Bike shops across America are being forced to stop selling thousands of mini bikes–all because of a law designed to protect children from lead poisoning in toys. Now, one lawmaker is asking for your help to overturn the ruling.
Mini Bike Ban: Newly Enforced
The law leading to the minibike ban was actually passed last year, but it just went into effect last week. Many motorcycle dealers, however, say they weren’t aware their products would be affected until just recently. A full $100 million worth of mini bikes is believed to be affected.
The issue is that the bikes’ brake handles, tire stems, and battery terminals have more lead than is now technically allowed. Many dirt bike and mini-ATV models are affected. Shops also won’t be able to work with replacement parts and consequently won’t be able to complete repairs, or even buy used bikes.
“I don’t think that is what legislators intended when they sought to protect kids from lead,” Phill Morud, director of All Terrain Vehicle Association of Minnesota, told the Star Tribune. “I think this is a case of unintended consequences.”
“We’re hoping that they see … a difference between a children’s necklace and a motor part that has very little chance of being ingested by a child,” a spokesperson for American Honda added.
Mini Bike Ban Petition
A state representative from Missouri has started an effort to overturn the mini bike ban–at least the part of it affecting youth motorsport sales. Representative Tom Self cites the financial implications on bike shops. He also contends that with sales of mini bikes suspended, “young riders will be tempted to use improperly sized and built machines which could … lead to severe injuries.”
Self has created a form letter that can be sent to the Consumer Product Safety Commission to call for a waiver for mini bike retailers. You can read the letter and opt to send it in with your name attached by visiting Self’s Web site here.