Husqvarna’s legacy in North America is impressive. It started with Torsten Hallman taking 23 of 23 race victories in 1966, simultaneously introducing modern motocross and the Husqvarna brand to American riders. Farther south, Malcolm Smith and JN Roberts started an era of Husqvarna domination on the Baja peninsula. John Penton bucked conventional motorcycle wisdom on a Husqvarna, winning the first of many AMA National Enduro Championships for the fledgling brand. Each rider is a stellar Husqvarna champion who shaped the future off-road racing in America.
The champions of Husqvarna will be celebrated at this year’s BikeBandit.com AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, set for July 19-21 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.
For 2013, the focus of BikeBandit.com AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days will be on Husqvarna’s legends and champions, with special guests, seminars and autograph sessions. In addition, Husqvarna riders at the event will be put front and center, with awards for competitors in this year’s vintage racing, and special gatherings and bike show classes at the country’s premier celebration of vintage bikes and the people who ride them.
“Husqvarna riders and racers not only helped establish high-level motocross and off-road competition in the United States, they also demonstrated the fun and excitement that embody motorcycling,” said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman. “Today, this classic brand is focused on the future, developing cutting-edge off-road and dual-sport motorcycles that are enjoyed all over the world. At this year’s BikeBandit.com AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, we invite everyone who has ridden, raced or admired Husqvarna motorcycles to come out join us as we celebrate the champions and riders of this venerable brand.”
Husqvarna National Marketing Manager Corey Eastman said he is glad to shine the light on the people who helped make the marque famous.
“Husqvarna motorcycles celebrates our 110th anniversary this year, and though our U.S. history is a bit shorter, it is hard to argue the amazing impact of a brand that so many riders have chosen as they competed to become the champions and legends of our sport,” Eastman said. “We are proud to bring some of this amazing history to BikeBandit.com AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days.
“We’re excited to put the focus at this year’s event on Husqvarna champions and to offer a special welcome to riders of the brand, both back in the day and today,” Eastman added. “If you have a Husky, we want to see you at BikeBandit.com AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days!”
Five decades ago, riders of Husqvarna motorcycles overthrew the once dominant British-built four-strokes in the woods and on motocross tracks, riding the company’s lightweight two-stroke race bikes. Throughout the 1960s and ’70s, Husqvarna riders won 14 motocross world championships, 24 enduro world championships and 11 Baja 1000 victories.
In the United States, riders such as Dick Burleson, Terry Cunningham, Bill Kain, Ed Lojak, Mark Hyde, John Penton and Malcolm Smith rode Husqvarnas to major victories in off-road, while in 1974 Gary Semics won the first-ever 500cc AMA Supercross title on a Husqvarna.
With proceeds supporting the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, BikeBandit.com AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, featuring the riders and champions of Husqvarna, is the country’s premier celebration of vintage motorcycles and motorcycling heritage. A sampling of the activities includes the AMA Classic Field Meet Challenge, amateur national championship roadracing, motocross, hare scrambles, trials and dirt-track in vintage classes, a motorcycle skills test, a Wall of Death stunt show, and demo rides of current street and off-road motorcycles. The weekend also features North America’s largest motorcycle swap meet, bike shows, seminars on a number of topics by noted motorcycling experts and autograph sessions with AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famers.