AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, AMA Championship Banquet set for Dec. 6-7
Plan now to attend the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony as well as the AMA Championship Banquet Dec. 6-7 in Columbus, Ohio.
It’s all part of the 2019 AMA Legends & Champions Weekend that features not only the induction ceremony and the racing banquet but also AMA Congress.
“Bringing the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, the AMA Championship Banquet and AMA Congress together on this December weekend truly makes Columbus the epicenter of American motorcycling,” said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman. “Hundreds of motorcycling champions, past and present, innovators and advocates, along with their families, fans and friends, will gather for the ceremonies and to rekindle friendships and swap stories.”
The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame will welcome five new inductees during the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Dec. 6 at the Hilton Columbus Downtown at 401 N. High St., Columbus, Ohio.
The inductees are rights advocate Mark Buckner, off-road racing champion Kurt Caselli, motocross champion Ron Lechien, trials pioneer Wiltz Wagner and museum founder Dale Walksler.
“The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Class of 2019 includes individuals who have impacted motorcycling in positive and powerful ways, as both advocates and sportsmen, leaving a lasting impression on the sport we all love,” says Ken Ford, a member of the AMA board of directors and chairman of the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation board. “Generations of motorcyclists owe them a debt of gratitude for their accomplishments. We’re honored to recognize them this Dec. 6 at the induction ceremony as the newest members of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.”
The formal installation of the Class of 2019 takes place at the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame museum in Pickerington, Ohio, on Dec. 7.
Inductee Mark Buckner began his leadership in motorcyclists’ rights advocacy in the late 1980s as the state coordinator for ABATE of Colorado. In 1992, Buckner joined the Motorcycle Riders Foundation board of directors, becoming MRF president and chairman two years later. During his tenure, the MRF implemented strategic planning processes which led to the organization’s financial stability and significant growth.
Kurt Caselli, whose father Rich was an active member of AMA District 37’s Prospectors Motorcycle Club, started winning at an early age. In 1998, at age 15, Caselli won the desert championship in his class. In 2000, he won an amateur championship in three disciplines: enduro, desert and grand prix.
Caselli soon took his talents overseas, participating in the FIM International Six Days Enduro on the official U.S. team. He competed in the ISDE for 12 years.
Eight times Caselli was the top-finishing American rider, and he won his class twice. Caselli was on the winning U.S. Junior Trophy Team in 2006, and he was on the U.S. World Trophy Team in 2013 when the team finished second, matching its best finish in the event at that time.
Riding for the factory-backed KTM team, Caselli committed full time to the AMA National Hare and Hound Championship Series in 2011 and won the title. In 2012, he successfully defended his title before repeating that performance in 2013.
El Cajon, Calif., native Ron Lechien competed against some of the greatest motocross racers in history throughout the 1980s, winning 26 nationals and the 1985 125cc AMA National Motocross Championship.
Lechien’s natural talent and smooth riding style made him unmistakable on the track. His seemingly effortless speed translated across classes, and he earned wins in 125cc, 250cc and 500cc motocross competition, as well as in 250cc Supercross, the premier class at the time.
Wiltz Wagner Jr. has tirelessly promoted the sport of observed trials in this country the last four decades.
Wagner was first a fiercely competitive and successful trials rider in the 1960s and 1970s and then formed Colorado’s Rocky Mountain Trials Association, one of the oldest AMA-chartered trials clubs in America.
In the early seventies, Wagner saw a need for a national organization for trials competitions. Working with the AMA, Wagner created and oversaw the North American Trials Council. For the past 46 years, the NATC series, sanctioned by the AMA, has crowned the sport’s national champion.
Dale Walksler founded Dale’s Wheels Through Time Museum that preserves and communicates the history of motorcycling in America.
Beginning with his purchase of a Harley-Davidson Servi-Car when he was in high school, Walksler became a passionate fan of the brand. He opened a Harley-Davidson parts business in 1970 in Glen Ellyn, Ill., then bought a Harley-Davidson dealership in Mount Vernon, Ill., four years later.
s his business grew, he moved his motorcycle collection to the dealership to attract customers.
In 1999, Walksler sold the dealership and relocated his motorcycle collection to Maggie Valley, N.C. The new museum opened in 2002. Dale’s Wheels through Time Museum sets itself apart from most other museums by featuring motorcycles in running condition.
The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame was established in 1998 by the AMHF to honor the legends and heroes of American motorcycling and highlight their achievements and contributions to motorcycling. Hall of Fame inductees represent eight areas: Ambassadors/Industry, Design/Engineering, Dirt Track, Leadership/Advocacy, Motocross/Supercross, Off-Road, Road Racing and Specialty Competition.
Saturday evening, Dec. 7, the 2019 champions of AMA national and regional series and championship events will have their moment in the spotlight at the 2019 AMA Championship Banquet, also at the Hilton Columbus Downtown.
The annual AMA Congress, where AMA Competition Commission members consider and decide the rules governing amateur motorcycle racing in the United States, convenes Friday, Dec. 6, at the Hilton Columbus Downtown.
Also during AMA Congress, the AMA State Chapters coordinators and select recreational organizers meet to discuss riding activities, volunteering and participate in educational workshops.
The AMA Congress will conclude on Saturday, Dec. 7, with its annual General Session.
For tickets, or more information, go to www.americanmotorcyclist.com/champbanquet.