The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Class of 2021 is Dave Arnold, Nancy Davidson, Gary Denton, Tommy Hays, Loretta Lynn, Scott Plessinger, Kenny Tolbert and Ryan Villopoto.
“The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Class of 2021 includes men and women who have excelled in competition, promotion and advocacy of the sport we all love,” said American Motorcyclist Association President and CEO Rob Dingman. “They have advanced motorcycling in areas as diverse as amateur motocross to American V-Twin culture. They have performed at the pinnacle of their disciplines and helped elevate riders and teams to new heights. We are humbled and honored to recognize these motorcycling greats this Oct. 15 at the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.”
Hall of Fame inductees represent eight areas of influence: Ambassadors/Industry, Design/Engineering, Dirt Track, Leadership/Motorcycle Rights, Motocross/Supercross, Off-Road, Road Racing and Specialty Competition:
Dave Arnold worked for American Honda from the mid-1970s through 2013, developing some of the greatest talents in the sport and helping forge the program’s legendary dominance in AMA Motocross and Supercross. Arnold contributed to 60 titles on factory and factory-supported teams. Arnold’s talents transcended race operations to research and development, resulting in advancements in production motorcycles that impacted motorcyclists all over the world, and will continue to do so for decades to come.
Nancy Davidson, wife of Willie G. Davidson, was one of the most recognized women who had a positive impact on the motorcycle community. She contributed to charity rides and support for the Muscular Dystrophy Association through the Harley-Davidson Dealer network. As a strong advocate for the AMA, she espoused the freedom and adventure of the motorcycle lifestyle and influenced ridership across the globe. Mrs. Davidson passed away in July 2021.
Gary Denton won the AMA ATV Grand National Champion for eight consecutive years, excelling in both motocross and dirt track and establishing himself as perhaps the most dominant ATV racers in the history of the sport. Denton also founded, along with his wife, Denton Racing to provide ATV-related services, parts and accessories to his fellow racers.
Tommy Hays was the most successful Class C dirt tracker prior to World War II, and arguably the most successful racer from the pre-Grand National Championship era (1933-1953) who is not yet inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. Even though he died at an AMA National in 1941, Hays’ seven AMA National TT wins are still the fourth most ever in AMA history.
Since 1982, country music icon and superstar Loretta Lynn has continuously hosted the AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tenn., known as Loretta Lynn’s Ranch. For the past 39 years, she has welcomed the AMA’s youngest and brightest amateur athletes for the weeklong annual national motocross championship – an event known all over the globe as the “world’s greatest motocross vacation.”
Scott Plessinger was one of the top off-road racers of the late 1980s and early 1990s. He was a four-time AMA national champion with two Grand National Cross County titles (1994 and 1995) and two AMA National Hare Scrambles titles (1989 and 1992). The Hamilton, Ohio, resident had 41 national event wins competing on KTMs.
Kenny Tolbert is the second-most successful tuner in AMA Grand National history, behind legendary tuner and AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend Bill Werner. Tolbert-tuned motorcycles have claimed eleven AMA Grand National Championship, 117 AMA Grand National wins, six AMA 600cc Championships and 31 AMA 600cc wins, since 1988.
Ryan Villopoto, from Poulsbo, Wash., is one of the greatest champions in AMA Motocross and Supercross, competing in the professional series from 2005 to 2014, winning five AMA Motocross and four AMA Supercross National Championships. Immediately after turning pro, Villopoto won three straight AMA Motocross Lites Championships and one AMA Supercross Lites title. Then, after moving up to the premier class, Villopoto won four consecutive AMA Supercross Championships to close out his career. Throughout his career, Villopoto racked up 31 outdoor national wins and 41 AMA Supercross main event wins.