The Most Remarkable Motorcyclists of 2013

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The Most Remarkable Motorcyclists of 2013

Motorcycling isn’t just a sport or an industry, it’s a passion and a way of life for millions of people around the world. These are the people that live and breath motorcycles and, in doing so, have changed our world for the better this year. This is RideApart’s list of the most remarkable motorcyclists of 2013.

Erik Buell
Erik Buell

Erik Buell

What they did: Against all odds, developed an honest world-beating superbike — The EBR 1190RX — that will not only be sold for a reasonable price, but will race in World Superbike next year.

Why it matters: Erik and the EBR team did that just four years after Harley — unexpectedly and without financial reason — killed the Buell brand. The 1190RX easily eclipses any motorcycle Erik developed while working for Harley. So, for the first time, we’re getting to see his real potential. If he can do this on a shoestring budget and in such a short time span, imagine what he’ll be able to bring to market five or ten years from now with Hero’s backing.

Mark Seeger
Mark Seeger

Mark Seeger

What they did: “Mark made production possible,” says Mission Motorcycles Chief Strategy Officer Vincent Ip of the company’s dog-loving President. That’s production of the Mission RS and R, electric superbikes which, for the first time, outperform their gas-powered predecessors.

Why it matters: A tiny startup in the Bay Area just re-wrote the fast motorcycle rule book. Every other company on the planet, no matter what size, now produces an inferior product and, if they aren’t already doing so, will have to start playing catch up ASAP.

Marc Marquez
Marc Marquez

Marc Marquez

What they did: At just 20 years old, Marc Marquez became the youngest ever MotoGP World Champion. He didn’t do that through luck or by being careful, he did it by riding the wheels off his Honda RC213V with a radical new style that’s equal parts crazy and impressive.

Why it matters: Remember all that talk of some guy named “Valentino,” being the Greatest Of All Time? Bet you haven’t heard anyone make that claim since about halfway through this season. “Changed the game,” is a cliché, but there’s probably no other current athlete it applies to more than Marc.

Stefan Pierer
Stefan Pierer

Stefan Pierer

What they did: As CEO of KTM, Pierer has re-invented a brand that once just made dirt bikes into the world’s leading producer of desirable, affordable entry-level bikes. He did that by entering into a novel partnership with an Indian manufacturer and without neglecting either the company’s off-road success or its continued development of high-end street bikes. Any other motorcycle company in the world would be envious of KTM’s diverse product line right now, and the company’s growth; it’s hitting record production numbers at a time when most other motorcycle manufacturers are way down on volume. Oh yeah, and he personally bought the Husqvarna brand from BMW.

Why it matters: If bikes like the 125, 200 and 390 Dukes and RCs continue to be a success, then KTM will have single handedly created a new market for desirable, affordable motorcycles capable of appealing to a new generation, while simultaneously demonstrating the viability of manufacturing partnerships in the developing world. What about Husqvarna? Who knows. Pierer hasn’t shown his cards on that one yet.

Gabriele Mazzarolo
Gabriele Mazzarolo (right)

Gabriele Mazzarolo

What they did: Alpinestars celebrated its 50th anniversary earlier this year. Founded by Mazzarolo’s father as a bootmaker, the multi-billion dollar company now encompasses the entire action sports world and as recently branched out into mainstream fashion. In motorcycles, the brand utterly dominates, both in the technological development of performance wear and in worldwide sales. As Owner and President, it’s Mazzarolo’s leadership that has enabled it to do so.

Why it matters: From MotoGP to Supercross to surfing, Alpinestars makes the progression of the sport possible by making it safer and applying its huge marketing budget. You likely have at least one item of Alpinestars gear in your closet, if you’re not wearing it right now.

Continue Reading: The Most Remarkable Motorcyclists of 2013 >>

  • Brian

    Ana Carrasco for breaking the barrier for females in FIM/GP racing. Her performance on the Kalex KTM in Moto3 is worthy of a similar rise of popularity potential like what Danica Patrick went through coming up from Indy to NASCAR. While here in the USA, we would have hoped that it might have been Elena Myers ( who is certainly no slouch and a VERY accomplished racer in her own right) to have broken that barrier into Grand Prix racing, Ana should very much be recognized.

  • Jack Meoph

    Putting McGuinness in there is AWESOME. That guy is simply one of the best MC riders in the world. His interviews are hilarious. Instead of talking to a guy who just rode one of the most dangerous road courses in the world at record speed, you would think they were talking to a guy who just walked out of a pub with a group of his mates.

    Also, I would add…..Carlin Dunne. For a MC blog that waves the electric motorcycle flag, Dunne was the fastest person on two wheels up Pike’s Peak on an electric motorcycle. He has been the fastest MC rider up Pike’s Peak for the past 3 years. His first year, 2011, as a rookie, he won the last dirt/asphalt race. In 2012, he won the first all asphalt race, and in 2013 he won the race on the first electric MC to finish first in a major motorcycle championship. 3 years, three wins. And a lot of firsts. Not bad.

  • JP

    Jorge Lorenzo should get a nod as well. I haven’t always been the biggest fan of his, but he showed a lot of grit this season and made this year’s MotoGP a show. His style on the Yamaha was a great contrast to Marc’s as well.

  • Dan

    I think Kevin Ash deserves a nod here as well. Brilliant journalist, with a real knack for making complicated ideas accessible. He will be missed.

  • chad west

    Tom Sykes because he dominated the championship this year

  • Kr Tong

    Just a great article.

  • Jorn Bjorn Jorvi

    The unnecessary and incorrect use of the gender neutral pronoun ‘they’ in this article in cringe-worthy.

  • usediv

    Would’ve thought Dunlop would’ve got the nod over McGuinness for this year’s TT

    • William Connor

      One good year makes someone good, 20 wins makes someone great.

  • William Connor

    Ian Hutchinson deserves some praise for his return to racing being a win at the Macau GP. The brother’s Lowes with a World Championship apiece this year. Cyril Despres for once again winning the Dakar. Ted Simon for still existing.

    • Jordan

      Ian had some of the worst luck regarding his broken leg and some really intense therapy to get 100% again. To compete again is hugely respectable, but to win the Macau shortly after such a long recovery is astonishing.

  • DragosStefan

    Pierer can hardly be considered a “motorcyclist”. The Article should be titled “Motorcycling personalities” or something like that.

  • ThinkingInImages

    McGuinness and Marquez had me watching racing in awe. I have to give a nod to Dunlop and Pedrosa, too. It was a great racing season.

  • Von

    There’s a cool segment with Kurt Caselli in Moto 4 which is on Instant Netflix! Seemed like a great guy, amazing rider.

  • MichaelEhrgott

    RIP Kurt Caselli.

    P.S. John McGuinness is a beast, that is all.