AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame | Where Heroes Live On
First Name
Last Name

Mark Buckner


1980s Became state coordinator for ABATE of Colorado Helped expand ABATE of Colorado membership from 200 to 2,000 1992 Joined board of directors of Motorcycle Rights Foundation 1995 Worked with AMA, MRF and state SMROs on national helmet repeal 2018 Inducted into Motorcycle Riders Foundation Freedom Fighters Hall of Fame

Mark Buckner was well into his motorcycling life when he took up advocacy in the 1980s.
“I had ridden for many years, and I saw how the actions of the legislators affected motorcyclists,” he said. “Back in the early days, it was the helmet law and the inability to modify your bike.”
Buckner got involved with ABATE of Colorado in the 1980s, because he wanted to be a part of the effort to eliminate what he considered unfair treatment of motorcyclists.
“I’ve always supported helmets,” he said. “I am not anti-helmet. But I have never been in favor of requiring someone to wear one. I’ve always said that if somebody introduced a law saying you couldn’t wear a helmet, we’d fight that just as strongly.”
The motorcycling community at the time included a fair number of riders Buckner described as having “a hangover from the ’60s and ’70s.”
“People didn’t want the government telling them what to do,” he said. “I call it the ‘Western mentality.’ A lot of people lived out West because they valued their independence.”
In the late 1980s, Buckner moved into a leadership role in motorcyclists’ rights advocacy, becoming the state coordinator for ABATE of Colorado.
He immediately realized that the organization was underfunded and a little disorganized, resulting in a weak presence in state politics.
Buckner looked to ABATE of Indiana for guidance on how to create a powerful state motorcycle rights organization. And he forged strong bonds with the AMA and the Motorcycle Riders Foundation.
Under his leadership, ABATE of Colorado grew from 200 members to 2,000, established a firm financial base, built strong relationships with members of the state legislature and started the state’s rider education program.
“There was a handful of us at the time I started who wanted to make ABATE a strong and respected organization,” he said. “With a lot of help from a lot of people, we were able to turn things around.”
In 1992, Buckner joined the Motorcycle Riders Foundation board of directors, becoming MRF president and chairman two years later. During his tenure, the MRF implemented strategic planning processes which led to the organization’s financial stability and significant growth.
“In 1995, the AMA, the MRF and the SMROs all pulled together for the national helmet law repeal,” Buckner said. “It was really wonderful. We all carried the same message to Congress and pressed the message out to our members. That effort had the support of everybody.”
Buckner credits his success as an advocate and a leader to his passion and drive.
“I have never been short on either of those,” he said. “You just step up and volunteer. I learned on the fly, figuring out what motivates people, what works with the legislature.”
Buckner continues to have a profound influence in the motorcyclists’ rights community.
During the past 25 years, he has delivered more than 100 presentations around the country at state, regional, and national rights conferences.
Buckner also has been a leader in promoting global harmonization of motorcyclists’ rights organizations in the United States and has fostered working relationships within the European motorcyclists’ rights community.
In 2018, Buckner was inducted into the Motorcycle Riders Foundation Freedom Fighters Hall of Fame.