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Emde named Grand Marshal for 2009 VMD

Hall of Famer raced for Marque of the Year BSA

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Apr. 16, 2009
Motorcycle Hall of Famer Don Emde has been named Grand Marshal for 2009 AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, July 24-26 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Complex in Lexington, Ohio.

“I consider it a real honor to be asked to be the AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days Grand Marshal,” says Emde “There’s so much of motorcycling represented at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, from the road-race course to the swap meet to the motocross track to the half-mile at the fair grounds in Ashland. The range of interest is considerable. You say ‘vintage’ to one person, and it might mean a bike from the ’70s, and to someone else it might be an old Indian from the ’40s.”

Emde’s greatest racing triumph came in the1972 Daytona 200. Emde won riding a Mel Dinesen-tuned Yamaha 350cc. The win marked several Daytona 200 milestones: it was the first victory for Yamaha, the first time a two-stroke won and the smallest displacement bike to ever win. Emde also became the first second-generation Daytona 200 winner, following the path of his father and 1948 winner, Floyd Emde.

BSA is the Marque of the Year for the 2009 AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days.The year before his Daytona win, Emde signed on to race for BSA with a group of other American racers and future Hall of Famers such as Mike Hailwood, Dick “Bugsy” Mann, Jim Rice and David Aldana.

Emde’s father also had a BSA dealership in the San Diego, Calif. area, making him a natural choice for Grand Marshal with BSA serving as 2009 Marque of the Year.

After retiring from motorcycle racing, Emde became publisher of Motorcycle Dealernews before starting up Parts Magazine. Emde also authored a book on the history of the Daytona 200 and later joined the board of the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation.

Emde was inducted into the AMA’s Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1999.