While best known for his 1972 Daytona 200 win aboard a Yamaha 350, road racer Don Emde is also a talented author and businessman.
Here are a few facts about Emde, who was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1999.
1. With his victory in the 1972 Daytona 200, Emde became the first son of a former Daytona 200 winner to win the Florida classic. Emde's father, Floyd, accomplished the feat in 1948 on an Indian.
2. Emde was born in 1951, and, while growing up, hung around the family's motorcycle dealership in National City, Calif. As a youngster, Don would help pass out AMA membership forms before weekend road rides.
3. During his high school years, Emde began racing scrambles (now called motocross) events on a little Suzuki 80cc motorcycle. He quickly advanced and was a regular winner in amateur TT and scrambles races. Shortly after establishing himself in scrambles and TT racing, Emde began dirt track racing on area short track and half-mile circuits.
4. In 1970, Emde had a unique situation of having a split AMA racing license. Due to his impressive road racing resume, Emde was given an expert road racing license, despite still being classified as an amateur in dirt track events
5. In his rookie season, Emde had some impressive outings. Riding a Mel Dinesen-tuned Yamaha, Emde earned his very first AMA national podium finish when he took third at the road race in Loudon, N.H. Emde was riding even stronger in the 250cc class. At Talladega, he won the 250 Grand Prix beating future AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famers Gary Nixon and Cal Rayborn in one of the closest races of the season.
6. BSA signed Emde for the 1971 season. He was part of the huge BSA/Triumph Daytona 200 effort which included future AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famers Emde, Mike Hailwood, Dick Mann, David Aldana and Jim Rice for BSA; and Tom Rockwood, Paul Smart and future AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famers Gene Romero, Don Castro and Gary Nixon for Triumph.
7. In addition to the impressive teams fielded by the British maker, all of the Japanese manufacturers (except Honda) as well as Harley-Davidson fielded factory efforts in one of the most talent-ladened lineups in the history of the race. Emde emerged as a surprise podium finisher, taking third in the 200 behind Mann and Romero.
8. Financially troubled BSA unexpectedly trimmed its racing program the following year, and Emde was a victim of the cuts. He hurriedly put together a ride with Team Motorcycle Weekly, with backing from Yamaha for the 1972 Daytona 200. He used a new Yamaha 350cc two-stroke specifically designed for the 200.
9. On lap 48 of 53 in the 1972 Daytona 200, Emde took the lead for good and went on to win. Emde's victory marked a number of Daytona firsts. It was the first 200 victory for Yamaha; the 350cc engine was the smallest ever to win; and it was the first time a two-stroke-powered machine had won the race.
10. After his racing career, Emde continued to work in the family motorcycle business and eventually became marketing manager for Bell Helmets. In the mid-1980s, Emde became publisher of Motorcycle Dealer News. He also launched a magazine called Motorcycle Collector and immersed himself into the world of historic motorcycles.
11. Emde has acquired a very large collection of memorabilia and historic racing photographs.
12. In 1990, Emde wrote Daytona 200, the authoritative book on the history of America's most famous motorcycle race.