AMA Motorcyclist of the Year…The Governator?

Arnold The Time Magazine Person of the Year has been both JFK and Hitler.  In that same vein, the American Motorcyclist Association’s Motorcyclist of the Year can be a person who has had a profoundly positive or profoundly negative influence on the sport. Maybe you can guess what influence outgoing California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has had.

As we reported in an earlier article (, the Terminator lived up to his nickname as he signed into law a bill that is discriminatory and fundamentally changes the way motorcycle exhausts are regulated and labeled.  Unfortunately, the law may pave the way for similar legislation by other states.

So what’s the rationale for this interesting decision by the AMA?  Here is what AMA CEO Rob Dingman said, “Gov. Schwarzenegger signed a piece of legislation that has rocked the motorcycling world, and will impact motorcyclists in other states as well for years to come. This makes him the logical choice for the 2010 AMA Motorcyclist of the Year.”  He continued, “As a motorcyclist, Gov. Schwarzenegger should have known better.  Now California’s motorcyclists, as well as key segments of our industry, are going to be negatively impacted.”

In that light, the decision makes sense.  Let’s hope that the AMA’s strong statement with the naming of this year’s Motorcyclist of the Year will resonate with other states and legislators.

Written by Tim Kessel, Courtesy of