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, starting in 2012, the Hall of Fame has also highlighted the careers of existing Hall of Famers, inviting those Hall of Famers to participate in the ceremonies and reminding the motorcycling community of their accomplishments.
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.
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
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
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
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
"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
Derek "Nobby" Clark in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame »
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 »
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
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.
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!
Jimmy Ellis in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame »
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
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, 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
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
"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
Brian Slark in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame »
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
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
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
"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
In accepting his honor, Smith thanked a number of people who had an
impact on his career, including Bruce Brown, who produced "On Any
"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
"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
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
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.
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 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
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
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
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
Stu Peters in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame »
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.
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 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.
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 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
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
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
"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
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
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.
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
"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
"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 »
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 »
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
"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
Larry Coleman in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame »
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 »
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
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 »
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 »
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
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 »