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Sep 20, 2002

AMA Testifies On Streetbike Emissions At EPA Hearing

From a press release issued by the AMA:<BR><BR>AMA Testifies Before EPA on Streetbike Emissions Rules<BR><BR>PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) told the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that the rideability, fuel economy, and reliability of motorcycles must not be compromised by the agency's proposed new<BR>road-bike emissions standards.<BR><BR>In testimony before the EPA in Ypsilanti, Mich., on Sept. 17, Edward Moreland, AMA vice president for government relations, and Sean Maher, AMA director of state affairs, spelled out the AMA's concerns related to the proposed rules in the areas of safety, cost, performance, rider modifications to motorcycles, and the preservation of air-cooled motors.<BR><BR>"Motorcycling enthusiasts are willing to do their share to improve air quality, but not at the expense of the destruction of the unique vehicles many seek to preserve," Moreland said. "A proper balance must be achieved so that all benefit from this rulemaking process. To do otherwise is shortsighted and counterproductive."<BR><BR>Moreland told the EPA officials that the AMA "strongly disagrees" with the EPA's contention that street-legal motorcycles are "significant contributors" to air pollution. He also suggested that small-volume motorcycle manufacturers be given a couple of extra years to meet the first phase of the emissions requirements, and be exempt from the second phase.<BR><BR>This, he said, "will ensure a haven for the continued, but limited, production of air-cooled motorcycle engines, which the AMA and the motorcycling community view as a historical and cultural icon of motorcycling in America."<BR><BR>Moreland also told the officials that the AMA is pleased the EPA isn't planning to change current law to make it tougher for riders to modify their motorcycles. "The AMA believes the existing amti-tampering provisions are sufficient."<BR><BR>Moreland also said the AMA is concerned about the potential safety hazards some emissions control equipment could present to motorcycle operators and passengers, "most notably the heat generation associated with catalytic converters," and that the cost of complying with the proposed standard could add to the retail price to a less-expensive machine, which could reduce sales and lead to fewer choices for consumers.<BR><BR>The EPA is about to implement revised national emissions standards for new road motorcycles that would require those bikes to meet strict emissions standards with 2006 models. The federal standards would be the same as those adopted by the state of California, but would go into effect two years after California's standards.<BR><BR>The first tier of the new national standards would go into effect in 2006 and the second tier would be in place for 2010.<BR><BR>The new national emissions standards are expected to result in an increased use of fuel injection and catalytic converters on new motorcycles. Some motorcycles sold in the United States already meet California's strict 2008 standard, which is the same as the planned federal EPA 2010 standard.<BR><BR>The new California standard that begins with the 2004 model year, and the planned federal standard that would take effect for the 2006 model year, require new motorcycles to emit no more than 1.4 grams per kilometer traveled of hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides, and 12 grams of carbon monoxide.<BR><BR>The California standard for 2008, which would also be the national standard beginning in 2010, sets a limit of 0.8 grams per kilometer of hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides and 12 grams per kilometer of carbon monoxide.<BR><BR>The current federal emissions standards for street motorcycles are 5.0 grams of hydrocarbons and 12 grams of carbon monoxide per kilometer traveled.<BR><BR>The EPA is accepting written comments on its proposed street motorcycle emissions rules until Nov. 8. You can e-mail comments to, or later this month go to the Rapid Response Center at the AMA website at to send comments. You can see the rules in the "Protecting Your Right to Ride" part of the website.