant person or event in American history, have a unique design or be a rare model. The bill has been referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The AMA took immediate action upon the Senate confirmation of Robert Lighthizer as U.S. Trade Representative, sending Lighthizer a letter demanding he remove European motorcycles from a tariff proposal related to U.S. beef exports. The AMA also called on its members to inundate Lighthizer with their objections to a plan to place the 100 percent tariff on motorcycles imported from the European Union with an engine size between 51cc and 500cc. The European motorcycles were included in a long list of items that would be the subject of tariffs as part of a long-running dispute between U.S. beef producers and the European Union. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative stated publicly that motorcycles were included because officials there hoped the outrage of motorcyclists would give the U.S. leverage over foreign governments.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Interior Department began accepting public comment May 12 on a list of national monuments designated since 1996 by three presidents under the American Antiquities Act of 1906. The public comment period–the first ever for Antiquities Act consideration–is part of a federal review of all monuments of more than 100,000 acres made by presidents during the past 21 years. The review also will include designations where Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke determines that the designation was made without sufficient public outreach and coordination with stakeholders. President Donald Trump ordered the review on April 26, giving Zinke 45 days to submit interim recommendations and 120 days to submit suggestions for legislation or recommend that the president reduce the size of monuments larger than 100,000 acres or rescind the designations altogether. The AMA supports the review as a way to determine whether some monument designations included more land than necessary. The AMA also believes presidents should solicit input from the public before making such designations, even though the law does not require it.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — For the first time, motor fuel sold in the United States averaged more than 10 percent ethanol per gallon during 2016, according to a report released by the Renewable Fuels Association. The organization used data from the federal Energy Information Administration to conclude that the average ethanol content in gasoline last year was 10.04 percent. Most fuel sold in the United States is 10 percent ethanol by volume, but fuel containing as much as 85 percent ethanol are available in some areas. 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 with more than 10 percent ethanol.
ST. PAUL, Minn. — The state Department of Natural Resources invites residents to learn about proposed recreation opportunities in Centennial State Forest, a 3,394-acre state forest in Trelipe Township, Cass County, donated to the DNR in 2013. The meeting is scheduled for 5:30-7:30 p.m. June 26 in the Walker Community Center Rotary Room, 105 Tower Ave., Walker, Minn. Following a presentation at 6 p.m., there will be time for questions and answers, map review and comments. Minnesota state forests are classified into three groupings for off-highway vehicle and motor vehicle use:
- In “managed” forests you may ride on all state forest roads, signed trails and non-designated routes that are not posted closed.
- In “limited” forests you may ride on all forest roads and trailed signed for specific motor vehicle use.
- “Closed” forests are open only to highway-licensed vehicles on forest roads.
As part of the overall planning process, the DNR is proposing to classify Centennial State Forest as “limited.” The DNR is also proposing to designate about 11 miles of forest roads to allow OHV and motor vehicle use. Comments received at the meeting will be used to develop a final recommendation that will be submitted to the DNR commissioner for approval. Written comments may be submitted by fax to (651) 297-1157, by email to email@example.com, or by mail to Joe Unger, Parks and Trails Division, Minnesota DNR, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155-4039. The DNR will accept written comments through July 26.
SILVER CITY, N.M. — The Gila National Forest is accepting comments on its proposal to revise the 1986 Forest Plan and prepare an Environmental Impact Statement. Comments received during this 45-day scoping period will determine the breadth of issues that should be addressed during development of the proposed plan and help identify significant issues which will form the basis for alternatives. Comments should be submitted by June 12 via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or via mail to Gila National Forest, Attn: Forest Plan, 3005 E. Camino del Bosque, Silver City, NM 88061. For further information, contact Matt Schultz, forest planner, Gila National Forest, (575) 388-8280.
HARRISBURG, Pa. — Lawmakers are considering a bill that would protect landowners who let dirt bike and ATV riders use their land. H.B. 544 would granted protections from the costs of litigation. The fear of lawsuits under the current system discourages landowners from using their property as they wish. The bill is intended to amend the Recreational Use of Land and Water Act to reduce the liability for landowners who allow the public to use their land for OHV riding and other activities. Protection from liability claims would encourage more landowners to open their properties to responsible OHV riders. The bill is scheduled for a vote by the House Tourism and Recreational Development Committee on June 6.
CANTIL, Calif. — The Honda Proving Center in Southern California has reopened, providing testing capabilities for the company’s motorcycles, cars, side-by-sides and ATVs. The refurbished center features a 7.5-mile high-speed banked oval track capable of testing vehicles at speeds over 200 mph, and a 4.5-mile road course with 28 curves and six hills. The proving grounds also includes a new 1.3 million-square-foot vehicle dynamics area and a modified powersports complex to support the development testing of Honda motorcycles, ATVs and side-by-side vehicles. Honda also conducts product testing and verification at the Transportation Research Center in East Liberty, Ohio.
DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. has patented a system for autonomous vehicles that allows them to detect lane-splitting motorcyclists. The system combines input from cameras and microphones to find the bike, and the vehicle’s software considers its options before changing lanes.
MILWAUKEE — Harley-Davidson announced plans to build a plant in Thailand where motorcycles will be assembled from parts manufactured and shipped from the United States. The company said the plant will cater to the Asia-Pacific market, particularly China and Southeast Asia. Harley plans to begin production in Thailand in 2018. “There is no intent to reduce our U.S. manufacturing due to this expansion. Our U.S. manufacturing will continue to supply the U. S. and certain other global markets,” a company spokesperson told the New York Times.
MILWAUKEE — The Harley-Davidson Museum will feature “The Race of Gentlemen” display beginning June 16 in The Garage, a 10,000-square-foot special event space. “The Race of Gentlemen” is an event in which dedicated craftsmen and women build and restore vintage American hot rods and motorcycles to blast down the beaches of the Jersey shore. On display at the museum will be portraits, bikes and roadsters pulled from past races. Among the highlights: a 1946 Harley-Davidson Knucklehead owned and raced by Jeff “Hollywood” Baer and a 1947 Harley-Davidson UL owned and raced by Tom Rowe, a former flat tracker. For more information, visit: www.harley-davidson.com/content/h-d/en_US/home/museum/explore/exhibits/race-of-gentlemen.html.
BRUSSELS — The Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations says low-emission zones and city bans could force motorcyclists into cars. The group conducted a survey of motorcyclists, finding that 76 percent would change their mode of transportation rather than buy a higher-priced motorcycle that meets Europe’s stricter emissions standards. FEMA’s Wim Taal published an article online that warns forcing riders to abandon their “low-cost, pre-2006 motorcycles” in favor of late-model cars “could have serious consequences for urban traffic, congestion and pollution.” The FEMA survey included 5,402 people from 30 countries.
PARIS — Bosch is launching an e-scooter sharing service called COUP. The service includes 600 rentable e-scooters that will be available in Paris starting this summer. Parisians will be able to make their way quickly and flexibly through the city's hectic traffic. Bosch advertises the service as “an easy-to-use alternative to public transportation, your own car, or a taxi.” The service has been available in Berlin for the past year. COUP is a wholly owned subsidiary of Robert Bosch GmbH.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The 2017 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be Friday, Sept. 22, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio. Each year, the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame welcomes new members in a ceremony that is open to the public. In 2017, the induction ceremony is part of an exciting weekend of motorcycle activities staged in conjunction with the annual American International Motorcycle Expo, which brings together industry, press, dealers and consumers in a single location. This year, the weekend’s events are held in Columbus, Ohio, just a short drive from the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Pickerington, so fans and friends can attend the ceremony and visit the Hall of Fame. Ticket information for the induction ceremony will be announced at a later date. Check www.americanmotorcyclist.com/hof for more information.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The AMA extends its deepest sympathies to the fiancé, family and friends of MotoGP world champion Nicky Hayden, who died May 22 in a hospital in Italy. Mr. Hayden, 35, was injured May 17 when he was struck by a car while riding a bicycle during a training exercise along Italy’s Rimini coast. He had competed in the Superbike World Championship races at Imola the previous weekend. “The loss of Nicky Hayden will be felt across the racing world, on the track and off,” said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hayden family during this difficult time.” Mr. Hayden won the AMA 600 Supersport title in 1999, the AMA Superbike Championship in 2002 and the 2006 MotoGP title over rival Valentino Rossi. Mr. Hayden switched to World Superbikes in 2016 and was 13th in the 2017 standings, riding for Red Bull Honda.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio — AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame member Joe Leonard passed away on Thursday, April 27, in San Jose, Calif. He was 84. Mr. Leonard raced motorcycles and cars during his career. He won the AMA Grand National Championship in 1954, 1956 and 1957. In 1955, he finished third. In all, Mr. Leonard amassed 27 national wins split between the disciplines of TT, miles, half-miles and road racing. Leonard won the Daytona 200 twice, the Laconia Classic three times and the Peoria TT seven times. After switching to auto racing, Mr. Leonard won the USAC Championship Car Series in 1971 and 1972. Mr. Leonard was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1991 and into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1998. Mr. Leonard’s AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame bio can be found here.
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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 email@example.com.
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