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The History Of The AMA

Today, it seems only logical that motorcyclists would have their own organization to address the issues that are important to them. But at the time the AMA was founded, this was a rather revolutionary concept.

To fully understand the emergence of the AMA as the world's premier member-driven motorcycling organization, it is first necessary to understand the forces that led to its creation. In large part, the roots of the AMA can be traced to two organizations that preceded it, the Federation of American Motorcyclists (FAM) and the Motorcycle and Allied Trades Association (M&ATA).

The Federation of American Motorcyclists

The formation of the FAM can be traced to the New York Motorcycle Club, whose members in early 1903 saw the need for a national motorcyclist organization and assembled a committee to study the interest level in such an organization. Further momentum for the creation of this organization was provided by the enactment of a New York City law requiring registration of motorcycles as motor vehicles.

On September 7, 1903, the FAM was officially formed during a meeting of 93 enthusiasts at a clubhouse in Brooklyn. The meeting was chaired by George H. Perry, and one notable attendee was George M. Hendee of the Indian Motocycle Company, who brought 109 membership pledges from the New England area.

A constitution was drawn up, and officers appointed, with R.G. Betts of New York as president. Article I, section 2 of the constitution of the newly created FAM stated: "Its objects shall be to encourage the use of motorcycles and to promote the general interests of motorcycling; to ascertain, defend and protect the rights of motorcyclists; to facilitate touring; to assist in the good roads movement; and to advise and assist in the regulation of motorcycle...