AMA Sidecar Champ named to Hall of Fame

Larry Coleman won the three championships

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Jun. 21, 2010
Sidecar racing champion Larry Coleman has been selected to the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.

A three-time AMA Sidecar Racing National Champion, Coleman began competing in sidecar racing when he was a U.S. serviceman in Europe in the late ’60s. Starting out as a passenger, Coleman later moved behind the handlebars as a rider.

“Motorcycle racing is one of the most diverse motorsports in the world, and sidecar racing is further evidence of that," says Jack Penton, AMA director of operations and Hall of Famer himself. “One of the best ever at this unique and exciting discipline is Larry Coleman – a three-time champ who really took the sport to new levels.”

Coleman returned to the U.S. in 1973 and continued racing, winning multiple AFM championships.In 1976, Coleman and passenger Wendell Andrews won the first ever AMA Sidecar National Championship on a Kawasaki 500 H1-based sidecar. The two of them defended their title in 1977. Coleman would win another AMA Championship in 1979 with Mark Bevans, riding a Yamaha TZ750-powered machine.

 “The guys who rode with me in those championships, Wendell Andrews and Mark Bevans, are as much a part of this as I am,” says Coleman. “They say that motorcycle racing takes 100 percent effort, and on a sidecar, it takes 200 percent.”

Coleman retired from racing in 1981 and later started a marketing and public relations consultancy business. Coleman hasn’t slowed down any however; quite the opposite actually. Coleman still rides sidecars at the Bonneville Salt Flats, setting several land-speed records.

Coleman and the rest of the 2010 Hall of Fame class will officially be inducted at a ceremony Nov. 19 in Las Vegas during the AMA Legends & Champions Weekend. Coleman will enter the Hall with racing team owner Mitch Payton, road racing champion David Emde, off-road rights activist Clark Collins, dirt track racer on Castro and JT Racing founders John and Rita Gregory.

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