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.

Every Day is Earth Day on Your Motorcycle

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — As conservation takes center stage on Earth Day 2011, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) notes the environmental benefits of commuting and traveling on a motorcycle.

“Regardless of how you use your motorcycle or scooter — commuting to work, riding down the block, across town, traveling across the country — your choice to ride instead of drive has a positive impact on the environment and results in a more enjoyable, less-congested experience for you as well as your fellow road users,” said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman. “For motorcyclists, every day is Earth Day.”

In the wake of skyrocketing gas prices, motorcyclists have emerged relatively unscathed. A typical motorcycle can provide fuel mileage that exceeds that of most fuel-efficient automobiles. Many motorcycles return more than 50 miles per gallon, and many scooters can deliver nearly twice that. In addition to using less gasoline, motorcycles require less oil and other chemicals to operate. And the recent introduction of electric motorcycles provides an added benefit for the environment.

Motorcycles take up less space than cars and trucks both during operation, and when parked. They reduce traffic congestion and, in so doing, help increase the efficiency of traffic flow on the road.

Significantly fewer raw materials are utilized to produce motorcycles and scooters compared to cars and trucks. By some measures, it requires thousands of pounds less metal and plastic per vehicle to produce a motorcycle. The environmental benefits are realized both during production, as well as at the end of the vehicle’s useful life.

Because motorcycles and scooters are so much more compact and lighter than cars and trucks, they cause far less wear and tear on the highways, reducing the cost and environmental impact of infrastructure repairs. In addition, because of their size, many more motorcycles can be transported from factory to consumer using the same or less energy.

“When you add it all up, there is no question: If everyone rode motorcycles, the planet would be a greener place,” Dingman said. “And just as important, more of us would experience the thrill and freedom that motorcycles provide. Riding is not just easy on your bank account and the planet, riding is a fun, and often a social activity that simply makes life more enjoyable.”

Those interesting in coming along for the ride are encouraged to visit AmericanMotorcyclist.com > Riding > Getting Started for more information about the benefits of motorcycling.

AMA Life Members Can Add Premiere Benefits for Less

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) is recognizing the organization’s most loyal members with the option to add benefits at significant savings with the introduction of a new membership category: AMA Life Member Plus.

Available now by phone at (800) AMA-JOIN (262-5646), AMA Life Member Plus adds benefits that have not been part of the AMA Life Member package until now: AMA Roadside Assistance, a monthly subscription to American Motorcyclist magazine and a collectible AMA Life Member Plus membership card.

The existing AMA Life Member program is not changing. AMA members who reach 25 years of continuous membership will still achieve AMA Life Member status. These members, who no longer pay annual membership dues, receive discounts on products and services, the ability to participate in AMA-sanctioned events, and access to the Members Area of AmericanMotorcyclist.com — including the full digital edition of American Motorcyclist magazine.

The AMA Life Member Plus program includes all these benefits and adds AMA Roadside Assistance, a monthly subscription to the printed version of American Motorcyclist magazine and a new membership card every year. Including all the benefits of full AMA membership, AMA Life Member Plus is available for $29 — a $10 discount off the full membership price.

“Frankly, we haven’t done enough for our life members — the lifeblood of the AMA — and this optional program is our way of making up for the oversight and bringing Life Members new benefits in a cost-effective way,” said AMA Membership and Marketing Vice President Dan Stedman. “Life Member Plus also lays the groundwork to re-engage and reconnect with our Life Members in a very meaningful way going forward.”

Of course, for many AMA Life Member Plus participants, the top benefit of the new program will be the freedom to ride knowing they continue to financially support the organization that has been fighting for motorcyclists’ rights since 1924.

The AMA Life Member Plus program includes:

  • AMA Roadside Assistance that covers all of your motorcycles, cars, trucks and RVs.
  • 12 issues of American Motorcyclist magazine.
  • An exclusive AMA Life Member Plus Membership card, new every year.
  • An exclusive AMA Life Member Plus Pin And Decal.
  • All the benefits of AMA Membership, including money-saving discounts and a voice protecting motorcyclists’ rights at the federal, state and local levels.

There’s no obligation to join the AMA Life Member Plus program, and AMA Life Members who don’t want AMA Roadside Assistance can still subscribe to the print version of American Motorcyclistmagazine for just $10 a year. AMA Life Members who want neither AMA Roadside Assistance nor the printed version of American Motorcyclist magazine will continue to receive all other benefits of AMA Life Membership.

AMA Life Members who wish to enroll in the AMA Life Member Plus program should call AMA Member Services at (800) 262-5646. For more information, please visit AmericanMotorcyclist.com > Members Area > Life Member Plus.

 

Restrictive Federal Wild Lands Policy on Hold for This Fiscal Year

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The funding measure that keeps the federal government operating throughSept. 30 includes language that bars the U.S. Interior Department from using any money to carry out the new Wild Lands land-use policy, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports.

The Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Resolution — which was approved by Congress and signed into law by President Obama on April 15 — specifically states that no federal money “may be used to implement, administer, or enforce Secretarial Order No. 3310 issued by the Secretary of the Interioron Dec. 22, 2010.”

“This is a major victory for responsible off-highway vehicle [OHV] riders and others concerned about appropriate access to public land,” said Ed Moreland, AMA senior vice president for government relations. “But we can’t let up. Anti-access groups will continue pushing for implementation of the Wild Lands policy for the next federal fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1.”

Secretarial Order 3310 created the Wild Lands land-use policy. The policy essentially allows federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) officials to manage public land as if it had received a Wilderness designation from Congress, but without requiring congressional approval.

This new policy, if implemented, is widely expected to restrict or eliminate responsible OHV use in the affected areas.

A Wilderness designation is one of the most restrictive forms of public land management. Once Congress designates an area as Wilderness, nearly all forms of non-pedestrian recreation are illegal.

The AMA supports appropriate Wilderness designations that meet the criteria established by Congress in 1964, but anti-access advocates have been abusing the legislative process to ban responsible OHV recreation on public land.

U.S. lawmakers want agency to focus on motorcycle crash prevention

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — U.S. lawmakers want a federal traffic safety agency to concentrate on motorcycle crash prevention and rider education — instead of trying to lobby state lawmakers to enact mandatory helmet laws, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports.

U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and his colleagues plan to introduce a resolution May 2 in support of continuing a ban on state and local lobbying by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The resolution urges the agency to focus on motorcycle crash prevention as the first step in motorcycle safety.

May is traditionally Motorcycle Awareness Month.

To date, others supporting the resolution include Reps. Ken Calvert (R-Calif.), Walter Jones (R-N.C.), Ron Paul (R-Texas), Tom Petri (R-Wis.), Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Tim Walberg (R-Mich.).

If approved, the resolution would send a clear message to the NHTSA that it shouldn’t lobby state or local jurisdictions for mandatory helmet laws. The anti-lobbying language was originally written into the Transportation Equity Act approved by Congress in 1998.

The resolution states that the House “supports efforts to retain the ban on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA’s) ability to lobby state legislators using federal tax dollars, encourages continued growth in the motorcyclist community, and encourages owners and riders to be responsible road users.”

The resolution also says that the House “recognizes the importance of motorcycle crash prevention as the primary source of motorcycle safety (and) encourages NHTSA to focus on motorcycle crash prevention and rider education as the most significant priorities in motorcycle safety.”

Sensenbrenner introduced a similar resolution during the previous Congress.

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 visit AmericanMotorcyclist.com.

 

Get ready: Countdown to AMA Get Out and Ride! Month

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — AMA Get Out and Ride! Month kicks into high gear on April 1 by showcasing the riding activities of American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) members and other motorcyclists across the country. Plans are coming together quickly, on the East Coast, the West Coast and everywhere in between.

Rider Dean Mellor knows exactly what he’ll be doing: “Vegas, baby. A perfect ride across the desert on the KLT.”

Mellor is far from alone.

“Turned the VFR over 100K last year, now to set about doing it again!” wrote Neil Robert Pille on the AMA Facebook page.

Even new riders are feeling the itch to get back in the saddle. Kristine Frohning, who just began riding last season, can’t wait to throw a leg over her Yamaha. “I already miss it so much!” she said.

AMA Get Out and Ride! Month officially launches on April 1, when a special web page onAmericanMotorcyclist.com, plus Facebook and Twitter feeds, will provide daily details, including themes for each week:

  • April 4-10: AMA Get Out and Ride Your Way! Week highlights everything from AMA Grand Tours to solo riding on favorite trails and twisties.
  • April 11-17: AMA Get Out and Ride Together! Week features large iconic rallies and smaller local events, from dual-sport rides to AMA National Conventions to Gypsy Tours.
  • April 18-24: AMA Get Out and Ride for a Cause! Week showcases events and activities where motorcyclists use their love of riding to help others less fortunate, as well as advocate for the motorcycling lifestyle.
  • April 25-30: AMA Get Out and Ride Smart! Week focuses on rider training and awareness skills needed to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience on every ride.

“We encourage all motorcyclists to join the AMA in celebrating the motorcycling lifestyle,” said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman. “There is a common bond that unites all of us, regardless of what or where we ride. AMA Get Out and Ride! Month connects motorcyclists from all over the country as we share our riding adventures.”

Throughout the month, AMA members will submit stories, photos and videos. A weekly winner will be selected for the best submission, and some great prizes will be awarded for the best stories — including a $100 gift card from AMA member benefit partner and corporate member BikeBandit.com, a gift certificate for a set of tires from corporate member Dunlop Tires, a Blinc Bluetooth Helmet Communications System and riding gear from Tourmaster.

One lucky motorcyclist will be featured in an upcoming issue of American Motorcyclist magazine and on AmericanMotorcyclist.com. Stay tuned to AmericanMotorcyclist.com for more details, and if you haven’t made your plans yet, get started now. AMA Get Out and Ride! Month begins on April 1!

 

50 lawmakers now support The Kids Just Want to Ride Act

Congress Needs to Clarify Lead Ban Provision in Bill

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — Legislation that would exempt kids’ dirtbikes and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) from the “lead law” that effectively bans them at the end of the year is gaining momentum on Capitol Hill, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports.

There are now 50 co-sponsors to H.R. 412: The Kids Just Want to Ride Act, which was introduced by Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) The bill seeks to exempt kids’ off-highway vehicles (OHVs) from the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008, which is also known as the lead law.

The CPSIA bans the making, importing, distributing or selling of any product intended for children 12 and under that contains more than a specified amount of lead in any accessible part. It also requires all children’s products undergo periodic testing by independent laboratories approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which is responsible for implementing the law.

The CPSC has delayed enforcing key portions of the law until after the end of the year. Unless the CPSIA is changed by then, the sale of child-sized dirtbikes and ATVs will effectively be banned.

“As a motorcycling enthusiast myself for many years, I fully respect the importance of improving the safety of kids who ride off-highway motorcycles and ATVs,” said Rep. Reid Ribble (R-Wis.), one of the latest co-sponsors. “But this is just another example of regulations creating the exact opposite effect of their original intent. This law actually makes kids less safe by eliminating appropriately sized off-highway motorcycles and ATVs, and forces young riders onto larger and more powerful machines not designed for them.

“I’m proud to support the Kids Just Want to Ride Act and know that it will keep youth-sized motorcycles and ATVs available for safe and responsible use as they are intended,” Ribble said.

Rep. Jeff Landry (R-La.), another co-sponsor, said: “The Kids Just Want to Ride Act will fix the illogical mandate of the Consumer Product Safety Commission and will once again allow our children to safely enjoy outdoor recreational vehicles. I am proud to be a co-sponsor of this common-sense legislation to protect our youth while working to create jobs.”

Ed Moreland, AMA senior vice president for government relations, thanked lawmakers for their bipartisan backing of the bill. He noted it’s important to get as many co-sponsors as possible to increase the bill’s chances of passage.

Moreland urged all concerned riders and parents to contact their federal lawmakers to ask for support.

The easiest way to contact lawmakers is through the Rights section of the AMA website at AmericanMotorcyclist.com.

In addition to Ribble and Landry, the latest co-sponsors of the Kids Just Want to Ride bill include Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Joe Courtney (D-Conn.), Mark Critz (D-Pa.), Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.), John Kline (R-Minn.), Tom Latham (R-Iowa), Pete Olson (R-Texas), Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.), Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) and Joe Wilson (R-S.C.).

For more information, go to http://capwiz.com/amacycle/go/HR412

Motorcycle Hall of Fame legend Bob Hannah to be honored at 2010 induction ceremony

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — Ask any motocross fan to name the greatest American racers of all time, and is sure to make the list. Hannah’s immense popularity helped the sport of motocross explode in the late 1970s, and on Friday, Nov. 19, he will be honored as a Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend at the annual Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa in Las Vegas, Nev.

When Hannah was inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1999, he had seven AMA National Championships to his credit, and was one of only two riders in the history of AMA racing to win championships in 125 and 250cc motocross and Supercross competition.

His moniker, “Hurricane,” was bestowed on him in 1975 by a track announcer one year before the relatively unknown 19-year-old Californian stormed onto the professional racing scene. Hannah’s victory at the first round of the AMA 125cc National Motocross Championship at the famous Hangtown racetrack near Sacramento was the first of a record 70 that he would earn during his 15-year career.

Hannah was born in 1956 in Lancaster, Calif. He grew up riding in the rugged southern California deserts with his father and got his first bike, a customized Honda 55, when he was 7 years old. By the time he took to the local motocross tracks at age 18, Hannah was more than ready. His amateur debut was so successful that local racing officials told the determined youngster he would have to advance to the expert ranks.

Hannah signed with Yamaha in 1976 and immediately won the AMA 125cc National Motocross Championship. In 1977, he hopped aboard a Yamaha 250 and won the AMA Supercross Championship in impressive fashion. Hannah moved up to the 250cc outdoor Nationals full time in 1978, winning eight consecutive events to take the title, a record that still stood at the time of his Hall of Fame induction. Counting his titles in Supercross and the fall Trans-AMA Series that same year, Hannah’s career was at its zenith.

Hannah dominated Supercross and the 250 outdoor Nationals in 1979, winning both titles. Then, a water skiing accident on the Colorado River left him with a shattered leg and nearly cost him his career.

Though he sat out the entire 1980 season to recover, Hannah was able to return to competition, and he won 20 more Nationals during the 1980s. He also represented the USA three times in the prestigious Motocross des Nations, and was a member of the victorious 1987 team when the event was held in New York.

Hannah’s recognition at the 2010 Hall Fame inductions marks the first time an existing Hall of Famer will be honored alongside new inductees, and his presence is highly anticipated by the hundreds of family members, friends, industry members and fans who will be in attendance at the Nov. 19 ceremony.

AMA Legends and Champions Weekend
The 2010 Motorcycle Hall of Fame inductions kick off the three-day AMA Legends & Champions Weekend. The ceremony, hosted by actor and motorcyclist Perry King, will officially welcome nine deserving men and women to the Hall of Fame: legendary two-stroke engine tuner Eyvind Boyesen, dirt-track racer Don Castro, sidecar roadracing champion Larry Coleman, off-road rights activist Clark Collins, AMA 250cc Roadrace Champion David Emde, off-road gear pioneers John and Rita Gregory, desert racing champion and team manager Bruce Ogilvie, and championship team owner Mitch Payton.

A full slate of activities at the Red Rock follows the induction ceremony.

On Saturday, Nov. 20, the 2010 Motorcycle Hall of Fame Concours d’Elegance will showcase some of the country’s most impressive original and restored classic motorcycles. Also on display will be the world’s fastest motorcycle, the Top 1 Oil Ack Attack streamliner — a twin-engined, streamlined blue bullet that recently set the outright motorcycle land speed record of more than 376 mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.

Then at noon on Saturday, the AMA honors the best of the amateur racing community at the 2010 AMA Racing Championship Banquet, presented by World of Powersports, and co-hosted by announcers Laurette Nicoll and Griff Allen.

Saturday evening marks the Las Vegas début of the movie “Carlsbad USGP: 1980,” a look at an iconic motocross race that some have dubbed “the Woodstock of motorcycling.”

A number of the weekend attendees are also expected to zip across town for the season finale of the AMA GEICO EnduroCross Series on Saturday evening at the Orleans Arena. Ticket information is available at EnduroCross.com.

For a complete schedule of the AMA Legends & Champions Weekend, including information about tickets and substantially reduced-rate accommodations, visit AmericanMotorcyclist.com/LegandsAndChampions.


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!