The Environmental Protection Agency has announced that it has withdrawn its approval of the import and sale of up to 200,000 gas-powered off-road motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles. The country of origin for the units is China.
In the last decade there has been a steady influx of low cost Chinese motorcycles into the American market. China has wrapped most of the motorcycles and ATVs around a simple 200cc single engine design.
The recent EPA action stems from questions about emissions testing. The EPA reports that manufacturers of certain Chinese motorcycles and ATVs falsified documentation that demonstrates that the vehicles will meet federal emission standards for certain pollutants, including nitrogen oxides (NOx) and total hydrocarbons.
The manufacturers are the Chongqing Hensim Group Co., the Chongqing Longting Power Equipment Co., the Zhejiang Peace Industry and Trade Co., and the Zhejiang Chisheng Industry and Trading Co.
The EPA is contemplating an action under the Clean Air Act, which could lead to major financial penalties against the businesses that manufactured or imported the units in question. However, any individual who purchased one of the vehicles in question is not responsible for the company's infractions and can continue to use the vehicle.
What the puck? Knee puck that is. If you ever wondered when road racers started dragging a knee on the tarmac, here is a brief look at the history of the technique.
The Early Years:
From the origin of two-wheeled racing through the early 1960s, racers kept their butts on the seat and their knees pressed tightly to (or near) the tank. Racers took a very conventional inline riding position even through the tightest of corners. This was probably a very good thing considering the low technology and high profile of the tube mounted rubber of the time, not to mention the flexible frames and archaic suspensions. The early pioneers of racing did amazing things on their prehistoric mounts. They often scraped engine cases, exhausts, and pegs through every corner – but their knees only met the pavement by accident.
The Transitional Period:
The period of rapid and significant change in road racing posture and technique took place from the mid 1960s through the early 1980s. Butts moved off the seats and knees finally touched pavement. Maybe it was the fact that suspensions and tires were getting a bit better, or maybe the racers were just feeling the need for more speed. What ever the case, pioneers like Mike Hailwood, Eddie Lawson and Freddie Spencer all contributed greatly in the progression to the modern style. Each one took the evolution road racing body positioning to a new level. However, Kenny Roberts Sr. is credited with the true introduction of the knee dragging technique. In the late 1970s King Kenny used duct tape as his knee sliders! One of the coolest things about this transitional period in road racing was that the riders displayed very divergent styles within the same race.
The Modern Age:
The modern cornering style, with its extreme angles and high speeds is achievable in great measure due to the refinement of the technology of the bikes. Progressive tire compounds and profiles, suspension magic, and amazing brakes have made cornering speeds possible that old-time riders could only dream of. However, it is also true that modern riders have become true students of physics. The lower center of gravity of the modern knee-down, semi-contorted style has taken the sport into a new stratosphere. There is nowhere near the variation of cornering styles that there was in the transitional period; however the raw speed and athleticism of the modern riders is staggering. Plant yourself near a corner of a modern professional road race and be amazed!
Toy runs, benefit bike washes…motorcyclists can be a generous lot. What would you say to a product that protects your ride while raising awareness and benefiting a great cause? That’s what I thought.
UltraGard Pink Motorcycle Covers are being offered to support breast cancer research. The covers display the signature pink of the breast cancer research cause. So that is step one – raising awareness. Awareness is important, but money talks. To that end, Big Bike Parts Inc, the manufacturer of UltraGard covers, will donate $5 from every purchase to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
The covers are pink over charcoal with a pink ribbon noting your support. The limited edition cover is available in three variations- a medium cover for street bikes and cruisers, a large cruiser cover with expandable windshield and sissy bar pockets, and a large touring cover.
Not only will you be supporting a great cause; you’ll be getting a great product. The cover features a water resistant polyurethane coated polyester that protects against weather, dirt and pollution. The cover resists fading and other ravages of the sun. It also has a heat shield to protect the cover from hot exhaust pipes, allowing the use of the cover immediately after riding. It has other great features like rust-proof grommets, a sewn-in bungee, and soft windshield protection.
So…get your pink on!
Get yours now!
Hot heads sweat. Even well-vented helmets can get dirty and smelly with use. Many modern helmets have fully removable linings, but how to clean them is still an issue.
I have never been a fan of garment sprays that simply mask one smell with another. However, Western Power Sports Helmet Fresh is not just a cover-up. It actually attacks the bacteria and mildew that cause odor. That being said, spraying a chemical in a helmet that is going to be in constant contact with your head may raise some questions. Helmet Fresh answers that concern by being non-toxic, and non-allergenic.
So it’s fine for your head, but what about your helmet? The clear formula is non-corrosive and non-staining. The application process is simple. You apply the product with the pump sprayer, rub the liquid into the lining, and then let the helmet sit for half an hour. The product does a good job of removing the salts and oils caused by perspiration.
Western Power Sports Helmet Fresh is a simple, effective, affordable product that works as advertised. It leaves a clean, non-offensive smell in that previously smelly lid. The 4 ounce bottle retails for about $6.
The mystique of the outlaw motorcycle gang is alive and well. The subculture known as the one-percenters evokes images of violence, loyalty and criminal behavior. First, let’s be clear that the majority of motorcycle clubs do not exhibit criminal behavior. Further, not all serious gang (or club) members are one-percenters. In fact, the label one-percenter came from an AMA response to biker violence in the late 40s stating that 99% of all bikers are law abiding citizens; and only 1% exhibit anti-social or criminal behavior.
The most identifying feature of the outlaw biker culture is the 3-piece patch worn on the member's back. Here is a quick explanation of the significance of the patch or “colors”.
Earning a place in an outlaw motorcycle club is a process often defined by violent or criminal acts. Further, outlaw motorcycle clubs require total allegiance from their members. The club takes priority over the member’s job, outside friends, and even family. A member who does not exhibit total adherence to the “code” can be severely beaten or even killed.
An individual who is just “hanging around” a gang is awarded no part of the patch. The process of earning colors starts with a “prospect” being sponsored by a full member. At that point, the prospect is given the lower “rocker”. The rockers are the upper and lower curved portions of the three-piece patch. The lower rocker indicates the location of the club. Later, the other two portions of the patch may, or may not be earned. The other two parts are the upper rocker that states the club’s name, and the center logo patch. In some gangs, the last two parts of the patch are earned at the same time; in others, the process is separated.
As was stated earlier, the actions that earn the patch may be criminal or violent. A biker who does not display total loyalty to the club will not earn the patch. Further, virtually all outlaw gangs require a unanimous vote of the local membership for a prospect to become a full member.
Because of the crime and territorial violence associated with the wearing of club colors, some local or state law enforcement agencies have placed restrictions on the wearing of certain patches. The colors can actually be permanently confiscated if worn in public.
It should be noted that the some non-outlaw motorcycle clubs have adopted the 3-piece patch. Christian and veteran motorcycle clubs now sometimes wear a three piece logo. The difference is that these patches typically don’t have a specific location in the bottom rocker.
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