Nowadays, it would be unusual for a motorcycle racer to jump between motocross, flat track, road racing, and trials competition.
But for Dick Mann, it was business as usual.
Mann began his racing career scrambling at local dirt tracks before transitioning to road racing in the 1950s, on his way to becoming a two-time AMA Grand National Championship winner. Over a professional career that spanned three decades, Mann became the second-winningest rider in AMA Grand National history, and he notched victories at famous race tracks like Daytona and Pocono.
His success made him a charter member of the exclusive “Grand Slam Club,” reserved for riders who have secured Grand National wins in road racing, short track, TT, half-mile, and mile competition.
When he retired in 1974, “SuperMann” had raced in 240 national events, and finished Top 10 in points in every season, save for one, between 1957-73. He’s a member of both the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America and Motorcycle Hall of Fame, and considered one of the Fathers of Motocross.
More than a racer, Mann helped redesign the modern racing motorcycle, making strategic frame and styling tweaks to increase his competitiveness. Post-retirement, Mann continued to restore vintage motorcycles and race at historical events.
Dick “Bugsy” Mann passed away earlier this week. He was 86 years old.