Citing concerns over the state's air quality, officials of the California Air Resource Board (CARB) have decided to go ahead with a plan that will prohibit owners of two-stroke motorcycles and ATVs manufactured after January 1, 1997, from registering their vehicles with the state's "Green Sticker" program. The action effectively bans new two-stroke vehicles from use except at closed-course competition facilities, reports the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA).
Off-road motorcycle and ATV enthusiasts, led by representatives of AMA District 36 (covering northern California and northwestern Nevada) and with the support of the AMA and its District 37 (Southern California) organization, tried to negotiate with CARB officials to gain some exemptions within the new regulation. However, those negotiations have failed to achieve any significant results.
The new regulation has raised a great deal of concern within the off-road recreation community because of the ramifications of banning an entire class of vehicles in California, a state that comprises a large portion of the U.S. off-road motorcycle and ATV market. Motorcycles and ATVs manufactured before January 1, 1997, will not be affected by the new regulation, and negotiations with CARB officials will continue in hopes of securing exemptions for observed-trials motorcycles and for competition events, including desert racing.
"We recognize that California has some serious air-quality issues and that CARB has been charged with finding solutions," noted Eric Lundquist, AMA legislative affairs specialist. "But we disagree that this ban is the appropriate way to deal with those problems. We will continue to work with CARB officials to mitigate the impact of this regulation on California off-road enthusiasts."
For more information regarding the new CARB regulation, concerned enthusiasts can contact Dana Bell, AMA western states representative, at (310) 438-6527.