2010 PDAC Newsletters

December 2010
History of the Powersports Dealership Association of Colorado

PDAC has been in continuous operation for 40 years, prior to 1998, as the Colorado Motorcycle Dealers Association. A small group of forward thinking Colorado dealers realized that a motorcycle trade association would be a necessity in the years to come as local, state and the federal governments passed more laws of increasing complexity. Having a media spokesperson and a forum to discuss challenges facing the industry where further considerations.

This position has shown itself to be true as decades of laws and regulations have repeatedly posed serious threats to the profitability of the market in Colorado. Almost without exception, PDAC has successfully turned back these ill-conceived attacks on the industry.

Additionally, PDAC serves as the spokesperson on your behalf with the media. When they come calling, and they always do, your association undertakes the responsibility of placing your position before the public, politicians and bureaucrats with facts, not rumor or hysteria. This public information function is critical to the image of your business and the health of the industry statewide. Of equal importance is providing a network and a forum (your board meetings) to discuss timely issues and prepare strategies to cope with them.

On average, PDAC's Executive Director and lobbyist reviews over 700 bills annually and tracks dozens of bills on a daily basis in the Colorado General Assembly. Those bills over the years have repeatedly attempted to; repeal Sunday closing laws, include motorcycles under personal injury protection insurance requirements, and require emissions testing of motorcycles.

Once again, PDAC defeated all negative legislation and kept track of legislation that could have been amended to seriously harm the dealers. Please remember we are speaking of a four month legislative session and over 700 pieces of legislation!

Over the long history of the association there have been many successful lobbying efforts to kill legislation harmful to dealers. For example, when Colorado required personal injury protection as part of no-fault MV insurance, PDAC not only had motorcycles excluded, but defeated 5 attempts over 8 years to amend the no-fault statute to include motorcycles. Is no-fault a huge problem? Delaware included motorcycles and until it could be repealed dealers lost 50% of their street bike business!

There have been many, many other successes including stopping the following; a motorcycle lemon law, a surcharge on motorcycle tire disposal, mandatory health insurance for motorcyclists, a ban on 2 way communications on motorcycles, attempts to raise fines for motorcycle dealer violations, lowering noise emissions to levels motorcycles could not meet, inclusion in the Front Range Clean Air Program with requirements that could not be met and more.

Despite the effective efforts to stop bad legislation, PDAC also takes a proactive stance when looking to benefit its members. Prior to 1987, little was done to assure public lands stayed open to motorized recreation, especially under withering pressure from environmental organizations to lock the public out. Four months before the Blue Ribbon Coalition was organized PDAC waded in with Colorado's existing off highway vehicle organizations to form the Colorado Off highway Vehicle Coalition.

This organization has relied on PDAC for direction with PDAC's executive director serving as chairman for many years. COHVCO has had many successes and PDAC has been right there from the start. Responding to the need for funds to build and maintain OHV trails, PDAC led the fight to pass the Colorado OHV Recreation Act in 1990. To date over 16 million dollars have been raised for motorized trails!

Safety is always an issue for our industry. PDAC drafted and spearheaded the legislative movement to create the Motorcycle Operator Safety Training Program. Once again, PDAC's executive director served on the MOST committee for 6 years helping to ensure proper implementation. Rider training graduates have grown ten fold since the passage of the legislation.

Of great concern to dealers is the issue of franchise legislation. PDAC was shoulder to shoulder with the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association in amending and broadening protection for motor vehicle dealers in Colorado. Since our initial participation, PDAC has extended the Colorado Franchise law to protect powersports products that are not included as motor vehicles. Most recently PDAC joined with the auto dealers to stop manufacturers who file bankruptcy from walking away from existing dealers and destroying their investment without compensation.

One of the latest threats that lead to licensing for the sale of powersports products was the proliferation of big box stores and auto parts stores selling scooters dirt bikes, and ATVs without their manufacturers or dealers being licensed in the state.

PDAC passed legislation for our dealers to have Full use Plates for auto, trucks and motorcycles to remove the possibility of being ticketed for using a demo plate. These plates are quite inexpensive and require no sales or use tax on the vehicles the dealer is using personally.

The market is soft after years of unprecedented growth. It is more important than ever that every dealer participate and financially support their Association. We cannot show weakness or lack of interest. To win and win consistently, this Association must increase its membership, its dealer participation and its financial resources.

Without the Powersports Dealers Association and its professional staff, who exactly stands between you and disaster?

January 2010

Legislation to Benefit Dealers
By Jerry Abboud, Executive Director

The PDAC Board of Directors is supporting legislation this legislative session that begins in January that will help in the financing of powersports products excluding watercraft. The bill is intended provide for a title document to show both ownership and to show any lien on the face of the title as is the standard for motor vehicle.

There are many advantages to a simple title for owner and dealer. Lenders see a more secure collateral situation and the probability of obtaining financing for more sales. Owners have a means of determining whether a product they seek to purchase from a dealer or otherwise will be a bonafide purchase. It will make theft harder and return of the owner's property easier.

Additionally, the nightmare that is collecting sales tax for powersports with so many taxing jurisdictions will be reviewed by the legislature. The possibility of going to the motor vehicle sales tax model for powersports will be reviewed. It also helps those boarder dealers who are currently at a disadvantage when selling to out-of-state- customers.

There is more legislation planned for this session that PDAC will consider working on to benefit dealers. More information will be forthcoming to members as will our monthly legislative updates to keep you informed about what you need to know about government.

EPA Allows 15% Ethanol (E15)

After intensive lobbying from the ethanol producers, the Environmental Protection Agency has allowed a waiver of the 10% (E10) maximum ethanol content in pump gasoline. The use is supposedly limited to 2007 or newer passenger cars, SUVs and light trucks. Therefore you will begin to see some pumps at gas stations that will dispense E15. This is going to require dealers educating their customers.

The E15 blend has not been studied nor cleared for use in motorcycles, dirt bikes or ATVs/UTVs. The possibility of damage to the fuel system of these vehicles remains unknown. The E15 pumps will contain stickers that state it is not to be used in any vehicles except those identified above. But does the public know the possible problems with this fuel, will they see the small warning sticker at the pump and will they ignore it anyway? We don't know, but we do know dealers need to inform their customers in all of their departments.

Colorado poses an even bigger problem with our high altitude and possible vapor lock scenarios. Then there is the possibility of damage to the fuel systems and solvent properties of a 50% increase in ethanol in the blend from 10% to 15%.

Make sure your employees know and you may even wish to have an information piece or more importantly signs announcing the change and, the possible problems and the potential to void a warranty. No one has faced litigation over this matter to my knowledge, so you should talk to your OEMs about what they are doing and help protect yourself by posting public notice in your dealership.

This does pose dangers if the fuel proves incompatible which it surely will be for many models. If that wasn‘t enough to aggravate you, the federal government provides a $1.95 per gallon subsidy because of the high cost of producing ethanol.

For more information go to the EPA website concerning E15 here: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/regs/fuels/additive/e15/
Countdown to Disaster
Time Is Running Out For Kids' Dirtbikes

by Bill Kresnak, AmericanMotorcyclist.com
Photos by Matthew James Photography

Imagine a scenario straight out of the movie "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" with a heavy dose of "Mad Max" thrown in. Almost all kid dirtbike riders 12 and under have suddenly disappeared, and those who are left are scrounging parts to keep their bikes running.

Can't happen? Yes, it can.

The kids' dirtbike doomsday clock is ticking, and unless Congress acts before May 1, 2011, the sale of kids' dirtbikes and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) will effectively be banned because of a law that regulates the amount of lead allowed in kids' products. Compounding the problem is the fact that the new Congress won't return to Washington until January, making the need for quick action next year more acute. Worse, with a federal election between now and then, much of Congress' early action in 2011 will center not on fixing bad laws held over from the previous Congress, but in moving forward with new legislation. The bottom line? The deadline to fix the lead law might be in May, but there's really only about three months of potential action time available between now and then, notes AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman.

"Motorcyclists need to keep this issue front-of-mind for lawmakers, both now and in the spring," Dingman says. "The AMA continues to make the case for fixing the law, and this is not the time to let up the pressure. Time is running out."

Though the lead law affects bikes for kids 12 and under, the legislation also threatens a way of life for motorcycle enthusiasts like Cameron, Palmer and their family.

Why The Fight Matters

Palmer King, 9, throws his leg over his kid-size 65cc racebike and waits for the start of his race in the AMA Racing West Hare Scrambles Championship Series. At his side is his brother, Cameron, 11, aboard an 85cc machine.

The green flag waves, Palmer and Cameron kickstart their bikes, dump their clutches and take off.

Lori and Jeff, who are mom and dad, pump their fists in the air and cheer on their boys at the start.

It's just another weekend for the motorcycling King family of Lodi, Calif. "Watching them both work hard at something and achieve goals for themselves is a pretty cool thing to witness as a father," Jeff says. "When the green flag drops and they take off, they are on their own for the next 25 to 35 miles and it can make a parent pretty nervous, but it is amazing to see what these kids can achieve if you give them the opportunity. "It may not seem like a ‘moto-dad' thing to say, but there has been more than one occasion where I got choked up watching my boys race," he adds. "It's usually not when things are going perfect, but when I see them working through a tough situation or scenario."

When they're not at a weekend race, dad or mom spends time riding with the boys when they practice after school a couple times a week, and they all trail ride as a family a couple times a month, usually in the Eldorado National Forest.

"The kids have been riding those trails since before they can remember," Jeff says, "and we have a lot of great family memories camping and riding in there." But thanks to a federal law that will effectively ban new kids' dirtbikes and ATVs starting in May, and certain replacement parts for them because they contain lead, the Kings worry about keeping any affected bikes in their fleet running.

"I am lucky to have bikes but worry about getting parts for them once the law goes back into effect," Jeff says. "I won't put my kids on a bike that is unsafe, and if I can't get parts to keep them that way I don't know what I'll do.

"That being said, it's such a big part of my family's life that we would have to figure something out to get us though the next few years," he says. "The worst part of this law is that my kids would be some of the last who are able to enjoy the things they've done with riding and racing together as a family.

"I can't imagine taking that opportunity away from kids in the future," he adds. Bill Hearne, operating manager of Outdoor MotorSports, which is a multiline dealership in Spearfish, S.D., talks with a lot of families in his line of work. And he agrees that the impact on family recreation will be devastating.

"Off-road adventures create family memories that last a lifetime," Hearne says. "If their kids can't go, then we will lose the rest of the family also.

"Kids generally don't get enough exercise, motor skills training or joint family activity time now," he adds. "All of this will diminish without youth vehicles. It is hard today to find family activities that everyone enjoys."

Sean Hilbert, president of Cobra Moto in Hillsdale, Mich., which builds competition level mini motocross bikes, agrees.

"At a time when getting kids out of the house and away from their X-Box is becoming more difficult by the day, I think it's exceedingly critical that as a society we open pathways for outside recreation, not close them down," he says.

The So-Called Lead Law

In response to an influx of children's toys from China containing dangerous amounts of lead, two years ago federal lawmakers approved, and President George Bush signed into law, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008, commonly called the lead law.

The intent of the law was to prevent children from ingesting, inhaling or absorbing unsafe amounts of lead, and it banned the making, importing, distributing or selling of any product intended for kids 12 and under that contains more than a certain amount of lead. The law initially set the limit at 600 parts per million of lead in any accessible part.

But under the law, that limit dropped to 300 parts per million on Aug. 14, 2009, and is to drop again to 100 parts per million after Aug. 14, 2011.

The law also requires that all children's products go through a very expensive testing process conducted at an independent laboratory approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which is charged with carrying out the new law. The products must be certified that they comply with the law. Plus, the law requires that the products undergo periodic testing.

Kids' dirtbikes and ATVs are caught up in the law as an unintended consequence because parts such as batteries and brake calipers contain small amounts of lead, and they will effectively be banned because of the complexity, expense and practicality in complying with the new law.

The far-reaching law also affects other kids products, including toys, clothing with zippers, microscopes, telescopes and even books.

How onerous is the law?

U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) noted during a congressional hearing this year that the CPSC, because of the law, rejected a request "from a toy company that wanted to have a brass axle on a toy car that had less absorbable lead than the FDA [Food and Drug Administration] allows in a piece of candy."

What Can You Do?
Take Action Now To Stop The Lead Law

Now is the time for everyone concerned with this issue to get involved to change the law before May 1. AMA officials have been urging members and other concerned motorcyclists to make their voices heard, and others agree: It's our best bet.

"To begin with, contact your congressman or congresswoman along with both [of your] U.S. senators and ask them to support the CPSEA of 2010 right now, and ask them for a response showing what they are doing to support the legislation," Jerry Abboud says. "Write a letter or go to their website and send an e-mail to that effect.

"The AMA Government Relations Department has an instant action system set up on their website AmericanMotorcyclist.com to do this. They make it a snap.

"For states with lobbyists either serving the dealers or the riding public, organize a rally with the specific intent of asking the state legislature or assembly to pass a resolution supporting the bill and send it to the U.S. Congress," Abboud says. "States do this kind of thing all the time. Post the information on local and state club websites. And be sure to mention that children can be more than adequately protected without killing tens of thousands of jobs in many industries that serve kids—for example, bicycles.

"Post the information on local and state club websites. Join the AMA," he says.

Dealers can be the catalyst for their customers to act, Abboud adds.

"Educate their staff to encourage customers to get involved, set up a display at the dealership with the necessary information to get customers involved," he says.

Bill Hearne agrees.

"Pressuring federal elected officials is the only real recourse," he says.

The AMA's Ed Moreland notes that when federal lawmakers get back to business next year it's important to put a full-court press on them to fix the lead law.

"Tens of thousands of motorcyclists responded to our calls to stop the implementation of the lead law in 2009, and the AMA is urging all motorcyclists to once again contact their federal lawmakers and encourage them to establish an exclusion for youth-model OHVs," he says.

New Fix-It Law Stalled

Earlier this year, federal lawmakers held hearings on the Consumer Product Safety Enhancement Act (CPSEA) of 2010 that was meant to fix problems caused by the CPSIA.

Drafted by U.S. House Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the bill was supposed to, among other things, give the CPSC flexibility to grant exemptions from the CPSIA's lead limits for certain products, components and materials, and provide relief for small businesses unable to meet the CPSIA's testing requirements.

Federal lawmakers closed up shop and headed home for the November elections without acting on the measure. It's unknown whether any lawmakers will breathe new life into the proposal when they reconvene on Capitol Hill in January. "It seems ridiculous that a law meant to protect kids will ultimately jeopardize the safety of so many because parts won't be available for existing bikes and kids will be forced to ride bikes that are too big for them because small bikes can't be sold," Jeff King says. "The original intent of [the CPSIA] has merit, but I honestly don't think anyone was considering kids' motorcycles as an area of concern for lead intake when the law was created. Unfortunately, it fell under that umbrella.

"I wish the lawmakers could come with us for a weekend and see what we are doing together as families," he adds. "I think it would change their minds in regard to this law and the general attitude toward dirtbikes altogether."

Ed Moreland, AMA senior vice president for government relations, says the CPSEA currently offers the best hope for keeping kids' dirtbikes and ATVs, as well as needed replacement parts, available in dealerships. But he also notes that the proposed law needs some work.

"We're concerned that the current language of the CPSEA doesn't effectively address the issues that exist," he says. In fact, when talking with others also familiar with the lead law, they say the CPSEA needs to be rewritten to allow a reasonable approach for the sale of kids dirtbikes and ATVs.

"Congress needs to restore flexibility to the agency [CPSC] so common-sense decisions about safety can be made," says CPSC Commissioner Nancy Nord. "CPSEA, while a start in the right direction, clearly falls short of meeting the mark. "We need to have a focused examination of the unforeseen problems created by CPSIA, and a meaningful discussion to solve them for ATVs as well as other impacted industries," she says. "Our safety records tragically show what happens when kids use adult-sized vehicles," she adds.

Hilbert notes the requirements for getting an exemption for a product under the law needs to be straightforward and simple. "The current proposal falls short," he says.

At a minimum, according to Jerry Abboud, executive director of the Powersports Dealers Association of Colorado, the legislation "should grant the Consumer Product Safety Commission not only discretion to exempt products, but it should encourage exemptions where the facts are clear that simple exposure to lead is not the same as harmful contamination. "Perhaps also do a laundry list of products where exemption is in the statute," he says.

More Danger Than Protection

The CPSC recognized the danger that the lead law of 2008 poses for children. By making kid-sized dirtbikes and ATVs unavailable, the law could effectively steer kids to bigger machines than they can safely handle. So in May 2009 the agency delayed enforcement of the CPSIA until May 1, 2011 to gather more information and allow dirtbike and ATV makers more time to figure out ways to protect kids from lead in their machines.

"Even a time-limited stay that has as its goals moving these vehicles toward compliance in a fashion that does not drive children to a riskier alternative and systematically reducing the lead content of these vehicles to the lowest level possible from a safety standpoint is not our preferred way to handle these types of issues," the commission said in announcing the delay.

"However, given the alternatives available to us and the information received thus far, we feel that this procedure is not inconsistent with the overall intent of the CPSIA, which is to protect consumers, particularly our children, from serious risk of harm, when the result of forcing compliance with the provisions within the original time constraints could result in a more immediate and potentially more serious hazard than a limited stay of enforcement," the panel said.

"If parents of youth riders are unable to buy youth-sized vehicles (whether new or used) they may very well choose to allow their children to ride adult or over-powered, wrongly sized versions of youth ATVs," the commission said. "Because used ATVs need periodic maintenance and repair, an inability to obtain certain replacement parts could lead to these vehicles becoming inoperable.

"If no youth-sized substitutes are available, this would similarly lead to parents consenting to their children crossing over to adult-sized machines before [the children] are physically and mentally capable of safely operating them," the CPSC said. "While it might be possible to change out some of the non-complying components on existing vehicles, for many of the components that is simply not an option."

From the Desk of Jerry Abboud, Executive Director

For those of you are new to PDAC and have wondered about PDAC's Executive Director is, I'll take a few moments to introduce myself. In the beginning I was crazy about motorcycles; that would have been 1965 and I was high in school. I have loved two wheelers ever since and owned and rode until 2005 when my vision and blind left eye made my wife a non-believer. Nevertheless, street bikes have been a part of many great and memorable times in my life.

By education I am a lawyer and I have been an association director and lobbyist for 24 years all of which have been at the helm of what was initially the Colorado Motorcycle Dealers Association that then became the Powersports Dealers Association of Colorado. I am your lobbyist, regulatory watchdog, advisor and all around advocate.

What I knew about the law and motorcycling was supplemented by learning about the business and industry that is powersports while working for Fay Myers in Denver. Years of watching, learning and doing provided insight into everything from risk management to relationships with OEMs to issues surrounding advertising and documentation of sales.

I have worked with national organizations and even the manufacturers since 1987 as one of the founders of COHVCO and a member of the Blue Ribbon Coalition's original Executive Board. I have worked on issues and actions with the National OHV Conservation Council the American Motorcyclist Association, the Motorcycle Industry Council and the National Conference of Motorcycle Dealer Associations to name a few.

I have a strong working understanding of state and federal motor vehicle laws, federal land managing agencies, the Colorado Department of Revenue, Auto Industry Division, State parks and the Department of Regulatory Agencies. And I am no stranger to Washington having been their many times on issues that impact the powersports industry.

The cooperative approach whenever possible is a way of building working relationships with entities as diverse as the Colorado State Patrol and Colorado Automobile Dealers Association. Just as strongly I believe in the assertion of dealer rights and interests regardless of the difficulty when necessary.

I am a past Chairman of the Colorado State Trails Committee, lectured at Colorado State University's Department of Natural Resources on Judicial and Administrative process and received various acknowledgements from state and federal agencies including Colorado State Parks Volunteer of the Year and the Colorado Department of Transportation for my work with motorcycle safety and training.

I have not spoken about your association's accomplishments over the years but they can be found in an accompanying article in this newsletter. I look forward to continuing to protect your interests and improve your ability to do business in Colorado.

Meet the PDAC Board of Directors

Every month in the PDAC newsletter, we'll be highlighting the backgrounds of two different members of the PDAC Board of Directors. It's a chance to learn a little more about the people involved in the organization and what they stand for. This month we've asked Mike Hendry of Foothills BMW and Kurt Finley of Colorado Powersports to tell us a little more about themselves and here's what they had to say.

Mike Hendry, Foothills BMW
After a long career in corporate America, Michael and Lynne Hendry achieved their dream of owning their own business by purchasing Foothills BMW, located in Lakewood Colorado, in April 2000. Long time motorcyclist enthusiasts, their son Brad is a top dirt and road racing competitor, they quickly took Foothills BMW to be the second largest BMW dealer in the USA and then added Triumph Motorcycles to the Lakewood dealership. In April 2008 they purchased Northern Colorado Euro motorcycles, retailing BMW, Ducati and Triumph in Loveland CO. "We just love this business. Not only does it feed our motorcycle passions, but it is a challenging and complex business model that provides interesting management involvement. Perhaps the most unknown area is the impact of legislation on our business. It happens and many motorcycle business owners do not even know it. This is why we are active in the PDAC. We need to influence the business environment we exist in and the PDAC, not only provides significant benefits to owners, but allows active involvement in the legislation process in Colorado. All motorcycle owners should be involved with the PDAC."

Kurt Finley, Colorado Powersports
Kurt Finley, president of Colorado Powersports, with two stores: one in Thornton and one in Boulder. Started the company in 1998 and have operated stores in Castle Rock and Grand Junction, as well. I've spent time in several industries, including the car business, healthcare and even the environmental business. I'm kind of a numbers geek, but my wife and I really enjoy riding our Gold Wing on the great roads of Colorado and throughout the country.

PDAC provides an invaluable service in representing our interests at the state legislature and in regulators offices. Its work to include powersports dealers in the state's vehicle franchise laws was a boon both to the industry and to dealers. PDAC has also been instrumental in enhancing Colorado's franchise laws for the benefit of both motorcycle and powersports vehicle dealers. PDAC also plays an invaluable role in protecting the rights and interests of dealers as new laws and regulations are proposed and passed every year.

From the Desk of the Chairman
Hello fellow PDAC members, I would like to thank you all for the opportunity of being the new Chairman for this organization. I have worked in the motorcycle industry for 24 years and have worked in every department of a motorcycle dealership. I started as a Lot Tech in April of 1985 for a dealership in Lakewood and have since worked my way up to becoming the General Manager of RPM Motorsports. I have been involved with PDAC and the CMDA (Colorado Motorcycle Dealers Association) for the past 15 years.

I welcome your input and insight on the challenges we face in today’s market. I feel that it is important for us to stick together as an organization, and work together to bring in new members. Please feel free to contact me by phone anytime at 303-232-7576 X-26 or by email at jackstarr@rpmms.com

2009 Legislative Wrap Up
Jerry Abboud, Executive Director, with the use of some material provided by Melissa Kuipers of CADA

All in all a good session if you exclude the majority party’s surcharges and taxes. Good things happened due to PDAC’s diligence and hard work. This marks my 23rd session on behalf of the dealers so pass the Motrin; it’s not getting any easier. A PDAC bill is noted as such and others are those we supported, brought by other entities. Click here to read the 2009 Colorado Legislature Wrap Up.

New Bully on the Block: Responsible Trails America

I was first introduced to the newest anti-motorized organization at a 2008 meeting of the Western Association of Counties. Visit the RTA website to get the full impact of their venom: http://www.responsibletrails.org

It appears that they are a well funded outfit out of Alexandria, Virginia. They are working state legislatures to cripple or rob OHV programs and are the likely culprits behind the efforts to rob Colorado’s OHV program. They are listed as a client of the local lobbying firm known as Political Works. Since it was a lobbyist from Political Works that was pushing the Joint Budget Committee to rob the fund; Sherlock Holmes can rest in peace - I think we can figure this one out.

This is a well funded outfit I am told, willing to spend big money to deprive motorized recreationists of their access. Most recently they have been active in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado. They seem to specialize in redirecting OHV funds to law enforcement. I would guess since Colorado has state peace officers authorized to enforce travel management on federal public lands that stealing all the money was a better option.

They have an interesting strategy, which is to paint OHV recreationist as composed of a criminal element in need of education and jail time. You will note on their website that they go so far as to have a news report in which a thief was caught who happened to be riding an ATV. And this equates to responsible recreation, how?

Also, they have only a post office box for an address. Strange for a nationwide organization don’t you think?

I am sure we will see their lobbyist regularly, now trying to legislate problems and steal money.

My question is a simple one: If you are all about safety, responsibility and environmental mitigation, why would you wish to rob the only fund in this state that provides these efforts? The money and help sure as hell isn’t coming from anyplace else.

Better yet, why would the Colorado Department of Natural Resources listen closely to an outfit that is not a Colorado constituent group whereas the OHV registrants are primarily Colorado residents? Why would the DNR hide behind an anti OHV group when Colorado taxpayers are getting screwed?

Perhaps an investigation by the General Assembly is in order.

Stop the Ban of Youth Motorcycles and ATVs!
Write your Representatives and the Consumer Product Safety Commission Today!
,br> On August 14th, 2008, Congress passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA). Intended to make children's everyday toys safer, the rule governing implementation of the act threatens to end youth off-highway vehicle (OHV) riding entirely.

According to section 101(a) of the enacted legislation, all youth products containing lead must have less than 600 parts per million (ppm) by weight. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has interpreted the law to apply to various components of youth OHVs including the engine, brakes, suspension, battery and other mechanical parts. Even though the lead levels in these parts are small, they are still above the minimum threshold.

The unavailability of youth OHVs will devastate family OHV recreation and cripple amateur competition, creating a domino effect across all aspects of motorized recreation.

In order to assure continued availability and access to youth OHVs, the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) and Specialty Vehicle Industry Association (SVIA) submitted petitions to the CPSC asking that certain vehicles be excluded from the final rule governing the law.

It is critical that Congress and the CPSC know the petition exists and that they act on it to maintain a vital form of recreation for American families, preserve youth racing and protect the thousands of jobs associated with this industry.

Please write or call your Representative and the CPSC today and ask them to approve the petition to exclude youth OHVs from the CPSIA lead content requirements.

You can send your Representative a letter by using the 'Take Action' option. To contact the CPSC directly, use their contact form by clicking here.

Colorado Legislative Session Begins
Jerry Abboud, Executive Director

The first 6 weeks of the legislative session have been filled with activity and many challenges. For the first time in years, the Motorcycle Industry Council is looking to hire a lobbyist to fight Colorado Franchise legislation initiated by the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association and joined by PDAC with the addition of a Power Sports Franchise Amendment to address non-motor vehicle product.


This legislation has a number of key provisions to assist dealers in bringing fairness to dealer/manufacturer relations:

  • SB09-91 provides improvements to the current motor vehicles franchise laws by compensating dealers when they terminate or are terminated for the fair market value of the goodwill of the business, compensation for an outstanding lease or value of a year’s lease of the property if owned by the dealer. Establishes the method for determining value.

  • SB09-91 provides a 30 day time frame for a manufacturer to deny a request for sale or transfer or change of executive management. It also provides for similar notice on initial site location or request for relocation.

  • SB09-91 Currently manufacturers can condition sale, transfer, relocation or renewal of a franchise on the sole basis of site location. Site location is removed as a sole reason for denial.

  • SB09-91 places dealers in a position to compete without the threat of the loss of their franchise or certain models over unreasonable manufacturer’s demands; particularly prohibiting more than one product line sharing common facilities.

  • SB09-91 closes the loophole on OEM sales of used vehicles while grandfathering manufacturers selling used vehicles prior to 07/01/09.

  • SB09-91 provides a mutual right to audit while fixing the "look back" period at 12 months for both dealers and manufacturers. This period is waived in cases of fraud initiated in a court of competent jurisdiction.

  • The MIC is looking for a top gun lobbyist to kill the bill or take the motorcycle industry out. This is a tough fight but worth it for Colorado’s Powersports dealers.


    This legislation was developed by PDAC to help with small scooter sales. The new name is low powered scooter (LPS). Currently, the law limits a scooter of 50cc or less to 30mph on level ground and requires an automatic transmission. A small scooter is also inaccurately referred to as a motorized bicycle. Additionally, customers were written a fistful of tickets if they exceeded the 30 mph limit. The limit would be 40 mph and operator controlled. Speeding would be the only violation for exceeding the 40mph speed limit.

  • Retains the $5.00, 3 year registration and sticker.

  • Requires proof of liability insurance under the Financial Responsibility Act. Gives owners of LPSs one year to comply with this requirement.

  • Increases the top operating speed to 40 MPH and provides penalties for exceeding this speed limit.

  • "Low powered scooter" will include electric powered scooters of 7 HP or less that have been previously excluded.

  • Retains the requirement of having a valid driver license to operate a LPS

  • HB-1071

    An effort for cities to try to tap into search and rescue funds with an increase from $.25 cents to $1.00. PDAC supported a successful amendment by the county sheriffs of Colorado to reduce the fee to a reasonable $.50 cents and prevented cities from access to what is essentially rural and mountain search and rescue funds paid by OHV recreationists, snowmobilers and hunters and fishermen.


    Affectionately referred to by some as Bill Ritter’s revenge, adds surcharges to all motor vehicles for highway safety and bridge and road reconstruction. Motorcycles are charged at the lowest tier $29 per year and low powered scooter (motorized bicycles) are exempt. PDAC has argued with the legislature and administration that the motorcycle surcharge is too high, however, Democrats have repeatedly stopped the amendment to reduce the fee to $15.


    This legislation sought to reinstate no fault insurance, but was killed in the House of Representatives. Wasn’t it just 4 years ago we said good bye to no-fault?

    Other bills being monitored include liens against titles and forest health. Also of concern, due to the state's budget woes, would be possible theft of motorcycle safety funds and OHV and snowmobile cash funds. Although to date, PDAC has managed to keep these funds off the table.

    Powersport Vehicle Dealers License Application
    PDAC board members and the executive director worked diligently with the Department of Revenue in order to facilitate a process to get the state’s powersports dealers licensed quickly and easily. The PDAC has grouped all the forms you need to apply for your powersport vehicle dealers license in one place and has created a Helpful Hints document to give you tips on how to complete your application packet.

    If you are already a licensed motor vehicle dealer, please click here to download the appropriate forms and PDAC Helpful Hints for obtaining your powersports vehicle dealers license.

    If you do not already have a motor vehicle dealers license, go to the Colorado Department of Revenue, Auto Industry Division website at www.revenue.state.co.us/dlr/home.asp to download the appropriate forms.

    From the Desk of the Chairman
    Hello fellow PDAC members, I would like to thank you all for the opportunity of being the new Chairman for this organization. I have worked in the motorcycle industry for 24 years and have worked in every department of a motorcycle dealership. I started as a Lot Tech in April of 1985 for a dealership in Lakewood and have since worked my way up to becoming the General Manager of RPM Motorsports. I have been involved with PDAC and the CMDA (Colorado Motorcycle Dealers Association) for the past 15 years.


    I welcome your input and insight on the challenges we face in today’s market. I feel that it is important for us to stick together as an organization, and work together to bring in new members. Please feel free to contact me by phone anytime at 303-232-7576 X-26 or by email at jackstarr@rpmms.com

    A Letter to the Governor

    Dear Governor Ritter:

    We have watched special interest groups within and without Colorado dictate how our public lands are to be used and who may access them. This is most evident in the current number of Wilderness bills that is being forced down the throats of long time Colorado residents. The current Wilderness bills that are being sponsored by radical environment groups; the Hidden Gem Wilderness, the San Juan Wilderness, the Colorado Canyon Country Wilderness and the Colorado Wilderness Act are going to ruin this state. The vast amount of already designated Wildernesses curtails all forms of recreation and economic development. When you combine these 4 wilderness proposals, with the reopening of the Colorado Roadless Rule, you are reducing all aspects of public recreation and economic development for the state.

    The above proposals amount to over 3 million acres of additional Wilderness - in one fell swoop a chunk of land slightly smaller than the state of Connecticut. Currently Colorado has about 3.3 million acres of Wilderness that was established over a 45 year period of reflection. Consider that the demand is now to double that area in one year!

    There is sufficient Wilderness areas already designated in Colorado. New areas will do nothing but reduce tourism for the state, and also cause overuse of the few National Forest areas that are non Wilderness.

    Looking at the current Wilderness bills, it is a blatant example of trying to reduce or eliminate all forms of public access to National Forest lands, unless you can walk in or ride a horse. The Hidden Gems Wilderness is the best example of this to date. Locking up our national resources also jeopardizes our national security. Denying access for needed commodities, while simultaneously having no plan to keep the nation supplied with sufficient energy will ruin us as a proud industrial power.

    The Colorado Roadless analysis was developed several years ago under current congressional guidance, the reopening of this to appease environmental groups that want to make all of Colorado Wilderness are not in the best interest of the state. There is a point where too much wilderness negatively affects the public's quality of life and our state's opportunity for business and population growth. It is absolutely convincing that a state with 6.3 million acres of Wilderness and another 4.2 million acres locked up as roadless area is a state well on its way to life as a second rate nation.

    We urge you to not support any of the new Wilderness legislation and to also support the previous Colorado roadless policy.

    Colorado needs to remain open for all forms of public recreation and access to all, not just a privileged few with significant financial resources to sway political opinion and youthful legs and hearts to leave behind the generation that made freedom possible.


    Modifying Lead Ban Unlikely
    By Jerry Abboud, Executive Director

    After conversations with industry representatives in Washington D.C., the likelihood of legislation to exempt children's OHVs and snowmobiles containing levels of lead that exceed the law is looking less and less likely. It appears that the supporters of the original bill like it just the way it is; unreasonable. It seems the destruction of small business is a priority of this Congress. Former President Bush fumbled the ball and signed it into law despite evidence of its impact on business and that much of that impact does nothing to protect children in the real world.

    Current CPSC Chair, Nancy Nord may be trying to seek a reasonable resolution but it is an uphill battle as the language of the legislation is not in her favor. Nevertheless, there continues to be efforts made in trying to resolve the problem.

    Perhaps what is most difficult to understand is why the manufacturers, who had lobbyists following the legislation from its inception, did not involve dealers in a fight to exempt the product nor notify them of the law until a few weeks before its February 2009 implementation date. That meant from August 2008 until February 2009 dealers where buying product that the OEMs new was to become an albatross.

    Further, why is there still flooring being charged on some models, specifically those sold after the bill was signed into law, by the OEMs. Is the interpretation "better your dealership than my warehouse?"

    AMA Position Statement on Distracted and Inattentive Vehicle Operation

    All road users are responsible for the safe operation of their vehicles on public roads and highways. Advances in mobile technology have made it easier than ever to become momentarily distracted by operating the controls of a stereo system, a global positioning unit, or some other device.

    The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) acknowledges that motorcyclists - in addition to car drivers, truck drivers, and even bicyclists -- share this responsibility. Distracted motorcycle operation can be every bit as dangerous to the operator, other road users, and pedestrians as the distracted operation of a larger motor vehicle.

    The AMA recognizes that distracted or inattentive driving has become a major concern to the motorcycling community. Far too many cases have been documented of motorcyclists being injured or killed as the result of other vehicle operators being distracted or inattentive.

    Motor vehicle operators engaged in distracted or inattentive driving behaviors are not just a danger to motorcyclists - they endanger pedestrians, bicyclists, roadside assistance and emergency medical personnel, highway construction workers, law enforcement personnel, and the list goes on. For too long, inappropriate non-driving activities while operating a motor vehicle have been accepted as "just the way it is."

    Even the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) acknowledges that distracted and inattentive driving behaviors have significantly contributed to motor vehicle crashes. From an NHTSA report: "Driver inattention is the leading factor in most crashes and near-crashes, according to a landmark research report released today by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI). Nearly 80 percent of crashes and 65 percent of near-crashes involved some form of driver inattention within three seconds before the event. Primary causes of driver inattention are distracting activities, such as cell phone use, and drowsiness."

    Within the last few years in nearly every state, new legislation has been introduced to address some facet of distracted or inattentive driving. Most of the bills are well intentioned. However, almost all focus on only one or a few in-vehicle behaviors, such as cell phone or text messaging system use, rather than addressing the main issue. Other bills, particularly those with age-based restrictions or prohibitions, are virtually unenforceable in the real world.

    Several bills, however, specify that distracted or inattentive behavior that contributes to a crash would subject the vehicle operator to enhanced penalties, similar to aggravating circumstances such as operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This approach is promising because enhanced penalties for violations resulting in injury or death to other roadway users holds violators more accountable for their actions. Note that specific restrictions or prohibitions are not required - any distracted or inattentive behavior that can be documented prior to a crash can be used as evidence.

    Therefore, the AMA supports legislation that includes enhanced penalty options to be determined by the courts. Examples of penalties include the following, but are not limited to enhanced fines, operator's license suspension, points assessed on an operator’s record, community service, and imprisonment. Additionally, the AMA supports the prominent placement of signage that notifies roadway users that the state provides specific sanctions for those convicted of moving violations while operating a motor vehicle in a distracted or inattentive manner. The inclusion of these sanctions depends on a state’s current penalty structure of similar-magnitude offenses.

    The AMA has adopted this position statement on distracted and inattentive motor vehicle operation because roadway users such as motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians pay a disproportionally higher price for motor vehicle operator distraction and inattention.

    New motorcycle safety initiative for Colorado mountain communities
    >From a press release issued by Drive Smart Evergreen/Conifer

    Motorcyclists are a frequent sight and sound in all seasons bringing local tourism dollars into the mountain communities west of Denver. Riders on cruisers, sport bikes, large scooters and dual sport motorcycles from surrounding counties and out of state, stage rides on crisp autumn days, warm winter days, and especially on summer evenings up to the mountains. In the morning, sounds of up- and downshifting motorcycles can be heard along the open highways of I-70, Highway 74 and 285, and coming onto the twisty canyon roads leading up to the Evergreen and Conifer communities, for rides west. In the evening, having had their fill, riders head back home.

    In recent years motorcycle crashes, including fatalities, in western Jefferson County have increased. In 2008, 13 motorcycle fatalities occurred in Jefferson County. Six of those fatalities involved riders with a BAC greater than or equal to 0.08%. According to CDOT, in the years 2003-2007, 44% of riders and their passengers killed in Colorado were age 45 or older. 90 riders and passengers were killed in motorcycle crashes in Colorado in 2007, the highest ever recorded (that averages almost 8 deaths every month). We believe this is preventable.

    With grant funding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ("NHTSA") the Colorado Department of Transportation ("CDOT") has awarded funds to DRIVE SMART Evergreen/Conifer to establish a motorcycle safety coalition. DRIVE SMART has taken a proactive stance in partnership with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department to reduce these unacceptable losses of motorcyclists riding in our community. DRIVE SMART is the first in Colorado to implement NHTSA's new PROJECT GREEN-YELLOW-RED. Our focus is to reduce impaired motorcycle operation and to remind all riders to ride within the limits of their abilities.

    DRIVE SMART is pleased to announce that an Evergreen resident with a passion for these issues has joined our mission. Deborah Napier, an attorney, licensed motorcyclist, and motorcycle safety advocate, was selected to jump start this new initiative. Ms. Napier's previous work includes legislative advocacy on behalf of the industry's rider education and skills training programs supported by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation ("MSF") as well as the ATV Safety Institute ("ASI") in Washington, D.C. In her youth she was an accomplished racer competing in AMA sanctioned motocross racing, as well as a high school team. She competed in her first desert race this year at the age of 49. She has completed the MSF Experienced Rider Course and is a Master Tread Trainer with Tread Lightly! In addition, Ms. Napier has given presentations to students at Grand Junction's East Middle School and in Evergreen Middle School's Outdoor Education class to encourage getting youth outdoors using multiple use trail etiquette, as well as using safe and responsible principles when recreating on our abundant public lands.

    As Coordinator of the DRIVE SMART motorcycle safety coalition, in the first year of the NHTSA grant Ms. Napier will establish a working coalition in the Evergreen/Conifer area. This new coalition will include motorcycling enthusiasts, motorcycle dealerships, a Jefferson County public health official, a Jefferson County Sheriff's Office representative from the Mountain Precinct as well as interested owners of restaurants and taverns frequented by motorcyclists in Evergreen and Conifer. Ms. Napier and DRIVE SMART's outreach to the motorcycling community has already started with the October meeting of ABATE's District 16 organization in Conifer.

    By the American Motorcyclist Association

    Responsible Trails American, a notorious anti-access and anti-OHV preservationist organization from the east coast wants to take your OHV registration funds for their agenda. They want this money because in many cases funding trail maintenance is the only thing that stands between you and extensive closures. They want 70% of your funds to go to law enforcement and trail closures.

    By hiring a prominent local lobbying firm, yes the same firm that tried to steal the OHV fund last year, to lobby the Park's Board to force the use of the funds their way. They have created a resolution which they intend to have the Park's Board adopt at the November 20, 2009 meeting. The entire resolution misrepresents our nearly 20 year old program.

    They can only be stopped by the voice of the OHV community. You should write a letter to the Park's Board to save your fund. If you do not, then your money will go towards the destruction of your sport!

    Please write a letter. The deadline for getting it into the mail is: November 14, 2009

    While the letter should be in your own words here are a few points that may assist you in writing your letter:

    ·  Colorado's OHV Program was intended to provide those that pay into it with opportunities.

    ·  The program has always struck the proper balance among maintenance, education, signage and environmental protection.

    ·  People from outside Colorado should not be allowed to rewrite a statute to the detriment of those who pay the way.

    ·  HB1069 from 2008 allows every law enforcement officer to enforce restrictions on OHV travel, more enforcement is not necessary as only a small number violate the law.

    ·  Colorado's Program is viewed by the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management as one of the best in the country.

    ·  The Program is far different than similar programs in other states and is not in need of tying up funds for outside interests; our program is uniquely well operated.

    ·  Despite some past problems generated by other Park's programs that caught the attention of the Legislative Audit Committee, the state motorized trails programs were found to be in full compliance.

    ·  Personalize your letter about how you and your family enjoy your sport and do not want to see it diminished without reason.

    E-mail: parksinfo@state.co.us


    Address your letter to
    Mr. Dean Winstanley
    Director, Colorado State Parks
    1313 Sherman Street, Suite 618
    Denver, CO 80203

    Board of Directors
    Chairman, Jack Starr - RPM Motorsports
    Vice-Chairman/Treasurer, Kurt Finley - Colorado Powersports
    Director, Jason White - Fay Myers Motorcycle World
    Director, Dave Burke/Duane Akiyama - Sun Enterprises
    Director, Bill Comegys - Grand Prix Motorsports
    Director, Mike Hendry - Foothills BMW/Triumph
    Director, Steve Larson - Greeley H-D, Honda, Yamaha
    Director, Brent Flambures, G-Force Powersports
    Director, Marshall Van Thorne - Interstate Honda

    Executive Director, Jerry Abboud


    Alpine Motorsports
    Apex Motorsports
    Aurora Honda
    Colorado Powersports
    Coyote Motorsports
    Fay Myers Motorcycle World
    Foothills BMW/Triumph
    Fort Collins Motorsports
    G-Force Powersports
    Grand Junction HD
    Grand Prix Motorsports
    Handlebar Cycle
    Interstate Honda

    Power World
    Rocky Mountain Kawasaki
    RPM Motorsports
    Spirit Lake Polaris
    Sun Enterprises
    Vickery Motorsports
    Wild West Motorsports
    Associates:Motorcycle Accessories
    Tucker Rocky Dist
    Western Powersports

    Disclaimer: PDAC is not authorized to dispense legal advice. The information contained in this newsletter is for informational purposes only. PDAC advises that dealers consult legal counsel on the specifics of any law or regulation to ensure full compliance.