Each year, the Motorcycle Hall of Fame ensures that the accomplishments of motorcycling’s legends and leaders are permanently captured to inspire future generations of enthusiasts. The 2008 inductees join a distinguished group of over 300 men and women who have played a vital role in shaping the vibrant nature of the sport and business of motorcycling, thanks to their competitive spirit, passion, vision and entrepreneurship.Along with the annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, the AMA’sMotorcycle Hall of Fame Museum hosted the 7th Annual Concours d’Elegance on Saturday, October 11. The event featured over one hundred classic motorcycles from a variety of eras and marques competing for top honors. The Jim Davis Best-in-Show trophy was awarded to Gary Maucher for his 1952 Manx Norton.Here, a quick recap on the accomplishments of the Class of 2008:Vaughn Beals – An insightful executive, Beals was instrumental in paving the way for The Motor Company to prosper. He led the leveraged buyout of the company from former owner AMF, then served as Chief Executive Officer of Harley-Davidson from 1981-1989 and as Chairman from 1981-1996. Since 1996, he has served as Chairman Emeritus. Throughout his tenure, Beals’ vision helped reinvigorate Harley-Davidson and elevate the company and brand to an iconic status.
Rod Coates – A racer and businessman, Rod Coates was a pioneer throughout his career. Prior to and following World War II, he sold Ariel, BMW, Triumph and Vincent motorcycles before the companies established official U.S. distributors. In racing, Coates won the 1950 Daytona 100-mile race on a Triumph Grand Prix 500cc Twin and went on to serve on various AMA racing committees. As Service Manager of The Triumph Corporation, Triumph’s Eastern U.S. distributor from 1951-1970, Coates created the company’s Service Schools for dealer technician training, later emulated by other bike importers; influenced the Triumph factory to offer numerous features to improve the quality and performance of its machines; and organized and led the company’s Competition Department, sponsoring racers Ed Fisher, Don Burnett and Gary Nixon.Scot Harden – One of off-road racing’s most influential champions, Scot Harden has achieved victory across the United States, Europe and South America during a career that has spanned nearly 35 years. Notably, Harden has two overall wins at the prestigious Baja 1000 and is a three-time ISDE medalist. Additionally, he was the winner of the 1987 Djerba 500 Rally – Tunisia and winner of the 1987 Rallye de Atlas – Morocco. Harden’s work in the powersport industry has allowed him to help shape younger stars, including Dan Smith, Danny Hamel and Russ Pearson. Harden has worked in sales, marketing, and race management roles at Husqvarna, Cagiva, KTM, and at the helm of his own company, Harden Off-Road.Larry “Supermouth” Huffman – Known as the “Voice of Supercross,” Larry Huffman’s inimitable commentary has informed countless race fans. Often imitated but never duplicated, the thoroughly unique Huffman has announced motor sports events in Japan, Canada, and nearly every major stadium in the United States. He has also served as color commentator for virtually every major network. Huffman shared his racing knowledge with fans by producing and hosting “Motorcycle World with Larry Huffman,” as well as through his role as host and co-writer of the movie “On Any Sunday II.” Huffman earned his “Supermouth” nickname for his ability to speak at over 300 words per minute.Terry Poovey – A consistent winner throughout his career, Terry Poovey earned his first taste of victory as a sophomore in high school. Having traveled to Daytona to compete in the short track races held during Bike Week, Poovey placed second in the Expert race on Junior/Expert night and launched a career of podium finishes. In over 350 National final starts, Poovey finished in the top ten over 200 times and the top five 80 times. Poovey earned 11 AMA National wins.Rolf Tibblin – An intense competitor, Rolf Tibblin won the 250cc European Motocross Championship in 1958 and 1959. He went on to become the 500cc World Champion in 1962 and 1963. As a member of several Swedish Motocross des Nations teams, Tibblin was renowned for his serious training regimen. Tibblin shared his intense training methods, and helped shaped future motocross champions, through his U.S. training school.