EPA ‘Letter of Guidance’ Clarifies Kit, Custom Bikes

On July 25, 2006, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) adopted an on-highway motorcycle engine emissions certification option which allows a small volume manufacturer, custom builder, assembler and individual to purchase and install an engine that has already been EPA certified in another motorcycle, without having to recertify the motorcycle, as long as reasonable criteria are met.
Kit bikes are motorcycles typically built by individuals using off-the-shelf components, while custom bikes are generally show bikes built by a business and sold to a customer.
Under the regulations, a person is allowed only one kit motorcycle in their lifetime that is exempt from meeting EPA emissions requirements.
For custom motorcycles, a builder may create and sell up to 24 bikes a year that don’t meet EPA emissions requirements, but those machines must be labeled as exempt and are show bikes that only rarely may be ridden.
The Letter of Guidance confirms that by using an EPA-certified engine, an individual will, in fact, be permitted to build a kit motorcycle without invoking the “one per lifetime” rule, subject to restrictions on exhaust systems, carburetors, fuel injection, and certain other components.
“New highway motorcycles certified in this manner may be operated or re-sold without restriction, as long as all requirements of this procedure are met and the anti-tampering requirements of the federal Clean Air Act (42 U.S. C. sec. 203(a)) are met,” says the EPA Letter of Guidance.
Read an upcoming issue of Powersports Business for more about EPA rules and their impact on the U.S. powersports industry.

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