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Modified Motorcycles Potentially Under Attack

April 21, 2016

Members of both Houses of Congress have introduced proposed legislation that would protect the rights of Americans to modify their vehicles for racing purposes. Dubbed the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act of 2016 (RPM Act, H.R. 4715 and S. 2659), this legislation would ensure that converting any motor vehicle (including street motorcycles) into a competition-only vehicle remains legal.

This proposed legislation became necessary after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, under the guise of maintaining emissions as outlined by the Clean Air Act, announced plans to regulate the conversion of street motorcycles and other motor vehicles into race vehicles. This attempt is reminiscent of the EPA's efforts back in 2003 to regulate motorcycling through another unrelated proposed regulation aimed at heavy equipment, steam engines and diesel engines that would have prohibited owners from changing anything on their motorcycles except for paint color or chrome.

Through the Color and Chrome initiative, the MRF was successful in separating motorcycles from the EPA’s regulations and created exemptions to protect the custom and aftermarket industries and our lifestyle.

On April 15, 2016, the EPA announced that, under pressure from Congress, it would drop the language from its proposed regulations; nevertheless, it shows the clear intent of the EPA to attempt to overstep its bounds, as outlined by the Clean Air Act, in an effort to strip motorcyclists of the rights to modify their motorcycles as they see fit.

The MRF urges its members to contact their U.S. Representative and Senator and ask them to support H.R. 4715/S. 2659, the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act of 2016, so that the EPA makes no further attempts to erode motorcyclists’ rights.