The American Motorcyclist Association announced today that Craig Vetter is the recipient of the AMA Dud Perkins Lifetime Achievement Award for 2016. Vetter is most famous for the Windjammer line of fairings he created for Honda Gold Wings, and the like, in a time before motorcycle fairings were factory equipment – the 1970s. More recently, Vetter’s focused his attention on fuel mileage, and how to get the most of it. The proving grounds for his ideas and aerodynamic designs can be seen wherever a Vetter Fuel Mileage Challenge is hosted.
The annual award acknowledges the highest level of service to the AMA in any area of activity, and its recipients are individuals whose contributions are nationally recognized. Vetter, well-known for his many contributions to motorcycle design, has also distinguished himself for a lifetime of service to the AMA and the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation.
The AMA Dud Perkins Award is one of six categories in which awards were made in 2016. The other 2016 AMA Awards recipients include:
- AMA Hazel Kolb Brighter Image Award: Chris Ulrich, MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North America Superbike racer, Roadracing World journalist and fundraiser for the Roadracing World Action Fund
- AMA Outstanding Road Rider Award: Brad Berson, founder of the New York Motorcycle & Scooter Task Force
- AMA Outstanding Off-Road Rider Award: Barrett Brown, longtime member of the Oregon Motorcycle Riders Association; designer and builder of the ST240, a purpose-built single-track trail dozer
- AMA Bessie Stringfield Award: The late Jeanne Clendenon, the AMA member who inspired the “AMA Get Women Riding” campaign
- Friend of the AMA Award: The Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative GRANT program; the Oakland Motorcycle Club, AMA Charter No. 72; Brad Baumert, CEO for the North American Trials Council and principal of Trials Inc.
These motorcyclists and organizations were selected for AMA Awards by the AMA Board of Directors because they have made outstanding contributions to the motorcycling community, and their efforts support the AMA mission to promote the motorcycle lifestyle and protect the future of motorcycling.
AMA Dud Perkins Lifetime Achievement Award
Long known for his accomplishments as a motorcycle inventor, designer and racer, Craig Vetter was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame 1999.
He designed the iconic Windjammer fairings of the 1970s, the Triumph X-75 Hurricane and the limited-edition Mystery Ship. More recently Vetter has conducted a series of motorcycle fuel economy runs that push the boundaries of everyday streamlining.
Equally significant is Vetter’s longtime service to the AMA and to the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation, which raises funds for the Hall of Fame. For years, Vetter served on the AMHF Board of Directors (2008-13) and as the chairman of the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Design and Engineering Committee.
He is also a significant donor, having provided more than $100,000 in funds and historic motorcycles to the AMHF. In 2012, he was the grand marshal for the annual AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, the primary fundraiser for the Hall of Fame. In 2014, he was the featured guest at the annual AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Breakfast at Daytona, another successful AMHF fundraising activity.
“Hearing that I was being given the Dud Perkins Award was most unexpected and welcome,” Vetter said. “The AMA has always been a very special organization to me.
“I first joined in the 1960s so I could do scrambles racing in Illinois,” he said. “I also won the AMA logo design contest in 1973, and donated my motorcycle and fairing collection to the Hall of Fame. Decades of my life have been spent to improve motorcycling by making it easier to use as everyday transportation and streamlining our bikes to maximize fuel economy.
“”This is especially meaningful to me right now, as I am struggling to return to health after a collision with a deer on my bike last August that put me in the hospital for several months,” Vetter added. “Recovery has been slow, and this award is a real bright spot in my life right now. Thank you for honoring me in this way. I love motorcycles, and I love the AMA.”
AMA Hazel Kolb Brighter Image Award
The AMA Hazel Kolb Brighter Image Award is presented annually for activities that generated good publicity for motorcycling.
In addition to his career as a professional road racer and motojournalist, Chris Ulrich has raised significant funds for the Roadracing World Action Fund. The RWAF is a nonprofit that advocates and promotes the use of soft barriers to prevent racetrack injuries, and provides education on the value of adequate pre-race practice, rider training and proper racetrack preparation.
Ulrich has raised funds by giving rides on the back of his two-seat Superbike to RWAF donors, media representatives and influential members of the public at race tracks throughout the country. The results fund a worthy cause and also portray professional road racing — and motorcyclists in general — in a very positive, public light. The number of people who have taken a two-seat Superbike ride with Ulrich is well over 900, all without incident, and he continues the rides year after year.
“It is an honor to receive the 2016 Hazel Kolb Brighter Image Award,” Ulrich said. “Our family started the Roadracing World Action Fund in 2001 to help improve rider safety by demonstrating and deploying soft barriers at races put on by AMA Pro Racing, and it’s since expanded to cover more organizations and types of events, including track days.
“That same year, we started our two-seat Superbike ride-along program as a way to educate reporters and broadcasters about motorcycle road racing — while also promoting upcoming events — by putting them on the back of a real Superbike, on a racetrack, with an active Superbike racer at the controls,” Ulrich said.
“In 2005, we started our annual fundraising event, which opened up the two-seat program to anybody who showed up and made a donation to the RWAF,” he said. “I know that what we’re doing helps keep my fellow enthusiasts safe, whether they race in MotoAmerica Nationals or in a club series, or take racetrack schools, or ride in track days, while also raising money to help purchase and deploy more soft barriers.”
AMA Outstanding Road Rider Award
The AMA Outstanding Road Rider Award recognizes those who have contributed to the promotion of the motorcycle lifestyle and the protection of on-highway motorcycling.
Brad Berson’s involvement in motorcycle advocacy began in 2008, when he fought discriminatory regulations in New York City. At the same time, he helped organize opposition to motorcycle-only checkpoints operated by the New York State Police. With the creation of the volunteer-driven New York Motorcycle & Scooter Task Force, motorcyclists from all walks of life marshaled their energies to improve safety, parking, awareness, education, advocacy and licensing for motorcycle and scooter riders.
“As someone who has never felt complete unless he had a motorcycle, and who has worked and fought for decades to be treated fairly and thoughtfully as a motorcycle rider, I am delighted to receive the AMA’s recognition this year,” Berson said.
“It is great to know that people see the difference that we can make,” he said. “Everyone who has supported me and who has worked with me and the NYMSTF is thrilled. They deserve this as much as I do.”
AMA Outstanding Off-Road Rider Award
Similar the road rider award, the AMA Outstanding Off-Road Rider Award highlights the achievements of those who have contributed to the promotion of the motorcycle lifestyle and the protection of off-highway motorcycling.
Barrett Brown, from North Plains, Ore., is a life-long rider and AMA member who, for 15 years, was the land use and legislative director for the Oregon Motorcycle Riders Association. He gained national recognition when he designed and built the ST240, a purpose-built single-track dozer that is used to build motorcycle and mountain bike trails across the West. His company, Single Track LLC, won the 2015 State of the Art Technology Award from American Trails.
“All of the things this award speaks to, that I’ve been so lucky to be a part of, have involved many, many partners, family and supporters, and never alone,” Brown said. “From riding Six Days a couple of times, volunteer-coordinating successes and trail building, to political victories for the off-road community, I can only accept this on behalf of them and with real gratitude.
“I can’t overstate what off-road riding and racing has meant to our family,” Brown said. “Hundreds of American families share that common bond between generations, as well as this awesome framework for growth, respect and civic engagement. It’s been a humbling honor just to do the work of trying to extend these kinds of benefits to future families, and I’m deeply moved by this award.”
AMA Bessie Stringfield Award
The AMA Bessie Stringfield Award recognizes efforts to introduce motorcycling to new or underserved markets in memory of the accomplishments of AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Bessie Stringfield.
The late Jeanne Clendenon (d. 2011), a prolific motorcyclist and long-time AMA member, inspired the “AMA Get Women Riding” campaign through a generous $50,000 charitable bequest from her estate to the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation, organized by her partner Lisa Painter and longtime friend Rita Kepner. A member of the Retreads Motorcycle Club, Clendenon earned many riding awards, including completing the U.S. Four Corners Tour in 21 days and winning the Retreads long-distance award four years in a row.
Upon hearing of Clendenon’s award, Painter said: “Jeanne would be proud to know that a new generation of women can feel free to ride — 1 mile or 1 million miles, just like she did.”
Friend of the AMA Award
The Friend of the AMA Award recognizes one or more in the motorcycling community, including clubs, companies, sponsors and/or partners that have strongly supported the AMA mission and programs. For 2016, the AMA Board of Directors selected three recipients.
Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative GRANT program
The Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative, Guaranteeing Responsible Access to our Nation’s Trails (GRANT), is a program that provides funds to clubs and organizations to support motorized trails.
Each quarter, the program accepts applications from organizations, such as nonprofit or tax exempt OHV riding groups, public riding areas, outdoor enthusiast associations and land conservation organizations, with an interest in protecting, improving, expanding and/or maintaining access for safe, responsible and sustainable use by motorized off-road vehicles. A committee then reviews each application and awards GRANTs to deserving projects. Since 2008, the program has awarded hundreds of GRANTs and millions in funding and equipment throughout the United States.
“Yamaha is proud to accept the Friend of the AMA Award in recognition of Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative’s commitment to those working on the front lines to ensure access to land for outdoor enthusiasts of all types,” said Steve Nessl, Yamaha ATV and SxS group marketing manager.
“The Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative provides practical support for efforts that promote responsible, sustainable access to land for outdoor enthusiasts of all types including OHV riders, hunters and other outdoors sportsmen, farmers and ranchers.”
Oakland Motorcycle Club
In 2007, the Oakland Motorcycle Club, AMA charter No.72, celebrated 100 years of continuous operation as an organization dedicated to supporting the sport of motorcycle riding. The OMC’s members are a diverse group of men and women who own a wide variety of motorcycles, including street, dual-sport and dirt bikes. The club has a long tradition of organizing and participating in all types of motorcycle events, including enduros, hillclimbs, track racing, and long-distance tours. The club is also known for its outreach to other clubs and riding organizations.
“The Oakland Motorcycle Club is greatly appreciative of being awarded the prestigious 2016 Friend of the AMA Award,” said club president Bill Espinola. “Throughout the 109-year existence of our club, the programs and goals of the AMA have been diligently supported not only through the sponsorship of untold numbers of sanctioned events, but also through our efforts to be an asset and good neighbor to the general community.
“We believe this form of brotherhood and outreach contributes greatly to a positive image of motorcycling as a whole,” Espinola said. “We are delighted to be recognized for our efforts and we thank the AMA for all it does for the advancement of the motorcycling community.”
Brad Baumert is a lifelong motorcyclist, trials rider and an enthusiastic booster of the AMA. As CEO for the North American Trials Council and a principal of Trials Inc., he has been a longtime volunteer and supporter of the sport of trials and was instrumental in organizing events at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days and the AMA campus. In so doing, Baumert has encouraged new riders, young and old, to discover motorcycling.
“When I was told about being selected to receive this award, I felt not only honored but also undeserving at the same time,” Baumert said. “Since I was 14, the AMA has been part of my life. I still remember the feeling of getting my first AMA card in the mail, and at that moment it was official. I was a motorcyclist.
“The AMA has been with me through my racing career as a teenager and young adult, it has chartered the different clubs I have belonged to, he said. “It has fought beside me for my rights as a motorcyclist, sanctioned events that I have organized and provided affordable insurance and a set of rules for those events year after year. Because of this, off-road motorcycle enthusiasts, like myself, can enjoy competition.
“All of this does not happen by accident. It is because of the hard work of the dedicated staff of the American Motorcyclist Association,” Baumert added. “So, am I a ‘Friend of the AMA?’ You bet I am! Because they have been standing beside me for 44 years, since I was 14 years old.”
For more information about the AMA Awards Program, to see past recipients and learn how to submit individual’s names for future consideration, please visit www.americanmotorcyclist.com/