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This is my 2005 AHRMA Road Racing rule proposal. Being I’m a founding member (and Secretary & Chief Tech Inspector), I feel I’m more than qualified to comment. MG

April 23, 2004
(revised 6/11/2004)

To: AHRMA Board of Trustees, Rules Committees & Members

Re: Proposed Road Racing Rules/Class change for 2005 Season.

Recapping some of my earlier letter to AHRMA... 

The “Premier” classes that where the backbone of CVRG and AHRMA were 250GP, 350GP, 500 Premier, and F750.  It’s my understanding that these classes lack decent grids any longer, which is sad. For reasons unknown to me, AHRMA keeps adding classes, some of which DO NOT reflect what they really were (in “historic” terms). A perfect example is BoTT (don’t get me wrong, I love BoTT – I raced in BoTT in both AFM & AMA since it’s birth), but AHRMA has it all confused and ruled to death. It’s nothing like it was.

In BoTT we only ever really had three classes: “GP” (max 1000cc 4-storke twin, anything goes), “Modified Production” (max 1000cc 4-stroke Production bike sold in North America for street use – engine may be modified, stroke must remain stock – all road equipment must be retained and work –Bud Riddle was once pulled from the grid for having no tail light! - We would later have a second Mod Prod class with a max displacement of 750cc), and finally “Box Stock” (max 1000cc etc, and had to be “box stock”. This was the hardest class to enforce). I remember an XR1000 winning the Sears Point Box Stock race only to be tossed out because of a ¼ throttle!  When we (AHRMA) said we’d take on BoTT from the AMA I sat down and wrote out some very simple rules for both BoTT and SOS. Today the rules are anything but simple and do not reflect BoTT racing of the 80’s. Instead AHRMA has all of this nonsense sub categories, and this thinking seems to have taken hold in numerous AHRMA classes. 


Superbike; the class doesn’t reflect AMA Superbike class of the 1970’s… Why can’t AHRMA just use the AMA rules from that era word-for-word? And call it “AMA Superbike”.
BoTT: Three classes; GP  (1000cc max), Modified Production-Heavyweight (1000cc) and Lightweight (750cc). We don’t need all the sub-categories.
SOS: Two classes; SOS-Open (750cc max 4-stroke) and SOS-500 (500cc max 4-stroke).
2-Stroke SOS: This too needs to be tidied up, and a year cutoff imposed.
BEARS: These rules should be word-for-word in line with the rest of the world (are they?).
AMA 250GP bikes; These have no place in AHRMA at this date.
And the list goes on and on.

Then we have the case of Double Points Weekends:  This has always been a sore issue with me, and I’ll tell you why. 1) Because of all the classes AHRMA now has, having all classes run twice over the weekend makes for a tight and compacted event with minimal amount of laps. I came to race, and 5 laps doesn’t cut it. Dealing with all the traffic isn’t much fun either, in fact it can be quite dangerous – such when 350GP is gridded BEHIND 500-Sportsman and Roper and I have to carve through the Sportsman machines to gain clear road. Not smart, on either account. 2) Changing our thinking to that of the spectator; AHRMA offers the average spectator absolutely nothing; even trustees have said it (word for word).  Think of it like this, from the spectators and track managements point of view: Family of 4 shows up at Sears Point on Saturday to watch the AHRMA races…  dad heads for the hot dog stand, when he gets back he say, “who’s leading?”  The reply is, “that race is over, we don’t know who won (they all had white # plates)”.  Then after a day of spending untold amount of money to get in the gate, buy lunch, etc., WHAT WILL BRING THIS SAME FAMILY BACK ON SUNDAY?  NOTHING!  AHRMA has nothing to entice this family to come back.  AHRMA doesn’t have a “big race finally” on Sunday to showcase (500 Premier was that class, but is no longer), and all the other classes-with-in-a-class races are so confusing to most people that they quickly lose interest. The same applies to some riders; and I’m in this category.
The 2-days of Daytona was worked well… each day had something different (which it was hoped would bring the spectators & the press back again to see a different show), but now that’s gone too. What will bring the spectator back for the second day? Again, nothing! 
A thought here; You don’t see the Historic car races doing this. You don’t see AFM doing this. You don’t see AMA or World Superbike doing this, only AHRMA does it. And why? Money?

Press Coverage for 2004:

During Daytona Speedweek (motorcycles), I watched SPEED TV, which was airing “same day coverage” of most events. The TV crew were at the speedway on both Monday and Tuesday…  but not one single mention of AHRMA, none! Wonder why? You’d think that after all these years, since the mid 1980s, that we’ve been racing vintage bikes at Daytona, you’d think we’d get some airtime… wouldn’t you? NOT.
Racing is expensive. We need sponsors; “WE” being both AHRMA and the riders. Without sponsors costs get out of hand quite quickly.
Bottom-line: No press coverage, no sponsorship $$.

Here are a few questions:

How much money do the current sponsors bring to the table? Not Enough! (see VV for Profit/Loss).
What is AHRMA biggest expense?    Road Racing.
Where does AHRMA need a Big Money Sponsor?    Road Racing.
What does AHRMA offer the viewing public?    Not much.
How does AHRMA attract a Major Sponsor?    It builds a program that will attract spectators.
How does AHRMA attract Spectators?    We put on a Show!!!
What can AHRMA do to do this?    We take two steps backwards.

So where do we go from here?  Looking back towards the beginning of this letter you’ll see where I talk about the overage of classes AHRMA has. Then we have the “Double Points Weekends”. These two things we done to generate money, nothing else.

Vintage Classes for 2005:   Modern Classes for 2005:

200GP                    BoTT Modified Production Lightweight, 750cc max   (this is a modern class; all 4-stroke Twins are legal - no handicaps)
250GP                    BoTT Modified Production Heavy, 1000cc max         ( ditto)  We want to attract International riders.
350GP                    BoTT GP 1000cc max                                        (use AMA rules from BoTT, though it's a modern class with no vintage handicaps)
500 Premier             SoS Senior                                                        (use international rules) We want to attract International riders.
F750/500(250)         SoS Junior                                                         (use international rules)    ditto
Sportsman 500         BEARS                                                             (use international rules)    ditto
Sportsman 750         AMA Superbike                                                  (use AMA rules from 1985 and back)
Classic 60’s             SoS Two-Stoke, 500cc max
Class-C/Pre-40         Sound of Thunder                                                (use current rules)               

The “Vintage classes” would remain the same as far as rules goes. As you can see Sports 350 has been deleted (as the 350s all race in 500 anyway).  Class-C will be shown as one (1) class- and will race as one class (though scoring can be split to “Hand-Shift” & “Foot-Shift”… though I disagree with this, as they all competed heads up when new anyway! Pre-40 would be included with the Class-C.
As for the “Modern Classes”, AHRMA needs to get a decent program together, one that attracts Spectators, Riders (including International), interesting machines, manufacturers and sponsors. At present we won’t get any manufacturer involvement with the rules the way they are. Why should Ducati come BoTT racing when they are ruled to death? And why should H-D? Why should any of them? 
Former AMA 250GP (that was recently dropped from AMA) has NO place in AHRMA and AHRMA was not right that the club take it on. Do you really think these former Pro’s (Rich Oliver and Chuck Sorenson, etc) will come race with AHRMA?  NO!  If you think so, you’re sorely mistaken. I’ve spoken with them; I get goofy looks and a quick “NO!”  And they would race 5-laps? With a huge cost of machine & crew & tires? NO. These guys race 100 miles at Daytona alone. 25 years from now we can take it on, for now NO!
BoTT needs to be structured as I’ve listed above; copy AMA rules/classes: “GP” Max 1000cc 4-strokes (even the new Ducati 999 is legal). “Modified Production” two classes, Lightweight to 750cc & Heavyweight to 1000cc max 4-stroke. Old AMA rules would work nicely here. 
SoS, we need two classes and to follow the rest of the world, then, maybe these other riders will come compete with AHRMA.
“AMA Superbike”, as it should be called, is easy, one class, max 1050cc 4-stroke, use AMA Superbike rules from 1985.  This is ONE class.
Just think of the draw this class alone will have! Genuine machines from the past, and maybe even some of the riders that rode them.
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