National labor shortage is affecting motorsports in the Rochester area

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Even the world of racing isn’t immune to the widespread labor crisis that’s been going on for years throughout the country.

Riders are starting to feel the effects of the fact that the supply of parts can’t keep up with the demand.

“Bikes are on backorder, oil and stuff like that is on back order also,” said James McDaniel, general manager at Roc On Harley Davidson. “We have customers waiting as long as five-six weeks just for parts to get them back on the road again.”

Customers of McDaniel’s are left wondering what the holdup is and want to know the reason why.

“We ask those same questions to all our OEMs and they say it’s the materials and obviously what drives that is the labor to get the materials through processing plants and everything else,” said McDaniel.

But at the same time as owners of registered cars are experiencing a shortage of dirt bike components, the auto impound is being flooded with vehicles that were driven unlawfully and were picked up by law enforcement. The impounded bicycles include a variety of components just waiting to be put to work.

“These are all the dirt bikes and ATVs that the Rochester Police Department has confiscated at some point over the last year or so,” said Lt. Greg Bello with the Rochester Police Department. “If you look around behind me, you’ll notice that none of these have license plates on them, none of them are registered, none of them have inspection stickers, things along those lines that make them safe to operate on city streets.”

The majority of the 96 off-road vehicles that are being detained are unregistered, making up the majority of the total. According to Lieutenant Bello, the majority of the bicycles that are abandoned and go unclaimed wind up being destroyed.

“Illegal riding of ATVs is a huge problem in Rochester,” said Bello. “So number one, they’re not rated to ride on city streets, right? These are off-road vehicles, they’re not on-road vehicles. And then two, typically the riders associated with them are riding dangerously.”

This will only make the problem of registered vehicle passengers not being able to get enough supplies worse.

“We get a lot of people buying motorcycles that are not street legal and they’re just riding them out of here to wherever they live,” said McDaniel. “A lot of those are being confiscated by the local police and they’re being destroyed because of that reason. They’re trying to get the word across that you gotta be safe and legal.”

Because of this dilemma, companies are unsure of what happens to bicycles once they are purchased and whether or not the cycle will be broken in the near future.

“A lot of people are just buying bikes, leaving with them and then you see the same people coming back in a week or two or three weeks later and doing the same kinda thing,” McDaniel said. “So you kinda figure out what’s going on but it’s a nasty process we’re in right now.”

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