Baja Designs helps out / AMA supports ban on conversions?

26 replies to this topic
  • Chaindrive

Posted March 18, 2002 - 01:55 PM


If anyone out there can tell me how to forward e-mails to this forum, I have some important news to share regarding dual-sport conversions. I spoke with Alan Roach of Baja Designs on March 12 regarding Iowa's retroactive reversal and hostile action. The next day I had a very well written, thoughfully researched e-mail from Alan to forward to the IDOT. Wow!
One of our fellow members, tbronco, forwarded my earlier posts to the AMA.(thanks!). I received an e-mail from Royce Wood, Legislative Affairs Specialist, stating the AMA's position. Thank you for your response, Mr. Wood. I would like my fellow TT and/or AMA members to read this e-mail, it may chill you to find out how your AMA dues and fees are being spent. It does me. tbronco, you also received his reply, what do you think?
Someone please tell me how to post these e-mails, Iowa's tactics may be coming soon to YOUR state WITH AMA support. :)

  • YZ400Court

Posted March 18, 2002 - 02:26 PM


Originally posted by Chaindrive:
If anyone out there can tell me how to forward e-mails to this forum,

Copy and paste the e-mails.

  • Chaindrive

Posted March 18, 2002 - 05:32 PM


Thanks YZ400Court! Here goes:

-----Original Message-----
From: Alan Roach []
Sent: Tuesday, March 12, 2002 3:13 PM
Subject: Iowa Licensing

To Whom It May Concern:

It has been brought to my attention that the State of Iowa may have
inadvertently misapplied Federal Vehicle Code 49USC30112. The effect is the
denial of private citizens from modifying a motorized vehicle and applying
for a new or modified title.

My company specializes in the manufacturing and sale of modification
equipment to help the vehicle owner to bring his/her motorcycle up to State
Department of Transportation criteria. This type of action is currently
allowed to take place and proceed forward every day in the "street rod",
"recreational (motor home) vehicle", "kit or concept vehicles", and
"reconstructed vehicles", as long as these highly modified vehicles meet the
State DOT requirements.

Our equipment is designed and sold to the motorcycle owner in the same
regard as other specialty companies might do to expedite the modification of
a vehicle into a motor home (for example). We supply DOT approved lighting,
DOT approved tires, mirrors, speedometers, custom wiring harnesses and other
equipment to facilitate compliance with state and federal standards for
street vehicles.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Title 49, United
States code Chapter 301, Section 30112 is intended to close the loophole to
disallow manufacturers of a motorized vehicle to import off road only
vehicles, then modifying the equipment once on US soil to make street legal.
This would allow the manufacturer to purposely circumvent a variety of
applicable import taxes and tariffs. It is unlawful for manufactures and
dealers (licensed arms of the manufacturers) to sell off-road vehicles for
street use, and it is indicated on their titles that they are "intended for
off-road use only".

This section was not intended to stop the individual vehicle owner from
modifying a vehicle to comply with specific State DOT requirements and
re-titling the vehicle under a state's reconstructed vehicle titling

Most of the other states in the US allow titling of reconstructed
off-highway vehicles including but not limited to Oregon, Nevada,
California, Idaho, Colorado, Utah, Michigan, Texas, Ohio, Georgia, and
Montana. Some states, like California for instance, publish a document
listing exactly what equipment is required for a street legal conversion
(California Highway Patrol Publication 888). California also has an
off-road vehicle registration program and the Department of Motor Vehicles
provides an avenue to establish both an off-highway and street registration
for the same vehicle (Dual Registration-Chapter 30, Section 30-335
California DMV handbook). The owner of such a vehicle receives both a
license plate and a California "Green Sticker" and pays the fees on both.
The Green Sticker program generates revenue to support and manage
off-highway vehicle use on California public lands.

No one is asking Iowa to bend its standards by allowing specialty vehicles
such as Quads, 3-wheelers, Dune Buggy Rails or other inappropriate off road
vehicles to be pushed though and plated for the street. What responsible
motorcycle enthusiasts and industry representatives are hoping for is for
the State of Iowa to continue to approve a street legal title on motorcycles
that comply with existing DOT regulations. It should be noted that many of
the off-road motorcycles converted to street use share the same motor and
frame as street legal versions offered by the manufacturers. Enthusiasts
some times prefer to go through all the trouble and expense of making the
conversion because what the manufacture offers as a street legal dirt bike
is severely compromised by the addition of electric starters, heavy
batteries, excess instrumentation, poor tires, and poorly calibrated
suspension systems, which detract from the vehicles performance when not
ridden on the street.

Please also realize that a large percentage of these types of conversions
are done to allow the rider to be legal and responsible citizens while
riding back roads, logging roads, and in camp grounds designed for
multi-use. Most forest roads require a street legal vehicle, so it is very
difficult for one to legally connect existing trail systems on an off road
motorcycle without being licensed. Licensing also helps the individual to
obtain vehicle insurance, that otherwise is difficult to find and generally
cost prohibitive with an unlicensed vehicle.

These conversions are costly and time consuming and the primary benefit is
that the responsible rider can then safely and legally ride and insure
his/he motorcycle on and off road.


Alan Roach

Chaindrive: This was Baja Designs' Alan Roach. Cannot say enough good things about his efforts here!!! THANK YOU ALAN!
Here,below, is the AMA's position(?) in the dual sport conversion issue. I'm sorry, but it reads to me like it's a done-deal sacrifice of do-it-yourself afficiondos in response to EPA (where did EPA come into this? The IDOT officer I spoke to says emissions are not only NOT an issue here, but also that my vehicle MEETS federal standards).Furthermore, in my case, I PURCHASED a DOT approved, inspected, and certified vehicle. I did NOT attempt to circumvent ANY laws. Please post YOUR understanding of the AMA position:

Dear John & Scott,

As you probably know the allowance of "conversions" varies greatly state to
state. Thus, the AMA rules for a dual sport run require that dual sport
motorcycles comply with all state requirements for road use. (It should be
noted that the rules for a dual-sport run are in the AMA "on-road" rule book,
not the "off-road" rule book. From an activities perspective the AMA sees dual
sport bikes as first and foremost on-road motorcycles.) Yes, some states will
let you "get away with more" than the others but those states may be in error.

Some of the bikes being converted are manufactured and marketed as closed-course
only machines. They are marketed as competition only so that they will be
exempt from EPA noise and emissions standards under the Clean Air Act. The WR
will not meet the EPA emissions standards for highway use (in fact it will not
even meet the minimum standards for a "green" sticker in California for
"unrestricted" off-road use). And just because someone has installed an after
market lighting kit on a bike does not mean that it is truly in compliance with

I realize that the specific situation that we are talking about is very
frustrating for the bike owner, so let me explain why it is so important that we
try to do the right thing. The EPA asked some very specific question of us
about the dual-sport conversion issue (YES, they know what has been going on).
One thing that they had considered doing to prevent riders from exploiting this
"grey" area was to limit access to competition models. Thus, only riders with
"professional" credentials would have access to "competition models", such as
the WR. So, the AMA and other concerned motorcyclists have spend the better
part of the last two years convincing the EPA that motorcyclists are responsible
enough to buy competition only models for competition, recreation models for
trail riding and street legal bikes when they intend to go dual-sporting.

As a fellow dual-sporter let me just say that there may have been a time when
there were not a lot of (competent off-road) dual-sports to choose from; but,
that time is no more. There are some great legal (and quiet ) dual-sports
available. As I have often commented about the bone stock dual-sport that I
ride, "if you can't get it done on this thing, then you had better look into
another sport".

If you want to talk about any of this in more detail please call me.

Good luck,

Royce L. Wood
Legislative Affairs Specialist
American Motorcyclist Association
13515 Yarmouth Drive
Pickerington, OH 43147
(614) 856-1900 ext. 1225

  • Ronin

Posted March 18, 2002 - 06:23 PM


the AMA sucks!!!! screw em, and the horse they rode in on. I hope clear channel buries them in SX this year.


  • chancer

Posted March 19, 2002 - 12:14 AM


If I read through all the double speak right, the AMA said that I'm a professional rider. That my bike doesn't meet emissions standards and I should be tarred and feathered for thinking about riding it on the streets. I just wonder how long before I see this guy posing for a picture with the Sierra club. My bike isn't any louder than any straight piped Harley, and where's the emissions on the Harley? This is way off base considering my WR a closed course bike. It's sold as an Enduro/Woods bike. With people like this "helping" us, it won't be long untill the take my shoes with lugs on them. They leave "prints" on the earth. I'm getting off on a tagent and becoming very aggravated, so I'll stop now.
I'll say my prayers again tonight, and pray most of all for wisdom.


  • big_G

Posted March 19, 2002 - 12:51 PM


Rest assured that my impending application to the AMA will meet the shredder tonight when I get home. I had hoped that blind alegance to them would help but I can see they are nothing more than spinless paper pushers. Nice job on rolling over.

Further, there are no emmisions on motorcycles in California. Yes, there is the communist inspired, liberal supported "red" sticker program, but that is a trumped up tree-hugger law that should be removed as unfair and unconstitutional. How does a WR pollute more that a GoldWing??? That's pure bullsh*t.

I've spoken with DMV personally and the rule is a horsepower to weight ratio exclusively for bikes larger than 90cc's, not smog, not pollution, not emissions of any sort. The only real regulation exists for noise. As if that can be. Can you say Harley-Davidson straightpipes.

I encourage all of you to drop you AMA memberships ASAP. Its clear they have obviously been infiltrated by liberals with agenda's.

No way anyone with this sport as an interest wrote that letter.

No freaking way.

  • Chaindrive

Posted March 19, 2002 - 01:59 PM


I am truly glad that Mr. Wood likes his 'bone stock (factory) dual-sport. My beloved Grandma felt the same way about her slant-6 '74 Dodge Dart, and SHE always said "if you need to go faster than this, you should just walk." Sometimes Gramps and I DID walk. Know what? She was right: it WAS faster!! :)

  • tbronco

Posted March 19, 2002 - 03:03 PM


Sounds like political BS tiptoeing to me. I guess helmet laws are more important to them. :)

I didn't get a cc on the email, but my isp just switched servers, it may have gotten lost.

What he said has nothing to do with your trouble. He won't help and doesn't think our bikes should be titled.

NOT a good position for a group that survives on memberships and donations. Or do they?????


Posted March 19, 2002 - 03:21 PM


If you are an AMA member please contact them and tell them how you feel on this issue. I personally am thinking about dropping my membership, even at the expense of not being able to partake of AMA sponsored FlatTrack racing which I regularly do!

  • BFLee

Posted March 20, 2002 - 09:32 AM


Sad isn't it. The AMA fatcats have one agenda; to maintain, protect, and extend their cushy industry positions and big salaries at the expense of the membership. These aholes need to go get a job in the real world. It is just another corrupt political organization that has outlived it's usefulness.

I get angrier by the day and I say it's time to start doing something about it. With the recent hosting issues the site has gone through, I have noticed a few people make comments that would indicate that they are IT pro's. What do people think of a moto information warfare underground? Do we have some application developers and nETwoRk SeCUriTy experts out there?

Did I just type that out loud? :)

Visit the ThumperTalk Store for the lowest prices on motorcycle / ATV parts and accessories - Guaranteed
  • Chaindrive

Posted March 20, 2002 - 02:13 PM


Wow! Mr. Wood is certainly defensive now isn't he?
If he would attack the anti-motorcycle factions as vehemently as he does AMA members we would be deeply in his debt. He forces my hand:
1)I did not solicit his 'help', though it was done on my behalf regarding a matter which concerns many of us.
2)His OWN "subject header" in his response to tbronco and me says (QUOTE): AMA Position on Dual Sport Conversions (END QUOTE). I will be happy to forward the actual e-mail to ANYONE.
3)He STILL misses the entire point of MY situation: I PURCHASED AN IOWA INSPECTED,APPROVED,TITLED,and STREET-LEGAL vehicle. I had NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with the conversion,reconstruction, or titling of this vehicle. I put thousands of dollars in unquestioned good faith in the State of Iowa when I did so. THEY have broken that faith on a whim, leaving ME innocently holding the bag all for the sake of covering their OWN backside. What citizen worthy of breathing the air of freedom and justice (or of being an AMA member?) would passively accept this?!!
4)Mr. Wood TOTALLY ignored the facts of the "specific case" he claims was all he was attempting to respond to and instead discoursed voluntarily on EPA deals and then seemed to infer that all of us who didn't agree with HIS personal opinion of the currently available factory dual sports were not only endangering all of his and the AMA's hard work, but were unfit to enjoy motorcycling. HE made it a broad, Federal case, rather than addressing the specific issue.
5)The feds have NO authority in regulating the States' requirements for what constitutes a "Legally Reconstructed Vehicle". There are only a few states who obstruct the individuals who expend great time,money, and effort with the sole and express purpose of creating LAWFUL, COMPLIANT vehicles. No one is attempting to "get away" with anything. We want fairness. Are these states willing to yank every reconstructed vehicle title to every RV, street-rod, Harley, and re-bodied pickup to make this fair? I'd love to see them try. Be new legislators and bureaucrats in there in no time. Why on earth would the AMA want to make this a Federal issue when 90%+ of the states have no problem to begin with?
6)The emissions crap is just that: CRAP. My 5yr old (also an AMA member) has no trouble at all following the reasoning here: What uses more fossil fuel and contributes more to air pollution: a 400cc 4-stroke motorcycle being ridden to its destination, or my 454 cubic inch (@7,400cc AND 32 times as heavy)Chevy pickup HAULING that same motorcycle to that same destination? The EPA should give us citizenship medals!! Furthermore, Iowa is an EPA NET-ZERO state. This means that our crops and trees CLEAN more air than our vehicles,homes,and industries POLLUTE. You're welcome! We have NO emissions requirements for reconstructed vehicles,and NO inspection requirements for ANY vehicles, especially motorcycles with their relatively tiny, miserly engines. If the AMA can't win THAT battle without concessions (meaning our dual-sport conversions),what hope is there for them?
7)Just exactly WHO did he THINK would read his statement? The same fool the IDOT thinks will just "roll over" like a subject in some communist country? He says he was aware of my commitment to FIGHT a government for my rights to justice. Anyone who would not, does not DESERVE to cower under the umbrella of freedom paid for with the blood of our veterans in my opinion!! Mine is a highly winnable case, perhaps THE battle to pick, I will find out,won't I? The fact that I shared the official AMA letter (provided he IS who and WHAT he claims to be and his address is correct)it with and asked for opinions from my peers and fellow members is no cheap-shot at all, as he implies in this second e-mail. We are NOT "some chat-room", WE ARE A CONCERNED PART OF THE AMA and motorcycling. We ALL have a right to know what he himself titled "AMA Position on Dual Sport Conversions". We have a RESPONSIBILTY to discuss and evaluate it for what it proclaimed itself to be.
8)If simply disagreeing with Mr.Wood makes me (in his opinion)unfit to be an AMA member, I agree completely: I'm far BETTER than that. He should use this opportunity to learn what members REALLY think (if he cares at all), not dismiss us for caring. Disagreement is part of the SOLUTION process; Mr.Wood,in this former member's opinion, is part of the PROBLEM.
9)I will end this by pointing out that the AMA should learn from the NRA that concessions only lead to more and more concessions until there is NOTHING left to concede. If Mr.Wood continues to "guard the henhouse" with his current attitude,we better all learn to like cereal for breakfast everyday...

(HERE IS MR.WOOD'S 2nd E-MAIL (Copied) TO ME...whether he likes it or not):

Dear Shannon,

A "Position Statement" from the AMA is a very specific thing. Only the AMA's
Board of Directors can endorsed an official position on an issue -- such as the
AMA's position in support of "Voluntary Helmet Use". The Board of Directors has
not given the Government Relations Department any specific direction on the
dual-sport conversion issue -- only the overriding principal -- that the AMA
does NOT advocate any illegal or irresponsible activities.

It would appear that somebody has taken it upon him/her - self to take a message
that I wrote in response to a rider's inquiry about a specific case and publish
it on the world wide web as if it represented some type of political objective
of the AMA. The email in question was an honest assessment by the Government
Relations Department of the current status of the law. Whether or not the
current law is popular with riders, or whether or not the AMA should work to
change the law are different matters.

It is unfortunate that such an important issue has come to the foreground in
this manner. If someone had asked me to develop a discussion paper on the
topic, I would have been happy to comply. If someone had come to me with a
proposal for me to take to the AMA Board, I would have helped them in anyway
that I could. Instead, I replied to what I thought was a legitimate request for
help from a rider, who claimed to be considering spending a tremendous amount of
money to fight the state of Iowa, by giving him my honest assessment of the
situation - I don't see anything in the federal law that would compel the state
to give him a street title for a "closed course competition only" motorcycle.

Some of those who have contacted me because of this posting have questioned the
AMA work on the off-highway vehicle emissions issue. In doing so, many have
displayed a complete ignorance of what we have done over the last two years.
This tells me that they are probably not AMA members and that they did not do
anything pro-active on the emissions issue such as commenting to the EPA (as we
have asked the riding public to do on numerous occasions). The truth is, the
AMA advocated more for off-highway motorcycle and all-terrain vehicle riders
than anyone else. I will not recreate that history here but much of that
content can be found on the "Protecting Your Right to Ride" page of

By baiting me into providing fodder for some web site chat room, someone has cut
into a significant portion of my time that would have been better spent on other
issues. For example, the comment deadline for the San Rafael (which is popular
with dual-sporters) route designation plan is this Friday. Not to mention the
time of other staffers who have erroneously received emails based on this
posting. My phone number was on my response, if anyone had any concerns or
questions they could have done the civil thing and given me a call. Instead, we
see the classic weakness of the motorized community -- everyone is looking for
an "inside" fight, but not many of us will stand up to the "real" threats.

If you would like to discuss any of this in greater detail please call me.


Royce L. Wood
Legislative Affairs Specialist
American Motorcyclist Association
13515 Yarmouth Drive
Pickerington, OH 43147
(614) 856-1900 ext. 1225

CHAINDRIVE: I cannot get the Subject header to 'copy and paste' along with the letter. I would be MOST pleased to FORWARD the entire letter to ANYONE; you have read its contents in their UNEDITED entirety and SHOULD see the subject header if you doubt my exact quote. E-mail me at and I will click forward the whole thing. Right back at you Mr.Wood, and for God's sake QUIT "helping" me!!



Posted March 20, 2002 - 02:40 PM


I received the same E-Mail as you, plus an additional E-Mail addressing some concerns that I voiced to AMA President Robert Rasor. I would forward that if I could figure out how to copy and paste it. I took the reply the same as you, it was a "what are you p!$$ ants doing wasting my time when I could be doing something else answer".
I think it is extremely foolish for any one who is dependent on money from me for their paycheck to fire off an answer like this, even if I am in the wrong, (which I'm not). I'm afraid I gonna have to spend that Extra Mile Membership money on some motorcycle parts or something. :)


Posted March 20, 2002 - 02:49 PM


I GOT IT! I GOT IT! here is the reply from Mr. Woods along with my E-Mails to Robert Rasor (on the bottom) If this ain't a slap in the face I don't know what it is.

By baiting me into providing fodder for some web site chat room, someone has cut
into a significant portion of my time that would have been better spent on other
issues. For example, the comment deadline for the San Rafael (which is popular
with dual-sporters) route designation plan is this Friday. Not to mention the
time of other staffers who have erroneously received emails based on this
posting. My phone number was on my response, if anyone had any concerns or
questions they could have done the civil thing and given me a call. Instead, we
see the classic weakness of the motorized community -- everyone is looking for
an "inside" fight, but not many of us will stand up to the "real" threats.


In response to your email please note that the bike in question was NOT a
motorcycle that shares a common frame or engine with a street legal model (in
fact, it was a "closed course model" with a reputation for being exceptionally
loud). Also, I hope that as a member you would appreciate that I feel an
obligation to be honest when asked a tough question (even if I know that the
riders may not really want to know the answer). So in regard to my "cut and
dried" tone, I would say that I would not be doing this guy any favors by
misrepresenting our assessment of the existing law. Again, please recognize
that telling someone what the facts are is a far cry from supporting or opposing
the conversion of an off-highway bike to street use. Clearly the AMA is not
telling states that allow conversions to stop, what we are saying is that there
is nothing in the federal laws that will compel those states not allowing
conversion to do so. It would probably take some type of legislative remedy to
change a state's policy on this issue and even then the federal agencies may
have an overriding jurisdiction.

If you would like to discuss any of this in greater detail please call me.


Royce L. Wood
Legislative Affairs Specialist
American Motorcyclist Association
13515 Yarmouth Drive
Pickerington, OH 43147
(614) 856-1900 ext. 1225

You wrote:

I have Just completed reading an E-Mail from Royce L. Wood AMA Legislative
Affairs Specialist in reply to off road conversions. If I am reading this
right the AMA is leaving any one of us in the dust who wishes to convert an
off road only bike to street legal.
I think the general concensus was that only bikes with frames and engines the
same as their dual sport or street counterparts should be acceptable
candidates for these conversions. Mr. Royce brought up several points about
Noise and emissions, etc.
As an avid street rider also I own several Harley Davidson Motorcycles, I do
understand the noise Issues with these bikes and I also respect the rights of
others, so all of my HD's hav modified exhausts but also have some type of
baffleing, as do 95% of them on the road (modified exhaust not baffleing). If
these offroad bikes are quieter and most likely produce fewer emissions than
some of the modified street bikes why shouldn't they be allowed to be street
legal as long as they meet the DOT specs? I have been an AMA member for
several years, most of them as an Extra Mile Member. To me your position on
this issue seems to be way too soft and as long as you hold to this position
I will have to take a serious look at renewing my membership.

Jeff Covert
AMA # 417077

Mr. Rasor ,

I appreciate your prompt reply. My main concern is that it seems that the AMA
stands firmly against this issue, but there was not any explanation given as
to why you are taking this stance. If there is a legitimate reason as to why
these bikes shouldn't be converted, I would certainly understand. If an issue
like this were to open a "Pandora's Box" so to speak you half to weigh out
the far reaching consequences on the rest of the motorcycling community. I
apologize if my E-Mail yesterday seemed a little bit gruff, I was just taken
back by the cut and dried attitude of Mr Woods reply on this issue.

Thank's for yor time,

Jeff Covert

  • Chaindrive

Posted March 20, 2002 - 03:16 PM


Each time I re-read Mr.Wood's e-mails, I get more and more torqued. NOBODY on God's green earth "baited him into providing fodder". He was simply asked for help. He stuck his own foot in his mouth. We ALL do from time to time. Then, instead of simply perhaps asking for an opportunity to clarify it to those of us concerned,(I have no interest in restricting this matter to a private phone call.)AT a more convienient time for him, he angrily switches feet...and this is my fault?
I think an evening with the AMA on what is supposedly just some "chat room" (yet one post managed to give HIM a rash in less than 24hrs), would be highly beneficial to ALL concerned,provided he could calm down and better use his undoubtedly considerable intellect and experience.He is absolutely right, infighting is unhealthy; discussion and disagreement are not. That's WHY Thumper Talk exists: to learn from each other. Would someone in slightly better standing :) with the AMA care to extend a formal invitation to Mr.Wood? I have yet to correspond or communicate directly with him at all.

Scott Rath

  • Dan_from_HB

Posted March 20, 2002 - 06:35 PM


Here is a copy of the email I sent last night to AMA and Cycle News. The first paragraph is a little off this subject, but you all might as well know anyway. I was not in the mood to pull punches. To illustrate: the concept of "limited war" is what got our asses kicked in Vietnam. It is what will get our asses kicked in Washington DC in the war over personal liberties, land use, vehicle conversions, etc. No mistake, it is a war to our opponents. I am getting pissed, but not at the AMA. They are just misdirected sometimes. It is time for action on all our part. Off come the gloves. Fight for it or lose it!

I have recently been considering re-joining AMA and District 37, and also signing up my two sons. We plan to participate in some AMA amateur competition beginning next year. I am re-thinking this considering the AMA's position on several issues.
First, I am aware of the circumstances of D-37 recently losing one of its most important and long-standing relationships with the Desert Vipers Motorcycle Club. It appears that the Vipers are gone forever from D-37 and AMA, as is the money their Adelanto Grand Prix contributed to D-37. Regardless of what you have been told by D-37 Officers, the cause of this was very plainly greed and the inability of a few people to admit that they were simply not willing to accept a solution other than their own. DVMC supported the racers, AMA sided with D-37 and its officers against its racer constituency. D-37 made it a very adversarial relationship almost overnight because some egos were stepped on. The fight centered on money, but it became secondary to the Board of D-37. One might argue that AMA needs more money in its fight to support only that legislation which is favorable to motorcycle riders.
Which brings up the second issue.
I just finished reading the AMA position on aftermarket conversion of "closed-course" off-road motorcycles for on-road use (dual sport), as articulated by Mr. Royce Wood, Legislative Affairs Specialist for AMA (see ). It seems the EPA made idle threats to impose ridiculously unconstitutional regulations on the sale of "closed-course-only" machines (which would unfairly single-out off-road riders and limit their ability to purchase the vehicle of their choice), so AMA has agreed with the EPA to support a ban on aftermarket conversions, no matter how legal by DOT standards. What next? Will the EPA threaten to ban all two-wheeled transportation, so AMA will agree to support the ban of all motorcycles over 250cc? The total amount of unburned hydrocarbons, nox, sox, carbon monoxide, and other pollutants contributed by converted motorcycles is such a small percentage of the total as to be completely insignificant. The EPA is chasing windmills at the expense of motorcycle riders and other taxpayers, and the AMA is helping them by trying to convince us that we are part of the problem. The problem is those that purport to be helping motorcycle riders are walking into the negotiation with a preconceived notion that something about this is untoward or somehow illegal, and that the EPA knows "what has been going on" (quote from Mr. Wood's letter). At what point do you get so close to the bureaucracy in Washington DC that you become a part of it? This is not helping motorcycle riders.
The EPA is wrong to go after the motorcycle in the first place. The motorcycle is an insignificant target, not worthy of the millions of taxpayer dollars they are spending to regulate them. They must be convinced of this fact before any meaningful negotiation can be done on behalf of the motorcycle riders in the US. If you are not convincing them of that, you are not earning the millions of dollars the AMA membership is giving you to defend their rights. Take a page from the NRA book. YOU ARE ENGAGED IN A WAR OF IDEAS. YOU EITHER WIN OR LOSE. YOU CAN NEVER COMPROMISE WITH THEIVES OR BUREAUCRATS.

Dan Clark
Huntington Beach, California


Posted March 20, 2002 - 06:39 PM


Good job Dan! I'll write also. Paul

  • big_G

Posted March 21, 2002 - 09:08 AM


{snipped from above}.....

As a fellow dual-sporter let me just say that there may have been a time when there were not a lot of (competent off-road) dual-sports to choose from; but, that time is no more. There are some great legal (and quiet ) dual-sports available. As I have often commented about the bone stock dual-sport that I ride, "if you can't get it done on this thing, then you had better look into another sport".

If you want to talk about any of this in more detail please call me.

Good luck,

Royce L. Wood
Legislative Affairs Specialist
American Motorcyclist Association
13515 Yarmouth Drive
Pickerington, OH 43147
(614) 856-1900 ext. 1225

{end snipped}

Just wanted to highlight our "specialists" opinion on this. I hope to God that he doesn't actually vote on anything. In his defeatist spirit I quote myself as well, "My blind support of the AMA almost had a chance of becoming real, but that time is no more.

[ March 21, 2002: Message edited by: big_G ]

  • Tree_Crippler

Posted March 21, 2002 - 04:25 PM


I just got my renewal for the AMA in the mail. This will be my 13th year if I send it in. I guess I need to talk to someone first.

  • Dan_from_HB

Posted April 15, 2002 - 05:27 AM


Just bringing this message back to the top. I have been trashed in Cycle News by Mr. Royce Wood this week for expressing my opinion. I feel his letter to Cycle News has mis-stated what he originally said in his letter here in mid-March. I don't think he understands our point that just because EPA passes a regulation doesn't mean it is right.
PS: stay tuned to Cycle News. I will send another message to them in response to Mr. Wood's letter, referring to this post.

[ April 15, 2002: Message edited by: Dan from HB ]

  • Chaindrive

Posted April 15, 2002 - 10:09 AM


Great job Dan! If Mr.Wood spent the same amount of effort defending all lawful and reasonable motorcycle endeavors as he does defending himself, we would be staying "ahead" of the "anti" idiots.

For my part here in Iowa, I have successfully shut the DOT down on the "federal law" excuse, it would seem. None apply. Now they have settled on a state administrative law designed to prevent quads, 3 wheelers, golf carts, and lawn mowers (etc.) from being licensed. Excellent! :D Here is a page from my second letter to them refusing to "cooperate" and once again defending them from themselves:
Pg 3 of 3

You have well established your willingness to change the rules to suit you. First, you delineate the rules for this vehicle’s reconstruction to the original owner/builder and tell him (correctly) that it is perfectly legal. Then you inspect and approve it. Then you declare it a Reconstructed Vehicle (for street use) and issue a title certifying this under Iowa law. At this time, you also create an entirely new vehicle ( under Iowa law) and give it a new Iowa VIN to prove this. Only later and lastly, when the original owner presents these documents to his county Treasurer’s office, is this entirely new street-legal vehicle registered. What part of IAC 761-400.21(4) are you accusing yourselves of violating? :
The department shall not register an all-terrain vehicle. ( a motorcycle is no more an ATV than an SUV or 4x4 pickup is).
The department shall not register a vehicle manufactured only for off-road use….
And you did not. You REGISTERED a vehicle already certified to be reconstructed for street use. The Iowa DOT should certainly know that a Title and a Registration are two entirely different vehicle documents. You cannot be issued a registration ( and license plate) without having a lawful title to a street-legal vehicle first. They should also be well aware of their own documentation process and order. Common sense tells you that an inspected and approved motorcycle is just another motorcycle for on-road use.

If this law had been intended to prohibit the construction of lawful motorcycles for street use, or the inspection and titling of such, it would say so. It does not. Nor does any other. In fact, there are numerous laws and regulations to guide their construction. READ THIS LAW CORRECTLY!! This isn’t even a good game of “the chicken and the egg”. It took me one reading to understand your error here, and I’m just a dumb truck driver! The only question here is which “error” do you accept?
Performing a series of duties as the law required? Or misreading a word? Is the Iowa DOT as willing to admit to this actual, simple error as they are to punish me for one they only think they committed? Are they committed to spending precious funds in further pursuit of this matter? I would certainly hope not. My legislators might even frown upon it. After all, you have encouraged me to write them and get the law changed. What needs changed? It is perfectly clear. And mine is a street-legal vehicle in every word and spirit of it.

As for the handicapped person exemption, I would probably qualify if I were on better terms with the Iowa DOT’s “discretion”. So, for the last time, I ask you to leave me and my lawful property in peace. Please ?

Bottom Line: NO. I will not willingly surrender anything until I’ve had my day in court. And that, I DEMAND if you still refuse to read the law correctly and apply it accordingly!


Scott Rath
While Dad was writing that letter, my 6yr old asked if he could help by writing a letter, too. You bet! I later took a break and had left the document up on the screen and returned to discover he had "written" his letter within mine:
Hay BAD Guys We Are Going To Fight You Back When You Get Here

:D That kid rocks!! :D :D :) A replacement for Mr.Wood? :D

Edit: I did not intend to sound so vain in getting the federal nonsense eliminated. Many good people are helping me (Thanks All!) not the least of which was Alan Roach of Baja Designs. He is far more knowledgable than any AMA official or me.

[ April 15, 2002: Message edited by: Chaindrive ]


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