Interesting things are afoot with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as the governmental body is seemingly under the impression that it can regulate the modification of racing vehicles that were originally made for on-road use. As such, the EPA is looking to update legal language to solidify that opinion.
If granted, this would mean that any production-based racing series, both cars and motorcycles, would be subject to EPA emissions regulations, and as such aftermarket modification to those machines would be greatly reduced.
In essence, that sport bike that you take to the race track, whether or not it ever spins a wheel on the road, could be deemed illegal if you modify it from its EPA-certified form, i.e. add an exhaust, intake, etc. Needless to say, this is causing quite the stir.
The proposed rule change – found tucked away in the “Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles—Phase 2” – reads as follows:
EPA is proposing in 40 CFR 1037.601(a)(3) to clarify that the Clean Air Act does not allow any person to disable, remove, or render inoperative (i.e., tamper with) emission controls on a certified motor vehicle for purposes of competition.
If the EPA adopts this amended language, it would make it illegal for an owner to convert their street-legal motorcycles into a race bike, if doing so changes the motorcycle’s emissions output.
The proposed rule would also make it illegal for a company to sell any sort of aftermarket part that affects the emissions of the motorcycles, even if that motorcycle is used exclusively on the race track.
If all the alarm bells are going off in your head right now, there is good news. The EPA will make a finally ruling on the provision later this year.
Until then, the EPA will be monitoring public comment on the proposed rule change. One way for you to voice your concern over this proposed rule is to sign this Whitehouse petition. Calling your federal representatives might help too.