Thursday, May 7, 2009

If you’ve been keeping up with the issues concerning the Powersports industry, you are most likely familiar with the 2 largest issues- the lead law from the Consumer Products Safety Act and the bill in the U.S. House of Representatives that could potentially make 24 million acres of public lands inaccessible to off-highway vehicles. Companies and organizations across the Powersports industry have been rallying everyone to write their congressmen and respective committees in an attempt to thwart these rulings. The American Motorcycle Association (AMA) and Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) have been instrumental in giving the industry a voice.

Consumer Products Safety Act Lead Law
On Friday, May 1, the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a stay of enforcement on youth motorized recreational vehicles until May 1, 2011. The companies who brought the petition to the committee included American Suzuki, Polaris, the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America, and Yamaha USA. The stay applies to only battery terminals with up to 100% lead and components made with metal alloys- steel up to 0.35% lead content, aluminum up to 0.4% lead content, and copper up to 4.0% lean content. By November 1, 2009, the CPSC committee requires each manufacturer to have a plan in place to reduce the lead exposure from the components contained in the stay.

This decision was based on many factors presented to the CPSC. There was a fear that more youth riders would be on adult sized vehicles, increasing the risk of injury or death. Argued by the petitioners, by substituting lead in steel, aluminum, and copper alloys, the function, durability, and corrosion resistance could be compromised. This can cause increased injury due to components breaking prematurely.

Though this was a break-through for the industry, it is still technically not legal to sell youth motorcycles and ATV’s. Due to the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), state Attorney Generals can still prosecute violators, despite no fines or penalties from the CPSC. You can check out more about the ruling by going to the AMA website. The AMA has been doing an excellent job keeping everyone up-to-date on the latest developments. You can also voice you opinion from On our home page, we have a link to the MIC to send a message to your congressman to have your voice heard.

Public Land
Another huge issue for the Powersports industry is the bill currently in the U.S. House of Representatives that could potentially make 24 million acres of public land in the western United States inaccessible to off-highway vehicles. The bill was originally proposed by a representative from New York City and currently has no support in the potentially affected states. The AMA Vice President for Government Relations, Ed Moreland has submitted comments on the bill to the House of Representatives. Mr. Moreland argued all public lands are for enjoyment of all Americans. The people who enjoy these lands are not only the nimble and fit, but those with small children, the elderly, and the handicapped. Some of these individuals need the assistance and freedom of an off-highway vehicle or ATV. With no support from the potentially affected areas, should these people not have a say in the matter?

The AMA has also been doing a great job keeping everyone up to date on the developments on the public land issue. Thank you to the AMA for all their hard work!

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