Motorcycling in Siberia and more in February ‘American Motorcyclist’

Photographer Michael Lichter chronicles the Baikal Mile Ice Speed Festival in Siberia, and AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Paul Dean describes racing a dirt bike near the erupting Mt. St. Helens volcano in the February 2021 issue of American Motorcyclist magazine.

Other articles include a look at some of the best flat-trackers of 2020, the story behind AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Craig Vetter’s 1969 Triumph X-75 prototype, government-related challenges facing motorcyclists in 2021 and more.

Imagine riding a motorcycle on a speed run on a frozen lake in Siberia in February with more than 100 other hardy contestants and thousands of spectators. That is the Baikal Mile Ice Speed Festival, held on Lake Baikal in Siberia. Lichter was invited to photograph the event in 2020.

“The machinery was incredible,” Lichter said. “In addition to motorcycles, I saw minibikes, monowheels, sidecars, trikes, quads, go-karts, a number of air boats, a Scania truck and even a Bentley Continental rolling on giant tank tracks.”

Top speeds exceeded 100 mph on the mile-long course, with a BMW S 1000 RR reaching 163 mph.

Meanwhile, Dean, an AMA Charter Life Member who served as AMA Board Chairman before he was inducted to the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, tells a tale of competing in a 1980 ISDT qualifier on a Kawasaki KDX175 in Oregon near the erupting Mt. St. Helens volcano.

“My Sunday ride was full of surprises, not least of which was first hearing and then seeing an active volcano in the distance,” he said. “I was so distracted by that sight that I nearly crashed into a huge pine tree.

“Later, at one of the checks, a worker told me that more than 175 qualifiers had houred out, leaving me as the top rider in the class.”

For fans of racing, Chris Martin profiles 2020 American Flat Track SuperTwins Champion Briar Bauman, Production Twins Champion James Rispoli and Singles Champion Dallas Daniels.
Members also can find out what is happening in motorcycling on the government front in “State and Local Update” in the Rights section of the magazine. Plus, find local races and rides in the “Events Calendar.”

Life Member Plus members receive printed copies of American Motorcyclist in their mailboxes every month. Not a Life Member Plus member? Call AMA Member Services at (800) AMA-JOIN (262-5646) to join for $29 a year. The membership includes the print magazine, AMA roadside assistance that covers all the motorcycles, cars, trucks and RVs in your household, plus other benefits.