PICKERINGTON, OHIO- Motorcycling history was made as a record crowd gathered at The Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum to celebrate the opening of “SuperMann,” an all-new exhibit honoring the legendary career of Dick Mann, one of motorcycling’s most versatile and successful competitors. Mann, who was inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1998, returned as the guest of honor on Thursday, July 27, 2006 to personally cut the ribbon during the “SuperMann” exhibit dedication ceremony. Many of Mann’s friends, motorcycling legends in their own right, including Gary Nixon, Brad Lackey, Bill Werner, and Jim Rice, were in attendance for the opening.
“SuperMann,” the third in a series of exhibits in the Hall of Legends at the Museum, celebrates the highlights of Mann’s numerous championship seasons as well as his professional achievements and contributions to the sport, including his current work for the American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association (AHRMA). Featured exhibit bikes include a BSA Gold Star dirt tracker, his Daytona-winning BSA Rocket 3, a Matchless G50 road racer, a Triumph and Matchless G50 in dirt track trim, a Yankee and four Ossas – all raced or developed by Dick Mann.
Exhibit visitors can also enjoy artifacts and memorabilia from Mann’s prolific career, many of them on loan from Mann as well as from private collections. Ephemera includes Mann’s Grand National Championship leathers, trophies, references to his design work for Yankee Motorcycles, and other unique items that help tell the story of “SuperMann.”
Mann was indeed a competitor with Superman-like qualities. He was the first individual in history to win every category of AMA Grand National competition, is a two-time Daytona 200 winner, a two-time AMA Grand National Champion and a 24-time AMA National race winner. Not only did Mann win more races in more categories than anyone else, he brought home the trophies for longer than most. Competing in over 230 AMA nationals, including dirt track, road racing and motocross, Mann was in hot pursuit of the checkered flag for over 25 years, scoring top ten finishes when other racers were long retired.
Mann was a natural choice for a Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum exhibit, notes Mark Mederski, the Museum’s executive director. “Dick wasn’t just a fierce and multi-talented competitor who mastered virtually every type of motorcycle he ever threw his leg over, but his mechanical expertise also made him that rare breed of racer who could build a fast bike by himself, race and win with it.”
Mann also inspired – and mentored – legions of competitors, such as 2001 Hall of Fame inductee Jim Rice, who joined the celebration to accept his Hall of Fame gold medal –belatedly – from the hands of Dick Mann. Rice said of Mann, “He’s been my hero since I began racing.” Rice’s memories of racing alongside Mann and Mann’s own tales were only a small sampling of the memorable benchracing that is a highlight of every Museum gathering – as well as the philosophy behind every Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum exhibit. “SuperMann” doesn’t simply present the hardware – it delves deep into the stories behind the legend. This mission is expertly accomplished by “SuperMann” curator, Motorcycle Hall of Fame member and historian Ed Youngblood. Youngblood, an award-winning author, who also penned the Dick Mann biography, “Mann of His Time.”
For a complete online biography of Dick Mann as well as exhibit opening coverage and photos, visit the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum web site at www.motorcyclemuseum.org.