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.

Controversial Governor Selected Motorcyclist of 2010 by AMA

The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) announced today its AMA Motorcyclist of the Year. Awarded annually, the AMA Motorcyclist of the Year designation recognizes the person(s) who has had the most profound impact on the world of motorcycling, for better or worse, in the previous 12 months.

For 2010, that distinction belongs to outgoing California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose signature on a controversial law will have far-reaching and potentially harmful effects on the motorcycling community nationwide.

With no fanfare, Schwarzenegger signed a poorly crafted bill on Sept. 28 that fundamentally changes how California will regulate motorcycle exhaust systems. The new law also maps a path for the rest of the country, as other state and local lawmakers look for their own answers to address excessive motorcycle sound. The full story is in the January 2011 issue of American Motorcyclist magazine, the journal of the AMA.

“Gov. Schwarzenegger signed a piece of legislation that has rocked the motorcycling world, and will impact motorcyclists in other states as well for years to come,” said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman. “This makes him the logical choice for the 2010 AMA Motorcyclist of the Year.”

The legislation, California Senate Bill 435, the Motorcycle Anti-Tampering Act, requires every new motorcycle or aftermarket exhaust system built starting in 2013 to carry a stamp on the exhaust certifying that it meets federal Environmental Protection Agency sound requirements. For most motorcycles, the law is a de-facto OEM (original equipment manufacturer) exhaust mandate because the federal standard was not designed for aftermarket manufacturers, and compliance for the scores of low-volume production models now on the market is extremely problematic.

The AMA has long advocated reasonable measures be adopted for the regulation of excessive motorcycle sound, and cites the Society of Automotive Engineers J2825 motorcycle sound testing procedure as the most fair, economical and practical solution to the problem vexing communities nationwide.

“The California law is a poorly crafted piece of legislation that’s discriminatory and does little to address the core problem of excessive sound from all sources, not just motorcycles,” Dingman said. “Rather than objectively regulate offensive noise, this law creates all sorts of problems for riders, law enforcement and aftermarket manufacturers.”

An EPA certification label is no guarantee of sound compliance, and the lack of a label is no guarantee that an exhaust is too loud. The only way to know if a motorcycle exhaust is compliant is to test its actual sound output, Dingman noted.

“As a motorcyclist, Gov. Schwarzenegger should have known better,” Dingman said. “Now California’s motorcyclists, as well as key segments of our industry, are going to be negatively impacted.”

Currently, only two aftermarket manufacturers offer EPA-sound-stamped exhaust systems for a handful of late-model Harley-Davidsons. The process of certification is complex and expensive. For the millions of owners whose motorcycle models were made in relatively small numbers, the requirement to replace an aging exhaust system with an expensive OEM system is onerous and discriminatory. Owners of automobiles and trucks don’t have to meet the same standard, and they can buy less expensive replacement exhaust systems at local muffler shops.

Schwarzenegger’s selection as AMA Motorcyclist of the Year was reinforced by California’s position as a role model for the rest of the country.

“In many cases, we’ve seen other states follow California’s legislative lead on a number of issues,” Dingman said. “There’s no reason to think that trend won’t continue with respect to S.B. 435. With the stroke of his pen, Gov. Schwarzenegger significantly altered the motorcycling landscape for motorcyclists everywhere, and this is the reason why his selection as AMA Motorcyclist of the Year is so impactful.”

The full story of Schwarzenegger’s involvement with motorcycling goes beyond S.B. 435, and is detailed in the January issue of American Motorcyclist. Schwarzenegger has, during his tenure, been an ally of motorcycling with key appointments to decision-making committees that deal with off-highway riding issues, as an example. In addition, as a known motorcyclist himself, Schwarzenegger has drawn attention to motorcycling and, after a high-profile crash in 2006, the need for proper motorcycle licensing.

“We will continue to work with municipal governments and state legislatures to implement reasonable measures, such as the SAE J2825 standard, to address excessive motorcycle sound,” said Dingman. “But we now have the added burden of showing how California’s new measure is not an effective solution, and we have Gov. Schwarzenegger to thank for that.”

About the American Motorcyclist Association

Since 1924, the AMA has protected the future of motorcycling and promoted the motorcycle lifestyle. AMA members come from all walks of life, and they navigate many different routes on their journey to the same destination: freedom on two wheels. As the world’s largest motorcycling rights organization, the AMA advocates for motorcyclists’ interests in the halls of local, state and federal government, the committees of international governing organizations, and the court of public opinion. Through member clubs, promoters and partners, the AMA sanctions more motorsports competition and motorcycle recreational events than any other organization in the world. AMA members receive money-saving discounts from dozens of well-known suppliers of motorcycle services, gear and apparel, bike rental, transport, hotel stays and more. Through its support of the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, the AMA preserves the heritage of motorcycling for future generations. For more information, please visitAmericanMotorcyclist.com.

American Motorcyclist Association ramps up ‘Vote Like A Motorcyclist’ campaign

The AMA wants you to "Vote like a motorcyclist"

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) has ramped up its “Vote Like a Motorcyclist” campaign with T-shirts, pins and posters to supplement its new 2010 AMA Voter Guide.

“The elections on Nov. 2 are some of the most important in many years for the future of motorcycling,” said Ed Moreland, AMA senior vice president for government relations. “It’s critical for motorcyclists to get out and vote to help protect their right to ride.”

A major tool available to AMA members this campaign season is the online 2010 AMA Voter Guide — the first national voter guide of its kind for the motorcycling community. It features a fuel-gauge rating for every federal and gubernatorial candidate of the major political parties who returned an AMA questionnaire. The rating shows how closely the candidates’ answers align with AMA positions.

The 2010 AMA Voter Guide is available to AMA members in the Members Area of the AMA website at AmericanMotorcyclist.com. Riders who wish to join the AMA and utilize the guide can do so at the AMA website. To join, click here.

Moreland noted that during this political season it’s important to remind fellow riders to think before they vote, and to vote like a motorcyclist. One way to do that is by wearing a “Vote Like A Motorcyclist” T-shirt while out for a ride, hanging with riding buddies or while picking up parts at a dealership.

It’s also a visible reminder to non-riders and candidates that motorcyclists vote.

“Vote Like A Motorcyclist” T-shirts cost just $21.95. Posters range in price from $11.20 to $22.45, depending on size, and pins are $2.20.

Gear up with “Vote Like A Motorcyclist” items at http://www.zazzle.com/americanmotorcyclist.

And don’t forget to vote on Nov. 2!