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During its 16 years of existence, the FAM achieved many of its objectives: “…to encourage the use of motorcycles and to promote the general interests of motorcycling; to ascertain, defend and protect the rights of motorcyclists; to facilitate touring; to assist in the good roads movement; and to advise and assist in the regulation of motorcycle racing and other competition in which motorcycles engage.” From the same 1912 rally in Columbus, here’s the earliest motorcycle watch fob known where the word “Tour” or “Tours” is engraved.

Perhaps this fob was the original example for all the Gypsy Tour watch fobs that were produced in the consecutive years from 1917-1930.

The riders wore visible numbers and were supposed to ride in numerical order, with the sidecars taking up the rear of the company.

To achieve this reflects high credit on both the man and machine…What is most needed in a run of this sort is a cool head and plenty of nerve.

It was the reckless riders who came to grief—the men who, instead of taking the affair calmly, rushed madly along the course, hoping to gain time for repairs between one control and another, if any were needed.” Riders who arrived ahead of time at a control had committed as much of an offense as finishing behind time and were penalized accordingly.

An article from the March 13, 1919 issue of the Motorcycle and Bicycle Illustrated magazine detailed the objectives and rules for the Gypsy Tours.

The objectives were first, “to provide a good time for the riders, and theirs wives, sisters, and sweet-hearts”; and second, “to create a more favorable public opinion of the motorcycle and motorcycle riders.”These early Gypsy Tours were quite organized, almost in military fashion, with a “Tour Master” and two aides leading a large group of riders sectioned into “companies” of 10 riders and a captain; and “pathfinders” scouting out and marking the route up ahead.

There is a score of 1000 points, from which various deductions are made.

The great honor, of course, is to make a perfect score (1000 points).

(The Gypsies) During parades and rides of the pre-World War 1 period , flags like this (17″x8″ with a 2′ pole) were mounted on the handlebars of early Harleys and Indians.

This particular flag came from a 40-mile rally from Greenfield, Indiana to Greensburg, Indiana, on the historic Indiana National Road.

In 1952, the award – a glass ashtray – was simply given away to anyone who registered at the AMA booth at any Gypsy Tour and showed their AMA membership card.

As the amount of metal and workmanship in the award declined, from elaborate belt buckles and watch fobs, to simpler, less expensive items like patches and pins, the awards became souvenirs, sold to anyone with the cash.

The rider with not only a perfect score but also the “most consistent riding” and/or “neatest appearance” would receive the coveted diamond award.

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