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Dave Ekins, Class of 2017

Dave Ekins

Dave ekins has had a successful career first as a racer then as a motorcycle magazine editor and finally as a business owner sponsor who gives back to the sport and industry dave has done it all and managed to succeed with a cheerful demeanor that has made him countless friends and supporters throughout his life born in los angeles in 1932 david his brother bud

Developed a love of speed and motorcycling early on dave’s first machine was a wizard motorized bicycle which he wrenched on himself by the time he was 16 dave was employed at a local bicycle shop working on wizards he quickly moved up the real motorcycles and found his lifelong calling he honed his off-road riding skills in the hills above los angeles taking dirt

Roads and trails all the way to the beach and back in 1951 he rode his brothers matchless single in the big bear run and his racing career began dave’s off-road prowess was quickly noticed and he earned his first factory-backed ride in 1953 with nsu he rewarded his new sponsor when he wrote an nsu 100cc to victory in the 125 class the catalina grom free in 1954

Dave followed that class win with another victory as he rode at 250 and su to take the win in the 350 class of the catalina grom free more sponsors followed and dave would eventually ride for triumph bella set sun dap honda harley-davidson and bull taco when honda came to the united states in the late 1950s ekans was one of the first riders asked to race the new

Japanese import at well over six feet dave looked like a giant of the little japanese machines but he had cut his teeth on small displacement bikes and knew how to make them work and last in long distance off-road racers made in japan met cheaply constructed to most americans in the 1960s so dave set out to change that mindset for honda motorcycles in 1962 he and

Bill robertson set the tijuana to la paz baja records riding honda cl 72 scramblers dave wrote those thousand brutal miles in less than 40 hours that ride showed the quality of the japanese made honda’s and became the foundation for the lure and mystique that created the world-famous baja 1000 in 1964 actor steve mcqueen asked dave but eakins and cliff coleman to

Combine as a team to ride the international six days trial that year they formed the silver boz team that represented america in the is dt in east germany riding a triumph dave won his first gold medal finishing fifth in the 500 cc class he went on to earn a second is dt gold medal in sweden in 66 riding his son death dave rode five is dts in total earning three

Medals during his career in 1967 dave won the rugged greenhorn enduro on a hundred cc sundown that victory was one of the most improbable wins in the history of off-road motorcycle it the course was so tough and muddy they’ve had to carry his bike through many of the section dave was next asked to join harley davidson and was part of the team that designed the hd

Baja racers of the early 1970s they’ve then joined the staff of cycle magazine and west coast editor he worked at modern cycle helped launch dirt rider and later served a five-year stint at motorcyclist magazine with publishing in the 1970s dave developed the first velcro fastening kidney belt and it was sold under the name gold bill later he launched son lon the

Company that made popular aftermarket parts for off-road motorcycling inventing the half waffle grill and shorty lovers known as the handler dave also worked as a motorcycle stunt man doing commercials for honda and various movies and tv shows with bud his favorite film was with clint eastwood coogans fluff to be seen riding a triumph up and down stairs in and

Around the city today dave remains active in the industry and is a popular speaker and writer on the origins and history of off-road racing in america he still lives in the foothills of the santa monica mountains where he learned to ride he’s married to his longtime sidekick and number-one fan paul along with multiple is dt gold medals victories and some of the

Biggest off-road events including the big bear run the greenhorn enduro and the catalina grand prix then a distinguished career as a motorcycle magazine editor stuntman innovator and business owner dave ekins has done it all with honesty humility and a lifelong love of motorcycle

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Dave Ekins, Class of 2017 By Off Road Motorsports Hall Of Fame