AMA Seeks To Protect Motorcycle Riders From Unsafe E15 Fuel

In an effort to prohibit the availability of E15, a gasoline formulation that contains up to 15 percent ethanol by volume, the American Motorcyclist Association supports U.S. Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Jim Costa (D-Calif.), Steve Womack (R-Ark.) and Peter Welch’s (D-Vt.) H.R. 1315, the RFS Reform Act. The bipartisan bill would amend the Renewable Fuel Standard to recognize market conditions and realities. It also would prohibit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from allowing the introduction into the marketplace of gasoline blends with more than 10 percent ethanol by volume.

In other words, E15 will not be permitted if this legislation becomes law.

The AMA has repeatedly expressed concerns to government officials and federal lawmakers about possible damage to motorcycle fuel systems and engines caused by the inadvertent use of E15.

Passing H.R. 1315 will protect the 22 million motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles currently in use on America’s roads and trails (and the riders who depend on their safe operation) from inadvertent misfueling.

Preventing these inadvertent misfuelings has been one of the AMA’s top priorities, because motorcycles in use today are not designed to run on ethanol blends higher than 10 percent. Many older machines favored by vintage enthusiasts have problems with any ethanol in the fuel. Often, simply using fuel blends higher than 10 percent ethanol can void a manufacturer’s warranty, potentially leaving motorcyclists with thousands of dollars in additional repair or maintenance costs.

We need your help to pass H.R. 1315. You can send a prewritten email to your representative immediately by following the “Take Action” option and entering your information. The AMA encourages riders to adjust their messages by drawing on personal riding experiences.

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AMA CEO Testifies Against Proposed Motorcycle Tariff

U.S. Trade Representative’s plan would harm U.S. consumers

A proposed 100 percent tariff on European motorcycles would harm U.S. consumers by pricing affected models beyond the reach of American families, American Motorcyclist Association President and CEO Rob Dingman told a federal trade committee today.

Dingman said motorcycles should be removed from the list of products included in the proposed tariff.

“Many of the European-produced motorcycles in the affected categories are available at reasonable prices that allow for entire families to enjoy countless hours together outdoors, strengthening the family unit,” Dingman said during a public hearing of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative’s Section 301 Committee. “A tariff that threatens to significantly raise the retail cost of these motorcycles or curtail their supply, holds the potential to cause irreversible damage to outdoor recreation and the families that participate in it.”

AMA Opposes Tariff on Motorcycles

Front, left to right: Tim Cotter, Rob Dingman, John Hinz, Tim Buche, Iain R. McPhie, Mario Di Maria
Back, left to right: Rick Alcon, Carroll “C.R.” Gittere (Courtesy of the AMA)

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative proposed the tariff on 51cc to 500cc motorcycles imported from Europe as part of its ongoing battle with the European Union over U.S. beef raised using hormones. The EU will not accept the beef, so the Trade Representative is seeking leverage in negotiations.

The tariff would affect motorcycles with engines displacing 51cc to 500cc from Aprilia, Beta, BMW, Ducati, Fantic, Gas Gas, Husqvarna, KTM, Montesa, Piaggio, Scorpa, Sherco, TM and Vespa.

There is no direct connection between motorcycles and the EU’s ban on the importing of U.S. beef products treated with hormones. The lack of an agricultural tie between the two products runs counter to sound trade policy, Dingman told the committee.

“American motorcyclists are unnecessarily caught in the crossfire of this completely unrelated trade dispute,” Dingman said. “Since my organization represents motorcycle-riding consumers, I can objectively and without vested commercial interest, assure you that this action will do more to harm individual Americans than it will to leverage the European Union.”

Motorcyclists sent more than 10,300 emails to Congress on this issue, posted more than 9,400 comments to Regulations.gov, and sent nearly 5,300 emails to President Donald Trump. Of the comments submitted via Regulations.gov, 82 percent came from motorcyclists.

European makers of 51cc-399cc motorcycles used for racing provide nearly half the units available to U.S. consumers, and nearly a quarter of the market in the 400-500cc class. There are no significant U.S.-made options for consumers in those market segments.

In the on-road motorcycle segment, 100 percent of the models 300cc and smaller are imported to the United States from abroad.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative tried this same tactic in 1998 and 2008, but the efforts were thwarted when the AMA, the Motorcycle Industry Council and bike manufacturers and retailers rallied motorcyclists against the plan. At that time, the U.S. Trade Representative instead raised the tariff on a variety of European food products.

Others testifying against the tariff today included Carroll Gittere, president of Powersports Data Solutions; Iain McPhie and Ritchie Thomas of Squire Patton Boggs; John Hinz, president of KTM North America Inc. and Husqvarna Motorcycles North America Inc.; Mario di Maria, president and CEO of Piaggio Group Americas Inc.; Rick Alcon, owner of R&S Powersports Group; Tim Cotter, vice president of MX Sports; and Tim Buche, president and CEO of the Motorcycle Industry Council.

AMA CEO Dingman to Testify vs Motorcycle Tariff

AMA logo

Office of U.S. Trade Representative hearing slated for Feb. 15

American Motorcyclist Association President and CEO Rob Dingman will testify Feb. 15 against a 100 percent tariff on some European motorcycles proposed by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

“We object to this proposed tariff because it would harm American motorcyclists,” Dingman said. “Significantly raising the cost of European motorcycles through a tariff could price thousands of families out of the motorcycle market.”

The tariff would affect motorcycles with engines displacing 51cc to 500cc from Aprilia, Beta, BMW, Ducati, Fantic, Gas Gas, Husqvarna, KTM, Montesa, Piaggio, Scorpa, Sherco, TM and Vespa.

The federal agency is seeking the tariff as leverage against the European Union in an ongoing dispute over the importing of U.S. beef to Europe that contains hormones. A public hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Feb. 15 in Rooms 1 and 2, 1724 F St. NW., Washington, D.C.

At the AMA’s urging, more than 10,000 emails have been sent to Congress on this issue, nearly 10,000 comments have been made directly to the agency through Regulations.gov and more than 5,000 emails have been sent to President Donald Trump.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is responsible for developing and coordinating U.S. international trade, commodity and direct investment policy and overseeing negotiations with other countries. The head of USTR is the U.S. Trade Representative, a Cabinet member who serves as the president’s principal trade adviser, negotiator and spokesperson on trade issues.

“We don’t believe non-agricultural products should be included in tariffs connected to agricultural trade disputes,” Dingman said. “In addition to substantially raising prices for American riders, this tariff would jeopardize the many small and medium-sized businesses that rely on the sale of European motorcycles, parts and accessories.”

European makers of 51cc-399cc motorcycles used for racing provide nearly half the units available to U.S. consumers, and nearly a quarter of the market in the 400-500cc class. There are not significant numbers of U.S.-made options for consumers in those market segments.

In the on-road motorcycle segment, 100 percent of the models 300cc and smaller are imported to the United States from abroad.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative tried the same tactic in 1998 and 2008, but the efforts were thwarted when the AMA, the Motorcycle Industry Council and bike manufacturers and retailers rallied motorcyclists against the plan. At that time, the U.S. Trade Representative instead raised the tariff on a variety of European food products.

Harley News: HOG Fourth Quarter & Full-Year 2016 Results

MILWAUKEE, Jan. 31, 2017 – Harley-Davidson, Inc. (NYSE:HOG) fourth quarter 2016 diluted EPS increased 22.7 percent to $0.27 compared to $0.22 in the same period of 2015. In the fourth quarter of 2016, net income was $47.2 million on consolidated revenue of $1.11 billion versus net income of $42.2 million on consolidated revenue of $1.18 billion in the year-ago period. Full-year 2016 diluted EPS increased 3.8 percent to $3.83 compared to diluted EPS of $3.69 in 2015. Full-year net income was $692.2 million on consolidated revenue of $6.0 billion versus net income of $752.2 million on consolidated revenue of $6.0 billion a year ago.

“The global competitive environment remains intense, but our 2016 results demonstrate that our increased investments to drive demand and bring impactful new products to market are working,” said Matt Levatich, president and chief executive officer, Harley-Davidson, Inc. “We are energized by our resolve to compete and win in the U.S. and in major international markets. Our market share performance gives us great confidence in the strength of our long-term strategy.”

For the full-year 2016, worldwide Harley-Davidson retail motorcycle sales were down 1.6 percent compared to 2015. U.S. retail sales decreased 3.9 percent, partially offset by international growth of 2.3 percent.

During 2016, the company reported its best-ever retail sales results in Asia Pacific and EMEA. In the 601+cc motorcycle market, the company grew its number one market share position in the U.S. and grew market share in Europe. The company added 40 new dealer points internationally and reported that U.S. dealers trained more than 65,000 new riders through the Harley-Davidson Riding Academy. The company also launched its model year 2017 lineup of motorcycles, featuring the new, highly-acclaimed Milwaukee-Eight™ engine, and upgraded suspension, on all new Touring motorcycles.

“Our long-term strategy is all about growing ridership in the U.S., growing reach and impact internationally, and growing share and profit in every market we serve,” stated Levatich. “Our goal over the next 10 years is to build the next generation of Harley-Davidson riders worldwide.”

In the fourth quarter, worldwide retail sales of new Harley-Davidson motorcycles declined 0.5 percent versus the prior year behind modest declines in some international markets partially offset by slight growth in the U.S.

Fourth quarter revenue from motorcycles and related products was down versus the prior year behind fewer motorcycle shipments. Operating margin as a percent of revenue increased in the quarter compared to the same period in 2015, resulting from lower SG&A.

Financial services operating income fell 1.2 percent in the fourth quarter compared to the year ago period.

Income Tax Rate

For 2016, Harley-Davidson’s effective tax rate was 32.4 percent compared to 34.6 percent the prior year. The lower effective tax rate is attributed to the successful closure of various tax audits in 2016.

Other Results

Cash and marketable securities amounted to $765.5 million at the end of 2016, compared to $767.4 million at the end of 2015. Harley-Davidson generated $1.17 billion of cash from operating activities in 2016 compared to $1.10 billion in 2015. On a discretionary basis, the company repurchased 1.7 million shares of its common stock during the fourth quarter of 2016 at a cost of $91.0 million. In 2016, Harley-Davidson repurchased 9.7 million shares of its common stock at a cost of $459.1 million. In the fourth quarter of 2016, there were 177.6 million weighted-average diluted common shares outstanding. At the end of 2016, 19.3 million shares remained on a board-approved share repurchase authorization.

Guidance       

For 2017, Harley-Davidson anticipates full-year motorcycle shipments to be flat to down modestly in comparison to 2016. In the first quarter of 2017, Harley-Davidson expects to ship approximately 66,000 to 71,000 motorcycles.

Harley-Davidson expects full-year 2017 operating and gross margin as a percent of revenue to be approximately in line with 2016 and its full-year effective tax rate to be approximately 34.5 percent.

AMA Opposes Profiling of Motorcyclists

Board of Directors adopts official position statement

The American Motorcyclist Association Board of Directors has adopted and issued an official position statement objecting to the profiling of motorcyclists by government agencies, including judging riders on their chosen apparel, mode of transportation or associates, rather than specific behavior and actions.

“The AMA strongly condemns the profiling of motorcyclists by government agencies and has long championed the undeniable fact that the vast majority of riders and enthusiasts are upstanding, law-abiding citizens,” the statement reads.

“Several states have considered bills aimed at curtailing the profiling of motorcyclists by law enforcement agencies and others,” said AMA Board Chair Maggie McNally-Bradshaw. “The Board believes this is an important issue facing everyone who rides, and the AMA remains at the forefront in promoting the motorcycle lifestyle and protecting the future of motorcycling.”

The AMA Board of Directors adopts and publishes position statements that delineate the organization’s official stance on issues of concern. The new statement on Motorcyclist Profiling is one of seven adopted by the Board. The full statement on Motorcyclist Profiling can be found here: www.americanmotorcyclist.com/About-The-AMA/motorcyclist-profiling.

The states of Washington (S.B. 5242 in 2011) and Maryland (S.B. 233 in 2016) passed legislation specifically forbidding the profiling of motorcyclists, and other states are considering similar legislation.

In 2012, California adopted A.B. 1047, outlawing motorcycle-only checkpoints. Checkpoints are also restricted by state law or judicial action in: Alaska, Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina, Virginia, Illinois, New Hampshire, Idaho, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Beef vs Bikes: AMA Objects to 100% Tariff on European Bikes in Trade Battle Over U.S. Beef

The American Motorcyclist Association strongly objects to a federal agency’s attempt to tack a 100 percent or higher tariff on motorcycles made in Europe as part of a trade battle over hormones in U.S. beef.

The Office of United States Trade Representative requested comments on Dec. 28 regarding its proposal to include tariffs on motorcycles with an engine size between 51cc and 500cc imported from the European Union.

The American Motorcyclist Association opposes the proposed tariff, because trade disputes residing within the boundaries of the agricultural industry should not be solved with trade sanctions levied against non-agricultural products.

“There is no logical link between motorcycles and beef,” said Wayne Allard, AMA vice president of government relations. “It is absurd to even consider such a move.

Beef vs Bikes in a trade battle between U.S beef and European motorcycles

As part of a trade battle over hormones in U.S. beef, a federal agency is trying to tack a 100% tariff on small displacement motorcycles made in Europe.

“We urge all concerned citizens to make their views known on this issue before the Jan. 30 deadline by using the AMA tools at http://tinyurl.com/h62kpc5.”

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is responsible for developing and coordinating U.S. international trade, commodity and direct investment policy and overseeing negotiations with other countries. The head of USTR is the U.S. Trade Representative, a Cabinet member who serves as the president’s principal trade adviser, negotiator, and spokesperson on trade issues.

If the agency enacts this motorcycle tariff, serious and potentially irreversible harm will be done to American small- and medium-sized business owners selling the vehicles and to American families who buy these motorcycles for commuting and outdoor recreation.

“Should the availability of motorcycles be hindered by these unjustified trade sanctions, dealerships may close, leaving countless Americans without jobs,” Allard said. “The negative effects of the proposed sanctions will not only harm the motorcycle sales industry, but will spread through the aftermarket equipment sector, recreation equipment sales, the sports entertainment industry and further down the line.”

Affected manufacturers include Aprilla, Beta. BMW, Ducati, Fantic, Gas Gas, Husqvarna, KTM, Montesa, Piaggio, Scorpa, Sherco, TM and Vespa.

The same agency tried the same tactic in 2008, but the effort was thwarted when the AMA, the Motorcycle Industry Council and bike manufacturers and retailers rallied motorcyclists against the plan. At that time, the U.S. Trade Representative instead raised the tariff on a variety of European food products.

AMA Objects to Scope of Two New National Monuments

AMA logo

President’s designations raise concerns about motorized access to public lands

The designation of two new national monuments by President Barack Obama could jeopardize access for responsible motorized recreation on more than 1.6 million acres of public land in Utah and Nevada.

Using the Antiquities Act of 1906, the president designated 1.35 million acres in southeast Utah as the Bears Ears National Monument and nearly 300,000 acres in Clark County, Nev., just northeast of Las Vegas, as the Gold Butte National Monument.

“We are concerned about continued access to these public lands for responsible motorized recreation,” said Wayne Allard, AMA vice president for government relations. “With the national monument designation comes a review of management plans that could curtail or eliminate some off-road riding areas.”

The Antiquities Act authorizes the president to issue proclamations to protect “historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest,” while limiting those designations to “the smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected.”

“These new designations cover far larger areas than needed to ensure that historic landmarks are preserved,” Allard said. “None of the Utah congressional delegation wanted this, and many Nevadans were opposed to it, too.

“The designation of national monuments, whether by the president or by Congress, should include careful consideration of the wishes of local stakeholders, including nearby communities, elected officials and those who use the land,” Allard continued.

Utah’s attorney general has threatened a lawsuit to reverse the Bears Ears designation, and the Utah congressional delegation vowed to pursue legislation to undo it.

A study by UtahPolicy cited by U.S. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) found that 60 percent of Utah residents opposed designating the Bears Ears area as a national monument, while 33 percent supported the proposal.

Nevada’s congressional delegation was divided along party lines, with Democrats praising the designations and Republicans condemning them.

Christy Goldfuss, managing director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, said the Antiquities Act does not give a president authority to undo a designation, a position the courts have upheld. She acknowledged that Congress could take action, though.

“The AMA supports the congressional delegations that work with local stakeholders and Native American tribes on these issues,” Allard said. “Presidents should not bypass Congress on issues of public access to U.S. lands, and the opinions of all stakeholders–gathered through town meetings and formal comments–should factor heavily into the final decision.”

Indian Issues Recall for 23,746 Motorcycles for Potential Fuel Leaks

Indian Motorcycle War Bonnet logo

Indian Motorcycle Co. has filed a recall notice with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for 23,746 motorcycles from 2017-2017 for a potential fuel leak caused by fuel rails coming in contact with other components and becoming damaged. Leaking fuel could catch fire “in the presence of an ignition source” states the report. The recall extends to Indian Chief Classic, Chief Dark Horse, Vintage, Chieftain, Chieftain Dark Horse, Springfield and Roadmaster models. Indian Motorcycle dealers have been instructed to remedy the problem by installing a bracket that limits the movement of the fuel rail.

Here’s more info courtesy of the NHTSA.

Recall Subject: Fuel Rail may Chafe and Leak

NHTSA Campaign Number: 16V877000

Manufacturer: Indian Motorcycle Company

SUMMARY:
Indian Motorcycle Company (Indian) is recalling certain model year 2014-2017 Chief Classic, Chief Dark Horse, Vintage, Chieftan, Chieftan Dark Horse, Springfield and Roadmaster motorcycles manufactured April 15, 2013, to July 15, 2016. In the affected motorcycles, the fuel rail may contact other components and result in a fuel leak.

Makes/Models/Model Years:
INDIAN/CHIEF CLASSIC/2014-2017
INDIAN/CHIEF DARK HORSE/2014-2017
INDIAN/CHIEFTAN/2014-2017
INDIAN/CHIEFTAN DARK HORSE/2014-2017
INDIAN/ROADMASTER/2014-2017
INDIAN/SPRINGFIELD/2014-2017
INDIAN/VINTAGE/2014-2017

CONSEQUENCE:
A fuel leak in the presence of an ignition source increases the risk of a fire.

REMEDY:
Indian will notify owners, and dealers will install a bracket that will limit movement of the fuel rail, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in December 2016. Owners may contact Indian customer service at 1-877-204-3697. Indian’s number for this recall is I-16-03.

NOTES:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

American Iron News: “Bad Biker”Gun Targets Discontinued

Were motorcycle riders being portrayed as “bad bikers” worth shooting and possibly killing by police in training?

That is a question we at American Iron Magazine posed on line yesterday when we were shown Baker Targets “bad biker” targets for sale for gun training.

Baker Target's Bad Biker Target

Baker Target’s Bad Biker Target

In case you were wondering about the red dots they print on the targets, they are “high value” shots to cause maximum damage to the bike and rider (like the head shot or the front tire of the Harley-style motorcycle) when shooting.

Now we at American Iron Magazine realize a lot of motorcycle enthusiasts are also active in the shooting sports – including several on our staff. BUT we also know it is not considered good sportsmanship to use target that look like people in any more detail than a general silloutte.

What does it say when Baker Targets can sell these targets by stating “Bad Bikers need to be terminated! Here’s your chance, without actually hurting anyone.”

Besides, what message is this giving to the general polulation who do not ride. Not good.

We posted this on our web site and Facebook pages yesterday evening, and we are pleased to report the people at Baker Targets have responded by taking the targets off their site and discontinued offering them for sale.

Thanks to our friend Rogue for bringing this to our attention, and to the people at Baker Targets for resonding so quickly.

Harley-Davidson Settles With EPA Over Aftermarket Tuner

MILWAUKEE, Aug. 18, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Harley-Davidson, Inc. (NYSE:HOG) has reached a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding the sale of one aftermarket tuning product used to calibrate motorcycles intended for off-road and closed-course competition. As part of the settlement agreement, the company will no longer sell its competition-only tuner in the U.S. The company will continue to sell a performance tuner designed to ensure Harley-Davidson motorcycles retain 50-state and EPA on-road emissions compliance. The settlement has no impact on the company’s other performance product offerings.

The EPA alleged that by selling its Pro Super Tuner through its U.S. dealer network, Harley-Davidson enabled dealers and customers to tamper with motorcycles used on public roads. Harley-Davidson disagrees with the EPA’s position, noting that the tuner was designed and sold as an after-market, competition-only product used to adapt engine parameters for use with Harley-Davidson after-market equipment.

“This settlement is not an admission of liability but instead represents a good faith compromise with the EPA on areas of law we interpret differently, particularly EPA’s assertion that it is illegal for anyone to modify a certified vehicle even if it will be used solely for off-road/closed-course competition,” said Ed Moreland, Harley-Davidson’s Government Affairs Director. “For more than two decades, we have sold this product under an accepted regulatory approach that permitted the sale of competition-only parts. In our view, it is and was legal to use in race conditions in the U.S.”

Harley-Davidson, one of many suppliers in the aftermarket performance parts industry, has safeguards in place to educate dealers and customers on the implications of installing Harley-Davidson performance products on their Harley-Davidson motorcycles. This includes clear product labeling of competition-only products and detail on what performance enhancements are considered street legal and for competition-use only, the legal consequences of tampering with emission controls and components, and what enhancements would void the vehicle warranty.

“Concern for our U.S. customers and dealers weighed heavily in reaching this compromise with the EPA,” said Moreland. “By settling this matter, we can focus our future attention and resources on product innovation rather than a prolonged legal battle with the EPA.”

Harley-Davidson is and has been committed to meeting or exceeding all emissions requirements for its motorcycles in every market it serves. It will continue to offer a broad range of industry-leading, compliant performance products that enable customization and performance enhancements that meet all emissions requirements and maintain the company’s vehicle warranty.

Harley-Davidson, Inc. is the parent company of Harley-Davidson Motor Company and Harley-Davidson Financial Services. Harley-Davidson Motor Company produces heavyweight custom, cruiser and touring motorcycles and offers a complete line of Harley-Davidson motorcycle parts, accessories, riding gear and apparel, and general merchandise. Harley-Davidson Financial Services provides wholesale and retail financing, insurance, extended service and other protection plans and credit card programs to Harley-Davidson dealers and riders in the U.S., Canada and other select international markets. For more information, visit Harley-Davidson’s web site at www.harley-davidson.com.