Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

N/A | National Motorcycling Organizations

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by termis, Apr 19, 2010.

  1. Just curious, and it seems there are folks here who might be able to answer this...

    Anyway, in the US, there's the AMA, which not only oversees the national competition side, but also handles issues regarding rider rights. Of course, there are smaller independent groups in each regions, but AMA seems to be the one main lobbying group for motorcyclists in the US.

    Now, after living a couple years here in Victoria, I'm still a bit confused to who really does the main lobbying for riders here. There's Motorcycling Australia (Rider's Division), and the MRA, who say they do the same thing. And then each of these orgs are further seperated by states (Motorcyling Victoria & MRA(Vic)).

    Any particular reason why it's not organized into one cohesive organization? Are there differences in thoughts/approaches between MA and MRA?
  2. Politics I expect.

    Also from what I understand, MA is more about racing...?
  3. MA have only recently set up the Rider's Division, with a brief to promote leisure riding. They have historically concerned themselves with the sport side of things. MA is run in a manner similar to a corporation. So far, they haven't really invested a lot in the Rider's division, but maybe that will change.
    I'll leave others to explain the details of MRA (not Smee!) but essentially the various MRA have been state-based despite claims otherwise. Victorian-based MRAA recently changed it's name to MRA(Vic) to reflect the truth of this. I believe it functions within the rules of the Clubs and Associations Act.

    That's as close to this dark and dangerous place as I'm prepared to go...
  4. Actually, that's a good question. I'd be interested to know the answer as well.
  5. It constantly amazes me why people keep asking this question.

    MRA is by far the leader in the representation stakes - just look at the meeting they had with TAC last Friday and make sure you read the briefing paper they took to that meeting titled Connecting with Motorcycle Riders.

    Also have a look at their Facebook

    MA are a great organisation and MRA has a good relationship with them - but they don't do much on the political front.....

    MRA(Vic) is trying to get everyone united and is having quite a bit of success.

    On the national from the Australian Motorcycle Council (AMC) has as its members all the respective state rider groups - and acts a the org whole deals with the Federal Govt.

    Now - I hope that clears things up. I'd hate you to think that there are factions involved....
  6. Thanks John -- that clears it up. That's a nice report as well.

    Now, you've cleared up the question for me, but you'll probably continue to get the question as people get into motorcycling. To be blunt, the branding situation is clear as mud for many people who want to be part of a rider's rights group -- just the few responses here seem to verify that as well. In addition to MA (which I first looked up because I thought they'd be the AMA equivalent), I see on the AMC website:

    Australian Motorcycle Council (AMC)
    Motorcycle Riders Association of Victoria (MRA Vic)
    Motorcycle Riders Association of Australian Capital Territory (MRA ACT)
    Motorcycle Council of New South Wales Incorporated (MCC of NSW)
    Motorcycle Riders Association of Queensland (MRAQ)
    Motorcycle Riders Association of South Australia (MRA SA)
    Motorcycle Riders Association of Western Australia (MRA WA)
    Tasmanian Motorcycle Council Incorporated (TMC)
    Rider Awareness Northern Territory (RANT)
    Victorian Motorcycle Council (VMC)
    Ulysses Club Inc.
    Bikes Unlimited

    Simply put, there's too many acronyms flying around, and it doesn't help that things change around as you go into different states.
  7. From a personal point of view I dont think any of the motorcycle groups really have any clout when it comes to politics. This is mainly down to motorcyclist not uniting as one force due to the usual "if you ride one of those I dont want to be in your club" mentality.

    For bike riders to be heard we need to unite and become one group something like what pushbike riders in Victoria have done. Untill that time we'll carry on coping it up the arse everytime the pollies want to make a new law to get rid of two wheels.
  8. jdkarmch - you haven't actually answered the question at all. You've simply told us who is the largest, most active and made it sound like an advert for MRA(VIC).

    You haven't explained WHY we have so many and WHY they aren't organised in to one cohesive organisation.
  9. In answer to your question some of those clubs are non political.
    They due to petty bickering, egos or politics are all fragmented and as the old saying goes "united we stand divided we fall"
    In Australia we are always falling down.
  10. Road law is under the control of each state so it makes sense that each state have a motorcycling lobby group to address the particular issues of that state. MA as previously discussed main focus has been on motorcycle competition. Some of the other groups in termis's list are social motorcycle clubs like Netrider.
  11. My impression is that MRA has had some "internal problems" and was dysfunctional for some years. Seems to be recovering though. MA has become political and is better funded but has its own problems and lacks focus for non-competition riders.
    I'm in MA riders division and ride with them when I can. Not in MRA.
  12. True, but one can have a single, national group with state/local branches (I hate to keep on bringing up the AMA, but that's exactly what they do). I'd imagine it'd be a lot easier to have a message saying, "Join XXX if you want to protect your riding rights." as opposed to multiples of "Join XXA if you want to protect your right to ride and you live here and aren't concerned with competition, or go join XXB if you live in blah blah..."

    And there's also the issue of strength in numbers. Any discussion can be had with the national org going in and saying, "We represent 50,000 constituents across the nation (or whatever the combined national member count of all these orgs may be) and we're concerned with...", as opposed to going in with figures 1/10th that.

    If there is indeed internal politics at play, collaboration and merger between the varying lobbying groups should be the first thing that should be on the agenda before anything else.
  13. JD if people have to aks then you haven't done the job well enough. But than again it is normally newer people who ask.
  14. JD didn't answer the question. The question was.

    He spoke about who some of the organisation were, and gave us a bit of an advert for MRA(VIC) bit didn't explain why we have so many and why its' not organised in to one organisation.
  15. Why isn't Australia organised into one cohesive ..., why are the rail lines in Victoria Broad Gauge and those in NSW Standard Gauge, Why does Victoria mandate from next year higher automotive safety standards than the rest of the country. Why does Melbourne have Hook turns and no-one else does.

    All these can be answered by the historical fact that we a a Federation of States not a single Political entity. The essence of federation whether you believe the precept or not is that local people should make decisions for local issues. What is suitable for Western Australia is not necessarily suitable for Victoria.

    Recently the MRAV has started to reach out to other organisations to be more consultative and representative. What you suggest B12Mick is happening albeit slowly and not before time. I grant you the AMA is an impressive organisation with 245,000 members and a budget exceeding $USD1M they can afford to be.
  16. That is probably as close to answer as I'm going to get. I agree, with what you're saying about the states, federation etc. But there are other organisations that, at least appear, to have influence in each state as well as at a federal level. Most unions for example, even state based unions like the various teachers unions can co-operate nationally when they want/need to. Why can't the various motorcycle organisations do the same?
  17. Internal politics and external apathy.

    Not helpful, I know, but that about sums it up.
  18. That's a very polite way of putting it, thanks!

    MRA(Vic) cannot speak for MA, their answer is a matter for them, however MRA(Vic) definitely would work with MA on any common issues. We have been told that MA are not looking to actively lobby for road riders where this is primarily what the original MRA was formed to do back in 1978. Though the way may have been lost over the years, the MRA(Vic) is returning to the basics and working as the lobby group for Victorian members which we'd encourage all riders to become.

    Also check the map page here for interstate groups.
  19. I've just noticed this thread.

    The Australian Motorcycle Council (AMC) is the national umbrella group for rider organisations.

    It represents riders at a national level. The current executive is:

    Shaun Lennard - TAS Motorcycle Council
    Treasurer Brian Wood - MCCNSW
    Secretary Lorrie Hemming - MRAQld
    Neville Gray - MRASA & Ulysses
    me - MRA(Vic)

    member organisations are:

    Motorcycle Riders Association of Victoria (MRA Vic)
    Motorcycle Riders Association of Australian Capital Territory (MRA ACT)
    Motorcycle Council of New South Wales Incorporated (MCC of NSW)
    Motorcycle Riders Association of Queensland (MRAQ)
    Motorcycle Riders Association of South Australia (MRA SA)
    Motorcycle Riders Association of Western Australia (MRA WA)
    Tasmanian Motorcycle Council Incorporated (TMC)
    Rider Awareness Northern Territory (RANT)
    Victorian Motorcycle Council (VMC)
    Ulysses Club Inc.
    Bikes Unlimited

    MA was invited to join and has had an observer at the past couple of AGMs but prefers to stand aloof. the FCAI representative also attends meetings on behalf of the industry.

    On a national basis:

    Shaun met recently with the Federal Minister for Transport and has also met with quite a few of the federal parliament who are also riders.


    Part of Shaun's report on this:
    The key outcome - other than the success of the ride - is that all three
    major parties have (separately) agreed to consider a policy proposal from
    the AMC on what we believe should be in a national motorcycle
    strategy/policy leading into this year's election. This is to be a
    one-page document, and will be finalised within the next couple of
    weeks. We'll be looking to take the strategic elements of the UK
    Government strategy, the Victorian strategic action plan and key
    recommendations of the 2008 Canberra summit and put them into a policy
    proposal. It was also suggested to us that farm use and off-road
    recreational riding should form part of the overall strategy.


    edit: Significantly, we had appointments with Andrew Robb
    (coalition policy director), Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, and a short
    discussion with Transport Minister, Anthony Albanese. We were also
    contacted by The Greens once they heard a news report about the ride.

    Internationally the AMC is regarded as representing Australian riders.

    FEMA - Federation of European Motorcyclists' Associations is running the 1st European Motorcyclists Conference in June and Shaun is representing Australia at that conference (fares paid by the EU).

    We do have a problem nationally - with communications. we are well aware than we need to communicate more on a national level to riders. A lot of work is being done, getting the news about it out there is not easy.
    Hopefully we will be meeting with the National Road Safety Council in the next couple of months. Wayne Gardener is a member of the NRSC and he is pushing for this to happen.

    At a national level there is neither apathy nor internal politics. At the MRA(Vic) There's been no real issues internally for at least five years - it's just that one former member has been working on the Goebbels principle - keep telling a big enough lie for long enough and people will believe it!