AMA Headquarters and Hall of Fame Museum

Directing the Future and Celebrating the Past

If you’re looking for a road trip after this “quarantine” thing is over (and who isn’t?), you could do a lot worse than the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) Headquarters and Hall of Fame Museum in Pickerington (Columbus), Ohio. Getting there is half the fun and believe it or not, US Route 50 is a good way to get there. The two-lane portion between Winchester and Clarksburg is loads of fun as it repeatedly rises and falls as it crosses the Allegheny Mountains and once you roll past Clarksburg you can zip along on the four- lane to Parkersburg. Just up the road is the quaint town of Marietta, Ohio with its hotels, restaurants, and downtown right on the waterfront. You can catch a river boat ride there too.
It’s a nice stopping off and staying over point for a day trip up to the AMA site in Pickerington. If you’re planning a ride to AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days (which is still scheduled as of this writing) held at the Mid-Ohio racetrack in Lexington, Pickerington is only an hour so south.
In December of 1998, almost 100 American Motorcyclist Association staffers and support personnel moved into spacious new accommodations. Formerly an insurance company headquarters, the facility contains an office building and a museum hidden in a campus-like business park. The new offices of the AMA are housed in a modern, three story, 30,000 square-foot glass, wood, and metal structure. The first floor contains a reception area, a gift shop, and a small exhibit area. The second floor contains the executive offices, and the third floor has dozens of cubicles where the administrative work gets done. From this building, the day-to-day operations of the AMA will be overseen.
Located across the parking lot from the headquarters building, is the two-story, 25,000 square-foot Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum. The headquarters and museum buildings have five times the size of the former Westerville location. All the better to help the AMA direct the future and celebrate the past of American motorcycling. This vital link to the AMA’s entry into the next millennium was also the final addition to the legacy of Ed Youngblood, the AMA’s longtime president who retired in 1998.
The museum allows the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation to display larger exhibits, host larger events, and attract larger numbers of members to the museum. In the words of Bill Wood, Past Managing Director of the AMA’s official magazine, AMERICAN MOTORCYCLIST, “ we’re making it (the museum and headquarters) a destination for all motorcyclists”. The AMA hopes to accomplish this by obtaining historically significant motorcycles for display, hosting events honoring important contributors to American motorcycling, and attracting well-known racers and ex-racers to events held at the museum. The first such event at the headquarters and museum took six months to organize. It occurred when the new Hall of Fame Museum was opened and dedicated.
Presently on display at the museum’s Main Hall are exhibits celebrating Hall of Fame inductees, the heroes of the track, road, trails and halls of government who have elevated the sport to new heights and featuring the 2019 inductees. Additional exhibits include Founder’s Hall which honors the Hall of Fame’s generous contributors, The Birth of a Hurricane honoring Hall of Famer Craig Vetter who re-imagined BSA for an American market, Sam Swope Exhibit that honors the philanthropist and motorcyclist and the motorcycles that represent his generous, charitable giving, and Lords of the Board Track documenting one of the earliest formal American motorcycle racing disciplines.
The AMA offices and museum are located at 13515 Yarmouth Drive, Pickerington, Ohio 43147. The toll-free number is 1-800-AMA-JOIN and the local phone number is (614) 856-1900. Their website is at From I-70 on the East Side of Columbus, take OH 256 South (Exit 122) to Pickerington. The museum is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. seven days a week, May through October and five days a week, November through April. Admission to the museum is $10 for the general public and $8 for AMA members. Stop by for a tour of the headquarters and a look at the museum exhibits. The AMA staff is looking forward to seeing you. Photos courtesy of AMA Hall of Fame Museum. This website will help you plan your trip



Saving Grace

Oh, what a beautiful day it was today! What joy to be outside under a perfect blue sky, vacant of clouds, with warm sunshine and just enough of a breeze to be refreshing. It has been just the kind of spring day that makes a man’s heart beat to the sound of internal combustion thunder—motorcycle thunder, to be precise. Living as I do along a winding country road in the mountains of western North Carolina, that sweet sound of a motorcycle engine powering through the hills can always be heard. Especially on days like today. In fact, I can hear one in the distance now, walking through the gears. Is the rider pursuing some destination, or just accelerating for the pure joy of it? It matters not to me, for I can hear the music, and since this evening I am bound to this laptop, riding a rocking chair on the porch, the music will have to do.

This whole day has been filled with that music of motorcycle thunder. I have enjoyed hearing it to no end, although there was a short time this A.M., when it was a painful test of my will to resist riding. This lovely first day of April had found me with a conundrum of sorts. I had anticipated reasonable weather for this weekend, just not this fine and sweet, and in preparation I had stocked up on supplies and fresh gasoline for a mission. As impossible as that mission might have appeared, I was hell bent to achieve it.

When I have that purposeful mindset, there is little that will stop me. I have ridden across states in hard-driving rain, rain so bad that the cars pulled off the road. Yet on I pushed, past sense or reason, simply because I was hell bent. I sure have ridden some big-time miles in horrid weather, perhaps too foolish or hardheaded to stop. I was that hell bent today. On a day as fine as this, when riding is a pure joy, like swimming in cool clear water on a hot August afternoon—refreshing, invigorating, exhilarating . . . heck, one thousand words could not describe it, let alone one. If you ride you know what I am speaking about, and if not, it is a good example of the old saw: “If I have to explain it, you wouldn’t understand!”

Well so much for short descriptions. Suffice it to say that I passed the test; I resisted the siren call of motorcycle thunder, much like Odysseus resisted the Sirens’ songs. In fact, I used a similar technique: I lashed myself to the task at hand. The yard. The backyard, to be exact. A lapse of attention to the details of winterizing the mower, combined with unusually warm and rainy spring weather, had turned my backyard into a cross between a jungle and a hayfield ready for harvest. This was my first available day to mow, weed-whack, and prepare the organic garden for planting. I knew that if I did not get on top of this situation now, I would spend the rest of the month’s weekends trying to catch-up with the beast of grass.

I felt like an April fool—OK it was actually not the first of the month, a perfect day for riding, and me stuck with chores. This was the price I paid for letting other things—like work and joy riding—keep me from the mundane tasks of proper machine storage. My one prior chance to do this work, a grey day not perfect for riding, was when I discovered that my lawn mower needed repairs and maintenance. I missed that chance to mow, and between then and now the backyard went from green to jungle. On top of that, I also had to write this column, and Spring Fever had clouded my mind all week. So I missed this great Saturday of riding, stuck like a delinquent teenager doing yard chores and homework.

I had wanted to ride today so much; I needed to ride for the inspiration to write. The only saving grace in all of this, besides the now picture-perfect lawn and a garden almost ready for the season, is the important thing I remembered. I realized that I had forgotten—much like I had forgotten the mower servicing—to book myself for a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) Experienced Rider Course (ERC). Come Monday morning I will call and get scheduled for a weekend class so I can work on readying my riding skills for the season. From fool to school, how cool it that? Do yourself a favor—invest in yourself and take a MSF Rider Education course. That way my missed day of riding will not go to waste.

Squash Latkes

3 large eggs

1 fresh long slim red cayenne pepper, stemmed and minced

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 cups, peeled, seeded and shredded winter squash

1 medium onion, minced

¼ cup stone-ground cornmeal

Oil, for frying

In a small mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the squash and onion. Add the cornmeal and toss well. Then add the egg mixture and toss to completely combine.

Heat several tablespoons of oil in a medium frying pan. Place the latke mix by heaping tablespoons into the oil and flatten gently with the back of the spoon, forming thick patties. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the edges start to brown. Turn and fry the other side for another 2 to 3 minutes. The latkes should be golden brown on the outside and moist and tender on the inside. Drain on paper towels and serve piping hot.

Makes 4 servings

Column copyright Bill Hufnagle 2020. Recipe reprinted with permission from “Biker Billy Cooks with Fire”, published by Whitehorse Press, Center Conway, New Hampshire copyright Bill Hufnagle 1995, 2004.


Bill Hufnagle
Biker Billy

Mobile: (828) 658-8130
Snail mail: Biker Billy Cooks With Fire
P.O. Box 1
Weaverville, NC 28787

Classic Motorcycle Day 2019

I went to a motorcycle garden party last May. It was nestled into the rolling hills of the carnival grounds of Mount Airy, Maryland.  The originally British only motorcycle show that started in the 90’s near the Ag. Reserve of Maryland and is now progressively becoming an early summer motorcycle Mecca. (and will return in 2021) The British concourse show was popular in the 90’s and  then expanded to include all European Marques and now this year to include pre 1983 vintage Japanese vintage and classic cycles.

Mount airy is about half way between Baltimore and Frederick Maryland. The concourse show was held at the Fireman’s Carnival Grounds and it was hot for May in the Baltimore, Pennsylvania and DC area. It was extra warm, 90 plus degrees.  The people responded and the show drew a large Mid Atlantic crowd with plenty of bikers on their scoots.  The cycle diversity was incredible.  The people and cycle mix was delightfully pleasant.  The frozen custard was incredibly cool and smooth.

Getting it all together for a new show takes a lot of team work, and the team did a great job putting the new venue show on line and up for business.  Right off the major northern east west interstate connector road in Maryland and just west of Baltimore at Mount Airy’s Fireman’s Carnival Grounds the show went on. Parking was easy, admission fair and the hosts grand.  The ride in parking area was a bit scattered for viewing of casual ride in biker’s customs and works of art but with a quick eye, modern, classic, and customs were all about for everybody to see and enjoy critiquing.

Who was there?  My buddies. Their buddies and people I’d never seen nor met before. The Harley crowd was there, incognito.   There were A few moms and dads and kids, a couple of dogs. Lots of experienced riders with full zz top beards were there too.. Trophy hunters and folks looking for cycle treasure and adventure and camera buffs with an eye for cycles were there swinging their cameras around and of course everyone was looking for something.

Lots of knowledgeable cycle hounds and plenty of critics were there in force too. The Suzuki group went over the Suzuki’s, the BMW crowd eyed the oldies and goodies from Germany. The Italian bunch just watched the sky.   The British crowd was the largest represented group and the lines of triumphs and BSA models indicated a strong future representation. The young crowd was there, but needs encouragement to participate more, to strengthen the future of the cycle world. Everybody was there.

The Rolling in schedule : unlimbering the cycles one at a time as the assemblage began.  First a BMW, then a Dream, some Suzuki’s and then a load of Ducati’s.  The rumble in always goes on till the last second.  Where is my spot? What group am I in?  Where is my trophy – i.e. not a triumph?

The lineup:  Triumphs galore, as they were the show marque of the day.  Japanese Cycles were the introduced new Marques and the rest of the bikes were invited honored competitors.  They were all there with their colors shining.   Ducati, BSA, Honda, Harley with a lot of competitors.
The 2019 marque of the day was Triumph, and had the most competition entry classes.  The English marque was efficiently divided by transmission types and number of cylinders and customization or level of competitive value.  The rest of the group had to vie for first class status with a lot of worthy cycles.   The marque for 2021 is an open Japanese class including all brands, but could be a bit more defined, i.e. Marusho or Tohatsu, among others.

The presentation classes were fairly wide with lots of trophies available.  The marque of day had the most trophy classes and the other groups had a few slots for perfection.  The list follows:

Classes :
Marque of the day -Triumph:

Lots of Trophies

Other British, European & Japanese Classes

Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki , Suzuki, Other Japanese.

British (The other lot), Norton, BSA , Other British
BMW Vintage (up to 1969), BMW Classic (1969–1983), Ducati, Moto Guzzi, Other European.
Competition (all makes): Off-Road, Pavement
Custom (all makes)
Chopper / Bobber
Cafe Racers

Special Awards (chosen by the board):
Classic Motorcycle Trophy (Best of show)
MV Single
Most Technical InterestYamaha TZ750
Oldest British. 1932 BSA blue star single
Oldest European. BMW. 1933 R2
Oldest Japanese Honda  C110: I met the 110 owner and he said there were only a few yellow 50cc 110’s cycles made and they were for demo purposes only.

Walking the line:: Up and down the aisles trying to take everything in at once.   Lines of Europe’s finest followed by Japanese specials and back again. I was up for the scramble.  Every line was a journey to places from around the world.

There was an early Rudge cycle in the show that was initially designed to bring women

into the cycle world. It was 1894 and cycling was still almost bicycles with motors.

The early Rudge had three wheels.

The line ups were not segregated especially in the custom aisles and the competition lines. There was even one “Harley” in the show, an Ammerachi Harley 350 sprint. The custom bobber isle included a Honda monkey bike that looked stock. Fellow said he figured he was in the right place.  I enjoyed our talk.  The cafe racer group was a motley group of fine cycles.  Yamaha dirt bikes, triumphs, and even a Honda dream bagger. 

The concourse setup:
Some of the Exotics at the show:

Suzuki rotary wankle. RE-5, A water buffalo, TZ Yamaha, New old stock Elsinore 250, Orange smoke Large gas tank  BMW. Big wheel Triple wheel antique, Munch 4, Laverda Jota, Suzuki 450 Automatic,  A bunch  of Honda Dreams, Honda c110 50cc street bike, Triumphs galore, Norton’s, Vincent’s,  BSA, Norton, Ducati, Moto Guzzi, Ajs , Matchless, and All the rest I missed. Munch.

A friend was overcome almost ga ga after spotting a Yamaha TZ racer. He said they are extremely rare. They came in a variety of sizes and he was particularly into the 750 group.

He rides a Honda fire blade. A Highlight of the Day, Yamaha TZ racing.  The TZ story is fascinating and an exciting engineering experiment. Racing in the sixties was dominated by two strokes by various Japanese manufacturers and high rev multi cylinder Honda’s. There was a handsome copy of a TZ 750 at the Mount Airy show.  Kenny Roberts rode a similar TZ Yamaha in 1975 as a flat tracker running against the big thumper tracker crowd, Harley, Moto Guzzi and others and was banned outright after leaving the thumpers behind in a large cloud of smoke.  The TZ series carried on until two strokes were eliminated through environmental and other concerns. i.e. big four strokes and now electric monsters. Yamaha experiment with a four cylinder two stroke water cooled street cruiser that was a great design but was a little wild for the masses.  The Yamaha GL 750 was never produced but lived on in racing style.

Off the concourse:
The competition was fierce off the concourse podium too. Some fellows rode in on their Urals with side cars, I spotted a Bimota parked next to a Kawasaki, Choppers and customs, dragsters and a lonely Honda CL350.   One ride in guy was instructed to park with the rest of the concourse bikes in the lineup but his bike was brand new and stuck out like a pineapple in the classic corral.  (a Yamaha FZ 07) His bike did not have a show tag on it so no trophy for him. Nice bike though., and to my surprise no vespas of yore.  Also represented off the concourse line:: A black bomber, a Wards Riverside, a Whizzer,  a Bimota, a Zero, and a few hogs were in the parking lot.

Sales pitches and great deals rang out throughout the event. The cycle jumble vender row was there and alive.  New faces and old with left over parts to vintage signage, it was all there.  I witnessed the sale of a vintage windjammer with BMW brackets go for twenty bucks, I said twenty five as I walked by and they both looked at me. The seller said fifteen, I think it went for twenty. Over by a parking area a six fifty Honda Custom was deliberated on for some time but I saw it packed up to return home at the end of the show by the original seller.  A friend had a Triumph for sale. Cycle Clocks were there alongside the Wards Riverside. A table of British gas tanks. A Triumph Trident frame and all sorts of parts new and old.  I’m sure some cycles changed hands. I bought a Triumph tank badge for my table collection.

Triples and fours, twins, and bores were all there.  I looked for an oval piston and case but could not find them. Some of the bikes needed some TLC but it was great seeing the variety of bikes in all sorts of restoration stages.  Static displays were everywhere but after the judging that all changed.

The fire up and ride off started. Just like the early days of rolling thunder when you could park your cycle on the grass of the Washington mall and walk about and mingle with everyone, we all become participants in the ride out shuffle.

The show was great. The People were fine, food was available and the weather was right on for the early summer event. Looking around and talking to folks I found that many of the cycles and cyclists are veteran show and competition goers.   I did talk to people about their collections for a future story on collections and museums past present and future with links to other treasure hunters and museums. I plan to visit the show next year (2021) and will try to help organize the lineups and the Japanese entries and see if we can get VJMC participation in some way.

My thoughts on how and what the cycle show can contribute to the future while working

with the past opens the idea of what the possibilities can be for the reach that the show has and how that reach can add to the lacing of old and new ideas and realities, continue to develop. Future generations of riders and enthusiasts need to see from the past for exciting new developments based on experiences from recent history to create a new more encompassing show.  The Mount Airy Classic cycle show is great now as it was when it was a British cycle show.  What to do with the drawing power to make it a show with a larger statement is a challenge all motorcycle shows, competitions and vintage classic concourse events have to work with.


Practical Examples of Passover and Easter

By Jack Applebaum

A long time ago, I read two articles on the internet that were situated next to each other on the home page (on 1/4/07).

The first article was about Wesley Autrey, a construction worker in New York, who saved a complete stranger’s life.  The stranger had a seizure and fell onto the subway tracks as a train was approaching.  If you’ve been to New York City, you know that the trains approach with a speed, noise, and ferocity quite unlike those of our own Metro system in DC.  Mr. Autrey leapt onto the tracks and pinned the stranger into the gutter – the lowest point between the tracks and often full of trash and broken glass – so that the train would pass over the two of them.  They survived, unharmed by the train.  Mr. Autrey didn’t see himself as a hero; he just thought he had to do the right thing.  There are several spiritual parallels to this incredible demonstration of bravery, presence of mind, and genuine concern for a fellow man.  “Passover”, laying down one’s life for another, and being taken to the lowest point in your life so that you might live, come to mind as obvious candidate themes with a few differences in the spiritual realm.  Notably, we aren’t strangers to God – He knows exactly who we are and loves us.

It was the second article that took the wind out of my sails of elation over the uncommon hero described above.  The second article, strategically placed near the first, was about a biker, Evel Knievel, and his “leap of faith” (quoting the article’s words).  Evel was not doing well physically.  He was on oxygen and had a medication pump built into his body to mitigate the pain.  The subtitle of the article stated that Evel Knievel was “staring Death in the face.”  Evel expected to die, and, unless Christ comes back during my lifetime, so do I – as do most of us (yeah, some people don’t expect to die, it just surprises them).  The difference is what Evel expected next – that his good works would outweigh the transgressions in his life.  The article focused on a typical works-based faith philosophy using the culturally sympathetic image of an aged icon.  That’s what got me.  The irony and error of the message being delivered.  That a tough guy biker, known for a life roughly lived (by Evel’s own admission) and occasionally (often?) failing to keep the rubber side down, would become a poster child for working your way into Heaven.  Evel Knievel had, indeed, performed a great deal of commendable, charitable work.

Easter is the opposite to the message delivered directly above, however.  It’s the message that God makes it possible for us to spend eternity with Him based on what He did and not on what we’ve done.  Only because of Christ, can we be citizens of His Realm.  The offer stands for anyone to join the Kingdom by accepting Christ and what He did for them on the cross.

God Speed,  Jack