July 25 2012 by Jason Fogelson
If you ride a motorcycle, any kind of motorcycle, you should join the American Motorcyclist Association.
The AMA was founded in 1924, and has spent the past 88 years lobbying for the rights of motorcyclists and promoting the motorcycle lifestyle. The organization advocates for riders' rights with local, state and federal government offices, and also sanctions motorcycle races and recreational events. Motorcycling is subject to plenty of regulation, and there are those who would have our favorite activity banned outright. It's too noisy, too dangerous, too threatening for many people, and they'd be a lot more comfortable if we weren't out there having fun on two wheels. The AMA is a sane, responsible voice for the rights of all riders.
Another thing that I really appreciate about the AMA is its commitment to motorcycling safety, a topic that is near and dear to my heart. The AMA is a great resource for information about improving riding skills. A subscription to the AMA's monthly magazine, American Motorcyclist, is included as part of your membership, and every month, there's at least one article on motorcycle safety. The August 2012 issue, for instance, has a great article entitled "50 Things New Riders Should Know," and there's not one of the 50 things that I would disagree with. The magazine also explores current legislative trends, racing results and technological advances, along with personality profiles on some of the most interesting people in motorcycling.
The AMA also has a real sense of history, and sanctions the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, which has been in Pickerington, Ohio since 1999. The museum's rotating exhibits honor the people and companies that have shaped motorcycling in America.
AMA membership starts at $49 per year, which helps to support the AMA's government relations, racing and riding events, clubs and newsletters, and includes a subscription to American Motorcyclist along with a wide range of discounts on motorcycle and motorcycle travel-related goods and services. I'm very proud to be a member of the AMA -- it's nice to know that somebody has my back.