Malcolm Smith and his Malcolm Smith Motorsports motorcycle and ATV dealership in Riverside, California held an impressive display of civil disobedience today on the heels of the power sports industry’s unrest with the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) and it’s banning the sale of all ATVs, motorcycles, parts and accessories intended for use by children 12 and under.
The act banned the sale of any product manufactured for children containing lead content levels of more than 600 ppm in any of its components. It went into effect January 10, 2009. Motorcycles and ATVs commonly contain lead in their frames and other metal parts. Opponents, such as Smith and the rest of the off-road motorcycle industry insist lead in these products poses no risk to children.
By selling the three Federally banned vehicles today, Two KTM 65cc motocross bikes and a youth-model CanAm ATV, Malcolm Smith technically broke a law that could see his dealership charged up to $100,000 per violation.
Smith, the On Any Sunday off-road hero decided to sell the bikes because he’s had enough of what he sees as a ridiculous ban on products.
“Not long ago, about a week ago, a woman came in and was going to buy a bike for her daughter so her whole family would be able to ride together in the desert,” Smith said. “And I said, ‘You can’t buy one.’ She could not believe it.
“Then, I just had enough.”
With that, he put the call in to some industry powerhouses.
Jeff Ward, Troy Lee and Glen Helen Raceway owner Bud Feldkamp all purchased the banned bikes for their children today, knowingly breaking the law.
There were many more stars of off-road in attendance to show their support. Supercross king Jeremy McGrath and off-road racing legend Scot Harden both spoke to the large crowd inside the dealership. Pro Circuit racing boss Mitch Payton also spoke to the crowd about the importance of the event.
“Everyone in the industry has felt the hit of not being able to sell products or services to the kids. It’s really important what he’s doing here and everyone needs to pay attention to it so we can hopefully get it turned around,” Payton said.
Running the microphone for the event was the man, the mouth, the legend Larry Huffman. At one point he asked Malcolm what he had planned to do with all the abandoned, now illegal inventory of youth-model bikes and ATVs.
“Well, I can tell you what I have planned for one of them,” Smith said. “I’m going to take one of them and put it on the back of a SeaDoo with a bunch of girls in bikinis. I’m going to ride around the Long Beach Harbor, ride around all the big container ships and toss it–Boston Tea Party it–into the ocean.”
“Are you serious?” Huffman asked.
“I’m serious,” Smith said. I’ll have it certified that their will be no pollutants in it so it can’t hurt anything and just toss it into the ocean. Hopefully I’ll get some press coverage.”
“I’m sure you’ll get some press coverage,” Huffman said.
“Yeah, I’ll probably get in trouble for that, too,” Smith said.
Read more about Malcolm Smith’s movement at www.kidslove2ride.com
In case you didn’t already know, USA Today article on Malcolm