News from the American Motorcyclist Association

           Washington, D.C.: On April 19, the AMA sent a letter to U.S. House Speaker John Boehner urging the House to consider H.R. 3199 that would require the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to seek independent scientific analysis of the effects of E15 gasoline (85% gasoline, 15% ethanol) on engines as soon as possible.
            The AMA is concerned about E15 because it burns hotter than gasoline that contains a lesser amount of ethanol. In engines not designed to dissipate that extra heat, damage in the form of premature wear can result. Although this is a concern in all motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), it’s particularly problematic for air-cooled engines found in many bikes and ATVs.
            The new E15 gasoline formulation may soon appear at a fueling station near you, and you need to be careful how you use this new fuel blend. That is because the EPA, in October 2010, approved E15 for use in model year 2007 and newer light duty vehicles (cars, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty passenger vehicles). In January 2011, it added model year 2001-2006 light duty vehicles to the approved list. Riders should pay attention to this list because no motorcycles or ATVs are currently on the approved list. Moreover, the use of E15 may even void the manufacturer warranty.
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            Phoenix, Ariz.: House Bill 2073, sponsored by Rep. Jerry Weiers (R-Glendale), would extend the period of time (from July 1, 2012 to July 2014) the state has to receive U.S. EPA approval to exempt motorcycles in the Phoenix area from vehicle emissions requirements. Gov. Janice Brewer signed the bill into law on Apr. 11.
            Irvine, Calif.: The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has released a new safety video highlighting the importance of motorcycle riders and their passengers wearing personal protective gear. “Fool’s Gear, Cool Gear,” based on the popular MSF safety poster of the same name, communicates a serious message in an entertaining manner.
            This two-and-a-quarter-minute video is now airing on the MSF websiteand YouTube channel. A high-definition version is available for use on broadcast or cable television, and a companion Spanish-speaking version is also available for viewing on the MSF homepage.
            Sacramento, Calif.: Assembly Bill 1047, introduced by Assemblyman Kevin Jeffries (R-Lake Elsinore), would prohibit state and local law enforcement agencies that receive National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) grant money intended for motorcycle safety programs from using the money for motorcycle-only checkpoints (MOCs).
            The AMA and ABATE of California applaud Jeffries for this bill. It is similar to a bill introduced in North Carolina, which is now law. The North Carolina bill prevents law enforcement officials from implementing MOCs. To view the North Carolina bill, click here.
            The legislation was scheduled to be heard in the California Senate Transportation and Housing Committee on May 8. See the Rights section for the latest information.
            Denver, Colo.: Gov. John Hickenlooper recently signed into lawHouse Bills 1023, 1153 and 1162. These bills instruct the Division of Motor Vehicles to begin issuing three new license plates, signifying the owner’s choice of support for fallen law enforcement officials, military recipients of the Distinguished Flying Cross and veterans of Operation Desert Storm.
            Topeka, Kan.: House Bill 2459, sponsored by Rep. Tom Sloan (R-Lawrence), provides that applicants for class M licenses who have completed prior motorcycle safety training in accordance with Department of Defense instruction 6055.04 (DoDI 6055.04) are not required to complete further written and driving testing. Gov. Sam Brownback signed the bill into law on March 21.
            Frankfort, Ky.House Bill 328, sponsored by Rep. Royce. Adams (D-Dry Ridge), provides that the instruction permit to operate a motorcycle shall be valid for one year and may be renewed one time. A person whose motorcycle instruction permit has expired may apply to the circuit clerk to receive a motorcycle operator’s license or endorsement if the person presents proof of successful completion of a motorcycle safety education course approved by the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet. Gov. Steve Beshear signed the bill into law on Apr. 11.
            Baton Rouge, La.: Senate Bill 168, also known as the “2012 Pickholtz Act,” which is sponsored by Sen. Gary Smith (D-Norco), would establish additional penalties for those found guilty of, or pleading nolo contender to, certain traffic violations that result in injury or death to other road users. The Senate passed the bill on May 2, sending it to the House for consideration.
            Leesville, La.: The Sandstone multi-use trail in the Kisatchie District of the Kisatchie National Forest (KNF) opened for the season on May 1. The 36 miles of designated trails for off-highway vehicles (OHV), hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders are located 40 miles north of Alexandria. The trails loop through upland pine forest and sandy hardwood bottoms, including sandstone bluffs and picturesque vistas.
            Visitors to the Sandstone multi-use trail, especially OHV riders, should be aware that due to recent flooding the trail is passable but areas may have some rutting or other flood-related damage.
            The day-use fee for the Sandstone multi-use trail is $5. KNF also offers a pass for those who use the trails on a regular basis. The annual Trail Use Pass is $50 (for ages 16 and up) and $25 (for ages 15 and younger) and is good for a calendar year. A pass can be purchased at any ranger district station or the U.S. Forest Service Supervisor’s Office in Pineville.
            For more information about the Sandstone multi-use trail or the Kisatchie Ranger District,
call (318) 472-1840 or log onto .

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