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#307 – Called to The Hall

Here are thumbnail sketches of the men and women inducted into the Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame, class of 2014.

Also Called to the Hall

In this issue we honour our friend Steve Drane, who for so many years has been an entrenched part of motorcycle life on the west coast. Drane was inducted into the Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame in September and our page 34 feature, “Called to the Hall” provides a glimpse into his life. But our focus on Steve Drane is not meant to steal the thunder from the 11 other inductees this year. Each has played an equally vital role in their respective communities.

Included in the 2014 class is the venerable Manitoba Motorcycle Club. Established in 1911, it’s said to be the oldest continuously active motorcycle club in Canada, the third oldest in North America and fourth oldest in the world. Among its founding members is another Hall of Famer, Joe Baribeau, who was the first motorcycle rider to average 60-plus mph for one full hour. This endurance standard took place October 1911 at Winnipeg’s Kirkfield Race Track.

Niagara, Ontario native Murray Dochstader was also called to the Hall in the contributor competition and team class. While riding enduros in 1969, he agreed to help field a Canadian team for the International Six Days Enduro. He signed on as a competitor and team member at the 1971 ISDT on the Isle of Man. A former Ontario district manager for Kawasaki, Dochstader still logs between 30,000 and 40,000 riding km while working as team organizer and resource person for Canadians taking part in Baja races.

Fellow 2014 inductees Steen and Marion Hansen have been involved with motorcycling in Canada for over 45 years. As the national Husqvarna distributor from 1969 to 1987 the Hansens had a tremendous impact on the Canadian MX and Enduro racing scene. As Steen Hansen Racing Products until 2011 they were a major distributor of motorcycle accessory products across Canada and supporter of many Canadian motocross teams.

A refugee from Hungary, Zoli Berenyi (d) took up scrambling soon after arriving in Canada. Within two years Zoli was winning in the Expert Class. His race bikes at the time were a Royal Enfield then a lighter 250 Greeves but by the mid-1960s he had switched to CZ. In 1965 the combination of the Czech MX bike and Hungarian rider produced a Canadian 250 Expert Championship and the Number One plate. He won countless Alberta Championships over the next three decades in both Expert and later in the Over 40 class. In 1985 Zoli was the Canadian National Veteran Champion. Zoli’s dedication to the sport was legendary; racing well into his 70s he could still be seen repairing or watering the track between heats.

Bob Work joined Yamaha as service manager in 1962 and then moved into the racing department where he and Yvon Duhamel would form one of Canada’s most successful racing teams ever, winning over eight Canadian National roadrace championships. During that period they also had two Daytona 250 wins and two podiums in the Daytona 200. Bob also tuned Steve Baker’s race bikes to a total of nine Canadian roadrace titles, and the 1977 World Formula 750 championship and Bob’s ability to identify talented riders produced many other provincial and National championships from a long list of accomplished riders.

Steve Baker began riding the dirt trails around his hometown of Bellingham, Washington when he was 11 years old. At 16, he began honing his racing skills on the short tracks and TT dirt tracks of the Pacific Northwest racing up and down the west coast of the United States and Canada. Steve also took to road racing with a vengeance and by 1973 had won his first Canadian 250 Expert title. During the ensuing three race seasons Baker would claim nine more Canadian plates and the 1977 World Road Racing crown in the Formula 750 Series.

The last hurrah at British Columbia’s legendary old Westwood Race Track belonged to Pete Kellond who on Sept. 15, 1990, in the final event before the track closed, raced to a Vintage 500cc first and a third overall on his Norton Manx. It was a beautiful finish to a race career leading back to the opening of Westwood in 1959. CMA sanctioned the events started the formation of what eventually became the Westwood Motorcycle Club. As a founding member Pete went on to become Life Member in the club, and broke many records not only at Westwood but almost every track he raced, including Abbotsford, Seattle and Portland.

Their father tolerated the preoccupation his sons Glenn and Rex (d) Turple had with motorcycles assuming it would be temporary. Their enthusiasm has never waned since Glenn bought his first bike, a used 1926 Harley, in 1946 and realized they could make a few dollars trading them. By 1956 they moved from their shop on the farm to an old house on Gaetz Avenue in Red Deer, Alberta. The brothers poured a concrete floor in the kitchen so they could use it for the service department. In 1959 Glenn and Rex saw the future in a product from Honda and Turple Bros. obtained the dealership. The brothers’ skills and personalities were a good combination with Glenn running sales while Rex looked after the service department. Glenn is known as a long distance touring rider, having accumulated over 1.25 million kilometres aboard a long list of bikes. Rex excelled at motocross, hill climbing and flat track racing with a home full of championship trophies.

Journalist Greg Williams has spent many years traversing both Canada and the US, collecting and documenting vintage motorcycle and automotive events and stories, many of which have appeared in Canadian Biker magazine. He’s has received countless awards over the years for his work including the book, Prairie Dust, Motorcycles and a Typewriter: The story of Bernie Nicholson and Modern Motorcycle Mechanics. He continues to fill pages and educate many with our Canadian motorcycling history.

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