A Wrap up of 2012 from the Dealer's Perspective
• There was no shortage of activities involving legislative and regulatory efforts affecting powersports dealers during 2012. From the changing standards of the EPA regarding fuel being used in all vehicles in attempts to repeal the Motorcycle Safety Program, to ongoing efforts to close public lands, PDAC was there. To avoid lengthy narratives, here are the issues, what has been done and will continue to be done.
• A bill was introduced in the 2012 legislative session to abolish the Motorcycle Operator Safety Training Program. PDAC helped defeat the bill by pointing out the state had made no accommodation for the 9,000 riders annually, who need to test to get a motorcycle endorsement. Minor point. 2013 goes to the other extreme with the strong possibility of a bill mandating training for all riders. We will be on top of it.
• The Environmental protection Agency has, with next to no research, allowed ethanol producers to up ethanol content to 15%. This level is detrimental to any small engine, OHV, snowmobile, watercraft and motorcycle. PDAC supports current federal legislation to reign in the EPA on this issue. If the bill dies and the EPA moves forward anyway, individual states must approve its use. If it comes to that, we will do everything possible to ensure dealers and customers are protected. The fact its use automatically voids OEM warranties is a nightmare, and a problem for an unsuspecting public.
• PDAC worked on the legislation naming the new seats for the Parks and Wildlife Commission, and was able to lend its substantial support to a Commission that appears friendlier to motorized recreation and hunters using OHVs. Due to PDAC's efforts it is a positive if an individual applying for a Commission seat has an OHV trail background.
• Discussions are underway regarding the new AMA/MIC approved stationary sound test for street motorcycles in lieu of the "Schwarzenegger" EPA sticker approach. Many Colorado Home Rule cities use that flawed model to determine sound violations. An EPA sticker means nothing and hurts the after market. A true DBA test is accurate and would prevent local government from passing sound tests that cannot be met. There is much discussion, and there are issues to be worked out with the PDAC Board.
• GAP - Guaranteed asset protection, in this case for motorcycles, has been capped for nearly two decades. Despite every conceivable obstacle being shoved in PDAC's way, we continue to fight to raise the allowable price for GAP. Having exhausted all avenues with the state agency, legislation seems the only fix.
• HB1066 that would have provided titles for OHVs and a limited use plate for certain county roads was lost on third reading. However, now the counties have approached us because they see a need for legislation along these lines. Counties are extremely hard to deal with. PDAC will be in the thick of it in 2013 and hopefully a title will be forthcoming to help with financing.
• Public access is, of course, an ongoing topic. New Wilderness bills and environmantal efforts to kill trail riding are never ending. However we continue to fend off attacks across the state, and the OHV program once again provided $3.5 million to keep motorized trails open.
The National Council of Motorcycle Dealer Associations (NCMDA) has a new website, please take a moment and review it by clicking the linked banner below. PDAC is a member.