California aims to be an idealized state. Sometimes a little too much, in the opinion of some motorcyclists.
The state has some of the harshest emissions requirements and rules on what aftermarket performance can and cannot be sold or used on the roads. If you’re wondering what is allowed, your answer is mostly nothing.
Mostly nothing, except for maybe adding some subjectively cool chrome doo-dads, and maybe an aftermarket seat. Surely there’s no harm in that, right? Wrong!
Starting in the fall of 2018 you may have noticed a little blurb on the websites of some of your favorite motorcycle manufacturers are adding a scary little blurb to their product pages:
That’s right. Your chrome foot pegs could kill you, man. But that’s actually nothing new. This has been the case for years. So why are we only reading about this and seeing these labels now?
Introducing Proposition 65
Proposition 65 requires businesses to provide warnings to Californians about significant exposures to chemicals that cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. These chemicals can be in the products that Californians purchase, in their homes or workplaces, or that are released into the environment. By requiring that this information be provided, Proposition 65 enables Californians to make informed decisions about their exposures to these chemicals.
Proposition 65 also prohibits California businesses from knowingly discharging significant amounts of listed chemicals into sources of drinking water.
Proposition 65 requires California to publish a list of chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. This list, which must be updated at least once a year, has grown to include approximately 900 chemicals since it was first published in 1987.
Proposition 65 isn’t actually a new-age nanny-state thing. It first became law in 1986, and voters approved it with 63% to 37% margin. We’re not sure why the motorcycle aftermarket is only being touched now, but it comes down to one of two potential reasons:
1. These manufacturers have only been assessed recently and therefor needed to become compliant, or 2. As the list of chemicals increases, one of the chemicals used by the motorcycle manufacturers only became included recently.
The latter is more likely, but in any event, we have to wonder if motorcyclists will notice the warnings, and whether or not they’ll even care.