by Gus Breiland
AMA Meets With EPA To Discuss Streetbike Rules
The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) has announced that its Government Relations team met with federal Environmental Protection Agency officials this week to discuss motorcycle-emissions regulations.

AMA Vice President for Government Relations Edward Moreland, AMA Washington Legislative Assistant Peter Nonis and AMA Legislative Affairs Specialist Imre Szauter met with EPA technical officials at the agency’s headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on Monday, February 13, seeking clarification on current EPA regulations related to “kit” and “custom” motorcycles. 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.

“Even though these regulations governing motorcycle emissions were approved a couple years ago, there’s been a lot of misunderstanding surrounding them,” Moreland said. “The regulations themselves are complex and difficult to summarize, and many attempts to explain them have been incorrect. We wanted to have in-depth discussions with EPA officials so we know exactly what these new regulations mean for American motorcyclists.”

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 may be only ridden rarely.

Before the EPA adopted these new rules in 2004, it was illegal for anyone to ride any street motorcycle built in 1980 or later, that didn’t meet EPA emissions requirements.

All major motorcycle manufacturers’ streetbikes meet federal 2006 emissions standards, and several manufacturers’ products already meet the 2010 standards.

The AMA actively voiced motorcyclists’ concerns to the EPA from 2001 through 2004 as the federal agency worked to put together the new EPA emissions requirements. The AMA will continue to voice motorcyclists concerns to the EPA, and seek clarification on the rules.

“Loud Pipes Risk Rights” in more ways than one.

KTM becomes Polaris’ Distributor in Germany
Minneapolis, March 7, 2006—Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE/PSE: PII) today announced that effective March 1, 2006 KTM-Sportmotorcycle AG has become Polaris’ exclusive distributor in Germany for Polaris All Terrain Vehicles, Quadricycles, Snowmobiles and Polaris RANGER™ vehicles.

“KTM has established a dedicated sales force to manage the Polaris brand and product sales. KTM will leverage our back office operations in Germany to increase sales, build the Polaris brand, and increase dealer service and satisfaction while minimizing distribution costs. We are excited to get this project started” said Hubert Trunkenpolz, KTM’s Vice President of Marketing & Sales.

“Polaris is excited to leverage KTM’s strong presence and understanding of the German Powersports market to further develop the Polaris brand and sales in Germany” said Mark Blackwell, Polaris Vice President Victory Motorcycles and International Operations. “Polaris dealers in Germany will sign a separate Polaris dealer contract with KTM and be managed by a separate sales force dedicated to the Polaris product line. While there will be some common KTM and Polaris dealers in Germany going forward, market conditions in specific areas and individual dealer capabilities required for the KTM and Polaris product lines will dictate how many common dealers there will ultimately be.”

In July 2005, Polaris and KTM announced a strategic partnership with the goal of strengthening the competitive position of both companies and providing tangible benefits to customers, dealers, suppliers and shareholders. KTM’s distribution of Polaris products in Germany supports this goal. It is not expected that KTM will become the distributor of Polaris products in any other European market in the near future. According to Mark Blackwell, “We want to focus our joint cooperative distribution effort on this key market to ensure success and demonstrate the compatibility of our product lines, brand positioning and dealer networks.”

(Cue German accent) Very interesting…

State And Local Agencies To Reinforce Helmet Use
Arlington, VA––State and local law enforcement agencies nationwide will team up with the Insurance Institute for Motorcycle Safety (IIMS) in June, July, and August 2006 to gather rider information and send a message to motorcyclists: choosing to wear a helmet can save your life. A result of a partnership between the IIMS and the National Motorcycle Traffic Safety Administration (NMTSA), federal grants are being awarded to cooperating agencies in an effort to promote voluntary motorcycle helmet use in the 31 states where helmets are not required by law.

Under Part 1 of the program guidelines, patrol officers will make targeted stops and present helmeted motorcycle riders with a “Pro Rider” certificate. Driver’s license, registration and insurance information will be used for helmet effectiveness research by the IIMS. The Pro Rider certificate is valid for a 15 percent insurance reduction for a period of one year from participating insurance companies.

Under Part 2 of the program, an officer on the scene of a motorcycle crash will determine if a helmet may have saved the rider’s life. The officer may then present that rider with a “Saved by the Helmet” certificate. The rider’s license, registration and insurance information will be collected for helmet effectiveness research by the IIMS and the rider will receive a gift certificate worth $150 towards a replacement helmet. Each rider who receives a “Pro Rider” or “Saved by the Helmet” certificate from the program will be entered in a drawing for a trip for four to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla.

According to Dale Broadhead, IIMS President, “Our goal is to surprise proactive motorcyclists with a positive roadside stop experience and commend them for making the responsible choice [of wearing a helmet.]” Broadhead anticipates more than 50,000 stops nationwide over a three-month period will result in valuable demographic information for IIMS research. “We’ll use the statistical information we gather to further promote helmets to state and federal agencies,” he said.

Agencies in states without a mandatory helmet law interested in participating in the program are asked to call 202-333-3456 for a grant application packet. The deadline for applications is April 31, 2006.

MMM is shocked and saddened by the IIMS and NMTSA blatant disregard for the rights of riders. We suggest that concerned citizens call and voice their concern. We just want to ride our machines without getting hassled by the Man.

M.M.M.

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