What they did: As Design Director, Walter has overseen Icon’s rise to prominence; first tackling the biggest safety problem in motorcycles — squids — and now branching out into the fashionable youth market.
Why it matters: Walter is responsible for putting tens of thousands of riders who wouldn’t otherwise wear it into real protective gear, thereby creating motorcycle customers for life. Tried the Icon 1000 range yet? It’s among the most stylish, innovative motorcycle gear ever made.
What they did: Earlier this year, Maggie became the first female chairman of the AMA board of directors.
Why it matters: Not only is McNally spearheading the entry of women into the upper echelons of the traditionally male motorcycle industry, but the message coming from the uber-conservative AMA has noticeably modernized since her election. For the first time, the special interest group has endorsed the practice of legal-lane splitting, and may now finally fight for the issues that matter to 21st century motorcyclists.
What they did: Designed and handmade one of the most appealing concept motorcycles ever made — the BMW Concept 90. Roland also continued development of his range of stylish-but-functional motorcycle gear, filling a glaring hole in the market by doing so.
Why it matters: Roland isn’t an in-house designer, he’s an independent custom motorcycle builder. So, by killing it with the 90, he’s showing conservative motorcycle manufacturers not just that they can look elsewhere for talent, but that they should. Plus, his jackets and gloves are just plain cool.
What they did: Caselli wasn’t just a Champion across multiple motorcycle disciplines, but he was a genuinely nice guy to boot. He was killed while racing the Baja 1000.
Why it matters: Caselli demonstrated the professional athlete ideal, working hard to achieve victories while making friends in the process. An excellent role model.
What they did: Took home his 20th win at the Isle of Man TT this year, widely considered the most dangerous motorcycle race in the world.
Why it matters: McGuinness is the antithesis of the modern motorcycle racer. Not just in age or fitness, but just by being a real, down-to-earth human being. One that rides a motorcycle on the ragged edge at ungodly speeds.
Who would you add to this list and why?