If someone does not race, or have a racing family member/friend, they would be a fool to cntribute money to buying these fences. If the fences are so important, then the sponsors of racers should be the ones contributing to this fund. Yeah, I read that large portions are being paid for by industry heavy weights, but the AMA should not need public donations for safety equipment.
No, they should not, but unfortunately AMA Pro Racing is an extremely slow-moving, unresponsive organization. This is probably the only way to get their attention. If the money's there, they can not use the excuse that "we can't afford it".
The AMA does not need the money. They just got done raising their membership rates. Ulrich is doing this to tweak the AMA. Ulrich has a long-time reputation for being mad at the world and the AMA is keeping him focused right now.
I am not a member of the AMA and until they clean up their act and remember that they are supposed to represent the membership and not just the manufacturers or the sponsors I will continue to boycott membership in their club.
For the sake of the contributors, and John Ulrich's blood pressure, I hope this move generates enough animosity towards the AMA to prod that sleeping beast of an organisation into action. While I agree with others who say that the sponsors should be footing the bill, the simple fact is that the sponsors aren't. Perhaps this publicity stunt (if you will) will act as a catalyst to further safer racing environments.
For those of you that don't read Roadracing World regularly, I can understand your confusion. I hope this serves to clarify some of the butter (if you will).
The AMA is a big, slow, bureaucratic nightmare. The AMA rarely responds to important issues raised by its members and racers.
The Airfence is a very effective device.
Ulrich is about as serious as it gets when it comes to issues surrounding bikes, racing, and general whimpy whining by the AMA. He is also very influential and powerful in the racing biz. If he decides that something needs to happen for the safety of racers, then he will do whatever he can to make it happen. All he did was post a simple suggestion, and less than 2 days later he has almost gathered enough money to buy all the needed airfence. Frankly, I'm surprised he was patient enough to wait this long.
It is VERY interesting to me that the major manufacturers have not pitched in any money to his project. This means that either they don't read the news on the web or that they don't give a damn. Why not? Strange, some airfence would likely have helped their marketing efforts by helping to keep more of their riders safe over the past few months and years, thus helping to maintain their corporate image at large AMA events. Seems like simple math to me - buy some airfence, it's cheaper than paying for an ad in a national magazine or TV station (cough), and if it keeps your rider from being crushed at poorly designed tracks, well then it's paid for itself tenfold and more.
Sorry, my english skills are fading at this hour...
Actually, Aprilia, Suzuki, and Buell have pitched in a significant ammount of money.
I'm pretty close to contributing myself, I'd just like to make sure that the AMA will turn around and loan out the air fence to other organizations for the same price that they paid for it (which would be at a substantial discount, since so many racers have donated to cover the cost of most of it)
Why doesn't the AMA sell advertising on the sections of airfence? Sounds like $2900 for an add on TV at every race event would be money well spent, and to the advantage of the purchaser and the racers.
"the AMA should not need public donations for safety equipment."
That is exactly the point. Ulrich is not pursuing charity from street riders. What he DOES want is for the AMA to get off their bureaucratic arses, do what they said they were going to do, and save a life or two. The money is not the issue, taking yet another excuse away from AMA Pro Racing is.
Thanks for posting this. RonXX, I must have become a fool yesterday when I donated, because I dont race. You're a bigger fool if you joined the AMA and dont have an active voice about the dumbasses that run it.
They get donations from us, to keep going, so basically then they'll just be donating the money we've given them. I imagine their budget is pretty tight, considering the costs of doing bike tests, paying for the bandwidth this site hogs up, etc.