2007 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction

Text: D. Brent Miller • Photography: D. Brent Miller

Take one motorcycle museum, mix in a Hall of Fame induction ceremony and host a vintage motorcycle display, and you're all set for a weekend of motorcycle nostalgia, social networking, and reminiscence.

There are many motorcycle museums around the countryside, and some darned nice ones too. Then there is the American Motorcycle Association Motorcycle Museum in Pickerington, Ohio, which not only exhibits motorcycles in all their glory, but hosts the annual Hall of Fame induction of individuals who have made significant contributions to the motorcycling industry. The weekend celebration also featured the museum's 6th annual Concours d' Elegance, an invitation-only, one-day display of classic motorcycles, complete with judging and awards.

The main event of the weekend, of course, is the induction of the current class of Hall of Famers, consisting of racers, magazine editors, designers, instructors and activists. The celebration kicks off with a Friday night reception in the museum. At the time of the induction, it presented an exhibition entitled "Motocross America," complete with bikes and informational boards and televisions beaming footage of races and interviews with racers. The display was assembled with the same care and attention to detail that distinguishes the work of curators at larger art and historical institutions. Motorcycles hung from wires seemed to fly through the air from one "track" to another. Two floors of motocross bikes by countless manufacturers were interspersed with a great photographic array of riders.

Saturday's events consist of two: the Concours d'Elegance during the day and the culmination of the weekend activities, the Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

More than 130 vintage motorcycles were on display in the AMA main parking lot. Categories included American, European and Japanese manufacturers in several age categories. At the end of the day, awards were given for those well preserved or restored. Best of Show went to Peter Calles' MV Agusta 750 Sport, a hard bike to find because so few were made. Also on display were a number of Rickman motorcycles sporting those famous frames. Derek and Don Rickman traveled from Great Britain to attend the event as 2007 inductees to the Hall of Fame, and they graciously agreed to judge the Rickman entries. The brothers awarded their top prize to Robert Simpson for his 1974 Honda CR750.

The Induction Ceremony, held at the Hilton Columbus, provided a mix of great food, networking and an audio-visual presentation of the contributions made by the inductees: Rex Beauchamp, Bob Greene, Pat Hennen, Professor Hugh H. "Harry" Hurt, Mike Kiedrowski, Sammy Miller, Trampas Parker, Derek and Don Rickman, Orie Steele Sr., Billy Uhl, and Ed Waldheim. After individual and group photos were taken, the ceremony ended and the attendees departed into the night, with many perhaps dreaming of their own fame.

The 2008 AMA Hall of Fame Induction ceremonies will take place October 10 - 11. Check it out if you're in the area. You'll be glad you did.