U.S. Senate Amendment Introduced to Exempt Motorcycles From Lead Law

AMA_LogoU.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) has introduced language that would exempt youth off-highway vehicles (OHVs) from the lead law that effectively bans the sale of these machines at the end of the year, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports.

Senate Amendment 264, co-sponsored by Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), would exempt youth OHVs from the lead-content provisions of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008, which is commonly known as the lead law. Those provisions contain overly restrictive lead-content limits that have virtually destroyed responsible youth motorized recreation.

SA 264 would amend S. 493, which is a small business program reauthorization bill.

The CPSIA bans the making, importing, distributing or selling of any product intended for children 12 and under that contains more than a specified amount of lead in any accessible part. It also requires that all children’s products undergo periodic testing by independent laboratories approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which is responsible for implementing the law.

The CPSC has delayed enforcing key portions of the law until after the end of the year. Unless the CPSIA is changed, the sale of youth-model motorcycles and ATVs will effectively be banned.

The Klobuchar amendment is similar to H.R. 412, the Kids Just Want to Ride Act, introduced by Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) and supported by 55 of his colleagues. The AMA has enthusiastically supported Rehberg’s legislation, and now also supports SA 264.

[Press Release Courtesy of the AMA]

Ducati Launches New “Ducati Community” Social Media Site

ducati_logoDucati North America is proud to announce the Ducati Community; a cutting edge social media site for Ducati enthusiasts to come together and share their experiences via photo, video and written anecdotes.

The Ducati Community- being launched first in North America- was designed with the intent to connect Ducati enthusiasts from all over the world. With a passionate following unique to the Ducati brand, the new Ducati Community completes the previously unobtainable link between Ducati, its dealers, the Desmo Owners Clubs (DOC) and Ducati fans – all of which were previously separated by geographical boundaries.

The new Ducati Community transcends those boundaries by enabling Ducatisti to share photos, videos, text and more surrounding the enjoyment of their bikes and experiences. The site is capable of being synced with Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites; and follows a blog-type format for user friendliness. The addition of iPhone and Android applications in the coming weeks will allow for real time updates from the road, the dealership, a MotoGP race or any other location.

“We are beyond excited about the launch of the Ducati Community site. This new platform will keep us at the forefront of technology and current web media practices. Ducati owners can now share everything from a cell phone image of Nicky Hayden in the paddock to a lap of Willow Springs from their last track day. All of this can be done right from a cell phone and reach users around the globe instantly,” said John Paolo Canton; PR Manager for Ducati North America. “It is not just a website, it is a way to connect people and give them the full Ducati brand experience.”

In addition to the Ducati’s fan base, Ducati will regularly use the Ducati Community site in order to relay news, model unveilings, major events, and unique promotions for all of North America. This will ensure that the brand’s most loyal followers will be the first to know what is new in the world of Ducati.

The Ducati Community can be found at http://www.ducaticommunity.com; where signing up is fast, easy and free.

[Press Release Courtesy of Ducati]

2011 MotoGP Preview: Jerez

motogp_logoAfter the first round of the 2011 MotoGP season, one thing became clear. Honda has a fantastic motorcycle this year. Casey Stoner took victory in Qatar, and he was joined by three other Honda machines in the top five. But that doesn’t mean that a Honda will be on the top of the podium in Jerez.

Casey Stoner has never had good luck at the Spanish circuit, and has only one podium finish at the Spanish circuit to his name. Stoner’s teammate Dani Pedrosa will also be fighting against the odds this weekend. Pedrosa will be fighting through a shoulder injury at Jerez, one that will need to be operated on after the race.

With the Honda riders in an unfavorable position, Yamaha could find itself at the top. Jorge Lorenzo took the Spanish GP win last year, and he’ll be looking to do the same in front of his home crowd.

“I am ready to come back to Jerez,” said Lorenzo. “It is a great moment to ride for my people and my Fan Club here in Spain. We can’t make predictions for Sunday, but my crew and I will work as much as possible to be in front.”

Lorenzo’s teammate Ben Spies will also be a main contender for the podium. Spies was just getting his feet wet at Jerez last year, but now, with a year under his belt and a factory machine under his ass, Spies could take home his first MotoGP victory.

“I have unfinished business here at Jerez,” said Spies. “I really enjoyed riding here last year and was disappointed not to be able to take some points from the race. Now I’m back with a full factory machine so I believe the outcome should be a little different.”

Valentino Rossi could also see a burst of energy in Jerez. Rossi and the Ducati team haven’t been able to find their stride yet, but Rossi will be confident heading out onto the Jerez track. Rossi has 6 premier class wins at the Spanish circuit, the most in MotoGP history.

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

Shift Racing Closes Street Division

thumbs_downIn a big blow to the motorcycle industry, Shift Racing’s Street Division will close operations immediately, sighting that the companies motocross division is a much more viable market.

Shift, which is owned by Fox Racing, was created to reach the sportbike market, and had been doing a respectable job at it, with strong sales in the past years, notable sponsorships, including AMA racer, Josh Herrin, and a dedicated following from the street riding community.

The closing came as a surprise for such a well-established brand. ” I’ve spent the last 6 years with Shift building the brand. It’s a disappointing day for me,” said Brian Horton, Marketing and Media Relations manager for the Street Division.

Shift Street will honor contracts and endorsements for select racers, but will begin liquidating product otherwise.

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

Dani Pedrosa to Have Surgery After Jerez

Dani_Pedrosa_Shoulder_InjuryDani Pedrosa and the Repsol Honda team have decided that the best course of action to heal Pedrosa’s shoulder is to have surgery on the injury after the Jerez race. The good news, however, is that after the Jerez race, Pedrosa will have nearly a month to recover before the next MotoGP round in Portugal.

Pedrosa underwent surgery on his shoulder last October, and was confident that the 2011 MotoGP season would be smooth sailing. But after feeling constant pain in Qatar, the Repsol Honda rider decided to have his shoulder re-examined.

Doctors found that Pedrosa had intermittent compression of the subclavian artery, which can cause pain, numbness, and a loss of strength in his arm.

Pedrosa will have to fight through the pain this weekend, but hopefully the surgery will put Pedrosa back at 100% for the remainder of the 2011 MotoGP season.

“It’s never pleasant to have an operation, but we’ve been looking for an answer for a lot of time about the effects of this injury and I’m calmed because I finally know what has happened,” Pedrosa said. “Now, we are in Jerez and I want to concentrate on the race, working with my team in the best possible way to prepare the Grand Prix.

“This race is special, the fans are always there to give you an extra point and I hope it helps me, as always. I like the track, I’ve had always good results here and I face the weekend with the aim to do my best in my current conditions.”

Pedrosa will have a titanium plate and screws removed from his collar bone during the operation. He will begin rehab immediately, and is aiming to be ready for the third round of the 2011 MotoGP season in Portugal on May 1st.

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com