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Washington, D.C.: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is apparently scrapping its requirement that consumers buy at least four gallons of gasoline from blender gas pumps that dispense the new E15 ethanol-gasoline blend. The EPA had said that the minimum purchase requirement was meant to dilute any residual E15 fuel left in the hose.
On Dec. 17, in response to ongoing AMA concerns, the EPA indicated to the AMA that it would no longer require a minimum purchase of four gallons. Instead, the EPA will now likely require a label on blender pumps that dispense E10 and E15 through the same hose that states the pump is solely for passenger cars and trucks. In addition, the EPA indicated it will require stations that sell E15 to also have a pump with a dedicated E10 hose for use by motorcycles and other vehicles the EPA has not approved for E15 use.
Ethanol is essentially grain alcohol produced from crops such as corn that is mixed with gasoline to produce an ethanol-gasoline blend motor fuel. In October 2010, the EPA approved the use of E15 in model year 2007 and newer light-duty vehicles (cars, light-duty trucks and medium-duty passenger vehicles). Then, in January 2011, the EPA added model year 2001-06 light-duty vehicles to the approved list. No motorcycles or ATVs are currently on the list.
Washington, D.C.: Danielle Fowles is the newest member of the AMA Government Relations Department. Fowles, most recently from San Diego, Calif., is based in the AMA’s Washington, D.C., office, where she is working on legislative and grassroots initiatives. A graduate of the University of Utah, Fowles holds a bachelor’s in political science. She has worked as a legal assistant, fundraiser, and has served as an intern on Capitol Hill.
Cypress, Calif.: Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A.’s OHV Access Initiative approved $75,000 in funding in October to help seven different organizations in six states. The groups that received funding are the Border Riders Sportsman Club in Jackson, Maine; Great Lot Sportsman’s ATV Club in Booneville, N.Y.; MTN Trail Riders in Jonesborough, Tenn.; North Country ATV in North Stratford, N.H.; Northeast ATV Association in Troy, N.Y.; Thunder Mountain Wheelers in Delta, Colo.; and Snow Shoes Rails to Trails in Clarence, Pa.
These organizations are helping to implement Yamaha’s mission of supporting safe, responsible riding and open, sustainable riding areas through a variety of projects on the ground level. Since its inception in 2008, the Yamaha OHV Access Initiative has funded nearly 200 such projects across the country. Yamaha is actively seeking qualified projects at local, state and federal levels. The current OHV Access Initiative GRANT application form and guidelines are available at www.yamahaohvaccess.com.
Twentynine Palms, Calif.: Riders who use the popular Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Riding Area in California may not lose most of the area to a Marine base expansion after all. Under language currently included in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (H.R. 4310), which was offered by Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.) with support from Sens. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.), the military is barred from spending money to expand the military base into Johnson Valley until it completes a report on how the expansion would affect off-highway riding in this important area. The report is expected to be completed in 90 days.
In July, the Department of the Navy released a final environmental impact statement for the expansion of the Marine base. The preferred alternative would allow public use of only 40,000 acres of the 190,000-acre Johnson Valley OHV area, and for only 10 months a year. It’s all part of an effort by the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms to expand its land holdings to allow for more live-fire training. The Marine Corps is part of the Navy.
Several years ago, the Navy began the formal process to take over some 365,906 acres of public land near San Bernardino to use for live-fire training for the Marines. At that time, the Navy filed an application with the U.S. Interior Department seeking control of the public land, which is under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. The Navy also wants priority on some 72,186 acres of non-federal land in case the federal government acquires it.
Although the military had hoped to begin training on the land in 2014, the proposed expansion still needs congressional approval.
Jefferson City, Mo.: Senate Bill 73, sponsored by Sen. Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia), would prohibit roadside checkpoints or roadblocks based upon a particular vehicle type, such as motorcycle-only checkpoints. The bill does not prohibit any other type of checkpoint or roadblock established and operated in accordance with the provisions of the U.S. Constitution and the Missouri Constitution.
Also Senate Bill 72, sponsored by Sen. Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia), would designate the month of May as Motorcycle Awareness Month in the Show Me state.
Albuquerque, N.M.: The New Mexico Off Highway Vehicle Alliance filed a lawsuit against the Santa Fe National Forest in federal district court on Dec. 11, 2012. The lawsuit contests the forest’s travel management decision that was signed by Forest Supervisor Maria T. Garcia on June 12, 2012 and upheld by the USFS Region 3 on Oct. 2.
NMOHVA contends the decision and environmental impact statement are illegal because they violate NEPA requirements for analysis and proper science. “The studies from the agency’s own scientists concluded that decades of motorized use have not had significant impacts on the land or animals” said Joanne Spivack, NMOHVA Special Projects Coordinator. “But the environmental analysis ignored those facts. They ignored our comments, which identified these errors in the EIS, and rejected our formal appeal. This lawsuit is the only option left. NEPA is not just a minor inconvenience the agency can evade.”
Lake George, N.Y.: For the first time ever in its 30-year history, Americade’s largest tradeshow location, TourExpo Beach, will open three days early in 2013. TourExpo Beach will now be open June 1-8, from Saturday through the following Saturday.
Although TourExpo Beach will open three days early, TourExpo Forum will continue to open on the Tuesday of Americade Week. “The vast majority of our vendors are able to arrive three days earlier, but some weren’t,” said Debbie Beaudette, TourExpo’s manager. “So, they’ll be open for business on what has been historically the opening day, Tuesday.”
TourExpo also plans on introducing additional entertainment within the tradeshow, including stunt shows and musical entertainment, though details have yet to be announced.
The rest of Americade Week will proceed on the traditional schedule with demo rides, minitours, boat cruises, bike judging, seminars and all the other dozens of Americade activities starting on Tuesday and ending Saturday afternoon.
Pickerington, Ohio: The AMA recently announced its 2012 AMA Motorcyclist of the Year: AMA member and president of KTM North America Jon-Erik Burleson. Awarded annually, the AMA Motorcyclist of the Year recognizes the person or persons who had the most profound impact within the motorcycling community in the previous 12 months.
Burleson was brought to the company by former KTM North America President Rod Bush. Bush, who passed away in 2005 and was recently inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, laid the foundation for much of KTM’s growth in recent years. It was Burleson who took the reins in 2005 and led KTM away from its reputation as an obscure European motorcycle company with moderate penetration in the off-road market to a premium brand under the tagline “Ready to Race.”
Indeed, from 2009 to 2012, KTM sales bucked the declining trend in the industry, increasing almost 20 percent. Much of that growth occurred in the last year, when industry-wide motorcycle sales were essentially flat. In addition, the company won its first AMA Pro Racing National Motocross Championship in 2012 when Ryan Dungey claimed the AMA No. 1 plate in the 450 class.
The story of Burleson’s history with KTM and his contributions to the world of motorcycling are featured in the January 2013 issue of American Motorcyclist.
Pickerington, Ohio: The AMA is pleased to announce the 2013 dates for the country’s premier annual celebration of vintage motorcycling. AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days will take place on July 19-21 at the world-class Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.
A fundraiser for the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days features classic motorcycles of all makes and styles, and honors the riders who made them famous. Activities include the AMA Racing Vintage Grand Championships, which feature roadracing, motocross, hare scrambles, trials and dirt-track; North America’s largest motorcycle swap meet; bike shows and awards; stunt shows; demo rides of current production bikes; and seminars on a number of topics by noted motorcycling experts.
All proceeds from AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days benefit the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. The goal of the Hall of Fame, located on the AMA campus in Pickerington, Ohio, is to tell the stories and preserve the history of motorcycling’s legends and heroes. For more information, call (614) 856-2222, or visit the Hall of Fame’s website.
Oklahoma City: The Oklahoma Highway Safety Office recently launched a new Oklahoma Motorcycle Safety & Education website. The site provides one convenient location for motorcyclists to find legislation, training opportunities, and other motorcycle safety information.
The new website offers educational videos featured on the homepage, as well as links to other websites that promote motorcycle safety. All content on the Oklahoma Motorcycle Safety & Education website is maintained by the Advisory Committee for Motorcycle Safety and Education, which was formed to address motorcycle safety issues in Oklahoma. The committee serves at the discretion of the Commissioner of Public Safety.
The Oklahoma Motorcycle Safety & Education website and services result from a partnership between the Office of Management and Enterprise Services and OK.gov. The new site can be accessed at www.ok.gov/okiemoto/.
Brussels, Belgium: The European Parliament has approved a proposal to require anti-lock braking systems on all new motorcycles and trikes with engines larger than 125cc beginning in 2016. The measure—adopted on Nov. 20 by a 643-to-16 vote with 18 abstentions—still needs to be adopted by each member nation of the European Union. If it is approved, ABS could become standard equipment on all motorcycles sold in the United States in the not-too-distant future.
The European Parliament’s vote is a concern because manufacturers seek to build vehicles of all types, including motorcycles, to uniform standards worldwide. Called global harmonization, the process allows manufacturers to produce just one version of a model and sell it in every market with few—if any—variations. Global harmonization has the potential to make vehicle standards passed in other parts of the world—like the European Union—the de facto law of the land here in the United States. Although the AMA does not oppose ABS, the association has always maintained that ABS must be affordable, should be a rider’s choice, and that riders must be able to switch ABS on and off on dual-sport machines. Click here to read the full news release.