Another victim from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials (BMST) have been canceled.

The news comes as a joint decision by the FIM, AMA, and local organizer Deliciate Promotions LTT, with the races intended to be held on the iconic salt flats on August 29th through September 3rd.

While no elaboration was given in the FIM’s terse communication on the event’s cancelation, one can only surmise that the logistics of the international event were impossible because of the global lockdown in place because of the coronavirus.

Long time readers of Asphalt & Rubber will surely know that I have tough criticisms regarding the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA). As the leading organization to represent motorcyclists and to co-ordinate our efforts and thoughts to policy makers, industry stakeholders, and the public at large, I often find the AMA’s actions (or lack thereof) to be wanting.

Nothing illustrates this better than the AMA’s policy regarding helmet laws, where one side of the AMA’s mouth touts how the organization is against any sort mandatory helmet laws being passed in the USA, while the other corner of the mouth preaches that all motorcyclists should wear a helmet when they ride a motorcycle.

The issue is an example of how the AMA is held hostage by motorcycling’s libertarian population, and by catering to this vocal group’s whims, this organization that is supposed to represent all motorcyclists ends up alienating the very people it is supposed to serve.

It is a great metaphor for how the motorcycle industry operates as a whole in the United States, and while the industry is starting to realize that it needs to cater to members of the population who aren’t just old, white, male, or politically conservative, the AMA has been slow to get with the program.

As closures begin to hit the United States due to the coronavirus, changing life as we know it into an isolated and dull affair, AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman has issued an open letter both to motorcycle organizations and motorcyclists individually.

The letter is full of good tips for how motorcycle groups can work within the constraints of the virus outbreak, and like any good AMA president, Dingman encourages us all to continue riding our motorcycles as much as possible.

While Dingman is certainly correct that there is plenty we can do as motorcyclists to distract ourselves from the seriousness of the events that are around us, I would caution just one thought to his “get out there and ride” message.

Before you take that ride, that track day, or that race, consider what effect those actions could have on the healthcare industry.

The point of social distancing is to help ease the strain that the coronavirus will put on our medical system, and before we get too far on that point, I know we are all aware of how dangerous riding motorcycles can be.

If the trends in China, Italy, Iran, Spain, and so on have taught us anything on what to expect here in the United States, it is that there will come a point in time when risky activities, like motorcycle riding, could legitimately put doctors and other healthcare staff in the tough position of deciding whether to save our life, which was threatened by an elective activity, or instead to save the life of someone who has contracted the virus and is having serious health results because of it.

Riding motorcycles has always been about taking managed risks, and we usually manage these risks quite well as motorcyclists. But, we also as a group tend to be a congregation of self-thinkers.

Before you swing a leg over a motorcycle, consider what the full repercussions of you crashing on the road, in the woods, or at the track will have not on just yourself, but also on others, especially in terms of medical resources, which are rapidly becoming a rare commodity.

If that still doesn’t compel you to have pause, let me float another thought that might have some bearing: do you really want to be laid up in hospital bed while a viral pandemic is going on?

Nicky Hayden will always be remembered as a legend in American motorcycling, especially after his 2006 MotoGP World Championship title and his 2002 AMA Superbike title.

But now, that status has been made official, as the Kentucky Kid has been inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. 

Hayden was one six inductees this weekend into the Hall of Fame, and was joined by off-road racer Terry Cunningham, stuntman Gary Davis, race tuner Skip Eaken, flat-track racer Clifford “Corky” Keener, and female racer Mary McGee.

Episode 69 of the Two Enthusiasts Podcast is a special one, since it is our recent live show, which was held at the Dainese D-Store in San Francisco

The show covers a number of topics, and starts out with a discussion about the recent news that the FIM has picked its spec-motorcycle for the upcoming FIM Moto-e Cup series.

From there, we move into a conversation about the state of the motorcycle industry, and how organizations like the AMA and MIC represent motorcycling – or don’t, as the case may be. 

This then leads into a talk about the industry as a whole in the United States, which is on the decline, and how we can fix that downward trend. The show then goes into a Q&A session, which continues these topics.

The conversations are pretty interesting, and well-worth listening to. Thank you again to all the Two Enthusiasts enthusiasts who spend their Wednesday night with us in San Francisco!

You can listen to the show via the embedded SoundCloud player, after the jump, or you can find the show on iTunes (please leave a review) or this RSS feed. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well. 

We hope you will join the conversation, and leave us some audio comments at our new email address: twoenthusiasts@gmail.com.

The motorcycle industry has found more allies on Capital Hill this week, with the creation of the first “motorcycle caucus” in the United States Senate.

Established so motorcycle manufacturers and motorcyclists would have a greater voice in the upper chamber of the American legislature, the Senate Motorcycle Caucus is the work of Senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Gary Peters (D-Michigan).

Motorcyclists typically aren’t single-issue voter – not for issues pertaining to motorcycles, at least – but with several important political issues currently affecting the motorcycle industry, the formation of the Senate Motorcycle Caucus comes at an advantageous time.

What do chickens have to do with potatoes? For that matter, what do chickens have to do with steel? And what do both of those things have to do with tires?

The answer isn’t as obvious as you may think, and this week everyone in the motorcycle industry is asking themselves what European motorcycles have to do with beef exports.

The answer to all these questions is the same though, and it involves the rather unsophisticated motorcycle industry being dragged into the rather complex world of international trade negotiation. Let me explain.

Brappy Holidays from the Two Enthusiasts Podcast crew, as we bring you Episode 41 – our penultimate show of the 2016 season.

To help get through the winter doldrums, we catch up on several recent news items, namely the changes to the World Superbike Championship rules, the management shuffle at KTM North America, and the AMA anointing WERA as its amateur motorcycle racing league of choice.

It is an interesting and entertaining show…and our apologies in advance to any of our French listeners. If we can be so bold to say, the rabbit holes on this episode are especially choice. Tis the season to be brappy!

You can listen to the show via the embedded SoundCloud player, after the jump, or you can find the show on iTunes (please leave a review) or this RSS feed. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well. Enjoy the show!

Depending on your geography, the start of snow bike season might finally be here. These modified dirt bikes have snowmobile-like treads at the rear, a ski at the front, and look like an absolute blast in the frozen white stuff.

We’re sure that any time two snow bikes find themselves together, that some form of racing ensues. But now, to make things a bit more legit, the American Motorcyclist Association has officially sanctioned snow bike racing, starting the AMA Championship Snow Bike series in the process.

Summer is coming to an end in Two Enthusiasts Podcast land, and as such Episode 32 starts with some talk of the final track days of the season, before we head off into a discussion about the American Motorcyclist Association.

The prompt for this discussion is the recent kerfuffle over four-gallon minimum fill-ups from blended nozzles (if you don’t know what that means; don’t worry, we get you up to speed on it in the show), and the AMA’s response to this recent business recommendation from the corn lobby.

We examine this issue, and then turn to talk about the AMA as an organization, and whether it is representing the best interests of mainstream motorcyclists.

It’s a pretty interesting conversation, which quite frankly, every motorcycle-owner should examine for themselves, and decide where they fall in terms of how this industry should be lead in the coming years.

As always, you can listen to the show via the embedded SoundCloud player, after the jump, or you can find the show on iTunes (please leave a review) or this RSS feed. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well. Enjoy the show!