Fast Motorcycle Industry News

Washington Post Investigates Dangerous After-Market Motorcycle Parts. How many millions of problem after-market parts not meeting safety and environmental standards and endangering bikers are sold every year is the question that asks the Washington post. The investigation starts with an interview of Rick Doyle founder of now shuttered Hog Farm, a 3-million dollars business selling custom parts. Doyle now worries that the custom parts he sold by the thousands — from undersize mirrors and lights to high-performance carburetors — appear to be dangerous and/or to violate federal standards meant to keep the roads safe and the air clear of excessive emissions.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency regulate the industry but admits that it struggles with limited budgets and resistance from some parts of the motorcycle industry and that the laws themselves can be confusing, with nuances that make oversight difficult. NHTSA and federal safety experts also say that equipment failure has not caused a large number of crashes, but that the federal government has not conducted a comprehensive study of the causes of motorcycle crashes since 1981 when the study found that modified bikes were overrepresented in crashes.

Another question is raised regarding how requirements may apply to the manufacturer and to the operator of the motorcycle who may use a safe and approved custom part in the wrong way. And of course bike kits assembled by consumers are the objects of many attacks as much regarding the parts they are made of and the way they are built into motorcycles. The 5-page Washington Post investigation article can be read at

Yamaha To Develop World’s Cheapest Motorcycle. $500. After the cheapest car in the world, India to get world’s cheapest motorcycle. Yamaha India has announced plans of developing the world’s cheapest motorcycle. It will be a basic commuter motorcycle for the masses. Yamaha will be developing and manufacturing the affordable motorcycle in India. The Japanese two-wheeler maker plans to sell the motorcycle in emerging markets like India and Africa. The sub-$500 motorcycle is along the lines of the Tata Nano.

29 Responses to “Fast Motorcycle Industry News”

  1. 1 WCF May 31st, 2012 at 8:40 am

    The custom motorcycle industry has always been on the edge of legality if not on the wrong side.

  2. 2 Shifter May 31st, 2012 at 8:42 am

    How a custom parts vendor protects himself from wrongful use of its parts on a motorcycle?

  3. 3 Greybeard May 31st, 2012 at 8:54 am

    I have a feeling this “safety” effort is the leading edge of alignment with EU’s draconian
    Might as well attach gun control!

  4. 4 May 31st, 2012 at 9:32 am

    Uh Oh! peace

  5. 5 May 31st, 2012 at 11:10 am


    Exactly correct. Here comes more socialism!

    Over & Out,


  6. 6 May 31st, 2012 at 11:17 am

    What does the size of mirrors or carburetors made by private enterprise have to do with solcialism?

  7. 7 Oldernowiser May 31st, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Yea, really……No way the government would ever try to regulate what you can do to your own motorcycle…..that’s just silly.

    Hey, Great News! They just outlawed any “sugary” drink over the size of 12oz. in New York City. Way to go Mayor Bloomberg, what kind of a FOOL would want a drink bigger than 12oz. anyway??

    Yea, socialism, that’s just silly…

  8. 8 WCF May 31st, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Oldernowiser. You are old and not wise. Bloomberg is not democrat, but independent (since 2007)

  9. 9 May 31st, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Solcialism and regulation are two different things.

  10. 10 May 31st, 2012 at 1:53 pm


    Where did Oldernowiser comment on what political party Mayor Bloomberg is affiliated with?

    Over & Out,


  11. 11 May 31st, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    graybeard is right – over here in the EU its getting way way out of hand and is being driven using unbalanced statistics to justify safety – so yes the government will say – no you cant change your handlebars, suspension exhaust etc, and if you do – its a big fine – my advice buy older and older bikes and keep them simple and out of the way of the law. Enjoy the summer riding folks.

  12. 12 May 31st, 2012 at 2:04 pm


    One can easily lead to the other especially with the White House we have in place today.

    Over & Out,


  13. 13 Mike Greenwald May 31st, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    The reason for the Washington Post article coincides with a push by Feds to control motorcycles and motorcyclists. Feds tested the waters with EPA stamps on exhaust systems. Fed wants to turnover enforcement of regulations to state, county and local police departments. The ROI will be greater control without having the large grant money outlay for motorcycle only stops. Results of motorcycle only stops were that of compliance and increases revenue for discovered offenses.

  14. 14 Oldernowiser May 31st, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    “Oldernowiser. You are old and not wise. Bloomberg is not democrat, but independent (since 2007)”

    WCF, your reading comprehension leaves a little to be desired. My user name, Oldernowiser, clearly implies that although I AM older, I am in fact NO wiser. get it,? get it,? a clever play on an old saying…

    And I didn’t mention any party affiliation, and could not care less. They say that they are whatever they need to be, in order to get elected. Democrat, Republican, Independent,

    An Independent politician?……..Ha……No such animal, on this planet or any other!

  15. 15 Kroeter May 31st, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    Right now, tracking down all the violators would be a waste of time. They’ll get serious about it when they can find a way to profit from it, like mandatory seat belts in cars. Decreasing fatalities looks good in the public eye, but the contract money in their pockets feels even better!

  16. 16 BobS May 31st, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    Socialism is the public ownership of corporations and enterprises. If you call regulation of health care, pollution, and motorcycles socialism…sorry but that makes you sound uh, not to smart. Politicians, both parties, want to stick their noses in our business. Always has been always will be. It’s up to us to band together and vote the ones out of office that go to far. I would like to be able to fish the lake near my home and not worry about the fish being filled with toxic chemicals, but quit trying to tell me I have to pick a helmet from your approved list, or who I can marry, or how to pray. That’s way too far. As for motorcycles, in my experience the ones with tiny little mirrors spend more time on a trailer than on the road so I really don’t see that it’s much of a safety issue anyway. And since motorcycles really don’t spend much time in reverse does it really matter?

  17. 17 fuji May 31st, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    Now I’m happy and may go to bed with a smi 🙂 le on my face.

    Just like the good ole days on this blog, the [ those with wisdom ] old geezers found the key board. YES!.

    Thanks guys thought y’all had croaked. LOL

    God bless America, Jack Daniel’s, and Po_n Tang.

  18. 18 Eric Maurer Jun 1st, 2012 at 12:22 am

    if nothing else, maybe this will put a dent in the chinese knock-off market. You all know it…. its the crap that shows up at swapmeets and on well known “auction sites” on the internet. When you see a 400 dollar part selling for 65.00 bucks brand new…. yeah, that crap. Hopefully this hurts the knock-off industry and not the legit US parts manufacturer (large and small)

  19. 19 Tim Jun 1st, 2012 at 7:23 am

    Yes this is socialism at its finest, For Mr. Lyle who does not understand this may I recommend a couple of Books, The Forgotten Man, America Alone, Atlas Shrugged, just to name a few. Socialism is when the Govt knows what is best for you and uses the power of the Govt to make you do what is best as in regulating “unsafe m/c parts” or saying you cannot have a large soft drink, or salt, or smoke….
    Ask a Cuban or European or someone from the soviet bloc how well this works out. The key for me in tis article was the comment of “understaffed and not enough money” that spells larger govt. Didn’t Reagan say something like “A govt big enough to take care of you is big enough to take everything from you. YES this is political one group of people want to control everything we do, eat, and think, another wants freedom of able to do as you please. (Goggle Ted Nugent) The ones in power now are pushing this crap and they need to go. Unless you want to be riding a govt mandated 42cc hybrid safety scooter (See Chevy Volt) that costs $30k before the govt subsidy. Read. Read from a lot of sources. read some more and learn what is going on.

  20. 20 89%ER Jun 1st, 2012 at 8:17 am



  21. 21 Harold Mutter Jun 1st, 2012 at 8:20 am

    You don’t suppose the old Bar and Shield and other OEM motorcycle manufacturers have anything to do with the aftermarket fear mongering?

  22. 22 Dennis Jun 1st, 2012 at 8:27 am



    Sorry for hate mail today. At times I feel 89%ers have there head in the sand. everyone have a nice day.

  23. 23 Rodent Jun 1st, 2012 at 8:34 am

    Harold, you sound about right!

  24. 24 BadMonkeyMW Jun 1st, 2012 at 9:02 am

    Harold is most likely right. This sounds exactly like H-D’s type of shady methods to hurt the aftermarket for their benefit. In case you missed it, Harley Corporate just pushed through a new policy that forbids their dealers from selling to any independent shop with any kind of discount. AND, independent shops can only buy parts at full retail from a dealership in their area. Make no mistake, H-D is ruthless when if comes to their attempts to force riders to only buy parts and receive service from them, you can rest assured they have a hand in this government intrusion into our lives.

  25. 25 Mike Greenwald Jun 1st, 2012 at 10:16 am

    If this is an issue about substandard parts, you can buy those at the bar and shield dealerships one at a time or as a complete bike.

  26. 26 Jun 1st, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    If you will recall, several years back, when the EPA first started to hold hearings concerning motorcycle emissions, the EPA’s first move was to form a board to study the issues and present their findings as recommendations to the EPA hearing council. The members of this “study” group consisted of several EPA members, a couple CARB members, several members from HD and a couple of other motorcycle manufacturers and several civilians. HD lead the charge for much stricter emission regulations as did one other motorcycle manufacturer. HD pushed for “alignment” with the CARB regulations. Their thinking was that it would put all of us smaller manufacturers out of business and out of HD’s hair once and for all. Sorry HD didn’t work out for you then and this push with the parts won’t work any better than your move to trademark the sound of a V-Twin engine did.

    Over & Out,


  27. 27 Jun 2nd, 2012 at 12:02 am

    “Doyle now worries that the custom parts he sold by the thousands — from undersize mirrors and lights to high-performance carburetors — appear to be dangerous and/or to violate federal standards meant to keep the roads safe and the air clear of excessive emissions.”
    No worries. The 1936-64 Harley Taiwan repop parts customers have been the “canaries in the coal mine for the M/C world since 1969”. Multiple generations of Taiwan riding cowboys have retained a reliable communications network. No one has ever been injured by a “Harley” Taiwan part failure, but the only Chinese parts we use are 16 x 5:10 Cheng Shin tires, and J.C. Whitney will have that (speedgrip) tread FOREVER. 1936-1964 is state of being.
    We also have the cheapest, crazy-thriftiest, manufacturers on the planet, failing, succeeding, and still making our parts every day. No one has died from a Taiwan Harley part. The only Taiwan parts to EVER fail were cast iron rear cylinders and that was ALWAYS because of an intake manifold leak – misdiagnosed as bad casting material. Not. We all in the know know that. All of our internal hardened parts are USA. JIMS or S&S.
    So forgitaboutit Mr. Doyle. It won’t come back and bite you.
    In brief, this EPA recommendation is still in full standing (unless changed since 5-04) and outlines in specific language the one-kit-per-person-per lifetime language that is in place, and to be used by the 49 states as a guideline when reference is needed. The point being that the kit bikes are rarely ridden emission-exempt and fully insurable by Progressive or the Gecko lizard :

    G. EPA Exemption for Motorcycle Kits and Custom Motorcycles

    During the rule-making we sought comment on the need for emission
    control requirements for motorcycle engines distinct and separate from
    the current and future requirements for complete motorcycles. We sought
    comment in this area because we had identified a small sector in the
    motorcycle market where the engine manufacturer and chassis
    manufacturer are not the same entity. This includes two very small
    parts of the market: one in which motorcycles are assembled by
    individuals from parts and sub-assemblies procured from motorcycle kit
    marketers or other separate sources; and another in which elaborate
    custom motorcycles are created for display by collectors. At this time,
    we are not including any certification requirements for engine
    manufacturers. See discussion in Chapter 1.5 of the Summary and
    Analysis of Comments. The small volume motorcycle manufacturers who
    purchase the vast majority of engines from other entities for
    incorporation into the motorcycles will continue to be subject to the
    regulations, and will continue to meet the requirements of the
    regulations, as they have in the past.
    However, for those individuals who put together a single motorcycle
    for individual use and businesses that produce a handful of custom
    motorcycles for display, we believe it is appropriate not to require
    these entities to have to certify their assembled vehicles. Therefore,
    we are promulgating provisions for two special exemptions. The first is
    a one-time exemption for any person building a motorcycle from a kit
    for individual use. We believe that the small benefit of having single
    individuals certify to the standards is outweighed by the substantial
    burden to these individuals in certifying. Moreover, because the
    engines in such kits generally are built by the same companies as those
    engines going to the small volume motorcycle manufacturers, who still
    must certify and who will represent the majority of the engine-makers’
    production, we believe that most of the engines will be the same or
    very similar to the engines used in the certified motorcycles.
    Individuals may not use this provision as a regulatory loophole to
    modify or customize a certified motorcycle in a manner which adversely
    affects emissions. “This provision is limited to one motorcycle per
    individual over the life of the provision.” [Lifetime and can’t be sold due to death or divorce for a period of (7) years. Good with that.]
    In the case where the owner of the kit motorcycle is not the
    assembler of the motorcycle, the limitation of one motorcycle per
    person applies to the purchaser of the kit components of the
    motorcycle, who we expect is the end user of the motorcycle, rather
    than to the person or persons who actually assemble the motorcycle. A
    kit purchaser may have the kit assembled by another party and retain
    the one-time exemption for the motorcycle. In order to qualify for the
    exemption under these circumstances, the kit must be purchased by the
    ultimate owner before assembly begins. Parties or businesses who
    purchase kit motorcycles for assembly and retail sale are not covered
    by this exemption.

  28. 28 Jun 3rd, 2012 at 9:28 am

    While we argue the govt grows more powerful. Vote for candidates that at least claim to support limited govt. Oppose big govt supporters. If we don’t oppose increased regulation now, we may not have the right to oppose it later.

  29. 29 Jun 6th, 2012 at 8:43 am

    So ensuring parts meet national standards such as SAE, ASTM, etc. is socialism? Huh? All I want is confidence the Grade 5 bolt or the speed rated tires I just bought are exactly what they say they are. This is no different than what’s been going on for years with UL, NEC, or other standards for everything from appliances to electrical wiring. Sorry folks, but I’ll take something that’s been tested and meets accepted standards over something that hasn’t any day. And that’s not socialism. Like it or not, there needs to be some standards. The real issue is to what degree.

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