American Motorcyclist Association appoints Vice President of Industry Relations and Corporate Member Programs

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) is pleased to announce that industry veteran Jim Williams has joined the association as Vice President of Industry Relations & Corporate Member Programs. Williams will be responsible for directing the AMA’s outreach to the motorcycle industry as well as creating related membership programs for manufacturers, distributors and aftermarket companies.

With more than 25 years of industry involvement, Williams was most recently the Director, Sales Planning & Promotion for Kawasaki Motors Corp., USA and he concurrently served as Vice Chairman of the AMA Board of Directors. Williams also has trade association experience, having worked for the Motorcycle Industry Council from1986 to 1995, where he coordinated land-use efforts for the industry with the goal of preserving and expanding OHV riding opportunities across the U.S.

“I am very happy to report that Jim Williams has joined the AMA’s executive team,” said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman. “Jim has extensive knowledge of the motorcycling community and brings a wide variety of experience from his years at Kawasaki. He was a key member of the team responsible for the company’s increase in motorcycle market share, and he is well regarded throughout the motorcycle industry.

“In addition, as Vice Chairman of the AMA Board of Directors, Jim understands the needs and direction of the AMA, our clubs and our members. I can think of no one more qualified to lead our outreach to the industry as we grow the AMA into the future,” Dingman said.

“It’s a great feeling to be joining the AMA executive team,” added Williams. “For many years, I have been active in the motorcycling community’s struggle with the challenges to current and future riding opportunities, and have done what I could within the industry. By joining the AMA at this time, I can more effectively contribute to the reforms that Rob and the board have undertaken to strengthen and grow the membership of the AMA. There is no organization better positioned to protect our riding lifestyle and freedoms, and I look forward to the opportunities ahead.”

Williams is an avid motorcyclist and has been riding motorcycles since he was 7 years old. He is an AMA Charter Life member and enjoys long-distance adventures in the wide-open spaces of Baja, Nevada and the California desert. Formerly an active participant in AMA District 37 racing, he still competes on occasion.

Williams will be based in Southern California.

Little Sturgis Kentucky Rally Out of Gas

(editor’s note*  There is a new rally at the Union County Fairgrounds on the same weekend as Little Sturgis.  For more info, visit www.kentuckybikefest.com)

The economy has done what the lawyers could not.

It’s put the brakes on the Little Sturgis Rally and Races.

Featured on national television shows and in every major motorcycle magazine in the USA, Little Sturgis was, at one time the largest outdoor display of flesh and motorcycle eye candy in the Southeastern USA.

It was so popular, the Chamber of Commerce of South Dakota sued the Chamber of  Sturgis Kentucky claiming the small town was stealing it’s name.

Citing a drop in attendance and a huge operating loss in 2010, the Sturgis Kentucky Chamber voted today not to hold the 2011 rally, according to a well placed source.

The Chamber issued a press release that stated; “Due to various circumstances, the Board of Directors of the Little Sturgis Rally and Races for Charity, Inc cancelled its annual fundraising motorcycle event that was to be held July 14th-17th, 2011 in Sturgis KY.  The Board of Directors thanks all the volunteers and participants over the past eighteen years that made it possible to raise over $2 million dollars for various charities and educational entities.”

(added 5:30pm) According to a report in the local paper, Board Secretary Lisa Jones said that the economy and the ongoing lawsuit with Sturgis South Dakota over the use of the name “Sturgis” is the reason the rally is taking a “sabbatical” and that it may return in the future.  Both sides in the lawsuit have filed a motion to have the 2008 suit dismissed but that the suit is a “cloud” hanging over the Sturgis Kentucky chamber.