Motorcycle of the Year 2011: Kawazuki CRF65 SX

December 30, 2011
By Motorcycle USA Staff
Getting our kids into the sport we love is a critical component of our industry – perhaps the most important. Bikes that allow us to first twist the throttle and experience the thrill of riding are the unsung heroes of motorcycling. The Lead Ban

The first stay of enforcement expired and another was put in its place which is set to run out on December 31  2011.
Multiple stays of enforcement helped, but the CPSIA lead ban took a toll on the industry. Thankfully Congress passed an exemption for kids OHV.

was an ongoing saga of impending doom and despair in the motorcycle economy for the past three years. From the start it was obvious that the CPSC had the right idea to protect children from the dangers of lead, but the wide-sweeping application of the CPSIA of 2008 went too far when it included motorcycles and ATVs.

An enormous uproar from the riding community followed, but the problem wasn’t convincing legislators that our kids aren’t eating their bikes. Instead it was an issue of sorting out the finger-pointing between lawmakers and government entities, and sifting through the tedious bickering and nitpicking over specific wording of the law. Apparently getting a law passed is no problem, but getting one changed once it’s on the books is a whole other story. As the legal negotiations extended over time, the general public was confused, frustrated and paralyzed over how to address the issue. It all ended on August 12 when President Barack Obama signed H.R. 2715 into law. The CPSIA of 2008 is still in effect, but kids’ OHVs are now exempt.

How many lifelong riders started with a PW50 under the Christmas tree? How many spent summers sweating behind mowers and delivering newspapers to buy that XR75? How many dads toil at work all day so they can get home and teach Jr. to change his KTM’s oil? The bikes have changed over time and so has our world, but we still need them for our sport to survive. Every kid’s dirt bike and ATV that hung tough for the past few years have earned the right to stick around a bit longer. Collectively they are our choice for 2011 Motorcycle of the Year.