Gavin Trippe, motorcycle promoter extraordinaire, died July 2nd, 2018, in a car accident in California. Born March 20, 1940, in England, Trippe became a racer and motorcycle journalist before bringing his love of motorbike competition to America, where he started his own publication, Motor Cycle Weekly, in 1969. From there, Trippe’s myriad contributions to the sport of motorbike racing include: introduction of European style motocross racing, and later the first US Grand Prix of Motocross at Carlsbad Raceway (Ca.) in June of 1973,  the first Champion Spark Plug 200 AMA National Championship road race at Ontario Motor Speedway (Ca.), which drew an international field thanks to big prize money, the introduction of production Superbike racing into the AMA class structure – the list goes on.

In the late ’70s Trippe collaborated with then TV producer Bruce Brown, who together translated TV exec Bob Iger’s question (why don’t Kenny Roberts, Roger Decoster and Jay Springsteen race each other?) into a mixed multi-disciplinary style of racing that brought the “ABC Superbikers” to a nationally televised audience on ABC’s Wide World of Sports. That exposed millions of Americans to motorcycle sport, made the moto world a better place to ride – and even laid the groundwork for Trippe to help launch supermoto decades later.

Gavin Trippe

Gavin Trippe from the 2006 Monterey Classic Bike Auction, displaying one of Eddie Lawson’s helmets.

I was inspired and lucky enough to work with this visionary on a few projects he helped promote, including: AMA Supermoto and 450 SuperSingles racing, hatched at Propulsion Lab in collusion with Roland Sands. Among other pleasantries we shared over lunch when Gavin would occasionally stop by the editorial offices during my magazine time, were our motives and motivations surrounding life in the motorcycle media, where it was obvious that Gavin Trippe was not only a huge enthusiast of motorcycling, but also of life.

Gavin was inducted into the AMA Hall of Fame in 2005, read more about him here.