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As a young lad 25 years ago, I was told by a guy older than me that I should support my right to ride by joining the AMA. The AMA has always been the leader in lobbying on behalf of motorcyclists everywhere…from sport bike bans, to horsepower limits, to helmet laws. I paid my dues faithfully every year, no matter how short of cash I may have been at the time.

I was always told that after 25 years of membership, I would obtain the status of lifetime charter member. 25 years of dues paying would qualify me to stop paying dues and joint he ranks of those that have supported the organization for a lifetime. Buying a lifetime membership was easy…earning it over time was a badge of honor.

Much to my dismay, this month’s (April) American Motorcyclist magazine has an article detailing the new “Life Member Plus” program. What it basically says is that for $29 a year, I can receive the monthly magazine and the benefits of roadside assistance (which I already get with my Beemer warranty). Wow.

$10 less than annual membership dues, and I get a magazine…wow. So, does that mean that anyone who wants to participate in the mostly non-existent racing program can do so and not get the rag for only $10 a year?

I feel like I arrived at my own birthday party, only to be told there will be a cover charge. This certainly is not what I expected from the AMA.

Sometime in life, you have to put the past behind you and move on. The AMA is quickly becoming part of my past, and I am ready to move on without them…feeling like a bride that has been jilted at the altar.
 

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A few years ago they had a program where you paid a years membership every 3 months for 5 years and that gave you a life membership. Looks like they don't offer it anymore but that's how I got my Life membership. The NRA was doing the same thing at that time. I don't see it being offered anymore but I'd be willing to drop a line to the AMA telling them that I think it unfair to charge so much to members after they have been supporters for so long, From his article though it looks like the AMA is finding the cost of services higher than when they started this program, so they are probably going to have some changes to the way life memberships are done.
 

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*Mini hi-jack*. Along the lines of the AMA membership levels, I believe BMW MOA recently did a similar change. They used to offer lifetime memberships, with one payment up front. Now, membership duration is offered in a coupla duration categories, butt no longer for lifetime IIRC.
 
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