Tom White, a motorcycle-industry entrepreneur, AMA Corridor of Famer and philanthropist, is among the uncommon individuals who completely nobody has something adverse to say about him.
This we already knew earlier than attending final weekend’s Tom White Memorial Experience at Glen Helen Raceway, however the respect for White was emotionally on show by the who’s who of SoCal motocross luminaries that confirmed as much as pay their respects to the inspirational man who succumbed to most cancers November 2, 2017 on the age of 68.
Tom White Obituary
White first gained prominence within the early 1970s as a national-level dirt-track racer and motocross competitor earlier than he and his twin brother, Dan, based White Brothers Cycle Specialties, which grew right into a profitable enterprise that employed practically 200 individuals in its glory years earlier than the enterprise was offered in 2000. White continued his enthusiasm for the off-road , creating the World 4-Stroke Championship and World Vet MX Championship, and he additionally based the Edison Dye Motocross Lifetime Achievement Award, which acknowledges the particular person or individuals who’ve made the most important influence on the expansion of motocross in America.
White, a faithful household man, additionally established the Early Years Of Motocross Museum, a set of greater than 200 classic motocross bikes that is among the greatest MX museums on this planet, if not the greatest. Click on on the hyperlink beneath to see our article on White’s 10 favourite bikes in his museum positioned on his household’s property in Orange County, California.
10 Greatest Bikes At Tom White’s Early Years Of Motocross Museum
The creator of that story, Scott Rousseau, and I have been lucky to be at White’s museum this summer season when Indian Bike was delivering one in all its formidable FTR750 dirt-track racers, the final piece added to his marvelous moto museum. (This text’s lead photograph I shot was taken that day in August, with spouse Dani and daughter Kristen by his facet.) Take a look at the video beneath to see the passion White shows for his new toy, regardless of the most cancers that was consuming him inside.
White rode his Indian FTR750 for just a few demo laps at a dirt-track in Perris, California, this previous October, and Rousseau says his tempo was surprisingly brisk. White additionally competed in a number of MX races this yr. He was decided to eke out most pleasure from the final months of his life, an inspiration for us all.
White has been inspiring bike fans for many years, as evidenced by the a whole bunch of people that got here out to Glen Helen on November 11 for White’s memorial journey at Glen Helen. Combined in amongst common SoCal locals have been 5-time world MX champ Roger DeCoster, famed dirt-trackers (and On Any Sunday stars) Gene Romero and Walt Fulton, former manufacturing unit Husqvarna motocross racer and fellow AMA Corridor of Famer Mark Blackwell, off-road legend Scot Harden, Yamaha’s motorsports supervisor Keith McCarty, and KTM North America president John Hinz, amongst many others.
One of many many sano classic dirtbikes that took half within the Tom White Memorial Experience.
Attendees gathered within the monitor’s major constructing previous to the journey, the place one in all White’s dearest mates, longtime Motocross Motion journal editor Jody Weisel, supplied a touching tribute that was heartfelt and unexpectedly joyful in its tone.
“I feel if I took away something from the Tom White expertise with most cancers, it’s that you just’ve obtained to dwell if you are dying, Weisel advised the gang. “You’ve obtained to do the issues that you just wish to do. Tom made a listing of the issues that he wished to do. He mentioned, ‘I’d relatively dwell for 2 months and dwell life to the fullest than dwell six months in ache.’
“He wished to race,” Weisel continued. “He wished to journey his dirt-track bike. He wished to see his granddaughter born. He wished to go on a highway journey. And in between chemo and feeling dangerous, he was capable of go and do each a kind of issues. So, when he died, I didn’t actually really feel prefer it was a loss.”
So, with surprisingly buoyant temper, riders headed out to their bikes for a lap of honor to White’s legacy. Combined in amongst modern motocross bikes, just like the Honda CRF450RX I rode, have been dozens of classic machines, and the sound of air-cooled thumpers and the odor of Bel Ray two-stroke smoke was thick within the air. It was a becoming and superb strategy to bid farewell to the revered and liked Tom White.
Rider’s head out for the Tom White Memorial Experience at Glen Helen Raceway.
White’s daughter, Kristin Anderson, intends to honor her father’s legacy by persevering with to function the Early Years of MX Museum and supporting White’s philanthropic efforts.
“We’re humbled by the turnout,” Anderson mentioned appreciatively, “however it’s not a shock as a result of we all know that he had a extremely large influence on the game. Seeing everybody right here actually helps us sort of fill the void that he left. He has had so many whose lives he touched. He wished us to rejoice (not mourn) him, and that’s what we’re doing.”
Right here’s our colleague Scott Rousseau subsequent to Tom White at Perris Auto Speedway on October 7, the date of the ultimate spherical of the 2017 American Flat Monitor Sequence, the place White rode his FTR750 to meet one other one in all his bucket-list needs lower than one month earlier than his passing.
“Even on the very finish he nonetheless didn’t complain about something,” DeCoster mentioned about White. “He was matter-of-fact, and he was planning what he needed to do, however he by no means mentioned, ‘Why me?’ All of us complain about issues that we shouldn’t, and Tom was one of the best instance of being constructive it doesn’t matter what.”
“We hope that Tom’s life story serves as inspiration to everybody that fierce dedication and good will can yield a life terribly effectively lived,” the White household mentioned in a press release upon the passing of Mr. White.
Tom White’s life and the best way he lived it must be an inspiration to us all. His bravery, ardour and enthusiasm by no means waned at the same time as his days got here to an in depth. Godspeed, Tom, you’ll be dearly missed.