Until he retired last year, Chris Ellis was the face of Triumph Motorcycles in Canada. For as long as I worked in the motorcycle community, he was a consistent and enthusiastic link between the industry as it was 25 years ago and what it is today – things change but in many ways Chris remained the same. Last year while still with Triumph, Chris invited our longtime contributor Bertrand Gahel to Daytona for Bike Week and a ride aboard the new Rocket III. Chris told me that the trip to Daytona was something in the order of his 35th consecutive visit to the iconic event. I found that fascinating and immediately suggested he write a piece for the magazine detailing that history as surely there were only a handful of people in North America who could claim the same commitment to Daytona, bikes and sand. It would have been a great tale.
Chris embraced the motorcycle life. He enjoyed the job and the people he met along the way. One of my very early motorcycle “press” events was a local ride with Chris, John Campbell and Canadian Biker founder Len Creed with whom Chris had a long friendship. Yes, there was the opportunity for some press for several of the fresh new-era Triumph bikes but I think Chris took that jaunt up the coast because riding motorcycles with friends both new and old on a sunny day along an interesting road was why he did the job. Simply, it was great fun.
For all that time when his phone number was the Triumph phone number in Canada, Chris’ voicemail message ended with a comment about having a wonderful motorcycle day.That was just a small sign of how he approached his job and life. Chris Ellis passed away suddenly on March 29 after a short battle with an aggressive illness. He will be missed by many.
– John Molony