PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The annual American Motorcyclist Association Congress considered a wide range of topics during its 51st meeting at the AMA Legends & Champions Weekend in Columbus, Ohio, Dec. 7-8.
Subjects included electric motorcycles and new safety requirements at AMA-sanctioned competition events. Recreational riding events also were discussed, and AMA government relations staff members made presentations.
The AMA Congress is composed of AMA Commissions, AMA State Chapters representatives and select chartered organizers who host recreational events. AMA Commissions are volunteer bodies that consider, disseminate, amend, interpret and assist in the enforcement of technical and operational rules for amateur and pro-am competition. Resolutions adopted by AMA Commissions go into effect if approved by the AMA Board of Directors. AMA State Chapters representatives and select chartered organizers discuss recreational events sanctioned by the AMA.
AMA Director of Racing Kevin Crowther addresses the Technical Commission at 2018 AMA Congress (credit: Samantha Laderer/AMA)
AMA Competition Commissions were created for the motocross, off-road, flat track, trials, circuit racing and specialized sport disciplines. Three additional commissions, the Sporting Commission, Medical/Safety Commission and Technical Commission, were created to consider issues affecting multiple competition disciplines.
The event marked the first meeting of AMA Congress in its commission format.
"The first meetings of the new AMA Competition Commissions were a success," AMA Director of Racing Kevin Crowther said. "This new format allows more detailed and informed rule-making for each AMA competition discipline, as well as a wide range of input on issues affecting multiple disciplines."
One of the more significant issues considered at 2018 AMA Congress was the incorporation of electric motorcycles into the 2020 AMA Racing Rulebook. The AMA Technical Commission adopted resolutions that would create cross-disciplinary definitions of electric motorcycles and electric bicycles and -- if an event allows electric motorcycles -- identified classes in which electric motorcycles could compete.
The commission chose to table a resolution concerning electric motorcycles for youth and equipment standards for electric motorcycles, choosing, instead, to form a working group that will research and create rules for consideration for the 2020 AMA Racing Rulebook.
Members of the AMA Medical/Safety Commission discussed several initiatives for the coming year, including requirements for medical services/personnel at AMA-sanctioned competition events.
Another part of the AMA Congress was the first meeting of AMA State Chapter coordinators, led by AMA State Chapters and Volunteer Manager Marie Wuelleh. The group established objectives for 2019 that include increased communication with AMA members and more cooperation with state motorcycle rights organizations.
Wuelleh also led a workshop for trainers in the AMA EAGLES volunteer program.
AMA Recreational Riding Manager Heather Wilson led workshops about hosting off-road riding events and finding event sponsors. Wilson thanked Trail Tech for its seminar on navigation using GPS.
AMA Vice President of Government Relations Wayne Allard and AMA Government Affairs Manager for On-Highway Issues Michael Sayre gave presentations on the new AMA position statement on autonomous vehicles; Sayre's role as chair of the federal Motorcyclist Advisory Council; and an overview of issues affecting motorcyclists' freedoms to ride and race.
Workshops also were offered on event insurance, motocross demographics and refereeing an AMA-sanctioned motocross event.
More information about AMA Commissions is available at www.americanmotorcyclist.com/For-Members/AMA-Commissions.
The AMA Legends & Champions Weekend also included the American Honda AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Dec. 7 and the American Honda AMA Championship Banquet on Dec. 8.