Elmer Trett’s name became synonymous with Top Fuel motorcycle drag racing during the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. For the better part of 30 years, he showed incredible innovation and ability in making fuel-burning motorcycles perform.
Here’s a look at 10 facts related to Trett, who was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2000.
1. Trett was the first motorcycle drag racer to break the 200 mph barrier in sanctioned competition.
2. NHRA named Trett one of its 50 Top Drivers of All Time.
3. He was the first rider to top 200, 210, 220 and 230 mph.
4. While Trett's racing career spanned three times that of most racers, he died at the NHRA U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis on Sept. 1, 1996, while making an exhibition run. He was 53.
5. At the time of his death, Trett held the 10 fastest speeds ever on a Top Fuel bike.
6. Trett started drag racing in the late 1960s at Thornhill Dragway in Kenton, Ky. His first racer was his Harley-Davidson street bike.
7. He turned to Top Fuel racing in 1976 with a twin-engined Sportster, and, in 1979, won his first title with sanctioning body DRAGBIKE.
8. Trett permanently etched his name into the drag racing record books when he became the first motorcycle drag racer to eclipse 200 mph, being clocked at 201.43 at the NHRA U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis in 1983.
9. He won eight national Top Fuel championships under three sanctioning bodies.
10. In addition to his induction into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, Trett became the first motorcycle racer to be inducted into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame.