AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame | Where Heroes Live On
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Tom White


Founder, White Brothers Cycle Specialties in 1975 AMA National No. 80 from 1974-76 World Vet MX Senior Champion in 1990 Founder, World 4-Stroke Championship and World Vet MX Championship Founder, owner and curator of Early Years of Motocross Museum

Tom White wasn’t born with motocross boots on, but the Villa Park, Calif., resident has spent nearly his entire adult life trying to make up for that anomaly.

The sport has factored immensely in White’s professional, competitive and charitable efforts, many of which rank among the most influential in motorcycling.

They include co-founding White Brothers Cycle Specialties in 1975, creating the World Vet MX Championship and the World Four-Stroke Championship, establishing the Early Years of Motocross Museum, and competing as AMA National No. 80 in flat-track competition from 1971 to 1976.

White first tasted motorcycling at the age of 15. By the time he was in his early 20s, he was ranked among the top 100 motorcycle racers in America. Soon after, he founded White Brothers, which became one of the top off-road motorcycle accessory companies in America, sponsoring many of the greatest motocross racers in history. When White sold the company in 2000, the firm listed more than 30,000 items and had more than 150 employees.

“Few have done more to advance the sport of motocross racing, and the history of motocross racing, than Tom White,” says Ken Ford, a member of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame executive committee and assistant treasurer of the AMA board of directors. “By virtue of his early racing success, his long and successful career in motorcycling, his personal dedication to promoting both the past and present of this great sport and his selfless dedication to the Hall of Fame, Tom White is personally responsible for improving the experience and opportunity for motocross racers and motorcyclists of all ages.”

Later, White also fed his passion by racing motocross, acting as a race announcer and as owner and curator of his Early Years of Motocross Museum, which features 160 historic motorcycles and related displays.

“There is no higher honor in motorcycling than being inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame,” White said at his induction. “This is special because it comes from your peers in the industry and existing Hall of Famers. I am humbled to think that my heroes, these great people of the sport, believe that I’m worthy of this acknowledgement of my life and career. It’s a real testimony that if you love motorcycling enough, sooner or later people will notice.”

White’s lasting contributions also include the Edison Dye Motocross Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes the person or persons who have made the largest impact on the growth of motocross in America.

“I’ve always had the attitude that we as an industry need to work together for a common goal, and that’s to make this activity of motorcycling so cool that everyone wants to do it,” White said.

It’s his contributions toward that effort that White counted among his most important accomplishments.

“I’m probably most proud for carrying on after the sale of my company,” he said. “I’ve been able to spend a lot of positive energy to promote the sport. One of my goals has been to make more of today’s motorcyclists more appreciative and aware of the pioneers and trailblazers of the past, and I’m blessed that I’ve been in a position to do that.”

White said that many of those legends are enshrined in the Hall of Fame—one of whom is Malcolm Smith, a legend that White helped honor in 2007 by curating the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame exhibit “Malcolm!”

“You look at the Hall of Fame, and you look at the people who are in the Hall of Fame, and you realize the significance of it,” he said. “You come to realize that when your name gets added to that wall, it will go on for generations. It’s such a huge tribute. Besides being married to the love of my life and the birth of my children, this is one of the most wonderful things that has happened to me.”

Tom White passed away Nov. 2, 2017.