AMA News & Notes: January 2018

National and regional news for motorcyclists

AMA News Author (no byline)

National and Regional News

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — Scot Harden, a former motorcycle industry executive and a member of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, has launched his Plus 1 initiative, an effort to encourage motorcyclists to become evangelists for the lifestyle. Harden has outlined several simple actions motorcyclists can take to help friends, family members, coworkers and neighbors better understand the appeal of the motorcycling, whether for recreation, competition or transportation. Harden outlined his concept in an article for the January issue of American Motorcyclist, the AMA member magazine. You can read the complete story here: www.americanmotorcyclist.com/Home/News-Story/advocating-for-motorcyclings-future.

WASHINGTON, D.C. —President Donald Trump signed two proclamations Monday, Dec. 4, dividing the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante national monuments and reducing them in size. The move was expected, after Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke conducted a review of all presidential monument designations dating to the Clinton Administration. Zinke did not recommend any monuments be rescinded. Instead, he recommended some be reduced in size to more closely align with the American Antiquities Act of 1906, which grants presidents designation authority. The Antiquities Act limits the area of new monuments to "to the smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected." The AMA believes that previous presidents overstepped their authority under the act and designated much larger swathes of land as monuments, sometimes encompassing millions of acres. Such sweeping designations may jeopardize opportunities for responsible motorized recreation. Under the president's plan, Bears Ears National Monument will be modified to two units named Shash Jáa, Navajo for Bears Ears, and Indian Creek, encompassing a total of 228,784 acres of land. Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument will be modified to three units encompassing a little more than 1 million acres.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The renewable fuels mandates released in late November by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are higher than the 2017 levels and the 2018 levels the agency proposed in June. The EPA's final 2018 Renewable Volume Obligations call for 19.29 billion gallons of renewable fuel—primarily corn ethanol—to be blended into the nation’s gasoline supplies. That figure is higher than the 19.24 billion gallons the agency proposed in June and slightly higher than the 19.28 billion gallons required in 2017. The EPA mandates continue to rise, even as cars become more fuel efficient and drivers travel fewer miles each year. Forcing more ethanol into fewer gallons of gasoline results in higher-ethanol blends for consumers. Most gasoline sold in the United States contains 10 percent ethanol (E10), which all modern automobile engines and many motorcycle engines are built to accommodate. However, if the RFS requirements continue to be implemented, it will result in higher-ethanol blends—such as E15 (15 percent ethanol)—to become more prevalent at retail outlets. An increase in the supply of E15 can lead to inadvertent misfueling—caused by blender pumps and confusing pump labels—by motorcyclists. 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. The AMA also is concerned the increased reliance on ethanol could further reduce the availability of E0 fuel, which is necessary to operate older and vintage motorcycles.

State News

CLOVIS, Calif. — The Sierra National Forest is seeking public input for the California 2019 Off-Highway Vehicle Grants and Cooperative Agreements Program application cycle. Part of the grant process is gathering input and project ideas for the 2018 submission. This feedback will be considered in development of the preliminary grant applications and as final applications are prepared. Written comments may be submitted to: Sierra National Forest, Attn. Jody Nickerson, 1600 Tollhouse Road, Clovis, CA 93611. You also may email jnickerson@fs.fed.us. Comments regarding the OHV funding proposal should be received by close of business Jan. 19. On Jan. 17, the SNF will host an open house from 6-8 p.m. at its forest headquarters in Clovis to allow public review and comment on the preliminary 2018 grant cycle applications. Other important 2018 grant cycle dates include:

  • March 5 — Preliminary applications due to OHMVR by 5 p.m.
  • March 6 to April 2 — Second public review and comment period
  • May 7 — Final applications due to OHMVR
  • May 2018 — OHMVR Division reviews final applications
  • June 4 — Application Results/Intent to Award posted on the state OHMVR Division’s website (http://ohv.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=1164)
  • June 5 to July 4 — 30-day appeal period
  • July 5 — Final awards posted on state OHMVR Division’s website upon resolution of any appeals

For more information, contact Sierra National Forest recreation officer Jody Nickerson at (559) 297-0706, ext. 4943.

LANSING, Mich. — Beginning today, Jan. 1, the state Department of Natural Resources will add a $5 convenience fee for resident Recreation Passport purchases made at state parks. This is the same fee the Secretary of State charges when a resident adds a Recreation Passport to a vehicle outside the annual registration renewal cycle. To avoid paying the convenience fee, residents can buy the Recreation Passport online at www.expressSOS.com, by mail, at a self-service station or in person at a branch office at the time of registration renewal. The fees are for $11 for motorcycles ($6 Recreation Passport plus $5 processing fee) and $16 for other vehicles ($11 Recreation Passport plus $5 convenience fee). The $5 convenience fee will not be assessed on Recreation Passport purchases for non-street-legal vehicles at the ORV area at Silver Lake State Park in Oceana County. To learn more about the Recreation Passport—including a new video and details on the nonresident purchase option—visit the DNR website at www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport.

Industry News

DETROIT — A former employee of American Suzuki Motor Corp. was sentenced to one day in prison in federal court in Detroit for violating the Clean Air Act when he submitted a false end-of-year report to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Justice Department announced. Wayne Powell was a government relations analyst for Suzuki and was responsible for submitting documents to the EPA regarding Suzuki's compliance with motorcycle emission standards. Powell submitted Suzuki's 2012 application to the EPA for a "certificate of conformity," which allows a vehicle manufacturer to sell vehicles in the United States. At the end of the model year, Suzuki was required to submit to the EPA an end-of-year report to show that it was in compliance with emission standards. The first end-of-year report Powell submitted in 2013 purported to claim “banked credits” to offset excess emissions. However, because Suzuki had not participated in the banked credit program, it had no credits to use. The EPA informed Powell it could not accept that report. On March 28, 2014, Powell submitted an amended end-of-year report to the EPA which resulted in a calculation that was within the emission limit, but was subsequently determined to include falsified numbers of four motorcycle engine families.

STURGIS, S.D. — The Sturgis Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame plans to double in size within three years, with its Hall of Fame section getting its own campus. Meanwhile, the museums’ Main Street location will get a major revitalization, courtesy of donations from supporters, board members and the Law Tigers. Preliminary plans are complete for the second site. The larger building will house the Hall of Fame, the pre-1938 collection and various galleries. Key features include permanent collections, featured galleries, a café, meeting rooms, a gift shop and training areas. Completion for Campus 1—Legendary Main Street—is July 2019. Campus 2—Heritage Hill—is scheduled for completion in time for the Sturgis Rally’s 80th anniversary in 2020.

International News

RIYADH — By royal decree, the Saudi government lifted a ban on women driving vehicles, including motorcycles. The decree means there will be no discrimination between men and women regarding traffic laws and regulations, but female offenders will be detained at women care centers. Women also will be employed at traffic checkpoints and recruited as field inspectors.

STOCKHOLM — The Swedish government has announced a scheme to financially support people that buy an electric bicycle, moped or motorcycle, according to the Federation of European Motorcyclists' Associations. In the next three years, 35 million Euros will be available annually to those who buy electric motorcycles, electric mopeds or electric bicycles. The regulation on contributions to private individuals for the purchase of electric bikes, mopeds or motorcycles will become effective Feb. 1. The premium is a maximum of 1,000 Euro and is limited to one per person. When the Swedish government presented the proposal for the first time, motorcycles were excluded. Swedish FEMA member SMC talked to the ministry and sent a proposal that included motorcycles. When the proposal was amended Dec. 15, it included not only electric bicycles and electric mopeds, but also electric motorcycles.

AMA News

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — Bob Ham, a California activist who led the effort to make that state’s renowned off-highway vehicle program a permanent part of the Department of Parks and Recreation, is the American Motorcyclist Association 2017 Motorcyclist of the Year. Awarded annually, the AMA Motorcyclist of the Year designation recognizes the individual or group that had the most profound impact on the world of motorcycling in the previous 12 months. Ham led a coalition of OHV groups during hard-fought negotiations to turn an anti-OHV bill in the legislature into a law that provides stability and funding to the California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Program. The full press release can be found here: www.americanmotorcyclist.com/Home/News-Story/american-motorcyclist-association-announces-ama-motorcyclist-of-the-year.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The AMA has announced the nominees for the 2017 AMA Championship Banquet awards. The awards recognize individuals and organizations that excelled in AMA-sanctioned competition and recreational activity in 2017. AMA members help choose the winners of selected categories, including the coveted AMA Athlete of the Year award. The special award winners will be announced at the 2017 AMA Championship Banquet on Saturday, Jan. 20, at the Hilton Downtown Columbus in Columbus, Ohio. Class champions from national and regional motorcycle and ATV championships will be honored with AMA National No. 1 plates. To reserve your space at the event, visit www.americanmotorcyclist.com/events/ama-championship-banquet. More information is available at www.americanmotorcyclist.com/Home/News-Story/award-nominees-announced-for-2017-ama-championship-banquet.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — Legendary filmmaker Bruce Brown, who produced the classic motorcycling movie “On Any Sunday,” died Dec. 10. He was 80. “Bruce Brown’s influence on motorcycling in the 1970s was profound,” said American Motorcyclist Association President and CEO Rob Dingman. “’On Any Sunday’ highlighted the unique talents needed for different forms of racing and showcased the fun that people find in motorcycling.” Mr. Brown’s early acclaim resulted from his groundbreaking surfing movie, "Endless Summer," which was released in 1966. “On Any Sunday,” released in 1971, helped spur the explosive growth of motorcycling in the 1970s. "I think many people changed their minds about motorcyclists after watching the movie," Mr. Brown once said. “On Any Sunday” earned Mr. Brown an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary in 1971. Mr. Brown was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1999. His complete biography can be found at www.motorcyclemuseum.org.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio —Derek “Nobby” Clark, who played a key role in capturing 17 world roadracing titles across multiple displacements over three decades, died Dec. 17 after a long illness. He was 81. The greats Mr. Clark worked with include AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famers Mike Hailwood, Giacomo Agostini, Kel Carruthers and Kenny Roberts. In addition to the 17 FIM Grand Prix world titles that he earned in classes ranging from 50cc to 500cc, Mr. Clark contributed to winning three Daytona 200s, one Daytona 100, four Imola 200s and eight Italian championships. Mr. Clark was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2012. His full biography can be found at www.motorcyclemuseum.org.

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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 jwitters@amacycle.org.

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