Vaillancourt is Next in AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame

After announcing Randy Hawkins, the first member of AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Class of 2009 last week, the past weekend AMA welcomed Gilles Vaillancourt, a pioneer in modern motorcycle suspension development.

Vaillancourt, along with Hawkins and other members to be announced by AMA (the American Motorcyclist Association) will be honored at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on December 5. Information about buying tickets will be announced shortly on the Museum website at

"There are key periods in the history of motorcycling where major leaps forward helped bring us to where we are today, and in the off-road world the suspension revolution of the 1970s certainly qualifies as one of those eras," said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman. "Gilles Vaillancourt and his company, Works Performance, were not just along for the ride during that period. They were among the few in the rider's seat, pushing the technology and the sport of motorcycling forward."

It is in the early 1970s that Vaillancourt began developing off-road motorcycle shocks that featured a revolutionary multi-stage damping system. Motocross and desert racers began using his shocks with great results, and soon racers in all disciplines of motorcycling started adopting them.

"Like so many of our Hall of Fame Inductees, Gil has been involved with some aspect of motorcycling most of his life. He might have started his suspension company in the 1970s, but his ideas for a better-handling motorcycle started a long time before that. To this day, if you have a question about suspension you can call Gil at work -- he's there every day. And he's a pretty good rider as well," said Don Rosene, chairman of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Committee.

"I've been very fortunate to have some good experiences in the sport and meet some very terrific guys who I count as friends these days. I'm really honored that somebody would recognize what I've done in this industry," Vaillancourt added.
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