Dave Despain Resigns From AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Over Nobby Clark Fiasco

This just in from Ed Youngblood’s Motohistory.net blog relating to the latest development in the AMA Hall of Fame Nobby Clark Fiasco.

Editor’s Note: The following letter was transmitted by motojournalist, television commentator, and Motorcycle Hall of Fame member Dave Despain at 5:54 EDT this afternoon.

July 12, 2012

Motorcycle Hall of Fame

13515 Yarmouth Dr.

Pickerington, OH  43147


To Whom It May Concern:

This letter and the enclosed medal commemorating my induction comprise my immediate resignation from the Motorcycle Hall of Fame.  I expect my name and picture to be removed without delay from all Hall of Fame materials and representations.

I take this action in response to the Hall of Fame’s unconscionable rescinding of the nomination of Nobby Clark, a motorcycling legend more than worthy of Hall of Fame membership.  I believe we Hall of Famers have a special stake in the integrity of the institution and its nominating process.  I have lost all faith in that process and, more importantly, in the individuals who apparently now control it. 

I am deeply suspicious of media speculation that Clark’s “criminal record” is somehow grounds for the withdrawal of his nomination but given the absence of any clear and official explanation from Hall of Fame officials, that apparently is the brush with which Nobby is to be tarred.  This raises a couple obvious questions:  What changed in the short time between the announcement and the rescinding of Clark’s nomination and why would Clark’s “criminal record” be grounds for a blackball when that clearly was not an issue for a number of previous inductees who also have criminal records. 

I suspect the answers to these questions, if they were truly known, would do nothing to restore my faith in the integrity of the institution but in the end my resignation does not turn on those answers.  Instead it is based on a simple and inescapable conclusion; given everything Nobby Clark has accomplished in this sport, if he doesn’t belong in the Motorcycle Hall of Fame then I sure as hell shouldn’t be in there.


Dave Despain


  1. Dave was followed with a growing number of other Hall of Famers resigning, including world class racers Dick Mann, Kenny Roberts, Ed Fisher and Dick Klamfoth. More to come?