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American Motorcyclist Association announces 2014 award recipients

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The American Motorcyclist Association is proud to announce the recipients of its 2014 AMA Awards. The six national awards, conferred by the AMA Board of Directors, recognize outstanding contributions in the world of motorcycling and acknowledge support of the AMA mission to promote the motorcycle lifestyle and protect the future of motorcycling.

The most prestigious of the awards, the AMA Dud Perkins Lifetime Achievement Award, is given to Mike and Margaret Wilson of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, for their lifelong commitment to fostering the growth and acceptance of motorcycling, and their dedication to the AMA and its Hall of Fame. Other 2014 award recipients include:

  • AMA Bessie Stringfield Award – Scot Harden, Vice President, Global Marketing, Zero Motorcycles
  • AMA Hazel Kolb Brighter Image Award
    • “Why We Ride” feature film – James Walker, Producer; Bryan H. Carroll, Producer/Director; Chris Hampel, Writer/Co-Producer
    • “Road Warriors, The Bleeding Edge of Motorcycle Racing” feature film – Matt Greenstone, Writer/Director
  • AMA Outstanding Road Rider Award – Donald L. Green, Lead Instructor, Fort Knox, Kentucky Army Traffic Safety Training Program Office, and Motorcycle Safety Foundation RiderCoach with the Kentucky Motorcycle Rider Education Program
  • AMA Outstanding Off-Road Rider Award – Jim Pilon and Paul Flanders, AMA District 37 Dual Sport organizers and promoters of the LA-Barstow-Vegas desert event
  • Friend of the AMA Award – Roy Garrett, AMA Life Member, ABATE of Indiana and Discover Indiana Riding Trails (DIRT)

Melbourne “Mike” J. Wilson and Margaret Wilson, AMA Life Members and inductees into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, were awarded the 2014 AMA Dud Perkins Lifetime Achievement Award for their many decades of service to the AMA. The award pays tribute to its namesake, AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Dud Perkins.

Mike and Margaret Wilson have both served with distinction on the board of directors of the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation, which raises funds for the Hall of Fame, and are among the foundation’s principal benefactors. The Wilsons commissioned and donated the beautiful bronze sculpture, “Glory Days,” which graces the Hall of Fame’s display area and serves as its official logo. Mike has also contributed in the design and development of displays at the museum.

Margaret, a longtime member of the Motor Maids, has ridden her motorcycles over 550,000 miles and is an enthusiastic supporter and promoter of women’s motorcycling clubs and events. She was awarded the AMA Bessie Stringfield Award in 2003.

“This is wonderful news!” said Mike. “Dud Perkins was good friend of ours. He did a lot for motorcycling, he treated us as equals and to be remembered in his name like this is fantastic.”

Added Margaret: “Mike and I have been lucky to have each other all these years, we’ve done so many things with the AMA and made so many friends, and we are just thankful to be remembered like this.”

The AMA Bessie Stringfield Award memorializes the accomplishments of AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Bessie Stringfield and recognizes efforts to introduce motorcycling to new or underserved markets. For 2014, the award is given to Scot Harden and Zero Motorcycles for their pioneering work in the field of electric motorcycles. Harden has been instrumental in reaching out to motorcyclists young and old, experienced and novice, to gain acceptance of the newest way to get around on two wheels.

“I’m humbled and honored to receive this award on behalf of the passionate and dedicated team of motorcycling pioneers here at Zero Motorcycles,” said Harden, a member of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. “Electric motorcycles are developing rapidly as viable alternatives to their internal-combustion engine brothers and can only bring more people into our tent. We’ve opened the sport up to a whole host of new and returning riders, not to mention many current enthusiasts who are enthralled by the acceleration, ease of operation, environmental benefits and magic carpet ride-like experience our products offer. I’m proud to be part of a U.S.-based manufacturer that is making such a positive impact on the future of our sport.”

The AMA Hazel Kolb Brighter Image Award honors its namesake, Hall of Famer Hazel Kolb, and salutes individuals who have generated positive publicity for motorcycling. For 2014, it is given to the production and directorial teams of two remarkable motorcycling films: “Why We Ride” and “Road Warriors, The Bleeding Edge of Motorcycle Racing.”

“We would to like thank the AMA and its members for this award,” said James Walker, producer of “Why We Ride.” “Being recognized for doing we what love to do, which is telling stories that inspire audiences to embrace the passion of two wheels and to live everyday to its fullest, is a great honor. On behalf of our producer/director Bryan H. Carroll and writer/co-producer Chris Hampel, thank you!”

Matt Greenstone, writer/director for “Road Warriors,” said: “From the start, this project was designed to grow the audience for the sport of American road racing. From the AMA, we had support at every level. The result has been very positive. We have been included in almost a dozen film fests, and won best documentary several times. These men and women sacrifice time away from family, sweating it out in the hot pit in search of a race win. In an effort to pay it forward, 100 percent of any proceeds created by “Road Warriors” DVDs will go towards riders’ charities.”

The 2014 AMA Outstanding Road Rider Award recipient, AMA Life Member Donald L. Green, was honored for his tireless efforts to train armed forces personnel at Fort Knox in Kentucky and his commitment to the Kentucky Motorcycle Rider Education Program. Green has successfully trained more than 3,000 students, conducted 111 Basic RiderCourses, 51 Basic RiderCourses2, 19 Military Sportsbike RiderCourses and 5 Advance RiderCourses.

“It is humbling to receive such an award, especially when the honor bestowed is in great part due to spending time with those who have dedicated their lives to the service of this great nation,” said Green. “In military service, it is a tradition to not only receive awards and promotions based upon performance but also on future potential. I hope to live up to this honor by reaching more riders and by making a greater impact on the issues so relevant to motorcyclists and members of the AMA.”

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. For 2014, the award is presented to two deserving members of AMA District 37 in southern California, AMA Life Members Jim Pilon and Paul Flanders. 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.

“I am honored and humbled to be nominated and chosen for this prestigious award,” said Pilon. “I also serve as a California State Alternate of the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council and, along with the Bureau of Land Management, the United States Forest Service and various other agencies in four states, we’ve worked to create a responsible use of public land. I am proud to have others and the District 37 AMA Dual Sport Committee put forth their belief in dual sport as a national and international vehicle to enjoy what we love, to ride.”

Flanders said: “I am so honored to receive this award but feel that I can only accept it as a representative of our LA-Barstow to Vegas Committee, of which I am a part. Ten of us from District 37 Dual Sport work hard all year to put a ride together and then have 500 of our closest friends join us on Thanksgiving weekend. I am so happy to represent our committee and participants.”

The 2014 Friend of the AMA Award recognizes the innovative work of Plainfield, Indiana’s Roy Garrett. As an AMA Life Member and member of ABATE of Indiana DIRT, Garrett has been a fixture in the off-highway riding community for his many years of promoting responsible off-highway recreation. In acknowledging Garrett with this award, the AMA was impressed by the ability of Indiana’s on- and off-highway clubs and organizations to work together to protect the riding freedoms of all of the state’s riders.

“I joined the AMA in 1970 when I started racing motorcycles,” said Garrett. “I started working club and district business in 1983. I was an AMA congressman in the late eighties. The AMA helped us start DIRT in 1994. I have been the president or vice president since it started. I am currently the off road director for ABATE of Indiana DIRT, and the road captain for Stoney Lonesome M/C. I am very pleased and honored to receive this award from the AMA.”

For more information about the AMA Awards Program, to see past recipients and learn how to nominate individuals for future consideration, please visit www.americanmotorcyclist.com/about/amaawardsprogram.