Motorcycle Hall of Fame Announces 2008 Inductees

Reader Contribution by Richard Backus

Motorcycle Hall of Fame Announces 2008 Inductees

Six industry icons will join the ranks of American motorcycling legends

PICKERINGTON, OHIO – The Motorcycle Hall of Fame, home to the stories and legends of American motorcycling heritage, is pleased to announce the selection of six individuals for induction.  The Motorcycle Hall of Fame Class of 2008 includes Vaughn Beals, Rod Coates, Scot Harden, Larry “Supermouth” Huffman, Terry Poovey and Rolf Tibblin.  The annual induction ceremony will take place Saturday evening, October 11, 2008, at the Hilton Polaris in Columbus, Ohio.

Each year, the Motorcycle Hall of Fame ensures that the accomplishments of motorcycling’s legends and leaders are permanently captured to inspire future generations of enthusiasts.  The 2008 inductees join a distinguished group of over 300 men and women who have played a vital role in shaping the vibrant nature of the sport and business of motorcycling, thanks to their competitive spirit, passion, vision and entrepreneurship.

Held during Hall of Fame Weekend, the formal induction ceremony brings together hundreds of industry leaders, friends and family to celebrate the honorees’ lives.  In addition to receiving the distinguished gold Motorcycle Hall of Fame Medal signaling a lifetime of achievement, each inductee will be permanently featured in the Museum’s Hall of Fame gallery.

The Motorcycle Hall of Fame Class of 2008 includes:

Vaughn Beals – An insightful executive, Beals was instrumental in paving the way for The Motor Company to prosper.  He led the leveraged buyout of the company from former owner AMF, then served as Chief Executive Officer of Harley-Davidson from 1981-1989 and as Chairman from 1981-1996. Since 1996, he has served as Chairman Emeritus.  Throughout his tenure, Beals’ vision helped reinvigorate Harley-Davidson and elevate the company and brand to an iconic status.

Rod Coates – A racer and businessman, Rod Coates was a pioneer throughout his career.  Following World War II, he sold Ariel, BMW, Triumph and Vincent motorcycles before the companies established official U.S. distributors.  In racing, Coates won the 1950 Daytona 100-mile race on a Triumph Grand Prix 500cc Twin and went on to serve on various AMA racing committees.  As Service Manager of The Triumph Corporation, Triumph’s Eastern U.S. distributor from 1951-1970, Coates created the company’s Service Schools for dealer technician training, later emulated by other bike importers; influenced the Triumph factory to offer numerous features to improve the quality and performance of its machines; and organized and led the company’s Competition Department, sponsoring racers Ed Fisher, Don Burnett and Gary Nixon.

Scot Harden – One of off-road racing’s most influential champions, Scot Harden has achieved victory across the United States, Europe and South America during a career that has spanned nearly 35 years. Notably, Harden has two overall wins at the prestigious Baja 1000 and is a three-time ISDE medalist. Additionally, he was the winner of the 1987 Djerba 500 Rally – Tunisia and winner of the 1987 Rallye de Atlas – Morocco. Harden’s work in the powersport industry has allowed him to help shape younger stars, including Dan Smith, Danny Hamel and Russ Pearson.  Harden has worked in sales, marketing, and race management roles at Husqvarna, Cagiva, KTM, and at the helm of his own company, Harden Off-Road.

Larry “Supermouth” Huffman – Known as the “Voice of Supercross,” Larry Huffman’s inimitable commentary has informed countless race fans.  Often imitated but never duplicated, the thoroughly unique Huffman has announced motor sports events in Japan, Canada, and nearly every major stadium in the United States.  He has also served as color commentator for virtually every major network.  Huffman shared his racing knowledge with fans by producing and hosting “Motorcycle World with Larry Huffman,” as well as through his role as host and co-writer of the movie “On Any Sunday II.”  Huffman earned his “Supermouth” nickname for his ability to speak at over 300 words per minute.

Terry Poovey – A consistent winner throughout his career, Terry Poovey earned his first taste of victory as a sophomore in high school.  Having traveled to Daytona to compete in the short track races held during Bike Week, Poovey placed second in the Expert race on Junior/Expert night and launched a career of podium finishes. In over 350 National final starts, Poovey finished in the top ten over 200 times and the top five 80 times.  Poovey earned 11 AMA National wins.

Rolf Tibblin – An intense competitor, Rolf Tibblin won the 250cc European Motocross Championship in 1958 and 1959. He went on to become the 500cc World Champion in 1962 and 1963. As a member of several Swedish Motocross des Nations teams, Tibblin was renowned for his serious training regimen. Tibblin shared his intense training methods, and helped shaped future motocross champions, through his U.S. training school. 

Weekend Also Features 7th Annual Motorcycle Hall of Fame ConcoursThe Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction is an emotional celebration that brings together some of the most recognizable people and machines from the world of motorcycling.  In addition to induction ceremonies, visitors can also enjoy the Museum’s 7th Annual Concours d’Elegance, which drew over 100 juried entries in 2007 – including many bikes ridden, raced, designed or built by current Motorcycle Hall of Fame members.  The weekend kicks off with “An Evening of Stars and Legends,” a reception honoring the Class of 2008, set for the evening of Friday, October 10, at the Museum.  All activities are open to the public.  For more information, call the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum at (614) 856-2222, or

About the Motorcycle Hall of FameEach year, the Motorcycle Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to motorcycling, including those known for their contributions to road riding, off-road riding and all categories of racing, as well as those who have excelled in business, history, design and engineering.  Any motorcycling enthusiast may submit a person to be considered for induction into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame.  For details on the nomination process,

About the Motorcycle Hall of Fame MuseumThe goal of the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum is to tell the stories and preserve the history of motorcycling.  Located on the campus of the American Motorcyclist Association in Pickerington, Ohio, the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum honors those who have contributed notably to the sport, and three major exhibition halls showcase the machines and memorabilia that have shaped motorcycling. The Museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and is closed on New Year’s, Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Adult admission is $10 per person; students 12-17, $3.  AMA members $5.  Seniors receive a $2 discount and members of motorcycle clubs and organizations are eligible for a $1 discount per ticket.  A $25 family rate and group rates are also available.  For more information, call (614) 856-2222, or visit the Museum’s website

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