The motorcycle industry has found more allies on Capital Hill this week, with the creation of the first “motorcycle caucus” in the United States Senate. Established so motorcycle manufacturers and motorcyclists would have a greater voice in the upper chamber of the American legislature, the Senate Motorcycle Caucus is the work of Senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Gary Peters (D-Michigan). Motorcyclists typically aren’t single-issue voter – not for issues pertaining to motorcycles, at least – but with several important political issues currently affecting the motorcycle industry, the formation of the Senate Motorcycle Caucus comes at an advantageous time.
What do chickens have to do with potatoes? For that matter, what do chickens have to do with steel? And what do both of those things have to do with tires? The answer isn’t as obvious as you may think, and this week everyone in the motorcycle industry is asking themselves what European motorcycles have to do with beef exports. The answer to all these questions is the same though, and it involves the rather unsophisticated motorcycle industry being dragged into the rather complex world of international trade negotiation. Let me explain. What’s the beef? You see for nearly 30 years now, the United States has been battling with the European Union over the prohibition of hormone-raised beef being sold on the European market.
Depending on your geography, the start of snow bike season might finally be here. These modified dirt bikes have snowmobile-like treads at the rear, a ski at the front, and look like an absolute blast in the frozen white stuff.
We’re sure that any time two snow bikes find themselves together, that some form of racing ensues. But now, to make things a bit more legit, the American Motorcyclist Association has officially sanctioned snow bike racing, starting the AMA Championship Snow Bike series in the process.
Summer is coming to an end in Two Enthusiasts Podcast land, and as such Episode 32 starts with some talk of the final track days of the season, before we head off into a discussion about the American Motorcyclist Association.
The prompt for this discussion is the recent kerfuffle over four-gallon minimum fill-ups from blended nozzles (if you don’t know what that means; don’t worry, we get you up to speed on it in the show), and the AMA’s response to this recent business recommendation from the corn lobby.
We examine this issue, and then turn to talk about the AMA as an organization, and whether it is representing the best interests of mainstream motorcyclists.
It’s a pretty interesting conversation, which quite frankly, every motorcycle-owner should examine for themselves, and decide where they fall in terms of how this industry should be lead in the coming years.
As always, you can listen to the show via the embedded SoundCloud player, after the jump, or you can find the show on iTunes (please leave a review) or this RSS feed. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well. Enjoy the show!
Every month, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) releases notes on the various happenings and movements that are occurring in the two-wheeled political landscape. September being no different, one of the AMA’s line items is the return of a four-gallon minimum purchase recommendation of E15 fuel, courtesy of the American Coalition for Ethanol. If this issue sounds familiar, it is because a similar provision was put forward by the EPA back in 2012, but was ultimately withdrawn when it was clear most motorcycle carried only 3-5 gallons of gas, and were not EPA-approved to run E15 fuel. I wasn’t planning on rehashing this story when the AMA’s note came out, but since there have been a few reports with some inaccurate information, I thought it best to address what is going on with E15 fuel this time around.
If you have a modified track-only motorcycle, then we have some news to share that you will enjoy, as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has withdrawn proposed language that would have specifically given it the ability to regulate the emissions of production vehicles that were being used at track days or similar events. The proposed rule caused quite a storm in automotive enthusiast circles, as it would have affected racing and recreational uses of products that have been sold under “race use only” provisions for years. Of course, the larger issue at stake here was the continued selling of race parts to street enthusiasts. Still, since it is hard to find a motorcycle on the road these days that hasn’t seen its emissions equipment modified, it doesn’t surprise us to see the backlash coming from the motorcycling community.
According to the Daytona Beach News-Journal, Danny Eslick (shown above in his mug shot) has resolved his issues from Daytona Bike Week, as the local newspaper reports that Eslick has plead “no contest” to charges that he struck a police officer last week, ahead of the Daytona 200.
In exchange for his plea, Eslick’s charges for battery on a law enforcement officer have been dropped from a felony of the third degree, down to a misdemeanor battery.
This means that Eslick should get a 12-month probation from the court, with early termination set at the six-month mark, which includes provisions for sobriety and counseling. However, that sentence could not be made by Circuit Court Judge Frank Marriott because of a technical matter, as it is not clear how Eslick will serve probation while out-of-state.
This leaves Eslick suspension with the AMA in a bit of limbo, until the terms and process of the probation are figured out by the Florida Department of Corrections.
Danny Eslick will not be racing in the 2016 Daytona 200, as he has been charged with battery on a law enforcement officer, a felony of the third degree in Volusia County. The events leading to Eslick’s arrest transpired around 11:46pm on Monday, March 7th, in Daytona Beach, Florida and during the Daytona Bike Week festivities. In response to Eslick’s arrest, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) and the American Sportbike Racing Association (ASRA) have suspended Eslick from this weekend’s race, after consulting with the Daytona International Speedway. The AMA has levied an additional penalty against Eslick, saying that he will continue to be suspended from all AMA-sanctioned events until the case with the Volusia County Clerk of Circuit Court is resolved.
We are finally seeing some movement from the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) in regards to the EPA’s proposed regulations against converting street vehicles for racing purposes and the sale of aftermarket “race use only” parts.
Today, the AMA published a press release detailing much of the same information we brought you yesterday about the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act of 2016 – better known as the RPM Act.
In its press release, the AMA says that it supports the efforts being made in Congress, and that the motorcycle lobbying group is also working with SEMA to keep EPA regulations for vehicles used in competition as they currently stand.
The AMA also says that its focus is to have language in the RPM Act that would specifically exempt competition motorcycles from EPA regulation, a move that would ensure that MotoAmerica and other race series in the US would continue to operate unrestricted.
For a long time, the Daytona 200 was the USA’s premier road racing event, garnering attention around the world. Over time though, the prestige of the race has waned away, and with DMG handing over AMA Pro Road Racing to MotoAmerica, the race’s stature has come under question.
For 2016 though, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) has given the Daytona 200 its blessing, sanctioning this year’s running of the race.
Officially put on by the American Sportbike Racing Association, the Daytona 200 was little more than a club race when it ran last year. This is due to a variety of factors, one of which was the lack of FIM sanctioning, which only the AMA can grant.
Getting the AMA sanction now means that racers from all over the world, who carry an FIM license, can now compete in the Daytona 200. This means that star racers from Europe and Asia can come to America during bike week and compete on Daytona’s banked walls.