[Federal Register Volume 65, Number 5 (Friday, January 7, 2000)]
[Pages 1225-1226]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 00-422]



National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
[Docket No. NHTSA 98-4357; Notice 3]

Aprilia, S.p.A.; Reissuance of Grant of Temporary Exemption From 
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 123

    On August 13, 1999, we granted the application by Aprilia S.p.A. of 
Noale, Italy, for a temporary exemption from a requirement of S5.2.1 
(Table 1) of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 123 Motorcycle 
Controls and Displays (64 FR 44264, NHTSA Temporary Exemption No. 99-9, 
expiring July 1, 2001). The exemption was limited to Aprilia's Leonardo 
150 model. For the reasons explained below, we are reissuing the 
exemption to include Aprilia's Scarabeo 150 model, and the exemption 
will expire on December 1, 2001.
    Aprilia recently applied to us for a temporary exemption of its 
Scarabeo 150 model from S5.2.1 of Standard No. 123 on the same 
statutory basis as the Leonardo, that ``compliance with the standard 
would prevent the manufacturer from selling a motor vehicle with an 
overall level of safety at least equal to the overall safety level of 
nonexempt vehicles,'' 49 U.S.C. 30113(b)(3)(B)(iv). Because of the near 
identicality of the two motorcycles and the arguments in support of the

[[Page 1226]]

application, we have decided not to consider Aprilia's request as a 
petition de novo but to reissue NHTSA Temporary Exemption No. 99-9 to 
cover the Scarabeo. Further, for the reason indicated, reissued NHTSA 
Temporary Exemption No. 99-9 will expire December 1, 2001.
    From our review of Aprilia's petitions, we consider the Scarabeo 
and Leonardo motorcycles to be mechanically similar in all respects 
relevant to the safety issues involved, differing primarily in their 
external sheet metal. Paragraph S5.2.1 of Standard No. 123 requires 
that, if a motorcycle is equipped with rear wheel brakes, those brakes 
be operable through the right foot control, though the left handlebar 
is a permissible brake control location for motor driven cycles (Item 
11, Table 1). Aprilia would like to use the left handlebar as the 
control for the rear brakes of both the Leonardo and Scarabeo 
motorcycles, for the same reasons. Absent an exemption, it will be 
unable to import and sell the Scarabeo because the vehicle would not 
fully comply with Standard No. 123.
    Aprilia's previous arguments in favor of the Leonardo and our 
comments on them are set forth in the notice at 64 FR 44264 and are 
incorporated herein by reference. Aprilia's new petition included 
copies of reports of brake tests conducted according to Standard No. 
122, Motorcycle Brake Systems, and under the laws of the United 
Kingdom. These materials have been filed in the docket.
    NHTSA provided an opportunity for public comment on the Leonardo 
petition on August 28, 1998 (63 FR 46097), and received only one in the 
more than 11 months that elapsed between the comment notice and the 
grant notice. That single comment, from Peugeot Motorcycles of France, 
supported Aprilia's petition.
    On November 11, 1999, Aprilia USA informed us that, as of November 
1, 1999, it had not imported or sold any Leonardo 150s under the 
exemption, and requested that we extend the effective date of the 
exemption accordingly. The company understands that it will not be able 
to import more than a total of 2,500 exempted Leonardo 150 and Scarabeo 
150 motorcycles in any 12-month period that the exemption is in effect.
    We have concluded that, given the recent opportunity for public 
comment, a further opportunity to comment on the same issues is not 
likely to result in any substantive submissions, and that we may 
proceed to reissue NHTSA Temporary Exemption No. 99-9 to include the 
Scarabeo in its coverage. We hereby incorporate our findings in our 
initial granting of the petition (64 FR 44264). Accordingly, NHTSA 
Temporary Exemption No. EX99-9 from the requirement of Item 11, Column 
2, Table 1 of 49 CFR 571.123 Standard No. 123, Motorcycle Controls and 
Displays, that the rear wheel brakes be operable through the right foot 
control. is reissued to cover the Leonardo 150 and Scarabeo 150 
motorcycles, and to expire on December 1, 2001.

(49 U.S.C. 30113; delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.50).

    Issued on: January 3, 2000.
Rosalyn G. Millman,
Acting Administrator.
[FR Doc. 00-422 Filed 1-6-00; 8:45 am]