CPSIA: “Black Tuesday” for youth motorbikes

by Walter Olson on February 11, 2009

We blogged earlier about Honda’s and Kawasaki’s having pulled out of the U.S. market and ordered a halt to sales of their youth motorbikes. A similar Jan. 26 letter from third big maker Yamaha is reprinted here, and smaller makers are rumored to have taken the same step.

Thiel’s Wheels of Ohio: “We cannot sell you replacement parts for the ones you already own. This is not our decision; it is being made for us.” DealerNews (“The Voice of PowerSports Retailers”): “The value of inventories that now cannot be sold is unknown, but it probably exceeds $100 million, by our estimate. Just take 7,500 franchised dealers, many of whom carry $25,000 worth of inventory at wholesale cost.” Activism/protest ideas there and at Dirt Rider.

{ 6 trackbacks }

The wonderful new government has spoken - Motorized Bicycle Engine Kit Forum
02.12.09 at 1:11 pm
CPSIA chronicles, February 13
02.15.09 at 12:25 am
Ace of Spades HQ
02.16.09 at 11:46 am
New York Times on CPSIA: “needless fears that the law could injure smaller enterprises”
02.18.09 at 12:45 pm
CPSIA: Powersports, crystals, and stranded inventories
02.25.09 at 11:49 am
If Amazon Takes the CPSIA Law Seriously, Shouldn’t You? — Musings From a Catholic Bookstore
03.11.09 at 5:32 pm


1 nevins 02.11.09 at 7:38 pm

Because the only source of danger to a child with a motorbike is them opening the crank case and chewing on the crankshaft bearings.

2 William Miller 02.14.09 at 10:37 am

I am the owner of a multi line powersports dealership and has gotten the raw end of the stick in this CPSIA crap. I technically do not own these units. The finance company does. Can we band together to force the manufacturer to take these units back and sell them in some other country? I didn’t make them, and if they were unsafe for children, no one told me before the manufacturer shipped them. Anyone want to join a class action lawsuit against the manufacturers of these products? I’m game.

3 Dave Lincoln 02.14.09 at 6:12 pm

We don’t need more suits, William! You sound like you’ve got the same mentality as the lawyers that Walter writes about on this site. Suck it up, and talk to your congressman. Blame the problem on whom it should be blamed on.

4 OBQuiet 02.14.09 at 11:33 pm


We should have some sympathy for William. I agree that the suing the manufacturer seems wrong. But if they were shipping stock that would not be salable in in the near future, they should have warned the buyer.

Still, the real blame is with Congress and clueless officials more interested in being reelected than serving the public’s interests.

5 Dave Lincoln 02.15.09 at 12:32 am

I’ve got sympathy for the problem, OBQ, just not for his whining. How does the distributor know any more than this retailer that the US Congress would pass another law “for the children” TM that would cause unintended grief? If the stuff was shipped after this law was in effect, then William the retailer should have as much knowledge as the distributor as to whether this far-reaching and stupid law would affect the motorcycle/minibikes/motorpecans or whatever.

I mean, the bikes aren’t any more unsafe for children then they were before the bill passed, William, so put the blame on your business loss where it belongs, the US government, as usual; and, you ain’t seen nothing yet, as far as hurting business goes (I’m referring to the latest trillion dollar pork, not particularly anything with motor sports).

6 OBQuiet 02.15.09 at 8:13 pm


I am in almost complete agreement with you. Even on the Massive Pork festival we have just seen.

I just think that the manufacturer should have warned the retailers that the products they were buying had expiration dates of 2/10/2009. Yes, the retailer might also have asked had they been aware of the pending law and its consequences. But the manufacturer certainly knew and could have provided a warning.

This might not rise to the level of a legal obligation, but I would be wary of doing business with them in the future.

7 Dave Lincoln 02.15.09 at 11:22 pm

I put myself in their place. Would they really believe that this asinine law would apply to freaking motorcycles? How do they really know what will get enforced? aaah, the whole thing stinks!

This country is not taking itself seriously anymore, and the Chinese will kick our ass soon ( I don’t mean specifically militarily here, just economically – over there, they take seriously what is serious, and don’t play games with this type of crap ( the global warming/coldening nonsense, the “save one child – shut down an industry deals, etc.) ) We could learn a lot from the Chinese, no joke.

8 hyzmarca 02.16.09 at 7:35 pm

The most sensible thing for retailers to do, at the moment, is to ignore the law. Simply pretend that it doesn’t exist and continue selling the same stuff. Any enforcement is highly unlikely at this stage and simply refusing to sell non-compliant good to your detriment is equivalent to a child throwing a self-destructive temper tantrum when faced with a poorly worded rule that he doesn’t like.

Not that the law as written isn’t bad, it is horrible, but there is no way that it’ll actually be enforced as written as that overbroad interpretation is obviously not what was intended. Letting your business be ruined to make a point about the stupidity of the law is neither sane nor productive.

And, in the unlikely event you are arrested for violating this law, jury nullification is probable.

9 Dave Lincoln 02.16.09 at 9:29 pm

That last sounds like the best course of action, as long as not too many people chicken-out.

10 Chris Brooks 03.13.09 at 4:05 am

Great post! I’ve been very interested in bikes for a long time.  I didn’t know that.

Comments on this entry are closed.