With voting completed for the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Class of 2013, the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation is pleased to announce the inductees who will be formally elevated to the Hall of Fame: multi-time AMA Supercross and AMA Motocross champion Ricky Carmichael, multi-time desert racing champion Danny Hamel, K&N co-founder Norm McDonald, multi-time roadracing champion Randy Renfrow and Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation founders Mike and Dianne Traynor.
“The Greatest of All Time, an AMA and Baja racing standout, a well-known industry business veteran, a multi-talented AMA roadracer and a visionary couple of motorcyclists who started the Ride for Kids program and raised millions of dollars from fellow riders — I can’t think of a more wide-ranging and well-deserving class of inductees,” said Jeffrey V. Heininger, chairman of the AMHF, which oversees the Hall of Fame.
“Each member of the Class of 2013 has made a lasting impact on the world of motorcycling, rising to the highest levels in their endeavors, whether in competition, business or helping others less fortunate,” Heininger said. “It’s an honor to welcome them to the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame family, and we look forward to celebrating their achievements at this year’s induction ceremony, Oct. 18-19, in Las Vegas.”
Potential AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famers are considered in eight categories, each focused on a specific area of achievement: Ambassadors & Industry, Design & Engineering, Dirt Track, Leadership & Motorcycle Rights, Motocross & Supercross, Off-Road, Roadracing and Specialty Competition.
The Class of 2013 was selected by a voting procedure that included ballots cast by living Hall of Fame members, members of the AMA and AMHF boards of directors, and members of, and advisers to, the Hall of Fame category committees. The current total number of eligible voters is more than 250.
The selection of the 2013 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame inductees is the culmination of a comprehensive review of the procedures and makeup of the Hall of Fame nominating processes and committees. The revisions institutionalize the integrity of the nominating process, from application through induction, into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.
AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Class of 2013:
Ricky Carmichael has more combined AMA Supercross and AMA Motocross National wins than any other rider in history. From 1997 to 2006, Carmichael won a championship series title each year. In 2002, he recorded the first perfect season in AMA motocross history by earning 24 straight moto victories for 12 overall wins in the premier class — a feat he repeated in 2004.
Carmichael, who was traveling in Europe, said through a text relayed via his mother, Jeanie, “This is for all of the people who helped me get to where I am, and the sponsors that gave me the support to do the job I needed to do. And also, this is for all my fans who supported me through the journey.”
Jeanie added: “This is very honorable for Ricky. He has devoted his life to this sport and now he is recognized for all this achievement. To think that he is being recognized by his peers for this special respect, it is amazing and frankly, emotionally, very moving.”
Danny Hamel accomplished much as an off-road racer: five-time AMA Hare and Hound national champion, Baja 1000 and 500 overall winner and more. Between 1977 and 1995, Hamel was the only rider ever named both as the AMA Amateur Athlete of the Year and AMA Amateur Sportsman of the Year in the same year. He died in June 1995 while racing the Baja 500 when a car strayed onto the road that was part of the course and Hamel collided with it.
“Danny would be speechless with this news,” said Hamel’s friend, Mike Hodges. “He’d walk away, give a very loud ‘Hoo-Ray’ and he’d savor the moment.”
Norm McDonald has been an ambassador for motorcycling his entire life as a racer, promoter, teacher, sponsor and advocate for motorcyclists’ rights and safety. In 1957 he opened K&N Motorcycles — a motorcycle shop — with Ken Johnson. By 1965, they created K&N Engineering and in 1966 the K&N Air Filter was introduced. Over the years McDonald sponsored hundreds of racers, with more than 30 of them going on to the national level.
McDonald was at a loss for words when he heard the news: “When John Ulrich told me I was nominated, I was shocked,” McDonald said. “Now, with this news, I am honored and numb.”
Randy Renfrow began his pro roadracing career in 1981. He won the AMA 250 Grand Prix championship in 1983, the AMA Formula One title in 1986 and the AMA Pro Twins Series championship in 1989. He was known for his ability to be competitive on any type of machinery, from diminutive 250 Grand Prix bikes all the way up to AMA Superbikes, and he excelled in nearly every class of professional motorcycle roadracing. In all, he won 17 AMA Nationals in four different classes. Renfrow died in 2002 in a non-racing accident.
Said his brother, Shawn: “My brother was a lifelong supporter of the AMA and AMA Pro Racing. If he were here today he’d say this is his highest honor.”
Mike and Dianne Traynor co-founded the Ride for Kids motorcycle charity program and the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. They began the Ride for Kids in 1984 to raise funds for childhood brain tumor research. With tens of millions of dollars raised since 1984, motorcyclists have helped the PBTF become the world’s largest non-governmental source of funding for childhood brain tumor research. Mike Traynor died in 2009 and Dianne Traynor died in 2012.
Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation board member Larry Little, vice president and general manager of the Marketplace Events Motorcycle Group, said the organization was touched by the news.
“Like so many, I am overjoyed that Mike and Dianne Traynor have been recognized for their immeasurable impact on both the medical and motorcycling communities,” Little said. “They committed their lives to eliminating children’s brain tumors, and along the way they simultaneously raised positive awareness about motorcyclists and motorcycling. Their legacy will long live on as the foundation they created grows ever closer to finding a cure for one of the deadliest forms of childhood cancer. On behalf of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, Ride for Kids volunteers and the young brain tumor patients we serve, our thanks to the Hall of Fame members for recognizing Mike and Dianne’s contributions and for selecting them to join the Hall of Fame.”
Logo courtesy American Motorcyclist Association