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September 4, 2006 – ATV Report

September 4, 2006
Filed under Features

ORBA adds 21 members
Twenty-one companies recently joined the Off-Road Business Association, a trade group composed of off-road related businesses united to promote common goals that support the prosperity and growth of the off-road industry.
New members include Pro Armor, Rekluse Motor Sports, Inc., The Truck Shop, Champion Wheel Co., Inc., Mickey Thompson Performance Tires, Tubeworks Raceline Products, 74 Motorsports, Visual Arts by GBS, TrailReady, Streamline Brakes, Hap Jones Distributing Co., Inc., Washington State Motorsports Dealers Association, Yoshimura R&D of America, The Brothers Powersports, International Racing Consultants, California Dual Sport, American Small Business League, Honda of Las Vegas, Baldwin Motor Sports, DeMello Off-road and SPY Optic.
Although ORBA is a nonprofit corporation, its officers and directors make decisions and take actions based on keeping off-road related businesses operating and profitable. ORBA member businesses are kept informed about political issues that may impact OHV recreation and are asked to participate, as a voting block, to respond to politicians and political issues related to OHV recreation and the OHV industry to ensure that the OHV recreation position is considered.
Also, off-road volunteer organizations that are working at the grass-roots level on specific land use issues can appeal to ORBA for financial and political support.
To learn more, visit www.ORBA.biz
BlueRibbon Annual Meeting slated for Sept. 23
The BlueRibbon Coalition’s Board of Directors plan to consider proposed amendments to the organization’s Articles of Incorporation and bylaws during a meeting Sept. 23 in Pocatello, Idaho.
The fall board meeting includes a schedule to review various BRC programs in response to the USDA National Forest Travel Management Rule and ongoing Bureau of Land Management route designation projects.
In addition to reviewing BRC’s programs, the coalition’s members will be asked to vote on board members as well as consider and vote upon proposed amendments to the organization’s corporate papers.
The amendments would modify language as well as make minor revisions in an effort to 1) more accurately describe the BRC’s current operations, and 2) support broader activities designed to protect recreational access in the evolving legal, political and public affairs arenas.
The full proposed changes to the Articles of Incorporation and to the bylaws can be viewed at www.sharetrails.org.
BRC members who plan to attend are asked to call Mary Jo Foster at 208/237-1008 ext 105 to make arrangements. Absentee ballots are available for those members who will not be able to attend the meeting in Pocatello.
Chinese Rivals Shape Taiwan’s ATV Offerings
Taiwan’s major ATV manufacturers say the pricing of small displacement quads built in mainland China has been a force fueling the island nation’s producers into developing larger displacement models.
Representatives of Kwang Yang Motor Co., Ltd. (KYMCO), Sanyang Industry Co., Ltd. (SYM), Her Chee Industrial Co., Ltd. (Adly) and Armstrong Industry Corp. (AMS) told the China Economic News Service that competition from underselling rivals from mainland China has led to increased development of larger displacement quads in Taiwan.
China-made ATV models often have more than a 30 percent price advantage compared to Taiwan-made counterparts, the ATV producers in Taiwan told CENS. The executives said companies in China have been exporting under-150cc ATVs priced between $400 and $1,000.
With annual sales of about 100,000 units, Europe is the second-largest ATV market following the North American market. Using Europe as an example, the producers said Taiwan’s ATV export volume there during the first seven months of the year declined about 30 percent compared to the same period in 2005, while the average selling price fell by at least 10 percent.
KYMCO, a leading supplier of ATVs to the United States, currently offers seven quads ranging from the sporty Mongoose 50 youth model to the MXU 300 Shaft Drive. A MXU 500 utility unit is expected in dealerships in October.
“The Chinese have certainly tried to make an impact in the United States over the past year,” KYMCO USA President and CEO Eric Bondy told Powersports Business. “Their focus has been on penetrating the market below 150cc with very inexpensive products.
“Price is only one part of the value equation and it is very unclear at this time if these products will be successful with the American consumer as their quality and durability is very suspect. However, while Taiwanese exports of ATVs have declined worldwide, our sales in the U.S. continue to climb.”
Polaris T.R.A.I.L.S., Round 2
Polaris Industries recently offered $125,871 to 13 organizations in 12 states as part of the company’s T.R.A.I.L.S. grant program.
T.R.A.I.L.S. stands for: Trail Development, Responsible Riding, Access, Initiatives, Lobbying and Safety. Launched in January, the T.R.A.I.L.S. program makes funds available to national, state and local organizations in the United States seeking to expand in those efforts. To date, Polaris has assisted 47 ATV organizations in 27 states across the U.S. with a total of $395,138.
Second-round grants ranged from $2,000 to the maximum $10,000.
Grant applications are reviewed three times per year — in April, August and November, with corresponding submission deadlines of March 1, July 1 and Oct. 1.
Organizations may apply for a maximum of two grants per year and all organizations must have non-profit organization status. Project funding, or matching, from other sources is an important criteria in order to be considered for a T.R.A.I.L.S. grant.
“We’re overwhelmed with the response we’ve had from ATV clubs and organizations in this second round,” said Mike Dougherty, general manager of the ATV division at Polaris. “We received twice as many applications as we did the first round, which validates the enormous and growing need for funding ongoing club projects. We couldn’t possibly accomplish this alone — it’s truly together that we’ll grow the sport we love.”
Florida Updates ATV laws
Laws are about to change for ATV riders in Florida.
At the moment, ATVs are banned on Florida’s roads, but come Oct. 1, a new statute will allow them on unpaved public roads where the speed limit is less than 35 mph.
The statute has restrictions: ATVs may be driven on the roads only during the day and only by licensed drivers or by minors under the supervision of licensed drivers. Any county that doesn’t like this idea can exempt itself, the statute says, by a majority vote of its county commission. Also included in the bill was a provision that ATV drivers under 16 must pass a safety course. psb

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