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

Comments

  1. Brian Watson says:

    I grew up with the sehl family living across the street from them. I can always remember the pipes on the 750 Harley’s roaring down Parkside Dr. In Waterdown, Ontario. My father cursing at it, but I thought it was fantastic.
    I had the honour of seeing them in action racing which sent chills down my spine.
    I am very happy to have lived so close to the Sehl family.
    Have not seen them for many years, looking forword MTV hearing from them.
    Brian Watson

  2. John Chambers says:

    I saw Dave Sehl this year at the Norm Carr 1/2 Mile in our hometown of Belleville, Ontario. In the late 60’s or the early 70’s, ( 1969 or 1970 ?? ) Dave and Doug showed up on their XR750 Harley Twins, we had never seen this bike before. At the age of around 17, an addiction for me was born and has never gone away…….. That Sound !!!!!!! I thank the Sehl’s and the ones to follow Grants, Frasers, Corndog, Merciers, Beatties, Beaulacs, etc., I remember when no one in the 60’s could catch Yvonne Duhamel on his Speedway bike and then Scotty Parker from 1977 – 1980 at age 14 or 15 ? At Belleviile. That sound has led me all over Ontario and a lot of American cities to get my fix of the Harley Twin. I talked to Dave at a few tracks over the years and he was always welcoming , polite And made time for you.

    Thanks Dave and Doug.
    John Chambers
    Belleville, Ontario

  3. Licklager@Gmail.com says:

    LOL, love that post, bringing back a lood of memories…
    Id love to see my dad inducted in this hall of fame..David Cunningham, you know him mr Sehl, lol
    Brought to Canada the 1st ever Super-Moto at San-Air Quebec
    Brought to Canada the most successful Supercross at the Olympic Stadium in Mtl
    Brought to Canada the only ever Motox GP in St Georges de Beauce in Quebec
    Tutored Yvon DuHamel and Michel Mercier, and Momo Gagnier
    Built and designed the most sold HD in history The HD MTL Low-Boy
    Dr 2-Stroke deserves a place in these hallowed halls…
    His son Alastair

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