World-class bike restorer and motocross pioneer Brian Slark to be inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame


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Brian Slark at Matchless circa 1963 
Back in the day: Brian Slark when he worked at Matchless, circa 1963. That's Brian, fourth from left. 

Former Matchless/Norton employee, motocross pioneer, bike restorer extraordinaire and Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum technical director/restoration consultant Brian Slark will be inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame as part of the 2012 AMA Legends Weekend at the Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas, Nev., Nov. 16-17, 2012.

"Brian Slark is a true renaissance man in the world of motorcycling," said Jeffrey V. Heininger, chairman of the board of the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation, which raises funds for the Hall of Fame. "Not only did he help create motocross in America, but he also created works of art while working at some well-known motorcycle museums. His expertise is second to none."

Born in London, England, on Feb. 2, 1938, Slark was a moving force in the creation of a vibrant motocross-racing community in the United States during the 1960s. He helped organize motocross tracks, and promoted the sport by teaching famous people -- including then-teen heartthrob Bobby Darin -- to ride motorcycles. He also imported and built Rickman Metisse and Cheney motocrossers.

Slark later assisted the late Dave Mungenast -- who is also a member of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame -- in the creation of a motorcycle museum in St. Louis. He then helped create the world-class Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum in Leeds, Ala. Slark also played a key role in setting up the bikes for the immensely popular "The Art of the Motorcycle" exhibit at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City in 1998, which later traveled to the Field Museum in Chicago and then Bilboa, Spain.

"As my wife said, for once I was absolutely speechless," Slark said, reacting to the news that he would be inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. "[Working with motorcycles is] something I've been doing nearly 60-plus years and I love it. I never ranked myself in the league of other people in the industry. I've just done what I love to do."

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