April’s “ AMA Get Out and Ride! Month” seems the perfect time to visit the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. What stories the bikes tell and history they hold.
AMA, American Motorcycle Association, serves a membership of over 200,000 with an average experience of 28 years. They own 615,000 motorcycles, which are ridden over a billion miles each year.
In 1990, AMA Hall of Fame first opened in Westerville, then moved to its present Pickerington location in 1999. Here it can easily be seen from I-70.
A special round room holds a plaque for each member inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. They recognize individuals who have contributed to the motorcycle sport over the years. At the entrance is a Glory Days Statue.
The displays at AMA Hall of Fame are arranged in sections according to motorcycle type: Dirt Bike, Road Racing, Motocross, Specialty and Off Road. Each one holds memorabilia from many familiar names, who are fearless, imaginative and awe-inspiring.
Ashley Price, Associate Editorial Director at AMA, gave an excellent overview. She had a passion for motorcycles, having gone to Motocross training daily at the age of 14 while being home schooled.
Her days were carefully monitored regarding food, gym and riding time. She only slipped up once on her food. At Walmart, she purchased a box of Wheat Things. Punishment – another six or seven miles of bike drills.
Those years of competition have given Ashley determination in life situations. “The camaraderie of family and friends has given many memories. I’ve learned life lessons in working hard to accomplish goals.”
Riding a bike in racing takes more strength and determination than it appears. It is one of the most difficult sports in the world. At the end of a race, riders are exhausted. It takes a great combination of man and bike to win consistently.
If you like motorcycles, you’re sure to find something of interest at AMA Hall of Fame, which is packed with motorcycle history. With 117 bikes, there’s a great variety. It’s not possible to describe all of them here, so you’ll have to visit yourself. Most were donated by names familiar in the biking world.
A 1914 Harley claimed the honor for the oldest bike at the museum. Most popular now are adventure bikes. They can go on the street or easily off road due to their special tires. They’re not for competition, just enjoyment.
Downstairs, Motorcycle Toys and Collections stir up some memories, or watch a biking video. “Why We Ride” played during a recent visit and centered around family fun involved with making great memories. “It’s a most interesting, amazing adventure,” quipped one lady aged 78, heading for 100.
Riders feel this is a great way to make friends. Children join in at an early age on their dirt bikes. Charity work frequently happens with motorcycle groups. Everything from Cancer Runs to Christmas Toy Drives occur around the world.
The AMA sets up a Gypsy Tour series for their members. Its purpose is to have a rally and provide a memorable experience for everyone involved. Motorcycle friends are a close knit family, where men, women and children enjoy the thrill of riding and racing together.
If you are passionate about motorcycles, AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame would be a great family outing. Then, Get Out and Ride!
The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame can be found just off I -70 at Exit 112, Route 256. Take a left of Blacklick Eastern Road and another left on Yarmouth. Watch for their posted signs to 13515 Yarmouth Drive. Enjoy the ride!