Motorcycle Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2006
PICKERINGTON, OHIO -- The Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum today announced nine new members for induction into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame, with ceremonies scheduled for Saturday evening, October 7, 2006. This year's inductees include racing champions, land-speed record holders, industry leaders and innovators. Bill Werner, one of motorcycling's most successful race bike tuning talents and a Motorcycle Hall of Fame member since 2000, will serve as master of ceremonies for the 2006 event.
Every Motorcycle Hall of Fame inductee played a major role in building America's rich motorcycling heritage. Induction into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame ensures that each inductee's achievements, as well as the colorful stories surrounding them, are preserved for the enjoyment and education of future generations.
At the October 7 ceremony, each inductee will be honored with the distinguished gold Motorcycle Hall of Fame medal. In addition, the inductee's name will be featured on a permanent plaque in the Museum's Hall of Fame gallery.
The Motorcycle Hall of Fame Class of 2006 includes:
Doug Chandler -- During a career that spanned more than two decades, Doug Chandler earned numerous accolades for his skill as a dirt tracker and roadracer, including AMA Camel Pro Rookie of the Year in 1983 and AMA Superbike titles in 1990, 1996 and 1997. He is also one of only five racers to complete a "Grand Slam" in AMA National Championship racing, with wins in short track, T.T., half mile, mile and roadracing. Ever the competitor, Chandler has returned to the AMA Superbike Series this year as a privateer.
Alfred Rich Child -- As Harley-Davidson's first export representative to Africa in 1922, Alfred Rich Child was used to breaking new ground. His career at Harley-Davidson also included serving as Managing Director of Sales in pre-WWII Japan, as well as negotiating the contract that would give Sankyo Company exclusive rights to manufacture Harley-Davidson products in that country. Following the war, Child founded the Rich Child Cycle Co., a distributor of BSA and Sunbeam motorcycles.
Wally Dallenbach -- While many know Wally Dallenbach as a champion race car driver, it is his passion for motorcycling and helping others that resulted in the first Colorado 500 Charity Dirt Bike Ride in 1975. These by-invitation-only gatherings of dedicated motorcycle enthusiasts not only advance the cause of environmentally sound land use, but continue to raise significant funds for communities and charitable institutions in the Colorado Rockies.
Denis Manning -- A supremely talented and self-taught designer and fabricator, Denis Manning built the innovative streamliner that allowed Cal Rayborn to shatter Don Vesco's long-standing motorcycle land-speed record in 1970. Today, Manning, also the founder of aftermarket motorcycle exhaust pipe company B.U.B. Enterprises, continues to build and compete in motorcycle land-speed record runs at the Bonneville Salt Flats.
Heikki Mikkola -- The "Flyin' Finn" was one of the most popular and feared motocross racers of the 1970s. During his illustrious career, Mikkola racked up four World Motocross Championship titles and 32 Grand Prix victories, including a win in the 500cc class at the prestigious 1978 U.S. GP at Carlsbad, California.
Burt Munro -- New Zealand native Burt Munro devoted his entire life to pursuing his dream of setting a world land-speed record with his 1920 Indian Scout. A humble do-it-yourselfer, Munro raced independent of corporate sponsorship, preferring to personally modify the Indian every step of the way. His 50-year quest -- and 1962 success at the Bonneville Salt Flats -- were immortalized in the 2005 film The World's Fastest Indian, starring Anthony Hopkins as Munro.
Cook Neilson -- As Editor of Cycle magazine during the 1970s, Cook Neilson set new standards for motorcycle journalism. Under his direction the magazine published the first-ever head-to-head tests of individual bikes, a format used in every category of enthusiast media today. Cycle's coverage of AMA Superbike racing also helped establish the series as America's premier roadracing championship. Neilson also walked the talk: he was a leading AMA Superbike racer in the 1970s and gave Ducati its first AMA Superbike victory at Daytona.
Roger "Sodie" Soderstrom -- The affable "Sodie" Soderstrom not only knew how to win races, he knew how to capture the hearts of fans, topping the AMA's "Most Popular Rider" lists for many years. His racing career spanned 20 years and included five national wins in class C competition at Peoria. As a Harley-Davidson dealer, Sodie was also an active supporter of the sport and helped numerous racers launch their careers.
Mike Wilson -- From his days as an expert dirt tracker, to his role as a dealer and sponsor of notable racers like Leo Payne, Mike Wilson has made motorcycling a major part of his life. Today, Wilson, along with his wife, Margaret (inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2004), continue to serve as tireless ambassadors of the sport and active proponents for preserving motorcycling's history and heritage.
Induction Weekend to Feature 5th Annual Motorcycle Hall of Fame Concours
The Class of 2006 will be inducted the evening of Saturday, October 7, during ceremonies at the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, located on the campus of the American Motorcyclist Association in Pickerington, Ohio. Supported by families, industry peers, friends, past Motorcycle Hall of Fame inductees and media, the induction is an emotional celebration that brings together some of the most recognizable names in the world of motorcycling. The Hall of Fame Weekend will also feature the Museum's 5th annual Concours d'Elegance, which drew over 100 juried entries in 2005 -- including many machines ridden, raced, designed or built by Motorcycle Hall of Fame members. The weekend kicks off with "An Evening of Stars and Legends," a reception honoring the Class of 2006, set for the evening of Friday, October 6, at the Museum. All activities are open to the public. For more information, call the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum at 1-614-856-2222, or visit www.motorcyclemuseum.org
About the Motorcycle Hall of Fame
Each year, the Motorcycle Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to motorcycling, including those known for their contributions to road riding, off-road riding and all categories of racing, as well as those who have excelled in business, history, design and engineering. Any motorcycling enthusiast may submit a person to be considered for induction into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame. For details on the nomination process, visit www.motorcyclemuseum.org.