Presenting historical recognition to Canadian motorcycle legends since 2006.
The 16th annual Motorcycle Hall of Fame induction banquet and reunion is in the books. The 2023 ceremony, which was held in Mississauga, Ont., just west of Toronto, was a huge success that was very well-attended, with around 250 attendees. The hallways around the event centre were filled with motorcycles and displays that had a direct connection to many of this year’s inductees.
The evening, hosted by Pat Gonsalves, started off with a few words from Paul Germain, the Hall of Fame’s Chair, which were followed by the presentation of the The Bar and Hedy Hodgson Award. The Bar and Hedy Hodgson Award’s inaugural year was 2007, and its mandate is to encourage the preservation of our Canadian motorcycling heritage by honouring a person, group or organization that has made a significant contribution to the preservation of that heritage.
This year, the recipient of that award was Can-Am for its contribution 50 years ago with the introduction of its motocross and enduro models that took the off-road motorcycling world by storm by winning land speed records, ISDT gold medals, American motorcycle championships and winning or placing in just about every competition a Can-Am bike was entered into.
The name Can-Am would also be heard many times during the evening. Not only was Can-Am the major sponsor of this year’s Hall of Fame (HoF) awards evening in celebration of its 50th anniversary, but there would also be inductees who raced Can-Am motorcycles and played major roles in the growth of the company decades ago. Two of the inductees in the Competitor/Contributor category who had connections with Can-Am are David McLean and Bob Fisher.
Five-time ISDT medal winner Bob Fisher’s first bike was a 441 BSA Victor which he then changed the gearing and was competing in motocross scrambles. A year later he traded his BSA for a 360 CZ and moved up to expert class and was winning championships. He was inducted for not only his racing success but also for his contribution beginning in 1971 as Can-Am’s engineering manager, and for organizing the company’s R&D department in helping develop the Can-Am for Bombardier.
Similarly, David McLean was inducted for not only his prowess in ice racing and dirt track, but also for his contribution in R&D at Bombardier for his assistance in developing the Can-Am motorcycle. In just a few short months…