American Motorcyclist August 2018

Your AMA

A Few Of The Things The Association Does For You

By Jim Witters

Whether you prefer racing, trail riding or cruising on the street, whether you love to go solo or ride in a group, the AMA is the place for you.

Those who are new to our organization, and even some longtime members, are unaware of the wide-ranging services the AMA provides.

The AMA sanctions more than 2,500 events each year. We charter competition and recreational clubs. We offer riding tips and ride reports. We provide discounts and special offers from our business partners.

Most important, we promote the motorcycle lifestyle and defend our freedom to ride against threats encountered at all levels of government.


The AMA is at the forefront in defending your riding freedoms.

The AMA Government Relations Department—with a staff in Washington, D.C., and a Western States Representative in California—monitors federal and state bills, rules and regulations to ensure lawmakers and agencies consider motorcyclists’ concerns before taking action.

“We are on constant watch for issues that affect riders,” said Wayne Allard, AMA vice president of government relations. “Whether it is pending federal legislation, a regulatory issue or a matter before a state legislature, our government relations team acts quickly to rally motorcyclists.”

Among the federal issues being addressed by the AMA Government Relations staff:

• The ethanol industry’s push for higher-ethanol fuel blends,

• Attempts to reduce responsible access to public lands or funding for trails,

• Limits on modifications to competition-only motorcycles,

• The effects of trade tariffs on riders wishing to buy motorcycles,

• The concern that autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles may not detect motorcycles or react appropriately when they do, and

• The shortcomings of U.S. roads as they affect motorcyclists.

Mike Sayre, AMA government relations manager for on-highway issues, serves as chair of the federal Motorcyclist Advisory Council, which provides input to the U.S. Secretary of Transportation on infrastructure issues.

And the AMA also helps riders, clubs and organizers at the state and local level.

Wayne Rainey being honored as an AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend in 2015

Recognizing Excellence

AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame: The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame includes individuals who have profoundly impacted motorcycling in eight categories: Ambassadors/Industry, Design/Engineering, Leadership/Rights, Flat Track, Motocross/Supercross, Off-Road, Road Racing, and Specialty Competition.

AMA Awards Program: The AMA administers awards that touch all areas of motorcycling, from youth racers to champions of advocacy.

The AMA Board of Directors Awards Program recognizes the individuals and organizations who have demonstrated leadership, uncommon excellence, and dedication to the AMA mission of promoting the motorcycle lifestyle and protecting the future of motorcycling.

The AMA Racing Awards Program recognizes AMA members for their athleticism, sportsmanship and commitment. It also spotlights AMA-chartered organizers for their efforts to promote motorcycling. These include annual year-end awards presented at the AMA Championship Banquet as well as event awards.


To nominate someone for either awards program, email or write: AMA Awards Program, American Motorcyclist Association, 13515 Yarmouth Drive, Pickerington, OH 43147.

See for Hall of Fame application and nomination procedures.

Ways The Government Relations Department Helps Riders

• AMA Action Center: The online portal to advocacy news, threats and tools to get involved.

Vice President of Government Relations, Senator Wayne Allard testifying at an E15 hearing. Photo by Jay Wescott

• AMA Action Alerts are notices that alert you to opportunities to take-action on the local, state or federal level.

• AMA Position Statements are written by the member-elected board of directors and guide the AMA’s advocacy work.

• Government relations staff members provide written or in-person comments and testimony to elected officials and government agencies on issues that affect motorcyclists.

• State Laws Database: Maintained by the AMA Government Relations Department, this resource details motorcycling-related laws in individual states.

• AMPAC—the American Motorcyclist Political Action Committee—is the AMA’s PAC, funded by AMA members, that financially supports the campaigns of lawmakers who support motorcyclists.

Photo by Joe Hansen


AMA racing is about fun!

And it’s not just for the pros—or the kids. AMA racing has classes for all ages, all skill levels and all types of motorcycles. Nearly anyone can be a motorcycle racer.

“The AMA touches all types of racing, at all levels, and is one of the most diverse sporting organizations in the world,” said Kevin Crowther, AMA director of racing.

AMA-chartered clubs and promoters organize events of all types on the local, state, regional and national level.

The AMA recognizes national champions in nearly 20 disciplines spread across track racing, off-road, motocross and specialty competition.

The AMA also sanctions the professional road racing series MotoAmerica, home of the AMA Superbike Championship, as well as AMA Supercross, one of the most popular motorsports series in the world.

As the sole U.S. affiliate of the world sanctioning body— the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (International Motorcycling Federation)—the AMA licenses U.S. riders for international competition and officiates world championship rounds that take place on U.S. soil.

Here Are Some Of The AMA Racing Disciplines

Flat Track: Here, racers broadslide their bikes in one of four types of competition: oval short-track, half-mile and mile tracks; and TT courses, which feature at least one right turn and a jump.

Photo by Joe Hansen

Endurocross: This takes the race format of motocross and combines it with the challenging obstacles of an enduro, all packed into the tight confines of a fan-friendly stadium. Riders race over rock beds, through water, over tractor tires and across telephone poles.

Enduros: A popular first step for anyone who enjoys woods riding, enduros require racers to maintain a designated speed average over a natural-terrain route.

Extreme Off-Road: This racing tests a rider’s skills and a machine’s capability to attack some of the most challenging terrain the organizer can string together, from hill climbs to endless rock fields, log crossings and the worst natural conditions available.

Ice Racing: Racers run on indoor ice rinks or frozen lakes, often with studded motorcycle tires using sheet-metal screws for better traction.

Hare & Hound: Also known as desert races, hare & hound races are mass-start events over natural terrain courses at least 40 miles long, with a series of checkpoints.

Hare Scrambles: These off-road races typically last two hours on marked loop courses through woods.

Hillclimb: Essentially one-person drag races up the face of a seemingly impossible hill, with the winner crowned on the basis of who climbs the hill the quickest or, if no one reaches the top, who makes it the farthest.

Land Speed Racing: Riders try to go faster than anyone has gone before, typically on straight, miles-long courses over perfectly even terrain, such as the Bonneville Salt Flats.

Photo courtesy of Racedaypix

Motocross: The most popular form of amateur motorcycle racing, motocross is run over natural-terrain courses with hills, jumps and tight turns, typically with two races, or motos, in each class.

Observed Trials: Speed is not an issue in trials riding, where competitors try to ride a series of extremely difficult terrain sections without putting a foot down.

Road Racing: Road races are run on paved tracks, with racers competing aboard sleek sportbikes.

Speedway: Using lightweight, single-gear bikes built solely for this type of competition, racers battle on ultra-short dirt oval tracks, with broadsliding playing a major part in the action.

Supermoto: Racers typically ride motocross bikes modified with road-race-style tires and specialized suspension over courses combining asphalt and dirt, often with jumps and other motocross-type obstacles.

Vintage Racing: Whether you just want to have fun on an old dirt bike or campaign a museum-quality piece of history, vintage racing is for you. Classes are available for all levels of skill (and commitment) and span all eras, from the early 1900s to the 1990s.


The AMA Communications Department keeps AMA members informed about all the organization’s activities, as well as government actions by issuing newsletters and press releases and posting on social media.

American Motorcyclist magazine: American Motorcyclist is the official journal of the AMA. It features news and information about rights, riding, racing, our motorcycling heritage, AMA-sanctioned events, association news and more.

Delivered monthly to member mailboxes, the print version of the magazine is available in either a street/recreational or off-road/competition version.

Both versions of the magazine are available online in both mobile and desktop-friendly formats. The digital magazine is available to all members anytime at

The AMA website,, is updated by the AMA communications staff. The AMA website is packed with information about defending your right to ride, AMA rides and races, getting started in riding, how to find a club near you and more.

The AMA is also active on social media channels, including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.

For a full list of the AMA social media account and pages, check

Member Benefits

The AMA also offers its members exclusive discount codes for travel, merchandise, gear and services that motorcyclists will use.

If members take advantage of these discounts and special offers, the benefits could easily offset the cost of an annual membership.

Here are a few of the benefits AMA members receive:

AMA Roadside Assistance: AMA Roadside Assistance offers unlimited motorcycle roadside assistance, as well as service for cars and trucks, for members on automatic dues payment. For a small fee, AMA Roadside Assistance Plus adds unlimited roadside assistance for all vehicles in the member’s household, including non-commercial cars, trucks, trailers and RVs.

Travel: AMA members get discounts on lodging, bike shipping and rental cars (when riding isn’t an option).

Product Price Breaks: AMA partners offer deals on premier products, such as body armor, communicators, GPS trackers, accessories, and more.

Ticket Discounts: Get discounts on tickets to races, bike shows, organized tours, track days and more. And AMA members get into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame for free.

Post-vintage hare scrambles race start at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days. Photo by Yve Assad


The AMA stages several events each year, and all AMA members are invited to attend.

AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days: One of the premier motorcycling events in North America, featuring racing, bike shows, rides, vendors, seminars, prizes, stunt shows, demo rides, a massive swap meet and more.

AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony: Annual induction of new members into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.

AMA Championship Banquet: An annual celebration where AMA national champions from all disciplines receive their official AMA National No. 1 plates.

Annual Member Meeting: Annual update on AMA activity.

Riding & Community Events at the AMA Campus: From bike nights to workshops to even trials competitions, the AMA often opens its campus and the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame museum to special events.

Photo by Kevin Wing

Recreational Riding

The AMA believes motorcycling should be fun anywhere it is done.

The AMA Recreational Riding Department sanctions motorcycle rallies and recreational rides, from group tours to solo jaunts to adventure and dual sport rides to poker run events across the country.

“Whether you are riding on the road, on the trail or on the track, the AMA website has in-depth advice for getting started right,” said Heather Wilson, AMA recreational riding manager. “We also have information on some of the best places to ride. This country has some beautiful and challenging roads and trails, and we want riders to get out there and enjoy them.”

Recreational Riding Opportunities Abound

• AMA National Gypsy Tours: One of the original experiences in motorcycling, Gypsy Tours are gatherings of riders from all over the country, converging upon a single destination. The AMA National Gypsy Tour brings like-minded riders together to enjoy the camaraderie of motorcycling, often in a location of particular beauty or historic significance.

• Beta AMA National Dual Sport Series, presented by Kenda Tires: For decades the AMA National Dual Sport Series has featured the best two-day dual sport rides for those who want to challenge themselves off the beaten path.

• KTM AMA National Adventure Riding Series, presented by Kenda Tires: A series of organized rides for adventure-class bikes, from sea level to mountain passes and everywhere in between.

• AMA Great Roads Database: Submitted by AMA members from all around the country, these public roads are some of America’s best for motorcycles.

• Rides: Each year, AMA-chartered clubs and promoters organize thousands of fun rides, independent of the AMA but true to the association’s values of fun, safety and inviting to all.

• Clubs: AMA-chartered clubs are a great way to connect with other riders. Find a club near you on the AMA website.

Photo by Sean O’Donnell

AMA State Chapters/EAGLES

Every AMA member is considered a member of an AMA State Chapter.

In January, the AMA began appointing volunteer AMA State Chapter Coordinators to support recreational riding activity at the grassroots level. Much of the work involves promoting the fun of motorcycling, in organized events and individually.

State chapter coordinators also work with AMA staff members and individual AMA members to identify challenges and threats to motorcycling and the motorcycle lifestyle.

“State coordinators learn which advocacy messages are needed, which charity events are supported and how far AMA members are willing to travel to participate in events,” said Marie Wuelleh, AMA State Chapters and volunteer manager. “State Chapter coordinators also will work with state motorcycle rights organizations on efforts already underway.”

The AMA has named coordinators for several states to help organize and promote AMA-related recreational and advocacy activities. Additional coordinators are to be named this year.

AMA State Chapter coordinators are AMA EAGLES members. Each letter of the EAGLES acronym stands for an important element of advocacy: Education, Activism, Growth, Leadership, Expertise and Skills. Coordinators have completed the Education, Activism, Growth, Expertise and Skills sections of AMA EAGLES training and have completed, or are currently working on, the Leadership segment.

AMA members who wish to become more involved with the organization should also complete the AMA EAGLES training.

What Can You Do?

Support the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame: The American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation is the 501(c)3 that raises funds for the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. Financial contributions are tax deductible. To donate, call (614) 856-2222 or visit

American Motorcyclist Political Action Committee: AMPAC is a political action committee that makes financial contributions to motorcycle-friendly political campaigns. It is fully funded by individual AMA members.

AMA Extra Mile Membership: When you renew your AMA membership, you have the opportunity to go the “extra mile” by donating additional funds toward AMA advocacy or racing initiatives.

To donate or to ask questions, call (614) 856-1900.

American Motorcyclist August 2018