Kit bikes ‘banned’Written by Mark Moses | | email@example.com
There is a real chance some motorcycles will be banned. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules will change the motorcycle industry in much the same way it changed the automotive industry in the ’70s and ’80s.
Actually, motorcycle emissions standards were first established in 1978 and have been changing ever since. New rules taking effect this year are very interesting and effect many hobbyists and small manufactures. The new regulations now classify home-built or small builder bikes as ”kit bikes.” Here is a brief overview of some of the new federal laws regarding these kit bikes;
You may only own one kit bike per lifetime.
You may not sell your kit bike for five years after its final assembly, even in the case of death, bankruptcy or divorce.
Someone else may assemble the bike for you, but this would be your exempt bike for your lifetime.
If your bike is wrecked or stolen, you cannot replace it.
You cannot build your bike using a factory built bike or parts; you must start with a new engine and frame.
Kit bikes may be used on the road without any travel
Small manufactures will be able to build as many as 24 ”custom motorcycles” per year with severe restrictions. The bikes will require a tag mounted on the bike that states its limited use. Use on public roads is limited to only display purposes, like travel to and from shows.
There will be no mileage provisions, so traveling to shows could be on the other side of the country. Many small builders will be put out of business due to these regulations and most of the bike builders you see on today’s wildly popular TV shows will also feel the effects.
Laws that have been on the books for years also limit many of the changes people can make to their factory built bikes from the likes of Harley Davidson, Honda and Big Dog. Anti-tampering rules do not allow any changes to the fuel system, exhaust system, or any other engine component that could cause emission levels to change. A multi-billion dollar per year industry exists today to supply all these banned modifications, but changes are on the way.
Much in the way the performance car part manufacturers have done, the motorcycle parts suppliers will be required to have their parts certified. This means they will have to prove that their parts are built, and will pass tests to prove, that they do not adversely effect emissions.
Initially, there is sure to be some screaming and unrest in the motorcycle community. After the dust settles, there will be gain for all involved. One only has to look at the automobile industry to see the future.
The first thing that will happen is the industry will get involved in the regulatory side of the rule making, and this is already happening with a new V-Twin committee formed on the Motorcycle Industry Council.
It has been proven the government really knows very little about industry and invites input and suggestions. This interaction always softens the regulations and makes them more reasonable to comply with by the manufactures.
People like to think government intervention is never good but there are a few things to consider on the positive side. Motorcycles will be more environmentally friendly with lower emissions, they will be more fuel efficient, much more powerful and last a lot longer.
We all know what happened to today’s cars in the last 20 years; they are fast, safe and efficient, thanks partly to governmental rules.
Sure, bikes will cost more due to new technology, but what doesn’t cost more today?
Contact Mark Moses at Mark@NorthCoastMC.com.