PowerSports Business

November 27, 2017

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MOTORCYCLE www.PowersportsBusiness.com Powersports Business • November 27, 2017 • 25 Motorcycle industry icon passes away at 68 Tom White, famed motorcycle racer, business owner, philanthropist and historian, passed away after a courageous battle against cancer. He was 68. White was raised near the ocean in Hun- tington Beach, California, where he grew up surfing before discovering his life-long passion: motorcycles. He soon found his niche in flat track racing, eventually earning national num- ber 80 as a professional. In 1976, White founded Tom White's Cycle Specialties, which would later become White Brothers Cycle Specialties when White partnered with his twin brother, Dan. Over the next 25 years, White Brothers would grow into a nearly $40 million-a-year company that employed approximately 200 employees at its peak. White sold White Brothers in 2000, and turned his attention towards restoring and collecting vintage motocross bikes. Over the next decade, White's collection grew to over 170 motorcycles, including a variety of unique models from brands such as Husqvarna, CZ, Maico, Bultaco, BSA and others. White believed his efforts were but one piece of a greater industry initiative to ensure the history and legacy of motorcycle racing in the United States remained intact and relevant for future generations of racers and fans. White's The Early Years of Motocross Museum, located on his family's private prop- erty in Orange County, Calif., is not open to the public, but it has played host to motorcycle industry events including product launches, professional racing media gatherings, as well as numerous charity fundraising efforts. In addition to his role as a motorcycle historian, White discovered another passion over the past few decades: announcing motor- cycle races. White became the announcer of the weekly REM motocross series at Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino, Calif., one of his greatest joys. In 2017, White was honored with a monument along Glen Helen's Walk of Fame. White also served as the announcer for many professional races throughout the United States, reveling in the thrill of all disciplines of motorcycle racing. In 2014, White was inducted into the AMA Hall of Fame. And in 2018, White is due to receive the prestigious Dick Hammer lifetime achievement award from the Southern Califor- nia Trailblazers Motorcycle Club. "Tom White was one of the great people in motorcycling," said Rob Dingman, presi- dent and CEO of the American Motorcyclist Association. "In addition to his personal accomplishments on the track and in the business community, Tom was a wonderful person and a joy to be near." "While we mourn the loss of an incredible human being, we also celebrate his life, his achievements, his passion for motorcycles, and his love of friends and family," said the White family in a statement. "We hope that Tom's life story serves as inspiration to everyone that fierce determination and good will can yield a life extraordinarily well lived." White passed away peacefully in his home, surrounded by his family, along with several of his favorite motorcycles. He is survived by his wife, children, grandchildren, dear friends and motorcycle enthusiasts around the world. PSB Tom White, co-founder of White Brothers Cycle Specialties, passed away in November. Photo courtesy of the American Motorcyclist Association White's The Early Years of Motocross Museum is located on his family's private property in Orange County, California. Photo by Liz Keener/Powersports Business

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