Ever wanted to know what the AMA is? What is does? Kevin Crowther, Director of AMA Supercross and Pro Racing relations explains, that and more!
What is the AMA?
Kevin: The AMA (American Motorcyclist Association) is the country’s leading advocate for motorcycling. We defend your, and everyone’s right to ride and race.
For those that don’t know, we work aggressively for motorcycling and motorcyclist rights, especially on the Federal, State and local levels. We want to ensure that motorcycling is a hobby, sport, and passion that all can enjoy both today, and in the future.
We work hard, intelligently, and tirelessly against those who want to end motorcycling as we know it. This is our premier focus, and the premiere benefit to AMA members. We invest considerable resources and effort in protecting motorcyclists’ interests in Washington, D.C., fighting unreasonable and one-sided restrictions such as inappropriate Wilderness designations that shut down legal riding trails, motorcycle-only checkpoints that hold motorcycle riders to standards that don’t apply to cars, sportbike bans, the recently defeated ban on youth motorcycles and ATVs, and health-insurance policies that discriminate against you and others.
We also coordinate with state and local motorcyclists’ rights organizations to form a multi-layered defense against anti-motorcycling groups.
In addition to our involvement in AMA Supercross and AMA Arenacross, the AMA is the country’s leading amateur racing sanctioning body for motorcycling sport. AMA sanctioned events are the gold standard for amateur motorcycle competition, and only AMA events can use the AMA Rulebook – the only amateur motorcycle racing rulebook in the country based on nine decades of experience, and annually reviewed by an elected body. As an AMA member in good standing, you have the right to compete in AMA sanctioned events.
In addition to riding with the knowledge they are helping protect the sport they love, AMA members enjoy a number of benefits, from AMA Roadside Assistance to numerous money-saving discounts, many which can save you more than the cost of the membership, and provide a lot of other benefits as well.
Motorcycle manufacturers are large international corporations, and a lot of what they engineer into the bikes we ride is designed with the world market in mind. The AMA is the U.S. affiliate of the Federation International de Motorcyclisme, the FIM, which is the world motorcycle sport sanctioning body. And through membership in numerous FIM committees — both riding and racing — we ensure American interests are represented on the world level. As a member of the AMA, you and all the other members support these ongoing efforts.
Finally, through our sponsorship of the Motorcycle Hall of Fame, the AMA is the country’s leading supporter of motorcycling’s heritage and a leader in protecting and promoting our history.
Being a member of the AMA saves you money, protects your right to ride and race, elevates our amazing history, and is an investment in the future of motorcycling for generations to come.
Kevin, can you explain specifically what your job is at the AMA?
I am currently the Director of AMA Supercross and Pro Racing relations. My primary job is managing the sanctioning body’s responsibilities for AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship. We are very lucky to have Feld Motor Sports as our promotional partner for the supercross series. That aspect takes a lot off of our plate and allows us to concentrate on our sanctioning duties. In a nutshell, we oversee elements such as rulebooks, officiating, rider and crew registrations, rule infractions, motorcycle homologation, and timing and scoring.
With respect to other professional racing series, I work with MX Sports and AMA Pro Racing to maintain consistency between AMA Supercross and Motocross.
As you know, and others both know and don’t know – the American Motorcyclist Association sold our professional racing properties a few years ago to focus more on defending motorcyclists’ rights and to elevate amateur racing across the country.
As we continue to manage AMA Supercross sanctioning and represent American interests with the FIM, it’s critical that we maintain a close working relationship with the other professional racing series.
My role also has me very active in FIM-related activities. I am a bureau member of the FIM Motocross Commission, and have worked as Clerk of the Course at the U.S rounds of the FIM MotoGP series for the last four years.
Team USA (Ryan Dungey, Justin Barcia, Blake Baggett – managed by Roger De Coster) recently completed in the Motocross of Nations in Belgium. Both you, and the AMA and you are heavily involved – talk about that involvement, and specifically – what did you go thru to get the team to Belgium?
I have been involved as director of the AMA’s Motocross of Nations effort for the last four years. My job is to take care of the big picture. This includes everything from organizing the selection of the team, setting up the team hotel, and all the paperwork needed for the riders.
The first step is always confirming that we are going. The time and money involved in going every year requires a huge commitment from the support crew, teams and the riders selected. The AMA has always been committed to supporting this event, but we have to make sure we have that commitment from the industry and the riders.
Once we know that our partners are on board, we start working on the logistics of moving three top riders, their crews and support staff to the location of the event.
Once AMA Supercross is over and we have started the outdoor MX series, Roger De Coster, who is the team manager, and I start talking about potential riders for the team. Usually as the season progresses, it becomes obvious who is on the short list. As we get to the middle of July, we convene a broader advisory group to start the final decision making process. We need to make a decision by the end of July so that we can get the official entry in and allow time for the riders and teams to get prepared.
Once we get to the event, my job is to handle anything to do with the FIM and Youthstream, the event promoter. If the team has any issues, it’s my job to fix them. This can be anything from more passes, to a protest or appeal. This allows Roger and the crew to concentrate on the task at hand. Taking a team to a foreign country to race is never easy and no matter how much you plan, there is always something new popping up. I need to make sure that it doesn’t affect the team.
I am very lucky to have a great group of folks to help make this happen every year, it really is a team effort.
Add in the work I do during the rest of the year – it’s a full schedule. But as I said, I’m very lucky to be able to do what I do, and associate with all the great people that I work with.
Amanda – Kevin, thank you very much. I think the fans, especially new fans to the sport, will learn more about what you, and the AMA do for our benefit.
Kevin – Amanda, thanks for helping us get the word out!