Motorcycle Hall of Fame announces first 2012 inductee

Markham ON – July 5, 2012: The Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame is pleased to announce the first member of the induction class of 2012. John Doherty will be honoured at the Seventh Annual Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Banquet and Reunion, which takes place on November 3, 2012 at the Delta Centre-Ville in Montreal, Quebec.

John Doherty has been immersed in the world of motorcycles since he was old enough to ride. Like most lifelong enthusiasts, he progressed from rider, to club member, to competitor, to event volunteer, to organizer, to advocate, to sponsor, fund raiser, to race track management, to major event organizer and now, historian of the sport. “There is hardly any branch of the motorcycle sport in the Maritimes, or in Canada, for that matter, that hasn’t benefitted from the tireless efforts of John Doherty,” notes Hall of Fame Chair Kellee Irwin. “John is well known by just about everyone in the sport and business, all of whom could independently speak of his considerable contribution over the past 43 years.”

John organized his life so he could devote as much time as possible to the motorcycle community in Canada. He had the freedom and flexibility to completely immerse himself in both participation, and organization, of all aspects of the sport. From his earliest days, he got involved as a volunteer at local events. He played no favourites: trials, road rallies, motocross, road racing, and finding time to ride his own steeds, which he did prodigiously. “Because of his enthusiasm and commitment, John quickly became the go-to guy in the Maritimes when some motorcycle-related event needed to be organized,” notes Hall of Fame Director Dave Munroe.
The other motorcycling legends and champions to be officially inducted into the Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame at this year’s Hall of Fame banquet and ceremony will be announced over the next few weeks. This accomplished group of men and women have achieved excellence in one or more competitive disciplines or made a significant contribution to the well-being, advancement or general positive image of motorcycling in Canada.

The Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Reunion is the annual signature event of the Canadian International Motorcycle Heritage Museum Foundation (CIMHMF), a non-profit association with charitable status. It is governed by an independent board of volunteer directors located from coast to coast and sponsored by the Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada (MCC). Founded by Bar and Hedy Hodgson in 1999, the CIMHMF preserves and promotes Canadian motorcycle history for the benefit of the motorcycling community and public. Since the first induction banquet in Toronto in 2006, almost 100 distinguished motorcyclists have been inducted into the Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame.

  • John Doherty started his love affair with motorcycles at the age of 16, under the influence of his older brother Pat, who was already bitten by the motorcycle bug. John and Pat imported a pair of Itom 50cc Sport bikes, which proved to be perfect charismatic machines to capture John’s heart and set him off on a lifetime immersed in the sport.
  • John moved up, in time, to larger British machines with the Norton Marque becoming his mount of choice. He rode his 600 Norton all over the eastern side of North America, and discovered race tracks and racing in his journeys. Thus began his motorcycle education, and the hook was set for life.
  • John is blessed with an incredible memory, which he filled over the years with everything “motorcycle” oriented. This stood him in good stead when he sought employment in the industry. He ran, with his brother Pat, a large motorcycle dealership in Halifax in the early part of his career, eventually being lured away by Honda Canada. He worked in the Maritimes, Toronto and Calgary as a zone motorcycle sales manager, and for a stint with Honda’s advertising agency before returning to his beloved Maritimes to operate that retail store with his brother. He eventually pursued his own retail operation and today is back in the business as a motorcycle sales rep with Pro Cycle in Halifax.
  • During his time as a motorcycle dealer, he sponsored many riders as well as events. In addition, he became avid competitor on the road racing circuits of Eastern Canada. He earned his expert license, and was a constant challenger for the Maritime Road Racing Championship.
  • When the movement started to build Atlantic Motorsport Park (AMP), he was there in the mud and the dirt helping to organize the work parties, and wielding a shovel with the best of them.
    When the track finally got its legs, John got involved organizing events and finding sponsors, running and promoting them to the finest detail. He was also at that time one of the founders of the Atlantic Motorcycle Competition Riders Association, (AMCRA) and a perpetual member of the Executive. During this period he cut his teeth as a race announcer/ commentator. Being possessed of a steel trap mind, and having the powers of instant re-call of people and events, he built a reputation as one of the most gifted and entertaining announcers of his time, an occupation which he still practices and enjoys.
  • Not content with his self-imposed very heavy work load, John promoted and operated a Canada Safety Council Motorcycle Training School, acting as organizer, promoter and Chief Instructor.
  • He eventually took on race track management, while he was still heavily involved with the operation of AMCRA, and was the driving force behind the operation of AMP, serving as its President and Board Member for many years.
  • During this period he continued to compete in road races, act as a sponsor for other riders, and was a co-creator and organizer with Gerard Van Heuven of the Belvedere Yamaha Cup Series, the first series of its kind in Canada. True to his character, he helped arrange for the winner of the first year of that series to compete in the European Yamaha RZ Cup in France. This was an opportunity never before presented to a Maritime road racer and champion.

For more information about the Seventh Annual Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Banquet and Reunion, contact Daniel H. Tessier at daniel@motorcycling.ca or at 647.920.1334.

For information about past inductees, historic motorcycle collections, event sponsorship, and tax-deductible donations, visit www.motorcyclehalloffame.ca

1 Comment

  1. Janet MacLeod

    It is wonderful to see my long time friend John get this well-deserved honor. His tireless dedication to and enthusiasm for motorcycle racing is well known. He has always been a great mentor to younger racers and he draws on his encyclopaedic knowledge of the sport to educate any audience with detailed and witty stories. I called John from the Moto GP race at Laguna Seca this year and he was able to catch me up on everything I needed to know to be a well-informed spectator. I was recently back in Halifax and had the pleasure of watching another Moto GP race with John. I will be at Laguna Secaa every year from now on and the races bring back great memories of the fun-filled days in the pits at Debert, Pennfield and AMP.
    I am delighted to see John get recognition for his contribution to motorcycle racing in Canada.
    Janet MacLeod (Monterey, CA)

    Reply

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