We are sad to report the passing of Rick "Super Hunky" Sieman, the original editor of Dirt Bike magazine, which first hit newsstands in 1971. Sieman was a gonzo-style writer and wordsmith who simply loved off-road motorcycling. One of the most influential journalists the sport has ever known, Sieman mixed humor with hard-hitting honesty. During the magazine's ascendency in the 1970s and early '80s Sieman used his bully pulpit and influential column "From the Saddle" to help fight land closures, promote unique events and also keep motorcycle product manufacturers honest. He even appeared on the television program "60 Minutes" to advocate against the closure of huge swaths of the southwest desert to off-highway vehicles because of an endangered tortoise.
Rick was also a firm supporter and regular participant in the Barstow-to-Vegas Desert race, along with his friend and attorney Louis McKey, also known as the Phantom Duck of the Desert, and together they were a thorn in the side of the Bureau of Land Management.
Sieman also became an early proponent of the Grand National Cross Country Series after attending his first Blackwater 100, hilariously entering the treacherous race on an over-bored 760cc Maico. He did not finish, but his feature article about this misadventure put the event and the series on the national map. Super Hunky also attended the first Loretta Lynn's AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship in 1982 and his constructive criticism had a similar effect on the event and its long-term future. Sieman, and his editorial staff that included Paul Clipper and Tom "Wolfman" Webb, set the standard for coming generations of moto journalists. Earlier this year Rick was nominated to be inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, where his name remains on the ballot in the category of Leadership & Rights.
Upon retiring from the magazine business Sieman published a book of some of his most popular columns called Monkey Butt. He also moved to Arizona and would host aspiring moto journalists who attended his writing and testing seminars.
Rick Sieman was 83 years old. Godspeed.