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No more custom bikes?

9569 Views 76 Replies 53 Participants Last post by  knogjärn
From the Hamb.

California has passed a law/legislation that WILL almost completely eliminate custom bike building and essentially destroy the kit bike industry. We will give you a brief overview of the short of it.

For the direct link click here and scroll down to Final Rule for Cleaner Highway Motorcycles (published January 15, 2004).

1) As of Jan. 1st 2006 Californians will only be allowed to build ONE custom motorcycle in their lifetime that is not E.P.A./D.O.T. certified.

2) If you have a "custom built motorcycle" titled/registered before Dec. 31st 2005 it will be grandfathered and will not count against you as your 1 in your lifetime.

3) If you sell, wreck, or lose your custom built bike (grandfathered or your one in a lifetime) due to accident, theft or anything.TOO BAD! NO REPLACEMENT!

4) Custom Shops, Professional Bike Builders, legitimate builders can build 24 bikes a's the can't ride them anywhere except from your home to a legitimate "show" and straight back home. If you get caught "cruising" on your CM stamped bike, it is gone!!!

5) Any bike that is not a Manufactured Vehicle, 100% D.O.T. compliant with title, will not be available except for the 1 in your lifetime.but there is a catch.

6) Within 5 years all motors must be fuel injected, E.P.A. compliant, no exhaust will be allowed that are not E.P.A. approved and NO MODIFYING PARTS to carburetion, air cleaners, custom exhaust will be allowed to be used if it alters the exhaust or emissions of a manufactured vehicle or on "custom built bikes".

7) If you build an Non-E.P.A./D.O.T. compliant bike and then you die, your estate cannot even sell your bike for .5 years!

Here is the bigger worry. The rest of us might also suffer this fate along with California. The Federal government, D.O.T. AND E.P.A., want to adopt this on a national level!!! If this happens, it will kill just about everyone in the kit bike business as well as a lot of exhaust, air cleaner, carburetor, performance manufacturers and others. Custom Chrome was smart enough to see that they can stay ahead of the curve and get their kits to Manufacturer Status so that once you are built with a title you will still be able to build your 1 custom in your lifetime, build as many of their bikes as you want, modify them easily to "custom" status but still play by the NEW rules. No other major kit bike distributor has pursued this. For those of you in CA (and probably the rest of the USA) by January 2006 if you have NOT BUILT YOUR CUSTOM BIKE BEFORE THIS you may only get one chance in your lifetime and you may only get to build one. And it will have to be the way the government wants it to look and run and maybe not how you want it to look and run. SO IF YOU'VE BEEN THINKING ABOUT BUILDING YOUR OWN BIKE OR YOUR DREAM BIKE, YOU'D BETTER BUY RIGHT NOW! REMEMBER, WHATEVER YOU BUILD AND GET REGISTERED NOW WILL BE GRANDFATHERED IN AND WON'T COUNT AS YOUR ONE CUSTOM.
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from the epa website

G. Exemption for Motorcycle Kits and Custom Motorcycles

During the rulemaking we sought comment on the need for emission
control requirements for motorcycle engines distinct and separate from
the current and future requirements for complete motorcycles. We sought
comment in this area because we had identified a small sector in the
motorcycle market where the engine manufacturer and chassis
manufacturer are not the same entity. This includes two very small
parts of the market: one in which motorcycles are assembled by
individuals from parts and subassemblies procured from motorcycle kit
marketers or other separate sources; and another in which elaborate
custom motorcycles are created for display by collectors. At this time,
we are not including any certification requirements for engine
manufacturers. See discussion in Chapter 1.5 of the Summary and
Analysis of Comments. The small volume motorcycle manufacturers who
purchase the vast majority of engines from other entities for
incorporation into the motorcycles will continue to be subject to the
regulations, and will continue to meet the requirements of the
regulations, as they have in the past.
However, for those individuals who put together a single motorcycle
for individual use and businesses that produce a handful of custom
motorcycles for display, we believe it is appropriate not to require
these entities to have to certify their assembled vehicles. Therefore,
we are promulgating provisions for two special exemptions. The first is
a one-time exemption for any person building a motorcycle from a kit
for individual use. We believe that the small benefit of having single
individuals certify to the standards is outweighed by the substantial
burden to these individuals in certifying. Moreover, because the
engines in such kits generally are built by the same companies as those
engines going to the small volume motorcycle manufacturers, who still
must certify and who will represent the majority of the engine-makers'
production, we believe that most of the engines will be the same or
very similar to the engines used in the certified motorcycles.
Individuals may not use this provision as a regulatory loophole to
modify or customize a certified motorcycle in a manner which adversely
affects emissions. This provision is limited to one motorcycle per
individual over the life of the provision.
In the case where the owner of the kit motorcycle is not the
assembler of the motorcycle, the limitation of one motorcycle per
person applies to the purchaser of the kit components of the
motorcycle, who we expect is the end user of the motorcycle, rather
than to the person or persons who actually assemble the motorcycle. A
kit purchaser may have the kit assembled by another party and retain
the one-time exemption for the motorcycle. In order to qualify for the
exemption under these circumstances, the kit must be purchased by the
ultimate owner before assembly begins. Parties or businesses who
purchase kit motorcycles for assembly and retail sale are not covered
by this exemption.

what it sounds like to me is that any private builder gets one EXEMPTION over the life of the provision. you can build as many as you want after that. they just heve to be CERTIFIED.

i didnt get into the meat of the document enough to find out what the certification requirements are......
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