Motorcycle Smog Test Abandoned in California

The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) announced that thanks to its members’ efforts, Senate Bill 435 has been abandoned by its sponsor.

The measure was introduced by state Senator Fran Pavley and required motorcycles to undergo periodic exhaust emissions testing, which would have forced motorcyclists to always have a stock exhaust system.

This is actually quite unfair, as the automobile owners are allowed to install aftermarket systems. The measure, implying testing at every two years, would have applied to all model year 2000-and-newer on-road motorcycles with engine displacements of more than 280cc.

The AMA members were not alone in their fight against this proposal. ABATE of California and the California Motorcycle Dealers Association supported them all the way. California has the strictest motorcycle engine emission standards in the nation and motorcycles have the lowest emissions of any motor vehicle category in the state.

"California's motorcyclists are willing to do their fair share to keep our skies clear, but this bill asked motorcyclists -- whose two wheels are far less of a resource drain than four-wheelers -- to shoulder an extra burden,"
said Nick Haris, AMA western states representative.

"The California Legislature has already raided $90 million of user-generated fees from the state's OHV fund. Some legislators saw this as an opportunity to create yet another motorcyclist-funded program with no thought as to the burden it placed on the backs of motorcyclists."

Moreover, at least one senator was against the proposal, as it considered it expensive, unfair to those who ride motorcycles for recreation, and just another tax. Senator Pavley was informed about the 3,000 motorcyclists opinion though the AMA Action Alert section at

However, the fight is not over yet, as the bill is on its way to the state Assembly, where it could be further amended.
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