AMA Board Executive Committee Member: John Ulrich
Born: Elmhurst, Ill., 1954.
First motorcycle: Benelli 125, age 15.
Motorcycling experience: Started street riding in 1969. The summer of 1971 (junior in high school), I rode from Los Angeles to Chicago and back. Since then, I have made many cross-country rides at all times of year. I started road racing in 1973 after previously competing in enduros, hare scrambles and motocross. I was the 1975 AFM, CMC and MRA 125cc Champion, 1983 and 1984 WERA National Endurance Champion, 1996 WERA National Challenge Series, 125cc Grand Prix Champion.
Life experience: Motorcycle journalism and photography. First published at age 18 and published more than 250 times in 14 different magazines before graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a B.A. in Communications in 1976. Founded Roadracing World & Motorcycle Technology magazine in 1990, followed by roadracingworld.com. I also was co-founder of Team Hammer in 1980. Now racing as Team M4 EMGO Suzuki, Team Hammer Inc. is the longest continuously operating professional motorcycle road racing team in the country, with current riders Martin Cardenas, Cory West and Blake Young.
Proudest achievement: Making a difference as a vocal advocate for rider safety as an AMA board member, and as founder of the Roadracing World Action Fund, a 501(3)c non-profit that has raised more than $600,000 to buy and deploy soft barriers around the country. The Roadracing World Action Fund raised the money for the fleet of Airfence modules now deployed by AMA Pro Racing and other organizations nationwide. More important, it helped make deployment of soft barriers and other measures intended to increase rider safety an expected and accepted component of promoting AMA national road races and dirt tracks.
Why you ride: Fun, fun, fun!
Favorite current bike: Yamaha TZ250 racebike. It’s fast enough to demand your full attention, and it’s light enough that I can race it without having to train as hard as I did when I raced 1000s and 1100s.
Best bike ever: My 1980 Moriwaki F1 racebike, powered by an 1176cc GS1100 engine; it was not only fast but also handled well and was forgiving of rider errors in long races. Also, the Yamaha OW69 695cc Square Four that Kenny Roberts rode to victory in the 1984 Daytona 200. I rode the OW69 for a magazine test, and that bike was magic.
AMA Member since: 1979.
Why you are an AMA Board member: To make racing better and safer, and to ensure that members have a say in what the AMA does.
The biggest challenge facing motorcycling: Government intrusion into, and restriction, of motorcycling.
Final Thoughts: I only have one vote, but the AMA is closer to being run right now than it’s ever been, and I’m proud that I had something to do with that.