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Motorcycle Hall Of Fame Inductions 


Each year, the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame recognizes a new class of motorcycling heroes -- men and women who have excelled in the sport or have changed the world of motorcycling for the better. The induction ceremonies are gala affairs, honoring the inductees with the adoration and respect that they so rightly deserve. Here, we list the inductees from recent years and summarize their accomplishments.

In addition, the Hall of Fame induction ceremony also highlights the careers of existing Hall of Famers, inviting them to participate in the ceremonies and reminding the motorcycling community of their accomplishments.

Class of 2013: Green Valley Ranch, Las Vegas, Nev.


Six legends took their places among motorcycling's best and brightest Friday, Oct. 18, at the 2013 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, presented by Husqvarna.

Hosted by actor, motorcyclist and AMA board member Perry King, the event honored the Hall of Fame Class of 2013: AMA Supercross and Motocross Champion Ricky Carmichael; AMA and desert racing champion Danny Hamel; racer, promoter and motorcycle industry icon Norm McDonald; AMA Road Racing Champion Randy Renfrow; and motorcycling fundraisers and Ride For Kids founders Mike and Dianne Traynor.

In addition to the class of 2013, the induction ceremony celebrated the outstanding careers of two existing Hall of Famers as Hall of Fame Legends: Mark Blackwell, a pioneering American motocross racer, six-time AMA championship race team manager and industry executive; and Torsten Hallman, a four-time FIM World Motocross champion who was instrumental in introducing the sport of motocross to America and later founded the Thor brand.

Ricky Carmichael


Ricky Carmichael has more combined AMA Supercross and AMA Motocross National wins than any other rider in history. From 1997 to 2006, Carmichael won a championship series title each year.

Known as the Greatest of All Time, Carmichael has re-written the record books in the sport of AMA Motocross. In 2002, Carmichael recorded the first perfect season in AMA motocross history by earning 24 straight moto victories for 12 overall wins in the premier class -- a feat he repeated in 2004. When he retired, he had 150 AMA National wins.

"The first people I want to thank are my parents, for the sacrifices they made so that I could race motorcycles," Carmichael said. "I love this sport, and I love giving back to this sport because I don't think it gets the recognition that it deserves. I also want to thank my sponsors for always sticking with me. Without them, this sport wouldn't be where it is today. Thank you."


Danny Hamel


Danny Hamel accomplished much as an off-road racer: five-time AMA Hare and Hound national champion, multi-time Baja 1000 and 500 overall winner and more. Between 1977 and 1995, Hamel was the only rider ever named both as the AMA Amateur Athlete of the Year and AMA Amateur Sportsman of the Year in the same year.

Hamel died in June 1995 while racing the Baja 500 when a car strayed onto the road that was part of the course and Hamel collided with it. Hamel was represented at the event by Team Kawasaki Manager Mark Johnson and Mike Hodges, Hamel's mechanic.

"To describe Danny as an individual we could use many words: fun loving, intelligent, caring, humble, good teammate and true professional," Johnson said. "I believe that one of Danny's greatest assets of which he and I talked many times about was his relationship with his family. On behalf of the entire Hamel family, Danny's friends, fans and followers, thank you for this award honoring Danny Hamel."

Added Hodges: "I stand center stage giving tribute to Danny with tears in my eyes and a heavy heart but couldn't be prouder. Danny, today is your day to savor as well as the rest of the inductees, for it is your accomplishments that brings us together once again. I love you, brother."


Norm McDonald


Norm McDonald has been an ambassador for motorcycling his entire life as a racer, promoter, teacher, sponsor and advocate for motorcyclists' rights and safety. In 1957 he opened K&N Motorcycles -- a motorcycle shop -- with Ken Johnson. By 1965, they created K&N Engineering and in 1966 the K&N Air Filter was introduced. Over the years McDonald sponsored hundreds of racers, with more than 30 of them going on to the national level.

"What a great honor to be inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame with such a special group of people: Ricky, Randy, Danny, Mike and Dianne," McDonald said. "I want to thank the ones that made this possible by putting the package together and getting me nominated: my sons and daughter-in-law, Cindy, and all of the people that voted for me. Thank you."

Hall of Fame Legend Malcolm Smith was hired as a teenager by McDonald, and presented McDonald with his Hall of Fame ring in an emotional tribute.


Randy Renfrow


Randy Renfrow began his pro road racing career in 1981. He won the AMA 250 Grand Prix championship in 1983, the AMA Formula One title in 1986 and the AMA Pro Twins Series championship in 1989.

Renfrow was known for his ability to be competitive on any type of machinery, from diminutive 250 Grand Prix bikes all the way up to AMA Superbikes, and he excelled in nearly every class of professional motorcycle road racing. In all, he won 17 AMA Nationals in four different classes.

Renfrow died in 2002 in a non-racing accident. Renfrow was represented at the event by his brother, Shawn Renfrow, and his mechanic, John Lassak.

"Every person inducted into the Hall of Fame, regardless of category, has been blessed with a tenacious spirit to achieve their dreams and goals," Shawn Renfrow said. "Randy was no different. He was a determined competitor who never let injuries, obstacles or defeat curb his appetite for racing. But it was not Randy's racing accomplishments that have left an enduring impression on me. It was his genuine love and care that he had for the racing community that I admired most."

"Randy was one of the finest human beings I know," Lassak added. "Not only was he a fierce competitor, he was also a gentle and caring person."


Mike and Dianne Traynor


Mike and Dianne Traynor co-founded the Ride for Kids motorcycle charity program and the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. They began the Ride for Kids in 1984 to raise funds for childhood brain tumor research.

With over $70 million raised since 1984, motorcyclists have helped the PBTF become the world's largest non-governmental source of funding for childhood brain tumor research. Mike Traynor died in 2009 and Dianne Traynor died in 2012.

The Traynors were represented at the event by their sons.

"Mike and Dianne were proud to call themselves motorcyclists," Sean Traynor said. "Unfortunately, both Mike and Dianne have passed on. But I think it is very fitting that this year, being the 30th anniversary of the Ride for Kids, that they are inducted into the American Motorcyclist Association Hall of Fame. On behalf of Mike, Dianne and my brothers, I would like to say thank you. I know that they would have been very proud and humbled tonight to be in such great company. God bless."


Hall of Fame Legend Mark Blackwell


Mark Blackwell, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000, was honored in a special Hall of Fame Legends ceremony, sponsored by Victory Motorcycles. Blackwell was a pioneering racer in American motocross, a six-time AMA championship race team manager and a well-respected executive in the motorcycle industry.

Blackwell won the American 500cc motocross champion in 1971 and started off the 1972 season with a win at the Daytona motocross. After his racing career, Blackwell managed the Suzuki Race Team to six AMA championships, did product development for a number of MX-related companies, and then went on to work in management for Suzuki, Husqvarna and Victory.

"Thanks to the AMA and the Heritage Foundation Board for this prestigious honor, and for raising the bar in terms of the class of this event -- you have raised the bar every year and we are certainly a long way from the tent in the AMA parking lot 13 years ago," Blackwell said. "And a very special thanks to the sponsors who have stepped up to help make this a great event and hopefully, a big inspiration for the future leaders of our sport and industry."


Hall of Fame Legend Torsten Hallman


Torsten Hallman, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000, was also honored as in Hall of Fame Legend ceremony sponsored by Bike Week Radio. Hallman was a four-time World Motocross Champion when he came to the United States in the late-1960s as part of the effort to popularize both the Husqvarna motorcycle brand and the sport of motocross. Hallman's incredible talent on a motocross bike was a revelation to American fans and racers.

Hallman's talents were not limited to the track. He also was a savvy businessman and founded a riding apparel company: Thor. The company's early designs and innovations heavily influenced the look and function of motocross riding gear for decades to follow. Today, Thor is one of the biggest names in motocross apparel.

Hallman was unable to attend due to last-minute direction from his doctor. His prepared comments were read by King.

"I am very pleased and honored to receive this Hall of Fame Legends Award!" Hallman wrote. "I am extremely thankful! It means a lot to me and it brings back some great memories. I am greatly honored to share this special moment with my wife and many of my old friends."


 

Class of 2012: Red Rock Resort & Spa, Las Vegas, Nev.


Seven historic figures took their places among motorcycling's greatest legends Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, at the 2012 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, presented by KTM. The ceremony was part of theAMA  Legends Weekend, powered by Paul Thede's Race Tech, held at the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa.

Rod Bush


The late Rod Bush helped establish and grow KTM North America and served as company president from 1987 until his death in 2005.

Born July 6, 1955, in Huntington, W.Va., Bush rode his first hare scrambles in 1970 and three years later opened a Penton dealership in Parkersburg, W.Va., with his father. In 1976, Bush started working for Penton Imports as a sales representative. In 1978, Bush left Penton Imports to help form KTM America, later KTM North America, with Jack Lehto.

Bush took the position of KTM North America president in 1987 when the company was selling about 2,500 motorcycles a year. When Bush died in 2005, KTM North America sold approximately 28,000 units annually and had 140 employees.

Bush was represented at the induction ceremony by his wife Cheri Bush and daughter Stacy Bush.

"It is with tremendous pride and joy for our family to see Rod be inducted into the AMA Hall of Fame," said Cheri Bush, after she accepted Rod Bush's Hall of Fame ring on his behalf. "The outpouring of love, support and friendship that is in this room is unbelievable. Rod would have been so honored and humbled to receive such recognition from his peers."

Rod Bush in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame »

 

Derek "Nobby" Clark


Derek "Nobby" Clark's was a member of winning race teams that claimed 17 FIM world titles in multiple displacements from the 1960s through 1980.

For 25 years, Clark was one of the world's leading motorcycle race mechanics. In addition to the Grand Prix world titles, earned in classes ranging from 50cc to 500cc, he helped win three Daytona 200s, one Daytona 100, four Imola 200s and eight Italian championships working with some of the greatest motorcycle racers in history.

Clark, born Sept. 29, 1936, in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia). not only excelled at the highest level, tuning for some of history's greatest racers, but also worked with racing's most memorable personalities, including Hall of Famers Hailwood, Giacomo Agostini and Roberts.

"I would like to thank everybody who supported me for the Hall of Fame," Clark said. "It's a pleasure to be honored in this way. I've very humbled to be here tonight. I've been privileged to have motorcycles in my life."

Derek "Nobby" Clark in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame »

 

Ty Davis


Ty Davis, born April 5, 1969, in Hesperia, Calif., is one of the most-versatile off-road motorcycle racers in the history of American competition. He has won amateur and professional titles in motocross, hare scrambles, AMA Supercross, AMA National Hare & Hound and AMA National Enduro. He has won the Baja 1000 four times and has been the top American rider at the International Six Days Enduro six times.

Davis, the AMA Athlete of the Year in 1995, won the AMA National Enduro Championship in 1995 and 1999 and the AMA Hare & Hound National Hare & Hound Championship in 1997, 1998 and 2002.

Although Davis, who currently runs Zip-Ty Racing Products, is mostly remembered as an off-road racer, one of his most high-profile titles was in 1990, when he won the AMA 125cc West Regional Supercross Championship over future Hall of Famer Jeremy McGrath.

"I feel that I am a pretty lucky guy," Davis said. "I have experienced a lot and seen a lot and have been with, and met, some of the biggest names in our industry. I would like to thank the AMA and the voting staff for honoring me as a Hall of Famer, and I want to thank my friends and family for being here tonight."

Ty Davis in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame »

 

Jimmy Ellis


The heyday of Can-Am's factory motocross campaign is forever connected to the outstanding career of Jimmy Ellis. Born Oct. 19, 1955, in Middletown, Conn., Ellis started racing in New England in the 1960s, and by the time he joined the Can-Am factory team, he had won seven New England championships.

In 1974, riding the works 250 Can-Am, he finished third for the 250cc national title, collecting two overall wins. In 1975, Ellis won the AMA Supercross 250cc championship by sweeping the four-round series, punctuated by a dominant victory in the high-profile finale at the L.A. Coliseum.

Ellis continued to give Can-Am top finishes through the 1977 season, after which Honda snapped him up for its U.S. factory team. Ellis was a contender on the national circuit for a few more years-finishing second to future Hall of Famer Bob Hannah for the 250cc national championship in 1978. He transitioned into retirement during the 1981-82 seasons.

"I want to thank the AMA and the Hall of Fame, Jeff Smith, Tom White, Mom and Dad, my family, my partner Vicky," Ellis said. "Being on this podium is like winning the Los Angeles Coliseum Supercross in 1975! Thank you!"

Jimmy Ellis in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame »

 

Sue Fish


Sue Fish was born Nov. 9, 1958. Her father, who competed in dirt track and hare scrambles, taught her how to ride when she was 11. By 14, she started racing, winning her first race that year.

At age 19, Fish advanced to the AMA Pro Racing national circuit. In addition to dominating the female ranks, having won the 1976 and 1977 Women's National Motocross Championships, Fish, who currently lives in Santa Barbara, Calif., was one of the first women motocross racers to hold a professional racing license from the AMA and compete regularly against men.

Known by the nickname, "The Flying Fish," she raced in the AMA 125cc National Motocross Championship. Fish put her talents to work on the big screen as well, working as a Hollywood stuntwoman. Her credits include "Terminator" and "Footloose." She also traveled as part of Evel Knievel's stunt show in Australia.

"It is a surreal experience to be recognized for simply doing what I love," Fish said. "And to this day, feel most passionate about riding and racing motorcycles. I would like to thank my family and friends for giving me support I needed to able to have pursued my dreams. I am humbled to be among my heroes and the legends of our industry."

Sue Fish in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame »

 

Brian Slark


Brian Slark, who was born in London, England, on Feb. 2, 1938, was a moving force in the creation of a vibrant motocross-racing community in the United States in the 1960s.

Slark helped organize motocross tracks, promoting the sport by teaching famous people-including then-teen heartthrob Bobby Darin-to ride motorcycles and importing and building Rickman Metisse and Cheney motocrossers.

Slark later helped the late-Dave Mungenast, who is a member of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, create a motorcycle museum in St. Louis. Slark also helped create the world-class Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum in Leeds, Ala.

"First and foremost, I would like to thank my wife, Dian, who is always supportive and buys me motorcycles, how cool is that!" said Slark, as he accepted his honor. "I'd also like to thank Bud Ekins, for giving me the opportunity to come to this wonderful country; Nick Nicholson, who gave me motorbikes to ride and inspired me to ride the ISDT; Dave Mungenast Sr., a mentor and a friend; and last but not least, George Barber, who gave me the opportunity to be part of creating a world-class museum."

Brian Slark in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame »

 

Al Wilcox


Born in Trenton, N.J., in 1919, the late Al Wilcox began riding motorcycles in 1936 and began racing in 1947, but he is known to most of the racing community as the iconic race starter "Airborne Al."

Wilcox's race career spanned 19 years-from 1947 to 1966. Not only did he do well as a speedway racer for four years, but Wilcox also finished well in TT, dirt-track and even hare scrambles races over the course of his long career.

Wilcox, who passed away in 2011, began flagging races in 1959 and increased his flagging duties after ending his racing career. He flagged the famed Daytona 200 motorcycle race for many years with AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame flagger Duke Pennell. He became known as "Airborne Al" because of his unique flagging style that involved jumping up in the air at the end of a race.

Wilcox was represented at the induction ceremony by friend Roger Lyle.

"During his racing career, Al went to the starting line over 3,000 times," Lyle said, as he accepted the honor on Wilcox's behalf. "He was the 'starter to the stars' for 52 years. Al Wilcox touched the lives of everyone who had the pleasure to meet and speak with him about his passion for motorcycles and the racers who put it on the line. "

Al Wilcox in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame »

 

Hall of Fame Legend Mert Lawwill


In 2012, the induction ceremony honored famed national dirt-tracker Mert Lawwill as an AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend. Hall of Fame Legends are existing Hall of Famers who are invited back to the induction ceremony to be recognized yet again for their notable accomplishments.

Lawwill, inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998, was one of the top professionals on the AMA national circuit during the 1960s and 1970s. He was the 1969 AMA Grand National champion and "On Any Sunday" chronicled his bid to defend his title during the 1970 racing season. By the time Lawwill hung up his racing leathers in 1977, he had amassed an incredible 161 career AMA Grand National finishes during his 15-year racing career.

Lawwill went on to become one of the top motorcycle racing frame designers and builders. He then used his expertise to create custom racing mountain bikes that won numerous national and world titles, as well as prosthetic devices to enable amputees to ride motorcycles and bicycles.

Lawwill thanked a number of people who contributed to his career, particularly Malcolm Smith, Bruce Brown and Steve McQueen, telling a story about a time he crushed his hand seemingly beyond repair and McQueen helped him find a doctor and paid his medical bills to have it fixed.

"I also want to thank everyone who came out tonight," Lawwill said. "I really appreciate being recognized as a Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend."

Mert Lawwill in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame »

 

Hall of Fame Legend Malcolm Smith


Off-road racing icon Malcolm Smith was also honored as an AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend this year. Hall of Fame Legends are existing Hall of Famers who are invited back to the induction ceremony to be recognized yet again for their notable accomplishments.

Smith, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998, was a pioneer in off-road motorcycling. He earned early fame for his accomplishments in the Baja 1000 and for his gold-medal winning rides in International Six Day Enduro competitions.

His reputation extended beyond the motorcycling community when he appeared in "On Any Sunday." The scenes of Smith and Lawwill play riding with popular actor Steve McQueen showed non-motorcyclists across the country just how fun motorcycling could be. The movie helped launch an explosion in the popularity of off-road motorcycling in America.

Smith went on to become a successful businessman with his Malcolm Smith Motorsports motorcycle dealership in Riverside, Calif. Today, Smith is also revered as one of the leading charitable supporters in the motorcyclist industry.

In accepting his honor, Smith thanked a number of people who had an impact on his career, including Bruce Brown, who produced "On Any Sunday."

"I had no idea that Bruce was making the most timeless motorcycle movie ever and I would have such a big role in it," Smith said. "Thank you again, Bruce!

"Many, many more people have helped me in my life. I can't thank them all or we would be here all night," Smith said. "I'll leave you with one thought. What would your life had been like if you hadn't discovered motorcycles."

Malcolm Smith in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame »

 

Class of 2011: Red Rock Resort & Spa, Las Vegas, Nev.


Five outstanding motorcyclists took their place in history Friday, Nov. 18, 2011, at the 2011 AMA Visa Card from Capital One Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, presented by KTM, held here at the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa.

Phil Schilling


Phil Schilling was one of motorcycling's most accomplished journalists and an expert race tuner who set the early mark for Ducati motorcycle's on-track success in America.

Schilling was teaching at the University of Wisconsin when Hall of Famer Cook Neilson asked him to become managing editor of Cycle Magazine. Schilling and Neilson developed Cycle Magazine into the gold standard of motorcycle periodicals in the 1970s. Schilling and Neilson were not just successful at the editor's desk. In 1977, they entered a Ducati in the Daytona 200 and gave Ducati its first AMA Superbike win in the United States.

Schilling was joined on stage by Neilson, who read Schilling's comments on his behalf.

"Thank you to the American Motorcyclist Association for this tremendous honor and to all those who nominated me, wrote letters on my behalf, and voted for me," Neilson read. "I am humbled and proud beyond words to be in the company of so many of motorcycling's great talents and industry leaders and my fellow Hall of Fame classmates.

"I have been fortunate in my life to do exciting work that I love alongside people I love and admire. Cook's and my success at Cycle Magazine and on the racetrack was due in large part to the talent and hard work of an army of people, who share in this honor and deserve our gratitude."

Phil Schilling in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame »

 

Stu Peters


Stu Peters is one of the most prolific and enduring motocross promoters in the history of the sport in America. Peters' company, the Continental Motosport Club (CMC), has been promoting motocross races since 1968.

Although Peters has expanded beyond his Southern California base, his early start and subsequent success in what became a hotbed of motocross competition in the 1970s, 1980s and beyond, established his presence in the national consciousness of American motocross.

Peters, who raced motocross professionally in Europe in the 1950s, was already actively running local events when the AMA approached him to promote two rounds of the 1970 Trans-AMA Series, which became the sport's first national championship series in the United States sanctioned by the AMA and recognized by the FIM (Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme), the world governing body for motorcycle sport.

Today, CMC Racing has grown into one of the largest motocross racing organizations in the country.

"Most of all, I'd like to thank my family for holding up the fort," Peters said. "I also thank the Hall of Fame for honoring me with this great award for doing something I loved to do and would have done anyway."

Stu Peters in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame »

 

Fred Fox


Parts Unlimited founder Fred Fox built a small business into the largest aftermarket motorcycle, snowmobile, all-terrain vehicle and personal watercraft accessory distributorship in the world.

Fox founded Parts Unlimited Distributing in 1967 to distribute motorcycle parts and accessories to dealers. Today his umbrella company, LeMans Corp., is based in Janesville, Wisc., and it employs more than 1,000 people in operations spread across the U.S. and in Europe. Parts Unlimited serves the "metric" side of motorcycling, while Drag Specialties serves the American V-twin industry. The company's own brands include Thor Motocross, Moose Off-Road, Icon and Z1R Helmets.

Fox elevated motorcycling and the sport of motorcycle racing nationally by creating a state-of-the-art distribution system that got parts to dealers quickly and by sponsoring motorcycle racing series as well as amateur and professional racers. His sponsorship dollars also supported various races and series to help grow the sport.

"I'm honored to be here," Fox said. "This business means so much to me. I'm still enjoying working every day. I still go in early and leave late, but it's the employees who do all the hard work. I really enjoy this industry. It's been good to me."

Fred Fox in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame »

 

Norbert Schickel


Norbert Schickel was an innovative designer and builder in the early years of American motorcycle manufacturing. As the founder of Schickel Motor Co., Schickel was part of the motorcycle design boom that occurred in the United States between 1905 and 1915.

Schickel unveiled his first motorcycle at the 1911 Chicago Motorcycle Show, and Schickel Motor Co. began producing motorcycles in 1912 in Stamford, Conn. The company sold more than 1,000 motorcycles.

Schickel's vision and designs were evident in his two-cycle motorcycles that he developed. He also helped popularize the twist grip control and had a patented "spring fork front suspension" and "fly wheel magneto."

Ken Anderson, Schickel's grandson, accepted the Hall of Fame honor on his grandfather's behalf.

"If Norbert Schickel were here today he would be thrilled by his selection and would take great pride in knowing that his designs and innovations were worthy of Hall of Fame recognition," Anderson said. "It is a great honor for me to represent my grandfather here tonight. Norbert Schickel's selection to the Class of 2011 is a dream come true for our family and attending his induction is a once in a lifetime opportunity for us to celebrate his achievements."

Norbert Schickel in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame »

 

Doug Polen


Doug Polen was a dominant national and world champion roadracer in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Polen had a series of strong winning performances in motorcycle roadracing in the United States and abroad, including winning 45 of 51 Suzuki Championship Series events in 1991 and earning the World Superbike title by 150 points. He was the Suzuki GSX-R National Cup champion in 1986, Japan Formula 1 and Formula 3 National Champion in 1989, AMA Pro Twins National Champion in 1991, World Superbike Champion in 1992 and 1993, AMA Superbike Champion in 1993, and World Endurance Champion in 1997 and 1998.

"Being recognized with so many iconic people is touching, and to see my career made permanent as part of the Hall of Fame is really something," Polen said. "I'll always have that. I'm truly honored to be inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame."

Doug Polen in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame »

 

Hall of Fame Legend Roger DeCoster


Roger DeCoster's name is practically synonymous with the sport of motocross, and he is generally recognized as the best-known MX racer in the first 50 years of the sport.

When DeCoster was inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1999, his racing accomplishments were simply remarkable: five 500cc Motocross World Championships, numerous 500cc Motocross Grand Prix victories and four Trans-AMA Motocross Championships.

He also was a member of six winning Belgium Motocross des Nations teams, was a Gold Medalist in the International Six Day Trial (Enduro) and earned numerous national championships in his native Belgium, including a national Trials title.

DeCoster continued to find success after his racing career. He was the manager of the first U.S. team to win the Motocross des Nations in 1981, and managed many U.S. teams at the prestigious event over the years to the present day.

Today, DeCoster is in charge of KTM's Supercross and motocross efforts in the United States. His stature is such in the world of motocross that he is often simply referred to as "The Man."

"I have to thank America for welcoming me," DeCoster said. "First was Bud and Dave Ekins. I met them in Germany in 1964, and it was the beginning of a great journey in America. We have come a long way from when I was inducted in 1999 in the AMA parking lot under an E-Z Up. This is a fantastic event."

Roger DeCoster in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame »

 

Hall of Fame Legend Kenny Roberts


Perhaps more than any other competitor, Kenny Roberts has put his stamp of dominance on American and World roadracing, both as an AMA National Champion, a Grand Prix World Champion and then as a Grand Prix team owner.

In recognition of his outstanding achievements on both the American and world racing circuits, Roberts, who was inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1998, was honored as a 2011 Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend.

"King Kenny" Roberts won his first-ever AMA Grand National race in 1972 and went on to win 33 AMA Nationals in dirt-track and roadracing, including the prestigious Daytona 200 three times.

A two-time AMA Grand National Champion, Roberts moved to the world stage and became the first-ever American to win a 500cc Grand Prix motorcycle racing world championship in 1978. In the following years Roberts dominated the World Grand Prix circuit, and by the end of 1980, he had captured three consecutive World 500 Grand Prix titles.

Retiring from full-time racing at the end of the 1983 season, he formed his own World 500 Grand Prix team. In 1990, Team Roberts' rider and future Hall of Famer Wayne Rainey won the World 500 Grand Prix title, and teammate John Kocinski took the World 250 Championship -- bringing the team a rare 500 and 250 championship season.

"I have to thank the AMA," Roberts said. "I did what I did, and that's what we do. We ride motorcycles. I do this because I'm a motorcycle person, and this room is full of motorcycle people. To honor me like this in front of motorcycle people is very important to me."

Kenny Roberts in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame »

 

Class of 2010: Red Rock Resort & Spa, Las Vegas, Nev.


Nine motorcycling legends took their place in history Friday, Nov. 19, 2010, at the 2010 Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, presented by JT Racing, held at the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa.

Eyvind Boyesen


Boyesen, inducted for his enormous contributions to motocross engine development, tragically passed away on Wednesday, Nov. 17, just two days before the ceremony. His sudden death, the result of illness, was marked by a moment of silence and remembrance at the event.

Perry King read comments prepared by Boyesen's son, Dag Boyesen, who was going to speak in honor of his father at the event.

"Early on, I saw my father's commitment to new ideas, spending countless hours in the basement porting cylinders," Dag Boyesen wrote in his remarks. "His perseverance and belief that anything was possible guided his world.

"Beyond all the accomplishments and success, there is another Eyvind Boyesen. I know I speak for our family and friends when I say that Eyvind Boyesen was a person's person. His spiritual faith, his love for his wife and his happiness showed me how to love and dream and how to appreciate life," read King.

Boyesen founded Boyesen Engineering in 1972 in Lenhartsville, Pa., and built a worldwide reputation as a two-stroke engine expert. In addition to his reed-valve innovations, Boyesen was also known for a special porting technique that has been used in motorcycle, snowmobile and watercraft two-stroke engines. He also refined methods of water pump design and developed enhanced accelerator pump operation used in four-stroke carburetion. Boyesen held more than 40 patents for the aftermarket motorcycle industry, and his company continues to thrive today.

"I will say that my career has been balanced by my ability to do what I truly love," Eyvind Boyesen said when his 2010 induction was announced in June. "To this day, I will always remember the first time I saw a motorcycle. It was magical."

Eyvind Boyesen in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame »

 

Don Castro


Castro joined the professional dirt-track ranks as an Expert in 1970, riding both dirt-track and roadrace motorcycles for Triumph. He finished his rookie season fifth in the standings. For 1973 he was picked up by Yamaha and accomplished what many consider to be his greatest victory: winning the San Jose, Calif., half-mile against the likes of Scott, Lawwill, Palmgren, Roberts and other extremely talented racers. Castro went on to win another National the next year: the 250cc roadrace at Daytona, defeating teammate and race favorite Roberts.

Castro retired from the sport in 1976.

In accepting his award, Castro acknowledged the help he received during his career.

"I couldn't get up here all by myself," Castro said. "I had a lot of great help. I was lucky enough to have two factory rides, one from Yamaha and one from Triumph. I'd like to thank my peers for voting for me, and I'd like to thank everybody for coming out."

Don Castro in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame »

 

Larry Coleman


Coleman's interest in fast, grand-prix-style sidecar racing came when he was a U.S. serviceman in Europe in the 1970s. Upon returning to the United States, he raced a Kawasaki 500 H1-based sidecar with Wendell Andrews, and was a success in both AFM and AMA racing. The pair won two AMA national championships in 1976-77. Then, teaming with Mark Bevans as passenger, Coleman won the 1979 AMA national championship.

For the 1980 season, Coleman built up a Yamaha TZ750-based bike that was one of the most advanced machines of its type and helped advance the cause of sidecar racing in the United States. After retiring from racing in 1981, Coleman worked in the motorcycle industry, ultimately starting his own marketing and public relations consultancy.

In his acceptance speech, Coleman cited the importance of teamwork to his success.

"I would like to thank the Hall of Fame for the honor of being a member of the class of 2010," Coleman said. "The different disciplines of the AMA are well represented by this group of inductees. From racing to product development, political action to business development. This group is a very good representation of the patchwork quilt that makes up the AMA.

"Regardless of the type of racing, it takes teamwork to become successful," Coleman continued. "Any success in racing, business, or any aspect of our sport is only as good as the team that you are able to assemble to make things happen."

Coleman continues to add to his legendary status in the sport. This summer, he set a land-speed record at the AMA Racing Land Speed Grand Championships.

Larry Coleman in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame »

 

Clark Collins


In 1987, Collins created the BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC), which is a national non-profit organization dedicated to protecting responsible recreational access to public lands and waters. Collins and the BRC have come to be nationally recognized by public land agencies as authorities on responsible motorized recreation. He served as executive director of the organization until his retirement in 2004.

Collins thanked those who have supported the BRC when he accepted his award.

"In the words of a friend who I've gotten to know over the years, Malcolm Smith, 'This is really neat,'" Collins said. "I really want to thank you all, collectively, for helping me with the BlueRibbon Coalition. You've helped us make it mean something, and I'm proud of the relationship between the BlueRibbon Coalition and the AMA because teamwork is what makes it work."

Today, Collins continues to serve the off-road recreation community in Idaho as president of the Idaho State ATV Association.

Clark Collins in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame »

 

David Emde


Following in the footsteps of his father, Floyd, and brother, Don, both Daytona 200 winners and Motorcycle Hall of Famers, David's versatility became obvious when he began racing in the early 1970s. After starting in dirt-track, he switched to roadracing in 1975, competing alongside some of the fastest roadracers ever: Kenny Roberts, Steve Baker, Gary Nixon and others.

Emde's breakthrough came at the famed Laguna Seca Raceway, when he beat Roberts in a heat race, then finished second to him in the main. David's 1977 AMA 250cc Roadrace Championship was marked by nine wins in a hard-fought competition. He also raced Superbikes and proved himself adept at endurance racing, setting in 1978 what was then the fastest qualifying time for the famed Suzuka 8-Hour endurance race in Japan.

David Emde died in a street motorcycle crash in 2003.

"Several years back, David shared me with me his dream of being inducted into the Hall of Fame along with his father Floyd and brother Don," said David's sister Nancy, who along with David's son Brian accepted the award on the late Emde's behalf. "This is such a great honor. Thank you very much for making his dream come true."

David Emde in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame »

 

John and Rita Gregory


Under the Gregorys' leadership, JT Racing sponsored just about every big-name motocrosser of the 1970s and '80s, including AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famers Joel Robert, Roger DeCoster, Marty Smith, Ricky Johnson, David Bailey, Bob Hannah, Johnny O'Mara, and Jeff Ward. They brought revolutionary nylon motocross pants to the United States, created a variety of innovative products including jerseys, pants and chest protectors, and were masters of marketing in the creation of their global business.

Speaking at the event, Both John and Rita Gregory said they were honored for the induction and used the occasion to recount many great memories they have of their careers in the sport.

"I am so surprised and honored to be recognized among this group," Rita Gregory said. "I am sincere in my heartfelt thanks to all those who remembered me. I always considered myself the ghost of JT. I was usually the one who stayed home and minded the business and the kids while John went off to the races. You know, though, it takes a team, and while John and I started this, it took a team to make it successful."

Added John Gregory: "Most of the people we worked with over the years, there's just no way -- there's just no way -- to express our appreciation for everything they did. The bottom line here, is people make the world go 'round."

John and Rita Gregory in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame »

 

Bruce Ogilvie


Ogilvie, who grew up attending TT scrambles with his father, Donald, began racing in his teens. He soon became one of AMA District 37's most accomplished desert racers, and set out to tackle one of motorcycle competition's most challenging events: Baja. Ogilvie developed into a master Baja racer, collecting victories in the San Felipe 250, the Baja 500 and the Baja 1000 over four decades. Ogilvie was the only racer in history to win the Baja 1000 overall in four different decades, getting his last win in 2003 at the age of 51.

While still competing, Ogilvie branched into management. In 1984 he was hired by American Honda, where he coordinated the company's off-road racing efforts, served as senior test evaluator for American Honda's Product Evaluation Department, and developed some of the most impressive racing talent of the next generation.

Ogilvie passed away on April 13, 2009, following an extended illness.

Bruce Ogilvie's son, Nick Ogilvie, accepted the award along with Bruce's wife, Marcia Ogilvie, and his daughter Isabella.

"For me, he was the ultimate dad," Nick Ogilvie said. "He taught me how to ride and live. I only had 14 years with him, but my memories will last a lifetime."

Bruce Ogilvie in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame »

 

Mitch Payton


Payton is arguably the most successful motocross and Supercross team owner of all time. His privateer teams have won more championships than any other -- 26 since 1991.

Payton's parents, James and Norma Payton, introduced him and his brother, James Jr., to motorcycling at a young age. By the time he was 10, Payton was competing in family enduros and a few years later was racing competitively in AMA District 37. In 1977, at the age of 17, Payton was one of the district's top desert racers and won the 125 class in that discipline. Unfortunately, the next year Payton's racing career was cut short by injury.

Instead of allowing discouragement to turn him away from motorcycling, Payton refocused his efforts on the business side of the sport. At 18, he bought and ran a local Husqvarna shop. His skill and reputation as a tuner grew, and his parts were being used by some of the biggest motocross teams of the mid-1980s. Then, in 1991, Honda asked Payton to run its 125 team. Payton accepted, and over the next 19 years, racing other brands as well, his teams won more championships than any other.

In his acceptance speech, Payton recognized all the employees, mentors, racers and friends who helped him throughout his career.

"We're all here because we all love motorcycles," Payton said. "I started riding with my mom, dad and brother. It was something I was really passionate about and wanted to do every day. Then, when I got hurt at 17 and couldn't ride anymore, I had some really good friends in my life at that time. When I was 18 years old, we bought a Husky shop that was losing money. Now, 32 years later, here we are as Pro Circuit, and we have a very successful race team.

"I feel real fortunate and really lucky to have achieved more in my life than I thought was possible," Payton continued. "I couldn't have done it without all my friends. Friends are the most important thing."

Mitch Payton in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame »

 

Hall of Fame Legend Bob "Hurricane" Hannah


Also honored at the event was Bob "Hurricane" Hannah. Hannah, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1999, was recognized as a Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend. Hall of Fame Legends are existing members of the Hall of Fame who are invited back to the induction ceremony so their accomplishments can once again be recognized among industry leaders.

Hannah's immense popularity helped the sport of motocross grow by leaps and bounds in the late 1970s. He has seven AMA National Championships to his credit, and was one of only two riders in the history of AMA racing to win championships in 125 and 250cc motocross and Supercross competition.

"I was having breakfast this morning, and I was just kind of reflecting back and thinking about the guys who couldn't be with us tonight," Hannah said. "David Emde, Bruce Ogilvie -- one of the greatest off-road racers of all time -- and Eyvind Boyesen. Boyesen and I had a heck of a relationship. We both loved motorcycles, and we both loved making things better."

Hannah went on to single out several others in motorcycling.

"I know a lot of people in here, and I like a lot of people in here, and I know most guys don't look at their buddies and say they love them, so I'm going to do it," Hannah said. "John Penton, I love you. Bevo Forte, I love you, too. Keith McCarty is here. I love you, McCarty."

Bob "Hurricane" Hannah in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame »