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December 2013

Motorcycling Reunion

Photo Jeff Mason

AMA Holiday Gift Guide



Watch this space for updates about your valuable benefits as an AMA member.

AMA ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE The Best Deal In Towing For All Your Vehicles Maximize your riding time and minimize the inconvenience of a mechanical breakdown with AMA Roadside Assistance, which offers peace of mind for you and all your family members.

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STAYING INFORMED American Motorcyclist

Each month, you receive the best magazine covering the motorcycle lifestyle with two versions to choose from: street or dirt.

THE ESSENTIALS AMA Roadside Assistance


Parts And Gear

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Ride Where You Want In the United States, call Federal Companies, an agent for Specialized Transportation, Inc., at (877) 518-7376 for at least $60 off standard rates. For international shipments, call Motorcycle Express at (800) 245-8726. To get your discount, be sure to have your AMA number handy. Motorcycle Express also offers temporary international insurance.

The Best Deal In Towing Get peace of mind with AMA Roadside Assistance, which covers all your vehicles, as well as those of your family members living with you. Best of all, you can get this coverage at no additional charge. For details, call (800) 262-5646.

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Buy AMA Stuff Online Find unique patches, pins, posters, T-shirts and books at AmericanMotorcyclist. com and at the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Pickerington, Ohio. Details at

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Bill’s Sport Motor Offers up to 20 percent off to AMA Members. Order your RV Parts & Accessories catalog at www. or call Bill’s Sport Motor at (518) 487-9569 to order a catalog, or place an order and receive your discount.



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RoadRUNNER Motorcycle Touring & Travel magazine offers a 20 percent subscription discount to AMA members. RoadRUNNER is the touring expert of North America, providing info on the best places to ride. AMA discount code is CRIAMA at promo/ama.

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How do you make tHe ultimate touring veHicle even better? we found tHree ways.

HigHer torque. SmootHer ride. Fewer Fill-upS. introducing tHe all-new 2014 Spyder® rt. With a new Rotax® 1330 ACE™ high-torque engine and a new 6-speed transmission, the road has never been so inviting. The high-torque response of the ACE engine gives you 40% more low-end torque and now can go up to 252 miles at 62 mph on one tank of gas.* While the new 6-speed transmission provides an incredibly smooth ride for you and your passenger. Add in a unique Y-frame design and 7 automotive technologies, and that rush you feel will be equal parts exhilaration and confidence. Learn more at ©2013 Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. (BRP). All rights reserved. ®, ™ and the BRP logo are trademarks of BRP or its affiliates. In the U.S.A., products are distributed by BRP US Inc. *Tested at a constant speed of 62 mph. Fuel mileage may vary depending on the following: Spyder RT models, personal riding habits, weather conditions, trip length, vehicle condition, vehicle configuration and other conditions. Up to 202 miles tested at a constant speed of 75 mph. Break-in mileage may also vary. See an authorized BRP dealer for details. Some models depicted may include optional equipment. Always ride responsibly and safely. Always observe applicable local laws and regulations. Don’t drink and drive.



Navigation Photo

On Oct. 19, six new members joined the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame: Ricky Carmichael, Danny Hamel, Norm McDonald, Randy Renfrow and Mike and Dianne Traynor. See more from this gala event on pages 34-35. Photo by Jeff Guciardo


You write, we read.


An electric experience in Las Vegas.


Police on electric motorcycles, gains are made in Johnson Valley OHV battle, battling inappropriate Wilderness designations and Statewatch.

18. HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE American Motorcyclist magazine (ISSN 0277-9358) is published monthly by the American Motorcyclist Association, 13515 Yarmouth Dr., Pickerington, OH 43147. Copyright by the American Motorcyclist Association/American Motorcyclist 2013. Printed in USA. Subscription rate: Magazine subscription fee of $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.

December 2013 Volume 67, Number 12 Published by the American Motorcyclist Association 13515 Yarmouth Dr. Pickerington, OH 43147 (800) AMA-JOIN (262-5646)


Cool new stuff for you and your motorcycle.


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


Honda’s 1970 Honda ATC90 and Hall of Famer Malcolm Forbes.

34. AMA MOTORCYCLE HALL OF FAME INDUCTION CEREMONY Oct. 19, motorcycling celebrated the careers of six amazing motorcyclists.


A family reunites through motorcycles.


The 2013 AMA Hare & Hound champion is moving to the world stage in 2014.


What to do, where to go.

46. WAYNE A. DOENGES Born to Ride.








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Husqvarna is proud to sponsor the 2013 AMA National Dual-Sport Series


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

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

James Holter, Managing Editor Mark Lapid, Creative Director Jen Muecke, Designer Jeff Guciardo, Production Manager/Designer Kaitlyn Sesco, Marketing/Communications Specialist

Russ Brenan, Vice Chair Irvine, Calif. Ken Ford, Assistant Treasurer Bartow, Fla.

ADVERTISING Steve Gotoski, Advertising Director (Western States) (951) 566-5068,

Perry King, Executive Committee Member Northern California

Zach Stevens, National Sales Manager (626) 298-3854,

John Ulrich, Executive Committee Member Lake Elsinore, Calif. Sean Hilbert, Hillsdale, Mich.

All trademarks used herein (unless otherwise noted) are owned by the AMA and may only be used with the express, written permission of the AMA. American Motorcyclist is the monthly publication of the American Motorcyclist Association, which represents motorcyclists nationwide. For information on AMA membership benefits, call (800) AMA-JOIN or visit Manuscripts, photos, drawings and other editorial contributions must be accompanied by return postage. No responsibility is assumed for loss or damage to unsolicited material. Copyright© American Motorcyclist Association, 2013.

Scott Miller, Milwaukee Art More, Sun City West, Ariz. Stan Simpson, Cibolo, Texas Jim Viverito, Chicago

(800) AMA-JOIN (262-5646)



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

Cherie Schlatter, Organizer Services Manager D’Andra Myers, Organizer Services Coordinator Serena Van Dyke, Organizer Services Coordinator Chuck Weir, Off Road Racing Manager Conrad Young, Timing & Scoring Manager

ACCOUNTING Dawn Becker, Accounting Manager Melanie Hise, HR Assistant/Payroll Coordinator Ed Madden, System Support Specialist Peg Tuvell, Member Fulfillment Specialist ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES Sean Maher, Director AMHF/MOTORCYCLE HALL OF FAME

Supporting Sponsor


Connie Fleming, Manager of Events and AMHF Operations Beth Owen, Donor Relations Specialist Paula Schremser, Program Specialist Katy Wood, Collections Manager AMA RACING/ORGANIZER SERVICES Kip Bigelow, Amateur MX Manager Joe Bromley, District Relations Manager Jacki Burris, Organizer Services Coordinator Jane Caston, Racing Coordinator Lana Cox, Administrative Assistant Kevin Crowther, Director SX & Pro Racing Relations Bill Cumbow, Director of Special Projects Sandi Dunphy, Road Riding Coordinator Dave Hembroff, Road Riding Manager Alex Hunter, MX Operational Coordinator Tamra Jones, Racing Coordinator Ken Saillant, Track Racing Manager AMA_Husqvarna_Natl_Dual_Sport_Series_SeatConcepts_rev.indd 7/16/13 1 3:02 PM

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

! s e k a t s p e e w S

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As the proud sponsor of the AMA Yamaha Super Ténéré National Adventure Touring Series, Yamaha is awarding one lucky member a new 2013 Super Ténéré! Riders participating in the series will also be automatically entered.

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One lucky winner will take home this Tucker Rocky Custom Road Glide with high-end components from S&S, Progressive Suspension, Arlen Ness, PIAA and many other Tucker Rocky partner companies.


Every month, everyone who joins or renews a membership in the AMA is automatically entered in a drawing for a

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


Sometimes, if you think it through and present your argument logically, you can win the battle. I work in a 150-person freight terminal in a very bad area of town. Each month, a lucky AMA member wins a Bike Bandit gift card worth $100. Didn’t win? No Although motorcycles have never been worries. You can still take advantage of your involved in vandalism, there is always a 10% AMA member discount at first time. I spoke to the 10 or so riders and we were all interested in a motorcycle-only parking area. I approached management with a full plan. We could convert two spaces next to the fence in an area visible to security into a motorcycle parking lot. We moved in curb blocks and painted them orange along with the stripes. Management even agreed to buy the signs. We did all the work on our own time. The result is a safe area to park. Now while I am working I feel much better about my bike being there when I get finished. John Engel Houston, Texas PUBLIC ACCESS FEE While I normally consider myself a major supporter of the Bureau of Land Management, I felt the need to comment on your report on the fee increase in California’s Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area (Statewatch, November 2013). Your report correctly stated that the fee increase was to help fund emergency medical services, law enforcement and facility maintenance—all of which sounds really nice on the surface. What it didn’t mention was that, according to the BLM, the increase was due to a significant decrease in permits being sold each year as a result of the recession—enough so that the BLM would have to reduce services if the fee was not increased. These services and the number of BLM employees at Glamis have steadily increased over the years as the area has become more popular. In every other industry I’ve known, fewer customers means less employees. For some reason, the ISDRA BLM seems to think that the recession shouldn’t apply to them and that they need to staff for 100,000 visitors even if only 60,000 are showing up. As for my family and friends, we’ve always felt that $90 was a bit high but have still bought a pass every year for the last 10plus years. After this latest increase, we’ve decided that there are too many other riding areas nearby that are free or have a small annual fee. We’ll be enjoying those instead. Matthew Dixon Huntington Beach, Calif.


RIDING THE WALL During the late 1920s, “motordromes” were major carnival attractions—notably, the Royal American Show’s “wall” owned by the Kemp family (Walter and Marjorie). The bikes were Indian 101s. Mrs. Kemp rode a sidecar rig modified so that a lion could join her on the wall. There was an accident that ended this act and nearly the lion and Mrs. Kemp as well. The star and real daredevil was “Speedy” McNish. He and the 101 seemed glued to the wall regardless of his position on the bike. Your picture in the October issue (page 38) shows a guard cable at the top of the wall. Speedy often found himself among the spectators, the 101 hanging from the cable—well worth the $0.50 admission. I hope there are other members still alive with memories of this unusual use of the machines we all love, and who support our current daredevil motordrome riders. Peter Manos Life Member Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. RIDING THE WALL II My husband Tom and I would always ride to a motorcycle show in Soap Lake, Wash., each year in the summer. Two years ago, we were treated to the awesome show performed by none other than the American Motordrome Wall of Death (covered in the October issue). These guys rocked! Thanks, Charlie

Ransom, Wahl E. Walker, Jeremiah Lightning and Dallas Dan. It’s nice to still have shows like this going on. My mother, who was raised in England back in the 1930s, voluntered back then to participate in a Wall of Death show with a Harley rider, but her mom found out and that was the end of that. My mom said she always wished it would have happened! Thanks for the great article and photographs. Tom and Julie Dunlap Seattle, Wash. ORIGINAL SHOWMAN If my memory is correct, it was 1948 when, at the fairgrounds in Canfield, Ohio, I saw Captain Putt Mossman during the intermission of the weekly races. As I recall, he had dubbed himself “Captain.” His show was described in the November issue of American Motorcyclist. Early the next day, I attempted to duplicate Capt. Mossman’s stunts on my Wizzer motorbike. After a few bruises and scrapes, I managed to be successful in several of his featured moves. The first time a friend allowed me to ride his Indian Scout, inside of the first mile I was standing on the seat in the manner of Capt. Putt Mossman! I put on a few shows for my friends on my faithful Wizzer, but that ended my career as a stunt rider. Good thing, at 82 I am still riding many miles a year but did end my Motorcycle Safety Foundation Rider Coach accreditation at age 80. Vernon C. Mauk Massena, Texas RIDING NORTH GEORGIA Congratulations on a well-written and informative article on riding in the North Georgia mountains (November 2013). As someone from the area, I’m happy to have so many great riding opportunities just out my back door. You covered some of my favorite rides. For those who haven’t ridden the Georgia mountain roads, get ready for an exhilarating experience. There is no such thing as a straight, level road up there. In addition to the great riding, there’s lots of scenery and good food also. Again, job well done. Wayne McDanal Cumming, Ga. IN MEMORIUM My good friend and fellow endurance rider, John Charles Ryan, died Oct. 13,

2013, in a collision with another vehicle on I-78 in Warren County, N.J. He was 53. John was an AMA Life Member and avid motorcycle advocate. He played a key role in the AMA’s State Chapter Network planning, volunteering as an ambassador for the AMA at several rallies as part of a grassroots pilot program. An accomplished motorcyclist and holder of many official and unofficial distance-riding records, John was the subject of Melissa Holbrook Pierson’s book, The Man Who Would Stop at Nothing. John is best known for his epic “Ultimate Coast to Coast” ride from Deadhorse, Alaska, to Key West, Fla., in June 2009, and for his ability to be almost anywhere in North America on his motorcycle with just a few days’ notice. Dave Hembroff Pickerington, Ohio RECYCLED TEENAGER We just wanted to let you know about our father, grandfather, great grandfather and great-great grandfather, Leo Chlebnikow—he’s one and the same. A Life Member of the AMA, he’s been riding motorcycles since he was 16 and

AMA Member Jesse Jones and his fiancée, Tonya, enjoying some time together in Colorado in September.

still does. Weather permitting, rides every Sunday. Besides enjoying riding, he has given instructions to hundreds of bikers, including our whole family. He belongs to many clubs and volunteers for all different rallies. Every Spring he rides up to Lake George for the big Americade rally. He traded in two for three wheels a few years ago, and the back of his trike says, “Recycled Teenager.” Dad turns 98 this January, and we wanted to wish him a special Happy Birthday. He is what motorcycling is all about. Ride safe. Bev and Johann Schneider East Windsor, N.J. CHANGING MINDS Wayne Allard’s article in the October

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2013 issue (“Fighting Discrimination against Motorcyclists”) rang especially true for me. In 2007, the AMA assisted me, primarily through the tenacious efforts of Government Affairs Manager Imre Szauter, to ensure that the Vermont State Colleges would not change travel policies to restrict the use of motorcycles for transportation to or from VSC activities. The development even merited an article in the February 2007 issue of American Motorcyclist. The issue has not arisen again since. I appreciated then, and still do, the AMA’s approach of persuasion through education. It sure did guarantee that renewing my membership will remain a high priority for a long, long time. Scott A. Sabol Northfield, Vt.

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AN ELECTRIC EXPERIENCE IN LAS VEGAS There was one thing on my schedule for the AMA Legends Weekend, presented by Husqvarna, in Las Vegas that I was looking forward to almost as much as the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame induction ceremony itself. This was a very busy weekend that included a Board of Directors meeting of the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation, an AMA Board Executive Committee meeting, an AMA By Rob Dingman Board meeting, a breakfast with the 2013 inductees, the Dave Mungenast Memorial Legends Reception featuring dozens of Hall of Famers and the Monster Energy Cup AMA Supercross event at Sam Boyd Stadium—all in addition to the induction ceremony that anchored the weekend. The thing I was most looking forward to in the midst of all these official duties was an opportunity to ride a Zero electric motorcycle with Zero Global Marketing Vice President and AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Scot Harden. Zero was a sponsor of the induction ceremony and Scot had promised to have a few bikes on hand and lead an early morning ride around his hometown of Las Vegas. I have been curious about electric bikes for a while but never had the opportunity to see for myself if they really could be considered “real motorcycles.” While I have been pretty open minded on the subject, I personally know some purists, including a very respected member of the road racing community, who believes that electric bikes are an “abomination.” We met outside the hotel at 7 a.m. on the Saturday morning after the induction ceremony. In addition to Scot Harden and myself, AMA Board member Perry King and Kawasaki Senior Product Specialist Paul Golde came along on the ride. Scot had two Zero DS dual-sport models that Perry and I started out on while he rode a Zero S streetfighter model. Paul rode a gaspowered Kawasaki Ninja 1000 that he had ridden to Vegas from southern California. From the minute I threw my leg over the DS, it was an entirely different experience for me. When the key is turned to the on position and a switch similar to a kill switch on a conventional bike is in the run position, the bike is on and ready to go. Sitting in a parked position, there is no noticeable difference between on and off. The only difference is that if you twist the throttle when it’s on the bike will go. The ride is smooth and silent. The lack of any engine noise and no vibration from the motor is surreal. There is no clutch, and there are no gears to shift through. The power delivery is instantaneous,


allowing the bike to accelerate with an incredible quickness that I had never experienced on a conventional motorcycle with a manual transmission. Scot took us past his boyhood home and explained how there had been a dairy farm where we now saw widespread development. He then stopped around the corner from this home to show us an estate that was once occupied by Wayne Newton. Scot and his friends may have scaled the security walls a time or two to swim uninvited in Mr. Newton’s swimming pool when they were kids. We then rode through Sunset Park, which Scot’s grandmother was involved in creating. From there, we rode on to an area overlooking Paradise Valley called the Mesa. It was here that we got the opportunity to experience the bikes’ capability off-road. Although we only briefly rode the bikes on dirt, it made me hope for a future opportunity to spend more time with an electric bike off-road. We had traded bikes throughout the ride so each of us had the opportunity to try each bike. Entering the highway on the way back to the hotel on the Ninja, I had a hard time keeping up with the electric bikes, which accelerated onto the highway much quicker than I could, having to shift through the gears. As we were pulling back into the hotel driveway, I was riding next to Scot, and we were having a conversation. Neither of us needed to raise our voice and neither had any trouble hearing the other. The ability to have a conversation while in motion was an aspect of riding an electric motorcycle that hadn’t occurred to me. The happy feeling you have after riding a motorcycle is one reason we all ride. I definitely had that feeling after riding the Zeros. No matter what mechanical differences there are between electric bikes and those that run on gas, one thing they have in common is the ability to provide that happy feeling and the enjoyment we all get out of riding a motorcycle. I don’t know what the future holds for electric motorcycles. Battery technology, which is the limiting factor with respect to operating range of electric bikes, seems to improve year after year. While I don’t expect electric motorcycles to replace their gaspowered predecessors anytime soon—and they likely never will—I do think electric motorcycles are here to stay. Rob Dingman is the AMA president and CEO.

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The San Jose State University Police Department in California began using two electric Zero Police Motorcycles bikes for campus patrols this summer. These are the first-ever motorcycles to join the police vehicle fleet. The bikes are used for everyday patrols, special university events and to respond to emergency calls on campus. Zero, based in Santa Cruz, Calif., says that with many obstacles on a busy campus, the Zero Police Motorcycles allow officers to quickly access areas that were previously off limits due to the size of patrol cars. The department is now able to respond to calls much more quickly and efficiently than before. The bikes are fully equipped with police lights and sirens as well as saddlebags to carry gear and emergency medical equipment. The police motorcycles are based on the company’s Zero DS. The Zero DS has an approximate range of 112 miles on a single charge with a top speed of 80 miles per hour. “The San Jose State University Police Department purchased Zero Police Motorcycles for our patrol division because we believe the company and

product blends well the university’s strategic vision and it’s a great way to support the local economy,” says Captain Alan Cavallo of the San Jose State University Police Department. “We are very satisfied with the motorcycles’ performance and especially grateful for the outstanding support we have received from the Zero team since the purchase,” Cavallo says. “Everyone from the assembly line personnel to the upper management team has been fantastic to work with.” John Lloyd, vice president of global sales for Zero Motorcycles, says: “The Zero Police Motorcycles are quickly being introduced by many law enforcement agencies across the globe, and we’re excited that the local San Jose State University Police Department has implemented them on their campus as well. Costing less than $.01 per mile to operate, with practically zero maintenance costs and zero emissions, the Zero Motorcycles Police Bike is a great addition to any law enforcement agency. The flexibility to be able to ride anywhere, anytime, is a valuable asset to the SJSU PD.”

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation is making its safety tips and practical strategies more accessible to riders through a new educational app on iTunes for use with iPhones and iPads. Titled “Dr. Jim’s Riding Tips,” the app uses existing MSF self-paced safety lessons to help current motorcycle owners improve their riding skills. It costs $1.99 on iTunes. The app features James Heideman, the MSF’s director of licensing programs, and incorporates Heideman’s 10-video series, which is based on the MSF publication: “You and Your Motorcycle: Riding Tips.” It also allows motorcyclists to use their own motorcycles to practice basic maneuvering and braking techniques at low speeds in a practice riding area of their choosing. Additionally, the app shows the user how to properly prepare the practice area, set up the various paths of travel and conduct the drills. “MSF’s goal with ‘Dr. Jim’s Riding Tips’ is two-fold: to make accessing and understanding these basic motorcycling practice drills as easy as possible, and to help riders prepare for their state’s licensing test,” Heideman says. “The only prerequisite skill necessary is the basic ability to ride a motorcycle. Naturally, this includes experience using the brakes, throttle, clutch and transmission. But the mobile app is designed so that anyone with real riding experience, and an iPhone or an iPad, can implement these MSF safety lessons at their own pace.” For safety information or to enroll in a RiderCourse, visit www. or call (800) 446-9227.


Open Image Studio

AMA Government Affairs Manager Imre Szauter has received the Motorcycle Riders Foundation’s Life Member Outstanding Achievement Award. The award was presented to Szauter during the MRF’s annual Meeting of the Minds in September in Columbus, Ohio. Szauter, who specializes in on-highway issues related to motorcycling, was honored for his hard work and dedication to protecting motorcyclists’ rights. He has worked in the AMA Government Relations Department for the past 12 years. “I’m honored and humbled to receive this prestigious award from colleagues in the fight for motorcycling freedoms,” Szauter says. “I hope my continuing efforts help make motorcycling better for everyone.” The MRF is a membership-based national motorcyclists’ rights organization headquartered in Washington, D.C.



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S TATEWAT CH ARIZONA New rules that govern where you can ride in the Kaibab National Forest in northern Arizona took effect Sept. 23. Motorized use is restricted to within 30 feet of designated roads, except in camping corridors, which allow vehicles to travel up to 300 feet from the side of the road. Vehicles can also be taken off-road to retrieve firewood and a legally harvested bison or elk. The forest’s new travel management plan designated a motorized system of roads, trails and areas across the nearly 650,000-acre ranger district, and restricts motorized travel off the designated routes. CALIFORNIA Twenty four of the 42 routes in the Eldorado National Forest that were closed by court order in 2012 were re-opened on Sept. 12, 2013, for motorized vehicle use. The remaining 18 routes have segments that interfere with water flows in meadows and will be reopened after corrective actions have been made. The 24 routes have been added to the Eldorado National Forest Motor Vehicle Use Map, which is available at all Eldorado National Forest offices. COLORADO The Ouray City Council recently agreed

that off-highway vehicles licensed in other states would no longer be allowed to operate on city streets. City law never allowed OHVs on the streets. But after a 2002 district court case in Hinsdale County recognized that licensed OHVs from other jurisdictions met state criteria for recognition as licensed vehicles, a number of Colorado towns, including Ouray, began allowing licensed OHVs from other states to operate on the streets. NEVADA Under a new state law, motorcyclists, moped, tri-mobile and bicycle riders can proceed through a red light after waiting for two rounds of the signal without getting a green light. Assembly Bill 117 took effect Oct. 1. The Nevada Highway Patrol says signals use sensors to detect metal, which may make it more difficult to detect motorcycles. Info: OREGON Public-use restrictions regarding offhighway vehicle travel, campfires, chainsaws and smoking in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest were lifted as of Sept. 18. Forest visitors are reminded to obtain the most current public use restriction information before heading out. If you are

unsure of which restrictions apply, call (541) 426-5546 or visit Fire restrictions within a quarter mile of the Snake River, in the Eagle Cap Wilderness and along the Grande Ronde River aren’t affected. PENNSYLVANIA House Bill 1060, sponsored by Rep. Mark Keller (R-New Bloomfield), would permit motorcycle owners to mount their registration plates vertically if they pay an additional $20 fee and display special motorcycle registration plates featuring the identifying characters in a vertical alignment. The bill would explicitly prohibit motorcycle registration plates with horizontal identifying characters from being vertically mounted. VIRGINIA The Southwest Regional Recreation Authority, also known as Spearhead Trails, recently commemorated the opening of its first multi-use trail system with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The 70-plus-mile Mountain View system is in the counties of Dickenson, Russell and Wise. The trailhead is in St. Paul. The mission of the Southwest Regional Recreation Authority is to stimulate, enhance and sustain economic development and job creation.


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EFFORT TO PROTECT CALIFORNIA’S JOHNSON VALLEY GAINS SUPPORT Twentynine Palms City Council Wants Area To Stay Recreational

The Twentynine Palms, Calif., City Council approved a resolution supporting a plan to create a national off-highway vehicle recreation area in Johnson Valley. The resolution, which has no force of law but expresses the wishes of the council, supports U.S. Rep. Paul Cook (R-Calif.) in his effort to create what would be known as the Johnson Valley National Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation


The U.S. Forest Service has adopted a new rule that will allow the agency to fast-track the deconstruction of motorized trails. On Sept. 12, the Forest Service published a final rule in the Federal Register that adds three new “categorical exclusions” to its National Environmental Policy Act regulations “for activities that restore lands negatively impacted by water control structures, natural- and human-caused events, and roads and trails.” Categorical exclusions allow the agency to act without preparing a costly and time-consuming environmental assessment or environmental impact statement to determine the project’s impacts. Among other things, the new rule allows the U.S. Forest Service to obliterate “unneeded and unauthorized roads and trails” without doing an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement. The rule


Area. Cook is proposing the designation to block a military takeover of the popular off-highway riding area. The Twentynine Palms resolution, which earned unanimous approval on Aug. 13, states, in part, that: “such a loss of land for recreation would be a catastrophic loss for a region that relies so heavily on tourism and recreation business.”

can’t be used for recognized National Forest System Roads and National Forest System Trails. When using the categorical exclusion related to roads and trails, the rule says U.S. Forest Service officials “will conduct appropriate scoping and public involvement assuring that citizen views are taken into account in an appropriate manner given the context of the decisions being made.” The rule also states that “this category will not be used to make access decisions about which roads and trails are to be designated for public use.” When the Forest Service sought public comments on the proposal last year, the AMA expressed concerns that the proposed rule would “allow a categorical exclusion from the current environmental review to accelerate the pace of road

Twentynine Palms is the latest jurisdiction to support Cook’s plan. Others include the San Bernardino Board of Supervisors, Apple Valley, Hesperia, Yucca Valley and the Homestead Valley Community Council. Cook’s plan is part of the National Defense Authorization Act, which has cleared the House and is in the Senate for consideration. The Navy wants to expand the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms into the 189,000-acre Johnson Valley area, which is a longstanding and popular area across the San Bernardino Mountains from Los Angeles. Cook’s proposal would designate Johnson Valley OHV as the Johnson Valley National OHV Recreation Area. The area would be designated specifically for recreational uses, including, but not limited to, OHV use, camping and hiking. Marine Corps activities would be allowed twice a year and could not include any explosives that could be left behind. Cook is a member of the House Armed Services and Veterans’ Affairs Committees. He served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years as a colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.

and trail deconstruction. In other words, these new categorical exclusions will make it much easier for the Forest Service to reduce the number and mileage of trails.” The AMA also asked why a categorical exclusion wasn’t proposed for instances when the Forest Service restores trails for the safety of users. “Now, more than ever, it’s important for all riders to contact their local national forest and get on the contact list to be notified when the local forest plans to take any action on trails,” says Wayne Allard, AMA vice president for government relations. “Since the Forest Service can move quickly to destroy trails, we must be prepared to move quickly to voice our concerns as motorized recreation enthusiasts when we can.”


AMA Seeks Answers From U.S. Forest Service

The U.S. Forest Service is proposing a new “ecological restoration policy” that the AMA

fears could be used to arbitrarily limit access to motorized trails. The proposed policy, published in the Federal Register on Sept. 12, “has the potential to create de facto Wilderness by administrative fiat,” says Wayne Allard, AMA vice president for government relations. In a letter to the Forest Service dated Oct. 1, Allard notes: “The AMA recognizes there are areas that should be preserved untouched for future generations. Congress recognized this as well. As a result, it passed the Wilderness Act of 1964. The AMA supports Wilderness designations as long as they meet the stringent conditions set forth in the 1964 law.” The proposed policy, Allard says, defines ecological restoration as: “The process of assisting the recovery of resilience and the capacity of a system to adapt to change if the environment where the system exists has been degraded, damaged, or destroyed. Ecological restoration focuses on reestablishing ecosystem functions by modifying or managing the composition, structure, arrangement, and processes necessary to make terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems sustainable, and resilient under current and future conditions.”

The U.S. Forest Service is proposing a new “ecological restoration policy” that the AMA fears could be used to arbitrarily limit access to motorized trails. Using this definition, Allard says, the goals of ecological restoration have the potential to directly contradict the Multiple-Use Sustained-Yield Act of 1960, which specifically states, “the national forests are established and shall be administered for outdoor recreation, range, timber, watershed, and wildlife and fish purposes.” The act considers outdoor recreation to be a category that must be protected at a sustainable level. “The policy of restoration will not do this,” Allard says. “Instead, it has the potential to limit the available areas of USFS land and prevent the USFS from being able to ‘best meet the needs of the American people’ and, if not applied judiciously, has the potential to arbitrarily close trails to responsible off-highwayvehicle recreation. “In fact, the [multiple-use] law specifically states that all uses are to be treated equally,” Allard says. “This [ecological restoration] policy will upend


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the balance mandated by law by placing heightened priority on conservation at the expense of outdoor recreation and other forest uses. Does the USFS plan on prioritizing restoration?” Allard also told the Forest Service that the proposed policy allows for broad interpretations of ecosystems that need “restoration.” While the notice states, “The Forest Service has a multiple-use mission and not all management activities on national forests and grasslands require a restoration objective,” the AMA wants clarification on which management activities will require restoration and which won’t. The proposed rule isn’t clear, Allard says. “One could make the argument that all trails—motorized and non-motorized—are not natural and could constitute damage to an ecosystem,” he says. “Combine this with the unknown and unquantifiable aspects of natural variability and the unpredictability of forecasting future


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land use, and any and all alteration caused by humans could be in need of ‘restoration’ under this policy.” Allard stressed there were a number of issues with the new policy “While the AMA is confident that USFS leadership would not misuse the rule, it is ripe for exploitation at the local and regional level,” he wrote. “There are simply too many decisions made on a daily basis for the leadership of the USFS to effectively audit in order to ensure the rule is being followed as intended. “One way to limit local misuse of the Ecological Restoration Policy is to require all actions undertaken and using this rule as justification—no matter how large or small—to be noticed in the Federal Register,” Allard says. “Will the USFS commit to this policy?” He also asked how the Forest Service defines ecosystem, aquatic ecosystem, terrestrial ecosystem, and how the policy will affect the implementation of the 2012 Forest Planning rule. “As currently written, the AMA opposes this rule,” he says. “We appreciate this forum to share our comments and would welcome the opportunity to work in conjunction with the USFS to ensure that OHVs are operating in a manner that is socially, economically and environmentally responsible.”


Government Bureaucrats Bypassing Congress Like officials at many national forests around the nation, leaders of the Kootenai National Forest in Montana and the Idaho Panhandle National Forest have been hard at work in recent years revising their forest plans. In late September they finally released their revised forest plans, final environmental impact statements and draft records of decision. It was not good news for off-highway riders: Both plans recommend that Congress create de facto Wilderness by barring off-highway vehicles and bicycles from public land. This land is not currently designated as Wilderness. It is land that the U.S. Forest Service officials hope Congress will one day designate as Wilderness.


How much land is involved? In the Kootenai National Forest, the new plan recommends 105,300 acres for a Wilderness designation. Idaho Panhandle National Forest officials are recommending 161,400 acres. A Wilderness designation is one of the strictest forms of public land management and bans OHVs. The AMA supports appropriate Wilderness designations approved by Congress that meet strict criteria established by Congress in 1964. The Wilderness Act of 1964, which empowers Congress to designate land as Wilderness, specifically states “there shall be no temporary road, no use of motor vehicles, motorized equipment or motorboats, no landing of aircraft, no other form of mechanical transport, and no structure or installation within any such area.” The Kootenai National Forest and Idaho Panhandle National Forest plans are subject to a 60-day objection filing period followed by a 90-day objection review period. That means the new plans will take effect sometime around the end of February. The AMA is urging all concerned Americans to contact their representatives in Congress and ask them to oppose efforts by U.S. Forest Service officials to bypass Congress by administratively creating de facto Wilderness. To take action, go to issueslegislation.


President Barack Obama declared September as National Wilderness Month, touting his administration’s efforts to “preserve our outdoor heritage.” While the AMA supports appropriately designated federal Wilderness, it objects to the president’s

vision because it doesn’t include motorized recreation. In the proclamation, signed on Aug. 30, Obama said that his administration “is dedicated to preserving the nation’s wild and scenic places. During my first year as president, I designated more than 2 million acres of Wilderness and protected over 1,000 miles of rivers. Earlier this year, I established five new national monuments and I signed legislation to redesignate California’s Pinnacles National Monument as Pinnacles National Park. “To engage more Americans in conservation, I also launched the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative,” the president stated. “Through this innovative effort, my administration is working with communities from coast to coast to preserve our outdoor heritage, including our vast rural lands and remaining wild spaces.” Wayne Allard, AMA vice president for government relations, says the AMA takes strong exception to the president’s proclamation. “Off-highway riders have been shut out of the decision-making for the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative and the most recent America’s Great Outdoors progress report makes no mention of motorized recreation,” Allard says. Allard says that many Wilderness proposals introduced in Congress do not adhere to the strict definition in the Wilderness Act of 1964. The Wilderness Act gave Congress the power to designate federal public land as Wilderness, which is one of the strictest forms of public land management. Taken together, proposed legislation would designate 32 million acres—an area the size of Alabama—as Wilderness. For comparison, Congress has designated about 107 million acres of public land as Wilderness since 1964, an area bigger than the entire state of California. Once Congress designates an area as Wilderness, nearly all forms of nonpedestrian recreation become illegal, including off-highway motorcycle, allterrain vehicle and bicycle riding. “We need to protect public lands for the people, and not from the people,” Allard says. To stay on top of what is happening with the Wilderness proposals in Congress and the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, as well as to receive tips on how you can take action to protect your right to ride, AMA members should sign up to receive AMA Action Alerts and AMA News & Notes. Do so at GetInvolved/ActionAlertSignUp.aspx.

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he holidays are here. There are get-togethers where you can talk about motorcycles, time off so you can ride and work on motorcycles and, best of all, excuses to buy new motorcycling stuff. Need ideas? Here are some of 2013’s hottest products.

Biker Glasses

Farkle Fingers

Adaptiv Technologies has come out with Farkle Fingers that will make any pair of gloves touch-screen friendly. Just pull the Farkle Fingers over the tips of your gloves and you’ll be able to use any touch-screen device. During those quick pit stops, make calls with a smartphone, navigate a GPS or change your mp3 player settings—all without having to take your gloves off. Farkle Fingers are stretchable, fit any size glove and will stay on the glove while riding. MSRP: $20 Info:

Biker Glasses are designed to look good, be comfortable and get the job done without breaking the bank. The glasses offer 100 percent UV protection, have foam padding for comfort, are scratch resistant and include anti-fog ports for venting. They come in three lens options: smoked, amber and clear. MSRP: $15 (Smoked/Amber/Clear) Info:

Help friends and loved ones stop wasting money while helping protect their right to ride and race. Give an AMA membership as a gift. AMA members enjoy a variety of money-saving benefits and discounts. More importantly, more members mean more political clout for the AMA to fight discrimination against motorcyclists and public land closures. DUES: $49 Info: or (800) AMA-JOIN (262-5646)

MotoGP & Superbike 2014 Calendar

Concepts International announces it is celebrating its 30th year of supplying motorcycle racing and sportbike fans with high quality products. The high-quality MotoGP and Superbike calendar offers a vivid color essay of the 2014 season. The calendar is a 13-inch x 18.75-inch spiral-bound calendar with German quality action photos. The 2014 edition contains world-class photos of the 2013 season that capture the action, atmosphere and drama of MotoGP and Superbike racing. The company also offers racing-themed Christmas cards books, and more. MSRP: $19.95 (freight included) Info:

Tourmaster Elite 14 Liter Tank Bag

Made from heavy-duty, 1680 denier ballistic polyester and 1800 denier patterned polyester construction, the Tourmaster Elite 14 Liter Tank Bag’s built-in adjustable GPS pocket accommodates a variety of phones and devices. It has a removable map pocket and external zippered side pockets with zipper garages. Two sip tube and media port access holes are included, as well as a hinged lid with underside organizer pockets that allow easy access and organization. An integrated carry handle and hideaway backpack straps make it easy to take off the bike. The bag comes with a black visor storage pouch, water bladder storage bag, and a clear window rain cover. It can easily convert from a strap-mounted to magnetic-mounted bag with optional mounting bases. MSRP: $129.99 Info:

AMA Membership

Spectro FC Premium Fuel Conditioner & Stabilizer

Formulated specifically for high-output engines, Spectro FC Premium helps you ensure top performance and easier maintenance from season to season. It is suitable for all forms of gasoline-fueled engines, from everyday lawn equipment to superbikes. It fights corrosion and varnish build-up, and counters ethanol-accelerated corrosive problems within your fuel delivery system. Keeping your fuel fresh for up to 12 months. It inhibits corrosion and provides lubricity, prevents the formation of fuel-related gums and varnishes for easy starting after storage. MSRP: $7.04 Info: or (800) 243-8645


AMA Racing Hoodies & T-shirts

Emblazoned with the AMA Racing logo, these well-made hoodies will keep you warm all winter, while these t-shirts will look cool under your favorite riding jacket. Available in black and navy and in sizes S-2XL. MSRP: $35 (hoodies); $15 (t-shirts) Info:


KTM Pure Adventure Jacket

This multifunctional touring jacket is wind resistant and waterproof thanks to Z-liner. It has a three-in-one design with the removable membrane and thermal lining, as well as removable pads on shoulders and elbows. It has a pocket for an optional back pad. Stretch zones are located on the inner arms for greater freedom of movement, while it includes reflective panels for greater safety. Several ventilation zips and multiple pockets are built into the design. A matching KTM Pure Adventure Pant is also available.

Condor Pit Stop/Trailer Stop

MSRP: $379.99 (jacket); $289.99 (pant) Info: Part Nos.: 3PW1411303-7 (jacket); 3PW1412302-7 (pant) Sizes: M-XXXL (jacket); S-XXXL (pant)

Synergy Fork Flex-Seals

Available in 16 sizes, 30mm through 52mm for WP, Showa, KYB, Marzocchi, Ohlins, Sachs and Cobra, these seals are designed with a performance advanced material for smooth as silk feel. They can be removed, cleaned and reinstalled multiple times so that you do not have to buy new seals and MSRP: $38-$45 per pair will save you money over time. Info:

Condor’s Pit Stop is used every day to compactly store, service and detail any type or size motorcycle. It also converts to safely and securely trailer, or haul any bike in a pick-up. It’s billed as the finest and most versatile chock made in America and makes a great gift for the holiday season. MSRP: $259 Info:

K&N High-Flow Air Filter

K&N High-Flow Air Filters are designed and manufactured in the USA with the highest-quality materials to provide low air-flow restriction, resulting in increased throttle response, horsepower and torque. The K&N cotton pleated media provides a large filtration area offering long service intervals and excellent filtration. An OEstyle injection molded mounting frame is designed to drop directly into the stock airbox, offering a secure fit. K&N Air Filters are pre-oiled and ready for installation and are washable and reusable and are extremely easy to maintain. As a rule, no fuel-management modifications are necessary to obtain increased performance. K&N on-road air filters feature K&N’s famous million-mile limited warranty. MSRP: Varies Info:

KTM 1190 Adventure Side Cases

Having enough storage is essential for a successful adventure outing. KTM’s Adventure Side Cases feature the volume you need in a durable, attractive luggage solution that integrates perfectly with the KTM 1190 Adventure and 1190 Adventure R’s mounting hardware. Part Nos.: 60312924000 (left); 60312925000 (right) MSRP: $599.99 Info:

Kinekt Gear Ring

The inventors of the Kinekt Gear Ring— interactive jewelry for men and women—have designed a T-shirt for women called the Kinekt Design r(evolve) T-shirt. The artwork depicts a transformation from flower to gear, inspired by the concept that nature influences design. The design is printed on a midnight blue basic crew T-shirt made of 100 percent soft cotton. Women’s sizes: S, M, L and XL. The company also offers a men’s concrete gray basic crew T-shirt with a different design. MSRP: $25 Info: or (888) 600-8494



KTM Mens Outdoor Jacket This waterrepellent jacket has a removable inner fleece jacket that can actually be worn separately. It also has a detachable, adjustable hood along with an adjustable waistband and sleeves. It has multiple pockets on the outer and inner jacket

Part No.: 3PW1451202-6 Sizes: S-XXL MSRP: $168 Info:

Leader Motorcycle Gadget Mounts

Leader Motorcycle is a family-owned business specializing in gadget mounts and cold/rainy riding gear. It offers mounts for GPS, phone, iPod/MP3, radio, camera, even clocks and drink holders. In addition, you can stretch your riding season further with the Desert Dawgs Rain Guards and Desert Digits Wind Deflectors that keep you warm in the cold and dry in the rain. Leader manufactures in the USA for top quality on every product. Info: or (763) 535-1440

Synergy Seals X-Bushing Z-Bolt Kit

The X-Bushing Z-Bolt Kit is available for all KTM and Husaberg bikes with PDS suspension from 1998 to 2014. The X-Bushing Z-Bolt kit will make the rear end of your bike adjustable in height and allow you to fine-tune the handling of your machine. MSRP: $95-$100 Info:

Motion Pro Axis Truing Balance Stand

The new Motion Pro Axis Truing Balance Stand combines quality and function. Its signature blue powder coated steel tubular frame is designed to fold away for easy storage. The single-sided design makes it easy to access spoke nipples. The 15mm axle fits most modern street and off-road motorcycle wheels and features high-quality bearings that allow precise wheel balancing. An aluminum hub cone with setscrew keeps wheels firmly locked in place. For truing, an aluminum pointer is mounted to a clamp with horizontal and vertical adjustment to accommodate most motorcycle wheels. The stand can be used with dial indicators (not included).

Powertye Pickup Kit

These high-quality American-made tie-downs are a great solution for securing your dirtbike or sportbike in the back of a pickup truck or trailer. The 1½-inch Fat Straps come with 2 Latching S-Hooks to keep your bike from falling over, and a Powertye Soft-Tye sewn-in to easily wrap around handlebars and keep hooks away from your bike. Each Pickup Kit includes two 1½-inch Fat Straps with integrated Soft-Tyes and one Storage Bag to keep everything clean and organized when not in use. The kit is available in black, red, blue or orange. It makes a great holiday gift for any rider. Part No.: 29622-SB MSRP: $26.95 Info:

Part No.: 08-0538 MSRP: $109.99 Info:




Discount available to AMA members! See page 2 for details.


ProAligner Wheel Alignment Tool Spectro Premium Motorcycle Wash FLY Street Grande Tank Bag

Boasting 26-30 liter capacity, the FLY Street Grande Tank Bag includes a number of trick features. It has a convertible GPS pocket that folds out of the way when not in use as well as a fold-out tool storage pouch. It is available with a magnetic or strap base and converts to a backpack for easy carry. There’s water bladder storage and an easy-access electronics pocket. A rain cover keeps everything dry and there’s reflective piping for visibility. MSRP: $149.95 Info:

You won’t believe how well this motorcycle wash works. The toughest dirt, grease, grime, bug splatter, brake dust and road film are all lifted with this spray-on/ rinse-off product. It leaves a sparkling, streak-free clean surface that keeps bikes looking like new. It’s gentle enough for daily washing, yet effective even for the dirtiest build-up. Spectro Premium Motorcycle Wash contains no petroleum solvents or harsh chemicals. It’s an aqueousbased, non-flammable product that will not spot-blanch metals if thoroughly rinsed. Excellent for aluminum, auto or truck wheels. MSRP: $14.23 Info: or (800) 243-8645

Approximately 80 percent of all motorcycle wheels are misaligned using swingarm marks. You’ll discover instant improvement in steering feel and control by aligning your wheels directly with ProAligner’s CMM-certified, laser-like accuracy. The unique and versatile ProAligner was designed by a former FIM-GP racer to out-perform any other wheel aligning method. ProAligner’s quick and easy-to-follow, sixthgrade-tested instructions are conveniently printed on its storage sleeve. It can align all brands of bikes on rear stands, front stands, side stands or no stands at all. MSRP: $29.95 Info:

K&N Wrench-Off Oil Filters

Built with a 17mm hex nut affixed to the head of the filter, makes these oil filters easy to remove in those hard-to-reach places. Designed to withstand the higher concentrates of synthetic and semi-synthetic oils, K&N’s premium oil filters feature a man-made media that is developed to be compatible with both synthetic and traditional oils. The filters are ideal for use in highperformance engines or to be used for longer service intervals as intended with many synthetic and ester oils. K&N oil filters deliver high-flow rates and outstanding oil filtration. K&N oil filters include a K&N limited warranty. MSRP: $7.49-$16.99 Info:

KTM 1190 Adventure Skid Plate

KTM’s biggest adventure bike ever can take you to new places. Having the right engine protection ensures you’ll get through the toughest terrain. Manufactured from high-strength aluminum and engineered to work perfectly with the all-new 1190 Adventure Chassis, the KTM 1190 Adventure Skid Plate is a dependable riding accessory engineered to provide maximum, efficient coverage. Part No.: 60303990044 MSRP: $289.99 Info:

December 2013


Paul Zoeller

HAVE SPORTSTER. WILL TRAVEL. Seeing The Country On Two Wheels By Diane Dixon

Little did I know that purchasing my first Harley-Davidson Sportster would change my life in significant ways. Three and a half years and more than 84,000 miles later, I am a different person. Riding my Sportster out of my zip code is my passion. In my last traveling adventure I rode through extreme winds, a dust storm and I outran tornadoes. Even with all those challenges, the amazing things I got to see were well worth it. And, thankfully, the rides that I experienced previously had prepared me well. In September 2009, I bought my first street bike, a 2009 Custom Sportster 1200. Soon, I was riding with the local H.O.G. Chapter from South Carolina to Washington, D.C., for Rolling Thunder. What an awesome first event for me! This tribute to the veterans of our armed forces showed me how caring and friendly the biker community is. The camaraderie and friendliness was off the charts. This first trip also hooked me on longdistance travel. Seeing so many new places and meeting interesting people enriched the experience of traveling by motorcycle.


The next big trip came in 2011. A friend and I were planning to ride to Michigan to attend the Motor Maids National Convention in Grand Rapids. As we talked about our travel plans, we determined we would also love to visit London, Canada. We set out early in July with bags packed for adventure. I didn’t sleep much the night before in anticipation of the ride. I felt like I owed this opportunity to motorcycling. Before I got my bike, I wouldn’t have taken such a journey. A whole new world of travel was opening up to me. The temperatures were perfect. We rode through miles of gorgeous countryside— Kentucky with its rolling dark green valleys with endless horizons. The smell of hay

crisp in the air. It had a majestic beauty to it and, for me, was all new. After arriving in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Monday, we checked into our hotel and made plans to ride out to see Lake Michigan and the Old Mission Lighthouse. The following day, we would head to Canada. Our first route would be I-96 to U.S. 31, a stop for lunch in Muskegon and then continue on 31 for the shoreline of Lake Michigan. From there we would proceed to Michigan 37 to Traverse City and then on to the Old Mission Lighthouse at the end of 37. We passed orchards of cherries. From the roadway I could see miles of them. There were beautiful views of vineyards. After lunch at the Tipsy Toad Tavern in Muskegon, we headed to the shoreline of Lake Michigan. The first view I had of Lake Michigan blew me away! Such a dark blue color radiated from the waters. We followed the shoreline, taking in the warm sun and the beauty of it all. I thought of how lucky the locals were to have such a wonderful place to go and enjoy themselves. The Old Mission Lighthouse was built in 1870 on the 45th parallel—halfway between the North Pole and the Equator. You can take a tour through it or just take in the gorgeous view from its porch. Back in Grand Rapids, I visited with several hundred Motor Maids sisters and had a grand time during the convention. Once again I thought about how much traveling on my motorcycle had brought so many new experiences into my life. The next day we headed for London, Canada. Our route took us from Grand Rapids, I-96 to I-69, and we would cross over the border by bridge into Sarnia where the road became Highway 402 in Canada. From there we would travel to 401 and on to London, Ontario. Our destination was Rocky’s HarleyDavidson shop. We bought some shirts at Rocky’s and visited a while with the staff and then headed out for some lunch. At lunch, I asked for a sandwich meal and sweet tea. The lady at the counter gave me a strange look and asked me if I wanted a tea bag with it. Confused, I said “sure.” When my order arrived, I had a cup of hot water with First big trip, Rolling Thunder...

High Adventure. No Hassle.

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Second big trip in 2011, to Michigan and then Canada....

a tea bag. My friend then reminded me that they don’t drink sweet tea in Canada. I laughed and made my own by adding cold water and sugar. There’s no problem a biker can’t fix! Back at the Motor Maids convention we enjoyed great riding, fun and new adventures. Our convention concluded and we packed our bikes on Friday, said goodbye to our Motor Maids sisters and headed home. We got caught in only one rainstorm heading back to South Carolina. The 3,000-plus miles were fantastic, but my appetite was only whetted for more. My goal for 2013 was to ride from the East coast to the West coast, and I’m happy to report that we did it. A friend and I rode our motorcycles from South Carolina to California, and then back to South Carolina. It was 14 days and 5,400plus miles. Not only did we see the whole country, but I got to ride the California coast, a dream of mine. It was beautiful. On Thursday, May 9, we headed out for our California adventure. Our route was U.S. 17 to I-95, then I-16 to 96, then route 80/22 to 280 and finish by going I-855 to I-65 and end up in Mobile, Ala. The weather was looking pretty clear in South Carolina, however, the western states were experiencing extremely bad storms. We were able to get through Georgia and into Alabama with great weather. We made it 597 miles on Day 1. The next day we got up early and left at 7 a.m. As we crossed into Mississippi, the rain started coming down. Then the wind and lightning came—not a good thing on a motorcycle. We stopped at the Mississippi Welcome Center to wait the storm out. Checking radar for over two hours, we realized this storm was not going to let up any time soon, so we found a local hotel to wait out it out. On Saturday, May 11, we headed out of Moss Point, Miss. Adjusting our route, we rode I-10 to US 49, then U.S. 98/I-59 back onto U.S. 49, concluding with I-20 into Texas. Two storm fronts were in our path, but we powered through Louisiana and then to Longview, Texas, and into the Lone Star State. Texas is a grand, big beautiful state, and I plan to go back there to see more of it. On this trip, though, it was ridethrough country. It was fascinating to see

oil-drilling rigs right by the side of the road, and I was introduced to tumble weeds. The weather was absolutely perfect in Texas, highs in the 80s, no rain and plenty of sweet sunshine. We stopped for the night in Big Spring. On May 13, we headed out on 87 to U.S. 180 to New Mexico’s Carlsbad Caverns and then backtracked to 82, then continued on U.S. 70 to Las Cruces. We had a gorgeous day riding out to the Caverns. New Mexico has its own beauty even though there is a lot of rock and dirt. After experiencing the amazing Carlsbad Caverns, we headed to Las Cruces by way of the Lincoln National Forest. The forest included winding hills and fantastic scenery. We covered 446 miles and had a wonderful day. We were closing in on California! Our schedule for May 14 was to make it across Arizona to Yuma. The route was simply I-10 to I-8. As we rode through Arizona, we faced temperatures of 105 degrees! Stopping more often to hydrate and rest, we met up with a couple who rode all the way from Florida. Stacy and John were also stopping to fend off the heat. We decided to ride together through Arizona and look out for one another, as bikers do. There’s nothing like the bond of motorcycle riding to bring people together. By the end of the day, we had covered 514 miles. We headed out of Yuma the next morning. Our route into California took us over I-8 to 67, then 52 to I-15, onto 76 to I-5 and finally to Highway 1, the Pacific Coast Highway, through Laguna, Newport and Huntington Beaches. I was thrilled to be riding the California coast. California was gorgeous—an experience I will never forget. We left Long Beach on May 16. We decided that since we had made such good time that we would stay in Las Vegas for two nights. Our route took us on 91 to I-15 then on to I-515. We pulled out of Long Beach a little late and then stopped outside of Las Vegas at Buffalo Bill’s and waited for the sunset. Our plan was to ride in at night. After riding awhile in darkness, we saw the lights of Las Vegas off in the distance. It was an amazing experience, finding our oasis in the desert.

After a great 285 miles, we reached our destination, the Plaza Hotel. We checked into our rooms then walked around the strip. We walked down Freemont Street and then visited the Mirage and Bellagio. We walked around the strip until 4 a.m., and then decided to call it a day. There was so much to see in Las Vegas. I was trying my best to take it all in the next day—dinner at the MGM buffet, the water show at the Bellagio, the volcano show at the Mirage. We enjoyed it all. With plans to hit the road by 8:30 a.m., we called it an early night. I had an unforgettable two days in Las Vegas. I’ll definitely be back. We headed out for Gallup, N.M., on I-515 to U.S. 93 then I-40 with a planned photo stop at a famous corner in Winslow, Ariz. About 30 miles out of Winslow, we met a nice fellow rider named Gil on a Yamaha. Gil lived in the area, but hadn’t had his picture taken at the corner either, so he showed us the way. He took our picture, and we took his. From there, we headed to our hotel for the night in Gallup. We traveled 433 miles that day. Our next destination was Amarillo, Texas, via I-40 and some of the famous Route 66. The wind started to get strong and did not let up for the rest of the day. It peaked as we rode into Texas. A dust storm developed right in front of us. With only seconds to react, we held on tight,

slowed and rode through. A few seconds later, it was gone and the weather was clear again. We stopped in Amarillo, having made 420 miles through rough winds and a dust storm. On Monday, May 20, we pointed our bikes toward Paris, Texas. Stopping for fuel in Sherman, we learned from a local that we had just missed a tornado touching down in Witchita Falls. With access to radar, we also learned that the storm was right behind us. We had to leave now! We jumped on the bikes and headed for Longview. Thank you, Texas, for your 75 mph speed limit. We made it across the state in time, riding through storms and wind, covering a safe 503 miles. The next day, we crossed Louisiana, then Mississippi. We stopped in Alabama for the night before facing the final 525 miles. One more bout with storms delayed us an additional day, but after a night in Swainsboro, we conquered the last 200 miles—U.S. 1 to I-16, then I-95 to 78 and home at last. There’s traveling, and then there’s traveling by motorcycle. Never in my life have I seen so much and had such an awesome time doing it. Before buying my Sportster, I rarely ventured far from South Carolina. Now I’m already making plans for the next crosscountry adventure. All the experiences, good and bad, are what make each ride unique. The great people we meet, the places I get to see and even the weather conditions are what made them special. My suggestion? Choose your destination, set your dates and ride. See you on the road! Diane Dixon is an AMA member from Moncks Corner, S.C.

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AMA clubs and promoters are involved in all types of riding and racing. It’s unusual that someone comes along with a fresh approach. Motomarathon is one such group, combining long-distance riding with twisty backroads. While there certainly are a lot of great sport-touring clubs across the country, Motomarathon’s fun and organized rides are starting to bring a unique flavor to the discipline. We recently caught up with the group’s founder John Metzger, an AMA member from Boulder, Colo. He talked about the genesis of his rides, the type of riders who attend Motomarathon events and explained some of the qualities that keep bringing them back for more.

American Motorcyclist: When did you guys get organized, and what was the spark that ignited your group? John Metzger: We ran our first prototype event in 2008 and our first official season in 2009. After spending most of my adult life involved in rallies, tours, poker runs and various events like Iron Butt and Centopassi, I decided to develop my own criteria for long-distance sport touring, which led to the invention of the Motomarathon. AM: What events do you focus on, and what attracted you to that type of riding? JM: We run several long-distance rides each season, and I love how it’s turned out. I get to ride in new areas, new roads, and it’s all about long-distance sport

Jeff Guciardo

AMA CONGRESS CONVENES Elected Body Reviews Rules For Organized Sport, Recreation


The 2013 AMA Congress convened Oct. 3-5 in Columbus, Ohio, for its 46th annual meeting. The meeting brought together elected delegates from around the country to debate recommended changes to the rules and regulations governing AMAsanctioned sporting events.

touring, not just long mileage days. We seek out the twistiest, most scenic roads in the country, and ride them hard all day long. We have a great time together along the road and in the evenings at dinner, usually in beautiful locations with great people. Though Motomarathons are really fourday vacations, avoiding riding at night, interstates, etc., it’s important to stress the experience level of our riders. They know how to navigate, prepare for and ride this kind of event, and are self-reliant and resourceful. AM: In your experience, what do riders these days look for in an event? How have you improved over the years? JM: Our riders love the routes. That’s what it’s about. I know Colorado like the back of my hand but have, as others, been very appreciative of being able to go to places like the Great Smokies, New England, California and others, and ride the routes that have been identified and linked together by local experts. Our returning riders like the overall concept of keeping seasonal and lifetime track of the number of checkpoints they bag over multiple events. It’s about integrating long-distance sport-touring opportunities over seasons and years into busy lives that long for that break of a magical riding experience.

AM: What brings riders back to an organized event? JM: They like to ride in new areas, or even if we repeat an area, there are always new roads and ways to get around them. Riders like to get their checkpoints counted in our overall standings, and they have made friends and come back for the camaraderie as well. AM: How have you taken advantage of technology to improve the running of your events? JM: We’ve thought a lot about this. Almost everyone uses some form of GPS and technology of all sorts, but it always comes down to a paper map, and a paper route sheet outlining each directional change. Depending on each rider’s individual level and interest in tech, they can program that route into their systems. But sometimes those systems fail or won’t work or are inaccurate, more often than one might think. However, when I do the intense work of the routemaster—figuring out four days’ worth of good riding—I use everything: GPS, my computer, my iPad, my iPhone, paper maps, pen and paper. The art of sport touring is enhanced by this rather complex process.


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Maggie McNally Returns As Chair

Maggie McNally and Art More will continue their service on the AMA Board of Directors. AMA Board Chair McNally represents individual members from the Northeast Region. McNally was unopposed in her bid for a new threeyear term beginning February 2014. More, whose term expires in February Maggie McNally 2014, represents individual members from the Southwest Region. Because no qualified candidates responded in 2013, More will continue to serve until a new board member is elected. AMA members interested in running for the seat to represent individual members in the Soutwest Region must apply to appear on the ballot. Candidates for

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the AMA Board of Directors must meet minimum guidelines defined in the AMA Code of Regulations. For deadline information and details on how to submit an application to run for the AMA Board of Directors, contact Director of Administrative Services Sean Maher at (614) 856-1900, ext. 1265.

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Ask the MSF

RIDING AT NIGHT Q: What is the official thinking about riding at night? I know some riders who just don’t do it, and others think it’s not even an issue. What’s the deal? When is it safe to ride at night and what should I keep in mind when/if I do? A: As you suggest, riding at night is a polarizing concept. There are some obvious disadvantages as well as some advantages, which we’ll try to summarize here. A major risk is that at night, it’s harder to see the road surface. Search-EvaluateExecute is the key strategy to safe riding, but your Search is harder to perform in darkness, both because of ambient light conditions and also the eyes are


less sensitive at night. There are ways to minimize this limitation. First, ride slower, so you can see the road and traffic within your headlight’s illumination cone in time to make necessary speed and directional adjustments. Increase your following distance. Use your high beam (except when following another motorist or when faced with an oncoming motorist) and/ or add auxiliary lights as permitted by your state. Pay attention to the taillights of vehicles ahead of you—if they are bouncing that can alert you to road surface imperfections. And use clean, unscratched eye protection. Another risk is drunk drivers. Passenger vehicle drivers are four times more likely to be impaired by alcohol between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. than between

6 a.m. and 6 p.m. (NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts 2011, based on the blood-alcohol level of drivers in fatal crashes). And be alert when in areas where wild animals are known to cross—hitting a deer can be as devastating as hitting a car. There are some advantages to riding at night. There is generally less traffic. And oncoming drivers may be able to see you more easily, because your headlight shows up better against a dark/night background than against a light/daylight background. To alert drivers who are following you, flash your brake light when stopping and occasionally while stopped as vehicles approach from behind. To improve conspicuity, especially from the side, ensure your motorcycle’s side reflectors are clean, add reflective material to your helmet and jacket, and consider wearing a reflective vest. A rider must balance these factors and more. Is there fog? Is the road damp? Then make decisions to manage risk. If a rider manages risk by choosing not to ride at night, then that rider can be comfortable with that decision.

Cara Lee Photography

Touring Rally Will Run June 2-7

One of the bigger biker bashes in the country has its dates set for 2014. The next Americade will be June 2-7 in Lake George, N.Y. The rally, a perennial AMA National Convention, will open with a pre-event lakeside party on June 2 for all preregistered attendees. The rally itself will include a motorcycle expo, rides and tours, and motorcycle demo rides. See for more information. Pre-registration will open Jan. 25.



AMA Member Tested

GLOWRIDER SAFETY VEST MSRP: $129 Sizes: XS-3XL Info: When I opened the package containing the Glowrider Safety Vest, the first thought that I had was “safety.” This is a very visible piece of gear. The color, “Safety Green,” will definitely get you noticed. Next, after inspecting the vest, I found it to have a sturdy construction, and it feels well made. There are plenty of large pockets for storage. The biggest feature, though, is the LED lighting. With this turned on, you can’t be missed. I took a 1,300-mile ride while testing this vest, and there were plenty of comments and questions about my vest. I did notice a rise in body temp when wearing the vest over my mesh jacket. That’s my first and only complaint. When you live in south Texas, staying cool when riding is key to staying on the bike. I did feel more comfortable riding at night with the LED in the “on” mode instead of the “flash” mode. A couple times on “flash” mode, I had drivers pulling up next to me and pacing me for awhile, I imagine watching my vest flash. I didn’t have this happen when I just turned the lights on. I think it made me less of a curiosity but no less visible. I think the “flash” mode is probably better for bikes that allow a less obstructed view of the rider. Drivers would be able to get an eyeful from a distance and may not be so tempted to drive alongside you watching the light show. While the vest understandably added a layer of insulation, it wasn’t overly hot in the heat and, depending on the weather, this could be as much a positive as a negative. The bottom line is the jacket made me feel safer, particularly at night, and that’s what it’s designed to do. It’s hard to put a price on that.—Brad Whitworth

ZERO GRAVITY LATIGO SPORTBIKE SADDLE MSRP: Varies ($259.95 as reviewed) Info: Zero Gravity, based in Camarillo, Calif., is a longtime manufacturer of replacement windshields for streetbikes and sportbikes. They’ve recently diversified their product line with the introduction of their new sportbike saddles, including the Latigo series, which is reviewed here. Quite frankly, the Latigo is a very cool upgrade. It offers comfort above the stock seat, a stickiness that holds you in place better than the stocker, with a bit more style to boot and is easily installed. The Latigo comes made to fit your particular bike, using the original saddle’s rubber stops and grommets, facilitated by spraying WD-40 (per Zero Gravity’s instruction manual) on the rubber pieces so they slide in with little effort. I sprayed the parts to remove them Michael Korzeniowski from the stock seat pan first and then stuck them on the Latigo seat pan. No fuss, no muss. The Zero Gravity seat pan is custom molded to fit like the original. It is made of ABS plastic and is touted as being indestructible. It appears to be vacuum molded whereas the Suzuki pan on my GSX-R1000 is injection molded plastic, for comparison’s sake. Both function identically for mounting purposes. As for the seat padding, it’s no contest. The Latigo is heads and shoulders above the stock seat in terms of comfort. Constructed of resilient-but-firm polyurethane foam, it is thicker than stock, but not by much. It is so comfortable that I am considering mounting Helibars and going sport touring. Yes, the rise in seat height does alter my riding position, putting more weight on my arms—another reason to consider the Helibars idea. The upholstery is a Marine-grade vinyl that feels tacky and is intended to hold you in place whether it’s raining, dry, hot or cold. How cold? I didn’t test this, admittedly, but the reported fabric crack temperature is -60 F. The saddle’s fabric, which is available with contrasting stitching, has a leatherlike sheen, not that plastic-looking shine

of lesser seats. It has some detail stitching on the front sides, and angled tuck-and-roll style of detail work. Slightly off in symmetry, it exudes a handmade look and feel to the construction. It should, because it is made right here in America.—Michael Korzeniowski





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December 2013


WHEN ATVs WERE NEW 1970 Honda ATC90 All-terrain vehicles may be extremely popular today, but they didn’t even exist prior to the late 1960s. Though there had been a few low-production three-wheeled vehicles in the 1960s, the modern ATV got its start in America in 1970 with the introduction of this machine, the Honda US90 (ATC90), which soon became known as the All-Terrain Cycle. The US90 created an all-new category, with its fat balloon tires that left a soft footprint on the ground, its ability to remain upright when stopped and its wide-ranging capabilities on varied terrain. Featuring an 89cc four-stroke motor making about seven horsepower that was started with a pull-cord and driving a fourspeed gearbox through an auto-clutch, the three-wheeler was essentially a small mini-bike with two wheels in back. With no suspension, bump-handling duties were managed by the balloon tires. A special swivel-lock on the handlebars allowed for

compact storage. In its first year, the machine was offered for $595 in a range of colors with names that were perfect for early 1970s: Aquarious Blue, Bright Red, Summer Yellow and Parrot Green. The US90 met with early sales success, proving the market was ready for exactly what Honda built. Other manufacturers eventually followed in Honda’s footsteps with similar designs, and three-wheelers found a home not only with recreational riders, but farmers and hunters. New designs with evolutions in sport, recreation and utility features followed year after year. By 1985, controversy had erupted nationwide over ATVs when a consumer group petitioned the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to ban all three-wheeled ATVs, alleging they were too dangerous. As a result, the agency held hearings and an outright ban seemed

a very real possibility. But in 1988, a compromise was worked out with regulators. Major manufacturers signed a consent decree with the CSPC that stopped the sale of three-wheelers, recommended rider-age guidelines for all models of four-wheeled ATVs and specified industry-supported training. Since then, opponents of ATVs have repeatedly sought bans or restrictions on ATVs, and the AMA and others have consistently fought back, and won. After the 1988 agreement that ended the sale of new three-wheelers, manufacturers adapted designs further, branching out with numerous four-wheeled ATV designs. These “quads” were very successful with the expanding recreational and utility markets, and the ATV industry grew to become robust and healthy. It all started with machines like this humble Honda US90, which is on display at the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum at AMA headquarters in Pickerington, Ohio.

Photos Jeff Guciardo

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


December 2013


Hall of Famer


Millionaire publisher Malcolm Forbes was a larger-than-life character—a media titan, politician, art collector, sportsman, internationally famous balloonist and motorcyclist. During the 1970s and ‘80s, Forbes put a new face on motorcycling. Largely due to his highly publicized international motorcycle trips with Hollywood celebrities, business leaders and the press, Forbes helped change the general public’s perceptions of what motorcyclists and motorcycling were all about. He showed that motorcycling was not only socially acceptable behavior, but even a highly desirable pursuit for people from all walks of life. The third son of B.C. and Adelaide Forbes, Malcolm Stevenson Forbes was born in New York City on Aug. 19, 1919. His father founded Forbes magazine in 1917. After graduating from Lawrenceville School in New Jersey in 1937, followed by Princeton, Forbes ultimately joined the family publishing business after a stint in the military. He won the Republican nomination for governor of New Jersey in 1957, but was defeated in the election by Democrat Robert Meyner. In 1957, he also became editor and publisher of the magazine that shared his name. Forbes magazine was floundering when he took over, but under his


management, circulation and profits soared, making him a multimillionaire. He became known for his extravagant parties and colorful hobbies, from hotair ballooning to collecting Fabergé eggs. Forbes took up motorcycling in the late 1960s. He purchased a motorcycle dealership in New Jersey that became one of the largest in the country. Forbes became a leading goodwill ambassador for the sport of motorcycling. His international riding trips were covered extensively not only by motorcycle magazines, but also by the

mainstream media. Forbes made his thoughts on motorcycles and politics quite clear. “I think legislative assaults on motorcyclists are totally emotional, disproportionate and totally unfair... They are instigated and implemented by people who know nothing about motorcycling, but have a prejudice. It’s easy to curb the freedoms of others when you see no immediate impact on your own.” Forbes was awarded the AMA Hazel Kolb Brighter Image Award in 1987, the Association’s highest award for activities that generate good publicity for motorcycling. Forbes died on February 24, 1990. Forbes was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1999.


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

Put yourself in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame is YOUR hall of fame—we couldn’t exist without the generous support of our donors. Now there’s a new way for you to show that support in a very visible way: My Hall of Fame. The idea is simple: A $20 donation gets you a 3-inch-square space on the wall in the Hall of Fame entrance foyer that hangs during the campaign year. Want a bigger space? A 6-inch square is an $80 donation, and a 9-inch square is a $180 donation. You also get an official certificate noting that your picture is on display in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. Hang your picture, your kid’s picture, your company logo, almost anything. It’s up to you! Get in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame today!

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Celebrating In Las Vegas


Left: AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Malcolm Smith (left) and 2013 inductee Norm McDonald provided an amazing moment at the ceremony. Malcolm, who credits McDonald with his career in motorcycling, persevered the pain of recent back surgery to travel from Riverside, Calif., and personally present McDonald with his Hall of Fame ring. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house during Malcolm’s sincere and touching tribute to his friend. They are shown here with American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation Chairman Jeff Heininger.

Above: Mark Blackwell, inducted in 2000, was honored as an AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend. Hall of Fame Legends are existing members of the Hall of Fame who are recognized for ongoing contributions to the sport. Blackwell has won a national motocross title, has managed championship race teams and has excelled in business. Left, top: Sean and Dan Traynor accepted the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame honor on behalf of the late Mike and Dianne Traynor. Mike and Dianne Traynor founded Ride for Kids, which has raised $70 million for childhood brain tumor research since 1984. Left, middle: Road racer Randy Renfrow, who passed away in 2002, was one of the most versatile competitors of his time. Shown are (l-r) Hall of Famer Jody Nicholas, Shawn Renfrow, Edith Renfrow, Charles Renfrow, John Lassak and AMHF Chairman Jeff Heininger. Left, bottom: Danny Hamel, who died in 1995, is considered one of the greatest desert racers ever. Shown are (l-r) Hall of Famer Randy Hawkins, Team Kawasaki Manager Mark Johnson, Hamel’s mechanic Mike Hodges and AMHF Chairman Jeff Heininger.

Photos Jeff Guciardo

very year, the world of motorcycling welcomes a new class to the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. These men and women represent the best and the brightest in all areas of motorcycle sport, industry and advocacy. Held at the Green Valley Ranch in Las Vegas, Nev., on Oct. 18-19, the AMA Legends Weekend, presented by Husqvarna, honored these motorcycling heroes with an unforgettable display of admiration and respect. For more photographs from this weekend, see To see video from the weekend, visit

Below If American motorcycling has a royal couple, Mike and Margaret Wilson are it. Shown here with Dave Mungenast Memorial Legends Reception emcee Laurette Nicoll and AMHF Board Chairman Jeff Heininger, the Hall of Famers and emeritus members of the AMHF board have been married—and riding motorcycles together—for 71 years.

Above, left: AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend and 2000 inductee Torsten Hallman was unable to travel from his home in Sweden due to last-minute doctor’s orders. Induction ceremony emcee and AMA Board Member Perry King read Hallman’s speech. Above, right: Willie G. Davidson, the man who defined Harley-Davidson’s iconic look in the 1970s, ’80s and beyond, was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1999. At the Dave Mungenast Memorial Legends Reception on Saturday morning, he received his Hall of Fame ring. The greatest motocrosser of all time took his rightful place in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. As a professional racer, Ricky Carmichael denied all challengers. On the stage, he was humble, respectful and gracious—a true champion.

A MEMORABLE RIDE Father, Brothers Reconnect Around Black Hills Rally By Ricky Keck



o celebrate my 60th birthday, I long time for him to lose the smile. told my wife that I wanted to ride After catching up on news and a meal, my 2007 Harley-Davidson Ultra we prepared to leave. We had a long way Classic to Sturgis, S.D., for the Black Hills to ride before stopping for the night. I Rally. It was just something that needed didn’t have to urge our dad to ride along doing. After several days of making nice (don’t think I could have stopped him), and promising to be safe, she finally—but and he led the procession of five Harleygrudgingly—relented, stating that she Davidson motorcycles through the side would be flying out to Rapid City. streets and out to the state highway. Yes! Now that the hard part was over, I As he peeled off to return home, leaving set about letting my three brothers know us to point our headlights west, we all so that we could plan one heck of a family waved and watched until he disappeared reunion. up the off-ramp. We all ride. Always have. Our father The trip to South Dakota was not raised us that way. His first ride was a without its own thrills. We had an exciting 1947 Knucklehead with tank shift and time driving through Kansas City at night, suicide clutch. We started riding when but after three days we arrived at our I bought a mini-bike with the money rented cabin in Custer, a cozy little town I earned from delivering papers. The 40 miles southwest of Rapid City. poor thing finally gave up the ghost This being my first time to the Sturgis and required that our father invest in rally, I depended on my younger brother to something a little more durable. Our love be our guide, a task at which he was more affair with motorcycles had begun, and we than capable. have been riding ever since. But we have never ridden together as a family. So, when I began planning the trip to Sturgis, I had a secondary plan: get all of us together for a family ride on our way to the Black Hills. My father lives in the boot heel area of Missouri. I live in Tampa, and my brothers are in Illinois and Mississippi. Arranging the meeting posed some logistical problems. However, we had a year to figure it out and surprise L-R: Jack Keck, Ricky our dad. As the date Keck, Kevin Keck, Mike approached, plans firmed up Keck and Mark Keck. and we had the groundwork for our rendezvous in Missouri. With our base in Custer, every rally My father—a lifelong rider of venue required that we ride past Crazy motorcycles—attained his 80th year in Horse Mountain and Mount Rushmore. February. Still working as a long-haul I was amazed at the magnitude of the trucker, he cannot ride like he used to, former and humbled by the solemnity of but he still owns a Sportster and rides the latter. whenever he gets the chance. In the six days we were there, we had Life has a knack of getting in the way of the opportunity to visit the usual sights: doing the things we wish we could. As a Deadwood, Spearfish Canyon, Custer result of this, the five of us have not been State Park, the Badlands and on one together since 1974. Exceptional, I know, long day Devil’s Tower across the border but like I said, life sometimes gets in the in Wyoming. We spent one day actually way. I was determined to change that. So, going to Sturgis to get a feel for the flavor as August 2013 drew near, I increased of the rally firsthand. the pressure on my brothers to make the I have been to several rallies in my journey and meet at our dad’s home on time—Daytona (both Bike Week and Saturday, Aug. 3. Biketoberfest), Laconia (loved the Mount I was successful in getting all three Washington ride), the Honda Hoot in brothers to meet, but one could not get Knoxville (back when I rode a VTX 1800C), away to make the entire Black Hills ride. several regional rallies in Florida, etc.— Nevertheless, on Saturday the four of us but there was something special about pulled into the driveway and presented the Black Hills Rally. Perhaps it was the quite a sight to our dear old dad. It took a geographic location with its spectacular

scenery, or maybe it was how the rally seemed to be incorporated into nearly every town and city in western South Dakota. From Custer and Hill City, Wall to Rapid City, not to mention Deadwood and Spearfish, the entire region was infected with rally fever. Everywhere we went, we saw evidence of this. There were banners and billboards, vendors and photographers along scenic byways, and a general feeling of openness and warmth from the local population even though I am sure they were happy when the crowds abated. When at last we were packed and ready to leave for the long ride home, I was a little saddened at the prospect that I might never return. I wondered if I had missed anything in the six days and over one thousand miles of riding. I had my stash of new tee shirts, my “I Rode Mine” patch on my vest and HOG Rally pin for my denim jacket, and two digital cards full of photographic memories of the trip. Plus, I had spent more time in a week with my two brothers than I had in many years. I had not missed a thing. Then it was time to go. I escorted my wife to the Rapid City airport, once more swore to be safe, and waited as she went through security and toward her flight home. With that duty done, I turned east and twisted the throttle. Four days later I arrived, a little sore and road weary, safe at home in Tampa. I checked my odometer and noted with some satisfaction that I had logged more than 5,000 miles. It was time for another mileage patch. I brought back many memories of the trip, which I am sure most attendees did: the monuments, breathtaking scenery, camaraderie of fellow bikers, and sights and sounds of the rally. But the one memory that stands out in my mind, above all the rest—not Rushmore, not Devil’s Tower, not even the Full Throttle Saloon— was the look on my father’s face as we headed out on our group ride. That single event will remain an indelible, fond memory for the rest of my life. What will last longer than all the statues carved into the granite of the Black Hills is the memory of seeing the look on my dad’s face and the light in his aging eyes at having been allowed this chance to reunite with his sons for one more ride. I don’t need a cheap tee shirt or patch to remind me of that.

December 2013


KURT CASELLI: A WINNING YEAR AMA Hare & Hound Champion Racing Ahead By Mark Kariya


urt Caselli celebrated his 30th birthday this year and what a year it’s been. Besides that benchmark 30th lap around the sun, he got engaged, helped mentor teammate Ivan Ramirez and did quite a bit of racing around the globe. The competition side of things started in January with an unexpected ride on the Red Bull KTM Factory Rally Team, filling in for the injured Marc Coma. Despite it being his introduction to a top-level rally, the American desert-racing champ surprised quite a few Europeans by winning two stages. “It was totally unexpected,” Caselli remembers. “I got a call a week before it started and had to jump on the opportunity. “I had a decent result and KTM was happy with that,” he adds. “It wasn’t two weeks that I was home from that that I had a contract to do rallies for the next three years, so obviously KTM was very aggressive with wanting to get me started in that career.” Caselli is a longtime KTM rider, and he


says that loyalty pays dividends. “I was just thrilled that they offered me that [contract], and the biggest thing is just sticking with the company,” he says. “In off-road, it’s so important to be brandloyal and just create good relationships that you’re going to be with people for the long run. We’re not making millions out here, so it’s good to have a sponsor that’s behind you, whether you have a good year or a bad year.” But since he started winning the AMA Hare & Hound National Championship in 2011, Caselli doesn’t seem to have bad years. Even the 2013 desert racing season went from bad to good. It started with a DNF when he stopped to aid a fellow rider while coming back through the pack, having had to replace the rear brake system due to bending the rotor earlier in the race. That immediately put him 30 points in the hole to winner Kendall Norman, the 2010 series champ. “It’s so crazy—all the years that I’ve struggled and the races I’ve done badly, I’ve learned so much more than the races

that I’ve won or the series that I’ve won where everything’s perfect,” he says. “When you struggle, that’s when you really find out who you are and what you need to work on.” After that, Caselli worked on getting things back to normal. He finished second to Norman at round two (it would be Norman’s final series appearance, the privateer opting to spend his limited budget for the rest of the year racing in Baja) then won the next five rounds before another runner-up at round eight— at a new venue outside of Reno, Nev.—to rising star Jacob Argubright. Caselli locked up his third consecutive title after emerging victorious at round nine of the 10-stop tour, freeing him up to participate in the OiLibya Rally in Morocco that conflicted with round 10 as originally scheduled

Caselli continues: “Mixed in there was a rally in Argentina. I kind of surprised myself a little—I won that. I didn’t really plan on being up front. It was just [for] practice and to get some navigation skills down, and I was able to win, but there was a lot of other things going on. Some riders went down and Coma had some bike issues. But it was good to kind of get my foot cemented there in the rally scene so people know the next few years, I’ll hopefully be up front. “That led into this ISDE thing.” Before the Six Days, where Caselli was

much the racing side of it. They weren’t real familiar with what was going on in the [AMA Hare & Hound] series or anything like that, but they could tell you every little change about the new [KTM] 1190 and just everything about the bikes.” Caselli didn’t have his best year at the 88th ISDE, held on the island of Sardinia, Italy. But he didn’t need to—it’s a team event, after all, and while he turned in some good test times, his teammates backed him up well with solid finishes in almost every test. In the end, the team finished second in the top World Trophy

the U.S. team captain, however, there was a non-racing function that left a huge impression. “It just seems like every year it just gets busier and busier, and more things get thrown in there!” he says. “It’s what I really enjoy, doing the other things [besides] racing. I was able to do an adventure ride/ rally in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.” The adventure ride was an annual event that KTM puts on for fans of their street-legal adventure bikes. For Caselli, whose motorcycle life revolves around competition, the laid-back atmosphere of the recreational rally was a new experience. “That was so fun!” Caselli says. “I had a great time, met a lot of new people—a different experience, for sure, a different crowd of guys. They really enjoy just sportadventure riding, not so

category. Caselli wasn’t even born in 1982, the only other time the U.S. team has finished so high in the world championship event. “I didn’t have much time to really train [for the Six Days style of racing] and put what I thought would be the best effort toward being prepared for [it],” he says. “But that’s OK. I feel that as the years go on, you’ve really got to pick your battles and we’ve done great so far this year as a team. It’s the strongest team we’ve had in a real long time.” Next year, Caselli’s contracts will see him log a lot of air miles as he fills his role of rally racer while his domestic responsibility finds him focused on Baja. The ISDE will figure into his schedule as well as a few select events to stay sharp. For now, though, Caselli is tentatively retiring from making a run at the AMA Hare & Hound National Championship as he ups his competition on the world stage. Nevertheless, whether he’s racing in Mexico or Morocco, the multi-time champ will continue to represent America whenever he rides.

PHOTOS (Clockwise From Left) A last-minute substitute for the injured Marc Coma, rally rookie Kurt Caselli stunned many by winning two stages at Dakar. That performance earned him a three-year contract to join the Red Bull KTM Factory Rally Team, a role that will prevent him from chasing more AMA championships. PHOTO: M. MARAGNI/ KTM IMAGES Though not as prepared as he would’ve liked, Caselli nonetheless contributed solidly to the U.S. World Trophy team’s recordequaling, runner-up finish at Six Days. Individually, he still earned a gold and was ninth in the E2 division, the third American. PHOTO: MARK KARIYA It wasn’t until round three of the desert series that Caselli found himself leading a race. After that, it was almost impossible to wrest him out of it, and he’d win six of the first nine rounds to sew up his third straight title with one round to go. PHOTO: MARK KARIYA

on Oct. 12-13. (Due to the federal government shutdown in October, round 10 was rescheduled for Nov. 23-24.) “It was just a test of patience and I just keep pushing,” Caselli says of those early rounds. His team also notched strong runner-up finishes in the first two Baja races, with the season-ending Baja 1000 coming up.

December 2013



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


Don’t miss one of the greatest adventures in the country. It’s the LA-Barstow to Vegas dual-sport/ adventure ride hosted by AMA District 37 (Southern California) Dual Sport on Nov. 29-30 in Palmdale, Calif. The event is part of the AMA Husqvarna National Dual-Sport Series, presented by FMF, and the AMA Yamaha Super Ténéré National Adventure Riding Series. For more info, see page 43.


Catch the final round of the thrilling GEICO AMA EnduroCross National Championship Series on Nov. 23 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. Find out more information at


There’s still some exciting Pro-Am motocross action happening in Florida and Texas. Catch the action in Gainesville, Fla., Nov. 25-27, and Nov. 28-30. Then in Floresville, Texas, Nov. 30-Dec. 1 and in Wortham, Texas, Dec. 28-29. For more info, see page 43.

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


Be sure to catch the action of Round 5 of the Mid-South Cross Country Racing series is going on Dec. 8 at Hazzard Hill in Vanleer, Tenn. For more information, go to

5 1,2 1,5

4 3 3


Check out the latest motorcycles and gear at the Progressive International Motorcycle Shows in Long Beach, Calif., Dec. 6-8, and in New York, N.Y., Dec. 13-15. Info: www.



Celebrate the racing season at the gala 2013 AMA Championship Banquet that will be held Jan. 18, 2014, at the Aladdin Center in Columbus, Ohio. The annual get-together recognizes amateur national champions from both two- and four-wheel disciplines, such as the AMA ATV Motocross National Championship Series. For more information, go to www.













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December 2013


2013/2014 EVENTS HALL OF FAME EXHIBITS AND EVENTS AMA MOTORCYCLE HALL OF FAME MOTORCYCLEMUSEUM.ORG The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame is on the AMA campus in Pickerington, Ohio, and is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week. Closed: Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Main Hall: AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame: Recognizing those who have made significant contributions to all aspects of motorcycling. Dirt-Track! All-American Motorcycle Racing: Celebrating the storied history of the men and machines who battle on the dirt oval. 2 Wheels + Motor, A Fine Art Exhibition: More than two dozen artists celebrate the spirit, excitement and adventure of motorcycling through fine art. Founder’s Hall: Honoring the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame’s generous contributors. AMA PRO RACING 2014 MONSTER ENERGY AMA SUPERCROSS AMASUPERCROSS.COM

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

Feb. 22: Atlanta: Georgia Dome

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

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

Feb. 21-23: Reno, Nev.: Livestock Events Center Mar. 1-2: Tulsa, Okla.: BOK Center Mar. 7-9: Albuquerque, N.M.: Tingley Coliseum Mar. 14-16: Hidalgo, Texas: State Farm Arena Mar. 29-30: Salt Lake City: EnergySolutions Arena AMA INDOOR DIRT TRACK NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES STEVENACERACING.COM Nov. 16: Springfield, Ill. Nov. 30: DuQuoin, Ill.

Nov. 9: Boise, Idaho: Idaho Center

Dec. 1: DuQuoin, Ill.

Nov. 23: Las Vegas, Nev.: Orleans Arena

Dec. 14: Sturgis, Ky.

Nov. 2: Freedom, Ind: Coyote Run

Jan. 11: Phoenix: Chase Field Jan. 18: Anaheim, Calif.: Angel Stadium

Jan. 3-5: Worcester, Mass.: DCU Center

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

Jan. 10-12: Baltimore: 1st Mariner Arena

Feb. 1: Anaheim, Calif.: Angel Stadium

Jan. 18-19: Louisville, Ky.: Freedom Hall

Feb. 8: San Diego: Qualcomm Stadium

Jan. 25-26: Greensboro, N.C.: Greensboro Coliseum

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



Jan. 4: Anaheim, Calif.: Angel Stadium


Feb. 15: Arlington, Texas: Cowboys Stadium

Dec. 28: DuQuoin, Ill. Dec. 29: DuQuoin, Ill. Jan. 11: DuQuoin, Ill. Feb. 8: DuQuoin, Ill. Feb. 22: Duquoin, Ill. AMA FEATURED SERIES AMA WESTERN CHECKPOINT ENDURO CHAMPIONSHIP RIDECHEC.COM Nov. 9-10: Stoneyford, Calif. VIRGINIA CHAMPIONSHIP HARE SCRAMBLES SERIES VCHSS.ORG

2013/2014 EVENTS Nov. 10: Spring Grove, Va. AMA ACTION SPORTS GRAND PRIX SERIES ACTIONSPORTSRACING.COM Nov. 16: Athens, Ohio: Action Sports Moto Park, Action Sports Promotions, (740) 591-7223 AMA DISTRICT 37 BIG 6 GRAND PRIX SERIES BIG6RACING.COM Dec. 7-8: Pala, Calif.: Pala Raceway, Vikings MC EAST COAST ENDURO ASSOCIATION ENDURO SERIES ECEA.ORG Nov. 10: Warren Grove, N.J.: Motorcycle Competition Inc., (609) 575-7820; Nov. 24: New Lisbon, N.J.: Central Jersey Competition Riders, (732) 558-6475; EAST COAST ENDURO ASSOCIATION HARE SCRAMBLES SERIES ECEA.ORG Nov. 16-17: New Castle, Del.: 2-Day, Delaware Enduro Riders, (302) 834-4411 AMA PRO-AM MOTOCROSS AMARACING.COM

(312) 689-3461, Nov. 28-30: Gainsville, Fla.: Winter Olympics, Gatorback Cycle Park, (312) 689-3461, Nov. 30-Dec. 1: Floresville, Texas: USA Motocross, Cycle Ranch, 855571-MOTO, AMA AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIPS AMSOIL AMA AMATEUR NATIONAL ARENACROSS ARENACROSS.COM May 3-4: Las Vegas, Nev.: South Point Arena INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION: U.S. ROUNDS FIM ROAD RACING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP GRAND PRIX FIM-LIVE.COM April 13: Austin, Texas: Circuit of The Americas Aug. 10: Indianapolis: Indianapolis Motor Speedway AMA DUAL-SPORT/ADVENTURE SERIES

Nov. 9-10: Lizella, Ga.: Georgia State Championship, Echeconnee MX Park, (205) 699-8857, Nov. 16: Pell City, Ala.: MLA, Kawasaki Good Time Mill Creek MX, Mill Creek, (205) 699-8857, Nov. 17: Pell City, Ala.: MLA, Kawasaki Good Time Mill Creek MX, Mill Creek, (205) 699-8857, Nov. 25-27: Gainsville, Fla.: Winter Olympics, Gatorback Cycle Park,

AMA YAMAHA SUPER TÉNÉRÉ NATIONAL ADVENTURE RIDING SERIES AMERICANMOTORCYCLIST.COM Nov. 16-17: Hammonton, N.J.: Pine Barrens 300, Cross Country Cycles, Jack O’Connor; (732) 714-8874; Nov. 29-30: Palmdale, Calif.: LABarstow to Vegas, AMA Dist-37 Dual-Sport, Paul Flanders; (626) 446-7386; AMA PREMIER TOURING SERIES AMERICANMOTORCYCLIST.COM AMA SIGNATURE EVENTS AMERICANMOTORCYCLIST.COM March of Dimes Bikers For Babies Rides: Nationwide: Rides For Kids Events: Nationwide: AMA NATIONAL GRAND TOURS, PRESENTED BY SHINKO TIRES AND FLY STREET GEAR AMERICANMOTORCYCLIST.COM Jan. 1-Dec. 31: Polar Bear Grand Tour: AMA District 2 of New Jersey; (609) 894-2941; March 25-Oct. 1: Eddie’s Road and Team Strange Airheads Smoke Chasing Grand Tour: Eddie’s Road and Team Strange Airheads;

AMA HUSQVARNA NATIONAL DUAL-SPORT SERIES AMERICANMOTORCYCLIST.COM Nov. 29-30: Palmdale, Calif.: LABarstow to Vegas, AMA Dist-37 Dual-Sport, Paul Flanders; (626) 446-7386;

April 1-Oct. 31: Tour of Honor Grand Tour: Tour of Honor; AMA NATIONAL EXTREME GRAND TOURS AMERICANMOTORCYCLIST.COM Jan. 1-Dec. 31: SCMA Four Corners Grand Tour: Southern California Motorcycling Association;

December 2013




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GUEST COLUMN Embracing The Motorcycling Lifestyle By Rob Brooks Motorcycles are in my blood, in my DNA. I’ve seen them under a microscope, floating in my blood stream, riding the highways and byways of my veins and arteries. Microscopic sport bikes, cruisers, old classics, inherited from my mother and father, racing through my circulatory system, dodging in and out of the red cell traffic, avoiding the white cell cops. I was born to ride. OK, so all that may be a bit of a stretch, but like many of you, I do love motorcycling. I come from a motorcycle riding family, and riding is one of my great passions. My father was a rider back in his youth, a self-described “greaser” in the late 1950s, riding a ’54 Triumph Tiger with my mom hanging on for dear life. He was a real-life version of the Fonz. (They are both in their 70s and still ride, by the way.) Dad’s bike had chopped fenders, a chrome frame, removable baffles and a pink peanut tank. He sold the bike before joining the Air Force, and no photos remain of it. Pity. He even rode while stationed on the island of Okinawa, hopping up Cushmans and running aviation fuel in them, blasting along rough roads between the base and local villages and towns.

In our childhood, my brothers and I saw various bikes come and go in Dad’s workshop—a ’67 Triumph TR6, a ‘68 Bonneville, and enough extra parts hanging from pegs on the walls to practically build another. We rode mini-bikes, dirtbikes, and cut miles of trails through the woods behind our north Georgia home. We even got to ride his Triumphs up and down the street when we were old enough, under Dad’s watchful— and Mom’s overly concerned—eyes. Hunting. Fishing. Camping. Riding. It was the ideal boyhood. Still, I kept growing and interests changed. Once I got my driver’s license, I bought my first car, and left behind two wheels for four. There were girls, cruising, graduation, college, grad school, marriage, children. Unfortunately, motorcycling became a faded memory, with fond recollections from a storied childhood. Then in 1996, driving home from work, I saw a shiny black and chrome Honda V65 Magna at the end of a driveway, with a “FOR SALE” sign on it. Something deep awakened inside me. I pulled over to gawk at this pristine piece of art on two wheels. It was beautiful. I was hooked. I drove by the bike every day for a week, slowing down, lingering over it, devising ways to come up with the cash to buy it, but more important, how to talk my wife into letting me buy it. Then one day it was gone. It didn’t matter. I had reawakened. I was going to ride again. After some clever, persuasive appeals, Lisa reluctantly gave the green light and my quest began in earnest. I waded back in safely. I first enrolled in an MSF Beginning RiderCourse. I also came back responsibly,

searching the classifieds for weeks for the right deal. I finally found it: a blue ’93 Suzuki VS800 Intruder. I purchased the bike, took the MSF Experienced RiderCourse on it, and began to feed the need. I discovered some other guys in my church that rode, joined a local Christian Motorcycle Association chapter, traveled to several rallies and generally immersed myself in the world of motorcycling. I loved riding again, enjoyed the freedom of the open road and found many opportunities to make new friends and visit amazing places. I had come full circle, back to my roots. I’ve since owned a Yamaha Royal Star, a Kawasaki ZR-7s and a Triumph Sprint ST. I love pretty much anything with twowheels, for the street and the track. Riding a motorcycle, I find a peace, a balance, a synergy, not found in many other activities. I feel focused and refreshed at the same time. It’s hard to explain, really, how riding can bring all of one’s senses to bear, how it seems to merge man and machine, and yet creates total calm in the midst of constantly changing environments and situations. It’s been called “the zone,” “moto-nirvana,” whatever. That place of being perfectly focused, perfectly dialed-in, and yet perfectly tranquil. It’s almost spiritual. I can’t get enough of it. I just call it addiction. And the only cure is another ride. Always has been, since my childhood, and always will be. Motorcycles are in my blood. Rob Brooks is an AMA member from Dacula, Ga.

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American Motorcyclist 12 2013 Street Version (preview)  

The Journal of the AMA.

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