Tuner, engine builder, team owner Rob Muzzy elected to AMA Motorcycle Hall Of Fame
July 08, 2014
PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- Rob
Muzzy, a top tuner, engine builder and race team owner has been elected to the
AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Class of 2014.
Muzzy, who was elected to the Road Racing category, will be inducted at the
2014 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Oct. 17, in Orlando, Fla.
The induction ceremony is part of the AMA National Convention being held in
conjunction with the American International Motorcycle Expo (AIMExpo) Oct.
16-19. Tickets for the convention and the induction ceremony go on sale soon.
Check back at www.motorcyclemuseum.org for
"Rob Muzzy's successes stretch across seven decades, from his 1950s drag
racing ventures to his current performance-products business and team
ownership," said Ken Ford, a member of the Hall of Fame executive
committee and treasurer of the AMA board of directors. "Throughout his
career, Rob's determination, skills and strategies have proved effective,
placing him and his race teams at the top of the motorcycle racing
Muzzy was elated to learn of his election.
"I was really glad to get the call," he said. "I know I was
nominated three or for years ago, but didn't get in. So I was pretty glad that
I got the votes this time around."
Muzzy is the sixth member of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Class of 2014 to
be announced. He joins previously announced inductees: motocross pioneer Pierre
Karsmakers; Tom White, acclaimed racer and founder of White Brothers Cycle
Specialties; George Barber, founder of the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum
and the Barber Motorsports Park; national off-road racing champion Scott
Summers; and AMA motocross champion Mike LaRocco.
The final 2014 inductee will be announced later this week.
Muzzy got started in drag racing during the 1950s and raced dirt track as a
novice in Southern California. He always built and tuned his own race engines.
"When it was time to move up to the next level -- by then I was married
and had a kid -- I just decided that I wasn't that serious about it,"
Muzzy said. "I always had medium success as a rider. But I always had the
quickest bike. So, the other guys were asking me to build engines for them. So
moving from racing to tuning is just something that happened."
Muzzy's first shot at a performance business, in the 1970s, proved
unsuccessful, largely due to an economic downturn at the time. So he responded
to a Kawasaki ad for a motorcycle mechanic, landed the job and never looked
"That was the beginning of my real success, October 1980," Muzzy
During the 1980s, Muzzy built and tuned engines for the Kawasaki and Honda
racing teams. The Kawasaki team scored AMA Superbike championships in 1981,
1982 and 1983.
In 1984, Muzzy moved to Honda as crew chief for the team that won the AMA Grand
National Motocross Championship. From 1985 through 1987, Muzzy-tuned machines
won the 125cc AMA National Motocross Championship, the Daytona 200 and the AMA
Winning with Muzzy as crew chief or tuner were Hall of Famers Eddie Lawson,
Ricky Graham, Scott Russell and Doug Chandler as well as Ron Lechien, Miguel
Duhamel, Rickey Gadson and numerous others.
In January of 1988, at the strong urging of his wife, Muzzy re-opened his own
business, producing engines and exhaust systems for racers.
"I just wanted an easy, 40-hour-a-week job someplace, but my wife
convinced me that I should take advantage of my reputation and skills," he
Toward the end of 1988, Muzzy learned that Kawasaki planned to release a new
"I got in touch with them and said, 'Gee, you ought to race that
thing,'" he said.
Kawasaki agreed and provided Muzzy with "a very minimal budget" to
build a race bike and hire a rider. He recruited Russell and Chandler, who
subsequently finished first and second in the 1990 AMA 750cc Supersport
Championship. Chandler also won the AMA Superbike Championship that year.
Kawasaki then asked Muzzy to run its FIM World Superbike team. He accepted, and
the team won two world championships.
"Those were probably my most successful days," he said of managing
U.S. and world racing teams while running a full-time business. "But that
almost killed me."
Muzzy said the 1993 season was his most memorable, working with teams that won
the AMA Supersport Championship and the FIM World Superbike Championship and
notching Kawasaki's first victory in the Suzuki 8 hours Endurance Road Race.
"To me, it doesn't seem like anything I do is particularly
outstanding," Muzzy said. "I have a good eye for talent, when I can
pick them, and I have been fortunate to work with a lot of really good talent,
whether I picked them or not. We always have a strong team atmosphere, with
everyone working toward the same goal."
Muzzy Performance Products is still operating in Bend, Ore., and Team Muzzy is
AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famers are selected through a nomination and voting
procedure that includes ballots cast by living Hall of Fame members, members of
the American Motorcyclist Association and AMHF boards of directors, and members
of, and advisers to, the Hall of Fame category committees.
To nominate a future Hall of Famer, visit: www.motorcyclemuseum.org/induction.
About the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation
Founded in 1990 by the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation, the goal of the Motorcycle Hall of Fame is to tell the stories and preserve the history of motorcycling. Located on the campus of the American Motorcyclist Association in Pickerington, Ohio, the Hall of Fame's three major exhibition halls feature the machines and memorabilia of those who have contributed notably to the sport. The Motorcycle Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to motorcycling, including those known for their contributions to road riding, off-road riding and all categories of racing, as well as those who have excelled in business, history, design and engineering. More information can be found at MotorcycleMuseum.org.