United States – News from the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) is that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has indicated that it would be illegal for U.S. riders to make modifications to their motorcycles exhaust system in racing , thus stripping motorcyclists of the rights to modify their motorcycles as they see fit.
The EPA, which is an agency of the federal government of the United States, created for the purpose of protecting human health and the environment by writing and enforcing regulations in laws written by the United States Congress – legislature of the federal government – basically elected representatives, is accused of attempting to overstep its bounds.
According to the MRF from January this year, “The EPA proposed a rule to establish Phase 2 regulations for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2015. Within the 625-page rulemaking was one sentence that would have the effect of banning any conversion of street automobiles or motorcycles into racing vehicles. The language pertaining to race-modified street vehicles and motorcycles was included seemingly at random within a huge proposal having to do with cutting emissions from heavy- and medium-duty trucks. However, it would effectively outlaw part of the amateur car and motorcycle racing industry.”
The MRF continued, “In April of 2016, the EPA announced that, under pressure from Congress, it would drop the language from its proposed regulations. However, despite the EPA’s announcement, spokespersons from the Agency are still stating that the clarification does not affect EPA’s enforcement authority.”
To put this “threat” to race-modified street vehicles and motorcycles out of reach of the EPA, with as you can imagine support from a plethora of race bodies and industry, The Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act of 2017 (RPM Act) bill has been introduced and recognised this time to protect Americans’ right to modify street cars and motorcycles into dedicated race vehicles and industry’s right to sell the parts that enable racers to compete.
The RPM Act would amend the Clean Air Act and clarifies under Federal Law to allow the modification of a vehicle’s air emission controls if the vehicle is used solely for competition, thus enabling people to watch and enjoy the motorsport of their choice to the fullest of vehicle modification.
According to an article in Drag Racing Scene, “Motorsports competition involves tens of thousands of participants and vehicle owners each year, both amateur and professional. Retail sales of racing products make up a $1.4 billion market annually. There are an estimated 1,300 racetracks operating across the U.S., including oval, road, track and off-road racetracks, the majority of which feature converted race vehicles that the EPA now considers to be illegal.”
Last week MRF Government Affairs & Public Relations, Megan Ekstrom sat in on a congressional hearing that considered the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act (RPM Act).
According to various reports Steve Page, Sonoma Raceway President and General Manager, testified to the hearing that, “The EPA now defines a majority of our customers as law-breakers,” Page said. “Given the agency’s policy, a clarification to the law is absolutely needed. The RPM Act simply makes clear that converting a motor vehicle into a dedicated race vehicle does not violate the law.” he also countered claims, “That the bill creates a loophole, Page noted that the bill does not reduce EPA’s authority to enforce against illegal parts on street vehicles.”
Voters are being asked to contact their elected representatives to support and vote for the RPM ACT, Megan Ekstrom from the MRF is asking riders, “Let’s not just be SAY-ERS, let’s be DO-ERs.” by visiting the MRF website and clicking/sharing/sending/posting a pre-drafted letter to their elected officials asking them to consider the RPM Act for a vote – Congress MUST PASS the RPM Act!
As Megan says to U.S. riders, “We MUST get this legislation passed which would ensure our right to modify our motorcycles as we see fit and ensure the EPA can’t fine us for doing what WE HAVE ALWAYS DONE.”