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Author Topic: A True Legend Has Passed  (Read 872 times)

Online Dan McEntee

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A True Legend Has Passed
« on: April 27, 2021, 09:03:15 PM »
    I know this is off topic but I know there are many members that are motorcycle enthusiasts. Motorcycle racing legend and one of the stars of the movie "On Any Sunday:, Dick "Bugsy" Mann has passed away on Monday. If you were ever any kind of motorcycle enthusiast I'm sure you have heard of Bugsy. He was most know for his dirt flat track racing record with two AMA Grand National Championships to his credit And I think he was second in all time number of Grand National wins. Dick was a champion in the days of lest than perfect tracks and small purses and was highly instrumental in the advancement of the sport in almost every way. B

    But Dick Mann wasn't a one dimensional talent. He was also highly skilled in racing motocross also. I got to observe that while attending the Trans-AMA Inter-Am MX event here in St. Louis area back in 1971, I think it was at the old Mid-America Motocross track in St. Charles, MO. Many of the top European riders were invited to race and expose the USA to the sport of Motocross and while riding what some would consider an inferior machine (a BSA 441 Victor I think) Bugsy showed very well for himself.

     Dick was also an accomplished road racer also. If you saw the movie "On Any Sunday" you know that back in that time period, in order to win the National Championship, you had to compete in road racing also. He didn't just compete, Dick was a force to be reckoned with. Dick won the prestigious Daytona 200 twice, and many of his Grand National wins were on road race courses.

    Dick was also an accomplished off road racer and competed in the ISDT (International Six Day Trials) and other national enduro type events. It was many years later that Dick was one of the people that instituted the ISDT Reunion Ride evets and it was while competing at these events that I was able to meet Bugsy and get some items autographed. he was such a nice, down to earth and soft spoken man, but when he had something to say, it was like an EF Hutton commercial and everyone stopped what they were doing to listen to him. He could often be found out at the grass track MX race that was part of the event, cheering all the riders on. If you remember seeing him in "On Any Sunday", you will remember that he had broken his foot before the big final race at the end, and you see him limping around his bike in the pits and such. Well, he still walked that way the rest of his life, but it didn't prevent him from throwing a leg over some 500cc four stroke beast, kicking it to life, and heading out on the track or trail to show us all how it was done. And this was after fighting and beating throat cancer.  he was also an most excellent fabricator, mechanic, and builder of custom vintage off road motorcycles.

    There have been more flamboyant motorcycle racers that were more main stream media friendly, but many people knowledgeable in the sport of motorcycle racing of any kind consider him possibly the greatest of all time given the length of his career and the different disciplines that he was a master of. And he did most of it at an age where some had hung up their helmet.  I feel very lucky to have met and talked with him.
 
  God Speed Dick "Bugsy" Mann

   Type at you later,
    Dan McEntee

AMA 28784
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Offline Air Ministry .

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Re: A True Legend Has Passed
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2021, 12:08:03 AM »
That'd p*ss you off .

BSAs bankripcy was fron page national news, in N Z . On any sunday has Dick Mann  & the BSAs . Tho he mayve briefly defected to Honda once paerhaps . Cam chain said to be about knackered at the Daytona finish .



Below, his renowned BSA 500 single ,






In the end, Mann and machine did — just barely — last long enough to get the win. It was Mann’s first victory in the 200 after about 15 tries and several second-place finishes, so it was a popular victory.










Offline Air Master

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Re: A True Legend Has Passed
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2021, 01:48:20 AM »
In 1971, my friends that I raced with went to Daytona for bike week. (125 miles)
Dick won the 200.   It was an exciting time.   I got to see Kenny Roberts win the 200 another year.    Roger DeCoster, Brad Lackey, and those guys raced at my town's motocross track in 1970s.   It was amazing then.  Huskys, Maicos, CZs, Greeves, Ossa, Bultacos, Yamaha,  Montessa, Suzuki, kawasaki, even harley had a motocross bike in 1974. 

All said, Dick Mann was the man.   Nobody was as versatile.   He could do it all.


Online kenneth cook

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Re: A True Legend Has Passed
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2021, 03:19:26 AM »
              I loved On Any Sunday. I enjoyed how it starts from the neighborhood kid on a minibike to professional racing. I also like the narrator. I thought at one time I heard his voice doing a surfing documentary which was very similar. Somewhere, I still have that VHS tape. Ken

Online Dan McEntee

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Re: A True Legend Has Passed
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2021, 09:16:28 AM »
              I loved On Any Sunday. I enjoyed how it starts from the neighborhood kid on a minibike to professional racing. I also like the narrator. I thought at one time I heard his voice doing a surfing documentary which was very similar. Somewhere, I still have that VHS tape. Ken

   Hi Ken;
     The narrator of "On Any Sunday" was the man who made it, Bruce Brown. He was also the man who made the surfing movie that you are remembering, "Endless Summer", about two young men traveling the world in search of the perfect wave.. Bruce went on to produce two sequels to "OAS" and his son did an excellent movie on the Baja 1000 desert race called "Dust to Glory". I have them all, and my HVS copy of "On Any Sunday" has been signed by Dick Mann and by Malcom Smith, another star of the movie. I just might pop them in the DVD player, perfect thing for a crappy rainy day like we have here in St. Louis today.

    Hi Matt;
    Try to find a copy of Ed Youngblood's book about Dick Mann, 'A Mann of His Time."  Excellent read and I need to read it again. I flipped through it last night. In 1970, Dick had been dropped by the BSA factory because they thought he was over the hill, so that gave the opportunity for him to take the Honda ride. After a practice session leading up to the race, his mechanic found some debris in the oil after an oil change and saw that it was rubber bits. He surmised that  it was from the cam chain tensioner, and he told Dick that he might as well find a nice place on the beach to spend race day. The Honda factory was introducing the 750 Four cylinder that Dick and three others were riding and had strict control over what work could be done on the bikes. Mann's mechanic tore the engine down anyway, replaced the cam chain and tensioner, and had it back together in time for the race, but no time for further practice. Mann's answer to that was "That's OK, I've never won a practice session yet!" On race day, Bugsy was the class of the field and moved out to a huge lead, while the other three Honda 750 Four machine each broke down with cam chain problems one by one. Dock felt his engine starting to go sour later in the race, but he had such a big lead, he was able to ease his pace and nurse the bike to the finish line, and even with a sour engine, still broke the existing race record time. Dick and his mechanic were released from Honda over the handling of the incident, but both landed other jobs. BSA came back to Dick with a fresh offer for another sponsorship for that year. Yamaha had Dick pilot their new machine at Daytona the following year and Dick won the 200 again. But when asked several times about his rad racing experience, Dick would usually say  "I'm not much of a road racer!"   
    In the video , I was pleased to see Neil Keen mentioned. He was from the St. Louis area, held national number 10 for many years and built race chassis for a long time after his career ended. He has passed away in recent history also.

   Type at you later,
    Dan McEntee
AMA 28784
EAA  1038824
AMA 480405 (American Motorcyclist Association)

Offline bob whitney

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Re: A True Legend Has Passed
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2021, 10:50:18 AM »
I have the Mann of his times ,great reading .i was in the infield the year Mann won Datona on the Honda as the race was ending u could hear it mis firing coming out of the corners .it just made the finish. he had such a lead that he could cool it the last couple of laps .
 i think it was 1971 ,the trans am MX came to Orlando .i rode the 250 support class on a Montesa .both class's practiced together and i was lapped by Bugsy on his Victor 441 In our session'

he also built one of the best 250 short trackers ever ,the OSSA DICK MANN REPLICA
rad racer

Offline john e. holliday

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Re: A True Legend Has Passed
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2021, 01:15:08 PM »
Yes the motorcycle riders are getting like us modelers, up in age.  My brothers Bob and Bill Tate were into motorcycles racing, hill climbs, enduros and just plain  riding.  When I stayed with my brother Bill he could be found out in the garage working in the bikes.   I was lucky enough to be a corner man at the local tracks, Lakeside(the old one) and Olympic Stadium.  Corner one was my corner.  My brother told me when a bike goes down and it is safe get between it and the traffic.   He also stated don't move,  they may run over your toes but they won't hit you.  But after my Dad passed I got away from the bike scene and model planes took over.  Now I wonder if I could have done the flat track scene as I did a few runs with my over weight Honda on the drag strip.  But it is great you remember your heros of motorcycle fame. D>K
John E. "DOC" Holliday
10421 West 56th Terrace
Shawnee, KANSAS  66203
AMA 23530  Have fun as I have and I am still breaking a record.

Offline Air Ministry .

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Re: A True Legend Has Passed
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2021, 06:59:00 PM »
              I loved On Any Sunday. I enjoyed how it starts from the neighborhood kid on a minibike to professional racing. I also like the narrator. I thought at one time I heard his voice doing a surfing documentary which was very similar. Somewhere, I still have that VHS tape. Ken

The seaweed , oops; SURFIE one was ENDLESS SUMMER . Thought he would do a good Control Line one , if it were similar to On Any Sunday . ( Found two at Op Shops in one week ) Theres a ' uncut ' O. a. S.
were you get to be on the Triumph F 750 on the Daytona Banking . or the camera was , anyway . ( Theres some at Spa on replicers , on board  Tri / BSA F-750 )

How he followed the fortunes of a competitor & his tuning & preperation , I thought did it . Similar game in F2B would spice the story . " A Seasons efforts " . !

Offline Serge_Krauss

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Re: A True Legend Has Passed
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2021, 10:14:25 PM »
Wow! I remember seeing Dick Mann on TV - probably "Wide World of Sports" - when I was a kid. He may have been the first motorcycle racer I heard of past Cannonball Baker.  What a career! Thanks for posting. I missed this. - SK


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