AMA Honors Those Who Gave Their Lives for Our Country This Memorial Day

AMA Says "Safe Riding this Memorial Day Weekend"

The AMA encourages safe riding this Memorial Day weekend as we honor those who lost their lives serving our country in the Armed Forces.

Safe driving urged for holiday weekend

The American Motorcyclist Association joins all Americans this Memorial Day, May 29, in expressing deep gratitude to the friends and families of those who gave their lives in service to the United States and in honoring their memories.

“The freedoms we enjoy, as motorcyclists and as Americans, come at great personal cost and sacrifice and are defended daily by military personnel dedicated to protecting our principles,” said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman. “It is important to pause and reflect on Memorial Day, remembering those who helped make possible the freedoms we too often take for granted, including the freedom to ride and travel throughout this great nation.”

Many Americans will take advantage of the long holiday weekend to enjoy the freedom of the road, traveling to events, to family picnics, to beaches and other attractions.

“We especially encourage motorists to be alert this weekend to motorcyclists, many of whom will be on the road to participate in AMA-sanctioned events, Memorial Day parades and freedom rides,” Dingman said. “And we urge motorcyclists to ride safely and stay alert and sober.”

About the American Motorcyclist Association
Founded in 1924, the AMA is a not-for-profit member-based association whose mission is to promote the motorcycle lifestyle and protect the future of motorcycling. As the world’s largest motorcycling rights and event sanctioning organization, the AMA advocates for riders’ interests at all levels of government and sanctions thousands of competition and recreational events every year. The AMA also provides money-saving discounts on products and services for its members. Through the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Pickerington, Ohio, the AMA honors the heroes and heritage of motorcycling. For more information, visit www.americanmotorcyclist.com.

Not a member? Join the AMA today: www.americanmotorcyclist.com/membership/join

AMA Supports National Historic Vehicle Register Act That’d Preserve Moto-History

Bill would create registry at Library of Congress to preserve records, history, culture

The American Motorcyclist Association supports a federal bill that would create a national register to preserve the records of historic vehicles, including motorcycles, that have made a significant impact on U.S. history and culture.

The National Historic Vehicle Register Act (S. 966), introduced by U.S. Sens. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio), would require the U.S. Department of the Interior to establish a register housed in the Library of Congress to preserve examples of American history and engineering innovation by documenting historically significant automobiles, motorcycles, trucks, and commercial vehicles.

“As a long-time motorcyclist, Sen. Peters knows there are few things better than the freedom of two wheels on the open road,” said Wayne Allard, AMA vice president for government relations. “Whether traveling cross country or just across town, motorcycles are a part of America’s transportation culture.

1995 Britten V1000 #10 Significance in Racing Award 2017 Quail Motorcycle Gathering

This 1995 Britten V1000 superbike, No. 10 of 10, is a prime candidate for the National Historic Vehicle Register Act. 

“The American Motorcyclist Association thanks Sens. Peters and Portman for their leadership on this important issue, and we are pleased to support the National Historic Vehicle Register Act to help highlight America’s motorcycling history,” Allard said.

The Historic Vehicle Association has been working with the Interior Department on the register proposal since 2013, and the American Motorcyclist Association has been providing support.

The Historic Vehicle Association has documented 18 historic vehicles through the Interior Department’s Historic American Engineering Record. The record recognizes a broad range of historical engineering-related sites and structures, including bridges, ships and roads.

The National Historic Vehicle Register Act would create a standalone register to preserve the records of historically significant vehicles that would include short narratives, photographs and engineering drawings of each vehicle. To be eligible for the register, vehicles must be connected to a significant person or event in American history, have a unique design or be a rare model.

The bill has been referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

AMA Highlights May as Motorcycle Awareness Month

Non-riding public urged to use special caution during prime riding season

The American Motorcyclist Association is issuing a special appeal during May, which is Motorcycle Awareness Month, to motorists to be aware of their driving environment, check mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes and watch for motorcyclists.

“With its warmer weather and increased riding, May is an opportune time to educate the non-riding public about the safety issues that motorcyclists face on every outing,” said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman. “Our hope is that calling special attention to motorcyclists early in the prime riding season will keep motorists on alert through the summer and fall, as well.”

Among the top issues affecting motorcyclist safety this year are distracted driving and over-reliance on new driver-assist technology.

May #MotorcycleAwarenessMonth

Distracted driving is dangerous for all road users, claiming 3,477 lives in 2015 alone, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Another 391,000 people were injured in crashes that involved distracted driving.

Distractions include any activity that takes the driver’s focus off driving. The NHTSA provides these examples: talking or texting on a phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in the vehicle and fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system.

With the development of driver-assistance technology, such as adaptive cruise control, automated braking and lane-assist, some drivers may believe that distractions, such as texting while driving, hold less potential for harm.

Trusting their cars, instead of their eyes, ears and training, can create dangerous situations for drivers and the nearby traffic. And motorcyclists are at much greater risk when things go awry.

Drivers can avoid crashes with motorcyclists by taking extra care and looking twice to spot motorcycles in traffic — especially at intersections — respecting the motorcyclists’ space on the road and by not following too closely.

The AMA’s position statements on Distracted and Inattentive Vehicle Operation and other issues can be found at www.americanmotorcyclist.com under the “Rights” heading.

Motorcycle Awareness Month, launched by the AMA in the early 1980s and adopted by many state motorcycle-rights organizations, government entities and AMA-sanctioned clubs, is observed each May.

Throughout the month, look for #MotorcycleAwarenessMonth on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

AMA Continues Partnership with The Quail Motorcycle Gathering

1949 Indian Arrow at Quail Motorcycle Gathering

AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Heritage Award to be presented

The American Motorcyclist Association is continuing its partnership with The Quail Motorcycle Gathering, which includes an AMA display and the presentation of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Heritage Award at the May 6 event at Quail Lodge & Golf Club in Carmel, Calif.

“We are very glad to again be a part of The Quail Motorcycle Gathering, one of the premier motorcycling events of the year,” said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman. “The Quail showcases some of the finest competition motorcycles in the country and highlights the elegance of these machines, as well as their performance.”

A member of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame will be on hand to present the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Heritage Award, which recognizes a machine that best represents a contribution or contributions that AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famers have made to the growth of American motorcycling.

In addition, the AMA will be on location to greet supporters, sell memberships and provide information about the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.

Gordon McCall, director of motorsports at the Quail Lodge and Golf Club said, “Our partnership with the AMA is very important to us, as this organization represents the advocacy that all of us motorcyclists need to protect our beloved hobby and sport. Over the years, every honoree of our ‘Legend of the Sport’ has been an AMA Hall of Famer. We are looking forward to hosting the AMA once again, as well as continuing to build our relationship into the future.”

The ninth annual The Quail Motorcycle Gathering celebrates the past, present and future of motorcycling. The featured themes include:

• American
• British
• Italian
• Other European
• Japanese
• Competition On Road
• Competition Off Road
• Antique
• Custom/Modified
• Extraordinary Bicycles and Scooters Class
• Norton Motorcycles – Celebrating 50 Years of the Norton Commando

AMA members receive a discount on tickets to The Quail Motorcycle Gathering by using the discount code at www.americanmotorcyclist.com/for-members/member-discount-codes.

More information about The Quail Motorcycle Gathering can be found at signatureevents.peninsula.com.

AMA Go Ride! Month Kicks Off

AMA Go Ride Month

Every April, the American Motorcyclist Association celebrates the riding season with AMA Go Ride! Month, the association’s annual campaign to promote the fun and fulfillment that motorcycling brings to so many lives. As part of 2017 AMA Go Ride! Month, Cycle Gear is hosting a month-long AMA Grand Tour offering cool prizes while promoting AMA membership in all of its locations.

“We ride for a lot of reasons, but one of them is to have fun,” said AMA Recreational Riding and Volunteer Manager Marie Wuelleh. “The Cycle Gear AMA Go Ride! Month Grand Tour is a great way to get out on your bike, engage with some fellow riders and hopefully win some new riding gear.”

The AMA and Cycle Gear, also a chartered AMA promoter, are partnering with bike rental company Eagle Rider, the ride-tracking and mapping app Rever and communications company SENA to manage the grand tour. Prizes include full kits of riding gear, Club Eagle Rider subscriptions, Rever subscriptions and SENA product.

“We’re excited that Cycle Gear is not just running an AMA Grand Tour that celebrates motorcycling and AMA Go Ride! Month, but is also offering membership in the AMA,” Wuelleh said. “The support of the motorcycle industry is critical to the AMA’s mission to promote the motorcycle lifestyle for generations to come.”

Participants can sign up now at www.cg-goride.com or using the Rever mobile app. There are three categories: street, v-twin and off-road. Earn points by riding, with bonus points assigned for visiting key locations. A leaderboard will track who is in line for cool prizes.

For non-members, Cycle Gear has added an AMA membership to its point-of-purchase software, so joining the AMA at a Cycle Gear location is as simple as buying a new inner tube for your dirt bike or some leather protectant for your saddlebags.

The AMA will close out AMA Go Ride! Month with the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Spring Bike Night, April 29, on the AMA campus in Pickerington, Ohio. Riders who attend can enjoy free entry to the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, live music by Sneaky Pete & The Players, local club displays, raffle prizes, great food and an after party at North High Brewing. The Facebook Event page for the bike night is www.facebook.com/events/904839429655888/.

For more information about AMA Go Ride! Month, see the April issue of American Motorcyclist, the journal of the AMA, or visit www.americanmotorcyclist.com.

AMA Announces 2017 Gypsy Tours

AMA Gypsy Tours 2017

The 2017 AMA Gypsy Tour, a national series of premier road-riding events, features 17 road rides between March and November in all sections of the country.

AMA Gypsy Tours and the rallies that include them are among the largest and most popular U.S. motorcycle gatherings.

“We have a great slate of events on the 2017 Gypsy Tour series,” said Marie Wuelleh, AMA recreational riding and volunteer manager. “These rides are put together by experienced organizers, who promise all participants a memorable experience.”

Originally, a Gypsy Tour was an overnight event with organized road rides and other activities of interest to motorcycle enthusiasts, where groups of riders would converge on a single destination. Gypsy Tours were staged in different parts of the country and typically occurred on the same weekend every year. The “National” Gypsy Tour referred to the whole series of these events.

The 2017 AMA Gypsy Tour series includes Laconia Motorcycle Week. Laconia Motorcycle Week, an AMA Gypsy Tour Heritage Event, dates to 1916 and is the longest-running AMA Gypsy Tour.

“We are proud that this event has been running for so long, and we are happy to be a part of the 2017 AMA Gypsy Tour series,” said Charlie St. Clair, executive director of Laconia Motorcycle Week.

The original Laconia event was a social gathering of about 150 riders organized by the Bay State Motorcycle Club riders and New Hampshire Motorcyclists at Weir Beach on Lake Winnipesaukee near Laconia, N.H. Over the years, the event grew to attract as many as 430,000 motorcyclists.

The AMA has been sanctioning Gypsy Tours since 1924.

The schedule for the 2017 AMA Gypsy Tour, a national series of premier road-riding events includes:

• March 10-19: AMA Gypsy Tour at Bike Week, Daytona Beach, Fla.
• April 5-9: Arizona Bike Week, Phoenix, Ariz.
• April 26-29: Laughlin River Run, Laughlin, Nev.
• May 3-7: Thunder Beach Spring Rally, Panama City, Fla.
• May 12-21: Myrtle Beach Bike Week Spring Rally, Myrtle Beach, S.C.
• June 5-10: Americade, Lake George, N.Y.
• June 10-18: Laconia Motorcycle Week, Laconia, N.H.
AMA National Gypsy Tour Heritage Event
• June 22-25: Thunder in the Valley, Johnstown, Pa.
AMA National Road Rally
• July 7-9: AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, New Lexington, Ohio
AMA National Gypsy Tour
AMA National Road Rally
• July 12-16: Roar on the Shore, Erie, Pa.
• Aug. 2-6: National Biker’s Roundup, Kansas City, Kan.
• Aug. 23-27: Rally in the Gorge, Hood River, Ore.
• Sept. 13-17: Golden Aspen Motorcycle Rally, Mescalero, N.M.
AMA National Road Rally
• Sept. 22-24: Ray Price Capital City Bikefest, Raleigh, N.C.
• Oct. 5-8: Las Vegas Bikefest, Las Vegas, Nev.
• Oct. 25-29: Thunder Beach Fall Rally, Panama City, Fla.
• Nov. 3-6: Lone Star Rally, Galveston, Texas

A full schedule of AMA National Road Riding events can be found atwww.americanmotorcyclist.com/Riding/National-Road-Riding-Events.

AMA Seeks To Protect Motorcycle Riders From Unsafe E15 Fuel

In an effort to prohibit the availability of E15, a gasoline formulation that contains up to 15 percent ethanol by volume, the American Motorcyclist Association supports U.S. Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Jim Costa (D-Calif.), Steve Womack (R-Ark.) and Peter Welch’s (D-Vt.) H.R. 1315, the RFS Reform Act. The bipartisan bill would amend the Renewable Fuel Standard to recognize market conditions and realities. It also would prohibit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from allowing the introduction into the marketplace of gasoline blends with more than 10 percent ethanol by volume.

In other words, E15 will not be permitted if this legislation becomes law.

The AMA has repeatedly expressed concerns to government officials and federal lawmakers about possible damage to motorcycle fuel systems and engines caused by the inadvertent use of E15.

Passing H.R. 1315 will protect the 22 million motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles currently in use on America’s roads and trails (and the riders who depend on their safe operation) from inadvertent misfueling.

Preventing these inadvertent misfuelings has been one of the AMA’s top priorities, because motorcycles in use today are not designed to run on ethanol blends higher than 10 percent. Many older machines favored by vintage enthusiasts have problems with any ethanol in the fuel. Often, simply using fuel blends higher than 10 percent ethanol can void a manufacturer’s warranty, potentially leaving motorcyclists with thousands of dollars in additional repair or maintenance costs.

We need your help to pass H.R. 1315. You can send a prewritten email to your representative immediately by following the “Take Action” option and entering your information. The AMA encourages riders to adjust their messages by drawing on personal riding experiences.

Take Action

AMA CEO Dingman to Testify vs Motorcycle Tariff

AMA logo

Office of U.S. Trade Representative hearing slated for Feb. 15

American Motorcyclist Association President and CEO Rob Dingman will testify Feb. 15 against a 100 percent tariff on some European motorcycles proposed by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

“We object to this proposed tariff because it would harm American motorcyclists,” Dingman said. “Significantly raising the cost of European motorcycles through a tariff could price thousands of families out of the motorcycle market.”

The tariff would affect motorcycles with engines displacing 51cc to 500cc from Aprilia, Beta, BMW, Ducati, Fantic, Gas Gas, Husqvarna, KTM, Montesa, Piaggio, Scorpa, Sherco, TM and Vespa.

The federal agency is seeking the tariff as leverage against the European Union in an ongoing dispute over the importing of U.S. beef to Europe that contains hormones. A public hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Feb. 15 in Rooms 1 and 2, 1724 F St. NW., Washington, D.C.

At the AMA’s urging, more than 10,000 emails have been sent to Congress on this issue, nearly 10,000 comments have been made directly to the agency through Regulations.gov and more than 5,000 emails have been sent to President Donald Trump.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is responsible for developing and coordinating U.S. international trade, commodity and direct investment policy and overseeing negotiations with other countries. The head of USTR is the U.S. Trade Representative, a Cabinet member who serves as the president’s principal trade adviser, negotiator and spokesperson on trade issues.

“We don’t believe non-agricultural products should be included in tariffs connected to agricultural trade disputes,” Dingman said. “In addition to substantially raising prices for American riders, this tariff would jeopardize the many small and medium-sized businesses that rely on the sale of European motorcycles, parts and accessories.”

European makers of 51cc-399cc motorcycles used for racing provide nearly half the units available to U.S. consumers, and nearly a quarter of the market in the 400-500cc class. There are not significant numbers of U.S.-made options for consumers in those market segments.

In the on-road motorcycle segment, 100 percent of the models 300cc and smaller are imported to the United States from abroad.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative tried the same tactic in 1998 and 2008, but the efforts were thwarted when the AMA, the Motorcycle Industry Council and bike manufacturers and retailers rallied motorcyclists against the plan. At that time, the U.S. Trade Representative instead raised the tariff on a variety of European food products.

AMA Opposes Profiling of Motorcyclists

Board of Directors adopts official position statement

The American Motorcyclist Association Board of Directors has adopted and issued an official position statement objecting to the profiling of motorcyclists by government agencies, including judging riders on their chosen apparel, mode of transportation or associates, rather than specific behavior and actions.

“The AMA strongly condemns the profiling of motorcyclists by government agencies and has long championed the undeniable fact that the vast majority of riders and enthusiasts are upstanding, law-abiding citizens,” the statement reads.

“Several states have considered bills aimed at curtailing the profiling of motorcyclists by law enforcement agencies and others,” said AMA Board Chair Maggie McNally-Bradshaw. “The Board believes this is an important issue facing everyone who rides, and the AMA remains at the forefront in promoting the motorcycle lifestyle and protecting the future of motorcycling.”

The AMA Board of Directors adopts and publishes position statements that delineate the organization’s official stance on issues of concern. The new statement on Motorcyclist Profiling is one of seven adopted by the Board. The full statement on Motorcyclist Profiling can be found here: www.americanmotorcyclist.com/About-The-AMA/motorcyclist-profiling.

The states of Washington (S.B. 5242 in 2011) and Maryland (S.B. 233 in 2016) passed legislation specifically forbidding the profiling of motorcyclists, and other states are considering similar legislation.

In 2012, California adopted A.B. 1047, outlawing motorcycle-only checkpoints. Checkpoints are also restricted by state law or judicial action in: Alaska, Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina, Virginia, Illinois, New Hampshire, Idaho, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

AMA Honors Top Racers and Organizers of 2016 at Championship Banquet

AMA Land Speed Grand Champions

AMA Land Speed Grand Championship competitors
The land-speed community was well represented at the 2016 AMA Championship Banquet in Columbus, Ohio, on Jan. 21, 2017. Photo: Jeff Guciardo/AMA

The American Motorcyclist Association recognized its greatest champions and hardest-working organizers from the 2016 season on Jan. 21 during the AMA Championship Banquet at the Hilton Downtown Columbus in Columbus, Ohio.

More than 500 racers and supporters watched as the AMA presented awards to the top three finishers in national and regional competition, and announced the winners of the prestigious AMA Racer of the Year Awards.

“It is well known in this room that the American Motorcyclist Association is the largest motorcycle and all-terrain vehicle sanctioning body in the world,” said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman, addressing the crowd. “Our greatness comes from our racers, many who are here tonight. We have the young and the not-so-young and everyone in between. We are from a range of social and economic backgrounds, and we come from all corners of America. What we all share is our love of riding and racing motorcycles — and our status as AMA members.”

The world motorcycle sanctioning body, the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme, also used the occasion to present U.S. riders and the AMA with world championship awards. FIM Board member Jos Driessen performed the honors for the FIM.

The program was emceed by Laurette Nicoll and Kevin Kelly.

Scottsdale, Ariz.’s Taylor Robert, who led the U.S. World Trophy Team to its first International Six Days Enduro world championship, was announced as the AMA Athlete of the Year from National Championship Series competition.

La Moille, Ill.’s Chase Sexton, the 2016 AMA Motocross Horizon Award winner, was selected as the AMA Athlete of the Year from Grand Championship events.

Sexton, who is competing in the 2017 AMA Supercross Championship Series, was unable to attend the banquet, but shared his gratitude in a video acceptance speech.

“I’m pumped to be chosen as the AMA Athlete of the Year and also the Horizon Award winner,” Sexton said. “Thank you to all the people who voted for me. I’m really excited to have this as one of my accomplishments. It’s my biggest one so far. I can’t thank everyone enough who supported me, like my team and my family. It’s been a big year for me, and I’m ready to get started on my pro career in Supercross.”

AMA Banquet Regional Hare Scramble Champions

AMA Regional Hare Scrambles Championship racers
In addition to national series, regional series were recognized at the 2016 AMA Championship Banquet in Columbus Ohio on Jan. 21, 2017. Shown here are attending racers from the east and west regional hare scrambles series. Photo: Jeff Guciardo/AMA

The FIM’s Driessen presented attending members of the U.S. World Trophy Team — Kailub Russell, Thad Duvall and Layne Michael — with their 2016 ISDE gold medals. Land-speed racer Erin Okonek received her official world record recognition.

Driessen also presented AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman and AMA Board of Directors Chair Maggie McNally-Bradshaw with the 2016 FIM Women in Motorcycling Award for the AMA Get Women Riding Campaign.

“The AMA has a long and rich history of promoting motorcycling to all groups, including women,” said Dingman, who thanked the FIM and Driessen for the honor. “The AMA Get Women Riding Campaign is just the latest example of that effort, and it certainly won’t be the last. We ask all of our members to endorse motorcycling as a safe, fun and exciting activity to all demographics.”

Grand National Cross Country racer Becca Sheets was the AMA Female Racer of the Year. The Columbus local was emotional on stage as she talked about her successful 2016 season.

“This is a huge honor to receive,” Sheets said. “I’ve been an AMA member for 17 years. I dreamed about being where I am now as a professional racer when I was a little girl. So, winning this award is the icing on the cake for me.”

Speedway racer Bart Bast from Forest Hill, Calif., was named AMA Vet Racer of the Year.

“Racing is my life,” Bast said. ” I’ve been an AMA member for 40 years, so winning this award means so much to me. I appreciate the AMA for this opportunity.”

The 2016 AMA Youth Racer of the Year was motocross phenom Jett Reynolds from Bakersfield, Calif. Desert and hare scrambles racer Colt Brinkerhoff from Utah was the 2016 AMA ATV Racer of the Year.

Top-three finishers were recognized from six regional championships and 21 national championships, representing all disciplines of AMA-sanctioned competition.

Among the most decorated national champions was Russell, who in addition to being a member of the U.S. World Trophy Team won the overall for the Amsoil GNCC series, the AMA’s national championship for hare scrambles competition.

“Winning the [World] Trophy was an unreal feeling,” Russell said. “It was so great to be over there with all the guys and be able to bond together and then celebrate with them afterward. A lot of hard work was put into winning this. I can’t thank the AMA enough for their efforts in supporting racing and making all of this possible.”

The AMA Sportsman of the Year was Ricky Rickords, who works with the Brett Downey Safety Foundation to improve flagger training and other safety aspects of motorcycle racing. The AMA Sportsman of the Year Award honors an individual in the AMA racing community who exemplifies the spirit of fair competition and sportsmanship, as well a strong dedication to motorcycling.

Sponsors and supporters of the 2016 AMA Championship Banquet included FLY Racing, Motonation, Strider, Bridgestone, Anthony’s Leatherworks/MX Boot Repair, Cycra Racing, Shoei Helmets, Liberty Sport, Maxima Racing Oils, Hinson Clutch Components Racing, Rocky Mountain ATV/MC, Twin Air and ASK Powersports.

Other award winners announced at the banquet were:

AMA Motocross Organizer of the Year
MX Sports Inc.

AMA Off-Road Organizer of the Year
Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series

AMA Track Racing Organizer of the Year
Fast Fridays Motorcycle Speedway

AMA ATV Organizer of the Year
Racer Productions (Grand National Cross Country Series)

AMA Recreational Road Riding Organizer of the Year
Roar on the Shore

AMA Recreational Off-Road Organizer of the Year
Knapp Creek Fire Department

AMA Club of the Year
Trials Inc.

AMA Media Award
Racer TV