2015 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony At AIMExpo

AMARingsYesterday Saturday evening October 17 at the Orange County Convention Center’s Chapin Theater, after a VIP party, the Hall of Fame welcomed six new members: road racer John Kocinski, former Harley-Davidson CEO Richard Teerlink, off-road racer Rodney Smith, entrepreneur John Parham, dirt tracker Alex Jorgensen and Yamaha race team manager Keith McCarty. AMA also looked back on the accomplishments of Multi-time road racing champion and 1999 inductee Wayne Rainey, the new 2015 Hall of Fame Legend.

JohnKocinskiJohn Kocinski, who began racing as a teenager, won the AMA 250 Grand Prix Championship in 1987, 1988 and 1989 and took the 1989 600 Supersport win at Daytona International Speedway. In 1990, in his first full season with Team Roberts, he won the 250cc World Championship in Europe, claiming eight pole positions and notching seven wins on tracks he had never seen before.

In 1997, he won the World Superbike championship, scoring 10 wins on a Honda RC45, the bike’s crowning world title. Kocinski went on to record 18 AMA 250 GP wins. During his career, he raced on teams that included AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame members David Aldana, Erv Kanemoto, Eddie Lawson and Wayne Rainey, including Team Roberts assembled by Kenny Roberts. He officially retired from racing in 2002. Kocinski was inducted into the Hall of Fame in the Road Racing category.

RichTeerlinkRich Teerlink was part of the executive team responsible for Harley-Davidson’s financial turnaround in the late 1980s. As president and CEO, Teerlink helped establish the company’s new mission, values, objectives and strategies. His approach included working closely with employees at all levels of the organization, as well as with union leaders. In addition, he believed a participative approach with dealers, suppliers and riders would lead to the development of mutually beneficial relationships.

Teerlink joined Harley-Davidson in 1981 as chief financial officer. That year, the company posted an operating loss of $15.5 million on revenue of $210 million. When Teerlink retired as chairman and CEO in 1999, Harley posted operating profits of $416 million on revenue of $2.45 billion and held nearly 50 percent of the U.S. market for 650cc and larger motorcycles. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in the Ambassadors and Industry category.

RodnetSmithRodney Smith started riding motorcycles in the hills of Northern California with his family in the 1960s and ’70s. From there, he blossomed into a local motocross standout and then an international contender. Smith accepted an offer to race in Brazil in 1985 and won five Brazilian national championships. He then moved to the world level and finished third in the 1988 Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme 250cc World Motocross Championships before returning to America in 1990.

Back in the United States, Smith turned his focus to off-road racing, where he became one of the most dominant riders of the late 1990s and early 2000s. Smith won 13 AMA-sanctioned national championship series, including five Grand National Cross Country titles, three AMA National Hare Scrambles titles and five AMA National Reliability Enduro Championships. He also excelled in the International Six Days Enduro, winning multiple gold medals, competing on the premier U.S. Trophy Team and twice earning top-American honors.

JohnParham1John Parham opened his first shop with a partner in 1975 in his hometown of Anamosa, Iowa. Four years later, he branched out with his wife Jill, starting J. Parham Enterprises. This company came to be known as J&P Cycles.

By the 1990s, J&P Cycles had grown into one of the largest motorcycle accessory mail order companies in the world.

Parham stayed on board to run J&P Cycles after selling it to Motorsports Action Group in 2001. At that time, he also focused additional energy and resources on preserving motorcycling history. In 2001, Parham relocated the National Motorcycle Museum to Anamosa, where it has continued to thrive and grow into one of the world’s foremost motorcycle museums.

KeithMcCartyKeith McCarty‘s first job as a motorcycle mechanic was for U.S. Suzuki in 1973 for rider Mike Runyard. In 1975-76, he wrenched for AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Tony DiStefano, winning two 250cc AMA National Motocross Championships. When the motocross schedule didn’t conflict, he worked with the Hall of Fame duo of Erv Kanemoto and Gary Nixon in road racing. In January 1977, McCarty began his long career with Yamaha as the mechanic for AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend Bob “Hurricane” Hannah.

McCarty has remained in Yamaha’s racing division ever since, working as mechanic, supervisor, department manager and, most recently, division manager for all of Yamaha’s U.S. racing activities. McCarty, who lives in Orange, Calif., is known not only for his technical knowledge, but also for inspirational prowess and organizational acumen that transcends racing disciplines, making him not only an asset for Yamaha but also a valued member of the motorcycling community.

AlexJorgensenAlex “Jorgy” Jorgensen exemplifies the talent, skill and diverse abilities that are trademarks of the greatest AMA Grand National competitors in history. Of the handful of riders who have wins in all four dirt-track disciplines — short track, TT, half mile and mile — Jorgensen is the only rider who achieved the feat in his first four Grand National wins, while competing on four different motorcycles — Can-Am, BSA, Norton and Harley-Davidson.

Jorgensen’s career boasts a number of special wins. He is the last rider to win an AMA Grand National on a Norton or BSA, both wins coming at Ascot. He earned Can-Am its first AMA Grand National win. He also logged the first AMA Grand National victory on Rotax’s four-stroke single at the Ascot TT. From 1982 to 2004, the Rotax engine would dominate the highest levels of short-track and TT competition. Along with Gary Scott, Jorgensen holds the record of most AMA Grand National wins at Ascot with six.

2 Responses to “2015 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony At AIMExpo”

  1. 1 RB Oct 19th, 2015 at 6:54 am

    Congrat’s to all.

  2. 2 garagedog Oct 19th, 2015 at 11:14 pm

    Indeed. What an honor.

Comments are currently closed.