two-wheeled bike up. Technically, though registered as a motorcycle, I have four tires on the road. I know of several other disabled drivers adapting bikes to meet their needs. They should be registered as motorcycles. John Welton AMA No. 1089349 St. Petersburg, Fla. THIS IS SIMPLE… I don’t know what the big deal is about the deﬁnition of a motorcycle. Look in Webster’s and you will ﬁnd: “Motorcycle: two-wheeled motorized vehicle. Sometimes ﬁtted with a sidecar giving it three wheels.” Why don’t they just use the dictionary? Jack Coulson AMA Life Member No. 642648 Elk Grove, Calif. NO, THIS CAN GET COMPLICATED…. If it has a motor and only has two wheels, it automatically qualiﬁes as a motorcycle. If it has more than two wheels, the following criteria must be met: a) The operator must straddle the vehicle, and b) there should be no seat belt or restraint system. The reason for this is because on a “motorcycle” in the event of a fall or accident, it is logical for safety reasons for the operator to not
LETTER OF THE MONTH John Penton Rules! I just made a $1,000 donation to the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in honor of John Penton. The cover photo of your April 2010 American Motorcyclist magazine was fantastic. I loved the article, and it really made me reﬂect back over my many years of riding and what a debt we all owe to Mr. Penton. His vision and passion is the reason we all are riding such great motorcycles today! Thank you for featuring one of the true heroes of motorcycling! Steve Fox, President Hoy Fox Automotive AMA No. 232419 El Paso, Texas be fastened to the vehicle, but rather part ways. So two-wheeled motorcycles with sidecars, trikes and even conventional quad-type ATVs would meet the deﬁnition of a motorcycle. (The Can-Am Spyder and even GG Quad, which distributes roadgoing quads based on BMW boxers, would also meet this deﬁnition of a motorcycle.) However, as soon as one does not straddle the vehicle but sits in or on it— regardless of the controls, be it handlebars or a steering wheel—it is then logical for the operator to be strapped in for safety reasons. I feel this does not meet the requirement of a motorcycle. So, vehicles
such as the ZapCar or even the T-Rex do not meet this requirement. I realize this may make it difﬁcult for specialty vehicles such as the T-Rex, but I would hope that our laws allow some exemption to low-volume, specialty manufacturers not to have to meet the standards that typical high-volume cars would have to meet. I wish the AMA well on helping shape this deﬁnition. Jim Marchbank AMA No. 374525 Colorado Springs, Colo.
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Wow! Great news! Congratulations, Jack! — Jeff Reid, commenting on the AMA’s hire of Jack Penton as director of operations (see page 24). It’s about time. Jersey needs this badly. Illegal riding has damaging consequences. — Daryl Fornuff, in response to an AMA Action Alert notifying motorcyclists about possible public OHV parks in New Jersey. What percentage of motorcyclists ride in the rain, and other foul weather? 5 percent? And what percentage of bike accidents would have different outcomes using bikes with ABS? I’m guessing about the same percentage. This is just one more instance where people justify their jobs by imposing themselves on the lives of others. Move on to some other safety issue. — Eric Robinson, responding to an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety call that all motorcycles be mandated to come with anti-lock braking.
Hey thanks for roadside assistance coverage, AMA! I used it to get my wife’s minivan towed last week. It worked great and the gal on the phone was very pleasant and helpful. It’s a great member beneﬁt. — Jay Shannon, about the free roadside assistance that’s available to all full AMA members who elect to automatically renew their memberships (sign up at AmericanMotorcyclist.com). First time my old man took me to a race was up to Sears Point in Sonoma (now Inﬁneon). I remember Magoo and Hannah battling that day. Even at such a young age, I remember Hannah had such talent, but Magoo, he had style. — Todd Hayos, commenting on the passing of AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Danny “Magoo” Chandler (see page 34). Follow all AMA news—and chat with fellow AMA members— on Facebook. You can also always get the latest info at AmericanMotorcyclist.com.
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