Motorcycle Hall Of Fame Honors Six Legends
Randy Renfrow began his pro road racing career in 1981. He won the AMA 250 Grand Prix championship in 1983, the AMA Formula One title in 1986 and the AMA Pro Twins Series championship in 1989.
Renfrow was known for his ability to be competitive on any type of machinery, from diminutive 250 Grand Prix bikes all the way up to AMA Superbikes, and he excelled in nearly every class of professional motorcycle road racing. In all, he won 17 AMA Nationals in four different classes.
Renfrow died in 2002 in a non-racing accident. Renfrow was represented at the event by his brother, Shawn Renfrow, and his mechanic, John Lassak.
“Every person inducted into the Hall of Fame, regardless of category, has been blessed with a tenacious spirit to achieve their dreams and goals,” Shawn Renfrow said. “Randy was no different. He was a determined competitor who never let injuries, obstacles or defeat curb his appetite for racing. But it was not Randy’s racing accomplishments that have left an enduring impression on me. It was his genuine love and care that he had for the racing community that I admired most.”
“Randy was one of the finest human beings I know,” Lassak added. “Not only was he a fierce competitor, he was also a gentle and caring person.”
Mike and Dianne Traynor co-founded the Ride for Kids motorcycle charity program and the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. They began the Ride for Kids in 1984 to raise funds for childhood brain tumor research.
With more than $70 million raised since 1984, motorcyclists have helped the PBTF become the world’s largest non-governmental source of funding for childhood brain tumor research. Mike Traynor died in 2009 and Dianne Traynor died in 2012.
The Traynors were represented at the event by their sons.
“Mike and Dianne were proud to call themselves motorcyclists,” Sean Traynor said. “Unfortunately, both Mike and Dianne have passed on. But I think it is very fitting that this year, being the 30th anniversary of the Ride for Kids, that they are inducted into the American Motorcyclist Association Hall of Fame. On behalf of Mike, Dianne and my brothers, I would like to say thank you. I know that they would have been very proud and humbled tonight to be in such great company. God bless.”
Mark Blackwell, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000, was honored in a special Hall of Fame Legends ceremony, sponsored by Victory Motorcycles. Blackwell was a pioneering racer in American motocross, a six-time AMA championship race team manager and a well-respected executive in the motorcycle industry.
Blackwell won the American 500cc motocross champion in 1971 and started off the 1972 season with a win at the Daytona motocross. After his racing career, Blackwell 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.
“Thanks to the AMA and the Heritage Foundation Board for this prestigious honor, and for raising the bar in terms of the class of this event — you have raised the bar every year and we are certainly a long way from the tent in the AMA parking lot 13 years ago,” Blackwell said. “And a very special thanks to the sponsors who have stepped up to help make this a great event and hopefully, a big inspiration for the future leaders of our sport and industry.” Torsten Hallman
Torsten Hallman, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000, was also honored as in Hall of Fame Legend ceremony sponsored by Bike Week Radio. Hallman was a four-time World Motocross Champion when he came to the United States in the late-1960s as part of the effort to popularize both the Husqvarna motorcycle brand and the sport of motocross.
Hallman’s incredible talent on a motocross bike was a revelation to American fans and racers.
Hallman’s talents were not limited to the track. He also was a savvy businessman and founded a riding apparel company: Thor. The company’s early designs and innovations heavily influenced the look and function of motocross riding gear for decades to follow. Today, Thor is one of the biggest names in motocross apparel.
Hallman was unable to attend due to last-minute direction from his doctor.