David Sehl

Dave Sehl leads the pack aboard #16 at the 1979 Charity Newsies Grand National 10 Mile races.

Inducted 2001

Dave Sehl was very likely Canada’s most successful dirt-track motorcycle racer. Unlike the up-and-over motocross rider, or the super-smooth motorcycle road racer, dirt-track motorcycle racing is conducted on speedways from a half-mile dirt track to ones a mile long. The riders are flat on the machines down the straights and then slide through the turns with one foot skipping along the top of the dirt surface to keep everything upright. Dirt-track speedway motorcycle racers are the bravest of the brave. During his three-year professional career riding for Harley-Davidson, Dave won six AMA National races, a marvellous record. He won on the half-mile tracks at Louisville (three times), Columbus and Terre Haute and on the mile at Atlanta, Ga.

Dave Sehl was king of the dirt. He won the dirt portion of the AMA championship in 1969; he was fifth in the AMA National title chase in 1971 and 10th in 1972. As well as competing in the United States, Canadian Motorcycle Association records show that Dave was the 250 Expert Dirt Track Champion in 1970 and 1973 and the 750 Expert Dirt Track Champion in 1971 and 1973. As well as winning sanctioned events, Dave was also expert at running non-sanction, big-money events, notably an invitation-only race in 1971 at Roosevelt Raceway on Long Island, N.Y., when he walked away with first prize money of $4,000 from a $15,000 total purse.

Image via FlatTrack.com

Yvon DuHamel

Inducted 1999

Yvon Duhamel carried the No. 1 plate in every form of motorcycle racing in Canada from dirt track to road racing – in most cases, a number of times. Five times, he won the White Trophy, the highest award in Canadian motorcycle racing. He won the 250 cc Daytona Classic in 1969, won a World Championship race at Assen, Holland, in 1974, and the Grand Prix of Canada in 1981. His snowmobile accomplishments include a World Championship in 1970.

Image via Team GBA

Ross Pederson

Inducted 1998

For 15 years, from 1978 to 1983, Ross Pederson soared like an eagle, dominating Canadian Motocross and Supercross racing like no one before or since. In 1978, he was 250cc and Open Senior Motorcross champion. From1980 until he retired at the end of the 1993 season, Ross collected a total of 42 national championships, including all eight of the Supercross championships ever held in Canada. Ross went out in style, winning his final Supercross at the Olympic Stadium in 1993.

Image courtesy of John Denniston

Jim Kelly

Inducted 1998

Jim Kelly was a highly accomplished competitor in many disciplines of motorcycle racing, scrambles, trials, speedway, road racing, dirt-track racing and spiked tire ice racing, in which he won a total of four national championships. Jim was also a rider and team manager of Canada’s International Six Day Endurance effort for more than 25 years. He served as an executive of the Steel City Riders in Hamilton, Ontario, and served on the board of the Canadian Motorcycle Association for 24 consecutive years, including the post of president of the CMA from 1972 to 1975.

David Wildman

Inducted 1997

David Wildman of Coquitlam, B.C., a motorcycle racer and organizer, was responsible for establishing the Canadian Motorcycle Association (CMA) in British Columbia. He led the way for motorcycle racing at Abbotsford and Westwood. He raced for the CMA at the Isle of Man in England, helping to win the Junior T.T. trophy in 1961 and 62. He raced at Westwood from the day it opened in 1959 until it closed in1990, winning three Canadian sidecar championships.

John Williams

Inducted 1996

John Williams has been world motorcycle hill climbing champion five times (72-77-79-80-81), 10 times Canadian champion, six times U.S. Champion and has won many state championships. Williams made the Guinness Book of Records in ’82 after winning or placing second in 25 consecutive races. Since retiring in 1983, he has carried on the tradition, acting as team manager for his two hill-climbing sons.

Image via Motorcycle Mojo

Ted Sturgess

Inducted 1996

Ted Sturgess roared out of Hamilton, Ont., in 1938 to become Canada’s most successful road and dirt-track motorcycle racer. His early exploits earned 18-year-old Sturgess an invitation to ride for Britain’s West Ham racing team in the English National League. Sturgess returned to Canada at the outbreak of WWII. In 1940, he won every track championship in Canada. He served 4-1/2 years in the RCAF, resuming racing after WWII and winning even more Canadian titles.

Image of Ted Sturgess in the Forties by Barry Brown via Tales from a Somerset Shed

Ron & Eve White

Inducted 1995

Ron and Eve White were Mr. and Mrs. Motorcycle in Canada, the backbone of the Canadian Motorcycle Association (CMA). Ron was newsletter editor (1953-57), and then Eve took over. Ron was also CMA President (1963-66), and Eve was the CMA rep on the Federation Internationale Motorcyclists (FIM). Eve is credited with getting a FIM sanction for the 1967 Canadian Grand Prix for motorcycles at Mosport. Until their deaths in a plane crash in August 1971, Ron wrote for the Globe and Mail, while Eve covered motorsport for the Toronto Star and the Canadian Press.

Trevor Deeley

Trev Deeley trail riding a 55″ K model Harley-Davidson

Inducted 1995

Accompanied by the smiles and hand clapping of his many friends and admirers, Trevor Deeley was inducted into the British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame in 2000. This was a special night of tribute for all the athletes being inducted in the Hall of Fame, especially for a man whose name, while synonymous with Harley Davidson, is also responsible for bringing the Honda motorcycle into the English speaking world and shortly after that, doing the same with the Yamaha motorcycle. But this is not the reason Trev Deeley was inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame – he was being inducted as an athlete. For the first time in history, the Hall of Fame was recognizing motorcycle racing as a legitimate sport and the racers as athletes. It was only fitting the first motorcycle racer inducted should be Trev Deeley.

Trev was a terrific athlete during the years he spent racing Harley Davidson motorcycles. Not only did this man of slight stature but gigantic will, determination and heart race Harley Davidson motorcycles, but he threw those heavy machines around corners and into straightaways at the toughest race tracks in North America.

Long before the luxurious and pampered life of today’s motorcycle racing professional, Trev and his wife would tow his racing motorcycle behind their car to the next track to compete in the next big race. He would drive, sleep in the car, do the mechanical preparations and then suit up to ride wheel-to-wheel against some of the best motorcycle racers of the day. He had enough skill and technique to achieve an impressive list of victories.

Mike Duff

At the Ramsey Hairpin during the 1965 Isle of Man 250 TT. Duff finished second riding a 250 Yamaha RD56 twin

At the Ramsey Hairpin during the 1965 Isle of Man 250 TT. Duff finished second riding a 250 Yamaha RD56 twin

Inducted 1994

Mike Duff is the only Canadian to ever win a World Championship Motorcycle Grand Prix. In all, he won three, the first was the 1964 250 c.c. Belgian G.P. in 1965. He finished second in the 250 c.c. World Championship with victories in the Dutch Tourist Trophy race and the Finnish G.P. A couple of serious crashes – one that required hip replacement surgery – cut short Mike’s European career in 1967. But he came home in time to borrow a bike and finish third in the first ever Canadian Motorcycle Grand Prix at Mosport in 1967 behind the legendary Mike Hailwood and Giacomo Agostini.

Photo credits: Michelle Duff