Hall of Fame News

Hall of Famer Spotlight: Scot Harden

January 10, 2022

By Keaton Maisano

With sand still being kicked up at the 2022 Dakar Rally, one of the event’s past competitors is this month’s Hall of Famer Spotlight.

AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Scot Harden traversed the Sahara on multiple occasions, with one of his most memorable coming aboard a KTM 660 at the age of 48. While also serving as team manager, Harden’s 2005 trek through the desert resulted in a finish of 17th out of 250 riders.

Beyond the sand dunes, Harden enjoyed a nearly 40-year career as one of the top off-road racers in the world. Traversing the globe in search of first-place finishes, Harden found success on four different continents.

His journey started in 1973 as a factory rider with Husqvarna, a partnership that lasted until 1986.

In 1988 he became the Western Region Sales Manager and Desert/Off-Road Racing Manager for KTM USA. His off-road racing pursuits continued during this time, and Harden even entered the Pikes Peak Hillclimb in 1996, earning a sixth place overall and Rookie of the Year honors.

Scot Harden posing for a photo with an AMA medal

Harden’s role expanded to team manager of the 2004 and 2005 U.S. Red Bull KTM Dakar Rally teams. Beyond his success racing, Harden helped develop the careers of other off-road champions, including Dan Smith, Russ Pearson, Chris Blais and AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Danny Hamel.

By the time his professional racing career ended in 2007, Harden had tallied a pair of Baja 100 overall wins, three overall Baja 500 wins, three overall SCORE Championships, four overall Best in the Desert Championships, three International Six Days Enduro medals, and many other accolades that were earned because of his ability to efficiently navigate Earth’s terrain as well as any other rider.

Harden’s love for the motorcycle community led to the founding of Harden Offroad — a rider training, event promotion and product development company that helps the off-road community. He serves as the business’ president.

For his work to aid and promote motorcycling on and off the track, Harden received the 1988 Hazel Kolb Brighter Image Award and the 2014 AMA Bessie Stringfield Award.

Harden was inducted into AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2008.