AMA News & Notes: September 2018

National and regional news for motorcyclists

AMA News Author (no byline)

National and Regional News

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The AMA has adopted an official position statement on automated vehicles that calls on government agencies and elected officials to include motorcyclists in the ongoing discussion, planning and implementation of the policies and regulations governing the rollout of automated vehicles. The position statement was adopted July 31 by the AMA Board of Directors. "Failure to specifically address motorcycles in statutory and regulatory language amounts to the abandonment of motorcycle safety by legislators and regulators," the position statement reads. "Essentially, the issue of distracted and inattentive driving will mushroom into a monumental hazard for motorcyclists when flawed AV technology enters the transportation mainstream." AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman said the position statement emerged from the organization's ongoing involvement in this crucial issue and reinforces the organization's commitment to motorcyclist safety. The AMA recognizes that some features being developed and tested may result in a reduction in the number of crashes and injuries involving motorcyclists. However, no mandate is in place to require motorcyclists are included in the discussion or that motorcycles be specifically addressed during development of detection devices and software development. The full text of the "Automated Vehicles and the Safety of Motorcyclists" position statement is available at www.americanmotorcyclist.com/About-The-AMA/automated-vehicles-and-the-safety-of-motorcyclists.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A bipartisan group of 39 senators is urging the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency to increase volume obligations for biomass-based diesel and advanced biofuel, and ensure any small refinery exemptions are accounted for in its final rule setting for renewable volume obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard. The EPA’s June 2018 RVO proposal would raise the biomass-based diesel volume for 2020 to 2.43 billion gallons and increase the advanced biofuel volume for 2019 to 4.88 billion gallons. The AMA objects to any additional ethanol in the nation's fuel supply, because it would increase the risk of inadvertently misfueling motorcycles and ATVs, which are not EPA-approved for ethanol blends of more than 10 percent by volume. For a list of the senators who signed this letter, visit www.ernst.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=DF44278D-5AA3-4795-9CB2-FE9830770F95.

State News

LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The Tahoe National Forest is looking for volunteers to help improve one of the forest’s most challenging motorcycle trails. The “Loop 6” motorcycle trail, located south/southeast of the Foresthill Divide Road near China Wall staging area is on the American River Ranger District. Motorcycle trails normally have three difficulty levels that are a part of the Tahoe National Forest's recreational trail system. They range from “Easy Trail” designation, with a solid green circle, to “Difficult Trail” designation, with a solid black diamond to identify the trail. A solid black diamond trail is the most difficult and has routes with rocky surfaces, sharp turns, switch backs, steep grades, narrow passages, low overhangs, ledges and large rocks. The 18-mile Loop 6 is a Black Diamond Trail. This trail/loop needs work in many locations due to its steep, narrow design. The work includes general maintenance, such as corridor cutting and tread work, as well as heavy maintenance, such as drainage work, rock armoring, and sustainable re-alignment. Grant-funded work began early in 2018 to address the problem areas of the trail. Volunteers from the motorcycle trail riding community are strongly encouraged to help with trail work when they can. This project will begin early October and continue through November. Interested volunteers should contact Matt Brownlee at the American River Ranger Station, (530) 367-2224, ext. 228.

PISMO BEACH, Calif. — The state has launched a website for the Pismo State Beach and Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area Public Works Plan. The site (www.OceanoDunesPWP.com) includes a project overview, project documents and information on recent and scheduled public meetings. Visitors to the site may sign up for email updates and take a survey regarding park use and suggested improvements. The survey ends Sept. 16.

PIERCE, Idaho — The U.S. Forest Service is seeking information from the public related to recent burglaries and vandalism at Hemlock Butte Lookout, located east of Pierce, Idaho in the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests. During the past several weeks, Forest Service officials discovered three separate instances of damage to the lookout, including evidence of forced entry and stolen Forest Service property. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests’ Grangeville office at (208) 983-1950 and ask to speak with law enforcement.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Santa Fe National Forest has scheduled a series of open houses for discussion of the current forest plan revision process. The open houses provide an informal setting where the public can ask questions about the pre-draft material about the revision of the Forest Plan, the comprehensive document that will guide management of all forest resources for 10 to 15 years. These meetings will focus on planning topics, including Alternatives, Geographic Areas, Management Areas, Monitoring, Wilderness, and Wild and Scenic Rivers. Remaining open houses include:

  • 2:30-5:30 p.m., Sept. 11: Sandoval County Fairgrounds, 37 Rodeo Road, Cuba, N.M.
  • 2:30-5:30 p.m., Sept. 27: Santa Fe National Forest, 11 Forest Lane, Santa Fe, N.M.
  • 2:30-5:30 p.m., Oct. 10: Rio Arriba Cooperative Extension Office (Conference Room), State Road 554, House 122-A, Abiquiu, N.M.
  • 2:30-5:30 p.m., Oct. 11: White Rock Fire Station No. 3, Training Room, 129 NM-4, White Rock, N.M.
  • Noon-3 p.m., Nov. 14: Technical Meeting, Santa Fe National Forest, 11 Forest Lane, Santa Fe, N.M.
  • 2:30-5:30 p.m., Nov. 15: North Domingo Baca Multigenerational Center, Classroom 5, 7521 Carmel Ave. NE, Albuquerque, N.M.
  • 2:30-5:30 p.m., Dec. 10: New Mexico Highlands University, TEC 205 (No. 30 on campus map), 1031 11th St., Las Vegas, N.M.

For more information, call (505) 438-5442, email santafeforestplan@fs.fed.us, or mail: Forest Plan Revision, Santa Fe National Forest, 11 Forest Lane, Santa Fe, NM 87508. Or visit www.fs.usda.gov/goto/santafeforestplan.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Ohio Trails Partnership are seeking input on the state trails system. Take this short survey to share your opinions on the current trails in Ohio and changes you would like. The current plan was written in 2005 and included mention of additional off-road motorcycle trails on public land. Please take this opportunity to support proposed APV routes on the Zaleski and Vinton Furnace state forests, share concerns about the coal mining plans affecting the Perry State Forest APV area and request more single-track trails. The deadline to complete the survey is Oct. 31.

SAUK COUNTY, Wis. — ATV and UTV riders are trying to convince the Sauk County County Board to allow them to use local roads as ATV routes, according to a report at www.wiscnews.com. Owners of restaurants and bars along the routes back the idea. But some residents are worried about safety and noise.

Industry News

STURGIS, S.D. — The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally drew more than 500,000 vehicles in August, an 8 percent increase over 2017 attendance, according to a report by the Associated Press. Sturgis City Manager Daniel Ainslie said 505,969 vehicles—motorcycles, automobiles, trucks and motor homes—rolled through town during the rally.

International News

MARIKINA, Philippines — A convoy of Filipino motorcycle riders reached the flood-hit city of Marikina, east of Manila, to deliver relief, according to a report at www.laht.com. Filipino villagers, including women and children, had lined up to receive the boxes of goods from the riders, who navigated the muddy roads to reach the settlements. Some of the riders also went door-to-door to deliver the relief goods, the story said. Monsoon rains caused by tropical storm Yagi on Aug. 11 led to flooding in Metro Manila and neighboring provinces. According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, the floods displaced more than a million people. More than 54,000 were placed in shelters set up across the country.

AMA News

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The AMA has announced the six members of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Class of 2018. On Dec. 7, the 2018 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will officially welcome four-time AMA National Enduro Champion Terry Cunningham, stunt rider Gary Davis, flat track and road racing tuner Skip Eaken, MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden, flat track racer Clifford "Corky" Keener, and pioneering motorcyclist Mary McGee. The induction ceremony is part of the 2018 AMA Legends & Champions Weekend, Dec. 7-9. The AMA Legends & Champions Weekend also includes the 2018 AMA Championship Banquet at the Hilton Columbus/Polaris on Dec. 8, and formal installation of Hall of Fame honors at the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Pickerington, Ohio, on Dec. 8. In addition, AMA Racing and Recreational Riding Commissions will meet to discuss rules governing amateur racing at the annual AMA Congress, also at the Hilton that weekend. Tickets for AMA Legends & Champions Weekend are available at: www.americanmotorcyclist.com/LegendsAndChampions. Reservations at the Columbus Hilton/Polaris are available at a special group rate at: www.hilton.com/en/hi/groups/personalized/C/CMHPOHF-AMOTOA-20181205/index.jhtml. Guests also can call (614) 310-2229 and reference the group "American Motorcyclist Association" or "AMOTOA."

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The United States will be represented by three of its fastest motocross racers when the Fédération Internationale de Motocylisme Motocross of Nations returns to American soil Oct. 6-7 at RedBud MX in Buchanan, Mich. The 2018 U.S. Motocross of Nations team includes 2018 AMA Supercross West 250SX Class champion Aaron Plessinger and AMA Supercross 450SX Class competitors Eli Tomac and Justin Barcia. AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend Roger DeCoster once again will manage the team as it seeks to secure the world championship. He 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 and claiming all of those wins under the direction of DeCoster. The last time the U.S. Team won the Motocross of Nations was 2011. The 2017 team placed ninth.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — AMA members in the Northwest and North Central regions of the United States may apply to run in an election for the AMA Board of Directors. The Northwest seat is currently held by AMA Board Member Russ Ehnes. The North Central seat is currently held by AMA Board Member Gary Pontius. AMA members who live in Washington, Oregon, northern California, Montana and Idaho are eligible to apply to run for the seat representing the Northwest Region. AMA members who live in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, northern Illinois and Indiana are eligible to apply to run for the seat representing the North Central Region. The deadline for applications is Sept. 15. The election will be held Dec. 15 through Jan. 15. For application information, email elections@ama-cycle.org or call (614) 856-1900, ext. 1283. The AMA Board of Directors includes 12 members—six elected by individual members, four elected by business members, and two at-large members appointed and ratified at the annual national AMA member meeting.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Kevin Schwantz will be inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 2019. Schwantz, the 1993 500cc Grand Prix World Champion and 1988 Daytona 200 winner, will be one of six individuals enshrined in the multi-discipline Motorsports Hall of Fame in Daytona Beach, Fla. The induction celebration is March 11-12, 2019. Born in Houston, Texas, to parents who owned a motorcycle dealership, Schwantz began riding motorcycles at age 3. He made the transition from motocross to road racing in the mid-1980s and became one of the winningest American riders in international road racing competition. Schwantz won 25 of the 125 500cc Grand Prix World Championship races he entered. His career included fierce on-track rivalries with AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famers Eddie Lawson and Wayne Rainey. Schwantz's No. 34 was retired by the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme and he was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1999.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame inductee Vaughn L. Beals Jr., former chairman and CEO of Harley-Davidson Inc., died Aug. 29 in Gig Harbor, Wash. He was 90. Beals was part of the team of executives who helped to resurrect Harley-Davidson in the 1980s. Hired in 1975 by AMF Harley-Davidson as a vice president and group executive, Beals eventually led the group of managers who bought the company from AMF in a leveraged buyout. He served as CEO of Harley-Davidson from 1981-1989 and as chairman from 1981-1996. He was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2008.

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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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