Ed Youngblood’s Motohistory

Ed Youngblood has a motorcycle industry resume longer than my trip from South Florida to Sturgis and thicker than the crust of ice at the north pole. Among many other endeavors too long to list here, Ed was president of AMA (American Motorcyclist Association) from 1981 to 1999. At his credit, the involvement of AMA with FIM (Federation Internationale Motorcycliste) the world governing body for motorcycling and the establishment of the Motorcycle Hall Of Fame.  Since his own induction into the Hall of Fame in 1999, he has completed four books on motorcycle history and served as an exhibit consultant for the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, the Ohio State University, and the Guggenheim Museum. Nobody stresses more the importance of our motorcycling heritage and protects it better than Ed Youngblood.  "I do not see history as just a thing in the past that happened some time ago," he says. "I see history as an understanding of who we are and how we got where we are”. Between writing articles for magazines, public speaking engagements and on camera commentaries, Ed maintains an excellent website called rich of info, news and books to refer to for all those who want to learn more about our rich history. You can trust a man who wrote so well about our motorcycles. As an example: “Choppers are an expression of freedom and extroversion. Like stiletto heels, they’re very uncomfortable, very impractical, but sexy as hell”. .

6 Responses to “Ed Youngblood’s Motohistory”

  1. 1 goldiron Jan 2nd, 2008 at 1:26 pm


    Please ask Ed for his thoughts on the future of the AMA based upon the contribution to the Crash Causation study in Oklahoma and the recent personnel changes since Rob Dingman has taken over.

  2. 2 Bobster John Jan 2nd, 2008 at 5:55 pm

    Thank you for letting me discover this site.

  3. 3 Ed Youngblood Jan 2nd, 2008 at 10:49 pm

    In response to Goldiron’s question, I cannot comment on the Oklahoma Crash Casualty Study. I must confess that I am not familiar with it. In regard to the future of the AMA, at the moment I am not very optimistic. It seems that the new CEO is making a concerted effort to get rid of anyone who can provide institutional memory, and I am a strong believer in the idea that ignorance of our history will lead to disastrous mistakes in the future. A recent editorial on my own web site (Motohistory, 12/14/2007) made clear my opinion of Mr. Dingman’s management style. I would agree with those who say the AMA needs to change, but I object to the brutal way he is going about it. He has created a reign of terror within the staff that is, in my opinion, bringing the organization close to paralysis. The people I know are afraid to say anything about anything, even when it involves routine work they have been doing competently for years. Despite my very critical appraisal of Mr. Dingman, one might note that I have not outright called for his dismissal. This is because it is the AMA board of directors whom I hold responsible for the current state of the organization. They seem to be happy with his style of leadership, or at least they certainly have not done anything to indicate otherwise. In my opinion, the current AMA board is pathetic and ineffective as a governing body. Most of the criticism of the AMA that we have seen in the press over the last year has attacked its staff or its rules-making and enforcement processes. This is not where the criticism should be aimed. It should be aimed squarely at its board of directors. This is where the house needs to be cleaned.

  4. 4 goldiron Jan 3rd, 2008 at 9:07 am

    Thanks Ed,

    I believe that your editorial opinion is held by many that truly care about the motorcycle and motorcycling.

    Motohistory is a treasure trove of good information.

    I am skeptical of the moves of AMA to appear that they are now champion of motorcyclists rights for the street rider.

    It is a real stretch of the imagination to believe that the current president of AMA is bringing unity to any cause that will benefit motorcycling. His current actions appear to be creating dision and distrust amongst the ranks of motorcyclists.


  5. 5 rodent Jan 3rd, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    I can’t agree more with Ed’s remark on choppers…works of art yes..practical rides no way

  6. 6 Joe Nov 20th, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    Thank you Mr. Youngblood for your insight into the current AMA management. Since your post on this site there have been more ‘dismissals’ at the AMA. More employees with decades of dedicated service have been dismissed with no real reason given. I have heard that performance appraisals no longer exist and the ‘reign of terror’ is more oppressive than ever.

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