AMA Announces Motorcycle Hall of Fame Nominees for 2012
You have to do some serious business in the motorcycle world to make this prestigious list, and this year, twenty-six names have been added to the list for consideration for entry into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Pickerington, Ohio.
The Motorcycle Hall of Fame was made back in 1998 by the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation to laud the legendary heroes of American motorcycling and pay homage to them for their contributions to motorcycling. The first induction was dedicated to honoring early pioneers and competitors who formed the keystone of motorcycling in America.
The Motorcycle Hall of Fame induction ceremony is held in the late fall each year and is open to the public.
This year the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation named 26 individuals set to be on the ballot from which the inductees of 2012 will be selected.
“It’s an exciting time for everyone involved in the process of selecting Hall of Fame inductees,” said AMHF Board of Directors Chairman Jeff Heininger. “We are so proud of our nominees and their accomplishments, each of whom embodies the passion, spirit and dedication to excellence that exemplifies the Hall of Fame members already honored at the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.”
Located at the campus of the AMA in Pickerington, Ohio, the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame tells the stories of motorcycling and preserves the history of motorcycling.
The 2012 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame nominees are (alphabetically):
• Mark Buckner – National/international motorcycling rights advocate, past state coordinator for ABATE of Colorado, past board member/president/chairman of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation.
• Rod Bush (d. 2005) – Industry leader as former president of KTM North America and member of KTM worldwide board of directors, former member of AMA Board of Directors.
• Derek “Nobby” Clark — Factory mechanic and tuner for numerous World Grand Prix roadracing championships and Daytona 200 and Imola 200 victories from the 1960-80s.
• Ty Davis – Multiple championships in AMA Grand National Enduro, AMA National Hare & Hound and Baja 1000, 1990 125cc Supercross champion, multitime ISDE gold medalist and top American.
• Skip Eaken – Tuner/builder for riders who finished first in dozens of AMA Grand National Dirt Track competitions, crew chief for three AMA Grand National Championships and an AMA Superbike Championship.
• Jimmy Ellis – First AMA Supercross Series champion and multitime motocross champion.
• Sue Fish – A pioneer of professional women’s motocross racing in the 1970s and ’80s, multitime Women’s World Champion and two-time Superbowl of Motocross champion.
• Louis Gerencer – Multitime National Hillclimb champion and past president of the Hillclimbers Association.
• Charles Gustafson Sr. (d. 1951) – Indian chief engineer who developed the first side-valve engine that debuted in 1916, and is also credited with developing the first kickstarter.
• Tommy Hays – (d. 1941) The dominant TT rider of the pre-Grand National Championship era who won numerous AMA National Championships in four years.
• Jack Johnson – Multitime desert racing champion with numerous Baja 1000 wins, silver and gold International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) medalist.
• Ron Lechien – 1983 AMA Rookie of the Year, 1985 125 Motocross National Champion, multitime USGP winner, numerous outdoor national motocross wins and Supercross wins.
• Bob Leppan – World’s fastest motorcyclist 1966-1970 who directed the team that set the 2007 land speed record for production motorcycles.
• John Long – Bonneville Land Speed record holder, five-time U.S. Team member for Anglo-American Match Races, numerous starts in AMA national roadraces and Daytona 200s.
• Dennis Mahan – Mechanic for numerous dirt-track, motocross and roadracing champions, first U.S Motocross des Nations team manager, industry racing manager and product specialist.
• Rob Muzzy – Engine builder/tuner, crew chief, team owner and businessman with numerous AMA roadracing, drag racing, dirt-track and motocross titles and Daytona 200 wins, a World Superbike Championship and a Suzuka 8-hour endurance championship.
• Don Pink – (d. 1984) Dominant 1940s competitor in numerous disciplines, AMA congressman, founder of the New York State Dealers Association and the NY/NJ Metropolitan Sports Committee.
• Randy Renfrow – (d. 2002) Multitime AMA National road racing champion, winner of numerous AMA national races, and a consistent winner in 250 GP racing.
• Jarno Saarinen – (d. 1973) Finnish roadracing world champion and the first European to win the Daytona 200.
• Brian Slark – England-born motocross organizer in the 1960s, imported/built Rickman, Metisse and Cheney motocrossers and helped establish the Mungenast and Barber motorcycle museums.
• Rodney Smith – Multiple championships in AMA Grand National Cross Country, AMA National Hare Scrambles and AMA National Reliability Enduro, multitime ISDE gold medalist and top American, third in 1988 FIM 125cc World Motocross Championship.
• Charlie Vincent – Top 1960s off-road racing competitor in the eastern United States, ISDT gold medalist and AMA congress delegate.
• Lance Weil – (d. 2006) Roadracer, mechanic, designer, fabricator and businessman, competed in Europe and the Isle of Man, and the founder of Rickey Racer.
• Al Wilcox (d. 2011) – Life member of the AMA and the Mid-Atlantic Road Racing Club who flagged AMA races for 50 years (and WERA for 30), including 15 years at Daytona.
• Gene Wirwahn – Credited with building the foundation for the AMA’s government relations advocacy efforts, championed numerous legislative victories and actively promoted responsible riding on behalf of the AMA and the FIM.
In all, six new members will be elected from this list of nominees. The Hall of Fame inductees for 2012 will be announced this summer, and the new members will be formally inducted into the Hall of Fame at a gala ceremony on Nov. 16 at the Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa in Las Vegas, Nev., during the AMA Legends Weekend.