New ATV Laws in Texas
Texas Governor Rick Perry has signed into law a bill creating an off-highway vehicle program in the state. This legislation establishes an OHV trail and recreational area program, administered by the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife, which will be funded through a decal fee paid by OHV riders and fines assessed against OHV operators for violation of OHV laws.
The Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC), working in cooperation with riders in Texas, the Texas Motorcycle Dealers Association and Sen. Juan Hinojosa (McAllen), took the lead in developing and advocating the legislation and coordinating stakeholder support. The new law, which was signed by the governor on June 17, will take effect Sept. 1, 2005.
Under the law, funding will be provided for the OHV trail and recreational area program to acquire, construct, develop, and maintain OHV trails and other riding areas.
Texas was second in the nation in the combined sale of ATVs and off-highway motorcycles in 2004 and ranks second in combined ATV and off-highway motorcycle population as well.
Wisconsin ATV Registrations Up 90% in Five Years
The State of Wisconsin says ATV registrations have increased 90 percent there since 2000 while snowmobile registration has decreased 1 percent. This news forms the basis for increased debate regarding four-wheeler land use and access rights.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) says there were 220,171 ATVs publicly registered as of June 1, up from about 215,000 registrations during the same period in 2004. In comparison, about 220,000 snowmobiles were registered in the state last year.
While Wisconsin snowmobilers have approximately 22,000 to 24,000 miles of trails devoted to sleds, a DNR representative says there are about 4,000 miles of ATV trails available at different times of the year throughout the state.
China Engine to Introduce ATV Engines
China Engine Corp. (CEC), based in Taiwan, is developing a series of all-terrain vehicle (ATV) and pan-utility gasoline engines with displacements of 400cc to 700cc. The company says the first of the new engines, scheduled for mass production late next year, will be the largest ATV engine produced in the island nation.
Taiwan currently exports about 300,000 ATVs per year, and the number is continuing to grow as more big international brands outsource production to Taiwanese manufacturers.
CEC President David Lin said that only a few companies in Taiwan, such as KYMCO and SYM, have the ability to produce PTW and ATV engines as large as 300cc.
CEC is a joint venture in which major stakes are held by the government of Taiwan, Chiao Tung Bank and the Yulon Group - Taiwan's biggest automaker, which turns out Nissan and Mitsubishi models on the island. CEC was set up in mid-1995, using technology developed by the Industrial Technology Research Institute, as part of a government program designed to boost the development of home-grown automotive products.
CEC's core business is as an engine supplier to the automotive industry. The company recently unveiled a prototype 2.2L engine in both naturally aspirated and turbo versions that Lin says a local automaker will install it in minivan models next year. Late this year the company plans to begin mass production of a 2.0L automotive engine that was developed on the same platform as the 2.2L model.
“Our accumulated expertise and know-how in the development and manufacturing of automotive engines gives CEC as strong technical advantage over most of the world's developers of PTW and ATV engines,” Lin told the China Economic News Service.
Lin said orders have already been received from a local ATV exporter for single-cylinder, four-valve engines with displacements of 400cc to 700cc.
CEC has showcased other niche products at major auto-parts shows around the world, including a high-end 250cc go-kart engine that can also be used on other recreational vehicles and agricultural machines.
BRP Aims New DS250 at International Market
While those in North America might never see it, Bombardier Recreational Products released details on a new DS250 entry level sport quad. The quad is available only in markets outside of North America.
BRP said it will be EC homologated including integrated quadricycle components. It is powered by a 250cc liquid-cooled engine with a CVT transmission, reverse and more.
“Given the huge growth and market potential of the entry-level sports segment for ATVs in Europe, the new DS250 is the perfect addition to our 2006 ATV lineup,” said Michel Hade, BRP's vice president and general manager of the international sales and marketing deparment.
Also, BRP announced that versions of the Rally, Outlander 400 and Outlander Max 400 will be EC homologated.
Honda Most-Searched on ATVTraderOnline.com
ATVs manufactured by Honda Motor Co. are the most-searched quads on ATVTraderOnline, sister site to CycleTrader.com and a part of the TraderOnline.com network of Web sites serving buyers and sellers in the new and used vehicle marketplace.
Officials at ATVTraderOnline.com say Honda averages 67,000 per month, which represents approximately 34% of the searches performed on ATVTraderOnline.com. In second place is Yamaha - averaging 66,000 monthly searches, or 33% of total searches performed for ATVs on the site.
While Honda yields the majority of searches on ATVTraderOnline.com, Polaris brand of ATVs has shown the most growth thus far in 2005. Last year, there were approximately 19,000 monthly searches for Polaris ATVs. Currently, searches for Polaris average 27,000 a month - almost a 29% increase.
Since its inception in March 2003, ATVTraderOnline.com has grown from 82,000 monthly visitors to a current average of 240,000 monthly visitors - an increase of almost 300%.
TraderOnline.com is an operating unit of the Trader Electronic Media division of Trader Publishing Company, Virginia Beach, Va.
Yamaha Named Licensee of Ducks Unlimited
Ducks Unlimited and Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. recently joined forces to market Ducks Unlimited-branded Yamaha ATVs while raising funds for conservation.
In the agreement, Yamaha was named an Official Licensee of Ducks Unlimited and has released a new Ducks Unlimited Special Edition Grizzly 660 4x4 model ATV. Yamaha will donate a portion of the sale of each Ducks Unlimited Edition Grizzly to support DU's wetlands and waterfowl conservation mission.
With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world's largest wetlands and waterfowl conservation organization. The organization also works with Tucker Rocky Distributing.
The Yamaha Ducks Unlimited Special Edition Grizzly 660 4x4 ATV will come in the Max-4 High Definition camo pattern, making it the only Yamaha ATV available in Max-4. The ATV will feature special Ducks Unlimited graphics, as well as a rear rack bag with both the DU and Grizzly logos. The new ATV will be available in limited quantities beginning in fall 2005.
“This is only the beginning of what promises to be a great partnership for conservation,” said Mike Martinez, Yamaha ATV & Side-by-Side Vehicle General Manager. “Ducks Unlimited is the preeminent conservation organization in North America. Its supporters are avid ATV users for work and recreation. We're proud to support DU's efforts and meet the needs of their supporters with Yamaha ATVs.”