The AMA Hazel Kolb Brighter Image Award, established in 1987, honors an individual who has generated good publicity for motorcycling. Its namesake, Hazel Kolb, has been memorialized in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.
- 2012: Bernie Bredbenner Jr.—Bredbenner created a fundraising ride called the Motorcycle Miracle Tour. His goal for the ride was to raise funds to benefit pediatric services at Geisinger Health System in Danville, Pa. The ride has persevered for 26 years, raising more than $1 million.
- 2013: John English, Leff Moore—English and Moore received the AMA Hazel Kolb Brighter Image Award for their pioneering vision and dedication to the creation of Hatfield-McCoy trail system in West Virginia. The award honors its namesake, Hall of Famer Hazel Kolb, and individuals who have generated positive publicity for motorcycling. In the early 1990s, English and Moore met regularly with local business and political leaders about the public-private project and it steadily progressed toward its grand opening in 2000. Today the Hatfield-McCoy trail system attracts riders from up and down the East Coast and across the Midwest and South.
- 2014: James Walker, Bryan H. Carroll, Chris Hampel, Matt Greenstone—These recipients are production and directorial teams of two remarkable motorcycling films: “Why We Ride” and “Road Warriors, The Bleeding Edge of Motorcycle Racing.”
- 2015: Peter Cline—Cline started VETMotorsports as a non-clinical outreach program to empower disabled combat veterans and support them in their continued healing. Cline, from Columbus, Ohio, and VETMotorsports have generated significant positive publicity for motorcycling, honoring the award’s namesake, Hall of Famer Hazel Kolb.
- 2016: Chris Ulrich—In addition to his career as a professional road racer and motojournalist, Ulrich has raised significant funds for the Roadracing World Action Fund. The RWAF is a nonprofit that advocates and promotes the use of soft barriers to prevent racetrack injuries, and provides education on the value of adequate pre-race practice, rider training and proper racetrack preparation. Ulrich has raised funds by giving rides on the back of his two-seat Superbike to RWAF donors, media representatives and influential members of the public at race tracks throughout the country. The results fund a worthy cause and also portray professional road racing — and motorcyclists in general — in a very positive, public light. The number of people who have taken a two-seat Superbike ride with Ulrich is well over 900, all without incident, and he continues the rides year after year.
- 2017: Backcountry Discovery Routes—Backcountry Discovery Routes is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to establish and preserve off-highway routes for dual-sport and adventure motorcycle travel. In so doing, BDR has generated significant positive publicity for motorcycling, honoring the award’s namesake, Hall of Famer Hazel Kolb. The organization works with the U.S. Forest Service, land managers and other public land agencies to keep trails and remote roads open for motorcycling through a combination of education, advocacy and the promotion of responsible motorcycle travel.
- 2018: Scott A. Witt—Scott A. Witt, M.D., medical director for the newborn intensive care unit at Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital, received national recognition for his heroic efforts to transport babies under his care during the devastating wildfires in Santa Rosa, Calif., in October 2017. Witt’s actions were all the more notable because he accomplished them using his BMW R nineT motorcycle. In an online article published by NBC News, Witt said, “I got called at 2 a.m. because the flames were getting close enough to the hospital so the staff thought that we’d have to evacuate… The intensive care unit already smelled with a lot of smoke and I wanted to move everybody to a parking lot without any fire in it… I feel like these babies are like my own babies. I just wanted to make sure I was there to help them.”
- 2019: North American Trials Council—Introducing youngsters to riding is arguably the most important activity to sustain the motorcycling lifestyle, and the North American Trials Council does this with great success through its many club and national events for youth. The advent of small electric trials motorcycles has allowed younger and younger children to learn the joy of riding. As a result, the NATC has steadily grown into a major force, creating a powerful and positive image for motorcycling.