2013 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame LegendMark Blackwell, a pioneering racer in American motocross, a six-time AMA championship race team manager and a well-respected executive in the motorcycle industry, will be recognized as an AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend on Friday, Oct. 18, in Las Vegas, Nev.
Blackwell, an AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer inducted in 2000, will be honored alongside the class of 2013 as part of the AMA Legends Weekend, hosted by the American Motorcyclist Association, on Oct. 18-19, at the Green Valley Ranch Resort, Spa and Casino.Jeffrey V. Heininger (Chairman of the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation, which oversees the Hall of Fame) says: “Not only did Mark Blackwell rise to the top to become the 1971 American 500cc motocross champion, but he also raced internationally at a time when the Europeans dominated the sport. His grit, a win in Switzerland, and a podium finish in Germany earned him fans worldwide.“In addition, Blackwell is probably best known for his major contributions to American motorcycling through his work at Husqvarna, Suzuki and Victory. He helped return Husqvarna to profitability in the United States, helped turn the motorcycle and ATV division around at Suzuki, and served as general manager of Polaris Industries’ fledgling Victory Motorcycle business during a critical growth period.”AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legends are existing members of the Hall of Fame whose lifetime accomplishments are spotlighted as part of the annual induction ceremony of new Hall of Famers. Blackwell joins Torsten Hallman, who was also inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000, as a 2013 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend. Hallman was instrumental in introducing the sport of motocross to America and founded the Thor brand.Blackwell was born in southern California in 1953. By the late 1960s, motocross was about to arrive in America and Blackwell would become one of this country’s earliest stars. Blackwell rode Yamahas, then CZs, then in 1970 Blackwell earned a ride with Swedish maker Husqvarna at the age of 17. He won the American 500cc motocross champion in 1971 and started off the 1972 season with a win at the Daytona motocross. He then went to race in Europe, where he suffered a serious eye injury at the final Grand Prix of the 1972 season.After his racing career, Blackwell taught at a popular motocross training school for Suzuki, managed the Suzuki Race Team to six AMA championships, did product development for a number of MX-related companies, and then went on to work in management for Suzuki, Husqvarna and Victory.Mark Blackwell says: “This is an incredible honor for me for which I am very grateful. To be recognized alongside the iconic Torsten Hallman makes it even more special. Torsten was the first European motocross racer I ever saw as the sport was coming to America, and his professionalism, education and business accomplishments had a huge impact on the sport, as well as my life and career.”The AMA Legends Weekend kicks off with the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame induction ceremony Friday night, Oct. 18, in a star-studded gala event that honors the motorcycling world’s fast and famous. The next morning features the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Dave Mungenast Memorial Legends Reception, where the class of 2013, the 2013 Legends and AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famers from previous years will be honored and interviewed on-stage in a relaxed setting that allows fans and friends to get up close and personal with motorcycling’s greatest.Tickets are on sale now at motorcyclemuseum.org. Price is $140 for Friday night’s induction ceremony, and $20 for Saturday’s reception, which includes a continental breakfast. Additionally, rooms at the Green Valley Ranch can be reserved now for a special rate at https://resweb.passkey.com/Resweb.do?mode=welcome_gi_new&groupID=19471407 or by calling (866) 782-9487 and using the code GCIAMHFThe AMA Legends Weekend is a fundraiser for the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, located on the AMA campus in Pickerington, Ohio and overseen by the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation. The mission of the AMHF is to celebrate, elucidate and preserve the rich tradition of motorcycling in America. For more information, please visit motorcyclemuseum.org.
Hello everyone and welcome once again to the Ultimate Motorcycling podcast—Motos and Friends. My name is Arthur Coldwells.
Motos and Friends is brought to you by the Yamaha YZF-R7—Yamaha’s awesome supersport machine that is as capable on the racetrack as it is on the street. …and it’s comfortable too! Check it out at at your local Yamaha dealer, or of course at YamahaMotorsports.com.
In this week’s first segment, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the BMW K 1600 GT. This is the sporty bagger version of BMW’s K series of machines, those are the models with the awesome 6-cylinder engine. The GT has been given a little makeover for 2023, and Nic gives us his take.
In the second segment, I chat with one of my all time heroes—three-time World Champion racer ‘fast’ Freddie Spencer. I’ll do my best not to come off as too much of a fanboy here, but frankly it’ll be tough!
In my humble opinion, Spencer is a contender for the GOAT—greatest of all time. Sure, his career was a little shorter than some, and his number of championships falls behind the likes of Lawson, Doohan, Rossi, and of course Marquez. But at the time, Freddie literally changed the way motorcycles were ridden. 30 years before Marc Marquez, Freddie was able to push the front wheel into a slide, corner after corner, lap after lap in order to get the bike turned faster than anyone else. Freddie took completely different lines and was able to get on the throttle so early he could out accelerate anyone off a corner.
In the modern era, of course Freddie is the chairman of the FIM MotoGP Stewards panel. This is the panel of referees for all three classes of Grand prix racing. I talked to Freddie about his task there, and although for contractual reasons with Dorna and the FIM he cannot talk about specific riders, teams, or events, nevertheless his explanation of the job makes for interesting listening. It’s a tough job, and frankly I wouldn’t want to do it!
Actually—Ultimate Motorcycling is giving away five copies of the book—signed by Freddie himself—to the first five listeners who contact us with the correct answer to the question: How many national AMA championships did Freddie win, and which years were they?
Please email your answers to email@example.com and we will contact the winners and send you a signed copy of Feel. Those five winners will be announced on a future episode. Unfortunately for legal reasons this offer is ONLY open to US residents.
So, from all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!