The following excerpts should be usefull to some folks. In effect it still says the vehicles under consideration are legal & un-regulated at the federal level. Cal. CARB regulations are much more stringent and rule out any common 2-stroke motorized bicycle or engine add on kit. Some other states also have thier own reg.s that you must comply with to do bus. in this field. Most large well established communist Chinese manufacturers have "catalytic mufflers" as an option, costing $11 to $30 additional per unit and coming with an "EPA certification", I recomend you get that option on your orders and have a copy of this "certfication" with your other paperwork submitted to the CPB and your customs broker.
This document references various quotes from two levels of U.S. law.
The first level is Title 49, United States Code (U.S.C.), section 301. The U.S.C. is produced
through the efforts of the U.S. Congress and the U.S. President.
The other level of law is 49 Code of Federal Regulations 500-599 (CFR). Parts 500 through 599
of the Code of Federal Regulation, are drafted and enforced by the National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration (NHTSA):
Do not be confused by the (accidental) commonality of the prefix (49) in the different laws. The
laws are distinctly different from one or the other.
Section 30102 defines “motor vehicle” as “a vehicle driven or drawn by
mechanical power and manufactured primarily for use on public streets, roads, and
highways but does not include a vehicle operated only on a rail line.”
Motor-driven cycle means a motorcycle with a motor that produces five (5) brake
horsepower or less.
Scooter means a motorcycle that:
(1) Has a platform for the operator’s feet of has integrated footrests, and
(2) Has a step-through architecture, meaning that the part of the vehicle forward of
the operator’s seat and between the legs of an operator seated in the riding
position, is lower in height than the operator’s seat.
Two-wheeled or three-wheeled vehicle manufactured with vehicle identification
numbers (VIN), certification labels, mirrors, turn signals, side marker lamps, and
stop lamps (otherwise called on-road equipment) are regarded as “motor
vehicles.” Vehicles lacking this equipment are not considered motor vehicles,
and do not fall under NHTSA regulatory authority.
Vehicles such as mopeds; dirt bikes; pocket rockets; off road scooters; etc., are
not motor vehicles under NHTSA’s regulations. These and similar vehicles are
regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. www.cpsc.gov
Subpart E—Emission Regulations for 1978 and Later New Motorcycles, General Provisions
Source: 42 FR 1126, Jan. 5, 1977, unless otherwise noted.
§ 86.401-2006 General applicability.
This subpart applies to 1978 and later model year, new, gasoline-fueled motorcycles built after December 31, 1977, and to 1990 and later model year, new methanol-fueled motorcycles built after December 31, 1989 and to 1997 and later model year, new natural gas-fueled and liquefied petroleum gas-fueled motorcycles built after December 31, 1996 and to 2006 and later model year new motorcycles, regardless of fuel.
[69 FR 2435, Jan. 15, 2004]
§ 86.401-97 General applicability.
(a) This subpart applies to 1978 and later model year, new, gasoline-fueled motorcycles built after 31 December, 1977, and to 1990 and later model year, new, methanol-fueled motorcycles built after 31 December, 1989 and to 1997 and later model year, new, natural gas-fueled and liquefied petroleum gas-fueled motorcycles built after 31 December, 1996.
(b) Motorcycles with engine displacements less than 50 cc (3.1 cu in) are excluded from the requirements of this subpart.
Motorcycles are excluded from the requirements of this subpart, if with an 80 kg (176 lb) driver, it cannot:
(1) Start from a dead stop using only the engine; or
(2) Exceed a maximum speed of 40 km/h (25 mph) on level paved surfaces.
[59 FR 48512, Sept. 21, 1994]
A. What is a U.S. Version Vehicle?
A U.S. version vehicle is manufactured in conformity with Federal emission requirements. The manufacturer attaches a label in the engine compartment that states, in the English language, that the vehicle conforms to all U.S. EPA regulations.
A vehicle lacking the U.S. EPA emission compliance label is considered non-complying. Alternative proof is a written statement from the manufacturer's U.S. representative stating the vehicle is a U.S. version.
EPA does not accept passing a state inspection test as proof. State inspection tests do not determine conformity with Federal emission standards.
EPA also does not accept having a catalytic converter as proof. The presence of a catalytic converter does not mean the vehicle is a U.S. version, or that it meets Federal emission standards.
The importation of an engine to be used in a heavy-duty vehicle or heavy-duty truck is a violation of the Clean Air Act unless the engine has a proper label indicating that it is covered under a certificate of conformity, or was built prior to 1970, or is otherwise excluded or exempted.
c. Off Road Vehicle
Any 2006 or later model year off road/recreational vehicles are subject to certification in accordance with 40 CFR Part 1051. Exclusion determinations for 2005 or earlier off road/recreational vehicles are based on the capability of the subject vehicles, not their intended or principal use. The vehicle:
cannot exceed a maximum ungoverned speed of 25 miles per hour over level, paved surfaces, (Vehicles that are governed to a speed of 25 miles per hour or less may be excluded if the governor is deemed sufficiently tamperproof. EPA will make evaluations of governing devices upon request); or
lacks features customarily associated with safe and practical street or highway use, such features including, but not limited to, a reverse gear (except in the case of motorcycles), a differential, or safety features by state and/or Federal law, (The mere deletion, removal or absence of features that can be readily added or the lack of U.S. Department of Transportation approval of safety features on the vehicle is not sufficient grounds for exclusion); or
exhibits features which render its use on a street or highway unsafe, impractical, or highly unlikely, such features including, but not being limited to, tracked road contact means, an inordinate size, or features ordinarily associated with military combat or tactical vehicles such as armor and/or weaponry, (EPA regards vehicles that exceed any of the Federal weight or dimensional limitations placed on vehicles using the Interstate Highway System to be of an inordinate size). The Interstate limitations include a single axle weight of 20,000 pounds, a tandem axle weight of 34,000 pounds, a vehicle weight of 80,000 pounds, and a width of 102 inches, excluding safety devices. The weight limitations are actual vehicle or axle weights, not weight ratings.)
EPA will make written determinations of exclusion for individual vehicle models upon receipt of dimensions, technical specifications and photographs or drawings of the model in question. While some vehicles can be easily determined to be excluded, particularly those of inordinate size, others require more review. An importer that makes his or her own determination does so at his or her own risk.
Off road/recreational vehicles manufactured on or after January 1, 2006 are subject to EPA certification regulations 40 CFR Part 1051. The new regulations are primarily for 2006 and later model year off road vehicles.Consult the EPA nonroad entry form 3520-21 to determine applicability. The EPA entry form 3520-1 will no longer be used for the importation of off road vehicles.
Complete form 3520-21 as applicable, declaring box 1 for 2006 or later model year certified vehicles. If the off road/recreational vehicle was manufactured before January 1, 2006 and is not a 2006 or later model then declare box 17, attaching proof that the vehicle was manufactured in 2005 or earlier and is a 2005 or earlier model and lacks safety or other features required for safe and practicalstreet operation including evidence of inordinate size or weight preventing highway use.
Any 2006 or later model year vehicle must be in accordance with 40 CFR 1051.
Not for use by racing or competition vehicles; and
Vehicle may not be registered or licensed for use on or operated on the public roads or highways. If an imported non-road vehicle is subsequently converted to a motor vehicle and registered or licensed for street use, the converter may be considered a manufacturer of a new motor vehicle and subject to a penalty of $25,000 per day for failing to meet EPA emission requirements.
d. Racing vehicle
The vehicle has in general been extensively modified for racing, and is incapable of safe and practical street or highway use because it lacks fe