May 20, 2021
By Kali Kotoski
While running a motorcycle shop with her husband, Mona Ehnes entered the fight for motorcyclists’ rights in 1967 by opposing controversial legislation that aimed to restrict off-highway vehicle (OHV) riding opportunities in her home state of Montana.
After that first fight, Ehnes has served on the front lines of the OHV battle ever since through grassroots initiatives and behind-the-scenes legislative wrangling, continuing to be a fierce advocate for trail riding.
In 1984, Ehnes was one of the founding members of the Great Falls Trail Bike Riders Association, the largest and most active OHV club in Montana with over 600 members. She is also a founding member of the Montana Trail Vehicle Riders Association (MTVRA). She has served as legislative liaison for MTVRA and as editor of Montana Trail Rider News.
Ehnes — the mother of AMA Board of Directors Chairman Russ Ehnes — was instrumental in the development of the Montana “On the Right Trail” ethics education program. She served for 10 years as the OHV representative on the Governor’s Noxious Weed Task Force. She also held the position of executive assistant to the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council and received its Hall of Fame Award in 2009.
(Listen to the On the Line Podcast episode featuring Mona Ehnes and AMA Board of Directors Chairman Russ Ehnes.)
“Mona is a shining example of a quiet leader who has set the gold standard through her thousands of hours of volunteer work and dedication to protecting off-highway vehicle recreation,” said the AMA’s Kathy Van Kleeck during Ehnes’ AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame induction. “What Mona’s biography can’t convey is her relentless passion for the cause and her can-do spirit.”
Read her story and many more in the May issue of American Motorcyclist.