National and Regional News
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Interior Secretary David Bernhardt signed two secretarial orders in March highlighting the administration's support of outdoor recreation on public lands. Secretarial Order 3373 directs the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to adequately consider public access for outdoor recreation when determining the appropriateness of the disposal or exchange of public lands. “It requires that before the BLM exchanges or disposes of any land, they must first consider what impact the disposal or exchange of land will have on public access," Bernhardt said. The second order, Secretarial Order 3374, establishes a departmental task force to ensure that "the department efficiently and fully implements the most comprehensive public lands management legislation in a decade for the benefit of all Americans,” Bernhardt said. “We will continue to work to strike the proper balance for land and resources management, increase opportunities for hunting, fishing, and recreation on Federal lands, create economic prosperity while protecting and preserving America’s treasures.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Office of the United States Trade Representative is once again including some motorcycles among the European goods targeted for tariffs, this time in retaliation for European subsidies to Airbus. Previous tariff proposals were tied to the European nations' restrictions on U.S. beef. The World Trade Organization has found repeatedly that European Union subsidies to Airbus have caused adverse effects to the United States, according to the USTR. Motorcycles between 500cc and 700cc, as well as motorcycle parts and accessories, are on a preliminary list of goods that also includes salmon, cheese, lemons, olive oil, wine, cashmere sweaters, steins and wall clocks. The tariffs would apply to about $11 billion worth of European goods.
YPSILANTI TOWNSHIP, MICH. — The AMA joined ABATE of Michigan, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation and other motorcyclists in March to oppose a plan by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to allow year-round sales of E15 fuel. The AMA opposes the EPA plan because none of the estimated 22 million motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles in use in the United States is approved by the EPA to operate on ethanol blends higher than 10 percent. Allowing more E15 into the marketplace increases the risk of inadvertent misfueling by consumers. Ethanol can cause damage to engines, fuel systems and exhaust components in vehicles not designed for a specific blend. "We urge the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency not to allow gasoline blended with up to 15 percent ethanol to take advantage of the 1-psi Reid Vapor Pressure waiver which would, in turn, allow year-round sales of this fuel," AMA Director of Government Relations Greg Pecoraro said at the hearing. "Despite the EPA’s belief that additional misfueling measures are unnecessary and outside the scope of the proposed action, this action would greatly increase the risk of inadvertent misfueling for motorcyclists and all-terrain vehicle owners. This risk alone is sufficient to reconsider this action." The full text of the AMA comments can be found at www.americanmotorcyclist.com.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Landowners would be spared liability for people legally using their property for off-highway recreation under H.B. 1833, which passed the state Senate and is awaiting the governor's signature. The AMA supports these landowner liability laws, because they remove one obstacle to opening more trails for responsible motorized recreation. The laws allow riders to travel at their own risk.
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Government agencies have been whittling away at the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area, reducing the useable area from an estimated 15,000 acres to about 1,500 acres. And the California Department of Parks and Recreation fears additional restrictions could close the park. About 300 acres are closed from March through September to protect a bird called the Western Snowy Plover. And the San Luis Obispo Air Pollution Control District wants park officials to reduce dust emissions by half before 2023. The state parks department believes meeting that requirement would mean shutting down another 500 acres. The Friends of Oceano Dunes have brought five lawsuits against the San Luis Obispo Air Pollution Control District to try to halt the new restrictions.
LANSING, Mich. — Off-road vehicle enthusiasts can ride more than 6,300 miles of state forest roads in Michigan's northern Lower Peninsula. That increased opportunity comes after changes approved by Department of Natural Resources Director Dan Eichinger at the February meeting of the Michigan Natural Resources Commission and implemented by DNR forestry staff in the weeks since. Final maps detailing the 6,339.5 miles of northern Michigan state forest roads open to ORV use—as well as printable maps by county—are available on the DNR website.
OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich. — Oakland County will be getting an off-road park in Groveland and Holly townships. The county commissioners OK'd a 20-year operating agreement with the state Department of Natural Resources, with a 10-year additional option. The Oakland County Parks and Recreation will operate the 235-acre park. About 110 acres of the reclaimed mining site will be open for use in summer of 2020. County officials said they have been trying for 20 years to get the project approved.
ALBANY, N.Y. — The New York State Assembly approved congestion pricing in Manhattan, which would include motorcycles in the tolls to be charged to motorists entering the busiest areas. The AMA has been working with the Riders Against Congestion to get an exemption from the tolls for motorcyclists. All road users want to reduce congestion and get where they are going faster. Creating incentives for the use of motorcycles and scooters can reduce congestion and help other road users get where they are going faster. The potential benefits of increased motorcycle and scooter ridership have been studied. A 2007 traffic model produced by transportation engineering and planning firm Sam Schwartz PLLC simulated the impact of incorporating higher ratios of scooters and motorcycles. Based on those findings, shifting the daytime vehicle mix to 80 percent cars and 20 percent scooters and motorcycles would result in annual reductions in carbon dioxide emissions by more than 26,000 tons, decrease delays by more than 4.6 million hours per year and decrease fuel consumption by more than 2.5 million gallons per year. New York Assembly Member Félix W. Ortiz (D-Kings) has introduced A.B. 6080, which would explicitly exempt all motorcycles from any congestion pricing program fees, wherever such a programs are adopted.
HUGER, S.C. — The AMA is working with South Carolina off-road riders and some riders from surrounding states to protect about 40 miles of trails in the Francis Marion National Forest. As many as 300 riders use the Wambaw Cycle Trail on most weekends. But the U.S. Forest Service is undertaking a 2,600-acre "forest stand conversion" project, which includes taking down trees that shade the trails during the summer months. The logging also will affect use of the trails, with some portions of the trails requiring significant remediation after timbering. About 750 people have responded to an online petition to halt the timber harvest. Contact the AMA at firstname.lastname@example.org to help.
TOKYO — Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha and Suzuki will work together to develop swappable battery technology, to further electric motorcycle development. The consortium will tackle the issue of batteries, which has limited the cruising range and, subsequently, the broad appeal and acceptance of electric motorcycles.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio — AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame raffle bike winner Lisa Malachowsky of Apex, N.C., picked up her 2017 Ural Gear Up Adventure Together Edition sidecar rig at the AMA campus April 24. Malachowsky was selected as the raffle winner at the 2018 American Honda AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Dec. 7. On hand for the delivery were Corey and Casey Wilkinson of Good Spark Garage in Indianapolis, who helped outfit the special edition Ural. The motorcycle was set up and dialed in by one of the nation’s top Ural sales and service dealerships, Heindl Engineering, of Eaton, Ohio. Tickets are currently available for other Hall of Fame raffle bikes, including two customized Nicky Hayden Honda tribute bikes and a 1951 Harley-Davidson FL. All proceeds from the raffles go to the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation, a nonprofit that raises money for the Hall of Fame. To get your raffle tickets today, visit www.americanmotorcyclist.com/hof/Raffle-Bike/hall-of-fame-raffle-bikes.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The AMA Classic Grand Tour, which provides a fun and interesting way for motorcyclists across the country to get out and ride, returns this year as the AMA celebrates its 95th anniversary. Featured in 2003 and 2009, this popular tour includes a challenge, while allowing riders the flexibility of picking their route and timetable. The goal is to find and photograph signs that contain the letters "AMA" in sequence. The AMA Classic Grand Tour is just one of seven events on the 2019 AMA Grand Tour calendar. For complete information, visit www.americanmotorcyclist.com/GrandTours.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame invites all motorcyclists to its Spring Bike Night, sponsored by Nationwide, from 5 to 8 p.m. May 18 at the AMA campus. The Saturday bike night, sponsored by Nationwide, features an open house at the Hall of Fame museum, which houses the bikes and highlights the achievements of hundreds of Hall of Famers. Music, vendors, activities and more are part of the evening's offerings. On Friday, May 17, KTM will offer street and touring model demo rides departing from the AMA campus from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. On May 18, the demo rides will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with rides wrapping up prior to the start of the bike night. The KTM truck and motorcycle models will be on display during the Bike Night festivities, with KTM staff members on hand. Information about the demo rides and requirements for going on a test ride can be found at www.ktm.com/us/events/us/ride-orange-street-demo-Columbus.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio — AMA member Matteo Mercurio, of Murrieta, Calif., won a 2019 Beta 500RR-S motorcycle, thanks to his participation in the Big Bear Run, a stop on the 2018 Beta AMA National Dual Sport Series, hosted by Big Bear Trail Riders. Mercurio, a four-year AMA member, has been riding dual sports for six years. He also has ridden the LA-Barstow-to-Vegas National Dual Sport, hosted by AMA District 37 Dual Sport. Thanks to sponsors of the Beta AMA National Dual Sport Series, participants who rode at any of the events in the 2018 series were entered automatically to win prizes from Beta, IMS Products, Kenda and Seat Concepts. Adventure Motorcycle Magazine (ADVMoto), also a sponsor of the series, offers a 20 percent discount to a subscription of their magazine. For a complete list of prize winners, visit www.americanmotorcyclist.com/Home/AMA-News-And-Press-Releases/ama-member-wins-beta-motorcycle-after-participating-in-beta-ama-national-dual-sport-series.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio — AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, featuring Honda, will bring CB750-oriented clubs, restorers and fans to spotlight one of the most important production motorcycles in history. Three-time AMA Grand National Champion and AMA Superbike champion Bubba Shobert will be the grand marshal for the event, which will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Honda's legendary 1969 CB750 and the 40th anniversary of the six-cylinder CBX and the 60th anniversary of American Honda Motor Co.'s presence in the United States. AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days also features vintage competition in road racing, motocross, hare scrambles and trials at Mid-Ohio and flat track racing at the nearby Ashland County Fairgrounds. Riders in these disciplines are racing for national championships or national championship series points. In addition, there will be exhibition pit bike races and dirt drags. The event will include vendors from all areas of motorcycling, selling gear and services for motorcycles old and new. Past vendors have included vintage and modern gear sellers, painters and pinstripers, parts and tools dealers, community garages and much more. For complete details and tickets, visit www.amavintagemotorcycledays.com. All camping and RV passes, as well as non-AMA member ticket sales, are available now at www.mid-ohio.com.
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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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