EPA Proposal

2003.09.14 – Is the EPA Trying to Outlaw your Motorcycle?

Click here and read the disturbing news and what you can do about it!


This afternoon, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) called the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) to report that the agency has decided to extend the public comment period on the proposed rulemaking on highway motorcycle emissions. The decision follows a flurry of activity in recent weeks by the MRF and State Motorcyclists’ Rights Organizations (SMROs) nationwide to call upon the agency to grant more time to study the complex proposal and reach out to impacted small businesses.

Following visits to Washington, DC by ABATE of Wisconsin, U.S. Representatives Tom Petri (R-WI), Mark Green (R-WI) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) sent letters to EPA Administrator Christie Todd Whitman urging that more time be granted to motorcyclists and the motorcycling small business community. U.S. Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) was also instrumental in this effort.

The Idaho Coalition for Motorcycle Safety (ICMS) was active back in the state in recent weeks, prompting letters to the EPA from U.S. Representatives Butch Otter (R-ID) and Mike Simpson (R-ID).
ABATE of Maryland visited many representatives in that state’s
Congressional delegation in the past few days, including U.S. Representatives Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD), Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD), Robert Ehrlich (R-MD, candidate for Governor of Maryland), Benjamin Cardin (D-MD) and Elijah Cummings (D-MD). ABATE’s visit prompted helpful, supportive inquiries to the EPA from many of these offices.

The EPA indicated that the new deadline for public comment is January 7, 2003. The MRF will provide more information as soon as possible to help guide the public comment process. The MRF extends its congratulations to the above-mentioned SMROs, as well as ABATE of Alaska, ABATE of Illinois, ABATE of Ohio and countless others who have urged Congressional involvement in this crucial rulemaking that will determine the future of motorcycling in America.


No more air-cooled engines? No more carburetors? Catalytic converters? By 2010, motorcycle tailpipe emissions must be slashed by over 80%, making it necessary for manufacturers to use fuel injection on the intake and catalytic converters on the exhaust in order to comply with tough new federal regulations, as well as altering cam timing and making other engine modifications, including liquid cooling. The federal Environmental Protection Agency, which has already succeeded in curbing emissions for the first time from off-road motorcycles, ATV’s, snowmobiles and diesel-powered boats to help reduce pollution, is now turning their attention to street motorcycles, and new bike buyers in future decades will likely see a big difference in design, styling and price. The EPA released its proposed rule on motorcycle emissions on July 26, 2002, and following a brief public comment period intends to implement the California-style cutbacks in a two-phase plan beginning in 2006. Stricter new limits will be established for hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides emitted by the engines, requiring motorcycles over 280cc to reduce emissions from a currently allowable 5 grams of Hydrocarbons per kilometer to 1.4 grams/km by 2006 and .8 grams by 2010, achieving more than an 80% reduction in less than a decade. Nitrogen oxides, which are unregulated at this time, must also be reduced to 1.4 grams/km in 2006 and .8 grams/km by 2010. Smaller cc motorcycles must also meet stringent new standards, ultimately reducing HC and NOx emissions to1.0 grams/km by 2010.

The proposed standards for new motorcycles will not affect their performance, says the EPA, adding that the Agency’s proposal does not in any way change the existing law that makes it illegal to modify the emission control devices causing the emission systems to exceed applicable standards. Motorcycle owners may make cosmetic changes such as the color and chrome. Public hearings on this proposal will be held by the EPA on September 17, in Ypsilanti, MI, with the public comment period ending November 8, 2002, after which the final regulations will be issued. For more information on the proposed rule, how to submit comments and the public hearings, visit: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/roadbike.htm and http://www.epa.gov/otaq/recveh.htm. The National Coalition of Motorcyclists encourages all concerned riders and motorcyclist rights organizations to make their feelings known to the EPA and our elected officials on this important issue which will affect the future of motorcycling as we know it.

Reply from the EPA

One of our brothers wrote to the EPA. Their reply was condescending and full of lies. Read about it here: Click Here

What can you do?

Public hearing on this start on September 17, 2002 and end on November 8, 2002. There is legislation proposed to protect motorcyclists. Write to your Representative and Senator. Get them to support The Motorcycle Protection Act. Here are links for pre written letters to send to your congressmen. You may also download these in Microsoft Word Format. Please be sure to find out who your Representative and Senator is. You may find them on these links:

U.S. Senate
This page lists the e-mail and mailing addresses for all senators. Also, learn more about the Senate’s activities.

U.S. House of Representatives
This site has links to Web sites for each representative



Here are the letters on a web page that you can print out and add the person’s name and your address::

Senator Letter Click Here Representative Letter Click Here

Here are the letters in Microsoft Word Format:

Download the Senator Letter here | Download the Representative Letter here

Let’s get a flood of mail going to these people. They are here to represent us not the EPA!