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PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) is pleased to announce the seventh member of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Class of 2010: three-time AMA Sidecar Racing National Champion Larry Coleman. Coleman, who has set land-speed records on the Bonneville Salt Flats and runs his own motorcycle-industry marketing company, will be among the legends of motorcycling honored at the 2010 induction ceremony at the Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas Nov. 19.
“Motorcycle racing is one of the most diverse motorsports in the world, and sidecar racing is further evidence of that,” said AMA Director of Operations and Hall of Famer Jack Penton. “One of the best ever at this unique and exciting discipline is Larry Coleman — a three-time champ who really took the sport to new levels.”
Don Rosene, chairman of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame selection committee, said: “I first met Larry Coleman in the mid-’70s while I was selling HiPoint Accessories and he was selling Kal-Gard. I wasn’t aware at that time that he was an AMA National Sidecar Champion. I heard it from someone else — he never mentioned it to me. Humble, indeed. Now, almost 40 years later, Larry is still setting records in a sidecar, only this time it’s in a straight line, at very high speeds, on the salt at Bonneville.”
A motorcyclist since he was a kid, Coleman’s interest in fast, grand-prix-style sidecar racing came when he was a U.S. serviceman in Europe in the 1970s. After two racing seasons as a sidecar passenger, he decided to pilot his own machine. Upon returning to the United States, Larry raced a Kawasaki 500 H1-based sidecar with Wendell Andrews, and was a success in both AFM and AMA racing.
The pair won two AMA national championships in 1976-77. Then, teaming with Mark Bevans as passenger, Coleman won the 1979 AMA national championship. For the 1980 season, Coleman built up a Yamaha TZ750-based bike that was one of the most advanced machines of its type and helped advance the cause of sidecar racing in the United States. After retiring from racing in 1981, Coleman worked in the motorcycle industry, ultimately starting his own marketing and public relations consultancy.
Coleman said he was honored to be named the to the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.
“I’m really in awe,” Coleman said. “I’ve been to Pickerington, and read all the names on the wall. Being in the company of those people is such an honor. I don’t think there’s any finer honor than to be judged by your peers, and this is just amazing.”
As for sidecar racing, Coleman was smitten early.
“The attraction for me is the teamwork,” he said. “The guys who rode with me in those championships, Wendell Andrews and Mark Bevans, are as much a part of this as I am. They say that motorcycle racing takes 100 percent effort, and on a sidecar, it takes 200 percent.”
Coleman joins previously announced members of the AMA Hall of Fame Class of 2010: championship team owner Mitch Payton, AMA 250cc Roadrace Champion David Emde, off-road rights activist Clark Collins, dirt-track racer Don Castro and off-road gear pioneers John and Rita Gregory. More inductees will be announced soon.
Coleman, and the other members of the class of 2010, will officially be inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame on Friday, Nov. 19, as part of the AMA Legends & Champions Weekend. In addition to the induction ceremony, the weekend includes the 2010 AMA Concours d’Elegance on Saturday, Nov. 20, featuring some of the country’s most impressive original and restored classic motorcycles. The AMA Racing Championship Banquet closes out the weekend on Sunday, Nov. 21, where AMA Racing amateur champions of all ages will be recognized for their 2010 accomplishments.
The AMA Legends & Champions Weekend also includes the final round of the Geico Powersports AMA Endurocross National Championship Series on Saturday evening, Nov. 20. Ticket packages for the AMA Legends & Champions Weekend will also include access to the race, held at The Orleans Arena.
The AMA Legends & Champions Weekend will be held at the Las Vegas Red Rock Resort, a world-class spa, hotel and casino, featuring a range of entertainment, dining and family-friendly attractions. The facility’s expansive ballrooms will provide a stunning backdrop for the AMA Legends & Champions Weekend, which is certain to be memorable for the 2010 inductees, champions, families, friends and fans. More information is available online at RedRockLasVegas.com.
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PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) is pleased to announce that Yamaha Motor Corp. USA will have both Yamaha sportbikes and Star cruisers on hand for attendees to test ride at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days this July 9-11 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.
Included in the demo lineup will be numerous 2010 models from both the Yamaha and Star Motorcycles lineups: the Yamaha R1, Yamaha FZ6R, Yamaha FJR, Star Stratoliner Deluxe, Star Warrior and Star Vmax.
“AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days has been one of the successful stops for Yamaha on the extensive schedule of demo events that we participate in,” said Kim Knupp, the Assistant Division Manager, National Events, for Yamaha USA’s Motorsports Division. “We are offering a large range of cruisers and sport bikes for the customers to demo ride during the weekend.”
Held at the world-class Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days features vintage and post-vintage competition in motocross, trials, hare scrambles, roadracing and dirt track. In addition to demo rides of current production bikes, the event includes North America’s largest motorcycle swap meet, educational seminars, bike shows, the Federal Companies/Allied Used Bike Corral, motorcycling seminars, the new product Manufacturers’ Midway, and club corrals featuring marque and regional clubs.
Husqvarna is the 2010 Marque of the Year at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, with off-road racing legend Malcolm Smith serving as grand marshal.
Proceeds from AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days benefit the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. The goal of the Hall of Fame, located on the campus of the AMA in Pickerington, Ohio, is to honor the distinguished men and women whose competitive spirit, passion, vision and entrepreneurship have played a vital role in shaping the sport, lifestyle and business of motorcycling. For more information, call (614) 856-2222, or visit the Hall of Fame’s website at MotorcycleMuseum.org.
Chuck Zito, who is reported to be the former Pres of the NYC Hells Angels is suing FX, claiming they stole his idea, or rather Kurt Sutter stole his idea about the hit series Sons of Anarchy. Zito says he developed an idea for a show about an “outlaw motorcycle club” back in 1998 and pitched it to FX in 2004.
FX did not have an official comment but producer Kurt Sutter, in his blog, SutterInk responded, and didn’t mince words. “I’m sure this blog will get my ass kicked and begin a new wave of death threats, but fuck it. I’m tired of these fucking losers getting ink.”
Almost from the start of development of the show, Zito has been telling anyone who will listen that FX took his idea and gave it to Sutter.
Sutter claims Zito is just looking for a quick buck.
“He tried to file a legal claim a few months back and it was so preposterous that I believe FX legal simply dismissed it. So he’s pissed and he’s desperate. What we are witnessing now is his “plan B”. And it’s outlaw mentality in full gear. He will take his bogus claim and shop it to every celebrity rag and website hungry for topical gossip, he’ll go on Celebrity Justice, TMZ, any sleaze forum or cable access show that will have him. He will become a bitter, juvenile gnat buzzing in the ear of FX and myself. He will use lies, intimidation, and his big mouth to become such a pain in the ass, in the hope that Fox will throw some money at him to shut the fuck up. It’s not a coincidence that his claim hits while academy members are voting.”
Zito isn’t saying much at the moment, but has said that Sutter had no knowledge of motorcycles, gangs, clubs or the true biker world and only got the show because of his work on “The Shield” and because he was the golden boy at FX. Zito is seeking $5 million dollars in damages.
Sutter address that allegation in his blog as well, saying, ” THERE HAVE BEEN DOZENS OF OUTLAW MOTORCYCLE TV DRAMAS PITCHED IN THE LAST TEN YEARS. NONE OF THEM HAS MADE IT TO SERIES, EXCEPT SOA. BECAUSE THEY SUCKED. The same way there were dozens of mob family pitches before the Sopranos and crime scene pitches before CSI.”
It seems the verbal smack down has begun. First bitch slap belongs to Sutter.
Trena Mitchell, who is legally blind, is accused of causing the death of Richard Craig ” Hat Trick” Schroeder, in December when she pulled out in his path. Mitchell who has been cited before for driving without a license, had worked out a plea bargain with prosecutors where she would plead guilty to second-degree felony manslaughter and be placed on deferred probation, which essentially meant no jail time.
Once this deal became public, outraged motorcyclists across Texas and Louisiana began a letter writing campaign flooding State District Judge Ralph Strother’s office with more than 1,200 letters condemning the plea bargain.
Schroeder, a member of Bikers Against Child Abuse was out that day collecting toys for children whose parent(s) are in jail. According to police reports, Mitchell pulled her Honda Accord into Schroeder’s path, causing his Harley-Davidson to collide with her Honda Accord, sending him almost 100 feet from the point of impact.
Motorcyclists from across Texas and surrounding states began circulating an email call to action and the letters began flooding the courthouse. Most say they feel prosecutors and judges do not place the same value for a motorcyclists life as they do for the general public.
Brian “Spock” Peterson, a 51-year-old member of the Confederation of Clubs & Independents told the Waco Tribune, “It is conspicuous when a biker is killed or injured that he gets different treatment because there is prejudice and discrimination against us riders,” he said. “Another thing is that we are more vulnerable, so we are involved in a lot more accidents that are not our fault, and we would like to see punishment be equal, and we are not seeing that.
Mitchell’s attorney told the Tribune that the biker’s letter writing campaign is inappropriate and the judge should not influenced by public opinion.
Hundreds, perhaps thousands of motorcyclists are saying they will attend a rally to show support for the victim either before or during the August 17th trial date.
Helen, Georgia. In the Courtyard of Chattahoochee Biker Gear. FMI 706-878-8520 or 706-206-1686 or www.destinationhelen.com
PICKERINGTON, Ohio — A key U.S. House committee has approved a measure to require the U.S. Interior Department to release internal documents related to a proposal that could close up to 13 million acres to off-highway riding, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports.
On June 16, the House Natural Resources Committee approved H. Res. 1406 — a Resolution of Inquiry — that directs the Interior Department to turn over to Congress the missing pages and related documents of an internal memo that discusses proposed national monument designations and other land uses of some 13 million acres in the West. National monument designations could lead to bans on off-highway riding on that land.
The measure — introduced by Natural Resources Ranking Member Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) and National Parks, Forests and Public Lands Subcommittee Ranking Member Rob Bishop (R-Utah) — was approved by a voice vote. It now goes to the full House for consideration.
“We now have a strong bipartisan agreement that the Interior Department needs to reveal to the public exactly what plans are under way to unilaterally lock up millions of acres of land across the country by designating them as national monuments,” Hastings said. “I hope the department takes today’s actions by the committee seriously and discloses the documents that we have requested promptly and without further delay.”
Ed Moreland, AMA senior vice president for government relations, praised Hastings and Bishop for continuing to push the issue after the Interior Department earlier only released 383 out of more than 2,000 pages of documents related to the national monuments proposal.
“It is troubling that the Department of the Interior has not released the full draft document for the public to review and consider,” Moreland said. “We are eager to understand the full scope of the document and the rationale for seeking these designations, which would be done unilaterally without the approval of the people’s representatives in Congress.”
On May 5, the Natural Resources Committee refused to endorse a similar measure introduced by Hastings and Bishop. And then the Interior Department released only 383 pages of documents despite repeated requests for public disclosure, prompting Hastings and Bishop to introduce H. Res. 1406.
“AMA members and other concerned citizens played a major role in persuading members of the Natural Resources Committee to approve H. Res. 1406 when the committee failed to support a similar measure in the past,” Moreland said. “It’s important now for all concerned citizens across the nation to contact their House members and urge them to support H. Res. 1406 when it comes up for a vote on the House floor.”
The easiest way to contact federal lawmakers is to go to the AMA website at AmericanMotorcyclist.com > Rights > Issues & Legislation, then enter your zip code in the “Find Your Officials” box.
A pre-written e-mail is available for you to send to your representative immediately by following the “Take Action” option and entering your information. The AMA encourages riders to personalize their message by drawing on their own personal riding experiences.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) is pleased to announce the fourth member of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Class of 2010: dirt-track racer Don Castro. Castro — an extraordinary racer who competed handlebar-to-handlebar with some of the greatest motorcycle racers of all time in the 1970s — will be among the legends of motorcycling honored at the 2010 induction ceremony at the Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas this Nov. 19.
“Many consider the early 1970s one of the greatest periods for dirt-track racing in the history of the sport,” said AMA Director of Operations Jack Penton, a Hall of Famer himself. “Don battled famed racers Gary Scott, Kenny Roberts, Mert Lawwill, Chuck Palmgren, Gene Romero, Dave Aldana and others, and he excelled. We’re delighted that he has earned a spot alongside the other great racers in dirt-track history in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.”
Castro joined the professional ranks as an Expert in 1970, riding dirt-trackers and roadracers for Triumph. He finished his rookie season fifth in the standings. For 1973 he was picked up by Yamaha and accomplished what many consider to be his greatest victory: winning the San Jose, Calif., half-mile against the likes of Scott, Lawwill, Palmgren, Roberts and other extremely talented racers. Again, he finished the season fifth. Castro went on to win another national the next year: the 250cc roadrace at Daytona, defeating teammate and race favorite Roberts. Castro retired from the sport in 1976.
Another AMA Hall of Famer Bill Werner, dirt-track tuner extraordinaire who serves as chairman of the Hall of Fame’s dirt-track committee, said: “Don is very deserving to be in the Hall of Fame, and I was fortunate enough to see him compete in his prime. One time, he was at Louisville Downs qualifying and ran wide open. He took my breath away and everyone’s breath away. He was a very talented racer and is well deserving of the honor.”
Castro, who now operates Racer’s Edge, a motorcycle and all-terrain vehicle service center in Tres Pinos, Calif., was humbled and honored when he learned he had been inducted into the Hall of Fame.
“It’s just a shock,” Castro said. “It makes your mind think of all kinds of things. It brings back a lot of memories. I’m shocked, and don’t feel I deserve it.”
Castro recalled that the early ’70s was a great time to race not only because of the tight racing but also because of the camaraderie of the racers.
“It was a difficult time to win a National because there were always three or four racers going for the win,” Castro said. “Everybody had different lines because they had different bikes — Harleys, Triumphs, Yamahas. They ran different, so they had different lines, it wasn’t just follow the leader. And it was nice because you would caravan to the races together. They were like your brothers, really close friends.”
Castro joins previously announced members of the AMA Hall of Fame Class of 2010: championship team owner Mitch Payton, AMA 250cc roadrace champion David Emde and off-road rights activist Clark Collins. More inductees will be announced soon.
The Class of 2010 will officially be inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame on Nov. 19 as part of the AMA Legends & Champions Weekend. In addition to the induction ceremony, the weekend includes the 2010 AMA Concours d’Elegance on Saturday, Nov. 20, featuring some of the country’s most impressive original and restored classic motorcycles. The AMA Racing Championship Banquet closes out the weekend on Sunday, Nov. 21, where AMA Racing amateur champions of all ages will be recognized for their 2010 accomplishments.
The event will be held at the Las Vegas Red Rock Resort, a world-class spa, hotel and casino, featuring a range of entertainment, dining and family-friendly attractions. The facility’s expansive ballrooms will provide a stunning backdrop for the AMA Legends & Champions Weekend, which is certain to be memorable for the 2010 inductees, champions, families, friends and fans. More information is available online at RedRockLasVegas.com.
Lodging reservations can be made now at AmericanMotorcyclist.com/Accommodations. An announcement regarding ticket information will be made in mid-June.