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Motorcycle Hall of Fame class of 2011 named

June 3, 2011
Filed under Features

A journalist, aftermarket leader, roadracer, motorcycle builder and a motocross promoter will all be inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame this fall.

The five were named over the past four weeks, and all will be honored at the 2011 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Nov. 18 during the American Motorcyclist Association Legend & Champions weekend at the Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas.

Phil Schilling, the former editor of Cycle magazine, was the first to be named to the 2011 class. He is being honored as one of motorcycling’s most accomplished journalists, as he led the editorial department of the magazine for nearly 20 years. He and Cook Neilson also entered a Ducati in the Superbike race during Daytona’s Bike Week in 1977, giving Ducati its first AMA Superbike win in the United States.

Fred Fox, founder of Parts Unlimited, was chosen for creating the largest aftermarket motorcycle, snowmobile, ATV and PWC accessory distributorship in the world. He founded Parts Unlimited in 1967, and its parent company LeMans Corp., now employs more the 1,200 across the United States, Canada and Europe. He helped the sport of motorcycle racing by distributing parts to dealers quickly and sponsoring motorcycle racing series and amateur and professional racers. Fox also served 14 years on either the Motorcycle Industry Council’s board of Directors or on one of the MIC’s committees.

Roadracer Doug Polen has been chosen for his dominance in national and world championships in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He won the Suzuki GSX-R National Cup Championship Series 750cc title in 1986 and 17 of 26 races in the World Superbike Championship Series in 1991, earning the World Superbike title by 150 points. He also was the Japan Formula 1 and Formula 3 National Champion in 1989, AMA 600cc Supersport Champion in 1987 and 1988, AMA 750cc Supersport Champion in 1988, World Superbike Champion in 1992, AMA Superbike Champion in 1993 and World Endurance Champion in 1997 and 1998. Polen now runs Doug Polen’s 1 on 1 Riding School, which features radio communications with student during track sessions.

Norbert Schickel, founder of Schickel Motor Co., was an innovative designer who participated in the U.S. motorcycle design boom between 1905-15. He developed two-cycle motorcycles, popularized the twist grip control and patented “spring fork suspension” and “fly wheel magneto.” His first motorcycle was unveiled at the 1911 Chicago Motorcycle Show. His company began producing motorcycles in 1912 and sold 1,000 bikes before being forced to file for bankruptcy and close in 1924.

Stu Peters, the last hall of famer to be named, has been promoting motocross races since 1968 with his group, Continental Motosport Club. He raced motocross professionally in Europe in the 1960s and was actively running local events when approached by the AMA to promote two rounds of the 1970 Trans-AMA Series, the sport’s first national championship series in the United States sanctioned by the AMA and recognized by the Federation Internationale de Motrocyclisme, the world governing body for motorcycle sport. CMC has since grown into one of the largest motocross racing organizations in the country.

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