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Old 04-19-2001, 10:17 AM   #21
MattTinSF
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Default Re: Help Save Racer

OK, I guess I'll play the token AMA defender. Yes, I will agree that the AMA is often a slow-moving bureaucracy that seems opposed to change for no particular reason. And yes, that tendancy seems to be worse when it comes to racing. But I will defend the organization in that its new leadership is making some changes that I very much support, starting with their NON-racing activities.



And, if you're hoping that the racing side of the organization (which is quite separate from the lobbying side) will change, the least effective thing you can do is boycott the whole organization by not joining. When change comes at the AMA, it ALWAYS comes from within, never from without. I agree that it seems the old leadership would pay little attention to the wishes of its own membership (the verdict is still out on that with the new leadership), but I can safely say that it absolutely ignored criticism from outside the organization.



So that's why I encourage AMA critics to join the organization and make changes from within. What have you got to lose? There's so many benefits from joining (such as 20% discounts offered by many vendors, cheaper insurance, etc.) that you will likely get back your membership fees many times over. I for one very much enjoy taking advantage of my AMA membership at all the big racing events (such as the great hospitality tent they set up at superbike races). This is definitely a case where change will come from within, not without.



Matt T. in SF, CA

AMA member and rabblerouser
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Old 04-19-2001, 11:28 AM   #22
Chester
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Default Re: Help Save Racer

Well, the AMA shouldnt feel like a government organization, but it does. I think the AMA is necessary for lobbying the government so motorcyclists' voices can be heard, but the AMA sucks sometimes for racers, seemingly making decisions because a few from within like the idea, who cares how it affects racers.



It would be nice if the AMA racing org was ran by racers instead of quasi-politicians, but its not.



If the AMA wants to keep support from racers in the future, they need to start listening to the majority of racers when it comes to affecting racing. If this bureaucratic/good ole boy crap continues, the AMA is gonna feel the pain of losing lots of members, and they are turning off alot of riders coming up now.
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Old 04-19-2001, 12:15 PM   #23
MartialStax
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Default Re: Help Save Racer

I find it hard to defend the AMA in the wake of the George Edmondson debacle. All the good the AMA does is negated by their own stupidity. In 1994, they could have paid George Edmondson $720,000 for his half of the AMA Pro Racing/CCS joint venture that ran AMA Prod Racing at the time. That amount was AMAs own figure of what they thought George Edmondson's half was worth. Instead, they stole it from him without paying a dime. They then strongarmed the race tracks that signed up for his rival NASB race series, causing that venture to collapse. Edmondson sued. The jury found for Edmondson. The AMA appealled. The appeals court upheald the decision. Now it appears the AMA will have to pay anywhere from $2 million to $5 million. None of that money will come out of the pockets of the people within the AMA who were actually guilty. It will come from the pockets of the rank and file members. That's millions of dollars that could be spent on biker's rights, lobbying federal and state governments, or buying air fence sections to protect racers. Instead, it's needlessly being spent on someone they didn't have to spend it on.



This is your money. You should be outraged. I can't give them my hard earned money while the current board continues to run the organization. Yes, there have been two new presidents in the last couple of years, but the last two were fired as sacrificial lambs. No real change has happened yet. And until real change happens within the AMA, I won't join.



Mike Dungan
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Old 04-19-2001, 01:03 PM   #24
Steve516
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Default Re: Help Save Racer

If change at the AMA always comes from within, please define within for us...



Within to me means dues paying members, dues paying racers, and dues paying corporations. The AMA should listen to the voices of their "members" and take the time to reorganize their corporate structure a bit. The AMA should make changes if their "members" make a plea for them. The racing side of the organization is just as critical to the AMA (or should be) as the lobbying side is. Manufacturers want, need, and depend on racing to sell motorcycles, year long - it's one of their biggest marketing and PR avenues. Without the racing side, the lobbying side would be much weaker IMO, the two need each other, so boycotting the AMA will eventually have some effect. Generally speaking though, the AMA is a pretty weak lobbying group in Washington IMO, nothing close to the NRA or the tobacco lobby, or the oil and auto industry, or defense and aerospace. Face it, we are small potatoes, and the AMA hasn't really done much IMO to change that, even when the memberships are high. Within to me means that the AMA should listen to those who are within, and historically, this does not appear to be the case.



When I posted my first post, there had yet been any contributions from manufacturers. I applaud all those who contributed to the effort, before, during and after my posts.



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Old 04-19-2001, 01:31 PM   #25
Haga
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Default Re: Help Save Racer

Excellent story, excellent cause. I hope everyone who visits the site can see fit to donate to "help" the AMA and the riders we cheer.
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Old 04-19-2001, 05:05 PM   #26
irwc1
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Default Re: Help Save Racer

Donate for safety equipment...what a bunch of crap! If you're going to run a racing series, get it right and run the best series you can. I went to Daytona this year and was apalled at the number of injuries. Yes it's an interesting race because pit strategy comes into play, but 180 mph bikes and a friggin Pontiac Aztec for a pace car...what the hell are you thinking?



It would be behoove the AMA to pony up some safety money. If not for the future, then to make up for the bullsh!t they've pulled in the past!



While I'm on the subject of the AMA...could they have a more retarded schedule? I understand we must bow to the redneck NASCAR fans, but can't you work out a schedule where we don't have huge breaks in the season...Mid-Ohio in early August would even the schedule considerably. Take a hint from the WSC schedule. Granted they have a larger distance to travel, but that's a nice even plan.



Chris



i am logged in and i've donated by 11.94
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Old 04-20-2001, 06:31 AM   #27
cheater
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Default Re: Help Save Racer

Why has nobody mentioned the club racing scene? If Ulrich is so concerened about rider safety, why hasn't he addressed it? AMA Pro Racing is a platform for billion dollar companies to showcase their product. Where have these companies been on this issue up until now? There is only about 12 or 13 AMA Pro road races a year. There is hundreds of club races with thousands of riders going on at the same time. Is it not fashionable enough to want to protect these people? Are they not as deserving? Come on people, Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha, Suzuki, Ducati, and H-D are more than capable of stepping to the plate and taking care of their riders. If you want to spend your money on this issue, spend it on protecting the Club Racer. Obviously the manufacturers and the media aren't.
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Old 04-20-2001, 08:03 AM   #28
SeanAlexander
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Default Re: Help Save Racer

Amen!
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Old 04-20-2001, 10:20 AM   #29
MattTinSF
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Default Re: Help Save Racer/Change from within

Mike has most of the facts right on the AMA-Edmonson spat, but he's a little behind the times. On appeal, the multi-million dollar award to Edmonson was reduced to just over $200,000, as the Appeals court agreed with AMA that Edmonson far overstated his losses/damage (there are a few points still to be decided, but it looks bad for Edmonson). So, at this point, it looks like Edmonson was perhaps at least as stubborn as the AMA (he has a reputation for, shall we say, being a little egotistical at times....), as he could have taken a settlement for about 3 times that amount.



I am NOT defending the AMA's racing organization executives; change is definitely needed, and the sooner the better. To me, motorcycle racing is the most exciting sport on the country (makes those NASCAR guys look positively wimpy), but the promoting of it is pitiful (AMA exec: "I know! Let's award our TV contract to a channel that hardly anyone can get! Yeah, that's the ticket!"), and movement towards increasing safety has been far too slow.



Still, if change is going to come, it's going to come from continued and unified pressure from MEMBERS, and not from non-member critics outside the organization. That's why I say you should join, and start participating in the various forums that AMA offers for members to voice their opinions. I've already seen changes in the non-racing side that has come from pressure from the members (getting rid of the bonehead past-president who falsely claimed he was a Vietnam Vet was a good beginning). Change is slow, but it can happen.



And again, what do you have to lose? I earned back my entire dues amount this year with the discount I got on just one purchase from a vendor who offers a 20% discount to AMA members. I expect I will get back my dues several times over this year, as well as have a great place to watch racing at all the superbike events.



You should join, now.



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