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Thread: Hostile Takeover @ AMCA!!! (Reposted)

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Hostile Takeover @ AMCA!!! (Reposted)

    Thought I'd copy and paste this before it got deleted. Don't know much about the AMCA but it looks pretty interesting.....

    Hello, A lot of you people know me, this is Robin Markey, I was the Assistant Chief Judge till the end of bike week when I was forced out of my position.

    I've been involved in the AMCA judging system for approximately 35 years, from the Doc Patt days till the present. This has been a very large part of my life, growing up in an Indian, Royal Enfield and Honda shop and most of my life has been riding, repairing, restoring and judging. I am known throughout the world for my Indian and vintage Honda knowledge. I have been sharing my knowledge with our AMCA members and countless other people throughout the world. I have always tried to do my best to help the antique and vintage motorcycle world.

    Our AMCA judging system, under Kevin and my leadership, was running very smoothly. But last year we overturned one of our marque experts judgment calls because the owner presented us with factory documentation, like our rules call for. This created a problem with several judges, two of which are board members. Approximately 5 months ago an improper judging committee was formed by them, disregarding AMCA Policies and Procedures. I tried to stop this illigitmate committee following the proper procedures by contacting the president. I tried several times with phone call directly to the president. But these two board members used their board positions and along with the president created a legitimate committee. So instead of our president reprimanding them for starting an improper committee he awarded them with a legitimate committee. It seemed from the beginning the whole purpose of this committee was to get rid of Kevin and myself. All this because of these two disgruntled board members. The president could have stopped this takeover at this time, but he choose not to.

    All the new proposed rule changes that this new committee is trying to put into effect is going to ruin the most prestigious motorcycle judging in the world. They are dumbing down the system and trying to erase one of the largest parts of motorcyclling history by refusing to judge competition machines because they don't understand how to judge them. They do not feel that they deserve our top trophies. Being an Indian person this really upsets me because no Indian Sport Scouts, except the 50 648's, would be eligible for our top judging under their new rule changes.

    Another large problem they are creating is with serial numbers. The new people in charge, lack the knowledge, common sense and experience of motorcycles to properly inforce their new quest to disqualify motorcycles. Most of the new people in charge have knowledge on all the same brand of motorcycle.

    This judging committee, from the beginning, was a total farce. The president and the two board members that were in charge and were designing the new rules and changes to existing rules did not even have a clue of the old rules and even tried to make new rules that were exactly the same as the old rules. Kevin had to mail out judging handbooks so they knew what rules were in effect. Keep in mind, Kevin nor I, were able to run this committee. The president was supposed to be in charge, but anyone that knows the president of the AMCA knows his disrespect and disregard for our judging system. He's also the first president of the AMCA that never gave the awards out at the trophy presentation. I know this always meant something to me, being presented a trophy and shaking hands with the president.

    After 5 months and over 500 emails and almost as many hours spent trying to work with this new committee, I could tell I was not part of their agenda. Most of the time my motorcycle judging knowledge and integrity were challenged or I was totally ignored. This email committee was not working, the written word can be interpreted too many ways. I also suggested that we wait till we have a face to face meeting to finalize and vote on these delicate decisions, but wasn't heard. Then we were told in January that everything we voted on so far was to be okayed during the AMCA Board of Directors teleconference call in January, so these new rules could be put into effect and used at Eustis without the notification of our membership. I protested but it didn't do any good. So I sent a 5 page letter to all board members, to either get rid of this committee or else postpone this to a face to face board meeting. Their decision was to postpone till Eustis. At this time, I also asked to speak at the board meeting. More topics were voted on by the committee before Eustis and we were asked to be at a judging committee meeting on Thursday evening at Eustis. Although not everyone was at the meeting I thought the meeting went fairly smooth. It seemed like everyone was on the same page. Most of us gave our opinions and evaluations on several subjects. Everyone agreed the face to face meeting worked great for final decisions on topics.

    But I still had my appointment to talk at the board meeting about my concerns on this bogus committee. Right as I was to walk into the board meeting to give my presentation, I asked the president several straight forward questions, which he gave me answers to. I didn't know it at the time, but these ended up to be untruths. So I did not give my complete presentation, since I felt things were going better, and I still had hopes for our judging system to remain the best in the world. But instead the two board members that started this committee and the president used the board positions to go forward with their agenda, totally disregarding what Kevin and myself had to say.

    More on next post....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Re: Hostile Takeover @ AMCA!!! (Reposted)

    Here's the rest of the post.....

    With all the disrespect shown towards Kevin and myself, Kevin got so discouraged, he walked out of the board meeting. Later he was fired by the president. I witnessed this scene in the lobby of the hotel at 1:30 in the morning. That's another story. The board meeting was friday night. Saturday was a miserable rainy day, very few of the venders were open, the girls went shopping. I stayed in my vending spot all day talking and helping guys with their bikes answering judging questions, etc, like I always do. Not the president or any of the board members had the common courtesy or decency to come and speak to me, and I felt it was in their place to come to me. At this point, since Kevin was my boss and I was appointed by him, I thought that I was also fired. So I slept in Sunday morning. That was different!!!! Later in the morning when I was packing my trailer to head to Daytona, one of the judges/board members came up to me and said he missed me this morning and he'll miss me at the judging. I looked at him and asked what he meant, I didn't quit or resign. Then I asked - do I still have a job because no one came to talk to me? About 20 minutes later, the president and several board members came in my trailer and finally told me that I was not fired and I could still be the Assistant Chief Judge as long as I work under the new chief judge and abided by all these new changes and anything else the committee came up with. I then asked if I wasn't fired, shouldn't I move into the Chief judge's position? That's when I was told there was a new Chief judge. When I asked who the new chief judge was, I was astonished. Last year he was still an apprentice judge, but showed a lot of promise, now I'm told he's the new chief judge. I know I'm a damn good teacher, but I didn't know I was good. I was told by the president that I could still retain my position as assistant chief judge if I would work with the new chief judge and this farce of a committee. I told the president, that with my years of experience how about if I be the new chief judge and also be in charge of the committee. I was told this was not going to happen. I was given to the end of bike week to make my decision. The whole time the president was in my trailer giving me this ultimatum, he never once looked at me in the face or showed me any eye contact. This is insulting. Early Wednesday morning at the All American Indian Club breakfast, which they let anyone attend, the new chief judge and his wife which I know and have known for several years walked past me several times, totally ignoring me. Kevin and I were eating breakfast sitting beside each other, the new chief judge talked to Kevin, then sat down on the other side of Kevin, right across from me, never addressed me, never made eye contact, this was also insulting. Then again Friday at Deland at the motorcycle auction, the new chief judge and his wife did exactly the same thing again. At this point I knew that keeping my position would have been futile. Saturday morning, while riding to the Racing Memorial on the beach to view the plaques of a good many of my friends that are no longer with us, I spotted the president in his trailer. So I turned around and went back and informed the president that I cannot accept his ultimatum, but would be glad to be the chief judge and in charge. So I was replaced.

    Now I'm asking for the membership's help. We need to change things before this gets too out of hand. There are so many things going wrong with the AMCA right now, financial, museum leaving Hershey and judging to mention a few. Our organization is being run by a very limited number of people. Basically one board member seems to be in charge or a part of every aspect of our club. Residing on almost every committee plus being the main person overthrowing the judging system. I think it's time for us as the membership to address this problem and demand things to be changed. I feel that it's time for the good-ole-boy mentality to be gotten rid of. The membership deserves to have a board that works for them and that doesn't allow for this type of a takeover. It has been mentioned for years that the membership should have a say on who our board of director are and we should be allowed to attend board meetings. This club is too large and worldwide to be run a couple incompetent board members. You know the type, the ones that won't say a word to your face but will continually degrade you on email.

    Please help and make our club and our judging fun again and to benefit our members and our love for antique motorcycles. Write to the editor Write to the president. Write to the board.

    Many of our top judges and marque experts are not judging in protest of this hostile takeover. There is also people that didn't and won't put their bikes in the judging until there's competent judges and the integrity comes back to our judging system. We can't let the most prestigious motorcycle judging in the world turn into a "shine is fine", first - second - third, style judging.

    For anyone that made it through my long letter - thank you,
    Robin Markey
    former Assistant Chief Judge - 35 years experience

  3. #3

    Re: Hostile Takeover @ AMCA!!! (Reposted)

    Glad you copied and pasted that Bro ! I figured the AMCA posting would get removed also. It takes funding to run an organization. Due boycotting would bring the organization back to reality quickly though.

  4. #4
    ElectraGlideInBlue Guest

    Re: Hostile Takeover @ AMCA!!! (Reposted)

    I was thinking of joining, but will wait to see how this unfolds.

    Does anyone have a breakdown on the structure of the organization?
    I don't see anything on their website.

  5. #5

    Re: Hostile Takeover @ AMCA!!! (Reposted)

    Quote Originally Posted by ElectraGlideInBlue View Post
    I was thinking of joining, but will wait to see how this unfolds.
    I just renewed my membership two days ago.
    1947 Project Chief
    2003 Chief Vintage (#229)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
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    Re: Hostile Takeover @ AMCA!!! (Reposted)

    the judging issue will have no effect on the amount of fun you have. join the club the mag.is worth the 40$ a year .those who join in turmoil have more fortitude

  7. #7

    Re: Hostile Takeover @ AMCA!!! (Reposted)

    Judging is a very small part of the AMCA, and has always been somewhat controversial. I wouldn't let this hiccup stop me from joining. I've had so much help over the years and made some very good friends that wouldn't have happened without the AMCA. What other organization in the US is totally devoted to old bikes?

    I am not close enough to the goings on to make a judgment. Although Robin Markey's rep. is beyond repute, there are always two sides to the story.
    Dave Swanson

    1936 VLH
    1936 VD
    1956 FLH
    1956 KHK
    1964 XLCH
    1969 FLH
    1984 FLH

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Re: Hostile Takeover @ AMCA!!! (Reposted)

    In almost forty years in the AMCA, I've never seen the club without something being fought over, from end-to-end: bowsprit to fantail, gunwale to gunwale. Now, it's the way the recent changes were arrived at, but I think the judging changes made are good ones. There's no reason to put off joining. It's only a little ripple on the surface of a constantly-evolving pond. The AMCA isn't going away, and most of the blood from this round is already on the planks of the deck.

    What's being complained about is the method used to reach this point, so that won't affect the eventual outcome. As I prefaced my initial report on the new system that I had just experienced at Eustis, I wasn't involved in the process, and had no idea how it had been arrived at, but it was presented as a done-deal, already in place, and that was good enuf for me. It was a new beginning, and I think that's what everyone will finally have to realize.

    The original U.S. Constitutional Convention, 1787, if anyone remembers their history, was an "ad hoc" committee. Because it was called in an emergency (the "confederation" rules they'd adopted a few years earlier obviously weren't working) and many of the same men who'd drafted the Declaration of Independence were still alive, and agreed, it was convened with no rules, outside of the mechanisms of government then in place. They worked out something wondrous, though not perfect, that's endured now for more than two centuries. Considering how well it has served since, we can't rule out Divine intervention, in that case.
    The framers knew, Most of all, that you can't "perfect" human beings and make them all march in lock-step, like the earlier and later Totalitarians (today called "Progressives") have tried, and failed at, so you give "We The People" a tolerable framework in which to function, and all of the details will be worked out over time. It has to be recognized that the revolution never ends.

    The way Robin Markey reports he was treated in all of the club politics reeks. Robin has dedicated much of his life to the betterment of The Antique Motorcycle Club of America. (I used to judge decades ago, in the 80s, at least, with Robin under the old "best restored, second best restored, most-unique bike-at-the-meet" rules under Chief Judge Doc Patt; we looked at every bike, but Robin knew the Indians, and I chimed in on the Harleys, and with a few other field judges we went from bike-to-bike). But the club BOD has always had a certain social ineptitude when it came to "human resources." They could all stand a course in "Emily Post," if you know what I mean.

    It boils down to the club being a bunch of bikers, not (primarily) business professionals or college administrators (not that they are capable of the ability to perform major changes in the course of their organizations without stepping on a few toes and bruising egos, either!) But this change was due, a changing of the guard, in light of changing economic and technological conditions affecting the club.
    I think change was due, if for no other reason than needing a fresh start in light of the changing generations and exploding interest in the few genuine old motorcycles left being found in the barns (most, twenty to thirty years old, as it has always been). A more detailed rule on what is and isn't acceptable in the realm of "reproduction parts" was due. The digital CAD-CAM age is colliding with the steam-locomotive technology most of our bikes came out of, and with the broaching tidal wave of people willing to counterfeit anything needed to be addressed more thoughtfully than it has been, to date.
    The requirement that bikes be started "for the judges" has, as Robin Markey said, always been on the books, but it has been so ignored, for years, that it was welcomed as "new," and a "good idea" at and after Eustis! Years ago, this rule slipped, and it became acceptable if this or that judge on a team vouched that he had seen a given bike started up in the course of the meet; sometimes. And I am sure, many "non-runners" got through; sometimes depending solely upon the reputation or standing in the club of the owner of the particular bike.
    Now, every single entry is asked to be started upon it being pushed on to the judging field, if it doesn't arrive there under its own power. Period. It got a special headlight sticker from a judge assigned to that task at Eustis. Two bikes that would have been judged were DQ's at Eustis when the owners huffed and puffed, but couldn't get them to aspirate on their own.
    I really like the new rules on "as it left the factory the first time," and DQ for funny numbers. It's a recent phenomenon, given the increasing rarity of raw material in the earlier classes, that old time "number jobs" are being pulled out from the dark recesses, back in the back under benches where they've laid for years, and are getting new lives with heli-arc, files and media-blasting cabinets. But, so far, the stamps used, while tricky, haven't cut the mustard with a marque specialist who knows what he's looking for.
    That knowledge will have to be expanded, until, no doubt, the stamps will get better. But then, a certain goal will also have been accomplished: restoration that is "undetectable." It is a kind of conundrum. Whether it is the number that graced the motor case when it left the factory the first time, it will at least have to look like it, weathering all close examination. We can't leave anything more accurate to our descendents.
    That's still the bottom line. We can only judge what we can see.
    --Sarge, AMC member #607.
    Last edited by Sarge; 03-14-2010 at 10:55 AM. Reason: spelled a wurd

  9. #9

    Re: Hostile Takeover @ AMCA!!! (Reposted)

    Quote Originally Posted by rob View Post
    the judging issue will have no effect on the amount of fun you have. join the club the mag.is worth the 40$ a year
    Yeah I do like receiving the magazine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarge View Post
    In almost forty years in the AMCA, I've never seen the club without something being fought over, from end-to-end: bowsprit to fantail, gunwale to gunwale. Now, it's the way the recent changes were arrived at, but I think the judging changes made are good ones. There's no reason to put off joining. It's only a little ripple on the surface of a constantly-evolving pond.

    I think change was due, if for no other reason than needing a fresh start in light of the changing generations and exploding interest in the few genuine old motorcycles left being found in the barns (most, twenty to thirty years old, as it has always been). A more detailed rule on what is and isn't acceptable in the realm of "reproduction parts" was due. The digital CAD-CAM age is colliding with the steam-locomotive technology most of our bikes came out of, and with the breaching tidal wave of people willing to counterfeit anything needed to be addressed more thoughtfully than it has been, to date.
    To your first point and me being somewhat new to the AMCA (my member #15,127 to your #607 ) I guess this is not any different than any other squabble?

    On the second point (paragraph above), if I'm reading the threads correctly it sounds like the judging criteria is stiffining and bikes with re-pop parts will be weeded out? My current project will be mostly re-pop and I think I have enough common sense that my Chief will not fall in the same category as one with original parts that have survived 50+ years. But my intent wasn't to have it judged but rather to ride it. If I had (or get one) that is more original I would probably lean toward preserving it and only ride it up/down the street. And what's the fun in that? So, as a judge is that a common occurrence where an entrant with a bike having re-pop parts views his project on equal standing of an original?
    Last edited by Vintage229; 03-14-2010 at 11:33 AM.
    1947 Project Chief
    2003 Chief Vintage (#229)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Re: Hostile Takeover @ AMCA!!! (Reposted)

    I was ready to pull the trigger on joining AMCA. I think I'll wait while this matter sorts itself out. Whether true or not, the undercurrent that AMCA judging, or even application of the system on a restored or rider original bike impacts an indicated value range is out there. Even I know that. Overnight changes in judging could result in overnight changes in values.

    But I ain't here because of that. I just see it as ingenious, rideable American art, pure and simple, and any perceived "value" is utilized solely to convince Nana that it's a "good investment", or maybe more appropriately, not a "bad investment." There are, however, ramifications to all the tension in this situation that ripple out to a lot of people.

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