Largest Honda Dealer in the US Under Investigation

Southern Honda Powersports, the largest Honda dealer with locations in Tennessee and Florida is under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA),  the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Nashville and the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office for allegedly selling unsafe motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and dirt bikes, according to a report out today in USA Today.    The report says a consultant and former employee, along with 9 other employees all say the dealership sold bikes that were under recall, (without fixing them first) and employees did not have the training to assemble the ATV’s and motorcycles the dealer sold to the public.

The reports says  that there are potentially 25,000 vehicles that are in customers possessions that are potentially unsafe.

The owner, Tim Kelly, says there “is no substance” to the’ allegations, and says alleged assembly problems are “utter balderdash.”

Read the USA Today story here

Celebrating 110 Years With Indian Motorcycle Company at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

Indian Motorcycle’s entire 2012 lineup will be displayed in Sturgis for the 71st annual motorcycle rally.  Indian Motorcycle accessories will also be on display with apparel for purchase. The show truck is located on the corner of 4th and Lazelle Streets in downtown Sturgis

In addition to the events display, Indian Motorcycle is inviting all 1901- 2011 Indian owners to park their motorcycles by the Indian Motorcycle Display to celebrate the 110 years of the company and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow Indian motorcycle owners.  Indian Motorcycle Company is proud to sponsor a breakfast and self-guided ride to the Sturgis half-mile flat track races for all Indian Motorcycle Owners. The ride will start with breakfast at the First Presbyterian Church, located at 1319 Junction Ave, Sturgis, South Dakota 57785 between 9:30am- 10:30am. The ride will leave from downtown Sturgis wind through scenic Spearfish Canyon, ending at the 1/2mile Flat Track Races in Sturgis. Please join us for a fun day of riding and racing. For more information the flat track races visit www.jackpinegypsies.com

 Indian motorcycle is the featured brand at the Knuckle Saloon, located at 931 1st Street in Sturgis . Friday August 12th, starting at 6pm is an Indian gathering. This is open to the public, and we invite Indian Motorcycle owners to show off rides and share some stories.

For more information on the Indian Motorcycle event schedule, dealership locations and openings, the motorcycles, accessories, apparel and gifts visit www.indianmotorcycle.com

 About Polaris

With annual 2010 sales of $1.99 billion, Polaris designs, engineers, manufactures and markets innovative, high quality off-road vehicles (ORVs), including all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and the Polaris RANGER® for recreational and utility use, snowmobiles, motorcycles and on-road electric powered vehicles.

Polaris is a recognized leader in the power sports industry, among the global sales leaders for both snowmobiles and ORVs.  The Company has established a presence in the heavyweight cruiser and touring motorcycle market with Victory motorcycles and the acquisition of the Indian motorcycle brand. Additionally, Polaris continues to invest in the Global on-road low speed vehicle industry with internally developed vehicles and the acquisition of Global Electric Motorcars (GEM).  Polaris enhances the riding experience with a complete line of Pure Polaris apparel, accessories and parts, available at Polaris dealerships.

Polaris Industries Inc. trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “PII”, and the Company is included in the S&P Mid-Cap 400 stock price index.

Information about the complete line of Polaris products, apparel and vehicles accessories are available from authorized Polaris dealers or anytime at www.polarisindustries.com

American Motorcyclist Association Wants Motorcycles Included in Study of Ethanol-Blended Fuel

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) is asking a key U.S. House panel to include motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) in any future study of ethanol-blended gasoline.

In a letter sent July 11 to the House Energy and Environment Subcommittee, the AMA, along with its partner organization, the All-Terrain Vehicle Association (ATVA), urged subcommittee Chairman Andy Harris (R-Md.) “that on- or off-highway motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) be part of any scientific study by the NAS” related to ethanol-blended gasoline. NAS stands for the National Academy of Sciences.

The subcommittee held a hearing on July 7 entitled “Hitting the Ethanol Blend Wall: Examining the Science on E15.” The hearing focused on E15, a new gasoline formulation that contains up to 15 percent alcohol by volume. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in October 2010 approved the use of E15 in model year 2007 and newer light-duty vehicles (cars, light-duty trucks and medium-duty passenger vehicles). In January 2011, the EPA added model year 2001-2006 light-duty vehicles to the approved list.

No on- or off-highway motorcycles or ATVs are currently approved.

At its hearing, the subcommittee indicated that it may require the EPA to arrange with the NAS to study a full range of issues related to E15.

In the letter, AMA Washington Representative Rick Podliska said the AMA and ATVA have concerns about: E15 being put in motorcycles or ATVs mistakenly and damaging engines; the continued availability of gasoline that has no ethanol, or gasoline with only a 10 percent blend that is safe for use in motorcycles and ATVs; the possibility that “blender pumps” — which dispense multiple grades of gasoline through a single hose — could introduce enough ethanol into gasoline to be used in a motorcycle or ATV to damage the vehicle; and that ethanol absorbs water, which could be harmful to motorcycles and ATVs.

“In conclusion, to address our concerns, the AMA and ATVA urge that on- or off-highway motorcycles and ATVs be part of any scientific study by NAS,” Podliska wrote. “Not only should the study focus on the short- and long-term impacts on vehicles and engines, but should consider financial implications of increased ethanol use in gasoline on consumers; fuel producers, distributors and retailers; vehicle and engine manufacturers, dealers and service facilities; and the environment.”

To read the letter, click here:http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/Libraries/Rights_Documents_Federal/Harris_NAS_Ethanol_7-11-2011.sflb.ashx?download=true

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About the American Motorcyclist Association
Since 1924, the AMA has protected the future of motorcycling and promoted the motorcycle lifestyle. AMA members come from all walks of life, and they navigate many different routes on their journey to the same destination: freedom on two wheels. As the world’s largest motorcycling rights organization, the AMA advocates for motorcyclists’ interests in the halls of local, state and federal government, the committees of international governing organizations, and the court of public opinion. Through member clubs, promoters and partners, the AMA sanctions more motorsports competition and motorcycle recreational events than any other organization in the world. AMA members receive money-saving discounts from dozens of well-known suppliers of motorcycle services, gear and apparel, bike rental, transport, hotel stays and more. Through its support of the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, the AMA preserves the heritage of motorcycling for future generations. For more information, please visit AmericanMotorcyclist.com

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Federal Funding Language Would Block ‘lead law’ Enforcement

"Small businesses that sell small off-highway vehicles also suffer under the CPSIA," he said. "For the safety of children, and for the health of small businesses, the AMA strongly urges the adoption of this language."

PICKERINGTON, Ohio –A key federal agency can’t enforce a ban on the sale of kids’ dirtbikes and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) under language inserted into a federal government funding measure in Congress, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports.

On June 16, Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) got language inserted into the House Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill for the next fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, that prevents the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) from using money to enforce lead-content limits on kids’ off-highway vehicles (OHVs).

The limits are contained in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008, which is known as the lead law.

The CPSIA bans the making, importing, distributing or selling of any product intended for children 12 and under that contains more than a specified amount of lead in any accessible part. It also requires all children’s products to undergo periodic testing by independent laboratories approved by the CPSC, which is responsible for implementing the law.

Kid-sized dirtbikes and ATVs contain amounts of lead that exceed the parts-per-million levels allowed under the CPSIA.

The CPSC has delayed enforcing key portions of the law until after the end of the year. Unless the CPSIA is changed by then, the sale of child-sized dirtbikes and ATVs will effectively be banned.

The Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill provides annual funding for several key federal government agencies, including the CPSC. If the full House eventually adopts the language, then it still needs to clear the Senate before the bill goes to the president to be signed into law.

“While the original legislation was intended to keep kids safe from lead content in toys, the overreaching enforcement wound up putting them at risk by forcing them to use larger, more dangerous machines that are intended only for adults,” said Rehberg, who is a member of the House Appropriations Committee.

“While I’m working on a permanent fix to get rid of this dangerous regulation, my appropriations language will buy more time,” he said.

Rehberg was referring to H.R. 412, the Kids Just Want to Ride Act, which he introduced to exempt kids’ OHVs from the lead-content restrictions of the CPSIA.

Rob Dingman, AMA president and CEO, thanked Rehberg for his efforts.

“This language is an important step in efforts to lift the ban on the sale of kid-sized dirtbikes and ATVs imposed by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008,” Dingman said. “America’s young riders need to be able to ride appropriately sized machines to help them stay safe. If those machines aren’t available, then they may ride bigger machines that may be difficult for them to control.

To urge your federal lawmakers to support the Rehberg language in the House Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill, and to support H.R. 412, the Kids Just Want to Ride Act, go tohttp://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/rights/issueslegislation

50 lawmakers now support The Kids Just Want to Ride Act

Congress Needs to Clarify Lead Ban Provision in Bill

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — Legislation that would exempt kids’ dirtbikes and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) from the “lead law” that effectively bans them at the end of the year is gaining momentum on Capitol Hill, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports.

There are now 50 co-sponsors to H.R. 412: The Kids Just Want to Ride Act, which was introduced by Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) The bill seeks to exempt kids’ off-highway vehicles (OHVs) from the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008, which is also known as the lead law.

The CPSIA bans the making, importing, distributing or selling of any product intended for children 12 and under that contains more than a specified amount of lead in any accessible part. It also requires all children’s products undergo periodic testing by independent laboratories approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which is responsible for implementing the law.

The CPSC has delayed enforcing key portions of the law until after the end of the year. Unless the CPSIA is changed by then, the sale of child-sized dirtbikes and ATVs will effectively be banned.

“As a motorcycling enthusiast myself for many years, I fully respect the importance of improving the safety of kids who ride off-highway motorcycles and ATVs,” said Rep. Reid Ribble (R-Wis.), one of the latest co-sponsors. “But this is just another example of regulations creating the exact opposite effect of their original intent. This law actually makes kids less safe by eliminating appropriately sized off-highway motorcycles and ATVs, and forces young riders onto larger and more powerful machines not designed for them.

“I’m proud to support the Kids Just Want to Ride Act and know that it will keep youth-sized motorcycles and ATVs available for safe and responsible use as they are intended,” Ribble said.

Rep. Jeff Landry (R-La.), another co-sponsor, said: “The Kids Just Want to Ride Act will fix the illogical mandate of the Consumer Product Safety Commission and will once again allow our children to safely enjoy outdoor recreational vehicles. I am proud to be a co-sponsor of this common-sense legislation to protect our youth while working to create jobs.”

Ed Moreland, AMA senior vice president for government relations, thanked lawmakers for their bipartisan backing of the bill. He noted it’s important to get as many co-sponsors as possible to increase the bill’s chances of passage.

Moreland urged all concerned riders and parents to contact their federal lawmakers to ask for support.

The easiest way to contact lawmakers is through the Rights section of the AMA website at AmericanMotorcyclist.com.

In addition to Ribble and Landry, the latest co-sponsors of the Kids Just Want to Ride bill include Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Joe Courtney (D-Conn.), Mark Critz (D-Pa.), Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.), John Kline (R-Minn.), Tom Latham (R-Iowa), Pete Olson (R-Texas), Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.), Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) and Joe Wilson (R-S.C.).

For more information, go to http://capwiz.com/amacycle/go/HR412

Two Wheels Safer Than Four

Baltimore:  In research that may surprise off-road riding enthusiasts and safety experts, a Johns Hopkins team has found that crashes involving ATVs — four-wheeled all-terrain vehicles — are significantly more dangerous than crashes involving two-wheeled off-road motorcycles, such as those used in extreme sports like Motocross.

The Results

The research, to be presented at the American College of Surgeons’ 2010 Clinical Congress in Washington, D.C., this week, found that victims of ATV crashes were 50 percent more likely to die of their injuries than similarly injured victims of off-road motorcycle crashes. ATV victims were also 55 percent more likely than injured motorcyclists to be admitted to a hospital’s intensive-care unit and 42 percent more likely to be placed on a ventilator.

“There’s a belief that four wheels must be safer than two,” says Cassandra Villegas, M.P.H., a research fellow at the Johns Hopkins Center for Surgery Trials and Outcomes. “But we found the opposite. People involved in ATV crashes are more likely to die or suffer serious trauma.”

The growing popularity of off-road vehicles in the United States has led to a steep rise in the number of injuries resulting from their use. In 2000, Villegas notes, there were 92,200 injuries involving ATVs or off-road motorcycles; in 2007, the last year for which data is available, there were 150,900 injuries. But little rigorous research has been done to determine which vehicles may be riskier than others.

ATVs and off-road motorcycles are designed for recreational use, not use on city streets, and typically are ridden on trails, sand dunes and other rough terrain.

Study Details

In the first study to compare the severity of injuries sustained by ATV versus off-road motorcycle riders, Villegas and senior author Adil H. Haider, M.D., M.P.H., an assistant professor of surgery at Johns Hopkins, reviewed data on nearly 60,000 patients who suffered an injury after a crash involving one of the vehicles between 2002 and 2006.

The researchers say they don’t know why ATV crashes lead to greater injury and mortality, noting they cannot trace the differences solely to helmet use even though 60 percent of motorcyclists were wearing helmets as compared to 30 percent of those in ATV crashes. Even when both types of riders had been wearing helmets, ATV riders still experienced worse injuries and outcomes than motorcyclists, Villegas says. Only a few states have laws requiring the use of a helmet when riding an ATV, says Villegas, and while motorcycle helmet laws are also determined by states, many more have helmet-use laws for motorcycles.

Possible Factors

The researchers say it’s possible that ATV riders wear less protective clothing than off-road motorcyclists when they head out, sometimes little more than shorts and a T-shirt. Another contributing factor could be the significant weight of ATVs, which can cause severe crush injuries when they land atop victims and lead to a greater likelihood of internal organ or extremity damage, Villegas says.

Villegas says that these findings may allow parents, legislators, educators and those in the ATV industry to make better decisions about the use of the off-road vehicles. She also says that studies like these could help ATV manufacturers design and implement increased safety technology in ATVs, similar to how automobile manufacturers have used research to make safer cars and trucks.

Hopkins researchers Stephen M. Bowman, Ph.D.; Eric B. Schneider, Ph.D.; Elliott R. Haut, M.D.; Kent A. Stevens, M.D., M.P.H.; and David T. Efron, M.D., contributed to this study.