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Running on Fumes

AMA Oh Snaps Schwarzenegger

Friday, December 10, 2010
Outgoing California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger must have felt good when he read the headline proclaiming him the 2010 AMA Motorcyclist of the Year. If he continued to read the AMA press release, however, his smile probably turned into that flinty emotionless glare that earned him… well, no Academy Awards.


Arnold Schwarzenegger: 2010 AMA Motorcyclist of the Year.
This AMA “honor” is a bizarre backhanded compliment. Last year the AMA chose the kids who ride OHV as MOY, with the big issue of ’09 being the CPSC lead ban. This year the AMA tapped the Governator based on his negative impact on motorcycling after signing into law California Senate Bill 435 – AKA Motorcycle Anti-Tampering Act. Requiring an EPA-approved stamp on motorcycle exhausts, the AMA deems the legislation “poorly crafted” (read the official release AMA Motorcyclist of the Year: Schwarzenegger for the AMA’s rationale). 

"Gov. Schwarzenegger signed a piece of legislation that has rocked the motorcycling world, and will impact motorcyclists in other states as well for years to come," said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman in the AMA release. "This makes him the logical choice for the 2010 AMA Motorcyclist of the Year."

Logical?

Perhaps in AMA terms. It’s the same logic that informs stances like supporting helmet use, yet opposing mandatory helmet laws. But if we’re going by this new logic, shouldn’t the 2009 Motorcyclist of the Year get ripped away from those poor OHV kids and given to the pencil-pushing commissioners on the CPSIA. After all, they are “the person or persons who have had the most profound impact on motorcycling in a single calendar year.” The kids didn't really do nothin'...

Motorcyclist of the Year should be a positive recognition (like giving it to the kids!). Giving it for a negative reason sends a mixed message. In fact, it’s a literal mixed message in the AMA release, as after dissing the Governor for the exhaust law, it then praises Ahnold for previous policy decisions in his governorship – like appointing industry-friendly members to OHV government committees.

The Schwarzenegger joke will fall back on the AMA as time wears on. After all, the headline and eventual Wikipedia entry (bastion of all knowledge in modern society) is this: Arnold Schwarzenegger Motorcyclist of the Year 2010. The footnote will have to explain the joke. And if you have to explain a joke, it’s not funny.

Something tells us the very public bitch slap from the AMA won’t phase a man who once killed a Predator alien with his own two hands. The man can’t be destroyed by anything less than a vat of molten metal, and that mode of destruction we now question after watching him get elected twice to state-wide office in California… as a Republican! With any luck, a staffer told Arnold the headline and stopped right there. Probably made his day.

“Maria. Can you believe dis? Not only do you make sweet love to de two-term Governor of de great state of California. Now I also am de two towsand and ten motahcyclist of de yeeah. And dis and dat and tings of dis nature.”
Post Tags: AMA Schwarzenegger
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Comments
tef8568 November 2, 2012 03:54 PM
Regarding loud exhaust pipes on motorcycles and the resulting noise they create, I have my motorcycle license and am a cruiser fan despite that I do not have a bike at this time. I cannot argue one bit that test riding a bike that you already like a lot is a great way to spend a few minutes, but when it has after market pipes on it that are louder (be it a little or a lot) it does add a certain "air" to the experience that is just so much more visceral and raw (and cool and fun). I am man, this is my motorcycle, and hear me roar as I make my presence known. On the other hand, living in an apartment complex in a rural PA area with two little boys to take care of as a stay at home father who needs them to get their afternoon naps so that I do not go crazy, (I mean for their proper development opportunity) (haha)I would not want any loud pipes on any motorcycle passing by or through or worse yet; that is owned by one of the neighbors nearby so that they are heard frequently; especially while warming up when a bike does not have fuel injection as most older cruisers do not. Loud pipes can make it safer for the rider to be heard, but they can also be the cause of distracting other drivers in vehicles which can cause accidents of vehicles, motorcycles, and so on. What so many of the after market pipes do is boost horsepower with some increase in loudness while others make quite a loud difference. Ban the "quite loud" ones via standardized legitimate measurement techniques and allow the ones that offer a limited loudness increase both at idle and at full throttle. Have all 50 states inspect the noise level at yearly inspection time via qualified dealerships and mechanics, and if the pipes do not stay within the limits; then fail the inspection but give the person a week to get new "quiet" ones put on or put the factory ones on again or the bike goes bye bye until "quiet" pipes are put on and tested as such. People with loud car stereo systems can be pulled over and ticketed for noise pollution, and I fully support that. I would also fully support motorcycles with loud pipes being subject to the exact same scenario regardless of brand, type, location of use, etc. to make it fair. It is not a targeting of motorcyclists across the board as it is only targeting the ones with loud pipes whose noise measurements are above what is allowed just as it is not against all drivers in vehicles to be pulled over and ticketed but only those driving in unsafe manners such as speed or recklessness. While loud pipes may not be a safety issue such as speeding or reckless driving or drunk driving, it is something that people are not going to put up with as they have no valid reason to have to. Your right to make noise stops at my right to not hear noise. I literally had my ears hurt by the sheer loudness of one local chopper style bike that was a show bike it turned out. My hearing in my right ear was blocked just like it was after seeing Metallica in concert and some of their pyrotechnics did their thing. I never want that to happen again; be it by a live band or a motorcycle. It crossed my mind at that time to think of a nice chest-high wire a quarter mile down the road and oops, what a shame; one less jerk on a loud bike who has no respect for anyone except his own stupid ego that needs to "look cool."
Pollution is pollution! -No matter how you slice it. December 13, 2010 11:59 AM
I support the ban. Noise pollution is detrimental to our environment. Why are we (and when I say we I mean you, the off-road enthusiasts) continuing to screwed up nature's fragile eco-system. Coercively, EPA tests prove that a Yamaha YZR R6 emits 90 times more hydrocarbons than a Dodge Durango SUV. Dirt bikes are even worse with their light restrictions. We need a law for mandatory catalytic converters and emissions systems on dirt bikes, and another law banning destructive two-stroke engines. Two-stokes pollute so much because of running on a gas/oil mix. Every combustion cycle is burns motor oil as well as gasoline. The engine’s design allows unburnt fuel to escape through the exhaust and into the air. Hydrocarbons are the pollutants responsible for forming ozone and smog, which is both a serious health risk as well as an extreme eyesore.
kevin -@ricky December 12, 2010 12:18 PM
ricky, it's not that the AMA or most people who object with this law don't want to see obnoxious noise reduction from exhausts. It's that they/we don't want it to be an unecissarily difficult and expensive law to comply with and also that we don't want it to single out motorcycles. 80-90% of the obnoxious exhaust noise I hear on my 24/7 busy street comes from cars not motorcycles.
ricky -stop the noise! December 12, 2010 08:44 AM
Thank you mr.schwarzenegger for signing the loud pipe ban. you are a hero to most americans who love this country by respecting the rights of others.
poppanitrous -Headed in the wrong direction December 12, 2010 07:09 AM
From Moto-gp to supercross the sports are being diluted too much with ever changing regualtions and rules which only benefit the corporate profit lobby machine. Two decades from now they will be riding from a "radio controlled" tower since nothing is visceral in motocycling anymore.
Remember the days of a pick-up truck, a set of tires and a smile?


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Poppanitrous-
kevin -yeah, not such a good idea December 11, 2010 12:19 PM
"____ Of the Year" should always be a positive thing. If you want to dis someone find an unflattering picture of them, e.g. with a grimmace on their face, looking confused, etc., and put them on the cover with a headline like "Arnold just terminated your motorcycle exhaust". Or something like that (send it to the creative department, I'm the idea guy).
RIDE2REPEAL.COM -Volunteer Coordinator December 10, 2010 02:25 PM
Thanks for pointing out the obvious ... something the AMA seems unable to do.