Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this rule is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of October 23, 2012.
You may send mail to these officials at National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.
Currently, motorcycles must comply with a series of performance requirements established in Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 122,
The substantive performance tests and requirements of FMVSS No. 122 have not been updated since their adoption in 1972. Since that time, motorcycle brake system technology has significantly changed and improved such that FMVSS No. 122 no longer reflects the current performance of motorcycle brake system technologies. In order to address modern braking technologies, the agency sought to improve the requirements and test procedures of FMVSS No. 122. These efforts coincided with the 2002 adoption of the initial Program of Work under the 1998 United Nations' Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Agreement Concerning the Establishment of Global and Technical Regulations for Wheeled Vehicles, Equipment and Parts Which Can Be Fitted And/or Be Used On Wheeled Vehicles (1998 Agreement).
This final rule makes improvements to FMVSS No. 122, but retains many fundamental elements of the current standard. For example, this final rule adopts new terminology and includes definitions for terms used in the regulatory text, including adopting five categories for motorcycles based on the number of wheels and maximum speed of the motorcycle. This final rule retains stopping distance as the sole compliance criterion for several performance tests in FMVSS No. 122. The current FMVSS No. 122 is improved by specifying a tolerance for the initial test speed for compliance tests, recognizing that even professional test drivers cannot attain the exact speed specified in every test. This final rule incorporates by reference an ASTM International method for the measurement of the coefficient of friction of the test surface that is already used in NHTSA's other brake standards. This final rule, like the existing version of FMVSS No. 122, specifies the order in which NHTSA will conduct its compliance tests, but it moves the brake fade test to the end of the test sequence in order to eliminate a re-burnishing procedure, resulting in a more efficient test sequence. The procedure for the initial burnish is retained with minor alteration.
The rule includes several tests that would enhance the safe operation of a motorcycle: Tests both at gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) and lightly loaded vehicle weight, which ensure adequate braking performance at the two extremes of the loading conditions; a wet brake test that is more representative of the manner in which brakes are wetted during real world riding in wet conditions; a variety of ABS performance tests to ensure that motorcycles equipped with ABS have adequate antilock performance during emergency braking or on slippery road conditions; and a new requirement that addresses failure in the power-assisted braking system.
Specifically, the rule will improve the FMVSS No. 122 requirements in several areas. First, it will make the dry brake test requirement more stringent by specifying testing of each service brake control individually, with the motorcycle in the fully loaded condition. Second, the rule will implement a more stringent high speed test requirement by specifying a slightly higher rate of deceleration. Third, the rule replaces the existing wet brake test with one that better simulates actual in-service conditions, by spraying water onto the brake disc, instead of submerging the brake system before testing. Fourth, the rule specifies an improved heat fade test procedure based on European and Japanese national regulations, which share the same test procedure and performance requirements. Fifth, the rule specifies performance requirements for antilock brake systems (ABS), if present. Until now, FMVSS No. 122 did not contain performance criteria for ABS, where present on motorcycles.
This final rule responds to public comments on the notice of proposed rulemaking
Notably, we have retained labeling requirements for brake systems components that were in FMVSS No. 122, but were not in the GTR. NHTSA feels strongly that those required labels identify important safety features and safety-related information, and they have longstanding applicability in FMVSS No. 122. The parties involved in developing the GTR understood that national regulations would continue to apply labeling and warning requirements of this sort when each national regulatory body adopted the provisions of the GTR. Since the vast majority of benefits from harmonization are achieved because of the harmonization of test procedures and performance criteria, the retention of unique FMVSS No. 122 labeling requirements does not reduce the benefits of international harmonization.
Besides updating requirements and test procedures to help ensure the safety of motorcycle brake systems, today's final rule also provides benefits from harmonization. Motorcycle manufacturers, and ultimately, consumers, both here and abroad, can expect to achieve cost savings through the formal harmonization of differing sets of standards when the Contracting Parties implement the new GTR. Motorcycles are vehicles that are prepared for the world market. It will be more economically efficient to have manufacturers using the same test procedures and meeting the same performance requirements worldwide. This rule will help achieve these benefits and thus reduce the amount of resources utilized to test motorcycles.
Although this final rule adds and updates FMVSS No. 122 performance requirements and provides benefits from harmonization, we anticipate that virtually all motorcycles currently sold in the U.S. can meet the requirements, without the need for any changes to their brake systems. Thus, we are not able to quantify direct safety benefits from this final rule.
We have considered whether this final rule will impose additional costs on manufacturers, including costs associated with certifying motorcycles as compliant with these new tests. We expect that a limited number (approximately 8,000) of three-wheeled motorcycles will require upgraded brake systems at a cost of $13.38 per motorcycle. As a result, the total cost motorcycle manufacturers will incur as a result of today's final rule is approximately $107,040 per year. All costs that manufacturers may incur if they choose to certify compliance based on NHTSA's test procedures will be offset by cost savings from the elimination of test procedures under the current version of FMVSS No. 122. For those manufacturers that choose to certify compliance by following NHTSA's test procedures, we anticipate that this final rule would result in a cost savings of less than one-tenth of a cent per motorcycle.
While the agency has not been able to quantify safety benefits for this rule since virtually all motorcycles sold in the U.S. can currently meet the proposed requirements, the agency is considering taking several other actions to attempt to decrease motorcycle fatalities.
FMVSS No. 122,
Only a few changes have been made to the regulation since it was established. In response to petitions, a 1974 final rule changed the application of FMVSS No. 122 requirements for low-speed motor-driven cycles (motorcycles with 5-brake horsepower or less whose speed attainable in one mile is 30 miles per hour or less).
FMVSS No. 122 applies to both two-wheeled and three-wheeled motorcycles. Among other requirements, the motorcycle manufacturer must ensure that each motorcycle can meet performance requirements under conditions specified in paragraph S6,
Globally, there are several existing regulations, directives, and standards that pertain to motorcycle brake systems. As all share similarities, the Contracting Parties to the 1998 Agreement under WP.29 tentatively determined that the development of a GTR under the 1998 Agreement would be beneficial.
In an effort to select the best of existing performance requirements for a GTR, the U.S. and Canada conducted analyses of the relative stringency of three national motorcycle brake system regulations. These were the UNECE Regulation No. 78, FMVSS No. 122, and the Japanese Safety Standard JSS 12-61. The subsequent reports, along with proposed provisions of a GTR, were presented at meetings of the Working Party for Brakes and Running Gear (GRRF),
The informal group used the feedback from the GRRF presentations to assist with the completion of the proposed GTR, a copy of which can be found in the NPRM docket.
As explained in the NPRM, the GTR on motorcycle brake systems consists of a compilation of the most stringent and relevant test procedures and performance requirements from current standards and regulations. As a result of the comparison process, the selected performance requirements of the GTR are mainly drawn from the UNECE Regulation No. 78, the FMVSS No. 122 and the Japanese Safety Standard JSS 12-61 (JSS 12-61). The GTR is comprised of several fundamental tests, each with their respective test procedures and performance requirements. These tests and procedures are listed below along with the national regulation on which they are based:
The GTR process was transparent to country delegates, industry representatives, public interest groups, and other interested parties. Information regarding the meetings and negotiations was publicly available through notices published periodically by the agency and UN Web site.
The U.S., as a Contracting Party of the 1998 Agreement that voted in favor of establishing this GTR at the November 15, 2006 Session of the Executive Committee of the 1998 Agreement, is obligated under the 1998 Agreement to initiate the process for adopting the provisions of the GTR.
In response to the NPRM, NHTSA received comments from the following parties: The Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC),
All comments received were timely, and they are each considered in this final rule and discussed below, with one exception. The AAJ commented on the language of the preamble concerning implied preemption, and its comment was neither related to the proposed regulatory text, nor to motorcycle braking nor to motorcycle safety.
Comments were generally supportive of NHTSA's intent to harmonize FMVSS No. 122 with other nations' and regulatory bodies' standards through the adoption of the GTR. The substantive comments received were concerned mainly with test procedures rather than with brake system design requirements. Specifically, Harley-Davidson, Honda, and the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) all commented on each of the following three issues, which were the main issues in their submittals:
• The NHTSA proposal in the NPRM specified stopping distance as the sole compliance criterion for several performance tests in FMVSS No. 122 while leaving out the option to use Mean Fully Developed Deceleration (MFDD) where applicable. Commenters requested that NHTSA include MFDD as an alternative compliance option for measuring stopping performance.
• The NPRM specified that Peak Braking Coefficient (PBC) be measured by an ASTM skid-trailer method only. It did not include other methods that were stated in the GTR for measurement of test surface friction coefficient. Commenters requested that the agency allow manufacturers the option to choose which test method it uses to measure PBC.
• The NHTSA proposal changed “nominal PBC” as it appears in the GTR to just “PBC,” i.e., NHTSA removed the word “nominal” in specifying the friction coefficient of test track surfaces used for motorcycle brake testing. Commenters requested that NHTSA retain the GTR term “nominal,” based on best engineering practices.
Here, we discuss the proposed general amendments and improvements to FMVSS No. 122, any comments received on these proposed improvements, and the agency's response to those comments. Where no comments were received on a proposed amendment, or a certain aspect of an amendment, NHTSA has generally adopted those proposals in accordance with the rationale detailed in the NPRM. Although this final rule states as such for each amendment, we generally will not repeat the rationale and justification for aspects of the proposal that did not receive comment. We refer readers to the NPRM for the basis for those amendments.
The NPRM proposed to revise or add definitions in FMVSS No. 122 (paragraph S4) where necessary to define terms used in the proposed regulatory text, and we are largely retaining the definitions as proposed in the NPRM. In order to streamline the proposed regulatory text to more closely reflect the GTR text, some of the new proposed terms were common terminology and definitions based on the UN document titled “Special Resolution No. 1 Concerning the Common Definitions of Vehicle Categories, Masses and Dimensions (S.R.1)”
Additionally, the proposed rule divided motorcycles into five categories, which are referenced in the GTR. These motorcycle categories are based on number of wheels and maximum speed, and were originally defined in the UN Doc. S.R.1, as amended in May 2007.
Category 3-1 and category 3-3 motorcycles are two-wheeled motorcycles. Category 3-1 motorcycles are two-wheeled motorcycles with an engine cylinder capacity not exceeding 50 cm
These commenters further stated that it similarly thought the reference to category 3-5 in Table 4 (Performance requirements, Power-assisted braking system failure test) should be category 3-4 because category 3-5 vehicles will carry split service systems or combined break systems (CBS) and are covered in the subsequent section of Table 4.
Because the regulatory text of the NPRM corresponded closely with that of the GTR, this mix-up was carried forward in the NPRM. Thus, there are a variety of inconsistencies in the requirements for category 3-4 and category 3-5 motorcycles throughout the NPRM regulatory text. This includes Table 2 as noted by the commenters. Although the definitions of “Category 3-4 motorcycle” and “Category 3-5 motorcycle” given in paragraph S4 of the proposed regulatory text are correct, most of the subsequent occurrences throughout the regulatory text are incorrect. This mistake is easily remedied by replacing “3-4” with “3-5,” and vice versa, in each place where requirements apply to one or the other category. We have corrected the final rule regulatory text by applying these corrections in each appropriate instance. Concerning Table 2, to maintain the desired ordering of categories, we have moved each stopping distance specification listed for category 3-5 to the corresponding category 3-4 row, and listed “not applicable” in each category 3-5 row. Finally, we have made a related clarification in subsection S220.127.116.11(d)(3) of the regulatory text, to add a specification of category 3-5.
Bosch differentiates eCBS from conventional CBS because eCBS systems have no mechanical or hydraulic link between the front and rear brake circuits. With eCBS, the activation of a front or rear service brake by a rear or front brake control, respectively, is accomplished by purely electronic means. Bosch stated that the distinction between eCBS and conventional CBS is important because the failure mode for eCBS is different than for CBS, i.e., failed eCBS performs just like conventional, separate front and rear brakes. Bosch explained that “[a]n eCBS is subject to system failure, deactivation, and degradation, which results in a system that is functionally equivalent to a non-CBS with the corresponding performance limits.”
Bosch commented that their proposed re-definition to make eCBS subject only to the performance requirements for single brake systems (outlined above) is appropriate because of unique characteristics of eCBS that are not accounted for in the proposed rule. Bosch pointed out that an eCBS, unlike a CBS, may be equipped with a deactivation switch, a low-speed mode, speed-dependent brake force distribution, or a variety of rider-selectable modes that tune the system for riding conditions. Bosch stated that, “[t]hese additional eCBS characteristics differentiate an eCBS from a CBS and prescribe that the performance
Bosch suggested that, as an alternative to excluding eCBS from the regulatory definitions, NHTSA could instead define eCBS separately from CBS and provide separate performance requirements to account for the different eCBS failure modes, similar to the way that ABS electrical failure is treated in S6.9.8 of the proposed FMVSS No. 122 regulatory text.
Bosch seems to suggest that system failure is more likely in the case of an eCBS than a conventional, mechanical CBS, which would seem logical because of the purely electronic link between front and rear brake circuits. Certainly, eCBS could be designed so as to be readily deactivated, such as by equipping the motorcycle with an on/off switch for that purpose. In contrast, deactivation would not necessarily be easily accomplished with conventional CBS, but much would depend on the details of the CBS system design.
Since eCBS systems currently are not in use, it is difficult for us to evaluate whether adding specific test procedures to address eCBS system failure is appropriate. Furthermore, in the FMVSS No. 122 proposal, there were no CBS-specific requirements that an eCBS would or should be incapable of meeting, nor is eCBS addressed in the GTR separately from CBS. Since the GTR does not include any proposal for failed CBS performance and since no eCBS system is currently available commercially, the agency believes that establishing failed systems performance requirements for eCBS would be premature. Therefore, we are electing not to make any changes related to eCBS at this time, but we will evaluate in the future whether such accommodations are necessary.
The GTR specifies stopping performance requirements in terms of both stopping distance and MFDD. The NPRM proposed stopping distance as the sole compliance criterion for several performance tests in proposed FMVSS No. 122 because, as noted in the proposal, stopping distance is a longstanding compliance criterion in FMVSS No. 122 as well as in NHTSA's standards for brake performance of both light vehicles and heavy vehicles.
Harley-Davidson, Honda, and the MIC each suggested that the agency should include the alternative criterion of MFDD, which is a calculated value based on both speed and stopping distance measurements.
Harley-Davidson commented that, based on its significant experience with MFDD, a vehicle that passes the stopping distance measure will also pass MFDD. Harley-Davidson also commented that the GTR and the UNECE Regulation No. 78 allow either measure to be used. Further, Harley-Davidson stated that some of the international inspection agencies prefer MFDD, and that MFDD removes human factors from brake performance testing. Harley-Davidson pointed out that an MFDD-like procedure is already incorporated into the proposed regulatory text, specifically in proposed section S18.104.22.168(d)(1) pertaining to heat fade tests.
Honda likewise requested that MFDD be included in NHTSA's final rule. Honda commented that the GTR did not give individual regulating bodies the discretion to exclude MFDD. Honda stated that the “GTR does not specify the option for each region to select only one method of measurement.” Further, Honda noted that “the MFDD method has been utilized by Honda as the primary method for determining stopping performance and has found it to be more reliable and repeatable than the distance method.”
Similarly, the MIC pointed out that the GTR includes both MFDD and stopping distance as alternative performance criteria, which allows the manufacturer to choose to measure brake performance by either deceleration or stopping distance. It also noted that deceleration-based performance tests are already part of NHTSA's proposal, in proposed paragraphs S6.6.3
The reason given [in the NPRM] for mandating brake performance measurement exclusively by stopping distance is “to enhance the enforceability of the Standard as opposed to providing optional performance measures,” and that “this is consistent with how performance requirements are stated in other Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.” We don't agree that either is sufficient to justify departure from the GTR and not in the best interest of harmonization.
The MIC, Harley-Davidson, and Honda each requested that NHTSA incorporate the MFDD as an alternative performance measure in all appropriate tests in the final rule.
When NHTSA stated in the NPRM that specifying stopping distance enhances enforceability and referenced other FMVSSs to explain how performance criteria are specified elsewhere by the agency, we meant that for various reasons (detailed below)
Additionally, we believe that stopping distance is a preferable measurement of performance because MFDD assumes a certain level of brake system responsiveness and does not consider performance over the entire braking event. We believe the stopping distance measure is less design-restrictive because it allows a manufacturer to develop brake performance for the entire range of a braking event. Similarly, since it accounts for the distance traveled between the time a brake lever or pedal is applied and the time the motorcycle actually begins to decelerate, stopping distance addresses the potential problem of slow-acting brake systems.
Further, none of the commenters presented any new information on this issue. Nor did any commenter present data to support assertions about accuracy of MFDD, for example, that MFDD is “more reliable and repeatable than the distance method.”
In response to the commenter that stated that the commentary accompanying the GTR recommends using the MFDD measure “to maintain consistency in the results,” we point out that this GTR preamble language was referring to the difference between the UNECE Regulation No. 78 specification of MFDD, and the JSS 12-61 specification of vehicle mean saturated deceleration (MSD). In the relevant portion of the GTR preamble, the text was discussing the difference between MFDD and MSD, and then stated that “[i]n order to maintain consistency in the results, the MFDD was adopted [instead of MSD] to measure braking deceleration performance.”
In response to Harley-Davidson's observation that the heat fade test measures performance by referring to MFDD, we do not agree. The commenter referenced proposed paragraph S22.214.171.124(d)(1), which describes the force that is to be applied to the brake lever when actuated during the heating stops: “For the first stop: The constant control force that achieves a vehicle deceleration rate of 3.0-3.5 m/s
The MIC similarly commented that proposed paragraph S5.3.2 describes “continuous deceleration recording,” and stated that proposed paragraphs S6.6.3
NHTSA notes that the 100 km/h dry stop test that was developed from the current FMVSS No. 122 specifies performance in terms of stopping distance only. It does not specify a deceleration-based criterion like MFDD. Similarly, the ABS stopping distance performance tests on low and high friction surfaces specify performance measures in terms of stopping distance only. Hence, in these tests, there is no alternative to measuring and recording stopping distance.
Finally, we note that the use of stopping distance in the FMVSS does not preclude the use of MFDD by manufacturers or other