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DECEMBER 2009

AMA MOTORCYCLE hALL Of fAMERS

MEET THE CLASS OF 2009

THE JOURNAL OF THE


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Navigation Cover Photo The AMA Hall of Fame Induction Class of 2009, photographed by (l-r) Cory Cagle, Holly Carlyle, Scott Fairbanks, Davey Morgan, Jesse Leake, Conrad Lim and Tara Staton Navigation Photo Captured near Grand Teton National Park, the middle of a 6,000-mile ride from Mexico to Canada, photographed by AMA member Ian Schoenleber

VIEWPOINTS

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Snapshots Your Images, Your World Letters You Write, We Read Rob Dingman Rider Advocacy Tom Mehren Use Your Off-Season Wisely

THE LIFE

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Protecting The Ride Next-Gen Crash Study Launches

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Living It A Streetfighter Worthy Of The Name

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Connections Taking The Long Way

FEATURES

December 2009 Volume 63, Number 12 Published by the American Motorcyclist Association 13515 Yarmouth Dr. Pickerington, OH 43147 (800) AMA-JOIN AmericanMotorcyclist.com

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Let’s Rock Every Year, The AMA Motorcycle Hall Of Fame Honors the Best In All Of Motorcycling. Meet The Class Of 2009.

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Adrenaline AMA Team USA Pulls It Out

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Standing Guard States Are Raiding Motorcyclists’ Money And Riders Are Fighting Back

Heritage Off-Road Revolution Go Ride What To Do, Where To Go

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 2009. Printed in USA. Subscription rate: Magazine subscription fee of $10 covered in membership dues; $15 a year for non-members. Postmaster: Mail form 3579 to 13515 Yarmouth Dr., Pickerington, OH 43147. Periodical postage paid at Pickerington, Ohio, and at additional mailing offices.


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Snapshots

The U.S. squad of Ryan Dungey, Ivan Tedesco and Jake Weimer proved once again that America produces the greatest motocrossers on the planet by winning the Red Bull FIM Motocross of Nations held in Franciacorta, Italy. The U.S. has won the event 20 times. Photos: Jeff Kardas

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Congratulations, Chris. You’re the winner this month!

Winner: Chris Kurtz took this photo of his dad, Glen, contemplating the open road. Below: 1) Dale and Janell Gaier on the Blue Ridge Parkway. 2) Denis Petrie is joined by Drs. Rena Jacobs and Thomas Goodman of Upstate Hemotology Oncology at Ellis Hospital in Schenectady, N.Y., before he heads off on a 3,000-mile trip to raise awareness for cancer. 3) Scott Pristas and his daughter, Ruby, 6, share some quality time. 4) Michael Harris and his 1973 Yamaha RD350 in Loudon, N.H. 5) Barry Briggs and friends near Crested Butte, Colo. 6) Colin Barton drags a knee at Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania. 7) Mark Yeninas. 8) Paul Cavanaugh and Stephanie Roland of Loganville, Ga., visit the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum.

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Got an image that captures what’s cool about motorcycling? Send it to American Motorcyclist. Send your high-resolution photos, name and mailing address to: submissions@ama-cycle.org. We’ll even pick one standout photo next month, and send the photographer a free $500 BikeBandit.com gift card. Editors decisions are final. No purchase necessary. December 2009

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AMA BOARD OF DIRECTORS

American Motorcyclist 13515 Yarmouth Drive Pickerington, OH 43147 (614) 856-1900 submissions@ama-cycle.org

Stan Simpson, Chairman P.O. Box 1028, Cibolo, TX 78108

Grant Parsons, Managing Editor James Holter, Associate Editor Bill Kresnak, Government Affairs Editor Mitch Boehm, Contributing Editor Mark Lapid, Creative Director Nora McDonald, Production Coordinator Jen Muecke, Designer

Jim Williams, Assistant Secretary 9950 Jeronimo Rd., Irvine, CA 92618-2084

Jon-Erik Burleson, Assistant Treasurer 38429 Innovation Ct., Murrietta, CA 92563

Erik Buell 2799 Buell Dr., East Troy, WI 53120 Andy Goldfine 8 S. 18th Ave., West, Duluth, MN 55806 Charles Goman PO Box 81, Winder, GA 30680

ADVERTISING Ray Monroe, Advertising Manager (815) 885-4445, rmonroe@ama-cycle.org

Perry King c/o AMA, 13515 Yarmouth Dr., Pickerington, OH 43147

Misty Walker, Advertising Assistant (614) 856-1900, ext. 1267, mwalker@ama-cycle.org

Michael Lock 10443 Bandley Dr., Cupertino, CA 95014

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 AmericanMotorcyclist.com. 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, 2009.

Maggie McNally P.O. Box 2188, Empire State Plaza Albany, NY 12220-0188 Arthur More 16153 Starlight Dr., Surprise, AZ 85374 John Ulrich 581-C Birch St., Lake Elsinore, CA 92530 Bill Werner 18405 Davidson Dr., Brookfield, WI 53045

(800) AMA-JOIN AmericanMotorcyclist.com

Contributors and Staff See you at the World’s Largest Touring Rally NEXT year! June 7- 12, 2010

www.tourexpo.com

518-798-7888

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DAVEY MORGAN, Photographer is an award-winning shooter from Greenville, S.C. He worked with Randy Hawkins this month. To check out more of his work go to DaveyMorgan.com. CORY PARRIS, Photographer Based in the Seattle area, Cory is our go-to guy for amazing portriats in the Pacific Northwest. He got some great stuff of Tom Mehren for this issue. You can see more of his work at CoryParris.com. TOM MEHREN, Contributor Not many people could pull together a rally week that makes happy such diverse groups as riders of sportbikes, sport tourers, dual-sporters and scooter riders, but Tom does just that with his Rally Week in The Gorge every year (www.SoundRider.com/rally). He offers his rally-going tips this month as a guest columnist. JEFF KARDAS, Photographer One of the hardest working shooters in the MX world, Kardy this month brings us his lens work from the Motocross of Nations in Italy. Nice. NORA McDONALD, Production Coordinator With a new house to go with her “new” CB360, Nora is seriously considering putting the bike in the living room for the winter. BILL KRESNAK, Government Affairs Editor This month’s random obsession? Coolio vintage motocross gear. Tune in next month when it’s something completely different!

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GRANT PARSONS, Managing Editor Grant’s not sure how it came to this, but he actually hooked up a heated vest to his scooter for a long, cross-city run to the sushi market last weekend. He promises to put more miles on his sportbike soon. Honest. MARK LAPID, Creative Director Mark’s been spending a lot of time contemplating the essential essence of what makes a “commuter” bike. So far, he’s narrowed the search to pretty much every motorcycle ever made. Funny thing? He’s right. JEN MUECKE, Designer In the trade of the century, Jen swapped her ’89 Honda Hawk 650GT trackbike for an ’00 MZ Baghira (complete with bags). Not as good on the track, but awesome in the city, where it looks and works the biz. JAMES HOLTER, Associate Editor Always the master of schemes that make perfect sense, James’ latest plan is to give his YZ250F to his oldest kid—mainly so he can get a new MXer himself. Brilliant! Other contributors include: Sgt. Steve Click, Shon Turner, Neale Bayly, Scott Hoffman, Tom Bear, Jake Whitehead, Cassandra Bergman, Cory Cagle, Holly Carlyle, Scott Fairbanks, Grogan Studios, Jesse Leake, Conrad Lim, Open Image Studio and Tara Staton


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Letters [ WAY TO GO, MATT AND MARA! A big thumb-ups to Mara Butler and Matt Olsen, for rolling their ’36 H-D 1,100 miles to AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days. After studying the cover photo (on the October 2009 issue), I have one question for them: How much oil did it take? Great restoration, Matt! Mick Alumbaugh AMA No. 433373 Whitethorn, Calif. Thanks for the sentiment, Mick. Matt Olsen notes that his ’36 burned a mere quarter of a quart during the 2,200 mile trip. Did we mention that he’s a pretty darn good mechanic who restores bikes? His next project is a pre-1916 cross-country ride, for which he plans to start building the bike soon. I SAVED $78 I’ve been a member for a number of years, but never used any of the benefits associated with membership. I just saved $78 on hotel reservations at Comfort Inn using my AMA membership and discount ID number (found in the Members Area of AmericanMotorcyclist.com). The savings will pay for two years of membership! I now carry the list of hotels and discount ID numbers in my wallet. Thank you, AMA. John Wyatt AMA No. 373856 Warren, Mich. THANKS FOR THE STRAIGHT TALK I received my October issue and was impressed with the candor and vision expressed in the article “Taking the AMA to the Next Level.” I think this article should be prominently featured on the AMA homepage so I can direct non-AMA riders to see how the AMA is building the organization that many think has been lacking for years. Rob Dingman and Stan Simpson have presented a very strong message for riders to look anew at the value the AMA provides its members. (And I am not talking about towing service.) Michael Holloway AMA No. 778661 Tucson, Ariz. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK I have never felt compelled to write one of those “keep-up-the-good-work” letters, but your October issue has indeed

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You Write, We Read

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

prompted me to do so. The Rob Dingman/ Stan Simpson piece “Taking the AMA to the Next Level” was outstanding. Anyone with an ounce of good business sense or even the slightest inkling about best practices understands exactly why you are doing what you are doing, and where you are taking the AMA. Quite simply, it had to be done and, if it were easy, lesser people would have been tasked with the job. Congratulations on explaining the situation to members in a forthright fashion, and best wishes as you journey down the correct path. By the way, the October issue was one of the best ever — the Ed Moreland piece, coverage of the AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, the AMA position on distracted driving, so Ron Fish many other interesting pages, photographs and stories. Keep on keeping on. The AMA (we) will be the winner. Ron Fish AMA No. 339069 Valley Forge, Pa. ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE PAYS OFF I have only been a member of the AMA for two years since I got into two-wheeling with my Piaggio maxi-scooter, but I am so grateful for the roadside assistance benefit that I received as an AMA member. On a recent road trip from my home in Virginia to Vermont, my scooter broke down in Pennsylvania due to a fuel line problem, so I called AMA Roadside Assistance for a tow. The consultant was very helpful in getting a flatbed truck in the area I was in. Plus, she took the time to search the Internet to find a Piaggio dealer close to where I broke down. Sure enough, a flatbed tow truck pulled up and the gentleman loaded up my scooter. He thoroughly strapped my scooter tightly in place. A few minutes later, he deposited my scooter and me at a Piaggio dealer (R&D Powersports) in Palmerton, Pa. I was hoping to never need the Roadside Assistance benefit, but being away from home on a long trip, it sure did come in handy. Marshall Abbate AMA No. 982465 Fredericksburg, Va.

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MORE ON Cliff Penfield ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE I just want to thank you for adding the free roadside assistance. That was the final straw to get me to join the AMA. I had been mulling it over, and once I read the story in Rider magazine of how Eric Trow’s kid was stuck on the roadside, it made me think! Unfortunately, I’ve already had to use it! Since then I’ve recommended all my riding buddies to join. I hope you’ve seen a “spike” in members! You’ve got another member for life! Cliff Penfield AMA No. 1090010 Fort Wayne, Ind. THANKS TO SPOT (AND THE AMA) A few weeks back, I ordered one of those new-fangled Spot Messengers after watching the search for a missing rider go from two days to three weeks. I had it with me as I headed off from Maryland to Florida. The ride down gave me plenty of opportunities to check out most of the functionality, except for the two options I hoped I would never need. My wife got a kick out of watching my progress from her computer screen, and was always ready with a weather report when I called in from the road. I thought it was just a neat toy until my return trip. At 12:30 a.m., on Thursday morning, I struck a deer on an isolated two-lane road. My right shoulder had taken 90 percent of the impact, and my right arm was useless. I couldn’t get to my cellphone, but I did have access to the Spot. Although I had to bite off the 911 cover, I got it activated. I then focused on my cell phone. It took me what seemed like forever to get my riding jacket off, and was so painful I almost gave up on it. When I did get the phone, I realized it was ringing. It was a Spot representative who told me that help was on the way. The Sheriff’s Department was onsite in 15 minutes, followed by the volunteer EMS. That is one piece of gear that will be on my bike every time I throw my leg over it. Don’t leave home without it. In retrospect, it was a small price for what you get. Tony Lewis AMA No. 566885 Fort Worth, Texas


Glad things worked out, Tony. And for everyone else, don’t forget that AMA members can save $20 on a Spot Satellite Messenger and get a free service upgrade by using promotional code AMA23 when ordering from FindMeSpot.com/ama. NICE WORK, LAUREN! Great piece Zach Taylor of writing in the November issue (“View from the Back Seat,” Guest Column), and so true. The writer is to be complimented on her ability to fit so much info in such a short article. It fit to a “T”. Thanks to Lauren and to the AMA for printing it. Zach Taylor AMA No. 1085422 Springfield, Ill. WHAT A GREAT VISIT Well, I finally did it! I took the almost

1,000-mile round-trip trek to the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame on my 1998 Honda Shadow VLX. Many thought I was crazy to do this on my bike all by myself, especially knowing that I would be camping my way to and from! I took some great roads in Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia and, of course, Ohio. My time at the AMA Museum will be one that I will never forget. What a great display of bikes there! I really appreciated the Arlen Ness display, along with the different celebrity-owned bikes. Also, as I drove up to the Museum, I was very impressed with the bike-friendly parking! Being able to park my bike under the canopy parking and to put my gear into a locker right next to it, well, it shows me that your team there thought of everything! Thanks so much for building the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, for it now has become a Rev. Andrew Gysi’s Shadow memorable

milestone in the rides and locations that I have enjoyed going to over the years! Rev. Andrew Gysi AMA No. 1037774 Quakertown, Pa. CONGRATULATIONS, BARB! I would like to publicly congratulate Barb Gabor on her 30 years of service to the AMA and her retirement this October. As an AMA field rep for many years, I will personally miss working with her, as I’m sure all of the AMA field reps will. Barb has done a tremendous service for me, the field rep community, the AMA, and all of the motorcycling community. She will be greatly missed in her role with the AMA. Thanks, Barb! Floyd Hoffman AMA No. 376601 O’Fallon, Mo.

Barb Gabor

On Facebook? Us, too. Become a fan of the

American Motorcyclist Association and you could be leaving comments like these:

www.facebook.com/AmericanMotorcyclist Richard Pederson Great job, Team USA! Can’t wait until next year. I am making my plans to see the racing live in Colorado. — On AMA Team USA’s upset victory at the Red Bull FIM Motocross of Nations. Joseph Voss Our civil servants need to be aware that they are there to “serve” the people. They must put their interests aside. And, NO, before you say it, Mr. Federal Employee, you do not get to decide what is in the interests of the people. YOU are NOT an elected official. We voted in a different group of miscreants for that purpose. — On the announcement by the U.S. Interior Department that they found alleged wrongdoing in the relationships between BLM employees and anti-access groups. Neil Robert Pille I totally agree, but the problem is that these (public service announcements) just preach to the choir. Most of these loud pipe nuts have never heard of the AMA, and are convinced that loud pipes make them safe. I wish I knew how to get through to these folks, because it’s like a religion with them. The more you tell them its wrong, the more they cling to it. — On new AMA public service announcements related to motorcycle sound.

Cymantha Corey AMA IS AMA-ZING!!!!!! — In response to an update on the 84th running of the International Six Days Enduro. Chris Hermon That was a great battle. Upland always puts out a fantatistic course. Thanks to the crew that laid it out. — On a report from the final enduro of the year, where Mike Lafferty won the race, but Russell Bobbitt won the championship (see page 28). Bob Maddocks Great issue last month, gang. Fired up The Olde Red Bike (’93 Ducati 900SS/SP) for a Colorado mountains ride this morning. Life is always better on two wheels... Dave Vlasicak Riding my old steed to work today— hoping like heck people driving their cars will not be “texting” so much. Driving a car is just not challenging enough in today’s world? Follow the latest news from the AMA—and chat with fellow AMA members—on Facebook. In addition, you’ll always find the latest in-depth info at AmericanMotorcyclist.com.

December 2009

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From the President IT IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO POINT OUT INJUSTICES DONE TO MOTORCYCLISTS, WHETHER THEY HAPPEN IN CONGRESS, OR ON THE STREETS,TRAILS OR COMPETITION TRACKS OF AMERICA.

Rider Advocacy

The AMA Champions All Riders—Including Racers—In Pursuit Of Their Passion In speeches and in the pages of this magazine, I have talked a lot about the AMA’s role as the motorcyclist’s advocate. Most people interpret this to mean protecting the rights of riders through our government relations efforts. While that is a crucially important part of our advocacy work, rider advocacy has a much broader meaning. One of our responsibilities is to advocate for AMA members on behalf of their passion for and dedication to racing. When the AMA sold certain professional racing assets to the Daytona Motorsports Group (DMG) in 2008, it was important to our Board of Directors that we not shirk our responsibility to professional racers. To protect the interests of racers in all disciplines, our legal agreement with DMG sought to ensure that DMG wouldn’t cherry-pick the disciplines that it wanted to run and abandon those in which it had little interest. Our agreement also provides that riders racing in AMA professional events continue to be AMA members. While in the past, the AMA membership was

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perceived as the tax a rider must pay to race, AMA membership is now included when you purchase a professional license from DMG. The AMA has a responsibility to advocate on behalf of all riders, and this includes ensuring that racers are treated fairly by race officials. In the interest of giving DMG the opportunity to be successful in its first year, we have not added to the criticism that has been heaped upon them. In fairness, DMG seems to have gotten pretty darn close with the road-racing rules package, treating fans to some of the closest and most unpredictable racing we have seen in years. There was a particular incident that occurred this year, however, that represents a completely unacceptable action by a race official. The incident was exposed in video that surfaced on the Internet that showed a high-level DMG employee berating AMA member and road-racing competitor Johnny Rock Page (read the full story on page 31). Whether Page was right or wrong is irrelevant. No one who wears an AMA-logoed uniform should be allowed

By Rob Dingman

to treat an AMA member how Page was treated. I regularly receive correspondence from AMA members who say they will not renew their membership due to one DMG action or another or until we, the AMA, fire a particular DMG official or another. Because DMG is a completely separate company from the AMA, and has been granted a license to use our name in the context of professional motorcycle racing, it is not within my power or authority to make any changes at DMG—personnel or otherwise. It is, however, our responsibility to point out injustices done to motorcyclists, whether they happen in Congress, or on the streets, trails or competition tracks of America. Rest assured that we have been very vocal in our conversations directly with DMG management in advocating for the rights of AMA racing members. Look for the AMA to be more public in its advocacy on behalf of racers in 2010. Rob Dingman is president and CEO of the American Motorcyclist Association.


covers each trip, there and back. has been riding to rallies since 1972.

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The WorLd’s fasTesT MoTorcycLisTs There’s a new sheriff in town in the world of land-speed record racing: seven-time AMA Grand National Champion Chris Carr, who with builder Denis Manning (both AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famers) set a new world record in September on Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats of 367.382 mph through the measured mile. “We had the drama on the out-run,” Carr said. “We about cleaned out the side of the course with the wind blowing, but the run back was great. It actually started to slow down for me. It was not nearly as hectic as 347 (mph) was a couple years ago.” Said Manning: “This is fast—it’s like half the speed of sound! It’s great to have the record back. I can’t thank the crew and Chris enough. I’ve been at this 39 years since I first got the record in 1970, and it’s just great.” See all three record-breakers—Carr, Manning and their No. 7 Streamliner—at the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Dec. 5 in Las Vegas. Info: page 36. Photo: Tom Bear

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The Life AmericanMotorcyclist.com


Protecting the Ride Page 16 Living It Page 20 Connections Page 24 Adrenaline Page 28 Heritage Page 34 December 2009

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The Life | Protecting the Ride

Driver Indicted For Reckless Homicide In Death Of Motorcyclist

A new crash study could make the roads safer for motorcyclists.

Next-Gen Crash Study Launches Insights Expected To Make Motorcycling Safer

When researcher Harry Hurt published his now-famous motorcycle crash causation study back in 1981, it was full of information that helped develop new ways to make motorcycling safer. Now, almost 30 years later, a new motorcycle crash causation study is ready to launch at Oklahoma State University (OSU) that should provide new insights. Formally announced by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) on Oct. 5, the study will give motorcyclists and others concerned with highway safety a fuller picture of how motorcycles fit into today’s traffic mix, a better understanding of what causes motorcycle crashes, and insights into the best strategies to prevent crashes. “The announcement is great news,” said Ed Moreland, AMA vice president for government relations. “While the study will take years to complete, it promises to offer information that will allow for the creation of effective countermeasures.” The last major U.S. motorcycle crash study was Hurt’s “Motorcycle Accident Cause Factors and Identification of Countermeasures,” which provided a wealth of data that has been used to develop training and strategies to help keep riders safer on the road. Hurt’s team studied 900 crashes. In the decades since, the traffic environment has changed enormously, prompting the

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AMA to campaign for a new study. The FHWA is overseeing the OSU project, which will be administered by the Oklahoma Transportation Center in Stillwater and will study 300 crashes. “OSU is delighted to be the lead research institution for this important study,” said Dr. Alan Tree, associate dean for research in OSU’s College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology. “We expect very significant, scientifically valid results to emerge from this work, and look forward to a very positive final outcome.” In 2005, Congress pledged $2.8 million for the research, and asked the motorcycling community to match it. “In 2007, the AMA committed $100,000, and AMA members contributed an additional $27,000 in our Fuel the Fund campaign,” Moreland said. “Since then, six states have pledged another $560,000.” Motorcycle manufacturers, through the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) and the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC), had pledged $3 million for the study if it would include 900 crashes or more. The MSF and MIC now are not releasing that funding for the study. MIC officials stated in a news release that the smaller sample size “is unlikely to either validate the findings of prior studies or establish, to any statistical significant level, any new causative factors.”

A woman who police say was painting her fingernails while driving has been indicted for reckless homicide in the death of a motorcyclist. Lora Hunt, 48, of Morris, Ill., was indicted in September in the death of Anita Zaffke, 56, of Lake Zurich, Ill. Zaffke was stopped at a stoplight on her motorcycle in Lake Zurich on May 2 when she was rear-ended by a car driven by Hunt, who allegedly told police she was painting her nails at the time of the crash. Police estimated Hunt was driving at about 50 mph at the time of the crash. Bond was set at $100,000. If convicted, she faces up to five years in prison. Lake County Assistant States Attorney Mike Mermel, who sought the indictment, told the Daily Herald that this wasn’t a case of distracted driving. “It’s almost intentional recklessness.” “Distracted driving is...changing the radio station or yelling at the kids,” he told the newspaper. Greg Zaffke II, Anita’s son who started the Black Nail Brigade Foundation Against Distracted Driving (BlackNailBrigade.org) after his mother died, was pleased with the indictment and hopes justice will be served. “Basically, the indictment means they have deemed our case worthy of a trial. By no means are we guaranteed of a conviction, nor appropriate sentencing,” Zaffke said. “We will probably be in for the long haul if there is a trial.”

Greg Zaffke II

Photos Crash: Josh Smith; Zaffke: Julie Monacella; Rep. Bishop: Alex Wilson Media

Woman Said To Be Painting Her Fingernails At The Wheel


The Life | Protecting the Ride

Congress Targets Motorized Access on 9 Million Acres In Utah Utah’s Delegation Opposes Bill Offered By New York Lawmaker

Off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreation is under attack in the state of Utah, with federal lawmakers looking to shut down riding in nearly a sixth of the state—or more than 9 million acres of public land. The Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, chaired by U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), held a hearing Oct. 1 on H.R. 1925, also called the America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act of 2009. The proposal would shut down 9.4 million acres of Utah’s public land to motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and bicycles and would even restrict horseback riding. Popular OHV riding areas included in the legislation are lands around Moab, the San Rafael Swell and Chimney Rock. Amazingly, this latest bill is a revival of a piece of 20-year-old legislation originally sponsored by then-U.S. Rep. Wayne Owens (D-Utah), who is now deceased. Owens sought a Wilderness designation for 5 million acres. Once land receives a Wilderness designation, no vehicles, including motorcycles, ATVs or even bicycles, are allowed on that land. The latest legislation was introduced by U.S. Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.), who has repeatedly introduced similar bills to create Wilderness in Utah since 1994. He has done so over the protest of Utah’s congressional delegation and governor, who have fought the proposals. They say Utah already has enough Wilderness. What’s more, they point out, the land Hinchey has proposed for Wilderness doesn’t meet the definition of federal Wilderness because it includes roads and developments. Additionally, they argue, the creation of more Wilderness would eliminate numerous recreational opportunities and hurt local economies. Riders who want to take action on Wilderness proposals in Congress can contact their federal lawmakers by going to AmericanMotorcyclist. com > Rights > Issues and Legislation. Legislation section of the AMA website at AmericanMotorcyclist.com.

Relationship Between Federal Land Agency Workers And Anti-Access Groups Questioned Investigators Allege Workers Gave A Little Too Much Help

It’s common sense that government workers who manage public land shouldn’t get too cozy with any group with an interest in that land, whether it’s anti-access groups or recreational organizations. So when there are indications that federal land-management workers may be working inappropriately with others, federal lawmakers, and even the workers’ bosses, want some answers. That’s the case involving some employees of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS). Investigators with the U.S. Interior Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) say in a report released in October that they found alleged wrongdoing in the relationships between certain NLCS workers and anti-access groups. The OIG has submitted its findings to BLM Director Robert Abbey for appropriate administrative action. The investigation of the employees of the NLCS, which is responsible for conserving nationally significant landscapes, was initiated after BLM officials reviewed documents requested by Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) and former Rep. Bill Sali (R-Idaho) in July 2008 and September 2008, respectively. When the BLM found documents it believed showed inappropriate relationships with advocacy groups and possible violations of anti-lobbying laws and policies by the

NLCS, it referred the matter to the OIG for investigation. “Our investigation determined that numerous activities and communication took place between NLCS officials and nongovernmental organizations (NGO), including discussions about the NLCS budget and BLM editing brochures and producing fact sheets for a specific NGO,” Mary Kendall, acting inspector general, said in a memorandum to Abbey. “Our investigative efforts revealed that communication between NLCS and certain NGOs in these circumstances gave the appearance of federal employees being less than objective and created the potential for conflicts of interest or violations of law,” she said. “We also uncovered a general disregard for establishing and maintaining boundaries among the various entities.” Rep. Rob Bishop


they may have. Lastly, we then have construction of the property. AM: How should riders with ideas for locations for new trails in their state approach their state trails administrator and what should they do? Shipley: If any of the riders have suggestions for locations or anything else regarding public trails, I encourage them to contact their state. For areas in Ohio, I can be reached by phone at (614) 2656646 or by e-mail at dameyon.shipley@ dnr.state.oh.us. We will be doing a mail survey soon to get user input on what they would like to see in the expansion of public motorized trails. AM: Tell us some more about the mail survey. Shipley: In order to make the best decisions on location, type of trails, and amenities it will be important to see the results of the user survey. l encourage everyone to participate in the upcoming survey so that we can provide the trails you want to see. The department is committed to not just expanding motorized trails, but providing quality expansion.

Ohio’s Dameyon Shipley is a government official who has advice for riders who want to create motorized trails.

AMA Drafts Model Streetbike Sound Legislation Proposal Ensures Fair And Objective Testing

Four Questions With... Dameyon Shipley, Ohio’s Recreation Services Administrator As Ohio’s recreation services administrator, Dameyon Shipley is responsible for the administration of four grant programs that control more than $10 million in funds for off-highway trails and recreation, for both motorized and nonmotorized users. His mission is clear, he says: “We clearly have a dearth of public riding areas, and the department has a commitment to this expansion more than at any time,” he says. AM: What obstacles does a state administrator face in creating new trails in a state? Dameyon Shipley: We have challenges, as opposed to obstacles. It all begins with the identification of property for the expansion of motorized trails. There is only one opportunity to make the right choice, and we have spent, and continue to spend, significant time in evaluating options. We have had an internal review that is nearly completed to determine if the Ohio Department of Natural Resources

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has existing properties that could be utilized. Because a large amount of our property was purchased with state and/ or federal funding, the property may have restrictions that make it difficult to utilize for motorized trails. We also need to work with the local community to ensure that any concerns they have are answered. AM: How long does it take to open a trail? Shipley: A year to a year and a half, depending on some factors. Once a property is identified we need to ensure that the title is clear and that there are no easements or restrictions that would impact the potential trails. At the same time, we look at everything from soil, hydrology, and any abandoned mine land issues to the potential layouts of the property to ensure that the investment will provide the necessary riding experience. We will also need to speak with local citizens and government and be sure to ask for their input and address any issues

Motorcycles have long been the target of lawmakers intent on curbing excessive sound. The problem is that many of those laws have resulted in arbitrary, subjective and scattershot approaches that lead to unfair enforcement. Now the AMA has developed model legislation for use by cities and others that offers a simple, consistent, economical and objective way to deal with sound complaints related to streetbikes within the larger context of excessive sound from all sources. It’s based on the Society of Automotive Engineers’ (SAE) new J2825 measurement standard, “Measurement of Exhaust Sound Pressure Levels of Stationary On-Highway Motorcycles.” The AMA produced similar model legislation for offhighway motorcycles several years ago. “Many cities and other jurisdictions already have excessive sound laws on the books, but when they get citizen complaints about loud motorcycles, they sometimes decide to single out the riding public with unfair or overly restrictive laws,” said Imre Szauter, AMA government affairs manager. “We believe

Photos Shipley: Cassandra Bergman Photography; Sound: Open Image Studio

The Life | Protecting the Ride


the life | Protecting the Ride

that motorcycles should only be regulated as part of a comprehensive sound management policy that also addresses cars, trucks, leaf blowers, generators and other sound sources.” The new J2825 standard establishes instrumentation, test site, test conditions, procedures, measurements and sound level limits. “Too many times, jurisdictions responding to citizen complaints about excessive motorcycle sound create laws that simply don’t work in the real world,” Szauter said. “They either set an unreasonable decibel limit, leave it up to a police officer to subjectively decide whether a bike is too noisy, or come up with another plan that is arbitrary or unworkable. Our model legislation is objective, workable and fair.” Szauter encourages motorcyclists and government and law enforcement officials to download the model legislation from AmericanMotorcyclist.com > Rights > Resources, Programs & Policies > Model On-Highway Motorcycle Exhaust Sound Emissions Ordinance.

California Roy Denner, the Off-Road Business Association’s co-founder and former president/CEO, died Sept. 28 from cancer. Roy and his wife, Nancy, became active in the San Diego OffRoad Coalition (SDORC) in the mid1990s. In 2001, Roy and Nancy formed the Off-Road Business Association, a nonprofit trade association of businesses in the OHV recreation industry. Colorado The AMA is seeking grassroots activists in Colorado. As a rider or motorcycle enthusiast interested in protecting the future of motorcycling, joining forces with the AMA is a great way to get involved. To find out how you can make a difference by protecting motorcycling, e-mail grassroots@ama-cycle.org. Hawaii The Kauai Police Department Patrol Services Bureau designated October as “Noise Prohibition Awareness Month.” A department spokesman said, “We want to call attention to the fact that excessive noise can be a hazard to public health and safety, and there are laws that address this issue.” In particular, the department sought to remind the public that state law prohibits the modification of motorcycle exhaust systems in a “manner which will amplify or increase the noise emitted by the motor…”

MiCHigan House Bill 5452, sponsored by Rep. Kim Meltzer (R-Romeo), would permit motorcycle operators and passengers to make their own decision regarding motorcycle helmet use. Moped operators under 19 years old would still be required to wear helmets. nortH Carolina A new law that takes effect Jan. 1, 2011, makes rider education mandatory for those under 18 years old and a learner’s permit valid for 12 months with one six-month renewal. oregon A new law requires motor vehicle insurers to provide a reduction in premiums for three years for coverage of a motorcycle if the principal operator has completed a motorcycle rider-education course. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Dave Hunt (D-Milwaukee). PennSylvania Senate Resolution 153, which asks that the U.S. Congress amend the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 to exclude dirtbikes, ATVs and snowmobiles, has passed out of the Senate Environmental Resources Committee. The resolution, introduced by Sen. John Wozniak (D-Johnstown), now goes to the full Senate for a vote. To support SR 153, use the “Rights” section of AmericanMotorcyclist.com to contact your state senator.

Statewatch


The Life | Living It

A Streetfighter Worthy Of The Name Ducati’s Newest Stripped-Down Assault Vehicle

My road notes on Ducati’s new Streetfigher are clear: “Throttle too sensitive at small openings, or low speed! Difficult to modulate brakes in tight twisties. Too much vibration at low rpm. No fun under 50 mph.” And that’s exactly why I’m in love with this bike. Launching the Streetfighter is like taking an uppercut to the jaw. The wind at high speed across unfaired handlebars is unrelenting. And it’ll stop so hard that you might end up getting up close and personal with the front fender. The Streetfighter makes all of the Monster range of motorcycles that have come before it seem comparatively tame and well mannered. With a fighting weight of 368 pounds and packing a 155-horsepower punch

Is the Ducati Streetfighter as aggressive as it looks? Yes.

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from the 1098-derived engine, using this bike to cruise around town is like bringing a torqued-off Mike Tyson to fight night at your local bar. This bike should come with a health warning: “Operating this machine might leave you stark raving mad.” Looking closely at the new Streetfighter spec sheet, it’s obvious Ducati didn’t just peel the bodywork from a bunch of left over 1098s. The frame’s steering head angle has been relaxed nearly a full degree, the swingarm has been lengthened 1.8 inches, and it sports wider bars. There is also a new lower triple clamp holding the inverted 43mm Showa fork (Ohlins if you opt for the higherpriced S) and sleek 10-spoke aluminum Marchesini wheels. The two Brembo four-piston monoblock calipers and 330mm discs up front are

easily among the strongest in the twowheeled world. The Showa suspension is multiadjustable at both ends, but offers a choppy ride over rough road surfaces. The 1099cc engine is a riot. Making mind-blowing amounts of power for the street, it’s quoted at 5 ponies fewer horsepower and 7 pounds less torque than the 1098. A 2-into-1-into-2 steel exhaust exits into two canisters on the right, complete with a pair of sensors for precise fuel metering. After riding the Streetfighter, it took me a while to process my feelings about the new Ducati. It’s definitely for the experienced rider only, and it’s only going to work well in a limited number of situations. But it’s so visceral, so powerful and just so incredibly raw that none of that matters, and soon I was humming opera and speaking Italian. It’ll set you back $14,995 ($18,995 for the S) but the price of admission guarantees the start of one of the most intense love affairs of your life.—Neale Bayly


Photo Ring: Grogan Studios

The Life | Living It

Get Your Fix— And A $2 Discount Cycle World International Motorcycle Shows Set

The best of next year’s new models, new gear and new motorcycling information is headed your way with the Cycle World International Motorcycle Shows that kick off Nov. 13-15 in Texas. New this year are expanded educational seminars aimed at beginner and advanced riders, product previews, an expanded women’s center with gear and products for women riders and demo ride programs in select locations. As an AMA member, you’ll save $2 off the already-discounted online price. Visit MotorcycleShows.com and enter the code AMA10 to receive your discount (not valid with any other offers). “The Cycle World International Motorcycle Shows are your one-stop shop for all things powersports, including dirtbikes, streetbikes, ATVs and more from all the industry leading brands and with the leading aftermarket parts and accessory companies,” said the show’s Jeff D’Entremont. “There is something for everyone, whether you’re shopping for your next bike, looking for some new gear or wanting to improve your riding knowledge.” Shows run from November through February in Texas, California, Washington, Michigan, South Carolina, Washington, D.C., New York, Ohio, Minnesota and Illinois. A full listing is on page 52.

The Start Of A New Tradition

AMA Motorcycle Hall Of Famers To Receive Rings The 2009 class of AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famers will be the first to enjoy a new way to show the world they’ve been recognized for their amazing contributions to motorcycling: custom-designed rings marking their induction into the Hall. Featuring the logo of the Hall of Fame, with its distinctive 1920s racer, along with the logo of the AMA, which oversees the Hall on the grounds of the AMA campus in Pickerington Ohio, the rings will replace the medals presented to Hall of Famers in the past, offering new inductees a way to proudly show their accomplishments.

“These rings give Hall of Famers a discreet but significant way to show their induction into the country’s most prestigious group in all of motorcycling: AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famers,” said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman. “The new rings will serve as a daily reminder of our Hall of Famers’ impressive accomplishments.” The rings will be presented at the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, set for Dec. 5 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas as part of a weekend dedicated to motorcycling’s finest. The AMA Racing Championship Banquet will salute the country’s best amateur racers at the same venue on Dec. 4. You can be a part of both events, including an autograph session and cocktail hour with current and existing Hall of Famers. Tickets are $49 per person for either event, or $89 for both. For complete information, visit AmericanMotorcyclist. com/LetsRock. Stay tuned for more information about extending the ring program to all AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famers.

4-stage Race ABS

Race. Rain. Slick. Sport.


The Life | Living It

Holy Replica, Batman!

Sgt. Steve Click

Stand Out From The Pack In Batsuit Bikewear

Now you can be your own superhero, thanks to an entrepreneur who has produced a motorcycle-specific, Batmaninspired riding suit, complete with CEapproved armor. You’ll need to supply your own cape and utility belt—and finding the right helmet to match could be tough. But when you have an itch that only this outfit will scratch, we’re guessing those are small hurdles indeed. More info: UniversalDesigns.ca MSRP (jacket, pants and gloves): $998

Ask A Motor Officer

Safety Equipment: To Wear Or Not To Wear? By Sgt. Steve Click After my recent column in this magazine, several readers have inquired why motorcycle officers seem to wear minimal safety equipment, while some civilian riders wear considerably more. This is a recurring question. Most often, we are asked about the lack of leather protection and about the helmets we wear. One reader commented that, “German police officers, by contrast, wear full leathers and flip-up full-face helmets.” He went on to say he would “love our law enforcement officers to be better protected while on duty, while setting a better example for the motorcycling public.” While I truly appreciate his well-meant concern, there are other considerations. In this country, motor officers are police officers who happen to use motorcycles

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as their means of transportation. We ride motorcycles because they are a valuable tool in performing various functions of law enforcement. As opposed to a civilian rider, who is only riding from one point to another or pleasure riding, motorcycle officers may be called upon to handle crashes, direct traffic, deal with crowds, escort dignitaries, chase suspects on foot, etc. And we do wear safety equipment. The boots provide protection from road debris and in the event of a crash will help protect the officer’s legs. All motorcycle officers wear helmets. Some wear halfshells, some three-quarter and some full-face. That decision is based on the mission of the specific agency for which the officer works. Officers in an urban environment may choose half-shells for

increased hearing ability while still keeping themselves accessible to the public. The three-quarter helmet provides good protection, while still allowing face-to-face interaction with the public. While we do work in regular uniform shirts, most of us wear protective body armor, which can be very hot. Because we may be handling crashes, directing traffic or assisting with crowd control, we have to balance safety with keeping the officer from overheating. We do wear gloves and protective eyewear any time the vehicle is in motion. Few riders are as keenly aware of the need for safety equipment as a motorcycle officer. We work heavily congested roadways and are often called upon to ride faster than civilians should ride. We also know how quickly a “routine” ride can turn extremely dangerous in the blink of an eye. Ask a Motor Officer is an occasional feature from Ohio State Highway Patrol Sgt. Steve Click. Got a question? E-mail: submissions@ama-cycle.org.


The Life | Living It

Special Advice For Sportbikes?

Photos Click: Open Image Studio; MSF: Kevin Wing

YOU ASK: “I’m a sportbike rider—I just love ’em. I’ve noticed that you’ve offered advice specifically for scooters and trikes, and I’m wondering if there are any safety tips or practices that sportbike riders like me should be aware of?” THE MSF RESPONDS: As a category, sportbikes are known for their enhanced maneuverability and higher power-toweight ratios, plus cutting-edge brakes, suspensions and tires. Within the boundaries of sensible operation, these bikes provide great responsiveness and feedback to the rider, making the overall operation a rewarding experience. On the upside, riders find an appropriately sized sportbike easier to control. On the downside, the raceinspired riding position may strain and tire the rider more quickly, especially with regard to the wrists and back. Unlike the discussion of scooter and trike safety, the only significant difference in safety tips for these bikes centers on rider attitude. Some riders seek to exploit their bikes’ performance advantages in the wrong place at the wrong time, and ride recklessly. This cancels out those advantages. A rider looking to test the bike’s speed capabilities, lean angles and personal limits should confine this type of riding to a track day. The MSF’s book Motorcycling Excellence (MSF-USA.org) explains traction management and other advanced concepts that may be of particular interest to sportbike riders like yourself. We wish you many miles of safe, responsible riding.

AtlantaMotorcycleSchools.com If you’re looking for personalized motorcycle instruction and can get yourself to Atlanta, the Atlanta Motorcycle Schools have you covered with professional, individualized training for street, adventure sport (dual-sport), and scooter riders.

MotorcycleRoads.us This website bills itself as a “one-stop resource for great motorcycle roads in the U.S.” They certainly have the country covered, with maps and GPS coordinates for every state. But the real question is, are the roads any good? For that, you’ll have to check them out yourself. We doubt you’ll mind.

Dynamic

Traction Control

ON THE WEB

Ask The Motorcycle Safety Foundation

Powersports.Honda.com/V4 Are you a fan of the V-4 motors that powered Honda’s Grand Prix bikes, Superbikes, RC30s and RC45s from the late 1970s through the 90s, along with the Sabre, Magna, VR750/VFR800 and ST1100/1300 streetbikes? Then you’ll find your nirvana in this Honda website that’s a tribute to the motor with one of the most dedicated fan bases out there.


Shon Turner

Taking The Long Way

Sometimes, It Doesn’t Take Much To Turn A Tour Into An Epic Adventure By Shon Turner Some motorcycle trips are tours. Others, like my ride from Virginia to the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum in Pickerington, Ohio, somehow turn into epic quests. Of course, that’s not what I had in mind when I rolled out from Alexandria at 2 p.m. on a February day earlier this year. Here’s the tale: As I depart, traffic is busy, but not bad, and in less than an hour, I’m riding backroads in West Virginia, with no cars for miles. In Capon Springs, I marvel that the namesake springs were believed to carry such healing power that just half an acre sold for $900 in gold in the late 18th century. Riding into the hills on Route 55, I discover a couple inches of snow still clinging to the northern facing slopes and forests—and I realize I’ll have to be

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extra cautious when it gets dark. If it drops below freezing, the wet snow-melt across the road will freeze into black ice. I stop for a bowl of homemade chicken cacciatore soup (it’s still good cold) at Seneca Rocks in West Virginia, enjoying the view of the crags rising 900 feet above the river. The history of those rugged yet romantic rocks ranges from being situated along the Great Indian Warpath (“The Seneca Trail”), to being a World War II Army training site, to its current fame as a rock-climbing destination. A few miles later, I see a sign for Route 72, which seems harmless enough. There’s even a sign that reads, “Not Advised For Big Trucks.” Sounds like fun. I make the turn and fly through the gears on a narrow, curvy road with

tree cover overhead. After one particular turn, I have to nail the brakes to stop atop a steep hill because the downslope is covered with snow and ice, followed by a sharp turn at the bottom. I think for a minute, then head down, keeping the bike in first gear and my weight back to keep from fishtailing. At the bottom, I’m breathing hard, sweating all over and realize that I’m committed to going forward. I can’t get back up that hill. Of course, it’s starting to get dark. Figuring it’s going to get worse before it gets better, I push on. Every kind of treacherous condition presents itself, from ice-covered switchbacks to bare patches with wet, gravelly mud and salt that wants to pull the wheels out from under me. I’m thankful I have the knobbies on some of the steeper climbs. The ride requires every ounce of concentration. I make it to the next junction, and it also has a sign: “This Road Not Plowed In Winter.” It’s even worse then the one I’m on. Nearly 17 miles later, running only in first gear with headlights blazing, I ride into a neighborhood, my steed and I unscathed. After chatting up a local—a HarleyDavidson rider who is amazed I came over Route 72—I reset the GPS to “fastest time” and roll away toward the AMA Hall of Fame. By the time I reach Waynesboro, Pa., the temperature has dropped to 34 degrees and despite my heated clothing, I spend 15 minutes shivering during dinner at Wendy’s. Back on the bike, I make it all the way to Cambridge, Ohio, about 90 minutes east of Pickerington, when my next misadventures hits: A clerical error by a Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles employee results in my bike being impounded when a police officer thinks my license has been suspended. It hasn’t been—but there’s no way to correct the issue on the side of the freeway after working hours. Luckily, I can pay the bond and wind up staying in a hotel for the night, and fix the entire matter with a phone call (and a $220 towing fee) the next day. Onward! Only a little bit later, I roll into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum. I had wanted to see Rush drummer Neil Peart’s 30th Anniversary drum kit (valued at $250,000, including custom design and construction), and his 1994 BMW R1100GS used on a 55,000 mile tour around the U.S., Canada and Mexico, documented in his book Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road. And seeing both in person definitely does not disappoint. It just happened to take a little more effort to see them than I thought!

Photo Erin Lassahn Photography

The Life | Connections


The Life | Connections

Crash Course Avoid The Blind Spot

THROWBACK A Look At

Past Issues Of American Motorcyclist On Google Books.

American Motorcyclist June 1971 With more than 600 issues of American Motorcyclist available online for free at Books.Google.com, there’s plenty of good reading to be found. Each month, we highlight a past story or issue. Think the issue of motorcycle sound is new? Think again. Back in 1971, in part to head off complaints of excessive sound from competition motorcycles, the AMA announced it would ban all unmuffled motorcycles from AMA competition. The move came after the previous year’s banning of unmuffled bikes in forms of competition “under wide public exposure.” “There remain obstinate bodies within the motorcycle sport who maintain that charges of noise pollution are unfounded, and merely a symbolic political football,’’ the story in 1971 said. “This may be so, but whether or not the charges are honest, they do remain a real threat and powerful enough to destroy the sport. Those who do not recognize this fact now probably will continue to argue their good intentions when motorcycling has been legislated into history. “This challenge must be responded to by an industry willing to produce machinery that will be legal to AMA standards in 1972. We trust the industry will respond.” As it turned out, the industry did, and unmuffled bikes in competition became a thing of the past. Want to search past issues of American Motorcyclist on Google Books? Visit Books.Google.com and search for “American Motorcyclist.”

With 34 years experience riding motorcycles on the street and dirt, I thought of myself as an experienced rider. But a recent incident reminded me of the need to remain vigilant at all times. I was riding up to a stoplight in the leftmost of three lanes, with three cars in front of me, one in the middle lane, and another in the far right lane, a turn-only lane. Thinking the guy on the far right may want to go straight, I made sure not to move into the center lane with fewer cars. As I predicted, the guy on the right moved into the center lane. Problem was, he kept on coming into my lane. I was right in his blind spot, and we met in the middle of my lane, which sent me across the median into the oncoming lane. Fortunately the light was still red when my motorcycle and I ended up on the pavement in the oncoming inside lane. I found out later the car wanted to make a left turn instead of a right turn and was going across all three

lanes at the light to do it. I had made the crucial mistake of being in his blind spot, where he didn’t see me. I totaled a classic ’84 Honda V65 motorcycle, broke my right arm and tore a knee ligament. Lesson learned. Six weeks later I was riding again on one of my other motorcycles, more aware of blind spots and where cars might go. Adam Mayer III AMA No. 755641 Got a Crash Course? Send it to submissions@ama-cycle.org. BLIND SPOT

BLIND SPOT

193 hp

1000 cc 404 lbs


The Life | Connections

AMA MOTORCYCLE HALL OF FAMER Mike Baldwin

Road Racer Extraordinaire Mike Baldwin was a record-setting fivetime AMA Road Racing Champion and the all-time wins leader in AMA Formula 1/Formula 750 history. His records in the class will never be broken since AMA Formula 1 was discontinued after the 1986 season. In all, Baldwin won 27 AMA national races—17 in AMA F1/750 and 10 in AMA Superbike. He is considered one of the top road racers America has ever produced. Baldwin had great international road racing success as well. He was the first rider to win the prestigious Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance race three times. Baldwin also contested the 500cc Grand Prix World Championships (now MotoGP) and scored a career-high ranking of fourth in the world championship in 1986.

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Baldwin was born in Pasadena, Calif., in 1955. When he was 7, his family moved to Tacoma, Wash., before settling in Darien, Conn., when Mike was 9. His first motorcycle was a lawn-mowerengine-powered minibike he got at 14. A year later, he stepped up to a Honda 50. He and friends carved trails through the woods and he spent hours after school and in the summer riding. In 1975, Baldwin became an AMA novice racer with a talented class of newcomers from the club ranks that included riders such as Rich Schlachter, Dave Roper, Dave Emde and Harry Klinzmann. By 1976, Baldwin became one of the leading AMA Lightweight class (250 Grand Prix) competitors, but his big breakthrough that year came when he

unexpectedly took a runaway victory in the AMA Superbike race at Loudon, N.H., on a Reno Leoni-built Moto Guzzi LeMans. In the late 1970s, Baldwin raced in all three classes of AMA road racing, Formula 750, 250 Grand Prix and Superbike. He also impressed everyone by finishing a close third to World GP riders and Hall of Famers Kenny Roberts and Steve Baker at Laguna Seca on a Yamaha TZ750. The Canadian round of the Formula 750 was at Mosport that September. The World Championship was on the line and Roberts still had a shot to win it. But it was Baldwin who stole the show, beating Roberts by 40 seconds. When Roberts was asked by the press, his few words on Baldwin’s amazing performance spoke volumes: “Forty seconds, what can I say? Forty seconds.” Baldwin won the 1982, ’83, ’84 and ’85 AMA Formula 1 Championships. He won the 1982 championship on the revolutionary Honda FWS1000 V-Four, giving Honda the distinction of becoming the first manufacturer to win the AMA Formula 1 title with a four-stroke-powered machine. Baldwin won his final AMA Championship in 1985 on a Honda. The ’88 season marked the last full year of competition for Baldwin. After that season, Baldwin made a few fill-in appearances at AMA nationals, most notably finishing second in the AMA 600cc Supersport race in College Station, Texas, in 1991. His final race came with the Two Brothers Honda Superbike team at Miami in November of 1991. He finished seventh. Baldwin was inducted into the AMA Hall of Fame in 2001.


The Life | Connections

the company, he took this motorcycle with him. It was later passed on to his granddaughter. Probably the most unique motorcycle is a 1912 Indian boardtracker with its original board track racing tires. Find It The new Museum of Springfield History is located at 21 Edwards St. in downtown Springfield. The museum held its grand opening Oct. 10. Hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $12.50 or adults, $9 for seniors and college students, $6.50 for children 3-11, and free for children under 3 and museum members. Springfield residents get free admission with proof of address.

Museum of Springfield History SpringfieldMuseums.org

What It Is Located in Springfield, Mass., home of “the Wigwam” where the original Indian motorcycles were built, the new Museum of Springfield History has 16,000 square feet of space for exhibits that interpret Springfield history in the larger context of American history in the 19th and 20th centuries.

What’s Inside Of interest to motorcyclists is the Indian motorcycle exhibit that displays more than two dozen vintage Indians, manuals, tools, memorabilia, historic photographs and more. The rarest artifact is a 1904 blue Indian designed and owned by Indian co-founder Oscar Hedstrom. When Hedstrom left

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The Life | Adrenaline

AMA Team USA Pulls It Out!

Dungey, Tedesco, Weimer Win Impressive 20th MX of Nations In Italy Call them winners. World champions. Underdogs, even. Just don’t call them the “B” team. Although some doubted the 2009 AMA Team USA for the Red Bull FIM Motocross of Nations—Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey, Red Bull Honda’s Ivan Tedesco and Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer—would reclaim the Chamberlain Trophy at the world’s biggest motocross race, the U.S. riders proved the critics wrong. With a come-from-behind performance in the event’s last moto, the U.S. team won the event for a record 20th time. Hopes for another AMA Team USA win at the Motocross of Nations, held this year in Franciacorta, Italy, were slim heading into that moto, however. The Americans were third in points before the final race, but an inspired ride by moto winner Dungey—and some luck—put them in the lead when the dust settled. “It has been a dream to come over here, and a real experience to be a part of this, never mind actually winning it,” Dungey said. “A lot of people told me what it would be like, but when you arrive here you can’t help but be amazed. We had a good time, and full credit to Jake and Ivan. I had a break between the motos, but they went back-to-back and that takes a lot of heart and dedication.”

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In the first moto, which combined the MX1 and MX2 class, a consistent showing by Dungey and Weimer, who placed third and eighth, gave AMA Team USA a slim lead ahead of Italy and Great Britain. After the second moto, the edge went to France, whose Open and MX2 class riders, Gautier Paulin and Marvin Musquin, finished first and fifth. AMA Team USA fell to third behind Belgium. A massive tangle on the start of the final moto, which combined the MX1 and Open class, took out a number of riders, including Italy’s Antonio Cairoli, who won moto one. Spain’s Jonathan Barragan emerged with the lead, but Dungey soon put his Suzuki out front and paced the field, winning in 17 laps. “Led by AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Roger DeCoster, these riders were down but not out, gave it their all in the final moto and won,” said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman. “We congratulate the riders and support crew for another job well done.” The Motocross of Nations features three-rider teams on a range of machinery. In the 2009 event, Dungey raced the MX1 class, which features 450cc four-stroke machinery. Weimer competed in the MX2 class, which features 250cc four-stroke motorcycles. Tedesco raced the Open class.

Bobbitt Makes It Three Lafferty Wins The Race, Bobbitt Wins The War

Seasons don’t get much closer than this. A single point was all that separated Shock Doctor KTM’s Russell Bobbitt and his teammate Mike Lafferty for the AMA/ Rekluse National Championship Series title, after a season when each won five rounds of the 10-round series. Although the title went to the wire, the difference-maker was the opening round of the series in South Carolina. There, Bobbitt took the win while Lafferty finished fifth. Due to his consistent finishes, Bobbitt came into the final round of the series in Indiana with a 3-point advantage over Lafferty, and despite the fact that Lafferty won the race in convincing fashion, a runner-up finish was all Bobbitt needed to claim his third national title. “It was a pretty tight series, but we just tried to stay consistent and be in the hunt every race, so it was awesome to finally wrap up the title,” said Bobbitt. “It’s been a long, rollercoaster year. We had a few minor mechanical issues, but we were able to overcome them. I just kept my head down and got a podium at every round, and everyone is riding so well that you have to be on the box every time. That’s what it boiled down to this year.” Lafferty, who was going for an unprecedented ninth national title, gave Bobbitt a good run, but came up short. “When you look at a long series, you’ve got to be up front every race,” Lafferty said. “We came here with the goal to win this race and let things happen, but it didn’t go our way. But it is what it is, that’s racing, and Russ rode a hell of a race. Over the course of the series he put in the best 10 races and that’s what it takes to win a championship. So my hat’s off to him. He had a heck of a year and he deserves to win the championship.”— Shan Moore

Russell Bobbitt won the ’09 title by one point.

Photos AMA Team USA: Jeff Kardas; Bobbitt: Shan Moore

AMA Team USA celebrates its 20th Motocross of Nations championship.


The Life | Adrenaline

2010 YZ450F Flips For F.I., And More

Yamaha’s New Top-Line MXer Redefines The Breed—Again It’s been 12 years since Yamaha turned the motocross industry upside down with the introduction of the first YZ400F. While that bike was not the first modern four-stroke motocross bike on the market, it launched a revolution that ultimately changed the entire MX world into what we see today. Now Yamaha is out to do the same with the radically new 2010 YZ450F. And “radical” is an understatement after examining the ins and outs of this new ride at the world press intro at Budds Creek MX Park. When the first photos of the new bike hit the street, the masses were blown away. The engine features a reversed, reartilting cylinder head, an offset cylinder-tocrank position, fuel injection and a curlycue Tornado exhaust tucked up under the seat. The list of changes is so immense that it’s easier to say what didn’t change— basically, the wheels, brakes, handlebar and a few ancillary parts.

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We could ramble with pages of data and specs from the bilateral beam frame to 12-hole, 44mm throttle body fuel injection all day long. But the real question is: What’s the bike like to ride on the track? The answer: Amazing. The first time I opened up the 2010 YZ450F on a big Buds Creek hill, the bike came to life and just pulled, with incredibly broad power across a beefy mid-range. The pull up top was even more impressive, and I couldn’t run it all the way out on this track. Still, the biggest difference I noticed was how snappy the power delivery was down low. There was a lot of it, and it came on fast. It took awhile to get used to the snap, but pro riders will no doubt dig the responsiveness. For riders who want to adjust the delivery, the power curve is tunable with a hand-held GYTR Power Tuner in the pits.

Another added bonus was how fast I was able to get comfy on the bike—I was ripping jumps in less than a lap, and the neutral chassis never felt like it was going to spit or buck me around. The more I rode, the better I liked the machine, and the last session of the day was my best, even though the track was at its roughest. I had a few issues with the front end tracking in rutted corners until I discovered the cure. I adjusted my riding style by moving slightly up on the seat. This minor change made such a big difference on how the bike tracked through the corners and the front wheel stuck to the ground. For me, it is difficult to point out any real flaws on the new YZ450F. Yamaha did a stellar job building a really fun motorcycle. There was a slight learning curve to fully appreciate the new machine and I know that it would have only gotten better on the third and fourth—and 10th—day of riding.—Scott Hoffman Scott Hoffman is editor, publisher and janitor of JA Media Group, which publishes SMR Magazine (www.smrmagazine.com).

Photos YZ450F: Yamaha Motor Corp.; Page: Courtesy Johnny Rock Page

James Stewart shows off the new reversed engine layout of the 2010 YZ450F.


The Life | Adrenaline

Did Johnny Rock Page Get A Raw Deal? A Look At Daytona Motorsports Group’s Suspension Of A Racer

Roadracer Johnny Rock Page, a colorful and well-known privateer competing in the Daytona Motorsports Group’s (DMG) AMA Pro Racing American Superbike class, was suspended from the series indefinitely in September. Ostensibly, Page was penalized for a violation of DMG’s rule A2.3 i.: “Engaging in any unfair practice, misbehavior or action detrimental to the sport of motorcycling in general, whether or not related to a specific competition.” Page says the action came after officials told him that he didn’t yield to overtaking riders at the New Jersey round of the series. The suspension is the second public brush-up between DMG and Page, the first coming in July, when Page was given a two-race ban that DMG said was for failing to get out of the way of a pair of overtaking riders who were racing for the lead at Mid-Ohio. That suspension grabbed public attention after a YouTube video appeared of DMG Technical Director Al Ludington using profanity while dressing down Page. Ludington was consequently put on suspension by DMG. Page regularly made the grid at race weekends and is known for his personable nature and the camera crew that often followed him at the track as part of an on-going project to film a reality show. A businessman who made his money in the automated teller machine industry, Page was using his off-track success to support his desire to resume racing as an adult. For his part, Page questions the motivation for the suspension. He thinks it may stem from an open letter he wrote early in the season criticizing DMG and urging the organization to pay money to finishers lower than 20th place. He also wonders if the fan following he’s garnered

through his off-track efforts threaten DMG’s authority over the series. “I absolutely want to keep racing,” Page says. “But what can I do? I love racing, but I don’t feel that love reciprocated. I don’t know if they don’t understand me, or fear me, or can’t control me, or what it is.

But obviously, I rubbed some people the wrong way.” Page said he’s unsure of what path he can take to get back to racing with DMG— something he says that he’d very much like to do. In an attempt to clarify the situation, we contacted Ludington, who referred calls to DMG’s Ollie Dean, vice president of marketing and communications. After our inquiry, Dean said that there was a path for Page to return. “Mr. Page’s suspension was indefinite, which means that his return to the track is possible,” Dean said. “If Mr. Page chooses to apply for a license in 2010, his application will be reviewed as all applications are. Based on the multiple disciplinary actions that were requred in 2009, it would be expected that conversations would need to take place between our competition department and Mr. Page so that the actions that happened in 2009 were not repeated in the future should he be reinstated.”

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The Life | Adrenaline

AMA Team USA Scores Best Trial des Nations Finish Ever Smage, Webb, Ibsen, Wineland Face Off Against World’s Best

The men’s team finished fifth at the 2009 Trials des Nations, its best finish ever, while the women’s team finished eighth.

Competing in the top class at the 2009 Trial des Nations (TdN) in Darfo Boario Terme, Italy, the men’s AMA Team USA squad of Patrick Smage, Cody Webb, Will Ibsen and Keith Wineland nailed fifth place overall, America’s best finish ever in the world championship event. The Spanish team of Toni Bou, Adam Raga, Jeroni Fajardo and Albert Cabestany won the TdN this year. Defeating the Great Britain team by an amazing 65 points, Spain won its sixth TdN title in a row. “The world stage for trials competition is enormously competitive, and this event often features the most difficult terrain our riders face all year,” said AMA Director of Racing Joe Bromley. “The AMA is proud of the effort Team USA put into this year’s Trial des Nations campaign.” According to U.S. team manager Kip Webb, Team USA “pretty much gave a

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Photos Trials des Nations: Jake Miller/G2F Media; AMA Pro Hillclimb: Jeff Whitehead

go at each section with some very good rides. We still have a ways to go to catch the top teams, but our guys didn’t back down from the challenge. We finished in fifth position, which is an all-time high for an American TdN effort.” The American women’s squad of Sarah Duke and Caroline Allen finished eighth in the Women’s division while riding with only two team members instead of the usual three. U.S. member Louise Forsley was unable to attend the event due to lastminute travel complications. “Without the third rider, you just cannot make any mistakes as every point counts,” Webb said. Great Britain won the Women’s division. The team of Rebekah Cook, Joanne Coles and Emma Bristow edged the Spanish team of Laia Sanz, Mireia Conde and Sandra Gomez by a single point to claim the 2009 title.

Get Your Banquet Tickets Now

AmericanMotorcyclist.com/ LetsRock The deadline to buy tickets to the year’s biggest celebration in motorcycling is Nov. 29. Act now to ensure your seat at the AMA Racing Championship Banquet and the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Dec. 4-5 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. A seat at either ceremony is just $49, while a ticket to both is $89 per person. To get your ticket now, just go to AmericanMotorcyclist.com/LetsRock. On Friday night, the AMA Racing Championship Banquet will celebrate AMA Racing’s amateur champions from both national championship series and AMA Racing grand championship events. Saturday evening will feature the 2009 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony (see page 36). The 2009 class includes industry innovator Robert Bates, off-road racer Randy Hawkins, suspension pioneer Gilles Vaillancourt, off-highway rights activist Mona Ehnes, industry entrepreneurs Geoff and Bob Fox, longtime motorcycle safety proponent David Hough, noted race team manager Gary Mathers, and successful dirt-track racer and tuner Chuck Palmgren. Info: AmericanMotorcyclist/LetsRock.

Robby DeBusk on the gas.

Pro Hillclimb In Stretch Run

Fast Times At All-Star Challenge The hill at the White Rose Motorcycle Club’s All-Star Challenge threatened to be a mudfest after an overnight rain and morning drizzle, but that didn’t slow down Alex Benner (Unlimited) and his Honda, Robby DeBusk (ProSport) aboard a Yamaha and Phil Libhart (Xtreme) on a Triumph, who navigated the unique layout for class wins at Round 6 of the AMA Pro Racing Hillclimb Championship in Jefferson, Pa., the penultimate round of the series. Making the hill even more challenging was its unique layout, with steep approaches to the two jumps and an off-camber turn above the second jump. Timing, tracking and throttle control were crucial. Getting things started in the Xtreme class, Colby McCutcheon on a KTM blasted over the top in 8.766 seconds, setting fast time for first round. In the second round, Libhart shaved nearly a second off his first time of 9.311. At the end of the round, Libhart held first by less than a quarter-second. At the end of the first round in Unlimited, it was McCutcheon with an 8.419, Anthony DeHart on a Yamaha with an 8.425, then Benner’s 8.588. Yamaha-mounted Nate Redmann and Shane Green on a Honda each rode faster in the second round with 8.328and 8.236-second rides to claim the provisional lead. McCutcheon silenced everybody with an amazing 8.065-second run, but not Benner—who dropped a sub8-second time to steal the day. Benner’s win gave him the class points lead over Libhart who finished a disappointing 14th in Unlimited. In ProSport, Debusk was the only class rider to break 10 seconds. He easily clinched first place, giving him back-toback wins.—Jeff Whitehead


Heritage Off-Road Revolution Leroy Winters Raced Lightweight Two-Strokes 15 Years Before The Euros

Photo Grogan Studios

The large-scale switch from heavyweight four-stroke offroad bikes to lighter-weight two-strokes happened in the late 1960s. But in the woods of Michigan, one man had a similar idea nearly a decade and a half earlier—and won out over the competition. The rider was Leroy Winters, whose approach to off-road racing was way ahead of its time. In the 1940s and ’50s, and Michigan’s grueling, two-day, 500-mile Jack Pine Enduro was the biggest off-road event of the year. From 1923 through 1955, riders on Harley-Davidsons won 22 of 28 Jack Pines. All of those wins, though, came on heavyweight bikes designed for road use and were slightly modified for rough terrain. Conventional wisdom held that you needed lots of power, wide tires and lots of weight on the rear wheel to win in the deep sugar sand of Michigan. But Winters thought differently. The Arkansas rider believed a lightweight bike was the answer, and after a few years of trial and error in the Jack Pine, he built a winning bike with a diminutive two-stroke engine that carried the Harley name, even though it was designed by the German firm DKW. In the peace talks following World War II, the rights to the highly regarded DKW 125 were awarded to both Harley and BSA as part of Germany’s war reparations. The BSA version of the machine became the Bantam, while the Harley version began life as the 125, and later was enlarged to become the 165. Winters took a light, agile 165, adapted it for the dirt by making it lighter, enlarging the gas tank and modifying the rear swingarm—and rode it to victory in the 1956 Jack Pine. In so doing, he beat machines with four or even six times its displacement, and mastered a course that eliminated threequarters of the entrants. It would be more than a decade before the two-stroke really caught on in off-road racing, and by that time, the movement was led by the European manufacturers. But here in the U.S., enduro fans got a glimpse of the future during the 1956 Jack Pine in the form of a motorcycle—now on display at the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Pickerington, Ohio—that bore the Harley-Davidson name.

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Heritage features the machines and people of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum in Pickerington, Ohio. The Hall of Fame is a 501(c)3 non-proďŹ t corporation that receives support from the AMA and from motorcycling enthusiasts. For info and directions, visit MotorcycleMuseum.org, or call (614) 856-2222.

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Every Year, The AMA Motorcycle Hall Of Fame Honors the Best Riders, Racers And Luminaries In All Of Motorcycling. Meet The Class Of 2009. A seven-time off-road champion. Brothers who pioneered one of the best-known brands in MX. A motorcycling safety author. A lifelong rights activist. A parts and accessories pioneer. A legendary dirt-tracker. A suspension innovator. A builder of racing championships. These are the brightest lights in motorcycling as recognized this year by the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, and you can read about their accomplishments in the pages that follow. Even better, you can meet them in person this Dec. 5 at the Hall of Fame’s gala induction ceremony at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

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The once-in-a-lifetime chance to rub shoulders with the fast and the famous will be hosted by actor and motorcyclist Perry King, who will preside over the induction of the Hall of Fame Class of 2009 and the presentation of new commemorative rings for inductees. The event also features an autograph session and cocktail hour with new and existing Hall of Famers, along with other enthusiasts. The induction ceremony is just part of a special weekend dedicated to AMA motorcycling. The day before, on Dec. 4, we’ll salute the racing community at

the AMA Racing Championship Banquet, which honors the best amateur and off-road racers on the planet. The weekend also includes the 2009 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Concours d’Elegance, where you can feast your eyes on some of the most beautiful bikes ever created. It all happens amid the glitz of Las Vegas at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Tickets are $49 per person for one event, or $89 for all weekend festivities. Special room rates are available at the Hard Rock. Tickets and event info: American Motorcyclist.com/LetsRock.

Photos Ring: Grogan Studios; Palmgren: Holly Carlyle

Fa s t & Fa M O U s


chuck palmgren

The FlaT-Tracker Chuck Palmgren Made Yamahas Work in AMA Dirt Track Racing

A

dirt-track racing ace who won five Nationals in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Palmgren placed in the top 10 in national points in 1968-70, 1972 and 1974, and was an innovator of the Yamaha 750cc motor and frame design. On how he got his start My brother, Larry, was involved with racing. As a kid, I was just impressed with that stuff, and it just kind of grew from that. My first ride was on my brother’s scooter, a doodlebug. He had left it at my dad’s business, and one of the guys asked me if I could ride it home. Of course I said, “Sure!” The racing I blame on my brother, too. He and a cousin worked for a dealership in Colorado Springs. They’d go racing, and I would follow along. On learning to race My first race was an hour-long enduro race when I was 13. I think the two older fellows in front of me slowed down and let me win it. They probably had more fun following me and watching me mess up than they would have winning it themselves. On what it was like to be a pro It was full-time. If you were going to do it at a high level in those days, it was a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week job. Everybody worked on their own equipment, and the rider knew the mechanic really well because they were the same person. On his racing career being put on hold I was ready to turn pro after my amateur year in 1965, and at the end of the season I had three letters: one from Harley-Davidson, one from Triumph, and one from Uncle Sam. I got drafted, and that kind of put a damper on my career for a while. I was in the Army in Alaska, and in 1967, I hadn’t even touched a motorcycle since I was drafted, and I wrote to Gary Nixon, who said he’d have a bike for me if I came to Sacramento. I went on leave, and if they’d have caught me, I’m sure I would have gone to jail. But I raced it, finished seventh or eighth. On winning the Indy Mile on a Yamaha The Harleys were all there. They won everything leading up to the main event. The race was very clean. It was never scary. I was second a few laps from the end, and between three and four, I found a way to gain some ground, but I turned the throttle back so I didn’t show it. A few laps later the leader slowed a bit and I got past. It was great. It was kind of a shock to the Harley guys that they got beat by a Yamaha.

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W

hile with Kawasaki, his keen eye for talent discovered fellow Hall of Famers Eddie Lawson and Wayne Rainey, who both went on to become 500cc Grand Prix road racing world champions. Then, at American Honda, Mathers produced a total of 48 championships in dirt track, motocross, Supercross and road racing, winning two championships every year except for one. On how he was introduced to motorcycling I rode dirtbikes as a kid. I had a HarleyDavidson two-stroker dirtbike. I was doing some cross country. About two years after I graduated high school, I converted a BSA into a dirt-tracker. I was sponsored by Tribers Cycle out of Spokane, Wash., and when the owner opened a new store, I ended up managing it for him. I was never any good at racing. I was a B main guy. I could go to a National like Castle Rock and make the B main, but I could never make the A main. On how he moved into the industry side I raced snowmobiles in the winter, and I won some races. I went to the championship twice and raced against the Polaris team. I impressed them somehow, and they hired me as a service rep. I traveled a lot, and when I wasn’t on the road, I was back hanging at the race shop. One day the guy running the race team, Bob Eastman, wanted to get back to racing, so they offered me the team management. Then Kawasaki in California called me, and I went to work in motorcycles. Road racing was the big deal. On my second day with Kawasaki, I was asked to go hire Freddie Spencer. But Honda had just picked him up, and I had to call my new boss and tell him that I missed Spencer by a day. We went back and compiled a year’s worth of race results, and the name that kept coming to the top was Eddie Lawson. We paid Eddie $25,000 for the year for superbike, and we beat Freddie Spencer the first year for the championship. On where he found his best racers Dirt track. You take kids like Ricky Graham, Bubba Shobert, Rainey. By the time they’re 21, they probably have 200, even 400, races under their belt. A pure road racer might have 35 or 40. The dirt trackers are used to going 110 mph sideways on a mile, so getting on a roadrace bike was nothing to them.

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Photos Mathers: Cory Cagle Photography; Hough: Tara Staton Photography

Gary Mathers Is One Of The Most Successful Team Figures In American Motorcycle Racing

gary maThers

The ChampionBuilder


big part of it—but what we would call today situational awareness. There’s a lot going on out there on the public roads, and to survive, you need to know what’s around you. Then the Hurt Report came out in 1981. It was interesting that some of the things I came up with were backed up by that. Traffic was a big hazard. Back then, about three-quarters of crashes were collisions with cars and one-quarter were single vehicle accidents. What that means was the emphasis should be on traffic. On the acceptance of safety training It’s always been a shock to me that the average motorcyclist riding up and down the road would not be interested in safety information. But some are resistant to it. There’s this sentiment with some motorcyclists that they are these devilmay-care risk takers. Well, if you’re going to ride, and you’re not going to wear your crash pads, then you’ll have to accept the possibility of enduring people picking parts of the road out of your flesh with a wire brush.

The SafeTy experT

David Hough Turned 25 Years Of Experience Into Books And Stories On Motorcycle Safety

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uthor and rider Dave Hough stands out for his series, “Proficient Motorcycling,” in Motorcycle Consumer News. His books include Street Strategies: A Survival Guide for Motorcyclists, and two Proficient Motorcycling titles. On his early lessons on safety For me, early on, the discussions were not only about controlling the bike—that’s a

david hough

On where the safety message needs to be directed today The demographic that we need to reach is the sportbike rider. The military is addressing that with the sportbike course because of returning soldiers crashing and killing themselves on sportbikes. They’ve been able to reduce the fatalities, but we’re not doing enough to address that in the civilian world.

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ThE MX BusinEss PiOnEErs Geoff And Bob Fox Created An Empire with Fox Racing

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On how the Fox Airshock took off Bob: Geoff brought me into it. At that

time in the early and mid-’70s, wheel travel went from 4 inches up to a couple feet. That was overworking the shock absorbers, and a lot were breaking. So, as an engineer, I thought that was something I could work on. We started working on shocks, and one thing led to another, and we wound up winning the 500cc national championship with Kent Howerton just two years later. It was amazing. With the Fox Airshock, what launched our sales was simple. We had (AMA Hall of Famers) Kent Howerton win on it in 1976 and Marty Smith win on it in ’77. We learned that if you get some big name guy winning on your stuff, it takes off. We went

Photos Geoff and Bob Fox: Jesse Leake Photography

GEOFF FOX

rothers Geoff and Bob Fox are responsible for two of the most recognizable brands in off-road motorcycle racing: Geoff Fox gave the world the Fox Head logo and launched one of the most well-known MX brands today, while Bob Fox, with Fox Factory Inc., made his mark producing suspension components for offroad motorcycles.

On the start of Moto-X Fox Geoff: When I started in 1971 after being a physics professor, MX was just an infant industry. In those days, when you fell off your bike, everything broke—the tank, the fenders, the handlebars. People really needed parts. Bob: When we started the company, I was an engineer who had become a professional poker player. Being away from a regular job, I was in a position where having fun riding motocross and not having a day job, I was able to start with the company.

from 400 shocks a year to 20,000 shocks a year after those guys won. There was zero sponsorship. If they were using our shocks, they did it because they felt it was the best. On the creation of the now-famous Fox logo Geoff: The Fox logo came relatively early. We were working with a local ad agency, and they had a freelance graphic artist who designed the logo. The funny thing is, I remember wondering back then if it was really worth all the money they were charging—and I think it was about $300! On diversifying Bob: Through the ’70s, that was my first business experience ever. I was like, “Wow, this is easy.” But then reality set in,


The Accessory businessmAn

Robert Bates Sowed The Seeds That Became Bates Leathers

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obert Bates got his start with scooter accessories in the 1930s, and went on to create the company that ultimately became the well-known Bates Leathers. Motorcycling attracts individuals, and that individualism often manifests itself in how we customize our motorcycles. This social phenomenon was not lost on Robert Bates, who developed a broad range of products that connected with motorcyclists, from aftermarket pillion seats to leather jackets. As one of the first businessmen to leverage this affinity for personalization, Bates helped fuel an aftermarket industry that still thrives. Bates started Bates Manufacturing Inc. in Los Angeles in 1939 to service and overhaul motor scooters and sell accessories. Almost immediately, he began designing and building scooter windshields. When the

metal for his windshield rims was no longer available during World War II, he developed a plastic rim that he later patented. In the late 1940s, the company began publishing a popular catalog that featured motorcycle accessories and leather apparel. According to Bob Rudolph, who purchased Bates Manufacturing from Bates in the late 1950s and renamed the company Bates Industries, Bates’ early innovation and business relationships established the foundation that helped the firm thrive when it began manufacturing the popular Bates colored-racing leathers that most people remember it for today. “Robert Bates founded the company in a 600-square-foot garage, and from there it grew into a business that had a reputation for quality jackets, pants, aftermarket seats, a popular headlight, windshields, fairings and saddlebags,” Rudolph remembered. “He also had a strong rapport with the dealers, and he stayed with the firm to help manage our dealer network after I purchased the company. Bates was a true pioneer in the motorcycle accessory industry.”

roberT bATes

bob FoX in the early ’80s, when sales went down, and I realized it wasn’t easy after all. We were struggling to stay afloat, so we got into off-road vehicles, Indy 500 stuff—we actually had our stuff on Tom Sneva’s car when he won. We did snowmobiles through the 1980s, and now bicycles are the biggest piece of our business. Geoff: By 1977, we started getting into clothing. That started because to compete with the other teams with our shocks, we had to have a race team. And they had to have uniforms. So we made clothing. As soon as they showed up on the track, we started getting requests from people who wanted to buy the clothing. So we made a very conscious decision to go into that market. It’s pretty amazing to see that grow all over the world.

Main photo: Robert Bates (right) and his daughter, now Diana Jean Bates Rogers. Insets: AMA Hall of Famer David Aldana caused quite a stir when he showed up to race in his custom Bates skeleton leathers, and a few of the products in the company’s early line.

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Gilles Vaillancourt Built Works Performance Into A Winner

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pioneer in modern motorcycle suspension development, Vaillancourt created Works Performance, which makes custom shocks for dirtbikes, ATVs, streetbikes and cruisers. On his start in motorcycles When I was about 13 years old, I got a job working in a motorcycle dealership cleaning up after hours. In Quebec, Canada, business dies off in the winter, so from November until March, we’d fix up the bikes we got in on trade so we could sell them. By age 16 I was a pretty good mechanic. On coming to the U.S. and ultimately starting Works Performance In 1960, my family decided to immigrate to the U.S. I rode my motorcycle down, following my parents in the car. I worked as a motorcycle mechanic until 1967, when I got a job with the Los Angeles Herald Examiner. By 1973, I was riding motocross at the time, and in those days I couldn’t buy shocks I was happy with, so I started modifying shock absorbers with my own valves. The system I used then, I still use today, the basic parts of the system. On Works Performance’s early success We got in on the ground floor of the suspension revolution and did very well. I started with cross-country shocks, then roadrace shocks. In ’80 and ’81, we won the American Superbike Championship with AMA Hall of Famer Eddie Lawson. We went on to dirt track. We had AMA Hall of Famers Scotty Parker, Chris Carr, and the entire Honda team, with Ricky Graham, Bubba Shobert and Ted Boody, all using my shocks, and we won so many Nationals. We designed both a flat-tracker for Honda and a TT bike, with a single-shock rear suspension that was underneath the carb with no linkage and adjustable rideheight. Bubba won nine Nationals on it. Ricky Graham won 10. On the off-road side, we supplied the Suzuki team for years at the International Six Days Enduro races. We got so many gold medals. On his success these days I do my best work on napkins. I go to lunch with someone and design the whole thing on napkins. These days we do all kinds of things. We even make landing gear for aircraft, for military spyplanes. We’ve made bicycle shocks—40,000 of them for Cannondale.

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Photos Vaillancourt: Conrad Lim; Ehnes: Scott Photography

GILLeS vaILLanCourT

The SuSpenSIon InnovaTor


mona ehnes The Freedom FighTer

Mona Ehnes Has Protected Riders Rights For 40 Years

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ona Ehnes charged into the fight for motorcyclists’ rights in 1967, when controversial legislation was introduced that would have restricted off-highway vehicle (OHV) riding opportunities in her home state of Montana. Ehnes has been at the front line of the OHV rights battle ever since, as a founding member of both the Great Falls Trail Bike Riders Association and the Montana Trail Vehicle Association, and as executive assistant to the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council. On how she discovered motorcycling My husband, Vic, had a Triumph Cub that he rode in the mountains. After we got married, we got an old Honda 50 step-thru that

On what riding taught her kids They learned a good respect for the land and the resources, the scenery and for just Montana in general. We camped, fished, rode, and it all involved motorcycles. My kids were never in the sports scene. They rode motorcycles and snowmobiles in the winter and they turned out pretty good.

projects. We had an adopt-a-trail project in the Highwood Mountains. Those areas didn’t have any value to anti-riding activists then, but now that’s changed. These days, they’ve taken this approach that they want to be able to go into the forest and not hear anything. We now have more areas where the Forest Service has recommended Wilderness designation, so we’ve lost more trails in those areas. It’s really been a battle.

On what pulled her into fighting for offroad access rights They added a section onto the Bob Marshall Wilderness area called the Lincoln Scapegoat Wilderness that closed off access. That was when I became active. But there were so many places to ride at the time that people weren’t really concerned about it. Then there was a space of time, through our local club, the Great Falls Trial Bike Riders Association, that we had a lot of trail

On how to effect change You need to be active on a personal level with the local land managers. You need to be active with your legislators. It’s important to non-riders that we demonstrate what a family sport this is. The non-riding public has such a misconception of what our sport is. They think it’s what they see in freestyle competitions on television. They don’t know it’s mom and dad and kids on quiet trailbikes in the woods.

I rode. I had a couple kids, and when the kids got bigger, they would ride with us.

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Photo Davey Morgan Photography

Randy hawkins The Off-ROad POweRhOuse

Randy Hawkins: 7-Time Champ

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seven-time AMA National Enduro Champion, Hawkins won 13 International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) gold medals and 73 AMA Nationals. He works today as team manager of AmPro Yamaha. On how he got started in racing I grew up on a farm, and we had the opportunity to ride a lot. My dad had me on an XR70 as soon as I could touch the footpegs. Before motorcycle racing, I got into go-kart racing. I went to a national race in North Carolina, and the kid behind me crashed right in front of my dad, and my dad said I was going to do something else. I probably would be a car racer now if that kid would have crashed anywhere else on

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that track. Then it was motorcycle racing. When I got older, I asked my parents to just let me focus on that for a year, and then I talked them into another year, and I was then able to support myself. I won my first National, in Texas, in ’86, signed my first deal in ’87 and won my first championship in ’88. By ’89’90, I felt like I had finally made it as a racer. I was being paid a salary, had my pictures in all the magazines and was focused on my goal, to win races. On what he got out of racing I just loved to ride my motorcycle. I loved winning. I also really enjoyed the friendships, being able to be part of something, the racing community and a family-oriented group. Those types of friendships are something you can’t put a price on. On his greatest accomplishment I don’t think I have just one. From being

a gold medalist at the ISDE to winning a national race to winning a championship to being a part of the Hall of Fame, it would feel unfair to put one thing ahead of the others. Not to be corny, but I’d have to say it’s what all of that makes me, or has given me an opportunity to be. The most proud I feel is when a fan or parent of a fan comes up and thanks me for being a good ambassador for the sport. Advice for the next generation of racers As a racer coming up, winning the races, you may think you’re the one, you’re the one riding the motorcycle, you’re the guy making it happen. But if you didn’t have the support of friends and family, where would you be? You have to be over-appreciative of the people who have helped you achieve your goals. Take the time to thank somebody. Even when people make mistakes, remember all the good they did for you.


HOLIDAY SHOPPING:

long line

HOLIDAY SHOPPING ONLINE:

no line

AMA Membership Gift Certificates

GO TO:

AmericanMotorcyclist.com/AMAgiftcertificate to buy and download your AMA Membership  Gift Certificate

The gift of an AMA Membership helps protect the future of motorcycling and promotes  the motorcycle lifestyle. Plus, there are incredible everyday benefits, such as AMA Roadside Assistance, a subscription to American Motorcyclist magazine, and great  discounts on riding gear, accessories, lodging, and many other valuable services – all  worth far more than the $39 annual membership fee.

So this holiday season, choose an AMA Membership for  everyone on your shopping list. * AMA Roadside Assistance is free when you sign up for online  auto-renewal, or when you purchase a 3-year membership.  Standard one-year membership is also available.


Photo Grogan Studios

D R A U G G N I D N STA

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STATES ARE RAIDING MOTORCY CLISTS’ FUNDS TO BALANCE BUDGETS—AND RI DERS ARE FIGHTING BACK.

By Bill Kresnak

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s motorcyclists we thought we did everything right. We wanted motorcycle safety training programs to get as many street riders trained as possible, so we approached state lawmakers to create programs. We agreed to pay for the programs through fees that only motorcyclists pay. We were thrilled when the programs were created We’ve seen these raids on motorcycle rider education and safety funds more and more frequently in recent years as cashstrapped states look for ways to balance their budgets. This year, Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland was poised to take $800,000 from the state’s Motorcycle Safety and Education program, but was forced to back away from the plan. That’s on top of the $750,000 that Ohio officials tried to take from the fund in 2006. Also this year, Gov. Jon Corzine took $1.2 million from the New Jersey motorcycle safety training program to help make up a state budget shortfall. That’s not all. In 2008, the Tennessee program got raided to the tune of $821,000, and the New York program lost $552,000. In 2006, Illinois lost $297,900. Those are just some examples. “When governors and state lawmakers need to balance their budgets, one thing they do is look at all the special funds they have set up in the state where money is earmarked for specific purposes, including motorcycle rider education and safety,” said Imre Szauter, AMA government affairs manager who monitors streetbike-related legislation nationwide. “They see those funds as pots of money they can use as they see fit. “We motorcyclists, as state citizens,

and gladly paid, and continue to pay, the fees that others don’t pay so that riders can receive proper rider training. And then suddenly, with the stroke of a pen, the money is gone. The programs are gutted, with lawmakers or government bureaucrats inexplicably taking the money to pay for other state programs.

are willing to share the pain to balance a state budget, but lawmakers have to recognize that we are paying extra for our motorcycle rider training programs,” Szauter said. “We pay the taxes and fees that all other citizens pay, and more. So lawmakers should seriously consider alternatives before decimating programs like ours, including plans to repay what they take.” Szauter noted that state lawmakers are gearing up around the nation for their 2010 legislative sessions and, once again, will be looking for creative ways to balance their budgets. So riders nationwide must be on guard to protect motorcycle rider education and safety funds. “Riders need to let lawmakers know early and often that motorcycle rider safety training funds should be off-limits in discussions about balancing budgets,” Szauter said. Ohio Motorcycle Rider Safety Training Funds Restored Like many governors around the nation in 2009, Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland faced budget woes: a $1.9 billion shortfall in the state’s two-year operating budget. He ordered his administration to find ways to close the gap while, at the same time, protecting, and even enhancing, education, health care, job creation

RAIDS ON MOTORCYCLE RIDER EDUCATION AND SAFETY FUNDS Louisiana, 2009 ................ $6,544 Arizona, 2009................ $100,000 Illinois, 2006 .................. $297,900 New York, 2008 .............. $552,000 Ohio, 2006 ..................... $750,000 Iowa, 2002 .................... $775,000 Ohio, 2009 ..................... $800,000 Tennessee, 2008.............. $821,000 New Jersey, 2009 ......... $1,200,000

and other vital needs in the state’s new spending plan. In February 2009 he presented state lawmakers with a proposed $119.8 billion biennium budget for the fiscal years beginning July 1, 2009. To make up the budget shortfall his administration, among other things, raided so-called rotary funds, which are special funds set up for specific purposes. They are funded through a

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We argued, and continue to argue, that this program was created by motorcyclists for motorcyclists and we pay for it. – Imre Szauter (left) governor’s Office of Budget and Management restored the $1.4 million that was to be taken from the Save Our Sight account, and $1.4 million that was to be taken from the Second Chance account. The office also restored the $800,000 that was to be taken from the Motorcycle Safety and Education Fund, and $500,000 that was to be taken from the Tobacco Use Prevention Fund. “Fortunately, our funding was saved after the fact because of political pressure caused by the raiding of some high-profile funds,” Szauter said. “We can’t rely on this in the future. Riders in every state need to get politically involved early in legislative sessions to try to ensure that the money isn’t robbed in the first place. “They need to get to know their lawmakers, and they need to let their lawmakers know that this funding is critical for motorcycling safety,” he said. This type of political action has worked in the past. The Ohio Motorcycle Safety and Education Fund was also targeted for a raid of $750,000 in 2006. But that plan was derailed when the motorcycling community cried foul and the Ohio Controlling Board, which has approval authority over various state fiscal activities, refused to allow the money to be taken from the fund. New Jersey, New York Motorcycle Safety Training Programs Lose Funds Earlier this year, New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine had to find funds to make up a projected $1.2 billion shortfall in the $29 billion state budget. Part of his strategy, like that of governors in other states, was to raid special funds that earmark money

for specific purposes. As a result, Gov. Corzine’s administration took $1.2 million from the state’s Motorcycle Safety Education Program to use for other purposes. And last year, New York motorcyclists saw $552,000 disappear from their Motorcycle Safety Fund. “It was taken to balance the state budget, and we found out pretty much after the fact,” said Robert “Prospector” Boellner, a longtime volunteer lobbyist and legislative coordinator for the Columbia County chapter of ABATE of New York. “We did protest it,” he said. ABATE of New York pointed out at the time that in 1998 New York state increased the motorcycle registration fee from $11.50 to $14, with the additional $2.50 going to a dedicated fund for the administration and implementation of a motorcycle safety program. Over the more than 10 years since, the fund has been repeatedly raided. “It is ABATE of New York’s position that New York state inadequately provides services for the numbers of individuals seeking motorcycle training, has insufficient sites statewide to provide motorcycle training, and overcharges for motorcycle training,” ABATE of New York President Timothy Werder said at the time. “ABATE of New York feels that motorcyclists suffer due to the underutilization of their funds, and that a more cost-effective approach could be implemented, subsidized by these raided funds.” ABATE supported legislation to ban the transfer of money from funds receiving money from a dedicated fee.

Photo Open Image Studio

variety of sources, including licensing fees and private contributions. Ohio has 70 rotary funds ranging from the Advanced Energy Fund that provides loans and grants to residential, commercial and industrial energyefficiency projects and is funded through a 9-cent charge tacked on to utility bills, to the Ohio Physician Loan Repayment Program that repays student loans for doctors who serve in poor, mostly rural areas of the state. That program is funded primarily through a $20 surcharge on medical-license renewals. And then there is, of course, the Motorcycle Safety and Education Fund, which provides motorcycle rider safety training and is funded through a $6 charge attached to motorcycle registration fees and from other sources. More than 115,000 motorcyclists have received safety training since the program began in 1987. Riders 16 and 17 years old must complete a motorcycle rider safety course to be eligible for a motorcycle endorsement or license. The cost to take the class is $25 for riders 18 and older. Riders of any age who pass the safety class aren’t required to take the state motorcycle skill test to get their endorsement or license. To help balance the state budget, Strickland’s administration proposed, and state lawmakers approved, raiding the state’s 70 rotary funds to the tune of $120 million despite the efforts of lobbyists and concerned citizens at the state Capitol. As a result, the Motorcycle Safety and Education Fund lost $800,000. “We argued that this program was created by motorcyclists for motorcyclists and we pay for it,” Szauter said. “Then, with the stroke of a pen when Gov. Strickland signed the biennium budget bill into law, the motorcycle safety money was gone. “Or so we thought,” he said. What Strickland didn’t count on when he raided the rotary funds was the embarrassing fallout that would follow once Ohio citizens learned the full extent of the raids, and that money earmarked for specific purposes wasn’t being used for those purposes. The Strickland administration had to backpeddle quickly from this embarrassing position once the news media publicized that the governor raided the Save Our Sight program—which works to prevent blindness and is funded by a $1 voluntary contribution by Ohio residents applying for, or renewing, their motor vehicle license plates—and the Second Chance account that promotes organ donation and is also funded through voluntary donations. Following the public outcry, the


What Can be done to Protect Motorcycle safety Funds Activists agree that motorcycle rider education and safety funds are an easy source of money when governors and lawmakers are trying to find ways to balance state budgets. They also agree that protecting those funds from raids can be very difficult. “I’m not sure you can keep it from happening,” Boellner said. “We tried to make sure this was a dedicated fund.” But activists also say that motorcyclists must get involved early in legislative sessions to try to protect those funds—get to know their lawmakers and let them know that raiding those funds is simply unacceptable to riders across the state. Szauter suggested that, besides being members of the AMA, riders should join their state motorcyclists’ rights organizations so they will know when their governor or lawmakers are considering raiding the fund. Riders also should sign up for alerts through the AMA’s Action E-list, he said, by going to the AMA website at American Motorcyclist.com > Rights > Get Involved. “In fact, AmericanMotorcyclist.com has a lot of great information about getting involved politically,” Szauter said. “It provides guidance for everything from how to get your message across to lawmakers to how to deal with the news media.” After all, the key to protecting motorcycle rider education and safety funds is political action, he added. Boellner agrees. “Keep a close watch on it and let lawmakers know that you won’t tolerate a raid,” Boellner said. “You can’t stand by and let it happen without making some noise.”

s

treet riders aren’t the only ones who suffer when state lawmakers and government bureaucrats go looking for money to fund programs in their cash-strapped states. Programs for off-highway Jack Terrell, land use riders are targets for raids chairman for the Florida as well. Sometimes those Trail Riders organization, proposals just leave riders said riders are still trying dumbfounded because of the to determine whether lack of logic. For example, government officials, or state New Mexico lawmakers eyed lawmakers, took the money. some $500,000 in an off“We in Florida have been in highway vehicle (OHV) fund a tough budget situation for a for a transfer to a different couple of years,” Terrell said. department to promote “The legislature has been eco-tourism. Fortunately, the jumping all over the place to proposal failed. find ways to plug the holes. Other times the raids leave One way was to raid trust Jack terrell riders in shock because they funds.” thought their money was untouchable. The OHV fund, which once held $7 That’s the case in California, where the million but now has nothing, was created state this year took $90 million from the by riders through the T. Mark Schmidt OffOHV program. Riders thought there were Highway Vehicle Safety and Recreation safeguards to protect their money, but Act of 2002. lawmakers were able to grab the funds by “Not only have they taken the money, calling it a “loan.” but they haven’t awarded grants already In Iowa, lawmakers in 2002 took approved,” Terrell said. “Those were $775,000 from the state’s OHV program to go to the U.S. Forest Service for to balance the state budget. This came trail maintenance, construction and as a surprise to riders, who for years had improvements like rest rooms. So those paid registration fees on their off-highway dollars get leveraged, and you lose grants motorcycles and ATVs knowing the money from outside sources.” was earmarked for a special fund to build Terrell admits that “a sneaky politician and maintain OHV riding areas. Thanks or bureaucrat” can raid an OHV fund no to the tenacity of outraged Iowa riders, matter what safeguards are built in. But to lawmakers paid the money back. But that keep raids from happening, he said, riders didn’t happen until 2008. need to get involved politically. In Florida, it appears that government “The problem is we’re a bunch of bureaucrats took $2.37 million from the apathetic folks, and I don’t just mean OHV fund this year, on top of the $2 motorcycle and ATV people, but the million taken the year before. That money general public,” he said. “We just don’t came from a $29 title fee on off-highway get involved, we’re never calling our vehicles. legislators, learning who they are, we sometimes don’t even vote. If you can’t apply political pressure, then you’ve lost. “If you don’t have a relationship with your local politician, and hopefully that Raids ON OHV FuNds politician has some clout in the legislature, you won’t have a chance,” he continued. Florida, 2008 ............. $2,000,000 “At the grassroots level, you really need Florida, 2009 ............. $2,370,000 to get involved. Let them know how Washington, 2009 ....... $9,500,000 important this program is for you and that California, 2009 ........$90,000,000 you won’t stand for any fooling around with it.”

Lawmakers and Bu rea

dirty bu

ucrats raid Off-HigHway funds

siness

December 2009

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Go Ride [

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

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The hardy riders who take part in the AMA KTM National Dual-Sport Trail Riding Series and the AMA BMW National Adventure Riding Series have one last chance to leave their mark—and first-timers have one last chance this year to take part in these national-caliber riding events. The last ride of each series is set for Nov. 27-28 in Los Angeles, hosted by AMA District 37 Dual Sport. Info: Paul Flanders (626) 792-7384.

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For a rockin’ great time, you won’t want to miss the Dec. 4 AMA Racing Championship Banquet honoring the best amateur racers on the planet, and the Dec. 5 AMA Motorcycle

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Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies to honor this year’s crop of Hall of Famers. Both events will be at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas. Info: AmericanMotorcyclist.com/LetsRock.

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Members of the Square Deal Riders MC don’t care if it’s cold out—they just want to ride! You can, too, at one of their mud- and snow-scramble events set for Dec. 6 and Dec. 20 in Harpursville, N.Y. Info: (607) 693-2634.

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Have some fun and help out those who are less fortunate this month by taking part in a Toy Run. There are a lot to choose from, including rides in Hot Springs, Ark., Nov. 29; Ontario, Calif., Dec. 6; Glendale, Calif., Dec. 13; Hicksville, N.Y., Dec. 13; and Loma Linda, Calif., Dec. 20. For more details, check out the specific listing under the state heading on the following page.

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The Virginia X-Country Racing Series will close out its 2009 season with a crosscountry race involving amateurs, youth and ATVs on Nov. 15 in Dillwyn, Va. Sign up starts at 6:30 a.m. Info: Timothy Norris (804) 966-7595.

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It doesn’t get much more exciting than indoor shorttrack ice racing with bikes that go zeroto-60 mph in under 3 seconds in Extreme International Ice Racing competition. Events are coming up Nov. 29 in Youngstown, Ohio; Dec. 19 in Everett, Wash., Jan. 2-3 in Independence, Mo., and more next year. For full details, visit XIIR.com.

COMING UP Watch the best ice racers in the country tear it up at the premier event for those who live for studded tires, the AMA Racing Ice Race Grand Championships. This can’t-miss event will be held Jan. 23-24 at the Soaring Eagle Casino in Mount Pleasant, Mich. Info: BajaMX.com.


THE

GuiDE TO EvENTS

The following pages list AMA-sanctioned events for this month, up to date at press time. Current listings are in the Riding and Racing sections of www. AmericanMotorcyclist.com. The biggest events—pro races,

national-championship amateur competition, and major rides and rallies—are highlighted in color boxes. For these series, we list all of the remaining events for the entire year. Then there are the local events,

Type of Event Date

Event Class (Competition events only) S - Standard (Amateur classes) Y - Youth Classes T - ATV classes G - Progressive M - Pro-Am classes Location/City

the backbone of the AMA’s riding and racing calendar. These events are listed by state and are broken down by type, so you can quickly find the ones near you. Here’s a guide to what you’ll find in these local listings:

Event Promoter

MOTOCROSS

DEC 6 (S,T,Y): REYNOLDS (D-9): SILVER DOLLAR MX, C/O STEVE JONES; 6 AM; HWY 96 W/JST W OF TWN; (478) 555-4673 Sign-in Time Directions

Contact Phone Number

CALiFORNiA TRAiL RiDE DEC 12: RIDGECREST: AMA-DIST 37 SPORTS COMM, BILL HOWELL; 6 AM; SPANGLER OPEN AREA /OFF HWY 395 & SEARLES STA. RD INTERSECTION; (760) 220-6575; DISTRICT37AMA.ORG DuAL SPORT RiDE

CARES COMMITTEE INC, ELIZABETH WHELEHAN; WHOCARESCOMMITTEE.COM MuD & SNOW SCRAMbLES DEC 6 (S,T,Y): HARPURSVILLE: SQUARE DEAL RIDERS M/C, ANDY BALMEN; 9 AM; ALLEN RD; (607) 759-8800; SQUAREDEALRIDERS.COM DEC 20 (S,T,Y): HARPURSVILLE: / SQUARE DEAL RIDERS M/C, ANDY BALMER; 9 AM; ALLEN RD; (607) 759-8800; SQUAREDEALRIDERS.COM

DEC 13: RIDGECREST: LOST COYOTES, JAMES A WILSON; 7 AM; SPANGLER OPEN AREA /OFF HWY 395 & SEARLES STA. RD INTERSECTION; (661) 951-7078; LOSTCOYOTES.ORG

NORTH CAROLiNA

TOY RuN

MOTOCROSS

DEC 6: ONTARIO: CHARITY;: ABATE-CA LOCAL 19, STEFAN KAWECKI; 10 AM; ONTARIO ELKS LODGE /1150 W 4TH ST; (909) 910-1369

DEC 5 (S,T,Y): ELIZABETH CITY: / 2 DAY EVENT: ELIZABETH CITY MOTORCYCLE, WENDY J TABLER; 6 AM; 1531 NORTHSIDE RD; (252) 771-5442; ECMX.COM

DEC 13: GLENDALE: ABATE-CA LOCAL 1, PETER B DANIELS; 8 AM; H-D OF GLENDALE /3717 SAN FERNANDO RD/BETW 5 & 134 FWYS; (818) 361-8800

OHiO

DEC 20: LOMA LINDA: MOTORCYCLE RIDERS ASSOCIA, CHESTER PHILLIPS; 10:30 AM; 2516 REDLANDS; (562) 864-7143

DEC 4 (S,T,Y): COLUMBUS :INDOOR; AMERICAN MOTOSPORTS LLC, MATT EASTMAN; 2 PM; OHIO STATE FRGRNDS COLISEUM /VOINOVICH BLDG/I-71 EX 17TH AVE; (937) 358-2427; AMERICANMX.COM

GRAND PRix DEC 5 (S,T,Y): ANZA: 2 DAY EVENT: VIKINGS MC, ALEX RODRIQUEZ; 6 AM; RYNOLAND; (760) 834-5006; VIKINGSMC.COM

MARYLAND 1/2 MiLE DiRT TRACK DEC 19 (S,Y): TIMONIUM: BALTIMORE COUNTY TRAIL RI, RUSS IRVIN; 3 PM; TIMONIUM FAIRGROUNDS; (410) 661-6686; BCTRA.COM SHORT TRACK DEC 11 (S,Y): DEC 12 (S,Y): TIMONIUM: BALTIMORE COUNTY TRAIL RI, RUSS IRVIN; 3 PM; TIMONIUM FAIRGROUNDS; (410) 661-6686; BCTRA.COM

MiCHiGAN iCE RACE DEC 5 (M,Y): FLINT :CHARITY; INDOOR; FLINT MOTORCYCLE CLUB, LINDA LOWELL; 6 PM; PERANI ARENA 3501 LAPEER RD; (810) 687-7379; FLINTMOTORCYCLECLUB.COM

NEW YORK TOY RuN

MOTOCROSS

DEC 5 (S,T,Y): COLUMBUS: INDOOR; AMERICAN MOTOSPORTS LLC, MATT EASTMAN; 8 AM; OHIO STATE FRGRNDS COLISEUM /VOINOVICH BLDG/I-71 EX 17TH AVE; (937) 358-2427; AMERICANMX.COM DEC 11 (S,T,Y): JACKSON: AMERICAN MOTOSPORTS LLC, MATT EASTMAN; 2 PM; HENDERSON’S ARENA COMPLEX /SR 32 10 MI W OF TOWN; (937) 358-2427; AMERICANMX.COM DEC 12 (S,T,Y): JACKSON: INDOOR; AMERICAN MOTOSPORTS LLC, MATT EASTMAN; 8 AM; HENDERSON’S ARENA COMPLEX /SR 32 10 MI W OF TOWN; (937) 358-2427; AMERICANMX.COM

TExAS TOY RuN DEC 6 (R): HOUSTON: SAN JACINTO HIGH ROLLERS, BRYAN C LACKEY; 8 AM; 12655 WEST ROAD /US 290 @ WEST ROAD; (832) 603-0960; NWSJHR.COM MOTOCROSS DEC 5 (S,Y): WORTHAM: 2 DAY EVENT: FREESTONE COUNTY RACEWAY, TONY MILLER; 470 CR 995 /6 MILES NE OF TOWN ON CR 995; (713) 880-5533; FREESTONEMX.COM

DEC 13: HICKSVILLE: ST CHRIS TOY RUN / WHO

MuSEuM ExHibiTS AMA Motorcycle Hall Of Fame Museum MotorcycleMuseum.org

The Hall of Fame is located on the AMA campus in Pickerington, Ohio, and is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week year-round exceptfor Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Dec 5: Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las vegas: AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony; (614) 856-2222.

MotoStars: Celebrities + Motorcycles: Priceless machines, exclusive memorabilia and tales from celebrities’ favorite adventures. On display through April 2010. Awesome-Ness: The life and art of Arlen Ness: King of Choppers. AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame: Bikes and memorabilia recognizing those who have made significant contributions to all aspects of motorcycling. Founder’s Hall: Honoring the Hall of Fame’s generous contributors.

OFFERED EXCLUSIVELY by the

AMA MOTORCYCLE HALL OF FAME MUSEUM Order yours today at MotorcycleCards.Net


MOTORCYCLE SHOWS Cycle World International Motorcycle Shows www.motorcycleshows.com

Nov. 13-15 : Dallas, Texas: Dallas Convention Center; DallasConventionCenter.com Nov. 20-22: San Mateo, Calif.: San Mateo County Expo Center; SanMateoExpo.org Dec. 4-6: Long Beach, Calif.: Long Beach Convention Center; LongBeachCC.com

Y alley, K enfro V R 6 2 5 April 2 7 Zeleski, OH -1 I May 16 1 Wabeno, W -3 on May 30 1 Mill Hall, PA ers Associati id 3 R 0 il 3 ra y T Ma est -7 Midw June 6 Custer, MI R -7 June 6 Hood River, O -7 June 6 Loudon, NH -7 June 6 5 Gaylord, MI -2 9 , NY 1 July ancock iz, KY t 8-9 H Augus er 12-13 Cad itsville, OH a b tr m S te w Ne Sep R ber 5-6 ford, O Septem er 19-20 Med , IL g b in Septem er 19-20 Sterl bus, IN b m Septem er 26-27 Colu nd, CA b vela m ro te G p e 7 S -2 I ber 26 eno, W Septem er 26-27 Wab , OH b n a Septem er 26-27 Log Falls, MI b ne Septem er 26-27 Boy A b ,V Septem 3-4 Mt. Solon OH ur, er Octob 17-18 McArth L er Octob 24-25 Delta, A Z ,A er n b o s to y c a O 5P utte, TX er 24-2 Octob 24-25 Study B beth, NJ r liza e Octob Nov. 1 Port E J ,N 1 s 3 in Oct. Jenk s, CA ber 7-8 Angele Novem r 27-28 Los be Novem ,

TAILS RE DE O M R FO HE VISIT T SECTION G N I RID ERICAN OM OF AMRCYCLIST.C O T MO

Dec. 11-13: Seattle, Wash.: Qwest Field Event Center; QwestField.com

Jan. 15-17: Washington, D.C.: Washington Convention Center; DCConvention.com Jan. 22-24: New York, N.Y.: Javits Convention Center; JavitsCenter.com Jan. 29-31: Cleveland, Ohio: I-X Center; IXCenter.com Feb. 5-7: Minneapolis, Minn.: Minneapolis Convention Center; MplsConvCtr.org Feb. 19-21: Chicago, Ill.: Donald E. Stephens Convention Center; Rosemont.com

Jan. 1-3: Novi, Mich.: Rock Financial Showplace; RockFinancialShowplace.com Jan. 8-10: Greenville, S.C.: Carolina First Center; CarolinaFirstCenter.com

ROAD RIDING AMA Premier Touring Series AMADirectlink.com/RoadRide/Touring

AMA Grand Tours With KOA Along The Way Apr 1- Nov 30: USA 4 Corners Tour: So. CA Motorcycling Assoc; David L. Johnson; (909) 796-2277; usa4corners.org

Apr 1- Nov 30: Ride with the AMA 85th Ann. Classic Grand Tour: Dayton Motorcycle Club; Kevin Looney; (937) 263-9321; daytonmc.com

Apr 1- Nov 30: Color the World with KOA Grand Tour: Midnight Riders; Charles Kirkman; (765) 566-3807; midnight-riders-mc.com

Apr 1- Nov 30: Roadside Attractions Grand Tour: Road Winders M/C; Joe Sloan; (215) 3224436; hogman19053@yahoo.com

Apr 1- Nov 30: Grand Tour of Ireland: Irish Riders Motorcycle Club; Maggie McNally; (518) 209-2464; irishridersmc.com

Jan 1- Dec 31: SCMA Parks Adventure Grand Tour: SCMA; Blake Anderson; (310)345-9799; mitch0399@earthlink.net

DUAL-SPORT AMA KTM National Dual-Sport Trail Riding Series AMADirectLink.com/RoadRide/DS/

Nov. 27-28: Los Angeles, Calif.: AMA District 37 Dual Sport, Paul Flanders, (626) 792-7384; district37ama.org.

ADVENTURE SERIES AMA BMW National Adventure Riding Series

AMADirectLink.com/RoadRide/ADV/

Nov. 27-28: Los Angeles, Calif.; AMA District 37 Dual Sport, Paul Flanders; (626) 792-7384; district37ama.org.


AMA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES AMA Dragbike

Nov. 13-15: South Georgia Motorsports Park, Valdosta, Ga., AMA Dragbike; (513) 943-9700

AMA EnduroCross Championship

Nov. 21: The Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, Nev., Source Interlink Media Motorsports; endurocross@sourceinterlink.com

AMA Racing National Hare & Hound AMARacing.com

Jan. 24: Lucerne, Calif.: Dale Shuttleworth, Desert MC; (909) 578-1599; DesertMC.com Feb. 14: Ridgecrest, Calif.: Richie Wohlers, Four Aces MC; (805) 358-2668; FourAcesMC. com March 14: El Centro, Calif.: Kirk Hester, Roadrunner Off-Road Racing; (760) 275-9852; Roadrunneroffroad.com

April 10: Jericho, Utah (No ATVs): Kari Christman, Sageriders MC; (435) 851-1138; Sageriders.com May 15: Jericho, Utah: Rob Davies, Sugarloafers; (435) 743-4180; Sugarloafers.com June 5: Wendover, Nev. (No ATVs): Steve Rij, Utah Desert Foxes; (801) 964-8773; UtahDesertFoxes.com Oct. 10: TBA: Justin Shultz, SoCal MC; (949) 981-6776; SoCalMC.com

March 21: Murphy, Idaho: Bill Walsh, Dirt Inc.; (208) 459-6871; DirtIncRacing.com

Oct. 24: Lucerne Valley, Calif.: Ryan Sanders, 100’s MC; (949) 584-9395

AMA Racing East Hare Scrambles

Rausch Creek Powersports; (570) 682-4600; RauschCreekRacing.com

AMARacing.com

May 2: Dorchester, N.J.: Dennis McKelvey, Tri-County Sportsmen; (609) 390-3772; TeamHammer.org May 30: Rhinelander, Wis.: Scott Schwalbe, Sugar Camp Racing; (715) 272-1101; SugarCampEnt.com June 13: Elkland, Pa.: Jeremy Richardson, MilesMountain; (570) 723-8516; MilesMountainMX.com July 18: Valley View, Pa.; Tiffany Tobias,

AMA Racing East Youth Hare Scrambles AMARacing.com

April 18 (pending): Berwick, Pa.: Duane Fisher, Evansville MX Park; (570) 759-2841 May 1: Dorchester, N.J.: Dennis McKelvey, Tri-County Sportsmen; (609) 390-3772; TeamHammer.org May 29: Rhinelander, Wis.: Scott Schwalbe, Sugar Camp Racing; (715) 272-1101; SugarCampent.com June 12: Elkland, Pa.: Jeremy Richardson, Miles Mountain; (570) 723-8516;

AMA Racing Rekluse National Enduro Championship Series AMARacing.com

Jan. 31: Wedgefield, S.C.: Johnny McCoy, SERMA; (803) 481-5169; SERMAClub.com Feb. 21: Greensboro, Ga.: Garrett McKey, Cherokee Cycle Club; (678) 231-5858; SETRA. org March 4: Daytona Beach, Fla.: Steve Pettenger, Daytona Dirt Riders; (386) 615- 0722 March 28: Kalgary, Texas: Kelly Simmons, Lubbock Trail Riders; (806) 548-1260; LubbockTrailRiders.org April 18: West Point, Tenn.: Paul Traufler, NATRA; (256) 837-0084; NATRA.DirtRider.net

Aug. 1: Catawissa, Pa.: Mike Soudas, High Mountain Dirt Riders; (570) 954-7799; HMDR. org Aug. 7: Hill City, Minn.: Paul Otto, Range Riders MC; (763) 229-1177; RangeRidersMC.org Aug. 29: Cortland, N.Y.: Cindy Davis, Knobby Acres; (607) 756-5277; WYNOA.org Sept. 19: Lynnville, Ind.: Kenny Moore, IN, IL, KY Enduro Riders; (812) 549-8385; Blackcoal. org MilesMountainMX.com July 18: Valley View, Pa.; Tiffany Tobias, Rausch Creek Powersports; (570) 682-4600; RauschCreekRacing.com July 31: Catawissa, Pa.: Mike Soudas, High Mountain Dirt Riders; (570) 954-7799; HMDR. org Aug. 8: Hill City, Minn.: Paul Otto, Range Riders MC; (763) 229-1177; RangeRidersMC.org Aug. 28: Cortland, N.Y.: Cindy Davis, Knobby Acres; (607) 756-5277; WYNOA.org Sept. 18: Lynnville, Ind.: Kenny Moore, IN, IL, KY Enduro Riders; (812) 549-8385; Blackcoal. org May 16: Park Hills, Mo.: Michael Silger, Missouri Mudders; (636) 639-6373; MOMudders.com June 20: Upton, Wyo.: Paul Douglas, Inyan Kara Riders; (307) 468-2840; NationalEnduro. com July 25: Moorestown, Mich.: Jeff Hunt, Lansing Motorcycle Club; (231) 267-9534 Aug. 15: North Berwich, Maine: Peter Anania, Seacoast Trail Riders; (603) 436-4331; SeacoastTrailRiders.org Oct. 2: Matthews, Ind.: Brent Floyd, Muddobbers MC; brent.floyd@att.net; Muddobbers.org

FOR MORE DETAILS, VISIT THE RIDING SE CTION OF AMERICANMOTOR CYCLIST.COM

Endurocross.com

April 18-19, 2009 Bybee , TN • May 2-3, 2009 Buck Meadows, CA May 30-31, 2009 Waben • May 16-17, 2009 Za o, WI • May 30-31, 200 leski, OH 9 Mill Hall, PA • June June 19-20, 2009 Logan 6-7, 2009 Hood River, , OH • August 28-31, OR 2009 North Cascades Sept. 19-20, 2009 Mo , WA • Sept. 12-13, 200 rganton, NC • Sept. 199 Cadiz, KY 20, 2009 Sterling, IL Sept. 26-27, 2009 Co • Sept. 26-27, 2009 Lo lumbus, IN • Sept. 26gan, OH 27, 2009 Wabeno, WI Oct. 10-11, 2009 Hamm • Oct. 3-4, 2009, 2009 onton, NJ • Oct. 24-25, TBA, KY 2009 Delta, AL • Oct. Oct. 31 - Nov. 1, 2009 24-25, 2009 Payson, Port Elizabeth, NJ • AZ Nov. 7-8, 2009 Jenkin s, NJ • Nov. 27-28, 200 9 Los Angeles, CA

AMADragbike.com


Benefits

Featured AMA Member Benefits and discounts from AMA partners.

AMA Roadside Assistance Maximize your riding time and minimize the inconvenience of a breakdown with AMA Roadside Assistance, offering peace of mind and coverage for all your vehicles and your family’s vehicles, from motorcycles to cars to RVs and trailers. Better yet, AMA Roadside Assistance is available FREE to AMA members who sign up online and choose the convenience of yearly automatic renewal, or who sign up for three years.

Discounts On Parts & More At BikeBandit.com If it’s an OEM part for your motorcycle or pretty much any accessory or piece of gear you can think of, you’ll find it online at BikeBandit.com. And AMA members get a 10 percent discount at checkout by entering their AMA numbers.

Bank Of America Visa 3 Percent Rebate Program As an AMA member, every time you use your AMA Visa card at a qualified motorcycle retailer, you get a 3 percent rebate on your credit card bill. Get full details and apply online through the Members Area of AmericanMotorcyclist.com, or call (800) 523-7666 and mention code FAAOLW.

Discounts On Garmin Navigators & Products The best way to never get lost? A quality GPS system like those from AMA partner Garmin, which offers as much as 20 percent off on navigation systems and software at Garmin.com/AMA.

Discount On Biker Rain Chaps For days with wet roads, a full rainsuit can be too much. Biker Rain Chaps keep you clean and dry and are easier to get on and off than a full rain suit. Biker Rain Chaps also add an extra layer of insulation for chilly mornings or evenings after the sun has gone down. AMA members get 25 percent off at BikerRainChaps.com/AMA

Discounts On Mad Maps Local knowledge of the best roads are as close as MAD Maps, some of the highest quality maps and routes for motorcyclefriendly road trips available. AMA members get 15 percent off using this discount code: AMA8675309 at MADMaps.com.

AMA Supercross Ticket Discount What’s better than a seat at an AMA Supercross? The same seat for $5 off because you’re a member of the AMA, that’s what. You get that savings on advance purchase tickets from SupercrossOnline.com, using the password AMASX09, or in person at the box office by showing your AMA card up to the day prior to the event (discount not valid on raceday). Get full details at AmericanMotorcyclist.com > Members Area > Benefits.


December 2009

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Learn the Snell Story at www.SMF.org/thestory

Then Decide Yourself

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TOOLS • CABLES • CONTROLS

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Tel: 650.594.9600 Fax: 650.594.9610 ©2009

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Gerbing Heating ......................................................31 International Motorcycle Shows ..............................29 JC Motors ..................................................................8 Klempf’s...................................................................56 Leader Accessories .................................................56 Manic Salamander...................................................55 Matrix MotoSports ..................................................31 Motel 6 ......................................................................8 Motion Pro ...............................................................57 MotoQuest Tours .....................................................57 MotorcycleRoads.US ..............................................55 Motorcycle Tour Conversions..................................55 Parts Unlimited (Z1R) ................................................9 Port-A-Chopper.......................................................55 Powerlet ..................................................................57 Progressive Insurance .............................................13 Snell Memorial Foundation......................................56 Sportreaders............................................................55 Spyder .......................................................................2 Super-Visor ..............................................................55 Touratech .................................................................17 Undertaker...............................................................55 Victory .....................................................................60

1. Title of publication: American Motorcyclist 2. Publication No. 020820 3. Date of filing: October 1, 2009 4. Frequency of issue: monthly 5. No. of issues published annually: 12 6. Annual subscription price: $15.00 7. Location of known office of publication: 13515 Yarmouth Dr., Pickerington, Fairfield County, OH 43147-8273 8. Location of headquarters or general business office of the publishers: 13515 Yarmouth Dr., Pickerington, Fairfield County, OH 43147-8273 9. Name and complete address of Publishers-American Motorcyclist Association, 13515 Yarmouth Dr., Pickerington, Fairfield County, OH 43147-8273; Managing Editor: Grant Parsons, 13515 Yarmouth Dr., Pickerington, Fairfield County, OH 43147-8273 10. Owner: American Motorcyclist Association, 13515 Yarmouth Dr., Pickerington, Fairfield County, OH 43147-8273 11. Known bond holder, mortgages and other securities: none 12. Tax Status (For completion by non-profit organizations authorized to mail nonprofit rates). Has not changed during preceding 12 months 13. Publication name: American Motorcyclist 14. Issue date for circulation data: November 2009 15. Extent and nature of circulation: Average no. copies each issue during preceding 12 months

A. Total no. copies (Net press run) 246,948 B. Paid and/or requested circulation 1. Paid/Requested Outside County Mail, subscriptions stated on Form 3541 246,177 2. Paid in-county subscriptions 0 3. Sales through dealers and carriers, street vendors, counter sales & others 0 4. Oher classes mailed through USPS 0 C. Total paid distribution 246,177 D. Free or nominal rate distribution by mail 770 E. Total free or nominal rate distribution 770 F. Total distribution: 246,948 G. Copies not distributed 4,066 Total: 251,014 Percent paid and /or requested circulation 99.6%

Average no. copies of single issue publicatished nearest to filling date

214,211 213,986 0 0 0 213,986 225 225 214,211 3,439 217,650 99.8%

I certify that the statement made by me is correct and complete. Grant Parsons, Managing Editor

December 2009

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Guest Column

Plan Well To Get The Most From The Next Rally Season Motorcycle rallies can be a lot of fun, and you can ride away with an enriching experience you won’t soon forget. On the other hand, you can go to a rally and leave wondering why you ever went in the first place. As I finish up my own riding season— and my own rally-organizing season for The Rally in the Gorge in the Pacific Northwest—I’ve been thinking about a few things all riders should consider as they wind down the year and start planning how to spend their two-wheeled quality time in 2010. Pick your rallies wisely: Too often, someone who enjoys a certain style of bike or a certain style of riding shows up at a rally that has little to do with his or her interests. This need not be the case. If you ride a dual-sport bike, for example, you may not find much of interest at a cruiser rally. The AMA sanctions hundreds of rallies each year, and with all the options available, it’s pretty easy to find something that sounds appealing. Not that new experiences can’t be fun, but it’s better if you know what you’re signing up for. Do your research: The best way

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to find out if a rally is for you is to ask around—something made much easier by the Internet, forums, chat rooms and rider groups. Ask yourself what experience you want from a rally. Do you simply want to hit a social gathering, or do you want to expand your horizons by taking in a few guest speaker seminars, riding some awesome routes and enjoying a variety of evening entertainment? The Internet wisdom knows. Consider the price and the experience: Rallies come in all kinds of packages, with all kinds of prices. A weekend gathering stitched together by a few members of a motorcycling forum will usually involve you paying for your accommodations/camping and all your meals. Club-level rallies are often done by volunteers. In more rare cases, there are promoters who put on full-scale rallies complete with vendors, demo rides, top-name guest speakers and a variety of riding opportunities. These tend to be some of the larger and more robust events, and can be worth the higher price of admission. Plan ahead: Before you go, spend a

By Tom Mehren lot of time on the rally website getting to know the event schedule, then gather a little historical, geological and meteorological information about the area. If you won’t be camping onsite, book your accommodations well in advance (you can usually cancel later, check the cancellation policy), and by all means book your vacation time sooner, rather than later. If the rally website is short info, e-mail the promoter. Determine your route: Part of the rally experience is getting there and back. You could slab it each way on an interstate, but to enhance your fun, take a little time beforehand and route yourself along the secondary and tertiary roads, or loop in a town you’ve always wanted to see. These approaches may take a little extra effort, but planning next year’s fun is usually a good time in itself—especially if it’s snowing outside! Tom Mehren is the publisher of soundrider.com and the founder of Rally in the Gorge (since 2003; SoundRider.com/ rally), which will once again be the AMA Northwest Regional Rally in 2010.

Photo Cory Parris Photography

Use Your Off-Season Wisely


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Foremost Insurance Company Grand Rapids, Michigan, Foremost Property and Casualty Insurance Company, Foremost Signature Insurance Company and American Federation Insurance Company 5600 Beech Tree Lane, Caledonia, MI 49316. Credit photo to smrmagazine.com Form 9001920 09/09



American Motorcyclist 12 2009