2020 Annual Report for the American Motorcyclist Association
A message from the president and CEO
To say that 2020 was filled with uncertainty and adversity would be quite an understatement. There’s no question the global coronavirus pandemic changed almost everything we do at the AMA.
In May of 2020, at least 20 states had issued stay-at-home orders and other directives prohibiting gatherings that included motorcycling events for which our members join the AMA in order to participate. We immediately encouraged AMA-chartered organizers to comply with all restrictions imposed by federal, state and local authorities affecting AMA-sanctioned activity. Unfortunately, this meant that countless events, including many held annually, had to be postponed or, in many cases, canceled. As a result, AMA sanctions for racing and recreational activities dropped significantly from the previous year.
Because participation in events put on by AMA-chartered organizers is a significant AMA member benefit, and because the AMA relies on those events to attract new AMA members, the inability to sanction races or rallies for a significant period of time was potentially catastrophic to the AMA, our many chartered organizers and a significant portion of our membership. Finding a new way to live with the new reality of life during the pandemic was essential.
With leadership from race promoter MX Sports, a Safe-To-Race Task Force was empaneled to compile best practices consistent with current health and safety standards and create necessary tools for event organizers to aid in their resumption of events. The goal of developing this guidance was to enable motorcycle and other motorsports venues, as well as recreational riding areas and competition centers, to reopen. The task force developed a toolkit that provided all-encompassing recommendations, from registration to parking and camping, to spectator seating and fan activities, to a comprehensive medical action plan.
This was the first effort of its kind in the world and was shared with our counterpart organizations in other countries, as well as with our own AMA-chartered organizers. There can be little doubt that the work of this task force enabled the completion of the AMA Supercross — an FIM World Championship — season, which had been suspended with a number of rounds left to complete. It also helped facilitate the running of the MotoAmerica Series, the home of the AMA National Superbike Championship, the AMA Pro Motocross Championship and many AMA amateur racing championships.
For its remarkable effort and achievement, the AMA Board of Directors named the Safe-To-Race Task Force the 2020 AMA Motorcyclists of the Year.
Back home in Pickerington at AMA headquarters, we implemented strategies to keep as much of our staff employed as possible throughout the crisis. But the failure of Congress to provide organizations like ours timely assistance meant that layoffs eventually became unavoidable. A reduced work schedule was implemented for the remaining staff. Work from home for all but critical staff functions became a way of life for the rest of the year.
The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum closed to the public in March. Local museum activities, such as Bike Nights, had to be cancelled. Fortunately, the museum was reopened on June 22 in a limited capacity, in accordance with Ohio’s Responsible RestartOhio plan.
Major national events, such as AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and the AMA Championship Banquet were cancelled. However, the AMA still acknowledged the racers who competed successfully in national championship competition with official certificates.
Despite the existential threat of the pandemic, I am proud to report that the association rose to the occasion with uncommon vigor and strength of purpose. Our advocacy on behalf of motorcyclists — a signature benefit of the association — continued without interruption. AMA Congress, normally an in-person event, met virtually Dec. 3-5. We significantly increased our web-based and social media presence to ensure motorcyclists everywhere remained engaged and enthused. And thanks to our nimble financial acumen, we closed the fiscal year with a substantial increase in net assets.
As we look forward to 2021 and beyond, perhaps most encouraging has been the increase in new off-road motorcycle sales reported by many manufacturers. Unable to gather in person, Americans and their families sought respite in the great outdoors and enjoyed responsible motorized recreation like never before.
As always, the AMA is committed to representing new and longtime riders alike, on all brands and styles of machine, as we promote the motorcycle lifestyle and protect the future of motorcycling.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
President and CEO
American Motorcyclist Association