National and Regional News
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Communications Commission has approved a larger block of spectrum for motor vehicle and aircraft radar systems, according to a Reuters report. The FCC first approved 1 GHz of spectrum in 1995 for motor vehicles to use radar that allowed for the introduction of collision avoidance and adaptive cruise control systems. The July decision expands the band that vehicle radars can operate to 5 GHz of spectrum and will improve lane departure warning, blind spot detection systems, automatic braking and pedestrian detection, the FCC said. The AMA has repeatedly taken its concerns to the FCC and elected officials regarding the need for these new detection systems to recognize motorcycles. In 2016, 20 automakers reached a voluntary agreement with U.S. auto safety regulators to make collision-avoiding braking systems standard equipment by 2022. FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly voted for the change but noted automakers were granted another block of spectrum in 1999 for vehicle-to-vehicle communications, but it has gone largely unused. In 2016, the U.S. Transportation Department proposed requiring future new cars and trucks to be able to “talk” to one another, but that proposal has not been finalized.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — National Public Lands Day, a volunteer effort for public lands by the National Environmental Education Foundation, is scheduled for Sept. 30. Volunteers spend the day outdoors, removing invasive species, maintaining trails, picking up trash and more. To encourage people to join in and visit their public lands, National Public Lands Day is a fee-free day for all federal public lands and many state parks.
DOYLE, Calif. – The Bureau of Land Management has reopened nearly 100 miles of trails in the Fort Sage Off Highway Vehicle Area near Doyle, giving OHV riders and drivers access to the area after a temporary closure caused by the Long Valley Fire. The blaze burned with varying intensities across the OHV recreation area about 40 miles north of Reno. In some areas, the fire—which started July 11 and burned more than 83,000 acres before it was contained on July 24—completely burned grass and shrubs, while in others the fire burned in a mosaic pattern, leaving islands of unburned plants. The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any federal agency.
SHOSHONE, Idaho — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is reopening its travel management plan for the public lands within the Wood River Valley. A travel management plan is a comprehensive approach to travel and transportation planning for serving a wide variety of uses. This effort expands upon the Blaine County Commissioners Recreation and Travel Plan recommendations for the valley and the initial efforts of the BLM North Highway 20 plan. The plan will address both summer and winter travel. Those interested in participating should visit the BLM website and select: NEPA, Text Search, Idaho, ID-Shoshone FO, EA, 2017, Recreation and Visitor Services and Trails and Travel Management. Hard copies of the scoping package and maps are available at the Shoshone Field Office, 400 W. F St., Shoshone, Idaho, and the Twin Falls District Office, 2878 Addison Ave., Twin Falls, Idaho. Comments should be sent by Sept. 29 to the BLM from the website or by email to email@example.com, by fax to (208) 732-7317 or by mail to the Shoshone Field Office.
GRANTSVILLE, Md. — The 12-mile St. John’s Rock ORV Trail opened in July in Maryland’s Savage River State Forest, completing a six-year collaborative effort between off-road vehicle riders and the state Department of Natural Resources. The AMA, the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council and the Maryland Off-Highway Vehicle Alliance worked with state officials to get the $1.35 million project completed. The new trail has been in the works since 2011, when the state permanently closed three popular motorized trails: the Green Ridge Trail at Green Ridge State Forest; Chandler Trail at Pocomoke State Forest; and Poplar Lick Trail at Savage River State Forest. State DNR secretary Mark Belton, who attended the trail opening, said the teamwork on the St. John’s Rock trail will serve as a model for future trail construction.
GRAND PORTAGE, Minn. — A new adventure trail will take motorized recreationists along 400 to 500 miles of backroads across northern Minnesota, according to a report by Minnesota Public Radio. Ron Potter, a retired Minnesota Department of Natural Resources trails employee who's now a consultant for the National Off Highway Vehicle Conservation Council, said the project could be completed by the summer of 2018. The DNR contracted with NOHVCC and the Minnesota Four Wheel Drive Association to manage the project. The trail will start at Grand Portage and end at the North Dakota border in northwest Minnesota. Trail users are expected to provide a boost to the local economies of communities along the route.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The New Mexico Off-Highway Vehicle Alliance cannot bring a new lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service, even though group’s original lawsuit was dismissed “without prejudice” and the alliance’s legal team attempted to correct the deficiency with the NMOHVA’s legal standing in the first case, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit ruled. The court case stemmed from the Forest Service’s Travel Management Plan, adopted in 2012, that severely restricts access to the Santa Fe National Forest for motorized recreation. The court again ruled that the NMOHVA does not have legal standing to challenge the Travel Management Plan. NMOHVA issued a statement on its website that its involvement in this case has resulted in the alliance being “taken a lot more seriously by the various federal land management agencies across New Mexico.”
NEW YORK — Motorcyclists are reporting that the New York Police Department is towing their bikes after citing the owners for minor traffic or parking infractions and that some bikes have been damaged in the process. The NYPD claims on social media that at least some of these tows are part of the city’s Vision Zero plan to eliminate traffic fatalities. In addition to the fine associated with the infraction, the owners have to pay $185 for the tow and $20 a night for storage until they retrieve their motorcycles. The AMA sent a letter to the NYPD protesting these actions and asking for a full explanation, but received no response.
LUFKIN, Texas — Public meetings are scheduled Sept. 12 and Sept. 14 regarding the National Forests and Grasslands in Texas. The existing plan was written in 1996 and no longer represents the current needs of the forest and neighboring communities, according to the U.S. Forest Service. Demographics and development patterns have changed, new technologies have emerged for oil and gas development, budgets have declined, road systems are falling into disrepair and public values and expectations for public lands have changed. A revision is underway that will provide strategic direction to guide management of forest and grassland resources and be a framework for decision making for site specific projects and activities. The first public meeting is Sept. 12 at the Pitser Garrison Convention Center, 601 N. Second St., Lufkin. The Sept. 14 meeting is at the San Augustine Chamber of Commerce, 611 W. Columbia St., San Augustine. Additional information is available at the Forest Service website.
OCEAN VIEW, Del. — The electric scooter and motorcycle market is expected to reach $55 billion by 2024, according to a report from Global Market Insights Inc. The report cites increased mobility for short distances, reduced carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide emissions and the actions of regulatory agencies in several countries as factors in the market expansion. Electric scooter and motorcycle market includes both commercial and personal use cases. Logistics companies can use these products for their small delivery requirements. Food and beverage delivery sector is an attractive segment for this industry. The rental business also presents growth potential in the coming years, the report states.
FRANKFURT, Germany — Volkswagen’s supervisory board does not back a plan to sell Ducati, even though several companies showed interest when Volkswagen initially floated the idea in April. According to Reuters, five bidders were on a shortlist of potential buyers, including the Benetton family. Ducati reportedly received offers between $1.52 billion and $1.76 billion. However, half of VW’s 20-member supervisory board rejected the sale of Ducati unless there are compelling financial reasons. VW’s six-month financial results show the company doesn’t need more money, according to Reuters.
STURGIS, S.D. — The Sturgis Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame inducted six new members during the annual motorcycle rally in August. Willie G. Davidson received the Hall of Fame’s lifetime achievement award. The Class of 2017 also included Rod "Woody" Woodruff, Jim Thiessen, Mike Taylor, Colleen Barnett-Taylor, Terry Vance, Cory Ness and Mark Shadley.
BARIPADA, India — Motorcyclists who are not wearing helmets will be denied fuel for their bikes under a pilot program launched in August. Police there say most of the motorcycle crash fatalities are youths who are not helmeted. Wearing a helmet while riding is mandatory, and service station owners have been directed by the government not to provide fuel to riders without helmets. Those not wearing helmets also are subject to a fine.
BRIVE-LA-GAILLARDE, France — The U.S. Men’s Trophy Team lost its bid to defend its 2016 championship at the 92nd International Six Days Enduro when Thad Duvall broke his wrist on Day One. Other men’s Trophy Team members Taylor Robert (the fastest overall individual last year in Spain), Kailub Russell and Ryan Sipes continue to pursue individual titles at the event, which began Aug. 28. The U.S. Junior World Trophy team members are Layne Michael, Grant Baylor and Josh Toth. The U.S. Women’s World Trophy team is Becca Sheets, Kacy Martinez-Coy and Brandy Richards.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The AMA and the Florida Motorcycle Road Racing Association have agreed to a partnership to advance the sport of motorcycle road racing in America, particularly in the Southeast. Beginning with FMRRA’s 2018 season—which kicks off in November 2017—all FMRRA events will be co-sanctioned with the AMA. Through the partnership, FMRRA gains access to AMA ratification and recognition of results and a clear path to professional licensing for riders who aspire to race MotoAmerica events. The AMA, along with FIM North America, is the sanctioning body for MotoAmerica, home of the AMA Superbike Championship, and the sole representative and affiliate in the United States for the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme, the world sanctioning body for motorcycle sports.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio — Reservations for the 2017 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony can be made at www.americanmotorcyclist.com/induction. Tickets, which include a reception, dinner and the induction ceremony, are $130 per person, or $120 for AMA Life Members. Current AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famers can attend for no charge. All proceeds support the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation, the 501(c)(3) charitable organization that hosts induction ceremony. The Class of 2017 includes FMF Racing founder Donnie Emler, off-road racing champion Eddie Lojak Sr., world motocross champion and Road 2 Recovery founder Bob Moore, racer and filmmaker Peter Starr and racer, team owner and publisher John Ulrich. They will be honored with Hall of Famer Bill Werner, who is being celebrated as an AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend. The induction ceremony will take place in conjunction with the American International Motorcycle Expo, an event that brings together consumers, dealers, manufacturers and the world press in one location for global product launches, demo rides, motorcycling seminars and more.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio — Three of America's top motocross racers will represent the United States at the 2017 Fédération Internationale de Motocylisme Motocross of Nations at Matterley Basin in Winchester, United Kingdom, on Oct. 1. The U.S. Motocross of Nations Team includes Rockstar Energy Husqvarna's Zach Osborne and Thomas Covington and Troy Lee Designs American Honda's Cole Seely. AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend Roger DeCoster will once again manage the team as it seeks to secure the world championship. He currently manages the Red Bull/KTM AMA Motocross and Supercross teams and was a part of six victorious FIM Motocross of Nations teams in the 1960s and 1970s. The U.S. team has won the Motocross of Nations 22 times, remaining the all-time leader in FIM Motocross of Nations overall team victories. The last time the U.S. Team won the Motocross of Nations was 2011. The 2016 team placed third.
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