Motorcycles & the Environmental Protection Agency

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) has recently reported that members of both houses of Congress have introduced legislation that would protect the rights of United States residents to modify their motor vehicles for racing purposes. The Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act of 2016 (RPA) 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 (EPA), 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 unrelated regulations aimed at heavy equipment, steam engines and diesel engines. That legislation would have prohibited owners from modifying anything on their motorcycles except for paint color and/or chrome. The MRF was successful in separating motorcycles from the EPA’s regulations, and created exemptions to protect the custom and aftermarket industries, as well as motorcyclists who wished to take advantage of those industries.

In response to the recently introduced legislation, the EPA has announced that it would cease its attempts to use the Clean Air Act to regulate competition vehicles. The MRF asks all riders to contact their U.S. representative and senators and ask them to support H.R. 4715 and S. 2659, the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act of 2016. The passage of this legislation would send a clear message to the EPA that motorcyclists will continue to actively protect their rights.

As always, if you have any question or comments concerning this matter please do not hesitate to contact me.

Matt Danielson
McGrath, Danielson, Sorrell & Fuller
The Motorcycle Law Group