February 11, 2022
By Keaton Maisano
While known more for his work as an observed trials rider and advocate, AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Wiltz Wagner was one of the riders that braved the cold and willingly dashed across ice on a motorcycle in the spirit of competition and for the love of riding.
Wagner not only competed but won on the ice, showing off his versatile skillset aboard his 1979 Bultaco Sherpa T 350 in the non-studded class. While it competed on the ice, Wagner’s Bultaco — like himself — was more well known for its impact on the world of trials riding.
Living in Denver, Wagner was drawn to motorcycling because of his desire to explore local mountain trails. While recreational riding was an outlet for Wagner, his observed trials career did not begin until his late 20s.
Finding success riding in the 1960s and 1970s, Wagner’s focus shifted to forming the Colorado Rocky Mountain Trials Association, one of the oldest AMA-chartered trials clubs in America.
In the early 1970s, Wagner saw a need for a national organization for trials competitions, so he worked with the AMA to create and oversee the North American Trials Council. Sanctioned by the AMA, the NATC series has crowned the sport’s national champion for the past half-century.
Wagner was inducted into the NATC Hall of Fame in 2005. Fourteen years later, Wagner was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2019.