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Jan 6, 2001

Vague AMA Rules Invite Subjective Enforcement, Says Bike Builder

Attack Performance Racing owner Richard Stanboli says an AMA ruling on what constitutes a legal Formula Xtreme bike is vague and confusing, and allows the type of subjective enforcement that is typical of AMA Pro Racing.

A new rule for 2001 requires that at least 50 percent of the frame of an eligible machine be used, but the rule doesn't define how "50 percent" is measured.

"I asked for clarification on the new rule," Stanboli told Roadracing World. "Is that volume, mass, weight, length, surface area? They didn't really clarify it as much as I would've liked." Instead, Stanboli said, AMA officials told him that the Yamaha YZF-R1/R7 hybrid he built for the 2000 season and is now trying to sell would be legal even though Stanboli admits that it has nowhere near 50 percent of the original YZF-R1 frame by any possible definition. According to Stanboli, the AMA men said that they just needed to see 50 percent of the original frame to determine that it is from the original, eligible motorcycle.

"This class was designed to be an unlimited class with unlimited modifications," said Stanboli. "It's based around the fact that you could run a big engine in a small chassis like the old 7/11 Suzukis. We went after that class with the same intention. Now they've muddied up the water even more.

"Now that all of the major motorcycle manufacturers have 1000-based motorcycles that are competitive, the AMA can go one of two ways. They can say screw it and say that they all have to be 1000-spec motorcycles and have Superbike-type frame rules that say that you can add bracing but can't remove. Or they can say, I don't care if you build a prototype chassis as long as the engine comes out of a bike that is a legitimate streetbike. But they just said that they need to see 50 percent, which makes it real subjective. Either the rules are made to give those guys a lot of discretion, or they didn't think it through."