2012 American Motorcycle Rally. A New 7000-Mile Endurance Ride.

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!


35 Responses to “2012 American Motorcycle Rally. A New 7000-Mile Endurance Ride.”

  1. 1 Brett Jan 13th, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Maybe they will do it right and kill Hoka Hey.

  2. 2 Jason Jan 13th, 2012 at 11:24 am

    After the Hoka Joke (ref: Cyril) I think that the interest for this kind of endurance ride has faded into the sunset. The most interesting part is if Hoka Hey tries to prevent this American Motorcycle Rally to exist. Lawsuit?

  3. 3 Donnie Jan 13th, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Dark cloud hanging on Jim Durham.

  4. 4 Black Shadow Jan 13th, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    Why don’t the Riders that want this kind of challenge compete in the IBA (Iron Butt Assc)? The Iron Butt Rally is every other year and well run. Minimum 11,000 miles in 10 days plus bonus stops. They also have many regional events and lots of events you can ride by yourself with ways to certify with documentation.

    However, IBA awards no money. Maybe that is it, these riders want a chance at some cash and to be part of the drama.

  5. 5 Fausto Jan 13th, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    They should make this into a reality show as well.

    Do the bikes have to be stock or can they be modified to hold extra fuel?

  6. 6 Boss Hawg Jan 13th, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    So much for Hoka Hey jerks and wanna be …Put this one in your peace pipe JIm & Beth and smoke it.

    Boss Hawg

  7. 7 burnout Jan 13th, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    It is impossible to do a ride such as this without speeding. peace

  8. 8 James McBride Jan 14th, 2012 at 6:25 am

    7000 miles. That’s over 11,000 kms. Awesome stuff.

  9. 9 Shaz Jan 14th, 2012 at 11:41 am

    This sounds cool, EXCEPT for the tracking device. I can’t do the speed limit on a regular ride, how the hell could I do it in a race! I’m not saying driving like a maniac is OK although fun at times, but the average vehicle on the road is going faster than the posted speed limit.

    Too many rules, and big brother governance. The legitimacy of it I do like.

  10. 10 Shaz Jan 14th, 2012 at 11:44 am

    oh and a trike is not a motorcycle. Sorry it’s just not the same

  11. 11 Matt Jan 15th, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Wow a competitive endurance ride that allows every rider to participate no mater what badge is on their tank. What a concept! *nudges Harley* =)

  12. 12 AMR Jan 16th, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    By the way, all roads will be paved and you will NEVER need a passport with the American Motorcycle Rally.


    Jimmy H

  13. 13 Tony Jan 16th, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Read the fine print carefuly, you are signing all of your rights away. They can disqualify you any time they want without cause or reason. You agree to filmed naked (not my words theirs)read the fine print. If anyone gets into an accident or someone is killed, the race can be cancelled and your money will not be returned.

  14. 14 AMR Jan 16th, 2012 at 8:33 pm


    AMR is a non-profit. As a company, don’t you have to protect yourself with reason? We are transparent my friend.

    AMR also allows Trikes and Spyders. We are pushing for the riders to have a flawless ride to win money and/or bikes and for the charities to be the winners!

    That’s right, the rider that comes last on June 23rd will have a chance to win a bike!

    This is NOT a timed event. June 13-23rd 2012. Start and finish in Columbus, Ohio



  15. 15 John White Jan 16th, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    I rode in the Hoka Hey in 2010. It was a disaster. I had zero experience in running a rally but thought I could do better. Set out to fix Hoka Hey and found out I was more Hoky then Hey. Then I got talked into the Guts and Glory and found out how stupid I really was. Is there really 1000 riders that would do this- Robert Swope could not muster 100 riders. But I still was not finished punishing myself so I recently made a pitch to buy the Hoka Hey after the 2011 event. Jim said he was ready to sell. I listened. Jim Red Cloud wanted one million dollars and cited his newly formed Hoka Hey Media as justification for the asking price. I said he could have all the proceeds from that venture but I was not going to pay up front on a dream. Nope, I learned my lesson. I am just a dump ass motorcycle riding pilebuck.

    Crazy Horse will sponsor a rider for Hoka Hey and another for the American Motorcycle Rally because we need to see if our bikes are worth a shit- maybe we will learn something.

    I talked with Greg, the President. His goals seem sincere. He thought I had something to do with the start up of the Hoka Hey but I never did. Did not put one dime into that thing other than the fee to run. I was there at Key West and I made it to Mississippi before finding out I had more Guts than brains. Yea, that is what my rally would be called: More Guts then Brains.

    I will stick with what I know, V-Twin Engines and pile drivers and do the best we can with a bike. Best of luck to Greg and his American Motorcycle Rally. It takes guts to take on such a project. Good luck to the riders, they deserve something valid.


    More Guts than Brains John White

  16. 16 Ed Lewis Jan 18th, 2012 at 12:05 am

    Best of luck and all success. I also have been fooled in the past. I rode Hoka Hey 2010 and despite all the negative and disorganization, I rode from Key West to Homer and finished #65. A total of 14,387 miles in 21 days. Though I made friends, saw a lot of sites but paying $1,000 to be given a map of unproven route, DECEIVED (as stated by JD) on the funds raised for charities, lied to and misinform on several times.
    I knew a true rally for the riders was needed so when given the opportunity to work with the creation of Guts&Glory I dove in. I didn’t pay $1,000 nor did I ride thousands of miles it turn out to be as misleading as HH. Several good people put time, energy and a lot more to make G&G a great ride for the riders but like HH, it only takes 1or2 people to —- it up and destroy a great idea.
    I just had the pleasure of speaking with Gregg Sarff and I not only liked what I heard, agreed with their concepts but envious that I am not a part of the creation of what I believe to be a rally for the riders.
    If finances allow, I hope to be at the start and the finish but if not ride safe to all your riders.
    Ed Lewis
    (Dale, this is what happens when you have the right people involved)

  17. 17 Mark Jan 22nd, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Ed. I too rode in 2010 from Key West to Homer. It was only 9,100 miles and the cutoff was 14 days after the start. You seem a bit confused here.

  18. 18 Sled Dog Feb 2nd, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    The ultimate farce is the “prize money”.

    There is an organization that puts on an 11 day rally every other year, plus under this there are others who put 12-72hr events.

    The difference is there a magnitude of x harder than this kind of ride as there is no set route. It’s a scavenger hunt, *you* decide how far you can ride in a day, how much rest you need or how long to take for lunch.

    This game is harder and the folks that play are doing it for a prize of little or no cash value. Other than the rallymaster nobody gets paid and on this case she’s getting just enough to cover expenses.

    This organization is the Iron Butt Association, or ironbutt.com

    The HH and stuff like this are built from the ground up as a vehicle for a few people to make money. When that’s the prime reason for an event no matter what the goal of revenue will always trump the goal of serving riders.

    The biggest issue I see is the set route, this for the most part turns it into a race on public roads. The way around this is the tracking device. A better game is no set route, here’s a book with a 100 locations, good luck.

    Of course that’s 100 times more work to put together than a 8k route around North America.

    Whatever floats your boat I guess.

  19. 19 AMR Mar 1st, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Sled Dog,

    AMR is a non-profit. We are NOT making money. We are NOT on payroll. Every dime of riders monies are in a corporate account, untouched. Can other organizations say that? We have also changed the rules that there is not a set route. You can route yourself and govern yourself.

    It’s challenging to start something that’s for the good of everyone involved, following a vapor trail of organizations that were in it for themselves. AMR will go off whether there are 20 riders or 1000 riders. AMR is about giving and having a great event for the riders.



  20. 20 Johnbgoode Mar 14th, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    Its good to see some competition, I hope both events do well. I am a bit upset with the Hoka-Hey but a 14k HD ride will always be an incredible memory,
    Remember potential challengers that ideally neither organization wants to see any cash winners. Ride to live, good luck,, peace, and hope to see you all at both events.

  21. 21 Sled Dog Mar 22nd, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    I love how the AMR keeps bleating on about being a non-profit. Of course it is and it’s likely an LLC (Limited Liability Corporation) so the organizers can shut it down in a heartbeat, walk away and not be exposed to any liability.

    That’s very smart.

    Granted the primary company that is being brandied about as a non profit can and likely has signed away certain aspects (TV rights for example, the tracking device as another) to other “affiliated” companies so any activity that can generate revenue has bee assigned (given away) to another entity.

    One of the principals of the tracking company is also on the board of the AMR. Can you say conflict of interest?

    This way the guys putting this on can make money while wrapping themselves up in the Non-profit label. When they say all proceeds go to charity they mean all proceeds earned by the AMR which are likely to be zero after they pay the “affiliated” companies.

    So far all the published rules are about is signing away your rights to the point where the “production company” can edit (read doctor) footage to make you look any way they want you too and absolutely nothing about riding a motorcycle. Where the rules talk about riding they highlight ways they can disqualify you with no recourse.

    It would be neat if the organizers would take the total of the offered prize money and put it in an escrow account so at the very least we know the prize money exists. As it is there has to be outside revenue, there will never be enough entries at 1k a pop to fund their promise so either they plan on disqualifying people, shutting it down half way or making sure the winner is one of the staff.

    Yup, if you ride you’ll be competing against the folks that made the rules.

  22. 22 Fox # 601 Apr 4th, 2012 at 8:51 am

    I can’t believe all the negative I am hearing from you people about the Hoka Hey. Boss Hawg why don’t you sign up for both of these events this summer and see if you can beat one of us wanna be Hoka Hey riders. I would like to bet you $ 1000 that not only will you get beat by one of us wanna be Hoka Hey riders but I will say you will get beat by all Hoka Hey riders on the featured riders list of the American Motorcycle Rally in both events. Step up buddy and put your money where your mouth is ! “Wanna Be’s” is your comment ! Come on out and see who the real wanna be’s are ! Did you even ride in the Hoka Hey? That’s what I thought !

    My point here is if you didn’t do it then you don’t really know what it is all about. I would have to say that most of the people who did do it weather they finished or not had a blast and tested themselves to extremes they never knew they could endure and were part of a historic motorcycle event. I agree it was not perfect, but they are learning from the mistakes of the past and it will get better. Beth Durham is one of the greatest people I have ever met in my life period and I will have her back to the end and I think most of the people who know her would agree !

    When there is cash for prizes it brings out confident people, winners, dreamers, and people who want to be the best. I can tell you if you have the guts to try these rides you will be a winner and have a blast because “It’s All About the Ride” and there is no loser ! Now sign up and let’s ride ! Fox # 601

  23. 23 AMR Apr 10th, 2012 at 9:30 am

    Sled Dog,

    Really? Our books are open to all our riders. Every dime is sitting there and the money that AMR has put out for this event is from our pockets. It’s just that simple, Sled……

    It’s to hard for people to believe that AMR is doing this the “right” way. AMA sanctioned as well.

    You have no clue. Get on and ride a “leg” with AMR for $200 that goes straight to charity. Put your $200 where your mouth is and educate yourself.

  24. 24 Sled Dog May 7th, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Until the start.

    Looks like there are 25 riders. I wonder if that means there is a 1 in 25 chance of winning or there’s no chance anybody will win.

  25. 25 Sled Dog May 7th, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Hey AMR,

    There’s nothing on your website about entering a leg and if I wanted to support your charity I could simply write them a check. It would fell more genuine.

    Plus if I entered a leg than perhaps I’d have to agree to your rather onerous terms and conditions, specifically all the stuff such as this:

    22. Confidentiality. You agree to keep confidential, and not disclose to any third party, details of all incidents that occur during the Event including, without limitation any and all details of any road traffic accidents that may occur during the Event

    And this:

    10. Media Appearances and Public Comments. You shall not be entitled to arrange or conduct any media appearances or make statements to the press relating to your participation in the Event without obtaining the prior written consent of the AMR. In the event that any press statements or media appearances are issued or required in any way in connection with your participation in the Event, you will cooperate fully with the AMR in such activities by agreeing to remain available for media interviews and other press and publicity matters that AMR may require. Participants and their families are prohibited from making any public comment whatsoever which could defame, disparage or cast in an unfavorable light, the promoters, AMR, producers, or any sponsor of The American Motorcycle Rally. Such public comment shall include but is not limited to online forums, discussion groups or blogs; newspaper, magazine or radio interviews; writing a book, article or memoirs about your experiences; etc, without the express written consent from AMR.

    So if my family or friends post something you don’t like (even if it’s true) you then can invoke this little gem.

    13. Violation of Terms. AMR may pursue any and all legal rights and remedies under the law and in equity, including injunctive and equitable relief and recoupment of attorney fees and costs in enforcing the terms of this agreement.

    I’ve done a lot of motorcycle events over the years, enduros, vintage, rallies and competitive races and I’ve NEVER seen an event where the organizers put more effort into setting up their riders to be sued than the event itself.

    So… If I enter a leg does that mean I’m a “rider” per your comment above and you’ll let me see the books?

  26. 26 Charney Jun 11th, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    What time is the start on 6/13 ?
    So I can be in attendance to see them off.

  27. 27 Autum Jun 21st, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    Not sure Im liking what is going on at this very moment at the AMR finish! Sure hope they do the right thing and prove what they been saying all along. They are Legit!!

  28. 28 Autum Jun 21st, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    I dont understand why a RACE WITH A FINISH TIME would ever be extended. Thats some BS for all the riders who almost gave their lives to get to the finish time AMR posted.

  29. 29 Autum Jun 21st, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    Hello!!! AMR?!>!>! Points are Points, wins are wins, deadlines are dead lines!! If your gonna extend deadlines for ppl who arent in at the finish time then all the points subtracted from riders for being late should be given back to them!!!! And give them the same alotted extra time to run out and grab the points in readjh. Ya know! Dont make this another bad experience.

  30. 30 Autum Jun 21st, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    Jim Huffman from AMR was with the top riders this morning and this is the article from Bristol.

    Kelsey Dowell has finished his race! ♥ We are awaiting official word and waiting for all the riders to get in. But here is a News report about my dear friend and where he was this morning. =)

    For all you race fans, five riders successfully rode all night to make it from St. Louis to Bristol Motor Speedway for the 9am start time. Kelsey Dowell, Bodhi Halsey, Curt Belcher, Todd Burner and Brian McDonnell met Jim Huffman from AMR to take six laps around the most famous short track in the US. All six were on track at the same time and lead by the Official Pace car going 60 mph.

    The corners of the track are banked at an incredible thirty six degrees and the facility holds over 160,000 fans! The six then took a picture in Victory Lane to document the historic event.See More— with Kelsey Dowell.

  31. 31 Autum Jun 21st, 2012 at 9:12 pm


    This is the link to the official first posted Start and End times. Lets see where we go from here.

  32. 32 Sunny Days Jun 22nd, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    To any rider that is interested in participating in one of these rides, the AMR is the real deal. They stood by what they said. The race was challenging to all the riders and they all had a great time. There was some heartbreak too. Yes, there were some “kinks” as there always is when something is done for the first time. All in all- this is the ride!!! Team Kelsey #665

  33. 33 Autum Jun 22nd, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    After a good nights rest and.. Some Sorting.. I do have to say the above Were Alot Hasty! And in the defense of a loved one. :)) After watching days of all the riders ride even sitting at the PC can cause Exhaustion, Anxiety and make your mouth spit words unmeant. I appoliogize for my spewing and did try to remove my comments with out success. :\

  34. 34 AMR Jun 26th, 2012 at 7:52 am

    We had a start and we had a finish. The riders received their awards at a great party and all of this occurred within 8 days.

    I personally want to thank these incredible riders. They are endurance animals! Every one of these riders took a challenge within themselves. They endured 100+ degree heat and 30 degree temps all in one day.One rider was blown into a ditch in Nebraska in a monster storm at 3am. His bike was towed and he called me from a hotel stating he was out. By morning he was with his bike and it was operable. He told me he was going to ride it back to Columbus for the party. I said “What?” I explained to him that he would feel defeated if he quits. He ended up in 3rd place…..
    Beth P. was our first female rider in our first rally. She rode 6916 kilometers 5,577 miles in 6 days 12 hrs 27 mins 15 secs. Yes, she is Canadian. All I can say is WOW!
    We had 2 riders go down with injuries and we wish them a very speedy recovery. We are working with the families and have been able to return their equipment.
    I witnessed selfless acts assistance between the riders. Riders out of fuel and assisting each other. One rider thought he had lost his transmission, yet at a biker bar known as “Shady Jack’s” another rider was willing to remove parts from his bike to get the AMR rider back on the road. This rider came in 2nd place.
    Every rider has a story. If you know one, talk to them. Feel the love of the road and of our beautiful country within their stories. They will share their experiences with you because they achieved a goal and because this is a Brotherhood……

    Be safe,

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