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American Motorcyclists Eye Gold At Winter Olympics

Photo Steve Holmes

Updating The Sound Issue


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John Teller is a world-class athlete, but not in motocross. This winter, the ski cross Olympian will be going for gold in Sochi, Russia. Read about him, and three other Olympic hopefuls, and how their passion for motorcycles helps drive them, starting on page 32. Photo by Peter Morning

8. LETTERS You write, we read.

10. WAYNE ALLARD Saving Johnson Valley.

12. RIGHTS E15 fuel rollout may stall, motorcycle thefts down, bias against off-highway vehicles uncovered, U.S. Representative Bob Goodlatte and riding in Utah. American Motorcyclist magazine (ISSN 0277-9358) is published monthly by the American Motorcyclist Association, 13515 Yarmouth Dr., Pickerington, OH 43147. Copyright by the American Motorcyclist Association/American Motorcyclist 2013. Printed in USA. Subscription rate: Magazine subscription fee of $19.95 covered in membership dues. Postmaster: Mail form 3579 to 13515 Yarmouth Dr., Pickerington, OH 43147. Periodical postage paid at Pickerington, Ohio, and at additional mailing offices.

February 2014 Volume 68, Number 2 Published by the American Motorcyclist Association 13515 Yarmouth Dr. Pickerington, OH 43147 (800) AMA-JOIN (262-5646)


18. RIDING The latest news, rides, interviews and more from the world of motorcycling.

32. HALL OF FAME An early Honda sportbike and Hall of Famer Carey Loftin.

36. TOP LEVEL ATHLETES—EVERYDAY RIDERS What does motorcycling have to do with the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia? Everything if you’re one of the four very different motorcyclists profiled for this month’s cover story.

43. GO RIDE What to do, where to go.

52. JUSTIN PENNELLA Finding satisfaction.

For more than 25 years, Al Holtsberry has supported the AMA. Now we’re offering something special for him and all other AMA Life Members. Welcome to Life Member Plus! We designed the new Life Member Plus program to stay connected with our Life Members and reward them for their years of dedication to the AMA. Offering up a package that includes American Motorcyclist magazine and AMA Roadside Assistance at a special discounted rate, Life Member Plus is a money-saving value. The new program is 100 percent optional, so if you choose not to enroll, you still receive all the current benefits of life membership—a voice on behalf of motorcycling in the halls of government, the ability to sign up for AMA-sanctioned events, money-saving benefits and more. With Life Member Plus, you get all that, plus AMA Roadside Assistance and American Motorcyclist magazine. And stay tuned for additional Life Member benefits to come. AMA Life Member Plus Includes: • FREE AMA Roadside Assistance • 12 issues of American Motorcyclist magazine • AMA Life Member Plus Membership card, pin (first year), and decal with your renewal • A voice protecting motorcyclists’ rights at the federal, state and local levels • Continued access to AMA Rights, Riding, Racing and Rewards—including money-saving discounts

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American Motorcyclist 13515 Yarmouth Drive Pickerington, OH 43147 (614) 856-1900

Contact any member of the AMA Board of Directors at about/board Maggie McNally, Chair Albany, N.Y.

Grant Parsons, Director of Communications James Holter, Managing Editor Mark Lapid, Creative Director Jen Muecke, Designer Jeff Guciardo, Production Manager/Designer Halley Miller, Web and Print Designer Kaitlyn Sesco, Marketing/Communications Specialist

Russ Brenan, Vice Chair Irvine, Calif. Ken Ford, Assistant Treasurer Bartow, Fla. Perry King, Executive Committee Member Northern California

Steve Gotoski, Advertising Director (Western States) (951) 566-5068, Zach Stevens, National Sales Manager (626) 298-3854,

John Ulrich, Executive Committee Member Lake Elsinore, Calif.

All trademarks used herein (unless otherwise noted) are owned by the AMA and may only be used with the express,

written permission of the AMA. American Motorcyclist is the monthly publication of the American Motorcyclist Association, which represents motorcyclists nationwide. For information on AMA membership benefits, call (800) AMA-JOIN or visit Manuscripts, photos, drawings and other editorial contributions must be accompanied by return postage. No responsibility is assumed for loss or damage to unsolicited material. Copyright© American Motorcyclist Association, 2014.

Sean Hilbert, Hillsdale, Mich. Scott Miller, Milwaukee, Wis. Art More, Sun City West, Ariz. Stan Simpson, Cibolo, Texas Jim Viverito, Chicago, Ill.

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Rob Dingman, President/CEO Rhonda Hixon, Administrative Asst./Litigation Manager Bruce Moffat, Chief Financial Officer Sen. Wayne Allard, Vice President, Government Relations Bob Chaddock, Vice President, Administration Jeff Massey, Vice President, Operations Jim Williams, Vice President, Industry Relations & Corporate Member Programs Rob Rasor, Director of International Affairs

Alex Hunter, MX Operational Coordinator Tamra Jones, Racing Coordinator D’Andra Myers, Organizer Services Coordinator Ken Saillant, Track Racing Manager Cherie Schlatter, Organizer Services Manager Serena Van Dyke, Organizer Services Coordinator Chuck Weir, Off Road Racing Manager Conrad Young, Timing & Scoring Manager


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GOVERNMENT RELATIONS Marie Esselstein, Government Affairs Assistant Danielle Fowles, Grassroots Coordinator Nick Haris, Western States Representative Sean Hutson, Legislative Assistant Sharon Long, Legislative Coordinator Rick Podliska, Deputy Director Steve Salisbury, Government Affairs Manager - Off-Highway Imre Szauter, Government Affairs Manager - On-Highway INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY Rob Baughman, Network Administrator John Boker, Developer Dave Coleman, Network Architect Amy Hyman, Senior Programmer/Analyst Bill Miller, Enterprise Architect MEMBER SERVICES/DATA ENTRY Lori Cavucci, Member Services Representative Deb D’Andrea, Member Services Representative Linda Hembroff, Member Services Representative Darcel Higgins, Member Services Manager Kimberly Jude, Member Services Representative Tiffany Pound, Member Services Representative Jessica Robinson, Member Services Representative Angela Warren, Member Services Representative

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Send your letters (and a high-resolution photo) to; or mail to 13515 Yarmouth Drive, Pickerington, OH 43147.


My solution to the “riding into sunlight” issue is a variation on the “dress in layers” theme. Each month, a lucky AMA member wins a Bike Bandit gift card worth $100. Didn’t win? No My base layer is a pair of medium brown worries. You can still take advantage of your sunglasses that are good for almost all 10% AMA member discount at daylight riding when combined with the second layer, which is my helmet’s internal sun visor. I can lower the visor partially, using it like an automotive sun visor, or bring it all the way down in front of my eyes in bright conditions. The visor, added to the sunglasses, yields the equivalent of dark sunglasses. For extremely bright conditions, where the light level threatens to arc-weld my retinas, I add a third layer, which is a strip of painter’s tape across the top of my helmet’s external visor (painter’s tape comes off cleanly, not leaving adhesive residue behind). This effectively lowers the top edge of the helmet’s face port, so you don’t have to tilt your head forward as far to shade your eyes. Tim Bronson Pittsburgh, Pa.

IN THIS TOGETHER Two articles in the December issue had a common sentiment: whether purchasing a bike or going for a long ride, each fellow had to get his wife’s permission to do it. These articles reinforced the fact that a few of us riders are fortunate to have wives that are very into riding. Certainly many have ones who ride the bike with them, but some of us are fortunate enough to even have a wife who wants to ride her own bike. I started riding again in 2002. At that time, my wife insisted that if we were going to ride, she would have her own motorcycle. She has since had a VLX 600, VTX 1800, Valkrie, and

Travis Bolton


now a Goldwing. She has more total mileage on motorcycles than I do. We’ve been to Daytona and Sturgis several times, riding the entire way. We did 6,300 miles over three weeks this year alone. It’s a great hobby for couples to do together. And articles like those in the December issue bolster the fact that we are very lucky men indeed. Travis Bolton Missoula, Mont. RESPECTING YOUR LIMITS I read your November Ask the MSF in anticipation of a simple answer to the very common question (for all riding levels) of the “signs of riding over my head” during spirited riding on twisty roads. Unfortunately, that simple answer never came. I have been riding for years almost exclusively on my hometown mountain roads. Being very analytical, I sought a methodology to address this very question that was simple and would span every riding style, from beginner to pro. When you’re riding, do not allow your tires to touch or cross either the center

or shoulder lines without meaning to! That’s it! It’s very simple. From that basic rule, you will have a solid indicator that you are operating your motorcycle within your skill level. You will also not be exposed to sliding on a slippery line, or cross into an oncoming lane in a blind corner. Accidents don’t happen in a vacuum. Anytime I touch a line I immediately slow down and assess the cause. If I was going too fast to stay within the lines, I slow down my pace. If I just did not realize it, then I refocus on my riding. Seldom do I touch the lines more than twice in any riding session, and I often go a long time without doing so. This method may even be used to call your riding session to a close, before it ends in a helicopter ride. I have shared this simple method with all my riding friends and many beginners. I would hope the MSF would consider implementing this into their teaching programs and articles. Eddie (Mattel) Prince Roaring Gap, N.C. Thanks for the tip, Eddie. Living somewhere named Roaring Gap, you probably know a thing or two about riding twisty roads. PUSH THE RIGHT BUTTONS Years ago, I noticed the City of Sacramento offered free motorcycle parking downtown, but not in all areas. I asked the parking department if they could add more, and they said that all the parking spots have been allocated, and no more were to be added. Not taking no for an answer, I posed the same questions to the city political leaders. Within a few months, more spots were added to an area that had none. I currently see more riders, partly due to the added space. I guess the following adages are true: • If you don’t ask, you don’t get, but ask in the right place. • Don’t take no for an answer, if you are dealing with a noble cause. • If they build it, they will come. It does one’s heart good to see more fellow motorcyclists on the road, and using these new spaces. Bill Fong Sacramento, Calif. APPRECIATING THE RIDE I recently had the good luck to

experience a great trail ride with some of my close riding buddies. I’m 48 years old, but the ride made me feel like a kid again. This is a common feeling for dirt bikers, I suppose, but I’m always reminded of the anti-aging power of dirtbikes whenever I get a chance to ride mine. Unfortunately, those chances are fewer and fewer these days, with a couple kids, a job and a half and a mountain of responsibilities. I guess it only makes me cherish the five or six times a year I get out that much more. For a few hours during each of those rides, I forget my mortgage, my to-do list at work, my honey-do list at home, the C- that one of my offspring brought home on a big test and the dog that needs an expensive operation so it can keep getting me up at 4 a.m. for a few more years. Yep, life’s good, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Well, an extra ride or two wouldn’t hurt much either. Jim Allendale Atlanta, Ga.

REMEMBERING KURT I’m sure I’m not the only one to notice, but the timing of the Kurt Caselli article in the December issue by Mark Kariya was fortunate in a way

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because it chronicled the amazing accomplishments of this determined young man as he set out on his journey to conquer rally racing. That Caselli would lose his life while engaging that pursuit just a month or so after that article was printed is a tragedy. Few riders were as talented as Caselli on a motorcycle. Even fewer had the leadership qualities that we saw in him over the years. No, I did not know him, but I did read about him in the AMA’s magazine and press releases, about how year after year he was captain of the International Six Days Enduro team, about how he was able to lead riders from all different backgrounds and about how he was respected and loved by almost everyone who came into contact with him. Thanks for publishing that article, and thanks for contributing to the body of work that will help us all remember Kurt Caselli for years to come. Mike Carnes Peotone, Ill.

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VIEWPOINT Johnson Valley Update Potential Deal Protects Access

The AMA and our partners have been battling military encroachment into the Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Area in California for the past six years. While we support the mission of our fighting forces, the U.S. Department of the Navy overreached with its plan to take over hundreds of thousands of acres of public recreational lands near San Bernardino to use for live-fire training for the U.S. Marines By Wayne Allard Corps. The move threatened much of the Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Riding area, a longstanding and popular area that is across the San Bernardino Mountains from Los Angeles. Further, the Marines would have gotten significant control of a so-called “shared-use” of any remaining OHV lands. This would have allowed the Marines to shut down that portion at any time, leaving the public with little recourse for responding. Johnson Valley has hosted responsible OHV recreation and AMA-sanctioned competition events for decades. Losing access to this land would have been a major blow to the offhighway riding community in Southern California. I’m pleased to report that thanks to language inserted into the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014—which had yet to be passed at press time—neither of those scenarios would be the case. Although we were unable to preserve OHV access to all existing areas of the Johnson Valley OHV Area, we were successful in securing a significant porition for AMA District 37 competition events, off-road truck and Jeep events and keeping the most important areas open for responsible OHV use. The planned designated area is nearly as large as the Imperial Sand Dunes at Glamis, another popular Southern California riding area. For locals who are familiar with the sections of Johnson Valley, included in this plan is the entire so-called “Hammers” area (both the front and back side), Spooners, Aftershock, Sunbonnet, the Riffle Monument and the Cal200 Memorial (a.k.a., The Rockpile). In addition, the majority of the Fry Mountains and full access to Soggy Dry Lake Bed are also guaranteed for off-highway vehicle use, as well as access to Emerson Dry Lake Bed. The AMA, local individual members, AMA Districts 37 and 36, the Off-Road Business Association, the California Association of 4-Wheel Drive Clubs, the California Off-Road Vehicle Association, the American Sand Association and the CaliforniaNevada Snowmobile Association are among those that have been fighting to preserve our access to Johnson Valley since news of the planned Marine expansion broke years ago. The Specialty Equipment Market Association, the Motorcycle Industry Council and Americans for Responsible Recreational Access also provided valuable support. Invested parties joined forces under the banner of the California Motorized Recreation Council, a non-profit 501(c)3. This off-highway recreation coalition played an important role in efforts to preserve access. Once the Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area becomes written into law, this becomes the first federal land use designation for OHV use and sets a precedent for


future off-highway motorized recreation. Indeed, the area would be recognized with the same force with which the government recognizes Wilderness areas, providing unprecedented protection against future attacks on OHV access. The U.S. military is one of the most powerful constituencies on Capital Hill. When the Navy and Marines began eying Johnson Valley, the AMA and others recognized it as a very significant threat. Thanks to thoughtful pressure, strong partnerships, enduring grassroots efforts and reasonable adversaries, a viable and working compromise was forged that not only sustains Johnson Valley, but provides the Marines with the space they need and, as a bonus, creates a framework through which we can protect other OHV areas going forward. One individual deserves enormous credit for this effort. The Johnson Valley compromise would not have been possible without the support and hard work of U.S. Representative Paul Cook (R-Calif.), who also happens to be a retired U.S. Marine Corps colonel. The U.S. House Armed Services Committee, of which Rep. Cook is a member, inserted the Cook Amendment that includes the off-highway-friendly language into the final bill. No question, Rep. Cook made this deal a reality. His strong leadership and exceptional ability to work with the Natural Resources Committee and Armed Services Committees in both branches of Congress protected this popular off-highway area. In announcing the deal, Rep. Cook said, “This agreement ensures public safety, while also balancing the training needs of the Marine Corps with the rights of the off-road community. It preserves California’s most important off-road recreation area for future generations. After years in which off-roaders have lived in fear of the closure of Johnson Valley, this permanently ends the threat of base expansion into off-road areas.” As a defender of your freedom to ride and race, I find it refreshing that a U.S. Representative recognizes the benefits of OHV recreation. As we work to codify our right to recreate responsibly on public lands, we look forward to building lasting relationships with more supporters such as Rep. Cook to better protect our access for this and future generations. For more information on this issue, please visit and search for “Johnson Valley.” A map of the compromise plan for Johnson Valley can be found here: Wayne Allard, a former U.S. Senator from Colorado, is the AMA vice president of government relations. SAFETY

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to reduce the total amount of ethanol required in transportation fuel nationwide in 2014, which could slow the introduction of E15 fuel into the marketplace. E15 is a fuel blend of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline. That’s good news for motorcyclists and all-terrain vehicle riders who fear they may inadvertently put E15 fuel in their machines and possibly cause engine damage once the fuel becomes widespread nationwide. The federal Renewable Fuel Standards program, which the EPA administers, requires that 18.15 billion gallons of renewable fuels such as ethanol be blended into gasoline and diesel fuel in 2014. The standards ensure that transportation fuel sold in the United States contains a minimum volume of renewable fuel as required by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. But federal law also gives the EPA administrator flexibility to reduce the required volume of renewable fuels in any year. On Nov. 15, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy took advantage of that flexibility by recognizing the “blend wall,” the point at which the E10 fuel pool is saturated with ethanol, and proposed reducing the amount of renewable fuels to be blended in 2014 from 18.15 billion gallons to a proposed range of 15.0 to 15.52 billion gallons, with a

Motorcycle thefts In AMerIcA Down slIghtly Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki Most Stolen Brands

A total of 46,061 motorcycles were reported stolen in 2012 in the United States, compared with 46,667 reported stolen in 2011, the National Insurance Crime Bureau reported on Nov. 25. The difference of 606 thefts represents a


Dakota and Wisconsin. “This decision slows the unnecessary rush on bringing E15 fuels to market for at least the next year, but it doesn’t address the central issue that real-world motorcyclists face, and that is that no motorcycle currently on the road is approved for E15 use, and the risk of inadvertent misfueling is tremendous once it is available at the pump,” Allard says. “Access to safe fuels for motorcycles remains an AMA priority, and we continue to be a watchdog for our members on this issue.”

decrease of 1 percent. The NCIB’s report is based on National Crime Information Center motorcycle theft data for 2012. The NICB is a not-forprofit organization exclusively dedicated to preventing, detecting and defeating insurance fraud and vehicle theft through data analytics, investigations, training, legislative advocacy and public awareness. Honda was the most stolen brand in 2012 with 9,082 reported taken, the

report says. Yamahas were the second most popular target with 7,517 swiped. Some 7,017 Suzukis were stolen, 4,839 Kawasakis and 3,755 Harley-Davidsons. California was the state where the most motorcycle thefts occurred in 2012 with 6,082. Florida, with 4,110 thefts, was second. Texas (3,400), North Carolina (2,574) and Indiana (2,334) complete the top five states. When looking at the cities where motorcycle thefts were reported, New York was at the top of the list with 903 thefts. In second place was Las Vegas, Nev., with 757. San Diego was third with 633. The fourth spot was held by Indianapolis with 584 and in fifth was

Halley Miller

Federal Officials Reducing Ethanol Level Requirements

recommendation of 15.21 billion gallons. The EPA states the following: “Nearly all gasoline sold in the U.S. is now ‘E10,’ which is fuel with up to 10 percent ethanol. Production of renewable fuels has been growing rapidly in recent years. At the same time, advances in vehicle fuel economy and other economic factors have pushed gasoline consumption far lower than what was expected when Congress passed the Renewable Fuel Standard in 2007. As a result, we are now at the ‘E10 blend wall.’” AMA Vice President for Government Relations Wayne Allard is pleased by this first step by the EPA. “This is a positive step, but this is not a long-term solution for motorcyclists who worry that the use of E15 fuel could damage their engines and void their warranties,” Allard says. “The AMA remains committed to AMA members—and all motorcyclists—as we continue to support legislation that prohibits E15 fuel.” Since 2011, the AMA has repeatedly expressed concerns to government officials and federal lawmakers about possible damage to the estimated 22 million motorcycles and ATVs currently in use in the United States by the inadvertent use of E15 fuel, which first became available at gas stations in 2013. E15 is currently offered in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South

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Officer Sentenced in death Of MOtOrcycliSt Indianapolis Officer Hit Bikers With His Patrol Car

David Bisard, a former Indianapolis police officer, has been sentenced to 16 years in prison, with three suspended, in the death of one motorcyclist and injury to two others in 2010. Bisard hit them with his patrol car while driving drunk. He was found guilty on all charges by an Allen County, Ind., jury on Nov. 5 and was sentenced on Nov. 26. He faced a minimum six years and maximum 20 years in prison on the most serious count, which was drunk driving causing death with a BAC 0.15%+. He was also found guilty of reckless homicide. The case involved an Aug. 6, 2010, crash in Indianapolis in which Bisard rammed his patrol car into the back of two stopped motorcycles and narrowly missed a third, killing motorcyclist Eric Wells, 30, and critically injuring Kurt Weekly, 44, and his passenger, Mary Mills, 47. Bisard reportedly was responding to a request for help from other officers on a felony warrant when the 11:20 a.m. crash occurred. The motorcyclists were stopped in traffic. Investigators believe Bisard was traveling at least 65 mph when he slammed on his brakes to try to avoid hitting the motorcyclists.

Miami, Fla., with 535. While the recovery rate for all motor vehicle thefts in 2012 was 53.9 percent, for motorcycles in that same year it was only 39 percent. The national Insurance Crime Bureau says that stolen motorcycles are often “chopped” with their parts finding their way into the black market supply chain. Others are kept intact and resold to unsuspecting buyers after crude attempts to alter their identification. Still others are hidden away for years and, on occasion, recovered as they are in the process of being exported in shipping containers.

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However, Allard went on to say that the AMA is troubled that the BLM, in its document, only pointed its finger at OHVs when discussing potential damage to resources and loss of revenue if recreational uses of public land aren’t managed. “The BLM should include mountain bike, equestrian, the Burning Man festival or other events when referencing damage to resources and revenue loss,” Allard wrote. “The BLM should adhere to a fair treatment process for all permit and recreation type applications,” he wrote. “Currently, this document infers a prejudicial mindset by the BLM toward the OHV community with regard to special use permits.” The BLM manages about 245 million acres of public land nationwide, primarily in 12 western states.


Scott Sady

In a letter to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management dated Nov. 25, the AMA pointed out that the federal agency may be exhibiting a bias against off-highway vehicles in an effort to collect information related to permits for recreation on public land. “At first glance, the informationcollection process appears to be an ideal avenue for the Bureau of Land Management to learn first-hand how popular responsible motorized recreation and competitive events are on our nation’s public lands,” wrote Wayne Allard, AMA vice president for government relations. “Recreation and competitive events are important drivers of local economies,” he wrote. “They provide sustainable employment, economic growth and have a positive effect on other administration-stated goals, such as addressing childhood obesity.”


Off-highway riders in the Louisville, Ky., area must drive at least two hours round trip to get to a place to legally ride their dirtbikes and all-terrain vehicles, says Todd Brimm of Louisville. Brimm wants to change that. He’s forming the non-profit Louisville Dirt Bike and ATV Park Association to build and operate a track and trail system on public land. “The local government is going to let us use land to build a dirtbike track and trail system, but we have to run it as an association,” Brimm says. “The park is for everyone. This will, hopefully, be a family venue to accommodate adults and children who enjoy dirtbikes and ATVs. The goal is to have an adult motocross track, children’s track, ATV trail, and ATV safe challenge course.” Brimm is seeking the use of public land on Port Road in Louisville. “As soon as we get the ‘go’ to break ground, we will form a working group to set out the details [related to fees and park use],” Brimm says. “But most likely members will pay a small annual fee to help pay for maintenance and upkeep.” Volunteers also will help, he says. He’s hopeful that it won’t cost too much to create the riding park. “The most an MX track costs to build is $14,000, but we expect to use a large volunteer labor force who has already reached out to us on Facebook,” Brimm says. “The people consist of MX track builders, engineers, and equipment operators. He hopes to open the facility in the summer, “but we have to do it right to make it a venue that will not only keep local riders in Louisville, but bring local riders into a part of Louisville that is experiencing economic decline,” he says. The path to creating a riding park isn’t easy, and he offers the following advice to others who want to do it: “Find someone who will let you use their land or lease it to local government for a very low price and establish a non-profit organization to operate the park.” For more information on Brimm’s effort and updates on the park’s progress, go to the “Louisville Motocross Park” Facebook page.

5 Questions With…

“blend wall” issue and AM: Other than attending concerns that E15 could be rallies, such as the AMA required for gasoline. Fuel for Thought Lobby Day back in June, how else can I’ve heard a good deal Representing Virginia constituents get involved? about this issue from folks BG: Members of U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) is at home in Virginia. Whether it is the price of feed for Congress are here to an important figure in Congress for farmers, the price of food represent you – so make motorcyclists. He is chairman of the sure your voice is heard. powerful House Judiciary Committee and for families and businesses, Contact your representative vice chairman of the House Agriculture or the harmful impact of and senators and let them Committee. Both committees deal with ethanol on engines, there is a growing concern about know how the E15 fuel issue issues of concern to motorcyclists. the real consequences of impacts you. You can also We asked Rep. Goodlatte a few ask them to sign on as a coquestions related to E15 (15 percent the RFS. U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) sponsor of H.R. 1462. It may ethanol and 85 percent gasoline) that the AM: What is your goal in finding a solution to the E15 also be beneficial to reach EPA has approved for use in 2001-andfuel issue? out to others who would be negatively newer passenger vehicles but not for impacted by E15 and get them involved. motorcycles, ATVs, boats, lawn mowers BG: We have to reform the RFS in a The more support the better! way that does not pit food against fuel and other small engines. AM: What Virginia motorcycle-related or force us to meet a standard that is unattainable or harmful to the economy. groups have you worked with in the past? American Motorcyclist: What got you BG: There are several motorcycleI’ve introduced the RFS Reform Act (H.R. interested in the E15 issue? related groups in Virginia and I have Rep. Bob Goodlatte: I’ve been 1462), which would cap the amount attended many events at the local Harleyof ethanol that can be blended into paying close attention to this issue since conventional gasoline at 10 percent. Davidson dealerships. I look forward to Congress created the Renewable Fuel working with these groups on the local Passing this reform bill would provide Standard in 2005. My concerns about level as well as continuing to work with the ethanol mandate’s effects on the much-needed relief for our economy the AMA to ensure that you continue to and ease concerns about E15. Ideally, marketplace were only amplified in 2007 I would like to see the ethanol mandate have access to safe fuels that will not when I opposed the dramatic expansion damage engines and fuel systems. completely1 repealed. of the RFS that has led us to the current 13DBA277_AMERICAN_MOTORCYCLIST_BIKE_WEEK_FEB_PRESS.pdf 12/9/13 12:53 PM




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Action Could Mean Loss Of 4,300 Miles Of Trails

A federal judge in Utah is ordering the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to come up with a plan to protect cultural resources from off-highway vehicles along 4,300 miles of Utah trails. The BLM, as well as anti-OHV groups, were expected to file briefs with the court related to this by Dec. 6 and respond to those arguments by Jan. 10. On Nov. 4, Utah U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball issued a ruling that indicated the BLM didn’t do enough to protect the land and other resources in southern Utah when it approved a management plan in 2008 for the Richfield resource area. That plan includes 4,277 miles of motorized trails. The Richfield area


involves some 2 million acres and includes such well-known landmarks as Factory Butte, the Henry Mountains and the Dirty Devil River. The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, joined by others, challenged OHV travel in the management plans for the Richfield area as well as five other BLM areas. The Richfield case is the first to receive a ruling. “This is yet another example of antiOHV forces using the courts to try to stop motorized recreation,” says Wayne Allard, AMA vice president for government relations. “They made several arguments to the court and the judge only agreed with this one. We are confident that the BLM will ultimately show that it is minimizing the impacts of OHVs on the 4,300 miles of trails and the trails will remain open. “It’s interesting to note that these anti-OHV groups are also challenging five other land management plans in

the courts,” Allard says. “The six plans involve about 11 million acres in Utah, which is almost the same amount of land that the groups would prefer to be designated as Wilderness—and then would be off-limits to OHVs—under legislation in Congress called America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act. “That legislation was introduced by New Jersey U.S. Rep. Rush Holt in the House and Illinois U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin in the Senate, and is opposed by Utah’s congressional delegation,” Allard says. “So it’s clear that anti-OHV groups take overlapping approaches in their attempts to get what they want, hoping to succeed one way or another.” To stay on top of what is happening with federal land-use and other policies related to motorized recreation, sign up to receive AMA Action Alerts and AMA News & Notes at www. GetInvolved/ActionAlertSignUp.aspx.

Mark Kariya

Judge Wants neW travel ManageMent ProPosal In utah

2013 OFF-HigHwaY sUMMaRY

The AMA Government Relations Department monitored approximately 360 pieces of state legislation related to off-highway riding in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., and took action when necessary. Those actions included informational mailings to AMA members, news releases, testimony before state and federal lawmakers and providing information to key legislative committees. Here’s a breakdown of the off-highway legislation followed during the 2013 legislative sessions around the country through Oct. 29. For the 2013 on-highway summary, see the January issue.

Land Use Regulation of motorized recreation (111)

MisceLLaneOUs Equipment requirements, emissions regulation, sound regulation, and utility vehicles (38)

OHV ROad Use The use of vehicles designed for off-road use on public roads (34)

snOwMObiLe Trends in snowmobile program funding and regulation often precede similar trends for other OHVs (35)

MOtORized tRaiL PROgRaM Programs that create and maintain motorized trails (4)

RegistRatiOn (21)

OHV Regulation of off-highway vehicles other than dirtbikes and ATVs (26)

LiabiLitY and insURance Includes legislation affecting liability exposure for private and public motorized recreation property owners and operators, racing facility liability, and individual liability insurance requirements (26)

YOUtH Regulations involving the use of dirtbikes and ATVs by youngsters (4)

atV Regulations specific to all-terrain vehicles (31)

aLcOHOL/iMPaiRed OPeRatiOn (1)

tax Taxes levied on dirtbikes that don’t directly benefit a motorized trails program (27)

RideR edUcatiOn (0) The State-by-State Guide to Motorcycle Laws continues to be a popular item for our members. Print copies are free to AMA members. Guides are also available online at Also included on the website is the State-by-State Guide to On-Highway Motorcycle and ATV Laws and Regulations and the AMA Position Statements on various issues.

HeLMet Usage (0)

titLing (2)








February 2014 120

SOUND STRATEGY? Crackdown On Streetbike Sound May Be Coming

It has been more than 30 years since the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency established sound standards for motorcycles, including a difficult-toreplicate ride-by test to measure sound and strict anti-exhaust-tampering rules that are rarely enforced at the rider level. Now, an influential roundtable has come up with a series of recommendations to revamp federal motorcycle sound rules to make it easier for state and local governments to crack down on excessive motorcycle sound. However, the report was hardly based on unanimity. Many of the roundtable participants voiced strong opposition to efforts that would attempt to address excessive sound by focusing on ancillary issues, while placing onerous requirements on motorcyclists in the process. “If there’s a concern about noise, measure the noise,” says Tim Austin, representing the Motorcycle Industry Council, as quoted in the report. The report, issued in the fall of 2013, is based on a roundtable that took place over a year ago, when a group of scientists, engineers and other stakeholders in the world of noise control and transportation gathered in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 24, 2012, to discuss excessive motorcycle sound. Here’s a look at the roundtable discussion and key recommendations.

Committee Makeup

The roundtable steering committee included a number of influential people in the world of sound: Kenneth Feith, who retired after serving as senior scientist and policy adviser at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Deane Jaeger, retired principal engineer at the Harley-Davidson Motor Co.; William

Lang, president of the Noise Control Foundation; George Maling Jr., managing director emeritus of the Institute of Noise Control Engineering; Judith Rochat, physical scientist at the John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center; and Eric J.W. Wood, president of the Institute of Noise Control Engineering of the USA. In all, almost 30 experts took part in the discussions, including AMA Government Affairs Manager Imre Szauter, who specializes in on-highway motorcycle issues. The roundtable, sponsored by the Institute of Noise Control Engineering of the USA and The Noise Control Foundation, and hosted by the National Academy of Engineering, focused on streetbikes and did not discuss offhighway or competition machines. The report is titled “Noisy Motorcycles – An Environmental Quality of Life Issue.” The gist of its recommendations? Federal motorcycle sound limits are in place for the life of the bike, and the owner is responsible for maintaining a quiet machine. Also, law enforcement needs a court-acceptable motorcycle sound test procedure that is recognized by the EPA. The report states. “We anticipate that the EPA will consider appropriate revisions to the federal regulation that will replace confusion with clarity and provide needed enforcement tools to state and local authorities to provide necessary benefits to the public.” Unfortunately, early indications are the final language of those revisions may not all be positive for motorcyclists.

The View Of Motorcycle Sound

The roundtable report claims that motorcycles continue to be among the top environmental noise sources and people “cannot find the peace and quiet in their homes that they deserve.” The problem of excessive motorcycle sound, according to the report, is primarily due to tampering with the exhaust system or installing a noisy aftermarket system. “Everybody at this roundtable

Early indications are the final language of those revisions may not all be positive for motorcyclists.


agrees that the concept of reducing the noise from an excessively loud motorcycle would be a good thing for this country,” Eric Wood, president of the Institute of Noise Control Engineering of the USA, is quoted as saying. The MIC’s Austin says: “There are millions of Americans who own motorcycles that disagree with that concept. I think they believe they have a right to have whatever exhaust system on their bike they want. Some of those riders believe that loud pipes save lives.” But Austin also says that, for those riders who really like loud bikes, “we’ve got to do something to change their habits.” Some reasons for revisiting the sound issue after 30 years, the report says, is that technology has changed, the number of motorcycles has increased and their usage has changed from a recreational vehicle primarily used on weekends to a primary form of transportation for some. “Since 2003, the number of motorcycles owned and used in America grew 19 percent to approximately 10.4 million,” states the report. “That is a 58 percent increase since 1998, estimated then at 6.6 million, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council Owner Survey of 2008.”


The 2013 roundtable report states that its recommendations aim to make clear that the federal sound emission requirements are in place for the life of the motorcycle, that the manufacturer has a responsibility to build a vehicle from quality materials that will last a reasonable period of time, and that keeping the machine in compliance with sound laws is the responsibility of the owner. Here’s a summary of the report’s recommendations:


Sound Test Procedures 1. To provide for a practical test for in-use evaluations of motorcycle sound emissions, the EPA should acknowledge the SAE J2825 recommended practice as a procedure for the stationary testing of motorcycles. Consideration should be given to lowering the sound level limits in SAE J2825. 2. When an exhaust system manufacturer is mounting its system on a motorcycle that has been tested and meets federal sound limits, the manufacturer should be allowed to use a simpler test procedure than the current ride-by procedure to show that the muffler meets federal regulations. The EPA should acknowledge the SAE J2825 for use by exhaust system manufacturers. 3. In view of the difficulties in implementing the federal test procedure on modern motorcycles, even by manufacturers, the EPA should contact manufacturers for suggestions about how the procedure

Federal Motorcycle Sound Law

The roots of controlling motorcycle sound emissions stretch back to 1972 when Congress passed the Noise Control Act that required the EPA to coordinate the programs of all federal agencies relating to noise research and noise control, as well as to set noise standards for a variety of products. With that mandate, the EPA in December 1980 issued regulations governing the sound emissions of new motorcycles beginning in 1983. The rule set the sound limit at 83 decibels using a well-defined drive-by testing procedure, with the limit going to a stricter 80 dBA beginning in 1986. Then, in 1981, the federal administration shut down the EPA’s noise program office, saying that noise issues were best handled at the state and local government levels. “However, the Congress did not rescind the Noise Control Act of 1972 and its follow-on, the Quiet Communities Act of 1978, which expanded EPA’s mission to control noise pollution, as well as

could be modified to simplify implementation. 4. The EPA should make available technically and legally appropriate advice for state and local agencies as to noise level test procedures and noise level limits. 5. SAE International should update Recommended Practice J2825 to include a table of sound pressure limits that are established to fail those vehicles that would also fail the federal EPA requirements. Also, in Section 9.1 of J2825, SAE International should eliminate the requirement that any standards based on the procedure cannot use lower levels than 92, 96, and 100 dBA. 6. The EPA should clarify that the noise limits in the regulation apply for the life of the motorcycle. The manufacturer must build a system that will last a year. After, the motorcycle must still meet noise emissions requirements and it becomes the owner/operator’s responsibility to comply. undertake research and public information initiatives,” the roundtable report states. “Therefore, both remain in effect today, and the EPA continues to have responsibility for their implementation.” Besides setting sound limits, the law also prohibits any changes to the exhaust system that causes the bike to exceed the federal noise standard. Use of the motorcycle with such a modified exhaust system is also prohibited. “The burden is on the owner/user not to tamper in such a way as to increase the noise emissions beyond stated levels,” the report says. “It also allows state and local law enforcement to enforce limits on tampering.” Under federal law, tampering with a motorcycle exhaust system can result in a penalty of $25,000 a day and up to a year in jail for a first offense. “Motorcycle owners are well within their rights and do not violate tampering provisions when modifying or replacing noise control devices or elements of

design as long as such acts do not cause the noise to exceed the federal standard,” the report says. “Acts likely to constitute illegal tampering include the installation of by-pass exhaust systems, removal or puncturing the muffler, removal of baffles, header pipes or any other component that conducts exhaust gases, if such acts cause the motorcycle noise to exceed the applicable federal standard. Installation of a noncompliant exhaust system would also be expected to constitute tampering.”



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Enforcement Proposals

But how can these anti-tampering provisions be implemented by state and local law enforcement? Some members of the roundtable say that the sound of a loud muffler is enough evidence that the motorcycle doesn’t meet the EPA sound requirements. There shouldn’t need to be a test for tampering, per se, they argue. Instead, a test of

noise levels is needed. The report says, “During the roundtable, Eric Wood, Acentech, offered the opinion that police officers know simply by listening when a motorcycle is producing excessive noise; they don’t need test procedure equipment and instruments. Police officers can be trained and should be allowed to issue citations for excessive noise based on the officer’s opinion.” The rider then would be required to take the ticket and motorcycle to an inspection station for sound testing. This, Wood says, is similar to when a police officer issues a citation after observing what he or she considers to be defective equipment on any motor vehicle. Former EPA senior scientist Kenneth Feith says: “If the tampering provisions were clarified at the federal and state

levels to make clear that a rider could be cited, some people would be discouraged from tampering. The mere threat of it happening is a deterrent.” When the federal law was created, the intent of the language on tampering was to ensure that people weren’t modifying their motorcycles, Feith says. While some say that no test is needed to prove that a rider tampered with an exhaust, others, including the AMA, argue that an objective tool is needed to obtain evidence of tampering, and a modified version of a relatively new sound testing procedure for street motorcycles—the AMA-endorsed SAE J2825 sound measurement practice—could be it. Local law enforcement can’t prove that a motorcycle exceeds federal sound limits because there is no approved test to run outside of a test track with professional operators, the report says.

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Tampering 1. Currently, the manufacturer of a motorcycle is responsible for designating those acts that constitute tampering. In some cases, this responsibility may have been abused to the detriment of manufacturers of compliant replacement exhaust systems. To provide uniformity among manufacturers, the EPA should also provide a standard list of items that constitute tampering, regardless of motorcycle manufacturer or category of motorcycle. It should also stipulate in the regulation that OEM’s cannot intentionally designate tampering acts that would preclude aftermarket parts manufacturers from providing regulatory compliant replacement parts. 2. The EPA should make clear in the regulatory requirements that the tampering provisions apply to all persons for the life of the motorcycle. In other words, noise limits for owners/

operators remain in effect for the life of the motorcycle. 3. The EPA should make clear in the regulatory requirement that federal law prohibits the use of the vehicle after removal or rendering inoperative of any device or element of design incorporated for the purpose of noise control, unless the vehicle still meets applicable noise emission standard. 4. The EPA should develop, publish, and make readily available to interested parties clarification that motorcycles and exhaust systems must maintain compliance with the noise limits for the life of the motorcycle. 5. The EPA should develop, publish, and make readily available to interested parties appropriate and effective methods and advice by which state and local enforcement agencies can inspect motorcycles to determine if tampering has occurred.

Labeling 1. The EPA should consider requiring OEM motorcycle manufacturers and exhaust system manufacturers to conduct the SAE J2825 test during their compliance certification test and provide those noise levels in their owner’s manual and on the compliance label. 2. The EPA should consider incorporating more definitive language in the

regulation and owner’s manuals that expand the prohibition regarding counterfeit labels or covering, removal or defacing of labels throughout the life of the motorcycle. The intent is to make clear that the bike can’t be operated if the label has been removed, covered, destroyed, defaced or counterfeited.

State And Local Issues






1. A coalition of manufacturers of motorcycles and exhaust systems should approach the EPA with a proposal to correct problems with enforcement of state and local noise laws. Adoption of SAE J2825 should be part of the request, with maximum noise levels to be negotiated. 2. The EPA should offer a legal opinion as to whether the J2825 measurement procedure can be used. 3. The EPA should clarify what state and local governments can do to reduce motorcycle noise in the field, either by amending current regulations or by issuing a model noise ordinance. 4. If the EPA produces a model ordinance, sample language regarding citations may include: If a citation is issued, it might impose 1) a fine for

Motorcycle Sound Test Procedures


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The procedure specified by the EPA is a drive-by test in which a motorcycle is ridden with the throttle wide open in a specified gear and the bike accelerating past a sound meter that is 50 feet away. Federal law sets the motorcycle sound limit at 80 dBA for model year 1986 and later machines. In 2009, the Motorcycle Industry Council, working with the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) International, produced a simple, consistent, economical and enforceable sound test procedure that can be used to determine whether an on-highway motorcycle exhaust system emits excessive sound. Called SAE J2825, and officially titled “Measurement of Exhaust Sound Pressure Levels of Stationary On-Highway Motorcycles,” the recommended practice established several procedures to measure motorcycle sound with specific instrumentation, test sites, test conditions, measurements and sound-level limits. The procedure follows the general SAE procedures established years earlier for off-highway motorcycles. The AMA recommends that procedure, SAE J1287, wherever off-highway motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles are operated. SAE J2825 requires holding a calibrated sound meter at a 45-degree angle 20 inches from the exhaust pipe of a running engine. The procedure spells out how to do the test with the bike at idle, at a predetermined engine speed (the “Set RPM Test”) or

excessive noise, 2) an additional fine if the exhaust system label was not readily visible and appropriate for onstreet use, 3) increasing penalties for repeated offenses, 4) the requirement that the exhaust system be repaired, and 5) that the vehicle be brought to an inspection station. 5. Additional model language may include such statements as: “To maintain peace and order and reduce unnecessary loud noise, automobiles and motorcycles shall be equipped with exhaust systems and exhaust mufflers maintained in good working order and the sound heard from such vehicles while operating on public roadways shall not exceed the sound commonly heard from typical wellmaintained vehicles...”

by slowly increasing the engine speed of the bike (the “Swept RPM Test”). The SAE J2825 standard recommends: • A limit of 92 dBA at idle for all machines; • Using the Set RPM or Swept RPM test – 100 dBA for three- or fourcylinder machines at 5,000 rpm or 75 percent of maximum engine speed, whichever is less; and • A limit of 96 dBA for bikes with fewer than three or more than four cylinders at 2,000 rpm or 75 percent of maximum engine speed, whichever is less. • The procedure also suggests that 2 dBA be added to these sound limits for motorcycle exhaust systems that have EPA sound-limit certification labels and haven’t been modified.

Loud Pipe Enforcement

Catrice Jefferson, representing the EPA, suggested the EPA needs evidence that SAE J2825, when applied in the field, will correct many of the noise problems that are perceived to be associated with motorcycles. Jefferson said the simple solution is to make SAE J2825 either an option or a requirement under the federal regulation. One of the purposes of the roundtable discussion was to explore how state and local government can be more proactive to control motorcycle sound. The report notes that the federal government gives state and local governments a great deal of power to control noise. “If the EPA were to formally recognize SAE J2825 as a measurement tool for

the field identification of motorcycles that do not meet the federal standard, it would encourage state and local governments to adopt a single field procedure and would assist manufacturers that might otherwise face a variety of local requirements,” the report says. Feith says the EPA has the power to issue a model motorcycle sound law as guidance to state and local governments.

Educating Riders

The report notes that several roundtable participants suggested educational efforts could play an important role in changing rider behaviors related to excessive sound. “Many bikers are passionate about maintaining the appearance and mechanical condition of their motorcycles. Some are equally passionate about their perceived right to modify their bike to gain attention by producing excessive noise that turns heads,” the report says. The report cites as an example of educational efforts the town of Golden, Colo., which uses a mix of education and local laws to convince motorcyclists to be reasonably quiet when arriving in town. Through education at local bars and restaurants, the program, called “Silence is Golden: Ride & Drive Community-

Friendly Partnership,” lets motorcyclists know that “they’re very welcome in our community, but they’re more welcome if they just lay off a little bit on the accelerator when they’re leaving and arriving,” explained Steve Glueck, who represented Golden. The report also notes that in July 2005 the AMA published a second printing of “Sound Advice,” a report of the Motorcycle Sound Working Group formed by the AMA that acknowledges the myriad issues facing motorcyclists today. Some elements of the roundtable do reinforce the AMA’s approach to managing excessive motorcycle sound and provides a wide range of recommendations, including educational opportunities for addressing the excessive sound issue. Some of those suggestions are that onhighway motorcycle manufacturers should partner with rider and dealer organizations to support awareness of and education programs to curb excessive motorcycle sound, that local on-highway rider groups should develop social awareness campaigns to help educate riders regarding excessive motorcycle sound and that the motorcycling media should better inform the riding community of the negative effects of loud motorcycles.


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Dissenting Opinion

Parties Disagree on ManY rePort recoMMenDations

Although representatives from different areas of motorcycling participated in the discussion, not all agreed with the final report. In fact, the AMA took issue with many of the onerous recommendations at the time and continues to advocate for common sense to prevail. Below are a few comments that reflect dissent with respect to labeling requirements discussed by the panel. To read the full text of the report, see

“The motorcycling community is very passionate. We’re not going to be happy with any kind of labels on the outside of our vehicles indicating that we’re compliant with some state, federal or local regulations. That’s not why I paid $20,000 for my motorcycle.” —Imre Szauter, AMA government affairs manager

“That’s why we spent so much time and money developing SAE J2825, because we know it’s something that unlike a label, will actually work. It will identify excessively loud motorcycles.” —Tom Austin, Sierra Research (representing the MIC) “Compliance will need to be sought elsewhere, as the men and women roadside will not have the wherewithal, nor the funding, to be able to start disassembling and looking for any crooked parts, and have ever-changing, evolving lists of what those parts are supposed to be during any snapshot in time.” —Sgt. Stephen Kace, New Hampshire State Police

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11/7/13 7:25 AM February 2014

As a general rule, you should choose the wheel path to the left or right side of your lane; this allows you the most room to react to a vehicle in the lane next to you, and allows you to see around the vehicle in front of you.


Riding With A Vision By David Kinaan We all have probably gotten in trouble for looking in the wrong direction at one time or another. In some scenarios, the worst outcome is embarrassment. On a motorcycle, however, a lack of attention can have devastating results. So where should you look while riding your motorcycle? The short answer is simple: It depends. Motorcycle trainers commonly refer to where you are looking as your “visual horizon.” This describes your point of focus. In general, a high visual horizon encourages you to look as far ahead as possible on the road—to see, analyze, and adjust for the upcoming traffic conditions. This practice gives you, the rider, the most time to predict any hazards and the most time to make any necessary adjustments. Another important concept is “surface appraisal,” which refers to recognizing hazards on the road. Combining both concepts will ensure you are leading the motorcycle with your eyes and make for a safer ride.

High Visual Horizon

Most motorcycle schools teach that a high visual horizon translates to looking 18 to 22 seconds ahead on the road. That figure works well whether you are riding on freeways or on a divided highway. It even works well in heavy traffic and crowded surface streets, too. The difference is how far ahead 18 to 22 seconds equals to in terms of distance. On the freeway, you may be traveling 60 mph, covering approximately 90 feet per second. You may be able to notice changes in traffic conditions a quarter mile ahead. On a crowded surface street,

you may only be traveling 20 mph, or 30 feet per second. Here, you may only be able to see changing conditions 500 to 600 feet ahead. Obviously, you need to constantly adjust your visual horizon to meet ever-changing situations. You will probably find the freeway is the easiest place to maintain your greatest high visual horizon. The traffic is generally flowing in one direction, there are no cross streets and vehicles typically enter and exit via dedicated lanes. The most common impediment to maintaining a high visual horizon would be large vehicles blocking your line of sight.

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June 2-7

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If you find yourself behind a vehicle you cannot see around, it is usually easy enough to change lanes, or change wheel paths in your lane, to regain the ability to see 18 to 22 seconds ahead on the road. As a general rule, you should chose the wheel path to the left or right side of your lane. This allows you the most room to react to a vehicle in the lane next to you, and allows you to see around the vehicle in front of you. Generally, the left lanes see the least amount of lane changes, meaning the least amount of potential hazards for you, as traffic usually enters and exits the freeway from the right lanes. (See the accompanying diagrams.) In surface street traffic, things can get real busy, real fast. You still want to look well ahead to anticipate changing traffic conditions. Avoid following vehicles you cannot see around, and adjust your wheel path to provide as much of a space cushion between you and other traffic. In addition, on surface streets, you have to be concerned with cross traffic. Before traversing intersections, passing driveways, riding through shopping center parking lots, etc., you will need to slightly turn your head from side to side to check for cross traffic. As a general rule, you look left, right and then left again, to check for traffic that may pull out in to your path. With today’s distracted drivers, you need to be extra concerned with the other drivers’ ability to see and recognize you. The old rule of making eye contact may not be good enough when the other driver is preoccupied on the phone. Drivers may be so distracted that they look right at you but don’t register you or your motorcycle. Planning is key. If you recognize the potential for a conflict ahead of time, you will have time to adjust your position and avoid the hazard. Checks for cross traffic are equally important at stoplight intersections. When your light turns green, take a moment to check side-to-side to make sure cross traffic has indeed stopped. Do the same check when you are approaching a light that has already turned green. A distracted driver can easily run a red light if there are no vehicles stopped in front of them.

12/7/2013 8:17:41 PM

Surface Appraisal

You always want to be aware of the road surface, but this doesn’t mean riding while looking down directly in front of you. On the open highway, it is easy to observe the roadway surface with your peripheral vision, while maintaining a high visual horizon. This is why you would not want to follow directly behind another vehicle. That vehicle will severely hamper your ability to make judgments about the roadway surface you are about to cover. A vehicle ahead may easily drive over an object lying in the center of the lane. When the object emerges from under the vehicle in front of you, you may not have adequate time to react. Riding in the left or right wheel path will give you a better chance to make that surface appraisal, and also shorten the distance you have to cover if you need to swerve out of the lane. At most, your surface appraisal is a sweeping movement with your eyes. For example, as you approach a corner, maintain your high visual horizon. Then sweep your eyes across the surface of the roadway where you plan to turn, making sure your path is free of debris. Then lift your eyes to your high visual

horizon on your new path, looking well down the road ahead of you. Think of it as your eyes leading the motorcycle where you want it to go. If you consistently maintain your high visual horizon, sweep your eyes across the roadway for a surface appraisal and adjust your lane position, you will be leading the motorcycle with your eyes. The result will be a safer and more enjoyable experience each time you ride.

As you approach a corner, maintain your high visual horizon (A). Then your eyes sweep across the surface of the roadway where you plan to turn, making sure your path is free of debris (B). Then lift your eyes to your high visual horizon on your new path, looking well down the road ahead of you (C).

Sergeant David Kinaan retired in 2012 as the supervisor of the California Highway Patrol Academy Motorcycle Training Unit. Sergeant Kinaan was an active member of the CHP for nearly 29 years.


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MSRP: $399.95-$449.95 Info: Bell’s new RS-1 offers a number of features that today’s riders demand. The first, of course, is the protection of the Kevlar/fiberglass composite shell. It’s a lightweight lid, which makes it comfortable for long rides, while the durability of the Kevlar offers some peace of mind. Comfort wise, while helmet fit can vary significantly from head to head, the RS-1 provides ample cushion for a wide range of head shapes. The contour-cut cheek Dustin Edwards pads are covered by a removable antibacterial and washable liner. Also contributing to the comfort factor is Bell’s aerodynamic profile. The stable design works really well at keeping your head still and pointed where it needs to be. I didn’t experience any buffeting or annoying head wandering while at speed. Pair that with the constant cooling effect from the ventilation system, and fatigue is noticeably reduced. Other features include Bell’s shield lock system that allows the visor to be locked shut, cracked open or allowed to ratchet. The shield mechanism makes swapping visors a breeze, and a handy magnetic strap keeper works well to keep the loose end of the strap from dangling in the breeze. However, don’t forget about the magnet if you get your helmet near a metal fuel tank; it will surely try to stick to the metal and could leave an annoying scratch in the paint.

Perhaps the most innovative feature on this helmet, though, is the photochromatic face shield. The shield automatically adjusts tint to light conditions. This feature works exceptionally well in all lighting conditions. Gone are the days of carrying two face shields or dealing with riding at night with a dark visor. Although the transition is not immediate, it is fast and effective enough to justify the bump in price. Available in a range of well-thoughtout designs and solid colors, the RS-1, paired with the photochromatic visor, is a fierce contender in the midrange price point.—Dustin Edwards


As motorcyclists, we can imagine ways we could find ourselves spending an unexpected night on the desert floor or on the side of a mountain. One thing is certain: The difference between an uncomfortable situation and a life-threatening emergency is forethought and preparedness. Any motorcyclist heading away from populated areas needs to be prepared to avoid hypothermia, especially if

Ask the MSF

RIDING WITH ABS Q: I have ordered a new bike from my local dealer. The model I bought only comes with ABS brakes. I have nothing against ABS brakes, but I’ve always had old bikes and have never ridden a motorcycle with ABS. What do I need to know? A: An anti-lock braking system uses sophisticated electronic sensors to automatically release brake pressure prior to the wheel locking up and the tire skidding, helping the rider to retain directional control and sometimes shorten stopping distances in straight-line emergency braking situations. ABS can also reduce stopping distance on wet or slippery surfaces and boost rider confidence because of its ability to prevent wheel lock-up. ABS does not prevent slippage and slide-outs when the tire reaches its limits of adhesion when cornering. Your braking technique does not have to change much to ride a bike with ABS. In normal braking situations, the ABS will likely not engage, so you will not notice

any difference. When you brake hard, or brake on a slippery surface, the ABS may sense an impending wheel lock-up and you may feel a pulsation through the lever/ pedal as the pressure relief valves cycle on and off to help the tire maintain optimum traction. Consult your owner’s manual for the operating details on your model’s ABS. Some models allow you to temporarily turn the ABS off for more effective braking in certain situations. Most importantly, having ABS doesn’t mean you can ride recklessly and expect the system to save you. ABS and other technological advancements are fine aids, but should not be considered a replacement for sound knowledge, understanding and judgment when it comes to stopping safely.

BMW Motorcycles

injured and he or she can’t “walk out.” This is where the LandShark Survival Shelter comes into play. Originally designed to protect pilots who crashland in harsh terrain, the LandShark is a product of Corporate Air Parts of Van Nuys, Calif., whose customers include the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Coast Guard and other prominent companies and agencies. For motorcyclists looking for a worstcase-scenario barrier to the elements, the LandShark should fit the bill. The bag arrived vacuum packed and dated. The packed product is stored in a tough canvas zipper pouch measuring 8.5-by-7.6 inches (about 2 inches thick) and packs nicely in the bottom of a saddle bag, top case or dry bag. The vacuum bag is notched for easy opening by wet hands. After use, I was able to refold the bag and easily repack it into the storage pouch, even though it was no longer vacuum packed. The bag is advertised to fit a range of physical builds, up to 6-foot, 3-inches and 330 pounds. At 6-foot, 3-inches and 210 pounds, I fit easily into the bag and had plenty of spare room to get the bag up over my head to retain critical heat. Two smaller people could even fit in this bag in a pinch. The installed drawstring operates Curtis Lenderman smoothly and locks in the desired position. The attached (and very loud) emergency whistle is positioned for easy use while remaining warm inside the bag. The bag is international orange on one side and digital camo on the other. The LandShark is constructed of a micro-thin layer of aluminized film laminated to a resilient, composite reinforced, ripstop material. The aluminized coating reflects up to 80% of radiated body heat. There’s no need to worry about climbing into it wearing heavy off-road boots; you’re not going to rip this material. The strength of the material lends itself to being used as an impromptu shelter using tree limbs or even motorcycle parts as a framework. You can even double its size by cutting it and then removing the drawstring to use as tie-down cord to secure it in place. The price may seem a bit steep at first, but the LandShark’s weight and space savings, as well as its toughness and versatility, make it a good buy. And if you’re writing that check in sub-freezing temperatures and a 40 mph wind at 1 a.m. on the desert floor, it’s going to seem downright cheap!—Curtis Lenderman

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February 2014


HONDA BUILDS A SPORTBIKE 1963 CB77 Super Hawk Honda got its start in the United States in 1959 with unintimidating step-through 50cc bikes and a purposefully nonthreatening slogan: “You meet the nicest people on a Honda.” Very quickly, however, those nice people wanted to go faster. For them, Honda engineers took the company’s 250cc CB72, upped displacement to 305cc and produced this performance variation—the 1963 CB77 Super Hawk. With its vertical-twin engine, trick double-leading-shoe drum brakes front and rear, and a real-world capability to hit nearly 100 mph, the Super Hawk earned its superlative designation. Certainly anything else from Japan was easy prey

for a Super Hawk, since the bike was, at its introduction, the fastest and most refined machine from the country. And while it couldn’t beat a Triumph 650 or a Harley-Davidson 883 in the quarter-mile, it could give them a run in the real world. The Honda did more with less. The Super Hawk revved 3,000 rpm higher than comparable American- or British-built bikes, generating more horsepower per cubic centimeter. And its lighter weight gave it nimble handling. The Super Hawk’s single-overheadcam engine, with a 180-degree crank and dual carburetors, produced a healthy 27.4 horsepower. That engine formed a stressed member in the frame, taking the

The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Pickerington, Ohio, features the people and machines that have defined the sport, lifestyle and business of motorcycling in America. The Hall of Fame is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation that receives support from the AMA and from the motorcycling community. For info and directions, visit, or call (614) 856-2222.


place of a front downtube. Telescopic forks and preload-adjustable shocks dispatched bumps, and for the café crowd, the adjustable footpegs could be rotated backward into rearsets. A factory race kit also offered clipons, a steering damper, alloy rims and megaphone exhausts, all available from a Honda dealer. At $665 in 1963, the Super Hawk was a giant-killer—half the price of a Triumph or Harley. In the ’60s, it and other machines like it hooked countless riders, who would stayed with motorcycles for life. Photos Jeff Guciardo

February 2014


Hall of Famer


Carey Loftin Turned A Knack For Motorcycle Stunts Into A Life’s Work As A Stuntman Arguably Hollywood’s greatest ever stunt rider/driver, Carey Loftin’s amazing stunt skills were part of hundreds of Hollywood productions for more than 50 years. Loftin began his stunt career as a member of a traveling motorcycle stunt show in the early 1930s when he was 19. The son of a preacher, Carey was born in 1914 and grew up Alabama and Mississippi. He began riding when he was 10 when he borrowed an old strap-drive Excelsior from a local blacksmith. An athletic kid, Carey wasn’t content to merely ride. He learned to do acrobatic stunts. In 1933, a motorcycle stunt showman named Skip Fordyce brought his barnstorming show to Hattiesburg. Lofin said he could do the same tricks, and Fordyce challenged him to prove it. Loftin did. He got his motorcycle and returned, reeling off a series of side stands and seat stands. He bounced on the seat, his feet landing in a different position with every jump. He rode backwards. For his finale, Loftis launched himself in the air, his body doing a complete flip and landing with his feet on the ground behind the speeding bike and holding on to the rear seat with his hands. Then he jumped forward, popped up

over the rear wheel and onto the seat before coming to a perfect stop. Fordyce hired the kid on the spot. After a stint in the Marine Corps, Loftin moved to Los Angeles in the late 1930s and took a job as a mechanic. He quickly broke into movie stunt work. Loftin’s expertise with motor vehicles, including cars, trucks and motorcycles, gave him the chance to contribute his skills to numerous films from the late 1930s until he retired in the early 1990s. During the 1940s and ‘50s, Loftin raced in many famous Southern California events such as the Catalina Grand Prix, the Big Bear Run, the Greenhorn Enduro and others. As a stunt driver and stunt coordinator, Loftin helped create some of the most exciting and famous chase sequences in movie history. His body of work spanned five decades and included classics such as “The French Connection,” “Bullitt,” “Vanishing Point” and more recent movies such as “Used Cars” and “Days of Thunder.” Loftin died in 1997 at the age of 83. He was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2001.


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AMA members do it all—longdistance rides, off-road races, cruising main street, vintage dirt track... To better serve our broad membership base, American Motorcyclist magazine is now published in two versions. The dirt version includes more offhighway and racing content. The street version includes more articles for road riders. Want to switch? Just call (800) 262-5646, ask for membership services and tell them which version you want. Want to read both versions? Call the above number to get both delivered to your home for just $10 more a year. Members can read both online at magazine for free.

Put yourself in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame is YOUR hall of fame—we couldn’t exist without the generous support of our donors. Now there’s a new way for you to show that support in a very visible way: My Hall of Fame. The idea is simple: A $20 charitable donation gets you a 3-inch-square space on the wall in the Hall of Fame entrance foyer that hangs during the campaign year. Want a bigger space? A 6-inch square is an $80 donation, and an 8-inch square is a $180 donation. You also get an official certificate noting that your picture is on display in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. Hang your picture, your kid’s picture, your company logo, almost anything. It’s up to you! Get in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame today!

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“The more confident I am on the dirtbike, the more confident I am in ski cross.”

MaMMoth Motocrosser John teller/ski cross

Of all the Olympic alpine sports, ski cross is probably the most like motocross racing. As with motocross, ski cross racers line up for a mass start, explode out of the gate and jostle side by side as they fight for the best position up front. One relies on gravity for its motive force, while the other uses an engine. So it should come as no surprise that for athletes like U.S. Ski Cross Team member and X-Game gold medalist John Teller, both are able to feed his adrenaline craving. In fact, Teller finds plenty of benefits to his skiing from cross-training in motocross. “Right off the bat, there’s a huge correlation between the two,” Teller says.


“They’re kind of the same type of course, with whoops and doubles and big jumps and all of that. They both appeal to the sense of speed and skill, and they’re both fun.” Now 30, Teller grew up and still lives in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., home of the Mammoth Mountain ski resort and the AMAsanctioned Mammoth Mountain Motocross. Teller got his start on skis at the age of 3 and gravitated to downhill racing, which he focused on for years. By the time he was 22, he had had some success, and even tried out for the U.S. team several times in downhill. “I was close, but I didn’t make it,” he says. “Because of monetary reasons, and because I needed to stop beating my head against the wall, it finally came to the

point where I had to stop skiing and start working.” Teller, whose dad owns Mammoth’s gas station and whose uncle runs an auto repair shop, went to work as a mechanic. With the extra time, he decided to try something he’d always wanted to do: motocross. “I had been riding on friends’ bikes a bit growing up, and when I was finally able to afford a dirt bike and have the time to go ride it, I bought an ’06 CRF450, and I just fell in love with racing,” he says. “I’d drive north three hours to Reno to race, or I’d head south to all the tracks in Southern California.” He never stopped skiing for fun, and when he had the chance to give ski cross a try, it reminded him of why he loved skiing so much. Plus, he was good at it, earning


a spot on the U.S. Ski Cross team in 2009 and working his way through the World Cup Series—all the while continuing to race motocross. The two sports, Teller says, complement each other. “On the technical side, all the things you need to do in skiing are also there in MX,” he says. “Keeping your shoulders level, keeping your weight to the outside, the jumps—they all come super natural to me. “Motocross just kind of turned into a training platform for me for skiing,” he says. “The more confident I am on the dirtbike, the more confident I am in ski cross.” In 2011, Teller became the first American to win a Ski Cross World Cup race, in Austria. A few weeks later, he won a gold medal at the X Games in Aspen. It

was only natural to set his sights on the 2014 Olympics, but he also kept racing motocross. “Motocross has been a huge part of my training,” Teller says. “This year, with the Olympics coming up, I dialed back a bit, but I still ran the Mammoth Mountain Motocross race.” With the Mammoth Motocross, an AMAsanctioned event, being in his hometown, Teller says he was excited to race it. Also, since he just turned 30, this was his first year in the vet class. He qualified for the main event both days, tried to keep things fun and finished midpack, a result he was happy with, considering his focus has been on the Olympics more this year. “Skiing is such second nature to me that I take it for granted—it’s almost too easy,”

he says. “That’s why I like the challenge of MX. Every time I get on a dirtbike I have to remind myself that I’m not a pro. There are so many situations on a dirtbike where things can get out of whack fast. I have to remind myself I’m not Superman.” Aside from the fun of racing, Teller says he has had a few extremely cool experiences, including meeting AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Jeremy McGrath, the winningest AMA Supercross rider of all time. “It was pretty cool to meet McGrath,” he says. “I walked up to him and introduced myself. I told him that he was ‘the man,’ that I couldn’t imagine doing what he does on a Supercross track,” Teller says. “He said it right back to me, saying ‘I see you guys on skis and I think the exact same thing!’”

February 2014

Photo by Peter Morning

Plenty of top-ranked U.S. athletes will be competing against the best in the world at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. A few of them have our kind of secret training tools: motorcycles. By Grant Parsons


NO SCHOOL LIKE THE OLD SCHOOL Andy Newell/Cross-Country Skiing


“You get out, away from everything, on a dirt road on the Triumph, and it looks exactly the way it would have looked in the 1960s or ’70s. It’s like it’s unchanged.”

Photo by Steve Holmes

U.S. Cross Country Ski Team member Andy Newell appreciates the simpler things in life, those with a sense of history. He competes in the oldest form of skiing, cross-county, which has its roots in using skis to traverse long distances. He lives in Vermont in a cabin without electricity or running water. And his motorcycle of choice was a natural: a 1970 Triumph Bonneville. “I guess I’ve kind of embraced the old-school lifestyle,” Newell laughs. “Being a Vermonter, I’m drawn to the classics.” Introduced to skiing at the age of 3, Newell was racing by the time he was 5. Cross-country skiing has a strong culture in Vermont, Newell notes, and there are in fact far more crosscountry ski trails in the state than there are downhill runs, so the choice was easy. He attended the Stratton School in Vermont, which has produced a long chain of winter athletes over the years. He continued training, and by 2001, he was competing in international junior World Championship events, and joined the U.S. Development team after high school. About the same time in his early 20s, he bought his first motorcycle. “I had always wanted one, and I was doing a lot of commuting,” Newell said. “Gas prices skyrocketed, and I needed something with good gas mileage, so I bought an older Honda Shadow to learn on. The thrill of riding a bike was a new experience, and I loved it.” The Shadow was a great introduction, he says, but he was itching for something else, and like many motorcyclists, he was perusing the ads on Craigslist. One day, he saw a vintage 1970 Triumph Bonneville for sale in Burlington, about 90 miles away. “I got up early, and on a whim drove up to Burlington,” he says. “The bike looked like it was in pretty good shape, so I bought it. I don’t know a lot about old Triumphs, so I could have really gotten burned on it, but when I took it to a mechanic and asked him if I got ripped off, he said, ‘No, you did alright’ so that was good!” Newell leans toward café-style motorcycles, so he fitted lower bars and removed a few parts to keep a clean, purposeful look. Meanwhile, Newell had continued to climb the ladder in crosscountry skiing, finishing 12th in the 2006 World Cup event to earn a spot on the 2006 U.S. Olympic team. He continued training with the team and now has his sights set on the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Through it all, he says, the Triumph has really helped him out. “Being an athlete can really be stressful,” he says. “We look for things outside our realms for a release, and riding a bike is that for me.” For him, nothing compares to bugging out on the bike. “There are so many great roads around Vermont,” he says. “I don’t take weekend-long trips, but I do try to ride it a lot. My bike looks nice, and I like nice things, but I ride it in the rain, on dirt roads. “I think that just kind of goes with that old-school outlook,” he says. “You get out, away from everything, on a dirt road on the Triumph, and it looks exactly the way it would have looked in the 1960s or ’70s. It’s like it’s unchanged.” Like Teller, he agrees that there’s a lot of crossover between skiing and motorcycling. “Anyone who’s a racer knows that you’re always looking for the best lines, the best way to ski or to ride terrain. On a bike, I’m always thinking about lines, about corners. I just really like getting away on it.”

February 2014


FREEDOM FIGHTER Heath Calhoun/ Monoski Paralympian

For skier Heath Calhoun, motorcycling provides the same rush he feels on the slopes. And during off-times between training or work, he heads out into the North Central Tennessee hills to ride his HarleyDavidson. “For me, it’s a great way to get away,” Calhoun says. “I like the sound, the way it feels to be riding, the wind, the camaraderie of the bikers that I meet. It’s just great.” A member of the U.S. Paralympic Ski Team, Calhoun races a monoski on the mountain, and his Harley is a trike specially adapted so he can control it with his his hands. “They’re very much the same,” he says. “For me, the monoski was a way to suddenly be free from being disabled. It was almost like I was me again. I could go anywhere on the hill I wanted. It’s the same way on a motorcycle. There’s a freedom to it.” Now retired from the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division, Calhoun was a squad leader in Iraq when his Humvee was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade, and his injuries required both legs to be amputated above the knees. It was during recuperation at Walter Reed Army Medical Center that he was introduced to skiing. “Once I started, I really enjoyed it,” he says. “I enjoyed that I could be good at something again, as good as anyone else. Then I just wanted to take it as far as I could take it.” In his case, that meant working his way


up the ski-racing ladder, winning in 2009 first place in Super G and second in slalom, and ultimately being named to the 2010 U.S. Paralympic ski team. Along the way, the experience gave him the confidence to try another sport he’d always wanted to do: motorcycling. “I had a buddy growing up who raced motocross when I was in high school, and I used to go to races with him, so I always had a healthy respect for anything with two wheels and a motor—it was cool and fast and fun,” he says. “I always wanted a sportbike, something like a GSX-R, but when I lost my legs in ’03, the world kind of shut down, and I thought that was something I’d never be able to do.” Then he met some members of a local motorcycle club, and he learned about trikes. When he realized that HarleyDavidson sold trikes, he worked with a local dealer to adapt one for him, and soon he was on the road—and hooked. “Now I get out whenever I can,” he says. “There’s no typical ride for me. It could be anything from riding two miles away to meet friends with my girlfriend, to getting on and riding for 5 hours. It’s just such a different way to travel.” He even branched out into making motorcycling part of his working life, as well, taking a job in the summers selling parts at the local dealership, Appleton’s HarleyDavidson in Clarksville. Motorcycling, he says, helps him relax. “Ski racing is great, but it can be dangerous—sometimes very dangerous,” he says. “When I’m riding a motorcycle, I’m never pushing it that hard, and that’s what’s great about it. And the feeling of freedom you get, that’s the real point. I love it.”

Photo by Yve Assad

"Ski racing can be dangerous—sometimes very dangerous. When I’m riding a motorcycle, I’m never pushing it that hard, and that’s what’s great about it."

February 2014


Chris Mazdzer/Luge

Most downhill winter sports athletes are speed junkies, and U.S. Luge Team member Chris Mazdzer is no exception. Laying on his back on a tiny sled, Mazdzer steers only by shifting his body weight, at times hitting more than 90 miles per hour on adrenalineboosting bobsled runs. So what kind of motorcycle does he favor? A sportbike, naturally. “Riding a motorcycle was kind of something that I’ve always wanted to do,” Mazdzer says. “There weren’t a lot of people around me who had bikes, so I went out and took a weekend motorcycle course to get my license. There was a bobsledder who had a bike, so I bought his—a Suzuki GSX-R600.” The choice, he says, was easy. “Those kind of bikes always appealed to me,” he says. “It’s all control and bodyweighting, just like riding the sled.” Growing up near Lake Placid, N.Y., the home base of several winter U.S. Olympic teams, Mazdzer got interested in luge at the age of 8, and was training on Lake Placid’s luge course shortly thereafter. Since then, he’s raced on the World Cup circuit, placing as high as sixth in 2013—and notched his best finish ever in November with a fourth place in a World Cup race. “Luge is an interesting sport to learn because it takes so long to develop the skills,” he says. “It’s very finely tuned inputs on the sled. It’s also the most dangerous. Our center of gravity is much higher compared to the bobsled and the skeleton. They barely flip over. We can flip all the time.” The key, he says is using very fine control inputs, similar to riding a sportbike at speed. “My coaches think I’m joking when I say it, but it really is surprising how similar the sports are,” he says. “In luge it’s all those little subtle movements, and it’s the same on the bike. Knee angle, weight distribution, total body control. A lot of luge and riding is linking corners, a lot of flow, and both give you a really great feeling coming out of a corner.” Not surprisingly for a guy who flies down mountains on snaking courses, Mazdzer’s

ideal rides involve lots of corners. “I’m not the kind of person who wants to go out and go fast in a straight line,” he says. “What’s nice around Lake Placid is that there are a lot of twisty roads. I like linking up really tight corners, having to put your body in the right positions to hold tight lines.” Just as with the luge, he doesn’t mind repetition. “I just like to flow, taking it easy,” he says. “There are a couple roads that are my favorites, and I have no trouble going and riding laps on those roads, back and forth.” Mazdzer

says for real thrills, he’s traveled to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for a track day. “That was the first time I’ve ever been able to really push myself and find my own limitations on the motorcycle, which was really fun,” he says. “I’m not where I’d like to be, but I wound up doing better than I expected. On my first time there I was moved from beginner to advanced.” He was also able to go faster than he ever has before on a sled. On the luge, he’s been clocked between 94 and 95 miles per hour. At Loudon, he went over 140 mph. “That was a great experience, too, to go that fast,” he says. “It’s good training, because you have to be able to take in so much information and act on it in a very short period of time. It’s amazing the amount of information you can digest at speeds like that.”

"My coaches think I’m joking when I say it, but it really is surprising how similar the sports are."


Photo by Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

Carving The Corners

A few of the hundreds of AMA-sanctioned events this month, detailed on the following pages.


The AMA Ice Race Grand Championship is happening Feb. 8-9 in Cadillac, Mich. For more information visit www.


The 2013 AMA Supercross Championship charges full speed into February with action in Anaheim, Calif., Feb. 1; San Diego, Calif., Feb. 8; Arlington, Texas, Feb. 15; and Atlanta, Ga., Feb. 22. For the full schedule, see page 40.


The top amateur woods racers in the West will continue their quests for AMA national championship titles in the AMA West Hare Scrambles National Championship Series Feb. 15-16 in Paicines, Calif. Youth riders compete on Saturday and adults on Sunday. For the full schedule, see page 41.

2013 AMA Championship Banquet, Jan. 18, 2014, at the Aladdin Shrine Center in Columbus, Ohio. Info: www.


Catch the last two races of in the AMA Indoor Dirt Track National Championship Series Feb. 8 and Feb. 22, both in Du Quoin, Ill., featuring short track and TT. Info: www.


One of the best shows in motorcycling is the AMA Arenacross National Championship Series, which has a full slate of races in February: Jan. 31-Feb. 2 in Milwaukee, Wis.; Feb. 8-9 in Sacramento, Calif.; Feb. 14-16 in Nampa, Idaho; and Feb. 21-23 in Reno, Nev. For the full schedule, see page 41.





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1,2, 4,5




The battles in the desert heat up in the AMA Hare and Hound National Championship Series, Feb. 8-9 in Spangler Hills-Ridgecrest, Calif. Youth race on Saturday and amateurs on Sunday. For the full schedule, see page 42.


Mark your calendar now. The 2014 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Daytona Breakfast is set for Friday, March 14, at the Daytona 500 Club, with special guest Hall of Famer Craig Vetter. Many more hall of famers will also be on hand, so you don’t want to miss this prestigious event!



IcE rAcE



























2014 eVeNts HALL OF FAME EXHIBITS AND EVENTS AMA MOTOrcycLE HALL OF FAME The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame is on the AMA campus in Pickerington, Ohio, and is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week. Closed: Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Main Hall: AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame: Recognizing those who have made significant contributions to all aspects of motorcycling.


Dirt-Track! All-American Motorcycle racing: Celebrating the storied history of the men and machines who battle on the dirt oval.

May 24: San Bernardina, calif.: Glen Helen National

Jul. 19: Millville, Minn: Spring Creek National

May 31: Sacramento, calif.: Hangtown Motocross Classic

Jul. 26: Washougal, Wash.: Washougal National

2 Wheels + Motor, A Fine Art Exhibition: More than two dozen artists celebrate the spirit, excitement and adventure of motorcycling through fine art.

June 7: Lakewood, colo.: Thunder Valley National

Aug. 9: New Berlin, N.y.: Unadila National

Founder’s Hall: Honoring the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame’s generous contributors.

June 28: Blountville, Tenn.: Tennessee National

AMA PrO rAcINg 2014 AMA PrO MOTOcrOSS ProMotocross.coM

June 14: Mt. Morris, Pa.: High Point National

Aug. 16: crawfordsville, Ind.: Indiana National Aug. 23: Tooele, Utah: Utah National

Jul. 5: Buchanan, Mich.: RedBud National

2014 MONSTEr ENErgy AMA SUPErcrOSS AMAsuPercross.coM

Jul. 12: Mechanicsville, Md.: Budds Creek National

Jan. 18: Anaheim, calif.: Angel Stadium

2014 EVENTS Jan. 25: Oakland, Calif.: O.Co Coliseum

Jan. 31-Feb. 2: Milwaukee, Wis.: U.S. Cellular Arena

Feb. 1: Anaheim, Calif.: Angel Stadium

Feb. 7-9: Sacramento, Calif.: Sleep Train Arena

Feb. 8: San Diego: Qualcomm Stadium

Feb. 14-16: Nampa, Idaho: Idaho Center

Feb. 15: Arlington, Texas: Cowboys Stadium

Feb. 21-23: Reno, Nev.: Livestock Events Center

Feb. 22: Atlanta: Georgia Dome

Mar. 1-2: Tulsa, Okla.: BOK Center

Mar. 1: Indianapolis: Lucas Oil Stadium Mar. 8: Daytona Beach, Fla.: Daytona International Speedway Mar. 15: Detroit: Ford Field Mar. 22: Toronto: Rogers Centre Mar. 29: St. Louis: Edward Jones Dome Apr. 5: Houston: Reliant Stadium Apr. 12: Seattle: Century Link Field Apr. 26: East Rtherford, N.J.: MetLife Stadium May 3: Las Vegas: Sam Boyd Stadium

AMA PRO-AM COMPETITION Jan. 26: Kemp, Texas: Underground MX Park, Texas Winter Series-Round 3; Feb. 2: San Bernardino, Calif.: Glen Helen Raceway, Road To Mammoth: King of the West Round 1; Feb. 9: Alvord, Texas: Oakhill MX Park, Texas Winter Series Round 4; Feb. 15-16: Buckeye, Ariz.: Arizona Cycle Park, AMA Amateur Naional Area Qualifier; Feb. 27-Mar. 2: Pell City, Ala.: Mill Creek Motocross Park, Spring

Mar. 7-9: Albuquerque, N.M.: Tingley Coliseum Mar. 14-16: Hidalgo, Texas: State Farm Arena Mar. 29-30: Salt Lake City: EnergySolutions Arena


2014 GEICO AMA ENDuROCROSS ENduROCROSS.COm May 2: Las Vegas: The Orleans Arena May 15: Austin, Texas: Circuit of the America’s June 21: Sacramento, Calif.: Sleep Train Arena Aug. 23: Atlanta: Gwinnett Center Oct. 4: Denver, Colo.: National Western Complex Oct. 11: Salt Lake City, utah: Energy Solutions Arena Oct. 18: Everett, Wash.: Comcast



Nov. 15: Boise, Idaho.: Idaho Center


Nov. 22: Ontario, Calif.: Citizen Business Bank Arena

2014 AMA NATIONAL ENDuRO NATIONAlENduRO.COm Mar. 2: Pelion, S.C.: Rhonda Dennis, Columia Enduro Riders; (788) 422-0329 Mar. 23: Blackwell, Texas: Joseph Roberts, Ross Creek Trail Riders; (325) 669-8866, Apr. 6: West Point, Tenn.: TJ Kennedy, NATRA; (972) 977-4112, May 18: Park Hills, M.O.: Michael Silger, Missouri Mudders; (636) 639-6373, June 1: Arrington, Va.: Chuck Honeycutt, April Fools Promotions; (757) 375-5665, June 29: Marquette, Mich.: Nick Zambon, UP Sandstormers; (906) 228-7010, July 27: Cross Fork, Pa.: Peter Burnett, Brandwine Enduro Riders; (610) 883-7607, Aug. 10: Grand Junction, Colo.: Thomas Jundtoft, Bookcliff Rattlers MC; (970) 250-9942, Aug. 31: union, S.C.: Duane Wellington, Greenville Enduro Riders; (864) 908-6109, Sept. 14: Matthews, Ind.: Doug Spence, Muddobbers; (765) 998-

Mar. 23, Youth & Amateur: Park Hills, Mo.: Gregory Kinkelaar, Missouri Dirt Riders; (314) 5047287, June 14, Youth Bikes & ATV; June 15, Amateur Bikes & ATV: Berwick, Pa.: Duane Fisher, Evansville MX Park; (570) 7592841, July 13, Youth & Amateur: Battle Creek, Mich.: Byron Kibby, Battle Creek Motorcycle Club; (269) 209-8184, Aug. 16, Youth; Aug. 17, Amateur: Athens, Oh.: Kevin Brown, Athens Motorcycle Club; (740) 590-3490, Sept. 20, Youth; Sept. 21, Amateur: Bartow, Fla.: Keith Finnerty, Central Florida Trail Riders; (407) 774-9090, Oct. 4, Youth; Oct. 5, Amateur: Plainview, Ill.: Ron Whipple, WFO Promotions; (309) 314-3343,

2014 AMA WEST HARE SCRAMBLES AmARACING.COm Jan. 4, Amateur (No Youth): Buckeye, Ariz.: Beverly Howard-White, Arizona Cycle Park; (623) 853-0750 Ext. 4, Feb. 15, Youth; Feb. 16, Amateur: Paicines, Calif.: Ed Tobin, Salinas Ramblers; (831)



AMA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES 2014 AMSOIL AMA ARENACROSS ARENACROSS.COm Jan. 18-19: Louisville, Ky.: Freedom Hall Jan. 25-26: Greensboro, N.C.: Greensboro Coliseum

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February 2014


2014 eVenTS 384-4495, SalinasRamblersMC. com Mar. 1, Youth; Mar. 2, Amateur: San Bernardino, Calif.: Craig Hunter, Prairie Dogs MC/Big 6 GP; (714) 231-6718, Mar. 15, Amateur; Mar. 16, ATV & Youth: Anza, Calif.: Erek Kudla, Get-Xtr-Eme; (805) 236-5866, Apr. 12, Youth; Apr. 13, Amateur: Chappie-Shasta OHV AreaShasta Lake, Calif.: Russel Smith, Redding Dirt Riders; (530) 921-1233, May 3, Youth; May 4, Amateur: Primm, Nev.: Ronald Maas, Sunland Shamrocks MC/Big 6 GP; (818) 767-4594, Sept. 6, Youth; Sept. 7, Amateur: Anza, Calif.: Justin Shultz, SoCal MC/Big 6 GP; (949) 981-6776, Oct. 4, Youth; Oct. 5, Amateur: Ridgecrest, Calif.: Chris Cory, Viewfinders MC/Big 6 GP; (661) 450-8150,

2014 AMA HARe ANd HOuNd Jan. 25, Youth; Jan. 26,Amateur: Lucerne Valley, Calif.: Rick Nuss, Desert Motorcycle Club, Inc. (626) 205-0121, Feb. 8, Youth; Feb. 9, Amateur: Ridgecrest, Calif.: Richie Wohlers, Four Aces MC; (805) 7956708, Mar. 22, Youth; Mar. 23, Amateur: Murphy, Idaho: No ATVs. Bill Walsh, Dirt Inc. (208) 459-6871, Apr. 12, Youth; Apr. 13, Amateur: Lucerne Valley, Calif.: Justin Shultz, SOCal MC; (949) 981-6776, Apr. 26, Youth; Apr. 27, Amateur: Lucerne Valley, Calif.: Gary Alspaugh, Vikings MC; (805) 6806336, May 3, Amateur and Youth: Jerico, utah: Neil Dansie, Sage Riders; (801) 369-5939, May 17, Amateur and Youth: Caliente, Nev.: Zack Livreri, Silver State Trailblazers; (702) 994-6823, silverstatetrailblazers/


Aug. 23, Amateur and Youth: Caliente, Nev.: Zack Livreri, Silver State Trailblazers; (702) 994-6823, silverstatetrailblazers/ Sept. 20, Youth; Sept. 21, Amateur: Yerington, Nev.: Erek Kudla, Get-Xtr-Eme; (805) 236-5866, Oct. 11, Youth; Oct. 12, Amateur: Lucerne Valley, Calif.: Darren Moen, 100’s MC; (714) 863-7170,

2014 AIReS AMA/NATC MOTOTRIALS May 24 -25: Texas Creek, Colo.: Rocky Mountain Trials Association; (719) 564-6476, May 31-June 1: Sedan, Kan.: Ark Valley Trials Assocation; (316) 6447774, June 21-22: Tremont, Pa.: Tiffany Tobias, Rausch Creek Powersports; (570) 682-4600, June 28-29: Sequatchie, Tenn.: Ashley Jackson, South Eastern Trials Riders Association; (423) 942-8688,

2014 AMA/NATC eAST YOuTH MOTOTRIALS July 4-6: Sequatchie, Tenn.: Ashley Jackson, South Eastern Trials Riders Association; (423) 942-8688,

2014 AMA/NATC WeST YOuTH MOTOTRIALS July 18-20: Howard, Colo.: Bill Markham, ITS Offroad; (719) 9423372,

2014 AMA VINTAge MOTOCROSS May 18: Athens, Oh.: Action Sports Moto-Park; www. July 19-20: Lexington, Oh.: AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, MidOhio Sports Car Course Aug. 3: Walnut, Ill.: Sunset Ridge Motocross, Aug. 24: Casey, Ill.: Lincoln

Trail Motorsports, www. Sept. 14: Coldwater, Mich.: Log Road Motocross, Oct. 4: greensburg, Ky.: Russell Creek Motocross Oct. 18: Paoli Peaks, Ind.: Mammoth East, www.

2014 AMA ATV HARe SCRAMBLeS Mar. 22: Park Hills, Mo.: Gregory Kinkelaar, Missouri Dirt Riders; (314) 504-7287, June 14-15: Berwick, Pa.: Amateur and Youth, Duane Fisher, Evansville MX Park; (570) 7592841,

Raceway, Vikings MC

2014 eAST COAST eNduRO RdIeRS eNduRO SeRIeS Mar. 16: greenbank, N.J.: Sandy Lane enduro, Meteor Motorcycle Club; (856) 889-7300, Mar. 23: Shamong, N.J.: Curly Fern enduro, South Jersey Enduro Riders; (609) 268-9272, Apr. 6: Chatsworth, N.J.: Pine Barons Clock Run, Pine Barons Enduro Riders; (609) 654-6300, Apr. 13: Port elizabeth, N.J.: greenbrier enduro, Tri-County Sportsmen Motorcycle Club; 1 (888) 274-4469,

Jul. 13: Battle Creek, Mich.: Joe Wathen, Battle Creek Motorcycle Club; (269) 729-9691,

May 4: delaware City, del.: delaware State enduro, Delaware Enduro Riders; (302) 834-4411,

Aug. 16: Athens, Oh.: Kevin Brown, Athens Motorcycle Club; (740) 590-3490,

May 25: Heckscherville, Pa.: Broad Mountain enduro, Reading Off Road Riders; (610) 921-3592,

Sept. 20: Bartow, Fla.: Keith Finnerty, Central Florida Trail Riders; (407) 774-9090,

June 1: grier City, Pa.: Shotgun enduro, High Mountain Dirt Riders; (570) 954-7799,

Oct. 4: Plainview, Ill.: Ron Whipple, WFO Promotions; (309) 314-3343,

AMA FeATuRed SeRIeS 2014 BIg 6 AMA WeST COAST gRANd PRIx SeRIeS Feb. 1-2: Taft, Calif.: Honolulu Raceway, Dirt Diggers MC Mar. 2-3: devore, Calif.: Glen Helen Raceway, Prarie Dogs MC Apr. 5-6: Palms, Calif.: Rodeo and Motoplex, Hilltoppers MC May 3-4: Primm, Nev.: Buffalo Bills Casino, Shamrocks MC Sept. 6-7: Anza, Calif.: The Ranch, SoCal MC Oct. 4-5: Ridgecrest, Calif.: Ridgecrest Fairgrounds, Viewfinders MC Nov. 1-2: goran, Calif.: Quail Valley, Prospectors MC dec. 6-7: Pala, Calif.: Pala

June 8: deposit, N.Y.: Ridge Run enduro, Ridge Riders Motorcycle Club; (973) 919-4780, June 29: Blain, Pa.: Foggy Mountain enduro, Susquehanna Off Road Riders; (717) 533-2242, July 13: gillett, Pa.: Barbed Wire enduro, Southern Tier Enduro Riders; (607) 382-8534, July 27: Cross Fork, Pa.: Rattlesnake National enduro, Brandywine Enduro Riders; (610) 368-7332, Aug. 10: Three Springs, Pa.: green Marble enduro, Green Marble Enduro Riders; (410) 638-9367, Aug. 17: Berkshire, N.Y.: Speedsville enduro, Ithaca Dirt Riders; (607) 657-8248, Aug. 24: Mauricetown, N.J.: Beehive enduro, Competition Dirt Riders; (609) 319-7496,

2014 eveNTS Sept. 7: Shippensburg, Pa.: Michaux Enduro, South Penn Enduro Riders; (717) 265-6055, Sept. 21: Brandonville, Pa.: Moonshine Enduro, Valley Forge Trail Riders; (484) 948-5361, Nov. 9: Warren Grove, N.J.: Stump Jumper Enduro, Motorcycle Compeition Inc.; (609) 575-7820, Nov. 23: New Lisbon, N.J.: Pine Hill Enduro, Central Jersey Competition Riders; (732) 5586475,

2014 EaSt coaSt ENduro rdiErS HarE ScraMBLES SEriES Mar. 1-2: tri-county Hare Scrambles, Tri-County Sportsmen MC; (888) 274-4469 Mar. 29-30: oXBo Hare Scrambles, South Penn Enduro Riders, (717) 938-0690 May 17-18: Mci Hare Scrambles, Motorcycle Competition Inc., (609) 575-7820 June 14-15: GMEW @ rocket Hare Scrambles, Green Marble Enduro Riders; (410) 683-9367 June 21-22: reading Hare Scrambles, Reading Off Road Riders; (610) 921-3592 Jul. 19-20: anthracite Hare Scrambles, Valley Forge Trail Riders; (610) 476-3747 aug. 2-3: Shotgun Hare Scrambles, High Mountain Dirt Riders; (570) 954-7799 Sept. 13-14: MMc Hare Scrambles, Meteor Motorcycle Club; (856) 889-7300 Sept. 27-28: ridge Hare Scrambles, Ridge Riders MC; (973) 919-4780 oct. 4-5: Sahara Sands Hare Scrambles, Pine Barons Enduro Riders; (609) 654-6300 oct. 25-26: ormond Farms Hare Scrambles, Competition Dirt Riders; (609) 319-7496 Nov. 15-16: delaware Hare Scrambles, Delaware Enduro Riders; (302) 834-4411

2014 EaSt coaSt ENduro rdiErS duaL SPort SEriES Feb. 23: Warren Grove, N.J.: Restore Our Shore Dual Sport, Motorcycle Compeition Inc.; (609) 575-7820, oct 12: Pine Grove, Pa.: Rorr Dual Sport, Reading Off Road Riders; (610) 921-3592, oct. 25-26: chatsworth, N.J.: Meteor Dual Sport, Meteor Motorcycle Club; (856) 889-7300, Nov. 1-2: Port Elizabeth, N.J.: TCSMC National Dual Sport, TriCounty Sportsmen MC; 1 (888) 274-4469,

aMa aMatEur cHaMPioNSHiPS aMa aMatEur NatioNaL MotocroSS cHaMPioNSHiP MXSPorTS.coM NorTheaST regioNal chaMPioNShiP June 21-22: armagh, Pa: Pleasure Valley Raceway (Youth) June 28-29: Mt. Morris, Pa.: High Point (Amateur)

SouTheaST regioNal chaMPioNShiP June 7-8: Blountville, tenn.: Muddy Creek Raceway (Youth) June 14-15: chatsworth, Ga.: Lazy River (Youth)

Mid-eaST regioNal chaMPioNShiP May 31-June 1: crawfordsville, ind.: Ironman (Amateur) June 7-8: Buchanan, Mich.: Redbud (Youth)

NorTh ceNTral regioNal chaMPioNShiP June 14-15: Mt. carroll, ill.: MC Motopark (Amateur) June 21-22: Walnut, ill.: Sunset Ridge MX (Youth)

SouTh ceNTral regioNal chaMPioNShiP June 14-15: Wortham, texas: Freestone MX (Youth) June 14-15: Houston, texas: Three Palms (Amateur)

NorThweST regioNal chaMPioNShiP June 7-8: rancho cordova, calif.: Prairie City MX (Youth, Amateur)

SouThweST regioNal chaMPioNShiPS May 31-June 1: Hesperia, calif.: Competitive Edge (Youth, Amateur)

NaTioNal chaMPioNShiP July 27-aug. 2: Hurricane Mills, tenn.: National Championship, Loretta Lynn’s Ranch

aMa HiLLcLiMB GraNd cHaMPioNSHiP valleySPriNghillcliMb. coM aug. 15-17: Bay city, Wis.: Mike Bronk, Valley Springs Motorcycle Club; (715) 594-3726

aMa icE racE GraNd cHaMPioNSHiP NaacTioNSPorTS.coM Feb. 8-9: cadillac, Mich.: Mitchell State Park

aMSoiL aMa aMatEur NatioNaL arENacroSS areNacroSS.coM May 3-4: Las Vegas: South Point Arena


TeNNeSSeekNockouT eNduro.coM

aug. 17: Sequatchie, tennessee

iNtErNatioNaL coMPEtitioN: u.S. rouNdS/ WorLd cHaMPioNSHiPS FiM road raciNG WorLd cHaMPioNSHiP GraNd PriX FiM-live.coM april 13: austin, texas: Circuit of The Americas aug. 10: indianapolis: Indianapolis Motor Speedway

FiM MotocroSS oF NatioNS FiM-live.coM Sept. 28: Kegums, Latvia

FiM JuNior MotocroSS WorLd cHaMPioNSHiP FiM-live.coM

aug. 10: Bastogne, Belgium

FiM iNtErNatioNaL SiX dayS oF ENduro FiM-live.coM May 31-June1: idaho city, id., West Qualifier: Peter Reynolds, Boise Ridge Riders; (208) 3845141, June 14-15: Wellston, oh., East Qualifier: William Depue Jr., Appalachian Dirt Riders; (740) 384-6379, Nov. 3-8: 2014 iSdE: San Juan, argentina

FiM triaL dES NatioNS FiM-live.coM Sept. 13-14: St. Julia., andorra

aMa PrEMiEr touriNG SEriES aMericaNMoTorcycliST. coM aMa SiGNaturE EVENtS aMericaNMoTorcycliST. coM March of dimes Bikers For Babies rides: Nationwide: rides For Kids Events: Nationwide:

aMa NatioNaL GraNd tourS, PrESENtEd By SHiNKo tirES aNd FLy StrEEt GEar aMericaNMoTorcycliST. coM Jan. 1-dec. 31: Polar Bear Grand tour: AMA District 2 of New Jersey; (609) 894-2941; March 25-oct. 1: Eddie’s road and team Strange airheads Smoke chasing Grand tour: Eddie’s Road and Team Strange Airheads; www.smokechasing. com april 1-oct. 31: tour of Honor Grand tour: Tour of Honor;

aMa NatioNaL EXtrEME GraNd tourS aMericaNMoTorcycliST. coM Jan. 1-dec. 31: ScMa Four corners Grand tour: Southern California Motorcycling Association;

February 2014



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February 2014




Training For Fun And Safety This past October, I had the pleasure of coaching a group of local military members at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Training on the By Justin Pennella road-race course, the students not only honed their riding skills but they also had a lot of welldeserved fun at Mid-Ohio’s end-of-theseason Military Appreciation Track Day. Over the years, I have found that our military students are always attentive and ready to learn. One reason for this is that for the most part, safety is a big part of their approach to everything. They have a strong propensity to thoughtfully evaluate the risk factors that could prevent them from accomplishing their mission. In a motorcycling context, this mission is to arrive at the final destination by navigating the roadways safely and avoiding hazards that are encountered along the way. What better way to reinforce the basics of riding than at a track day? Here, our students can ride in a low-hazard environment, one where the curves being studied don’t change from lap to lap, there is no oncoming traffic, and the road surface is void of debris. In a track day setting, the students can apply 100 percent of their attention and focus toward the basics of riding a motorcycle. Track day training supports a different understanding of acceleration, body positioning and maneuvering at speeds that just aren’t conducive to a standard skills course in a parking lot. Don’t get me wrong. Skills-course-based environments definitely have a place in learning to ride, but just as that approach has its strengths, so does training on a race course. To me, the most rewarding part of being an instructor is seeing the students becoming more comfortable and confident


Justin Pennella (No. 32) with local military members at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.

in their machines and technique. Students will often tell me of their riding epiphanies. These are some of the most rewarding moments for both teacher and student. For the teacher, you realize that you are making progress. For the student, these epiphanies often represent the climb from one plateau to the next. One of the most common and lasting insights is when students realize that looking through the turn will slow down the scene for their brain to process, thus allowing them to pick up the pace while still maintaining control. As a major in the U.S. Army, I not only have a passion for spreading the enjoyment of riding on two wheels, but I have an obligation to help my country maintain a viable military. Thankfully, I do not have to sacrifice one for the other. In fact, these two goals supplement each other quite well. As a military leader, I am familiar with current statistics associated with military motorcycling fatalities. While losing soldiers in battle is an unfortunate reality for military commanders, losing them at home due to a motorcycling accident is an immediate and unacceptable detriment to our available fighting force. However, it is a delicate balance to maintain a high military readiness without having to compromise the liberties our military members should be able to enjoy (such as motorcycling). Yes, military commanders do have the right to revoke on-base riding privileges for members who are deemed high-risk motorcycle operators. One of my additional duties in my Army unit is to reduce the number of operators who would be considered “high risk.” I administer our Motorcycle Mentorship Program, wherein I must ensure that our members not only adhere to minimum

rider training requirements, but also to provide guidance and advice on matters of maintenance and enforcing required personal protective equipment. I usually hold a beginning- and endof-season maintenance day for my unit riders. I’ll provide them with tools and knowledge so that they can get their bikes ready for the road—or ready for winter storage. One confession: I prefer track bikes and dirt machines to riding on the street. I know that going 60 mph on a country byway can be just as therapeutic as hitting 110 mph on the exit of Turn 1 at Mid-Ohio. Each has its merits, but for me, only a racetrack can safely reveal the full performance of a well-engineered sportbike. On the track, I rest assured that everyone on the surface with me has conducted a thorough analysis of the risks they are assuming. On the road, I cannot accept that all drivers have the same skills, training and safety consciousness that I do. In addition, today’s drivers are so distracted by their coffee, phones or other bits of technology that I fear they lack the attention capacity to look out for motorcycles. If I have any regrets, it’s that I wish I had known when I was younger that riding on the racetrack was an available option. The satisfaction from developing my skills and the enjoyment from experiencing the track are, for me, what’s best about motorcycling. I hope that all of my fellow AMA members can find that same level of fulfillment in their motorcycling lives. Major Justin Pennella has been riding motorcycles for more than 25 years and has been a track day instructor at the MidOhio School since 2012.

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American Motorcyclist 02 2014 Street Version  
American Motorcyclist 02 2014 Street Version  

The Journal of the AMA.