National and Regional News
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act passed the U.S. House on Sept. 26 by voice vote. The bill (H.R. 845) is sponsored by U.S. Reps. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) and Tim Walz (D-Minn.). The legislation would keep more trails across the nation open and accessible by expanding the use of volunteer and partner organizations and by increasing the focus on a selection of priority areas. During a time of shrinking federal budgets, it is important that agencies and the constituents they serve work together to ensure that all Americans can access public lands for diverse uses. This bill would urge the U.S. Forest Service to partner with off-highway-vehicle enthusiasts and other groups to help to reduce the $500 million maintenance backlog on Forest Service land.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio – The American Motorcyclist Association is reaching out to riders across the country to encourage them to become informed about motorcycling issues, ask their candidates where they stand and then Vote Like A Motorcyclist on Election Day, Nov. 8. This year, voters will determine who will reside in the White House for the next four years, who will occupy 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, who will win 34 spots in the U.S. Senate and who will occupy the governor's mansion in 12 states. Important motorcycling issues these politicians are likely to address during their terms in office include increasingly harmful amounts of ethanol in our fuel supply, motorized access to public land, distracted driving, lane splitting, federal exhaust regulations for competition-only bikes, vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology and many others. Check out the Vote Like A Motorcyclist pages.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Historic Vehicle Register Act, introduced by U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), is intended to help preserve the legacy of American cars and motorcycles and the vital role they play in American culture and history. The Act would authorize the U.S. Department of Interior to establish a federal register of historic vehicles to document and preserve records of American automotive and motorcycle history. The Historic Vehicle Association has been working with the Interior Department on the registry proposal since 2013, and the American Motorcyclist Association has been providing support. The project would create a permanent archive of significant historic vehicles within the Library of Congress. Vehicles must be connected to a significant person or event in American history, or have a unique design or rarity, to be eligible for the register.
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – The Off-Road Business Association Inc. is teaming with the University of Nevada Reno to collect important economic information pertaining to off-highway motorized recreation in Nevada. ORBA was awarded a grant by the Nevada Commission on Off-Highway Vehicles to perform an economic impact study to gather and analyze spending habits, demographics, and type of OHV uses. The information will be used in determining the financial impact that OHV users, industry and associations have on the Nevada economy. The survey can be found here.
INDIANAPOLIS – A national study on the economic impact of motorsports is being developed by the Unites States Motorsports Association and Indiana University Purdue University-Indianapolis. The Motorsports Impact Report is designed to highlight the positive aspects of competitive racing. Upon its completion, the report will be issued to the racing industry, and the USMA will present the data to elected officials. The USMA was formed in 2015 to manage this research effort and to represent all forms of racing in the United States.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Motorists are prohibited from entering information on an electronic device while driving, per A.B. 1785, which was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Sept. 26. The law, sponsored by Assemblymember Bill Quirk (D-Hayward), clarifies what it means to “use” an electronic device behind the wheel. The law specifies that inputting information into a device is both distracting to drivers and a violation of the law.
California motorcyclists cited for traffic infractions may take a motorcycle-specific safety program rather than a general driving course under A.B. 1932, which was signed into law in September. The motorcycle safety programs will include instruction about the safe and lawful operation of a motorcycle, in addition to information about other types of vehicles and state traffic laws. The law allows motorcycle safety training programs to obtain licenses as traffic violator schools.
SAN JOSE, Calif. – A zero-emissions off-highway-vehicle park is being touted by Dean Stanford, an engineer at Tesla Motors. His Change.org petition calls for city officials to work with the state Department of Parks and Recreation to develop the OHV park on the former site of the San Jose/Santa Clara waste water treatment plant. The city does not plan to develop the site before 2027, so Stanford is pushing the idea of “an interim demo park on the 40-acre plot already designated as recreation, until the majority of the land designated as ‘flexible space’ is available in 2027.” Stanford says the state and a nonprofit “would do all the work, planning, building and operating the park and even reimburse the city for any resources expended.” He started the petition in an effort to show strong community support for the proposal.
CYPRESS, Calif. – Yamaha Motor Co. is working with U.S. researchers on the use of artificial intelligence to improve motorcycle safety. Yamaha President Hiroyuki Yanagi said in an interview reported in The Japan Times that “the systems may draw on artificial intelligence… that allows humanoid robots to ride motorcycles.” “We want to facilitate driving operations of our motorcycles and reduce the burden on riders to allow them to pay more attention to safety,” Yanagi said. Yamaha has not decided when to put the artificial intelligence technologies to use.
STOCKHOLM – Volvo Car Group and Autoliv are forming a joint venture to develop autonomous driving software. The two Sweden-based companies said the joint venture would have an initial workforce of about 200, drawn from the parent companies. That number is expected to increase to about 600 within two years. The joint venture, which is to be based in Gothenburg, Sweden, will focus on developing algorithms and software for advanced driver assistance systems and highly automated driving systems for use in Volvo cars. The new company also will have sites in Germany and in Southfield, Mich. The partners' ADAS systems should be ready for market by 2019, with the automated driving technology set to debut in 2021.
The technology developed by the joint venture, which the partners want to be operational by the start of 2017, will also be sold by Autoliv to carmakers globally, with revenues shared by both companies. The AMA is working is working to ensure that all driver-assist software developed for cars and trucks is designed to recognize and react appropriately to motorcycles in proximity.
MILWAUKEE – Royal Enfield opened its North American headquarters and first store in Milwaukee in September. Royal Enfield North America unveiled its North American model lineup, featuring single-cylinder engines up to 535cc.The 115-year-old company offers the Bullet 500, Continental GT and Classic 500 models that sell in the $5,000 to $6,000 price range. A division of Eicher Motors Limited, Royal Enfield has created the mid-size motorcycle segment in India and, with a new manufacturing base in Chennai, India, the company is rapidly expanding production.
MILAN, Italy – Honda Motor Europe has confirmed plans to produce an X-ADV adventure scooter and will unveil it Nov. 8 at the EICMA Milan show. The scooter is powered by a 745cc parallel twin engine that produces 54 horsepower and 50 pound-feet of torque. The Dual Clutch Transmission also will be used. Full specifications and intended markets will not be provided until the scooter’s release at the show.
HANOI – The Vietnam capital has set 2025 as the year it will prohibit motorcycles in the city center. The measure is intended to reduce the number of crashes, but some critics fear the city’s public transportation system will be unable to absorb the new demand. Hanoi has 4.9 million motorcycles registered and projects that by 2020 registrations will climb to 7 million. Most of the motorcycles are used for daily transportation and commuting.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio – The American Motorcycle Hall of Fame Class of 2016 honors eight motorcycling greats, who will be inducted during a ceremony in Orlando, Fla., on Oct. 13. The Class of 2016 includes: Indian motorcycle designer and engineer Charles Franklin, racer and tuner Chris Haines, engine builder Dennis Mahan, race frame builder Jeff Cole, AMA road racing legend Miguel Duhamel, desert racer Jack Johnson, motorcycling pioneer Gloria Tramontin-Struck and dirt-track racer Ronnie Jones. The 2016 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, presented by Husqvarna Motorcycles, will be held the first night of the American International Motorcycle Expo, which runs Oct. 13-16 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. The gala event is open to the public and, for the third consecutive year, takes place in conjunction with AIMExpo. AIMExpo brings together consumers, dealers, manufacturers, and the world press in one location for global product launches, demo rides, motorcycling seminars, and much more. Tickets to the 2016 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be available soon at www.americanmotorcyclist.com. For updates on the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, keep an eye on www.americanmotorcyclist.com/hof, as well as the AMA's social media channels, including Facebook (www.facebook.com/AmericanMotorcyclist and www.facebook.com/AMAHallofFame) and Twitter and Instagram (@AMA_Riding).
PICKERINGTON, Ohio – The AIMExpo and the induction ceremony for the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame will be moving to Columbus, Ohio, in 2017. The event at the Greater Columbus Convention Center is scheduled for Sept. 21-24. The AIMExpo brings together dealers, media and consumers and offers programs intended to enhance the trade attendee experience beyond the obvious showcasing of new products and services. The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, dealer education seminars, key networking events and the MotoAmerica Night of Champions are among the featured events.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- The Riders of Kawasaki motorcycle loyalty club has partnered with the AMA, which will provide ROK membership services under the new ROK, powered by the AMA, program. ROK, powered by the AMA, marks the first time the AMA and a motorcycle company have joined forces in a membership-services alliance of this scope. Active ROK members may participate in the new program at no additional cost after completing updated privacy agreements required by both organizations. New and lapsed members can join ROK, powered by the AMA, here. Under the arrangement between KMC and the AMA, ROK members who opt into the new program will continue to receive their ROK member benefits for a full year and also will gain access to the full range of AMA membership benefits, including AMA advocacy efforts, vendor discount programs and an expanded roadside assistance program. Current AMA members who have Kawasaki affinity cards will have the option of joining ROK, powered by the AMA, or receiving a standard AMA membership card. Membership in ROK, powered by the AMA, includes all the benefits of AMA membership, plus discounts on some Kawasaki parts and gear and admission to ROK and Kawasaki events.