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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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.

Sound Off! Defend Your Rights!

In issue #335, Chris outlined a proposed EPA bill that would outlaw performance upgrades to engines on all platforms. Now, you can make your voice be heard through your support of a bill that prevents the EPA from including motorcycles in their newest regulations.

Members of both chambers of Congress have introduced versions of a bill that would prevent the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from regulating the conversion of street motorcycles and other motor vehicles into competition-only racers. The EPA failed to provide proper notice of this regulation, including it in an unrelated heavy-duty-truck regulation. The proposed rule would hurt thousands of amateur and professional motorcycle racing enthusiasts and the millions of fans who enjoy motorcycle competition.

The bi-partisan Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act of 2016 (H.R. 4715 and S. 2659, RPM Act) would ensure that converting motor vehicles into competition-only vehicles remains legal. Street motorcycles are considered motor vehicles under the Clean Air Act.

The RPM Act was introduced in the House by U.S. Reps. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), Richard Hudson (R-N.C.), Bill Posey (R-Fla.) and Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.).

The Senate version was introduced by U.S. Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and Dean Heller (R-N.C.).

The act states that it was the clear intent of Congress when passing and amending the Clean Air Act that motor vehicles, including motorcycles, used solely for competition would be exempt from the Clean Air Act’s prohibitions against modifying emission control devices.

The American Motorcyclist Association supports the bills and their protections for amateur and professional racing enthusiasts.

Tell your senators and representatives that you support S. 2659 and H.R. 4715. Send a prewritten email by using the easy-to-use AMA Action Center.

The AMA is coordinating efforts with the Specialty Equipment Market Association and other racing sanctioning bodies in support of the RPM Act. SEMA represents vehicle aftermarket manufacturers, marketers and distributers.

Now more than ever, it is crucial that you and your riding friends become members of the AMA to help protect our riding freedoms. More members mean more clout against the opponents of motorcycling. That support will help fight for your rights – on the road, trail and racetrack and in the halls of government. If you are a motorcycle rider, join the AMA at americanmotorcyclist.com/membership/join.

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Motorcycle News: EPA Admits Ethanol Damages Engines

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has publicly acknowledged that ethanol in gasoline can damage internal combustion engines (including motorcycles) by increasing exhaust temperatures and indirectly causing component failures.

Yet, even with this knowledge, the Federal Trade Commission is recommending more labeling at the gas pump as its solution to the problem.

The American Motorcyclist Association believes that is not enough.

The Federal Trade Commission issued a rule proposal to provide requirements for rating and certifying ethanol blends and requirements for labeling blends of more than 10 percent ethanol.

But this rule exempts the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s E15-approved label.

This rule is for an additional label to be placed on the fuel pump “in response to the emergence of ethanol blends as a retail fuel and the likely increased availability of such blends.”

With this rule, it only means gasoline with higher blends of ethanol will emerge into the marketplace.

The AMA believes this proposal will cause even more confusion given the events surrounding the rollout of E15 into the marketplace. The AMA opposes E15 and any fuel containing more than ten percent ethanol because it can cause engine and fuel system failure to your motorcycle or all-terrain vehicle, and can void manufacturers’ warranties.

According to the EPA, “[e]thanol impacts motor vehicles in two primary ways. First … ethanol enleans the [air/fuel] ratio (increases the proportion of oxygen relative to hydrocarbons) which can lead to increased exhaust gas temperatures and potentially increase incremental deterioration of emission control hardware and performance over time, possibly causing catalyst failure. Second, ethanol can cause materials compatibility issues, which may lead to other component failures.”

“In motorcycles and nonroad products [using E15 and higher ethanol blends], EPA raised engine-failure concerns from overheating.”

The FTC is seeking public comments now on the rule proposal that calls for the additional label to identify higher ethanol blended fuels. You can tell the agency how this proposal will cause even more confusion, given the events surrounding the rollout of E15 into the marketplace.

The AMA does not believe this new label will do what it is intended to do – keep users from misfueling with higher ethanol blended fuels. It simply does not provide clear direction. Another label on a blender pump that already has many labels will not be sufficient to avoid misfueling and could be easily overlooked.

The proposed rule provides no direction on where on the pump the label should be located. Moreover, the FTC is proposing that the label be rounded to the nearest factor of 10. How will this accurately inform the consumer of the type of fuel called for by the vehicle owner’s manual? Will a fuel containing 11 percent to 14 percent ethanol be labeled as 10 percent ethanol? Is the FTC aware that manufacturers’ warranties are valid only for the use of fuel containing 10 percent ethanol by volume or less?

Help protect 22 million motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles in America — and the riders who depend on their safe operation — from inadvertent misfueling. Tell the FTC you want safe access to fuel for motorcycles and ATVs!

The loser in any inadvertent misfueling event is the motorcyclist and ATV rider. The AMA stands behind its members, and all riders, in calling for more thorough safeguards against misfueling.

The deadline for comments is Jun. 2! Act today to ensure your voice is heard.

For the latest information on the AMA’s efforts to protect your access to safe fuel, go to http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/rights/amafuelforthought.aspx.