Many of us are concerned about the direction of our great country and what the future is going to look like for our kids, grandkids and us. The folks that make up the motorcycle industry are likely to be our neighbors, our friends, our kids' classmates, etc. and are dealing with the same uncertainty and fears. Although the reasons for the current economic collapse are a complicated matter we can surely place some burden and blame on our elected government officials. While we might not have much say about out of touch, overpaid corporate executives that have bilked the middle class out of retirement and happiness we surely do have a say as to who sits in our elected seats.
The purpose of this article is not directly related to the US economy but pending government proposals, rules, and regulations that affect how and what we ride and drive. From taking away offroad land areas, to performance modifications, and denial of insurance benefits there is likely a current or proposed law that will negatively impact all of us. There must be a balance between our voice and the often closed-door decisions made by our elected officials. We've put together a brief overview of issues being discussed and debated by our current lawmakers that will have significant impact on our collective freedom and the future of what we can and cannot do with our recreational and commuter vehicles.
This coming November 2 is the national election where we can all step up and be heard. If you haven't registered to vote, do it, please. It's easy and fast-just roll on down to the local post office with proof of ID and sign up. Register at least two to three weeks before November 2 to ensure your vote is counted. Or you can log onto eac.gov/voter_resources/register_to_vote.aspx to get state-specific voter registration forms. Either way, please stand up for your rights and mine. I'm not sure who coined this but please let those who ride decide; we don't need more bureaucracy to creep into our lifestyle.
If you are tired of the status quo and the lack of promised change from the last election please vote. Currently the U.S. Senate consists of 58 Democrats, 40 Republicans, and two Independents. At least 36 of the 100 seats in the Senate will be contested and all U.S. House seats will be up for election. It's time to get up and stand up or shut up.
I. "What is a motorcycle?"
Threat: Federal regulators may create unrealistic and burdensome regulations for motorcycles in their effort to control the design and performance of new vehicle designs that fall in between the definition of a car and a motorcycle.
Status: Over the last few years, there has been a progressive increase in the types of vehicles classified as "motorcycles" for purposes of regulation and registration. The federal government recently issued a notice in the Federal Register seeking input on how to re-define what a motorcycle is.
• Is a motorcycle just two wheels, an engine, a seat and handlebars?
• Vehicles that are currently classified as motorcycles do not have to meet the federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSS) and EPA emissions regulations for passenger automobiles.
• Some manufacturers are making three-wheeled, fully enclosed, two-door vehicles-with steering wheels and open truck beds-and calling them "motorcycles."
• How will motorcycles equipped with sidecars, trikes, ATVs and side-by-sides be reclassified?
• For more information, see ama-cycle.org/news/story.asp?id=1955.
What riders can do: Sign up for AMA Action Alerts (does not require AMA membership) at amadirectlink.com/legisltn/getInvolved/signUp.asp to receive recommended letters/emails to send to the Federal Highway Administration and states' transportation department secretaries.