the latest issue of american motorcyclist (the magazine of the ama), with the motorcyclist of the year on the cover, arrived this past weekend. when i initially saw the cover my instinct was to cancel my subscription/membership to the ama.
the ama states the motorcyclist of the year is “designed to highlight the person (or people) who has had the most profound impact on the world of motorcycling – for better or worse – in the previous 12 months.” this year the ama has decided that the most profound impact on motorcycling is for the worse.
what’s really bothersome is that of all the pro-motorcycling causes the ama supports, of all the people that put their time and effort forth to support motorcycling, the ama couldn’t find one person or group that had enough of a positive impact to outweigh the negative…
so who was chosen?? california governor schwarzenegger, who is supposedly pro-motorcycling. why was he chosen?? for signing senate bill 435. in a nutshell, sb435 requires all motorcycles built on or after january 1, 2013 to carry an epa stamp that certifies the exhaust meets sound requirements.
i know us motorcyclist have an issue with excessive noise. if the idea is to help control noise, sb435 is not the way to go about it. the motorcycle industry council worked hard with the society of automobile engineers to develop j2825 which gives a simple, straightforward way to measure and identify motorcycles with excessive noise.
instead governor schwarzenegger thought putting stamps on exhaust systems was the way to enforce noise limits. there are plenty of exhaust exhaust systems and manufactures that make exhaust systems that aren’t noisy but can’t afford to go through the process to get approval to put the stamp on their exhausts. not only that, the stamp doesn’t prevent the owner from drilling out the baffles and making the exhaust excessively noisy.
i could sit back and be thankful i don’t live in california. and after seeing what a “pro-motorcyling” governor can do, i am thankful. but we’ve all seen other states follow california. unfortunately this would not be a good path to go down. instead i’ll do what i can to make sure a bill like this doesn’t get passed in my state.
i’m still fuming at governor schwarzenegger getting selected. and if the ama wasn’t so important in protecting the rights of motorcyclists i’d cancel my membership. so, i’m also going to do everything i can to ensure all future motorcyclist of the year are selected for making a positive impact on motorcycling, leaving governor schwarzenegger as the only black mark.