"It's not exaggerating to say that if you ride, it's extremely likely that one or more parts on your bike, or at least one piece of your riding gear, was supplied through your dealer by Parts Unlimited or Drag Specialties," said Jeffrey V. Heininger, chairman of the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation, which raises money for the Hall of Fame. "Fred Fox's reach in the motorcycle world is vast, and he's definitely earned a place among the greats in the Motorcycle Hall of Fame."
Fox founded Parts Unlimited in 1967 to distribute motorcycle parts and accessories to dealers. Today his parent company, LeMans Corporation, is based in Janesville, Wisc., and it employs more than 1,200 people in operations spread across the U.S., Canada and in Europe. Parts Unlimited serves the "metric" side of motorcycling, while Drag Specialties serves the American V-twin industry. The company's own brands include Thor Motocross, Moose Off-Road, Icon and Z1R helmets and apparel.
Fox elevated motorcycling and the sport of motorcycle racing nationally by creating a state-of-the-art distribution system that got parts to dealers quickly. He also helped grow the sport by sponsoring motorcycle racing series, as well as amateur and professional racers.
Additionally, Fox served for 14 years on the Motorcycle Industry Council's Board of Directors or on one of the trade group's committees.
"This is obviously a very nice honor, and it's much appreciated, but at the same time, there's a lot of people I could give credit to for making this work," Fox said. "It's not a one-man band. We were, at one time, up to 1,600 employees."
Fox noted that he never expected to be named to the Motorcycle Hall of Fame.
"I was obviously a little surprised," he said. "A lot of the people in the Hall of Fame are pretty good racers, and I was a mediocre racer. I saw that they were faster than me, and I was a mechanical engineer, so I worked on the tuning side of it, and the rest of it grew out of that. I have a lot of mottos, but one is 'Get out of bed and try to run the business better than the day before.' We're very proud of that."
Fox joins previously announced magazine pioneer Phil Schilling in the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Class of 2011. The remaining 2011 inductees will be announced in random order over the next few weeks.
The Class of 2011 will officially be inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame on Nov. 18 as part of the AMA Legends & Champions Weekend. In addition to the induction ceremony, the weekend includes the 2011 Motorcycle Hall of Fame Concours d'Elegance on Saturday, Nov. 19, featuring some of the country's most impressive original and restored classic motorcycles. The AMA Racing Championship Banquet closes out the weekend on Sunday, Nov. 20, where AMA Racing amateur champions of all ages will be recognized for their 2011 accomplishments.
Tickets for the AMA Legends & Champions weekend are now available through this online registration form. Tickets may be ordered over the phone by calling (800) 262-5646.
The AMA Legends & Champions Weekend also includes the final round of the GEICO AMA EnduroCross National Championship Series on Saturday evening, Nov. 19. EnduroCross tickets are available at www.orleansarena.com/event-calendar/endurocross or by phone at (702) 284-7777 or (888) 234-2334.
The AMA Legends & Champions Weekend will be held at the Las Vegas Red Rock Resort, a world-class spa, hotel and casino, featuring a range of entertainment, dining and family-friendly attractions. The facility's expansive ballrooms provide a stunning backdrop for the AMA Legends & Champions Weekend, which is certain to be memorable for the 2011 inductees, champions, families, friends and fans. Room reservations are available now at a special group rate by calling (866) 767-7773 and referencing group AMA or AMERICANMOTO. Online room reservations are available at www.RedRockLasVegas.com. For online reservations, use the promo code RCIMOTR.
More information about the Motorcycle Hall of Fame can be found at MotorcycleMuseum.org.