The Most Remarkable Motorcyclists of 2013

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The Most Remarkable Motorcyclists of 2013

Kurt Walter
Kurt Walter

Kurt Walter

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.

Maggie McNally
Maggie McNally

Maggie McNally

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.

Roland Sands
Roland Sands

Roland Sands

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.

Kurt Caselli
Kurt Caselli

Kurt Caselli

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.

John McGuinness
John McGuinness

John McGuinness

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?

  • 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

  • http://krtong.com/ 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.