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AMA Charter Life Member wins AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame raffle bike

Don L. Harms chosen to receive 1941 Harley-Davidson WL

 

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — AMA Charter Life Member Don L. Harms was the winning name drawn at 2018 AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, featuring Royal Enfield, in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame raffle.

Harms’ name was drawn by AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame inductee Scot Harden, who served as the 2018 AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days grand marshal.

Harms, 81, of Kirkland, Wash., was not present at the drawing.

Contacted by phone on Tuesday, Harms said he was grateful to learn he had won the raffle.

“That’s pretty amazing,” he said. “I never win anything!”

Harms said he grew up riding motorcycles on a farm. And he got his first bike “right out of grammar school.” It was an Ariel Single.

The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame raffle bike Harms won is a 1941 Harley-Davidson WL, the civilian version of the WLA (the “A” refers to “Army”) produced for the U.S. Army for use during World War II.

The WL is built around a high-compression flathead 45 cubic inch V-twin pumping out over 23 horsepower. Known in its day for reliability, the 750cc WLs were workhorses, whether in “A” trim or the civilian model.

The WL is ready to ride with fresh paint and a tune-up from noted Harley-Davidson restorer Mike Wells of C&S Cycle Service in Mount Victory, Ohio.

“I used to ride one of those flatheads with the hand shifter,” Harms said. “When I saw this one in a magazine, I thought it would be a pretty nice one to own.

“I don’t ride much anymore, but I do still have a 1969 Triumph Bonneville that I get out on when I can.” Harms said.

All proceeds from the raffle benefit the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. More information about the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame and other raffle bikes can be found at www.motorcyclemuseum.org.

About the American Motorcyclist Association

Founded in 1924, the AMA is a not-for-profit member-based association whose mission is to promote the motorcycle lifestyle and protect the future of motorcycling. As the world’s largest motorcycling rights and event sanctioning organization, the AMA advocates for riders’ interests at all levels of government and sanctions thousands of competition and recreational events every year. The AMA also provides money-saving discounts on products and services for its members. Through the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Pickerington, Ohio, the AMA honors the heroes and heritage of motorcycling. For more information, visit www.americanmotorcyclist.com.

Not a member? Join the AMA today: www.americanmotorcyclist.com/mobile-join 

Continue reading AMA Charter Life Member wins AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame raffle bike

Bill Werner selected as 2017 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend

Ceremony on Sept. 22 in Columbus honors Werner and inducts five new Hall of Famers

Bill Werner. Photo by Jim Prisching
Bill Werner. Photo by Jim Prisching

 

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — Each year at the ceremony inducting a new class into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, an existing Hall of Fame member is honored as an AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend. For 2017, the recipient of that honor is Bill Werner, the most successful tuner and bike builder in AMA Grand National Championship history.

“No one knows more about building a winning flat-track bike than AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Bill Werner,” said Ken Ford, chair of the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation Board of Directors. “Werner-built Harley-Davidson XR750s have won more AMA Grand National Championships and more races than any other machine, and his mechanical brilliance has elevated not just those racing his bikes, but the competitiveness of the sport itself.

“We are very honored to recognize Mr. Werner as our 2017 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend,” Ford said.

Werner, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000, will be honored Sept. 22 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio, alongside the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Class of 2017.

AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legends are Hall of Famers whose accomplishments transcend their categories in impactful ways. In addition to Werner, the roster of Hall of Famers who have been honored as Legends includes Mark Blackwell, Dick Burleson, “Willie G.” Davidson, Roger DeCoster, Torsten Hallman, Bob Hannah, Mert Lawwill, Wayne Rainey, Kenny Roberts and Malcolm Smith.

“First of all, I would like to congratulate the current class of inductees who are being welcomed into this prestigious institution,” Werner said. “As for me, I am thrilled by this honor. It is quite unexpected. Typically, racers get most of the attention and deservedly so, and being selected as a tuner is very flattering.”

Werner-tuned motorcycles include those that powered Hall of Famers Gary Scott, Jay Springsteen and Scott Parker to a total of 13 AMA Grand National Championships. When Springsteen set the record for all-time AMA national wins, it was Werner turning the wrenches. It was Werner who built Parker’s motorcycles when he later broke Springsteen’s mark. Werner is easily the winningest tuner in AMA Grand National racing history, with more than 150 wins to his credit.

Werner has garnered many honors over the years, including AMA Mechanic of the Year a remarkable 13 times, and he won the inaugural AMA Pro Racing Award of Mechanical Excellence in 1996.

Werner retired from Harley-Davidson in 2004, but he continues to stay active in professional American Flat Track competition as owner and tuner of the Bill Werner Racing team, which has pioneered the development of the Kawasaki EX650 in AMA Grand National Championship competition.

“The bulk of my career, I was working with Harley-Davidson Motor Company, and I was provided great equipment and the support of a great organization to build and maintain championship-winning race bikes,” Werner said. “In many ways, the bigger challenge for me has been converting a street bike, the Kawasaki EX650, into a winning machine.”

Reservations for the induction ceremony may be made now at www.americanmotorcyclist.com/induction. Tickets, which include a reception, dinner and the induction ceremony, are $130 per person, or $120 for AMA Life Members. Current AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famers can attend for no charge. All proceeds support the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation, the 501(c)(3) charitable organization that hosts induction ceremony.

The Class of 2017 includes FMF Racing founder Donnie Emler, off-road racing champion Eddie Lojak Sr., world motocross champion and Road 2 Recovery founder Bob Moore, racer and filmmaker Peter Starr and racer, team owner and publisher John Ulrich. They will be honored along with Werner, now an AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend.

The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place in conjunction with the American International Motorcycle Expo, an event that brings together consumers, dealers, manufacturers and the world press in one location for global product launches, demo rides, motorcycling seminars and more.

The American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation welcomes industry support of the induction ceremony, which supports the inductees, honors their achievements, recognizes the impact of their accomplishments and spotlights motorcycling’s deep roots in America. Contact Steve Gotoski at (951) 491-1910 or sgotoski@ama-cycle.org for more information about becoming involved.

 

About the American Motorcyclist Association

Founded in 1924, the AMA is a not-for-profit member-based association whose mission is to promote the motorcycle lifestyle and protect the future of motorcycling. As the world’s largest motorcycling rights and event sanctioning organization, the AMA advocates for riders’ interests at all levels of government and sanctions thousands of competition and recreational events every year. The AMA also provides money-saving discounts on products and services for its members. Through the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Pickerington, Ohio, the AMA honors the heroes and heritage of motorcycling. For more information, visit www.americanmotorcyclist.com.

Not a member? Join the AMA today: www.americanmotorcyclist.com/membership/join

AMA Hall of Famer Bill Baird passes away

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Services scheduled for July 21-22

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — AMA Hall of Famer Bill Baird passed away early Wednesday, July 12, as a result of injuries he sustained from a previous fall. He was 88.

2  Mr. Baird was the leading AMA National Enduro Rider from the mid-1950s to the late 1960s and won seven consecutive national enduro championships during that time. He was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1999.

“We extend our heartfelt sympathies to the Baird family. It’s a sad day for the American Motorcyclist Association and for motorcycling,” AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman said. “Bill Baird, with his wife, Millie, was a strong supporter of the AMA and played a key role in getting the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation started.”

In addition to being a top competitor, Mr. Baird was also a key figure in the AMA, serving on the Board of Trustees for 21 years and being one of the driving forces behind the formation of the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum through his activities for the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation.

Mr. Baird also was an avid motorcycle collector. Several of his machines have been displayed at the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum.

Visitation is scheduled for July 21, with the funeral July 22. McDonald Funeral Home in Sterling, Ill., is handling arrangements.

Mr. Baird’s AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame profile may be viewed at www.motorcyclemuseum.org.

 

About the American Motorcyclist Association

Founded in 1924, the AMA is a not-for-profit member-based association whose mission is to promote the motorcycle lifestyle and protect the future of motorcycling. As the world’s largest motorcycling rights and event sanctioning organization, the AMA advocates for riders’ interests at all levels of government and sanctions thousands of competition and recreational events every year. The AMA also provides money-saving discounts on products and services for its members. Through the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Pickerington, Ohio, the AMA honors the heroes and heritage of motorcycling. For more information, visit www.americanmotorcyclist.com.

Not a member? Join the AMA today: www.americanmotorcyclist.com/membership/join