Remembering Motorcycle Racing Champion Dick Mann

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Picture: D. Randy Riggs

Two-time AMA Grand Nationwide Champion Dick Mann handed away at his dwelling in Nevada April 26. He was 86. Mann may arguably be referred to as the most effective general motorbike racer of all time, his versatility on a bike merely wonderful. Mann gained the distinguished Daytona 200 twice, in 1970 on a Honda and in 1971 on a BSA. His nationwide championships have been separated by eight years — 1963 and 1971, the latter when he was 37 years outdated.

Mann gained in all 5 of AMA Grand Nationwide racing’s disciplines — quarter-mile quick tracks, half-mile and one-mile flat tracks, TTs and street races, the primary rider to take action, with simply three others becoming a member of that elite group, referred to as the profession “grand slam.” A privateer for many of his racing days with some help from BSA, he additionally competed in two totally different eras, coming from a time when racing bikes have been brakeless and used hard-tail frames (minus rear suspension) to the Seventies when multi-cylinder, factory-supported machines had come across the scene and speeds have been above 170mph at tracks like Daytona.

Mann was inducted within the Motorsports Corridor of Fame of America in 1993, and the Bike Corridor of Fame in 1998. Having raced in 240 nationals, he completed within the High 10 in factors each season besides one from 1957 to 1973. He retired from Grand Nationwide competitors in 1974, however continued racing in motocross, enduros and in 1975, gained a bronze medal on the Isle of Man as a member of the United States Worldwide Six Days Trial crew using a Spanish Ossa. In later years, he competed in classic motocross competitors, by no means lifting off the throttle.

All through his profession Mann designed and constructed specialised motorbike frames for Ossa, Yamaha, BSA, Honda and Suzuki. One would possibly say that he liked wrenching as a lot as he liked using. The bikes he constructed for his purchasers have been artistic endeavors.

Whereas overlaying AMA Grand Nationwide races across the nation once I was Senior Editor at Cycle World journal, I at all times seemed ahead to talking with “Bugs,” his nickname amongst his associates, for an insightful tackle the races and riders then happening. He was plainspoken and all the way down to earth, by no means stuffed with himself, and respectful of his rivals, and amongst his rivals, there was no another appreciated than Dick Mann.

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