Last month the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) delivered a stay order for the entire United States and its territories to ban the sale of all listed consumer products marketed for children 12 and under that, as stated in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), may contain traces of lead.
On that list was the hot-button item, the minibike, along with all related parts, safety gear and accessories, thus shutting down a (recently struggling) hundred-billion-dollar economic boutique industry.
The powersports industry, consumer groups, safety advocates and parents across the nation collectively asked for exemption before a majority of congressional leaders voted the recommendations of the CPSC into Public Law 110-314 on Feb. 10.
What do the local minibike kids think about the ban?
“I thought that [the ban] wouldn’t be good,” said Hunter Rastavan, 11, of Lake Elsinore. There’s a lot of people in this sport, all the kids out there on minibikes, and it wouldn’t be fair ’cause everybody wants to ride.”
Marcus Gaffner, 10, of Temecula, said sadly, “When I heard about the ban it made me feel really bad that I couldn’t get a new 85cc bike. I’m outgrowing my 65cc bike. Isn’t this about Chinese products and not American or European products anyway?”
Austin Madigan, 8, of Temecula, stated, “I don’t think that it’s fair that as my parts wear out I won’t be able to get any more. Then I can’t ride. It ruins the sport.
“We’d have to skip up to a 250cc bike for me to ride and that’s not safe. I’m not big enough yet for that size bike, but our family has discussed it anyway.”
Austin’s 9-year-old sister, Abbey, felt the same way: “This sucks, because if we grow out of a 65cc we can’t get an 85cc. I agree with my brother. It ruins the sport.”
Abbey and Austin’s mom, Valerie, mentioned that riding dirt bikes has been a positive reinforcement for her son.
“This is Austin’s second race,” she said. “Last week his teacher called me and she said, ‘There’s a 100-percent improvement in his classroom participation since he started racing.’
“It really makes a difference on what we expect of him in return for what he expects from us