EPA suspects foul play in atv/bike emissions tests
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) withdrew its approval of the import and sale of up to 200,000 gas-powered, off-road motorcycles and ATVs, the agency reported in a press release.
The EPA said it suspects tailpipe emissions information was either incomplete or falsified. This is the first time the agency has voided certificates of conformity for these types of vehicles and only the second time the agency has done so for any type of vehicle.
EPA is considering an enforcement action under the Clean Air Act, which could lead to significant financial penalties against the businesses that manufactured or imported these types of recreational vehicles.
As a result of a lengthy investigation, EPA is alleging the applications for the certificates contained false or incomplete information. EPA issued the certificates in 2006 and 2007 to the U.S. counterparts of four of China’s largest manufacturers of these types of vehicles: Hensim USA, Loncin USA, Peace Industry Group and Seaseng. The certificates were issued based on applications compiled by their consultant, MotorScience Enterprise. EPA believes MotorScience Enterprise intentionally submitted false or incomplete emissions information.
The California Air Resources Board, which issued executive orders similar to EPA’s certificates of conformity, also has voided its executive orders covering the same vehicles that were sold in California.
Annual aftermarket show Dealer Expo changes dates
The Dealer Expo annually held in February has changed its schedule for 2011. The event usually held on a Saturday-Monday schedule will now be held on a Friday-Sunday schedule, announced Advanstar Communications’ Powersports Group.
The expo at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis has moved to Feb. 18-20. The change was made for dealers whose stores are traditionally closed on the Monday President’s Day holiday. The new schedule allows three full days to see product lines and network with manufacturers, distributors and other dealers at the show.
U.S. Representative joins motorcycle safety caucus
Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) officially joined the Congressional Motorcycle Safety Caucus in June, joining 11 other members of Congress, including Caucus Co-chairs Reps. Burgess (R-Texas) and Giffords (D-Ariz.), according to the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC).
The Congressional Motorcycle Safety Caucus is a bipartisan group of members of Congress committed to improving and advancing the safety of motorcyclists.
“I have been a strong advocate of motorcycle safety for many years now,” Jones said in the MIC press release. “It is important that riders and motorists alike are reminded to take every precaution to keep our riders safe and this caucus serves as a great platform.”
The MIC’s Senior Vice President for Government Relations Kathy Van Kleeck noted, “We are delighted that Congressman Jones has joined the caucus and look forward to all of his contributions.”
South Carolina Supreme Court strikes down Myrtle Beach’s helmet law
The South Carolina Supreme Court has struck down a Myrtle Beach, S.C., law that required riders to wear helmets within the city limits, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports.
The city passed the law in 2008 despite a state law that allows motorcyclists 21 or older to choose to ride with or without a helmet. The city council had passed 15 laws and amendments at that time targeting motorcyclists who attended week-long bike rallies in the Myrtle Beach area, ranging from the helmet requirement to a ban on loitering in parking lots, in an attempt to keep riders out of the city.
The state supreme court, in a decision issued on June 8, said the Myrtle Beach helmet ordinance was pre-empted by state law.
“We find that the City Helmet Ordinance fails under implied field pre-emption due to the need for statewide uniformity and therefore issue a declaratory judgment invalidating the ordinance,” the high court ruled.
“It is regrettable that the city of Myrtle Beach felt the need to alienate motorcyclists with the law, especially since motorcyclists had supported businesses in Myrtle Beach for years during rallies,” Ed Moreland, AMA senior vice president for government relations, said in a press release. “But we’re pleased that the South Carolina Supreme Court struck down the Myrtle Beach law, sending a clear message to all jurisdictions that discriminatory laws against motorcyclists are unacceptable.”
Scooter distributor adds additional OEM parts
National distributor Martin Racing Performance (MRP) will begin offering parts for Daelim scooters, the company said in a press release.
MRP recently purchased the parts for the scooter company that reportedly closed its U.S. operations in early 2009. MRP said in the press release that dealers have had to purchase parts from Daelim’s factory in Korea.
MRP is in the process of adding Daelim manuals to its Web site, www.martinracingdealer.com.
The distributor provides OEM parts for a number of scooter brands, including TNG, select models of CF Moto, Diamo and Keeway.
Aftermarket company Rox Speed FX under new ownership
After the passing of Rocky Cutsforth, owner of Rox Speed FX, in late May, the company has taken on new ownership. Cutsforth’s cousin Chris Olin has accepted the role.
“Chris brings with him 25 years of experience in manufacturing and operations management,” said Lynn Cutsforth. “His experience in his previous work environments gives him a level of credibility that will allow him to step into a role that will be quite challenging, but he is up to the task and ready to move forward.
“We will honor and respect Rocky’s life by continuing to provide quality products, good customer service and new innovative products that will serve the industry well,” continued Lynn Cutsforth. “We look forward to working with you, and believe that we have a bright future ahead, thanks to the foundation that Rocky provided and the commitment and skills that Chris and the rest of the Rox team have.”
Off-road rights advocate to be inducted into Hall of Fame
The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) announced the third member of its Motorcycle Hall of Fame Class of 2010: BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) founder Clark Collins. Collins, known for his tireless work on behalf of motorcyclists to keep trails open and build regional and national coalitions among all trail users, will be among the legends of motorcycling honored at the 2010 induction ceremony at the Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas on Nov. 19.
“Clark Collins represents an area that is so vitally important to all riders — motorcyclists’ rights — and he is a fitting inductee into the Hall of Fame,” said Jack Penton, AMA director of operations and a Hall of Famer himself. “Collins’ advocacy work is the reason why so many trails remain open today, and why motorcyclists across the country are better organized to protect the future of motorcycling.”
In 1987, Collins created the BRC, which is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting responsible recreational access to public lands and waters. He served as executive director of the organization until his retirement in 2004.
Today, Collins continues to serve the off-road recreation community in Idaho as president of the Idaho State ATV Association.
Collins joins previously announced members of the AMA Hall of Fame Class of 2010: championship team owner Mitch Payton and AMA 250cc Roadrace Champion David Emde. More inductees will be announced soon.
Gart Sutton and Associates announces staff changes
Gart Sutton & Associates Inc. announced that Mike Brunken has been promoted into the position of general manager.
“We are growing and moving forward with new initiatives and goals, and Mike is the right person to take us there,” Sutton said in a press release.
Brunken was formerly with Assurant and RPM Group as 20-club manager, and also as a 20-club moderator. Brunken was also instrumental in the success of the Management Development Programs, as organizer and trainer.
Steve Jones has moved into the position of senior projects manager. “This will allow me to dedicate more of my time and energy to the many special projects we have in the works,” Jones said in the press release.
AMA supports EPA delay on ethanol ruling
The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) supports the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to delay its ruling on whether to allow the ethanol portion of blended gasoline to be increased from the current 10 percent to 15 percent, according to a statement from the AMA.
On June 17, the EPA announced it would delay its decision on E15 gasoline until fall.
“This is encouraging news because much more research needs to be done to be sure that increased levels of ethanol in gasoline are beneficial, rather than damaging, to motorcycle engines and components,” Imre Szauter, AMA government affairs manager, said in the statement.
Growth Energy, an ethanol-lobbying group, asked the EPA in March 2009 to allow gasoline to contain up to 15 percent ethanol. The EPA had planned to issue a decision by December 2009 but then said a decision would come in mid-2010 before the most recent delay.
“The AMA supports the use of cleaner-burning fuels but we are concerned that, if the allowable level of ethanol is raised, it could result in premature engine damage or failure while a bike is being ridden on a highway,” Szauter said. “We are also concerned about any degradation in performance, fuel economy and rideability that may result from the long-term use of blended fuels with greater than 10 percent ethanol.”
The AMA is a member of AllSAFE, the Alliance for a Safe Alternative Fuels Environment, a group made up of associations that represent consumer and commercial users of ethanol blends, manufacturers of boats, vehicles, engines and equipment, and retailers who sell gasoline and ethanol-fuel blends. psb