Headquarters Pickerington, Ohio
Chairman Maggie McNally
The American Motorcyclist Association is an American nonprofit organization of more than 200,000 motorcyclists that organizes numerous motorcycling activities and campaigns for motorcyclists' legal rights. Its mission statement is "to promote the motorcycling lifestyle and protect the future of motorcycling." The organization was founded in 1924 and as of October 2016 had more than 1,100 chartered clubs.
For clubs and promoters it provides guidance and advice on running events and rallies, and allows affiliated members to vote on AMA matters. It also has a corporate membership category with representatives from the US motorcycle industry.
Outlaw and one-percenter
The AMA was a whites-only organization from its inception in 1924 until the 1950s, not allowing African Americans to join for its first 30 years. Prior to the acceptance of black members, the term outlaw motorcycle club could refer to either a white counterculture biker club that was "uninterested in 'square' events and competitions", or else a club that accepted non-white members and was therefore not allowed to participate in the AMA. In the 1920s and 1930s, black hillclimbing racer William B. Johnson evaded the whites-only restriction and obtained an AMA membership card, which allowed him to compete around the Northeastern United States and become perhaps the first black AMA member. In 1995, AMA President Ed Youngblood said that as a consequence of this racist policy, blacks continued to be underrepresented in AMA events for decades after the segregationist policy was rescinded. That year, Youngblood presented black AMA member Norman Gaines in their membership advertisement in the campaign "I want to protect my rights as a motorcyclist. That's why I'm an AMA member" in both the AMA member magazine and Motorcyclist magazine.
The term one-percenter was coined after the 1947 Hollister riot in Hollister, California. The AMA is said to have responded that 99% of motorcyclists were law-abiding citizens, and the last one percent were outlaws. The AMA now says they have no record of such a statement to the press, and call this story apocryphal. One-percenter motorcycle clubs are often also known as Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs or OMGs according to the ATF.
AMA Pro Racing
The AMA is the largest motorsports organization in the world, overseeing 80 professional and more than 4,000 amateur events each year. The AMA also maintains the Motorcycle Hall of Fame located near Columbus, Ohio. It is the designated governing body of motorcycle sport in the US by the world governing body, the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM).
AMA Pro Racing was formed in 1994 to respond to the growth of motorcycle racing in United States and holds many events. The AMA Road Racing Series includes the AMA American Superbike Championship, the AMA Daytona Sportbike Championship (which incorporates the former AMA Supersport Championship and the now inactive AMA Formula Xtreme), and the new AMA Supersport Championship, which is limited to riders of age 16-21 on near stock 600cc motorcycles. Other series include AMA Supercross, AMA Motocross Championship, AMA Grand National Championship dirt-track series and AMA Hillclimb.
On March 7, 2008, the AMA Pro Racing series was sold to the Daytona Motorsports Group (DMG), headed by Roger Edmondson and Jim France. The DMG became responsible for the AMA Superbike Series, AMA Motocross Series, AMA Flat Track Series, AMA Supermoto Series, AMA Hillclimb Series and ATV Pro Racing. The sale did not include the AMA Supercross and AMA Arenacross Series, whose rights are currently owned by Feld Entertainment. DMG would license the AMA name and trademarks to promote the motorcycle racing series. The new management sparked criticism among some of the press and fans for allegedly alienating the factory teams and for introducing NASCAR style rules such as rolling start and pace car. DMG was replaced by MotoAmerica as AMA Superbikes promoter in 2015.
American Motorcyclist magazine is published by the AMA. It has a monthly circulation of 260,000 copies.