OHV activist headed for AMA Hall

Four decades of campaigning for motorcyclists’ rights

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, May. 26, 2009
Off-highway motorcyclist rights activist Mona Ehnes has been named to the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame class of 2009.

“Mona is truly a legend in the off-highway vehicle community – a shining example of a quiet leader who has set the gold standard through her thousands of hours of volunteer work and dedication to protecting off-highway vehicle recreation,” says Kathy Van Kleeck, chair of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Leadership and Motorcycle Rights Advocates Committee. “What Mona’s biography can’t convey is her relentless passion for the cause and her can-do spirit. She tackles difficult issues head-on to find solutions and re-energizes all with whom she works. No one could be more deserving of this highest honor.”

Ehnes began campaigning for motorcyclists’ rights in 1967, fighting legislation in her home state of Montana that would have restricted off-highway vehicle riding opportunities. Since then, Ehnes has been championing OHV rights and became a founding member of the Great Falls Trail Bike Riders Association and the Montana Trail Vehicle Association.

“I’ve been a member of the AMA for some time, and I’ve always supported the AMA Museum, so this is such an honor,” says Ehnes. “I’ve been involved with motorcycles and motorcycling since the ’60s. Dirt biking is my life. If somebody is willing to give me this kind of recognition, then I hope that it inspires other riders who love dirt biking as much as I do to get out and get involved.”

Ehnes says the key lesson she has learned in four decades of OHV advocacy is to be able to explain riders’ perspectives to non-motorcyclists.

“The most important thing we need to realize is that when you advocate for our rights, you’re almost always talking to non-motorcycle people,” says Ehnes. “You’re talking to agency people who have no idea about the sport at all. They don’t know the type of joy you get from riding. They do not realize that this is a family sport.”

Ehnes currently serves as executive assistant to the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council where she continues to advocate on behalf of motorcyclists.

“Mona Ehnes is one of motorcycling’s most dedicated rights activists,” says Rob Dingman, AMA president and chief executive officer. “She not only embodies the spirit of advocacy but also possesses the even rarer fortitude to act on her convictions. I’m thrilled that our voters are honoring Mona and her accomplishments by giving her a well-deserved place in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.”

The 2009 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on Dec. 5.

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