While during the last months many pored over the most minute tidbits of information to speculate on the future of the extremely controversial Hoka Hey Challenge (2010-2011), others intend to prove that a motorcycle endurance run 1- can be legal on public roads without any unnecessary endangerment of its riders and of the public, 2- can generously benefit charities named in advance, 3- and can guarantee in advance that cash & prizes money will be distributed…. as advertised and the day of arrival, not 8 weeks later!
Last August I was directly informed by Greg Sarff and partner Jeff Johnson that they were working on their own endurance ride named “The American Motorcycle Rally.” At the time they told me that to remove all kind of suspicions they wanted their organization to be a non-profit corporation and that their event would be open to all riders, to all brands and styles of motorcycles including trikes. That it would be a 8-9 days event covering 7,000 miles with mandatory short layovers at check points, 2-3 “pit stops” in between check points and things that will challenge the mind as well as your riding ability. Today, dates, itinerary and all rules of this new endurance run are confirmed and they are fair/safe enough to have already attracted as participants 8 out of the 11 top finishers of Hoka Hey 2011.
Many will wonder who are the 2 men managing this event. Greg Sarff is in sales for the largest semi trailer manufacture in the world. He has participated to Hoka Hey, but admit he doesn’t have the resilience needed for such long rides. He was also a sponsor of one of the top finishers of the 2011 edition. His partner in this venture is Jeff Johnson, formally of Classic Events Inc. This 3 day event started out to compete against the Mopar Nationals (the largest all Chrysler show in the nation) Within a couple of years it was the 2nd largest all Chrysler show in the nation grossing over $1,000,000 for the 3-day show. It also grew into multiple shows annually including drag racing, car show, car coral and swap meet. The event was sold at the end of the 2004 season.
Below, the American Motorcycle Rally answers to questions you may have if you intend to participate or sponsor a rider.
1. What are the dates for the rally? June 13th through June 23rd 2012.
2. Where is the departure and the finish locations? A.D. Farrow Harley Davidson NorthStar location in Sunbury, Ohio.
3. What’s the entry fee? The entry fee is $1000.
4. Who is welcome to attend the AMR, and any specific models of motorcycles? Anyone over the age of 18 yrs with a valid motorcycle license and proof of insurance. We welcome every make & model of motorcycles. In fact, we encourage the “friendly” competition between Harley, Victory, BMW, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha, etc…..
5. Are trikes allowed? Yes
6. Are GPS and outside assistance via Bluetooth allowed? Yes. With the newer bikes having GPS we determined that this is an area we could not police.
7. Will there be a map on-line from the tracking company that my family & friends can watch? Yes. It will be live on American Motorcycle Rally.
8. Will there be checkpoints? There are 6 checkpoints outside the start and finish. There will also be 2 pit stops between each checkpoint. These pit stops are for the participants to collect information or solve a puzzle. We are challenging your mind as well as your riding capabilities. If you get any wrong answers, then time will be added to your finish time as a penalty.
9. How will you keep participants from speeding? Riders are required to obey the traffic laws. We will be using a 24hr monitored tracking service. There is a speed variance that is acceptable for passing and speed adjustments from hill crests, etc. If a rider travels above the speed variance they will receive a text from the tracking company and will be penalized by having 30 minutes added to their finish time. A second penalty will have 60 minutes added and a third penalty will be a Disqualification.
10. How will you know that nobody is switching riders? The tracking company is providing a wrist cuff that attaches to your M/C. You need to unplug this to get off your M/C. At that point, the tracking company knows where the rider is, how many feet away from the bike and how long.
11. Can riders have passengers? Yes. Only if they are not competing for the cash prizes.
12. Can riders have support vehicles? A. No. Family and friends can meet riders at checkpoints.
13. Will there be drug tests and Polygraphs administered to the contenders? There will be no polygraphs. We do not want anyone taking drugs for an advantage so there will be a drug tests conducted for the top finishers who are eligible for the cash awards.
14. Will my motorcycle be inspected? Yes. All contenders will have their motorcycles inspected at the finish of the rally.
15. Will prizes be awarded the night of the party on June 23rd? YES! Everyone will celebrate the winners when they receive their awards! This event will conclude in it’s entirety on June 23rd. Even if you are the last rider in, you will have a chance to win a new motorcycle! You must be back by June 23rd, 2012.
16. Will the route be clear and understandable? Yes. The route will be ridden twice. The second time, it will be rode just before the start of the rally.
17. How long is the route? The route is at 7272 miles right now. This may change, however it will be less than 8000 miles and it will be obtainable in approximately 8 days. Just remember, you must get the questions and/or puzzles correct, and you must not get penalized for speed because this will add time to your finish time.
18. Will there be any mandatory rest periods? There is a 4 hour mandatory rest period at a location in Las Vegas.
19. Are there functions being planned for the week building up to the finish of the rally? Yes! We are planning a celebration on Saturday June 23rd, 2012 which will include a concert and the presentation of awards for the riders.
20. What is the cost of the tracking devise? We have negotiated at special price of $250 and you own the unit after the event. We will be using the same units for future events.
21. What happens if not all the price money is collected by riders? 100% of the money not won from competitors will be donated to our primary sponsors charity of choice. We keep nothing!