HONORING THE GREATS! 2014 AMA HALL OF FAME HEROES
Seven men were recognized for their achievements by being inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame this weekend in Orlando, Florida (during the AIMexpo convention). The seven were tuner Byron Hines; first Supercross Champion Pierre Karsmakers; Racer & entrepreneur Tom White; racetrack and museum owner George Barber; offroad champion Scott Summers; AMA National Champion Mike LaRocco; and tuner Rob Muzzy.
The audience was treated to a short video that chronicled of each inductee’s motorcycling history. Then each new Hall of Fame member was presented with a Hall of Fame ring and made a short speech—most of them very inspirational. For MXA, the highlights of the night were the inductions of LaRocco, White and Karsmakers.
Pierre Karsmakers said, “I came to America in the early ’70s, after I had gotten an offer from Yamaha to race for them in the national motocross championships. Together we were pretty successful. I had a great time racing and working in America, although in motocross there are many ups and downs, like everybody knows. I hope that I was a good example for the young American motocross riders, and that we all made motocross stronger and more popular over here.”
Tom White said, “How does a kid that couldn’t even make it around the block on a Honda 50 without hitting a parked Cadillac end up in the Motorcycle Hall of Fame? I’m not sure, but I know how it makes me feel! I want to dance, jump for joy, hug every friend that helped me along the path, and I want to ride my motorcyclewell, motorcycles, as I have a few. I want to cry and pray—with lots of thanks to give to my parents for paying to fix the friend’s Honda 50 and still allowing me to buy a motorcycle. This is special for me because it comes from my peers in the industry and existing Hall of Famers. I am humbled to think that my heroes, these great people of the sport, believe that I’m worthy of this acknowledgement of my life and career.”
Mike LaRocco, a man of few words, said, “It’s an honor to be up here. I’ve had a great time in my career. I want to thank my parents for guiding me in the right way. This is an honor and I appreciate it.”