The oldest racing organization in the country dedicated soley to motorcycle road racing, the AFM is a Northern Californian non-profit racing organization that has helped hone the skills of riders like Eddie Lawson, Wayne Rainey, Kenny Roberts, and Steve Rapp — not mention a weekend warrior or two.

Each year the racing league comes together for a banquet, and lately the tradition has been to include a highlight film of the year’s racing. I’m not sure what films in the past have been like, but if the latest AFM banquet video doesn’t give you goosebumps, you might want to check your pulse. Bonus points for the including the Versus “Second Place” monologue — it’s very apropos.

Source: YouTube

  • Steve Lang


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  • Masterfully done. Although I agree that we all do it because we want to be winners… Some of us are realistic enough to understand that it’s NOT going to come out that way. WE are the masses that make up the pack from 2nd to the back. And, if anyone thinks I dont have as much fun battling it out with my fellow riders back there… they’re wrong. For the love of the Thrill… ’nuff said.

  • Damn them for reminding me how awesome it is; now I have to come out of retirement!

  • Keith

    heh, I agree 100% with that speech. But I never race other people. I never race the clock…I am always racing against my last performance and trying to best that.

  • Great video production. The testosterone-dripping egotistical drivel is totally unecessary, but that commentary can be muted, or better yet- edited out. Otherwise, a very good job.

  • Westward

    Without googling it, whats the AFM ? Oh, I see it’s like looking for Waldo, there it is Tagged Under in Red… Good thing the speaker hid his face, the script was reaching. Battling with second in an obscure second rate federation, really?

    If you can’t say something nice, best say nothing at all. Would have been better to just show the video with music.

  • Westward

    I take back the “second rate” comment, should not have typed it, but it is obscure. Just because American is in the title, I don’t know that it carries anymore weight…

  • Jeez, lighten up Westward. You must be a WERA guy.

  • Jeez, some pretty raggedy riding, wouldn’t want to be out with that lot!

  • We started the tradition if the videos. Before us there were none.

  • Sleazy

    woa… i used to HATE people that showed up my motorcycle races just to watch the crashes. and THIS, produced by a racing sanctioning body!- is just crash porn. every single clip has lowsides, run offs, and collisions. This isnt showing the talent and mastery needed to win- its showing racing at its worst. some promotional material!

    and to the “hard ass” that reads that speech… recite that to the family of some middle weight supersport amateaur who is in the TraumaHawk helicopter that is still waiting to take off in the infield*

    (*if the helicopter doesnt take off in a hurry, its ’cause the patient inside is dead.)

  • Grant Madden

    Been racing for more than 20 years and some of my best races have been for second and some have been for first.Even sometimes for not being last and they were all great!!Your ego might not cope with second place but I just thrive on competition and have purposely entered races I didn,t have a hope of winning(My 600 against superbikes) but I,m still having more fun than the guy who stresses out about not coming first.If the racing isn,t fun because you didn,t come first then your not going to enjoy the rest of your racing career.The best time I ever had racing was on a borrowed Bucket Racer(100cc two strokes and 125cc four strokes) and although I didn,t win a race my face hurt from smiling for at least a couple of days.Winning is just the bonus for having a great time so go ahead and enjoy your self and race what ever ,when ever.Its all good!!!

  • Jeeze, that dude preaching and ranting about winning really was annoying. As one who has stood on the top step of the podium (and loved it, I’ll admit), I gotta say that if he really thinks that winning is the only thing that makes it worthwhile, he’s totally missing the point.

  • Laurençio

    Why line up on the grid if you’re not looking to win?

  • adam s


    what a naive question. despite the anonymity of online identities- I would hazard a guess that the more negative reviews of this piece of marketing material by the AFM are from the most accomplished and life-long racers.

    whereas the “OMG! that is so friggin AWESOME” reviews are from viewers of hollywood trip like Torque and F&F….

  • Joe

    This was pretty amazing, but last years was still better.

  • JACRider

    Am I the only one that sees the irony of showing riders crashing while chest thumping about winning being everything? To finish first, first you must finish.

    Simple question… Who was the last AFM champion to move up and top the podium in MotoGP or 500GP, much less win an FIM GP/WSBK championship at any level?

    So this pretty much reduces the AFM video to a flashy exploitation of racers in a big-fish/small-pond series. If it was only intended for AFM current and prospective racers, what is is doing in public view?

    What’s next, racers cage-fighting for AFM series points? Much cheaper than running all those pesky races…

    The narrator, John Doman’s claim to fame is as an ex-Marine, now tough-guy actor. Did/does he even ride, let alone race? Nothing in his Wikipedia entry or any other online source says so. Was this just another for-pay voice-over spot? How real-deal is that? Are these the actual words of a motorcycling icon, or the made-to-order fantasy of some non-riding writers?

    Just what road racing needed to appeal to the general public and expand it’s participant/spectator base beyond the existing pay-to-race format. I’m sure this will have the general public flocking to road races all over the USA. Quick, call the FIM and the manufacturers’ international head offices, let them know their decades of marketing which studiously avoids sensationalizing crashes, racing or otherwise was all wrong.

    Maybe Soichiro would have done even better if he had instead coined “You meet the nicest people crashing a Honda”. Or maybe “Come ride with us, but don’t buy our bikes if you come in second”.

  • Hehe…some of you guys are awfully critical… My company, 4theriders shoots photos and videos of people who race afm… We simply took all the footage from this year and compiled it into a fun, intense video to show at the banquet/awards ceremony that was held two weeks ago…that’s all. It was not paid for by the wasn’t paid for by anyone… Its just a fun video is all. :) hope you guys enjoyed! :)

  • MikedD

    …I liked the music !

    I’ll admit it…crashing or not it was racing…i have nothing against racing.

  • JACRider

    Boy, that “Hehe, it was all just a in good fun” thing never gets old, eh?

    So great to be involved in a sport where it is a business or just for fun depending on what the situation is. In this case, you run a media company, so copyrighted materials must be business assets to you. But you didn’t get paid for this vid, so it’s just for fun. Unless you are putting this out as a loss-leader or to otherwise promote your company, so then it’s business again. And you used commercial copyrighted material, so it’s only for fun. I’m hehe-ing all over the place here.

    If this vid never got any further than the AFM banquet and a few friends’ computers/dvd players, no harm no foul… everyone in the room knows the reality of racing is not mostly crashing and no Versus execs would ever know you lifted their stuff. But YouTube may be a step too far in a couple ways, especially in the nearly-SOPA climate.

    A major problem with motorcycling’s image with the general public is exactly what we see here. Whether it is bad “B” movies and “critically acclaimed” TV series about biker gangs terrorizing towns or crash reels, it associates the most negative aspects of the sport in too many minds. Would you recommend this “crash-reel” approach as appropriate for series/racers looking to entice out-of-industry sponsors? I can hear the pitch now, “Your logo will be getting valuable exposure as I cartwheel my bike into the haybales!” “I promise to aim your logo on my leathers towards the cameras as they load me into the ambulance.” Erm, OK…

    As an aside, you DID get Versus’ permission to re-purpose what is certainly copyrighted advertising material, right? Or are we going for the “easier to ask forgiveness than permission” tactic? Given the actual “frame” for the monologue is Versus challenging their competition, sounds to me like they are very serious about finishing first and aggressively confronting any entity that may harm that goal. And we thought Harley was getting over-picky about bootleg T-shirts.

    I’m not going to turn you in, but no worries, it’s all just for fun… hehe.

    Yup, wonderful production values, need to refine your national/international media/market integration strategy.

  • Mickey

    Wow some people take them selves way too seriously.

  • Keith

    buncha whiney little snits…same crowd that hates pipe wrap and no paint. Point being it’s about winning anythings sucks fetid rotting green donkey bawlz. But do you whine about it? No, you go back fix stuff that’s broke, slap yourself for starting to mess with stuff that’s working and fix your mental game.

    I saw less complaining and better behavior from those AFM racers post crash than you’ll see on a normal race day in motogp. Losing BLOWS people…and second place is the first fracking loser.

  • Mikey

    Hey everyone hating on this video get over yourselves and appreciate the work done by the racers, photographers, and producers of this video. This video is dedicated to the racers and crews of AFM and not you. And I bet you that every damn one of them appreciates this video and the message that racing is competition. Crashing is part of competition. Winning is the ultimate goal of competition. If you race for other reasons (not sure what they are) then just do track days. Also, 4theRiders is amazing and their trackday photography is superb. Much love!

  • Jake Fox

    For every winner there are dozens of losers. Odds are never in your favor. Racers race for many reasons. Those who only race to best others are rarely, if ever, happy. I’d rather be a loser on the track and a winner in life than vice versa.

  • Westward

    Not a WERA fan either, not even sure what that is…, The whole angle of battle with second, just rubbed me the wrong way…

    It almost negates everyone who participates save for the winner. The winner doesn’t exist without a second place finisher. Also, the level of competition defines how good the winner is….

    That is why It sucks to have sub par competition with CRT’s and a couple of the pilots riding in MotoGP currently.

    I would rather have a grid with twelve of the top racers on the best bikes, than 20-30 , with only the reality of only four or five people even capable of winning…

  • Westward

    To be clear, I have zero issue with the footage or the video itself, it’s just the Narrative…

  • musashiwasajedi

    Jeez Loueez,

    Still true: “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and (the one that gets to me most) “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

    It looks like everyone associated with this project took a little unnecessary bashing here: The “obscure / second rate” American Federation of Motorcyclists, the “raggedy” AFM Riders, the evil Video Producers, the militant Voice Actor, etc. I’m pretty sure most of it wasn’t really warranted though – the video was well done and I’m sure it served its purpose well.

    Sometimes people deserve a little credit and respect, i.e. the intended goal of the video.

    Now – what was that one about “Opinions”? Not everyone has the balls to go out and race in AFM, but anyone can have an opinion about those that do. Especially if they happen to go and make a video about it at the end of the year.

  • aussie

    hhmm, I think the past champion Rossi would love to be 5th at the moment, let alone 2nd or even 1st!!!!

    The speaker was a complete tool, that probably never raced anything but his lego cars in his bedroom.

  • JasonB

    What a bunch of cry babies! This and last years video are awesome and get my blood pumping every time I watch them. Yes, it’s naive to think that the only reason to line up is to take 1st place. But I believe “winning” is a relative term and can apply to simply shooting for ones own personal goal. Maybe that’s 1st, maybe it’s top ten, maybe it’s beating your best friend or simply not coming in last.

    As for the crashes they are a real part of racing. If you’ve even spent one weekend club racing you’d know that the stories told around the grill at the end of the day always revolve around close calls and the saves that weren’t. The full story is in the scars of battle, without them we’d just be a bunch of guys riding around a circuit at 30mph and where’s the fun in that.

    The AFM and 4theriders are great guys, several of which I’m proud to call friends. They simply like having fun, more than I can say for some of the wet blankets that visit A&R.