WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Park Service Centennial Act was signed into law by President Obama on Dec. 16. The act provides the National Park Service with new resources that will help it address a $12 billion maintenance backlog. Among other provisions, the law allows the agency to use youth conservation corps and volunteers to aid national park operations.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The AMA is demanding that the U.S. Department of Transportation include motorcyclists in discussing and planning the nation's policies and regulations for vehicle-to-vehicle communications technology in new cars. "We certainly recognize and appreciate the potential for improved safety as vehicles communicate while in operation," said Wayne Allard, AMA vice president of government relations. "But we want to ensure that the detection and response sensors and software can detect motorcyclists and respond appropriately." The DOT issued a proposed rule in December that would advance the deployment of connected vehicle technologies throughout the nation's light-vehicle fleet. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking would mandate V2V communication technology on all new light-duty vehicles, enabling new crash-avoidance applications that, once fully deployed, could prevent hundreds of thousands of crashes every year by helping vehicles "talk" to each other.
MADERA COUNTY, Calif. - Local officials are continuing with plans for a 956-acre off-highway-vehicle park in O'Neals and have signed a lease with the landowner for $1 a month to keep potential buyers at bay, according to the Sierra Star newspaper. The county plans to review the project area for potential effects on Native American sites while staff members pursue grant funding. Four tribes, including Table Mountain and Chukchansi, have historic connections to the Blackhawk Ranch property where the site is located. The proposed park was nearing approval of state grants to begin required environmental studies until the Federal Highway Administration delayed it over concerns about the National Historic Preservation Act, which mandates a review.
ST. GEORGE, Utah - The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is reviewing its Arizona OHV policies and has scheduled five meetings in January to listen to the community. The National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council and the BLM are working together to develop a National Motorized Recreation Action Plan that will help the BLM develop individual state strategies for providing high quality OHV opportunities. These meetings are intended to allow riders to share their thoughts on OHV activities on BLM land and how the BLM can improve the OHV experience. The meetings are scheduled for 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
- Jan. 23: Red Lion, 850 S. Bluff St., St. George, Utah
- Jan. 24: Ramada Kingman, 3100 E. Andy Divine Ave. Kingman, Ariz.
- Jan. 25: Quartzite Community Center, 295 Chandler St., Quartzite, Ariz.
- Jan. 26: Sheraton Tucson Hotel & Suites, 5151 E. Grant Road, Tucson, Ariz.
- Jan. 27: Coffinger Park Rec Center, 175 E. Swilling Ave., Wickenburg, Ariz.
YAKIMA, Wash. - The Wagon Wheel OHV Club received a $19,398 Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative grant for its 2017 Patterson Park Trail Project in cooperation with the Blanco Ranger District of the White River National Forest. The grant also provides hand tools, chainsaws, safety equipment, and two small dump trailers to use for annual trail clearing and maintenance, and to implement special trail projects. A storage unit will also be purchased through the grant.
MADISON, Wis. - The state Department of Natural Resources approved a plan for a former ammunition plant that includes part-time off-highway-vehicle use. The Sauk Prairie State Recreation Area, once the site of the Badger Army Ammunition Plant, covers about 3,900 acres. The state plan calls for converting 50 percent of the area's trails for off-road motorcycles six days per year. AMA Wisconsin State Chapter Coordinator Bryan Much was instrumental in getting the single-track trails open to motorcyclists. Much, also president of the Wisconsin Off-Highway Motorcycle Association, said riders often have to travel to other states to ride off road and allowing riding six days a year in Sauk Prairie isn't too much to ask. "We're talking about sharing and taking turns," he said.
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - Continental, known primary for its tires, is introducing swarm technology to motorcycling at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The company says its eHorizon technology for two-wheelers connects bikers, offers a shared platform to motorcyclist communities and allows motorcyclists to share route information. Swarm intelligence continuously supplies the digital map in the backend with accurate and up-to-date information. "The stored data is collated in the cloud and made available to all motorcyclists," said Ralf Lenninger, head of Continental's Intelligent Transportation Systems. "As a result, the eHorizon system informs bikers in advance of obstacles along their route, such as construction zones, accidents, slippery conditions, or traffic jams. Having this information can enhance safety, not only for motorcyclists, but also for other road users."
COLUMBUS, Ohio - DN 2.0 LLC has acquired Dealernews from UBM. The company intends to relaunch the 51-year-old powersports media brand with a new mission and new utilities to serve franchised and non-franchised powersports retailers and service shops in the United States and Canada. A new website is planned for Dealernews to provide business news and industry education for powersports retail dealers and service and performance businesses. DN 2.0 LLC's founder and President is Bob Althoff, principal owner of A.D. Farrow Co. Harley-Davidson in Columbus. Chairman and co-founder is Stan Simpson, past chairman of the AMA and former owner of JRJ Sports Center in Cibolo, Texas.
TOKYO - Asian ride-hailing service Grab has secured an investment from Honda Motor Co. as part of a deal to collaborate on its motorbike-hailing service, in the latest auto industry tie-up of its type. The two companies plan to form a partnership to develop the ride-sharing technology and related driver education programs. Grab's services include taxi and motorbike-hailing, carpooling, delivery and mobile payments.
TOKYO - Honda and Alphabet's Waymo are in discussions about integrating Waymo's self-driving technology into Honda cars. This technical collaboration between Honda researchers and Waymo's self-driving technology team will allow both companies to learn about the integration of fully self-driving sensors, software and computer into Honda vehicles. As part of the discussion on technical collaboration, Honda could initially provide Waymo with vehicles modified to accommodate Waymo's self-driving technology. These vehicles would join Waymo's fleet, which is being tested across four U.S. cities.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - ZEV has begun sales of its LRC-X Super Scooter, with more speed and range than its previous electric scooters. The LRC-X promised a range of 180 miles at 55 mph and 100 miles at 70 mph. To encourage customers to race their LRC-X at the local IHRA dragstrip, ZEV offers a performance controller package that allows customers to set their bikes for race mode. MSPR for the new scooter is $15,950.
LONDON - Motorcyclists in the United Kingdom are partnering with Highways England and the National Police Chief's Council to make practical changes to the nation's road network for motorcyclist safety. A government white paper titled Realizing the Motorcycling Opportunity: A Motorcycle Safety and Transport Policy Framework identified key factors for making roads more biker-friendly, including road user awareness, safe infrastructure and education. Some of the proposed changes are using rider-friendly barriers and road surfaces, removing unnecessary road signs, promptly cleaning up of diesel spills, repositioning pillars and using non-slip manhole covers. The group also will promote safety messages and create awareness about motorcycles and scooters.
MELBOURNE, Australia - The Environment Protection Authority Victoria is cracking down on owners of motorcycles with modified exhausts after 12 percent of noisy-vehicle complaints since January 2014 concerned motorcycles, AutoEvolution.com reports. Harley-Davidson owners were found to be the top culprits. Yamaha, Honda and Kawasaki are the other brands to receive more than 20 notices. The authority issued notices to 465 owners, requiring them to have their bikes tested and to make any repairs or modifications to make them compliant with the Environment Protection Act of 1970 and the Environment Protection (Vehicle Emissions) Regulations of 2013. The law calls for a maximum of 94 decibels for motorcycles built before 2005 or since 2005 with a modified exhaust. "A bike's specific stationary noise test information must be displayed on the vehicle for motorbikes manufactured from March 1, 1988," said Chris Webb, EPA regulatory practice and strategy executive director. Motorcycles built before March 1, 1988, must come in at 100 decibels or lower.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio - The AMA has announced the nominees for the 2016 AMA Championship Banquet awards, which recognize individuals and organizations that excelled in AMA-sanctioned competition and recreational activity during the year. AMA members helped select the winners of the competition categories with their votes, including the prestigious AMA Athlete of the Year honor. Award winners will be announced at the 2016 AMA Championship Banquet on Saturday, Jan. 21, at the Hilton Downtown Columbus in Columbus, Ohio. Class champions from national and regional motorcycle and ATV championships also will be honored with No. 1 plates. Second- and third-place finishers will receive awards, as well. The AMA also will recognize AMA-chartered clubs and promoters that raised the bar for AMA-sanctioned activity in 2016.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio - The AMA welcomes the support of GasGas North America, which will provide an AMA membership along with every new 2017 GasGas enduro or trials motorcycle purchased in the United States, effective retroactively to Dec. 1, 2016. GasGas says the program is designed to help support the AMA's membership efforts and to get every GasGas owner started off on the right foot as a member of the largest motorcycle enthusiast membership association in the country. The membership program is available to those who have purchased a new 2017 GasGas model since Dec. 1. For GasGas customers who are existing AMA members, GasGas will cover an additional year of their membership dues. To activate their AMA membership, or to extend an existing membership by one year, new GasGas purchasers should call (800) 262-5646.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio - The AMA 2016 AMA Motorcyclists of the Year are U.S. World Trophy Team members Taylor Robert, Kailub Russell, Thad DuVall and Layne Michael. On Oct. 16, 2016, they won the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme's International Six Days Enduro, a feat no team of American motorcyclists had ever before accomplished. The AMA Motorcyclist-or Motorcyclists-of the Year is the individual or group of individuals who have had the largest positive impact on motorcycling in the calendar year. Since 1913, the ISDE has invited the countries of the world to send their best racers. It is a crown that has until now eluded American racers. The 2016 ISDE was held Oct. 11-16 in Navarra, Spain.