AMA Hall of Famer, Industry Icon, Don J. Brown Dies

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We have just learned that industry icon, AMA Hall of Famer and longtime Dealernews contributor, Don J. Brown, has died. He was 80.

Brown's son Scott confirmed that his father passed away at his Irvine, Calif., home Wednesday afternoon surrounded by his family.

We will have more details soon, but for now let me editorialize here and pass along my heartfelt condolences to the Brown family. The thoughts of those of us here at DN go out to them.

Brown's encyclopedic knowledge of the history of the motorcycle industry has been invaluable to us here at Dealernews and we will miss him and his keen insight.

Brown's long history in the motorcycle industry includes stints as a desert racer, editor of Cycle magazine, creator and host of one of the first motorcycle radio shows, general sales manager for Johnson Motors, executive positions with Suzuki and BSA and a longtime industry analyst and consultant.

In 2007, the Motorcycle Industry Council awarded Brown the Chairman's Award for his outstanding service to the motorcycle industry.

Among some of the favorite stories I've heard from Don is the one about his secret work with Craig Vetter to create what eventually became the Triumph Hurricane X75. There's something about getting history like this firsthand that makes it almost magical and unreal.

Here is a link to Brown's biography at the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame website.

Godspeed Don.

posted by Dennis Johnson