AMA Hall of Fame, Day 4
"I remember traveling all over Europe, alone with my motorcycle in the trunk of an old Mercedes and sleeping on an air mattress. We made enough money to get by, but that was about it."
Bessie Springfield started riding motorcycles in High School when her Irish foster mother got her a bike. She completed eight cross country tours and worked for the Army as a dispatch rider, breaking both the race and gender barriers. In the '50s, she moved to Florida and started the Iron Horse Motorcycle Club.
Dave Barr's life took a turn when both his legs were blown off in a land mine explosion. Not willing to stop due to circumstances, he traveled around the world on a motorcycle, including across Siberia in winter, and across the four corners of Australia. He has written books, set Guinness Book of World Records, and established a charity foundation. Oh, and he was abandoned in the back of a car as a baby in California.
His 1971 Harley FXR has numerous modifications including tip over bars and a motocross type front fender. It looks a bit used, too.
They don't look as cool as they do in the movies. This 1990 Honda XR500 was modified to look like a police bike, yet handle like an... um, XR500. Then Debbie Evans crashed it through a window in a movie. "Terminator."
Mitch Payton has recorded the most team wins of anyone in the sports of motocross and Supercross, with 26 championships to his name. At 18 years of age he bought and ran a Husqvarna shop. At the same time, he started Pro Circuit, which made performance exhaust pipes for motorcycles. And he does it all while piloting a wheelchair.
We end our tour with Bruce Ogilvie, a racing legend indeed. He continued a successful racing career, winning over the span of four decades, his last win in the Baja 1000, at the age of 51.
Bruce managed the Honda off road racing program, and was a key developer of their testing program too.
Honda provided team support for any Honda rider in the Best in the Desert Series, and that's where I met him. He encouraged lower tier riders to compete and Honda provided pit support. Bruce helped me win the Best in the Desert Championship in 2003 in the Four Stroke Open Class. Sadly, he succumbed to cancer in 2009 and passed away. His influence in off road motorcycle and racers' development is still evident. He was a man I deeply respected.