The AMA Outstanding Off-Road Rider Award highlights the achievements of an individual who has contributed to the promotion of the motorcycling lifestyle and the protection of off-highway motorcycling, and has consistently demonstrated leadership, hard work, and dedication to the AMA mission.
- 2012: Jay Hall—Hall, who runs Hall’s Cycles in Springfield, Ill., has been making those contributions for dozens of years. This AMA Life Member is also an AMA off-road congressman, District 17 (Northern Illinois) hare scrambles director, former International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) racer and longtime ISDE team manager, mechanic and selection committee member.
- 2013: Robert Langley—Washington state’s Langley was acknowledged for his tireless work—800 to 1000 hours per year—maintaining riding trails in off-road-vehicle areas throughout his home state. The Boeing Company retiree was hailed by the state’s Department of Natural Resources as one of its top volunteers statewide in 2012.
- 2014: Jim Pilon, Paul Flanders—Pilon and Flanders are two deserving members of AMA District 37 in Southern California. Their dual-sport committee successfully organized and now maintains and promotes one of the world’s best known dual-sport events, the LA-Barstow to Vegas Dual Sport Tour, or LA-B-to-V. Launched in 1984, the 400 mile-plus tour typically starts after Thanksgiving and has routes for dual sport, adventure touring, vintage bikes, sidehacks and small displacement machines, so long as they are street legal.
- 2015: Desiree Bates—An accomplished off-road racer, Bates became a fierce activist for protecting off-highway vehicle access rights through her advocacy in the “Fight For Ocotillo Wells SVRA,” a coalition formed to preserve OHV riding opportunities in one of California’s most popular state vehicular recreation areas.
- 2016: Barrett Brown—Brown, from North Plains, Ore., is a life-long rider and AMA member who, for 15 years, was the land use and legislative director for the Oregon Motorcycle Riders Association. He gained national recognition when he designed and built the ST240, a purpose-built single-track dozer that is used to build motorcycle and mountain bike trails across the West. His company, Single Track LLC, won the 2015 State of the Art Technology Award from American Trails.
- 2017: Russ Ehnes—Ehnes is being recognized for his nearly 20 years as the executive director of the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council, a nonprofit organization that develops and provides programs, materials and information to individuals, clubs, associations and agencies to further a positive future for responsible OHV recreation. Ehnes is also a dedicated OHV advocate in Montana as a charter member and officer of the Great Falls Trail Bike Riders Association and helped launch the Montana Trail Vehicle Riders Association. He continues to play active roles in both organizations.
- 2018: Clif Koontz—A New Jersey native and avid backpacker, Koontz made his way west and earned a degree in geology at Colorado College in Colorado Springs. There he discovered the area’s rich off-highway riding opportunities. Later he landed a job with the National Park Service, working on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Motorcycling in the nearby Wasatch Mountains in Utah, he became active in making improvements along the southern Paiute ATV Trail. In 2002, Koontz became a founding board member of Ride with Respect, a non-profit dedicated to conserving shared-use trails and their surroundings. To date, the organization has performed over 18,000 hours of trail work and education on public lands. Koontz currently serves on the board of the National Off-Highway Vehicles Conservation Council and the OHV Advisory Council of Utah State Parks.
- 2019: Lyon Payne—Since retiring as a metal fabricator seven years ago, Payne has averaged more than 650 hours a year working on trails in Oregon’s 364,000-acre Tillamook State Forest, where he has been riding dirt bikes since 1970. With a chainsaw and grub hoe mounted to his trusty 1991 Kawasaki KDX that he calls “Kermit,” Payne has almost single-handedly developed 26 miles of trail in the forest. Thanks to Payne, other volunteers and the staff of the state Department of Forestry, the 250 miles of available trails in the forest system are fast becoming one of the preeminent off-highway riding areas in the country.