New Rules Hit West Coast Dual Sport Ride - News - Dirt Rider Magazine

News Tip - New Rules for Dual Sport RidersHundreds of off-highway motorcycle enthusiasts gathered to enjoy the sun, blue skies, and forest trails in Northern California at the 2005 SheetIron 300 Dual Sport Ride. Hosted by the Oakland Motorcycle Club (OMC), the event was staged from the fairgrounds in Stonyford on May 21 and 22.

The FMF/BRC Sound Testing Program for Off-Highway Vehicles (OHV) was on hand this year to help OMC enforce the 96dBA exhaust noise limit and inspect the dual sport motorcycles for proper street equipment. These mandatory inspections were required by the Mendocino National Forest as part of OMC's condition for getting the special use permit (SUP).The USDA Forest Service now requires a SUP for all commercial activities - including dual sport rides - that use roads and trails on National Forest System lands. This final rule was published in the Federal Register, Vol. 69, No. 133, July 12, 2004. See the rule at: Brown, the club's dual sport coordinator, explained to the riders just how important it is that they respect the rules of local townships and the rights of property owners by riding quiet motorcycles and having the proper street legal equipment. Because of new rules and restrictions it gets tougher each year to put on this historic ride that takes motorcyclists on a 300 mile scenic tour from Stonyford to Fort Bragg.A premier travelway - often called the Elevator Shaft Trail - near SheetIron Mountain was not on this year's route sheet. Because of questions raised by Forest Service officials and anti-access groups regarding that "non-system trail," OMC decided to eliminate that segment of the ride. Rather, the club will work with the BRC and other recreation interests to have that trail included in the current recreational road and trail inventory.According to Don Amador, western representative for the BlueRibbon Coalition, "I know a lot of riders were surprised by the hardcore mandatory technical inspection as required by the SUP. However, the good news is that a vast majority came to the event with compliant mufflers and street legally equipped dual sport motorcycles.""Riders told me they want to be legal and comply with the current rules and regulations so that the sport can continue. They know OMC spends a lot of time meeting with land owners, municipalities, and government agents to make the event happen. OHVers also appreciate that the club donates a portion of the entry fee to the Legislative Action Office of AMA District 36 and BRC," Amador states."I think OMC made a wise decision when they opted not to battle for use of the Elevator Shaft Trail in the SUP. The proper venue for that fight is in the ongoing statewide route inventory and designation effort. It also highlights the importance of off-roaders to become involved to make sure their favorite trails are included in the agency's decision-making process," Amador said."It was also great to have the gang from down from Canada and have them help the FMF/BRC tech crew with application of the SAE J 1287 20-inch sound test. That group is working to help riders in their country address excessively loud motorcycle exhaust noise," Amador concludes.