The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame is a special place, preserving the history of more than 100 years of two-wheeled mayhem from coast to coast in this great nation of ours. Enduro racing is a big part of that history, and when you peruse the Hall of Fame list of enduro riders who have attained Hall of Fame status, some are obvious and others aren’t–doesn’t mean they’re not worthy, just that they’re not obvious.
So we checked out the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame website and picked eight out of the dozen or so enduro riders who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame, placing them in an order that means something to us. With the exception of our number one pick, we wouldn’t dare to express preference for one over the other, especially when you consider the eras in which they competed.
When reviewing the AMA list, one thing stood out to us, and that was the importance these enduro riders played in America’s efforts in the International Six Day Trials and the International Six Days Enduro. So here they are, Hall of Famers all:
8. Dave Mungenast, Sr.
Dave Mungenast, Sr. was one of the top American enduro racers on the scene in the 1960s and ‘70s. He rode the International Six Days Trials (ISDT, later ISDE) nine times in his career and earned six medals in the event often touted as the “Olympics of Off-Road Racing,” including two gold medals as a member of the Club Team and a silver medal with the Triumph manufacturer’s team in 1973.
Born in Missouri, Mungenast cut his motorcycle riding teeth aboard a 1946 Indian Chief, which he promptly crashed on the ride home after he bought the machine. By the early 1950s, Mungenast found his way into the dirt after his fast-riding street antics drew the ire of the local constabulary. Figuring that he could ride fast in the dirt without being chased, he then began competing in local off-road events, trading in his Indian for a BSA at that time.
Mungenast’s career took off when he won his class at the 1965 Jack Pine Enduro and also topped the then-pres his class at the Jack Pine in 1965. Another big win in a popular 24-hour off-road reliability event held near his home at Riverdale Speedway gained him even more fame and precipitated his move into international competition. In 1967, Mungenast went to Poland and won a Club Team gold medal at the ISDT. He would go on to compete in the ISDT for nine consecutive years, tallying two gold medals, two silver medals and two bronze medals.
Mungenast also owned both car and motorcycle dealerships, and by the early 1970s these growing businesses began to take time away from his racing program. He eventually retired from fulltime racing in the mid-1970s.
Mungenast was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2000.