Annals of unintended consequences: New lead law wallops dirt bike industry

The recent brouhaha over lead in imported toys for children has had an unfortunate consequence -- denying kids 12 or under the right to buy new off-road motorcycles and ATVs.

According to the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA), The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 prohibits the sale of these vehicles to minors because some, not all, of them contain parts that exceed allowable lead content levels; even though, as the AMA responds, this lead is in battery terminals, valve stems, or brake components not likely to come into contact with the rider, and therefore the risk of contact is consequently very slight.