by Thomas Day
Stillwater Residents Cry “Shut the . . . Up!”
On May 1, 2007, loud motorcycles will be ticketed in Stillwater, MN. Apparently, this move was initiated when the Washington County Historic Courthouse Advisory Committee passed a resolution which asked the City Administration to enforce noise regulations regarding motorcycles and cars. The result is that Stillwater will be enforcing existing “non-compliant exhaust systems” laws and issuing citations and fines beginning this spring. As of this printing, MMM has been unable to obtain specific information regarding the criteria Stillwater Police will use to identify “non-compliant” exhausts. Neither the Stillwater Mayor or the Police office have returned MMM’s calls.
If the local regulations don’t provide police with decibel measurement equipment, I suppose Stillwater police could use the stamped “For closed course only” or “Not legal for street use” information on the pipe itself. Since any modification made to the engine, intake, exhaust system, or driveline of a motorcycle made since 1979 puts the modifier in violation of the federal Clean Air Act of 1979 and makes that person (or business) subject to a maximum fine of $10,000 per day, it seems to us that identifying “non-compliance” is pretty simple.
California Bags the James Gang
The California Air Resources Board whacked Jesse James (West Coast Choppers, manufacturers of “the ultimate boy toy for the rich and famous”) with a $271,250 fine for bikes built between 1998 and 2005 because those machines didn’t have state certified emissions equipment. The CARB has also brought charges against 20 other customizers. James’ creations were “bikes that were spewing hydrocarbons at up to 10 times the state limits,” according to Paul Jacobs, chief of the board’s Mobile Sources Enforcement branch. The always macho James co-owns a politically correct burger joint near his shop that brags a rack of solar panels, uses biodegradable paper products, and sells no-preservative meats, organic dairy, and produce. He’s also claiming to be developing a hydrogen powered motorcycle (politically incorrectly named “Hydro-Hell”) that he claims will go 250mph.
Maybe he can get 200mph-Tilly to ride it when James goes for the hydro-powered land speed record?
Rider Escorts Needed
The Lifetime Fitness Triathlon and MMM need you and your motorcycle this July 14th. For those not familiar with the Lifetime Triathlon, it is a nationally televised race that attracts top triathletes from around the world. 25 volunteer riders are needed to help with transportation of race officials during the bicycling portion of the triathlon.
Riders will act as escorts for the race marshals who monitor the race to help keep it fair and safe. As an escort, you will have a race marshal assigned to you and will be responsible for taking them around the race course. Riders may also be dispatched to various spots along the course to transport officials as needed. The course is laid out on the parkways and scenic roads around South Minneapolis and St. Paul, and is closed to all motorized traffic except yours. Requirements for volunteers include availability on the morning of July 14th from 8am till around noon, and once before the race date to pre-ride the course. You must be comfortable with carrying a passenger on a complex course and be able to maneuver around various obstacles. Larger touring, sport-touring and cruiser motorcycles are preferred for the comfort of you and the race marshal. Quiet exhaust is a must, as the race is televised and loud exhaust disrupts the TV audio crews. Interested riders should e-mail MMM with the following information: Your name, email address, Phone, T-shirt size and Type of motorcycle. Or call the MMM office at 763.315.5396.
No More Rockets in Britain?
According to Reuters, a committee of Members of Parliament is considering putting limits on motorcycle top speeds. The report states, “”Motorcycle accident rates are far too high. They have been for 10 years. It is time to consider radical action to tackle this problem.” That radical action may be a 65mph top speed.
British motorcyclists are gearing up their political action machines to explain why they need bikes (like the one Jesse James is building) that can break the 200mph barrier.