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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American Motorcyclist Association Raises Questions About New Federal Transportation Bill

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) is asking some pointed questions related to motorcycling priorities following a news conference by a powerful U.S. House committee chairman.

Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, held a news conference on July 7 to roll out some of the priorities that he intends to include in his forthcoming proposed national transportation bill. If it is introduced, approved by the full Congress and signed into law by the president, the bill would guide federal transportation spending for the next six years.

Mica’s proposal would spend only $230 billion, far less than the $566 billion sought by President Obama’s administration.

In a letter to Mica dated July 11, AMA Washington Representative Rick Podliska outlined the AMA’s position on a variety of issues crucial to motorcyclists and asked several questions in light of the proposed spending cuts.

For example, Podliska asked whether Mica’s proposal would: bar states from using federal funds for motorcycle-only traffic checkpoints; continue to prohibit lobbying at the state level by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA); continue to designate funds for motorcycle rider education and awareness programs; and continue the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) which uses a modest amount of the revenue collected from fuel taxes paid by off-highway riders to help pay for state trail projects.

AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman has previously stated that abolishing the RTP program would effectively create a tax increase on off-highway riders (OHV) because the RTP funds would no longer be designated for a program that benefits motorized users.

Podliska also noted that Mica, during his news conference, discussed “performance measures” as a way to improve state highway safety efforts. Podliska asked whether performance measures would be applied to states with high motorcycle crash rates so that those states would be required to spend more federal funding to reduce the number of crashes.

In addition, Podliska wrote that Mica appeared to be pushing for more public-private partnerships. Podliska asked whether Mica’s proposals would, for example, require private companies operating public roads to continue to allow motorcycles to use those roads.

To read the letter, click here:http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/Libraries/Rights_Documents_Federal/7_11_11_Chairman_Mica_MC_Priorities_Letter.sflb.ashx?download=true

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