Q: Where did global harmonization originate?
A: Europe. When 15 European nations formed the "European Union" they wanted to make trade, commerce, travel, etc. Easier between their countries, so they standardized their money, driver's licenses, and manufacturing, making European trade easier. For instance, if you live in France and want to travel to Italy, under the new rules you don't have to get a new license or even bother to exchange your money. These items are accepted throughout the European Union. Currently, these countries each have different standards for motorcycles and cars with regards to the vehicle's emissions, engine size, pollution equipment, etc. The various European, U.S., and California standards require that manufacturers produce many variations of the same model vehicle to meet those standards.
Q: Who would benefit from global harmonization?
A: The manufacturers. Consider if you are a parts manufacturer, wouldn't it be cheaper to produce one carburetor for the new 2000 model than five? Further, wouldn't it be great if that one carburetor could be sold all over Europe and the U.S.? You bet your bottom dollar it would! Companies like Harley-Davidson and Honda could produce one model of the new "Low Rider" or "Gold Wing" that could be sold worldwide, eliminating the need to produce five versions of the same model. Additionally, to guarantee quality and compliance with these standards, all vehicles would be equipped with anti-tampering devices, such as shear bolts for the heads, exhaust and intake manifolds to prevent the owner from modifying the vehicle in any way.
Q: Who would lose?
A: After-market parts producers such as custom chrome, v-twin, etc., independent motorcycle and car shops, and of course you the consumer.
Q: What does this mean to me?
A: There will be no customizing of your bike or car. Forget putting drag pipes on that old Fat Boy. Anti-tampering precautions would include such things as shear bolts that would break off if tampered with. Your vehicles would be required to have only factory parts installed by factory authorized dealers. Any car or bike older than 20 years would have to be made inoperable or be destroyed. After the "end-of-life decree", highway use or licensing is prohibited. You could keep that old 58 Pan or 65 Mustang, but you couldn't drive them anymore. All in the name of those who would say: "think of the pollution!!"
Q: is anyone doing anything to stop global harmonization?
A: yes!!! ABATE, the MRF, and the AMA all have their collective eye on this coming standardization. We currently have representatives working with the Federation of European Motorcyclists Association (FEMA) to help shape the language for any standardization. The MRF and AMA have applied to the United Nations for consultants status to the global harmonization conferences, and will have their answer this summer. "Meeting of the minds" seminars are being held yearly in this country with our European brothers & sisters to let them know where we stand (it's in Chicago this year). Our goal is to insure that the interests of American bikers, and antique/classic car enthusiasts are protected in the coming century. When the standards are applied (and they will be), we in the U.S. Want to be sure that the standards are ours!!
Q: How can i help?
A: Get involved!! join ABATE of Ohio, Inc. or a motorcycle rights organization in your area. Support their efforts personally and financially. Get the word out. Your personal freedom depends on your actions.
below are three local and national motorcycle rights organizations. contact any of these groups to get more information and find out where local meetings are held.