RIP Mike Wilson, AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer

We at American Iron Magazine and the motorcycle community in general send our condolences to the friends and family of Melbourne J. “Mike” Wilson, who passed away Feb. 2. He was 94.

Mr. Wilson, an AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer and longtime patron of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, was preceded in passing by his wife and fellow Hall of Famer Margaret Wilson last July.

Born on March 2, 1920, Mr. Wilson started racing dirt track as a novice in 1939. Following his service in World War II as a fighter pilot, Mr. Wilson, along with Mrs. Wilson, opened Wilson’s Motorcycle Sales, a Harley-Davidson and later a Honda dealership, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Mr. Wilson returned to competition and won the Iowa TT State Championship in 1956 as an expert-licensed dirt tracker. He was the last racer to enter the Peoria TT on a 74-cubic-inch Harley-Davidson in 1958.

As a sponsor, Mr. Wilson backed the careers of many great racers, including fellow Hall of Famers John Tibben and Leo Payne.