Special Feature, AMA Hall of Fame Museum, Day 1
"I looked at the pieces flying off those bikes when they tumbled down the hill, and I thought to myself that I would never do anything like that to my bike. And wouldn't you know it, two years later I was right out there with them."
~ Earl Bowlby, on his first impressions of hillclimbing
This motorcycle museum shows differently than most, as it features people as
much as bikes. Some were riders, some racers, many were bike promoters and
Wille G. Davidson is the grandson of William A. Davidson, and has been
responsible for the H-D design since the 1970s. He designed the 'FX Super
Glide,' the first foray into factory bikes that looked like customs.
Thomas and William Henderson pioneered the first luxury motorcycles, with four cylinder designs like this one. William worked the engineering side of the company and Thomas specialized in sales.
Preston Petty thought outside the box, and designed such things as plastic
fenders, 'lay down' shocks and a 'no dive' suspension like on this early KTM 125. Petty also excelled in off road and dirt bike racing.
Craig Vetter designed fairings for bikes and, in 1980, designed the 'Mystery
Ship,' a street ready/road racing Kawasaki 1000 with a state of the art fairing. However, only ten were ever sold, making this bike very collectable. They installed each bike's production number on the side number plates. While a KZ cost $3,500, this model sold for a whopping $9,500.
In 1972, Don Emde piloted this 350 CC Yamaha two cylinder two stroke bike to a Daytona win, beating the field of 750s and became the first two strokes to win the event, not to mention the smallest displacement bike to win as well.
Great stuff! Tomorrow we'll visit some Spanish and Japanese bikes, and some
brothers that designed and built custom frames that provided another function as well. See you then.