I’ve been trying to wrap my head around this for a while. If you haven’t heard by now, the government is days away from outlawing the sale of children’s motorcycles and ATVs.
We’ve seen streams of emails coming in from the AMA, Honda, the Motorcycle Industry Council and more. But what we haven’t seen are any updates, explanations or responses from the people behind the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, Congress or our new president.
Here’s a great rundown on the whole F*&%up courtesy of the friendly folks at Oset (the totally cool electric trials bikes) sent to Dirt Rider’s Chris Denison.
I don’t know if you’ve been following this, but there is a law coming into effect on Feb 10th 2009 that effectively bans the sale of a huge number of children’s products, including dirt bikes. Honda and Yamaha have both sent letters to their dealers telling them to remove the kid’s bikes from display, and to cease selling them. Even private sales will break the law. OSET sent a letter to dealers yesterday with the same information.
This is all to do with lead paint in kid’s toys. The Govt. had a knee jerk reaction and made a law that bans lead in quantities of 600ppm or more… not just in paint, but in ANYTHING that a kid of 12 or under might use. What’s worse, is that the law has been deemed to be ‘retroactive’, so all inventory is affected. A bike that satisfies the law today, will be hazardous on Feb 10th.
It turns out that lead in steel alloys is normal, and necessary in fact. It make the steel more ‘pliable’, easier to machine, bend etc. Steel alloys without lead are more expensive to use in manufacturing. Thus, many steel frames contain lead in higher than 600ppm, so the frames are now a ‘hazardous’ material. The lead in steel is insoluble, and wouldn’t come out in a million years, but the CPSC and Govt don’t seem to get that. There is also lead in valve stems, vinyl seats, cable housings & spoke nipples. All will be ‘hazardous’ as of Feb 10th.
We’ve obviously been keeping a close eye on this. There is one final chance that a ‘stay’ will be granted on Feb 9th that will delay implementation while the CPSC sort themselves out. There are petitions from all sorts of industries in to the CPSC and the Government. The MIC and AMA are both on it. Unfortunately, it appears to have become a ‘political’ issue rather than a safety issue. How many kids have you seen sucking on spoke nipples??
Here’s a NY Times article
Cycle News ran this:
Honda’s letter here
That was sent to me yesterday. As of today, not much has changed. Yes, there was stay awarded a few days ago. But it doesn’t affect the February 10th deadline. It only affects the actual testing of products that will be illegal once that deadline passes.
Scary? Damn right it is. If youth ATV and motorcycle sales stop in this down economy then expect to see less bikes in the 2010 shootouts.
Hell for Leather posted this update on Feb. 3rd that has a very serious and scary letter from Honda to its dealers on it.
Call your state representatives of congress. Call your state senators. Call your local dog catcher. Call anyone that will listen to how ridiculous this is.
Now, more than ever, we need to stand up for our, and our kids’, right to ride.
Oh, and don’t eat motorcycles. It’s bad for you.