AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famers honored

More than three-dozen American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) Motorcycle Hall of Famers will be attending the AMA Racing Championship Banquet, presented by KTM North America, and the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, this Dec. 4-5 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas.

Many well-known legends of motorcycling will join hundreds in the motorcycling community to congratulate AMA’s 2009 amateur racing champions on Friday night, and welcome a new class of heroes to the AMA Hall of Fame on Saturday evening.

"The list of confirmed AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famers who will attend the Induction Ceremony as our guests is impressive," said Jack Penton, chairman of the board of the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation, which raises funds for the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. "This is an opportunity for these motorcycling heroes to catch up with each other, recognize the new class of inductees, and take in the extravaganza that has become the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. For fans of motorcycling, it’s also an opportunity to meet their heroes in an incredible setting."

Penton, who himself was inducted in 1999, added that while the AMA Hall of Fame recognizes those who have made contributions to all aspects of motorcycling, it includes many with a competition background. "There is no question that these Hall of Famers will be out in full force at the racing banquet held on Friday evening," Penton said.

Many AMA Hall of Famers in attendance will have the opportunity to participate in both days’ activities. At the AMA Racing Championship Banquet, AMA Hall of Famers will be presenting special awards, trophies and No. 1 plates to some of the 2009 amateur racing champions. On Saturday morning, several AMA Hall of Famers will help judge the motorcycles entered in the 2009 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Concours d’Elegance, presented by FOX Racing Shox.

Although additional confirmations are expected, the following AMA Hall of Famers plan to attend the banquets in Las Vegas in support of the nine members of the Class of 2009:

Gary Bailey
Bill Baird
Chris Carr
Wes Cooley
Marty Dickerson
Jeff Emig
Jeff Fredette
Scot Harden
Tom Heininger
Barry Higgins
Larry Huffman
J.R. Kelley
Ed Kretz, Jr.
Lars Larsson
Gunnar Lindstrom
Judy (wife) and Mike (son) Maely (for the Late Ken Maely)
Denis Manning
Eddie Mulder
Jack Penton
John Penton
Malcolm Smith
Skip Van Leeuwen
Craig Vetter
Ed Waldheim
Bill Werner
Ralph White
Mike and Margaret Wilson

"The production of the AMA Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is so much greater today than it was in 1998 when we started the induction process," Penton said. "It’s really a great show, and for these guys to be able to come and see what they’re part of now is really special."

Led by Master of Ceremonies Perry King, legendary actor of stage, screen and TV, the Induction Ceremony will officially welcome the 2009 class to the AMA Hall of Fame. This year’s inductees are industry innovator Robert Bates, off-road racer Randy Hawkins, motorsports giants Bob and Geoff Fox, suspension pioneer Gilles Vaillancourt, off-highway rights activist Mona Ehnes, longtime motorcycle safety proponent David Hough, noted race team manager Gary Mathers and successful dirt-track racer and tuner Chuck Palmgren.

The night before at the same location, the AMA Racing Championship Banquet, presented by KTM North America, will recognize the champions from 2009 AMA Racing premier events and series. In addition, special awards, such as the AMA Racing Athlete of the Year, the AMA Racing Sportsman of the Year and the AMA Racing Female Rider of the Year, will be awarded.

Advance ticket purchase is required for both the AMA Racing Championship Banquet, presented by KTM North America, and the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. Tickets, which include dinner each night, cost $49 per person per single event, or $89 per person for both events. To purchase tickets, visit www.AmericanMotorcyclist.com/LetsRock. Tickets will remain on sale through Nov. 29. Admission to the Hall of Fame autograph session and the Concours d’Elegance, presented by FOX Racing Shox, bike show is free.


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