2022 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Honors Six Inductees
The event brings together motorcycle legends, enthusiasts and industry leaders from across the country
PICKERINGTON, Ohio— The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame inducted six new members Friday night at the 2022 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.
Members of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Class of 2022 include Kenny Coolbeth, Greg Hancock, Effie Hotchkiss, Sandy Kosman, Ben Spies and James Stewart.
“Each year, with the exception of 2020, we have had the privilege of honoring the most accomplished and important people in the world of motorcycling at a very special Hall of Fame induction celebration. AMA’s motorcycle,” AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman said, addressing the audience. “But this is more than a grand banquet and ceremony to honor the incredible inductees who have contributed so much to our sport…it is also a chance for us to come together in the interests of preserving the history of the motorcycle for future generations.”
The ceremony’s emcees, well-known actor and director of stage, screen and television Perry King, and motocross racer, sidecar enthusiast and sidecar journalist Laurette Nicoll, guided the audience through the careers and accomplishments of the inductees.
Those gathered also honored the memory of recently deceased AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame members: Wes Cooley, Ed Fisher, Bobby Hill, Loretta Lynn and Preston Petty.
Induction ceremony supporters and partners included MX Sports, Seven MX, Bubba’s World, Suzuki and Kawasaki.
The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Class of 2022
After an introduction, each member of the Class of 2022 was formally inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, and inductees in attendance were awarded the prestigious Hall of Fame ring by fellow Hall of Famers. Many inductees, or their family members, then addressed the audience.
Born in 1977, Kenny Coolbeth began his professional career on the flat track in 1994. He earned his first AMA Grand National victory at the Columbus Half-Mile in 2002. He won his first AMA Grand National championship in 2006 while riding for the Harley-Davidson factory and followed that up with two more championships in 2007 and 2008.
Throughout his successful career, Coolbeth has earned 37 AMA Grand National victories, placing him sixth on the all-time win list, as well as 108 AMA Grand National podiums.
Coolbeth retired from professional flat-track racing at the end of the 2018 season while remaining competitive in the sport. He continues to give back to the sport and now works as a rider trainer and setup expert for the Turner Honda Racing team.
“I was just a kid who could ride motorcycles,” Coolbeth said after being inducted into the Hall of Fame. “I never dreamed of being in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, and it’s an incredible honor to be here.”
Greg Hancock, born in 1970, started racing in Junior Speedway competition at the age of 9. At age 15, he won the National Junior Speedway Championship, his first of many titles. Soon he started racing across Europe and in 1997 won the FIM Speedway World Championship.
During the 1990s Hancock also won the FIM Pairs World Championship and won three FIM Team World Cup Championships. He went on to win his second FIM Speedway World Championship in 2011, winning it again in 2014 and 2016.
Throughout his nearly four-decade career, Hancock became one of the most decorated motorcycle riders of all time, winning four FIM Speedway World Championships, three FIM Team World Cup titles, as well as eight AMA US Speedway National Championships.
“As youngsters, we all started riding bikes with big dreams,” Hancock said in his acceptance speech. “Each of us worked hard in our own way to pursue those dreams of being champions of all kinds. When I look back on my career, I’m extremely satisfied and still pinch myself every day thinking about the great success I’ve had. If I could do it all over again, I wouldn’t think twice and go after even more.
Born in 1889, Effie Hotchkiss started riding at age 16. She started working on Wall Street in banking but grew tired of the monotony of the job. Using the inheritance her father left her, she bought a 1915 Harley-Davidson 3-speed twin and a Rogers sidecar for her mother Avis and their luggage.
The two embarked on their adventure on May 2, 1915, riding to San Francisco and then riding back to their home in Brooklyn, NY, in late August. Hotchkiss became the first recorded woman to complete a transcontinental motorcycle ride, covering 9,000 miles in five months.
Hotchkiss quickly became a female icon for her efforts and was celebrated in the very first issue of Harley-Davidson’s The Enthusiast and in countless newspapers across the country.
Effie Hotckiss’ great-grandson attended the ceremony as next of kin and commented, “Thank you AMA for inducting my great-grandmother into the Hall of Fame. Today is the best day of my life.”
Born in 1941, Sandy Kosman had both the mind and the vision of a genius. As a self-taught designer of high-performance chassis and wheels for on-road, off-road and custom drag racing motorcycles, Kosman was a builder of champions as well as a highly successful entrepreneur.
In 1965, at age 24, Kosman started Kosman Specialties, building lightweight motorcycle gas tanks in his basement. The business flourished and he moved into a building in San Francisco, expanding his products and services over time.
In its more than 30 years in business, most drag racing bikes, many flat track bikes and a few AMA Superbike racing teams have adopted Kosman products including American Honda, Vance & Hines, Performance Machine and others. Despite no formal training, Kosman and his company have become a household name in racing and performance circles.
“It hasn’t been that long since we lost my dad,” Kosman’s daughter Nadia DeSimone said. “But I know what it would have meant to him to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Tonight is my last moment with him, and it means so much to my whole family.
Ben Spies, one of the greatest American road racers in sports history, won five national titles and had 44 national victories in his career. Born in 1984, he came of age under the rule of six-time AMA Superbike Champion Mat Mladin, toppling the champion in his prime in 2006. In 2007 he defended the title in one of the closest battles in the AMA Superbike Championship of all the time.
Spies’ AMA National Championships include the 2006, 2007, and 2008 AMA Superbike titles, the 2007 AMA Superstock title, and the 2003 AMA Formula Xtreme title.
In 2009 Spies joined the Yamaha Italia team in World Superbike competition. His rookie year proved exceptional and he won the 2009 World Superbike title. A full-time MotoGP rider in 2010, his performances won him Rookie of the Year. He retired from professional racing in 2013.
Due to illness, Spies was unable to attend the ceremony, but family friend Alec Dare accepted the Hall of Fame ring on his behalf. “I am proud that my family can look back on all the chapters of my life and see that I have entered the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame,” Dare read in a post from Spies. “Thank you to the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame and well done to everyone here.”
James Stewart, born in 1985, showed his potential early on, winning his first national amateur championship at the age of 7. Before the age of 16, he won seven AMA National Amateur Motocross Championships.
Turning pro in 2002, he won the AMA 125 MX title later that year while riding for Kawasaki, becoming the first black man to win a title in the sport. Stewart won the 2007 AMA Supercross Championship, earning a runner-up finish in 2009.
Incredibly, Stewart won all 24 motos in the 2008 Pro Motocross Series – a perfect season – securing the 450 Class National Championship.
Stewart’s pro racing career ended in 2016 after totaling 50 AMA Supercross premier class wins and 48 AMA Pro Motocross National wins, making him one of the greatest motocross racers of all time.
“I want to thank the AMA…it’s such an honor,” Stewart said in a moving acceptance speech. “I’ve never been the cool boy; I wanted to ride a motorcycle. But now when you say my name, it’s James Stewart, Hall of Famer. Of all the things I’ve accomplished in my career, that’s the best part. It’s like winning the ultimate championship. It’s incredible!”
The recently unveiled Class of 2022 exhibit, featuring Hall of Famers bikes and memorabilia, is now on display at the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum. Schedule your visit today: https://americanmotorcyclist.com/visit/
About the American Motorcyclists Association
Founded in 1924, the AMA is a non-profit association whose mission is to promote the motorcycle lifestyle and protect the future of motorcycling. As the world’s largest motorcycle event rights and sanctioning organization, the AMA represents the interests of motorcyclists at all levels of government and sanctions thousands of competitive and recreational events each year. In addition to offering members economical discounts on products and services, the AMA also publishes American Motorcyclist, a newly revitalized full-color monthly magazine (and a digital version of it) that covers current affairs and history. of motorcycling with brilliant photography and compelling writing. American Motorcyclist is also the most widely circulated magazine in North America. Through the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Pickerington, Ohio, the AMA honors the heroes and legacy of motorcycling. For more information, visit americanmotorcyclist.com.
Not a member? Join the AMA today: americanmotorcyclist.com.