Special Guest Banquet Speaker Rod Pink

 

AMCA Banquet Guest Speaker
Rod Pink

 

The Rhinebeck Grand National Super Meet is Proud to announce our Guest Speaker for 2009, Racing Legend Rod Pink! Rod is the Son of Motorcycle Hall of Famer Reggie Pink. Rod grew up on Racing with all of the Pink Family Racing experience and guidance behind him. He raced all kinds of bikes in about every type of motorcycle race of the day. Rod has many wonderful Stories to tell of his past and will share them with us at the Banquet!

Here is a Brief Bio from Rod.

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Rodney Pink was born on October 4, 1945 in Yonkers, New York.  He was the 3rd son of Reggie Pink who was a championship rider and hill climber in the 1920’s and 1930’s.  Along with being the first importer of foreign motorcycles into the United States, Reggie was also a well known Harley Davidson dealer and a founder of the AMA.  Rod’s two older brothers, Don and Doug, were championship riders in every aspect of the sport from the 1940’s thru the 1960’s.

As the youngest, Rod had the good luck of being there first hand to see and be a part of motorcycling history.  Rod first rode at age 11 on a Basket Case NSU Fox in the backyard.  At age 14, he finally got Reggie’s okay to ride in enduros and trials on a 1948 125 Harley with a rubber band fork and a rigid frame.  For his 16th birthday he got the permission to race in scrambles on a 165 Harley with a swing arm frame and a telescopic fork.  To say the least, Rod was over prepared for competition.  Thanks to his two brothers’ experience and help he won all of his first 8 amateur races and began winning as an expert right away.  By then he was working as a mechanic in the family dealership in New York.  

What followed was a run of #1 plates in the 200cc, 250cc and open classes in New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.  Rod wanted to race with the AMA class “C” guys like Bart Markel and Gary Nixon, so that meant going novice in flat track and road racing.  Thanks to his brother Don, the family business and Harley Davidson he once again had the support and equipment to win all of the points he needed to make junior and then class “C” expert in just two seasons.  On his green and white Harley KR #77u Rod got to meet his goal of racing with Markel, Nixon, Romero and Dick Mann.

During Rod’s pro career he earned the national #64 which had previously belonged to Dick Mann.  Later he had gotten national #7 which had been Sammy Tanner’s number until his retirement.  In time the #7 was then passed on to Mert Lawill, a former National Champion and star of “On Any Sunday”.   By 1980 his career had succumbed to his second broken back in 6 months, but had gotten to finish out his racing career with #7u.

Fans always associate Rod with the green Harley and leathers.  He stayed in the business until his retirement and to this day still rides every day that weather permits.  In Rod’s words “It was awesome and also very hard, but worth anything you had to do to be a part of it.  The biggest win of all is that I am still alive and remember most of it.  And that there are still people that care and want to hear those tales of heroes and fools on two wheels.”  He has hundreds of stories of events and people to tell, filled with victories, almosts, some stupidity and many injuries.  There are more stories then could be summed up in one article.

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In the above photo is the Pink family, In the Back Left to Right Donna, Bernice, Reggie, on the back of the Panhead is Rod and Doug in the front, this is 1952

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In the above photo the year is 1956 and the Pink Family at the observed trials, from the left on a Hd 125 is Rod, Reggie,Doug on a HD 165, Leslie, and Don on a HD 165

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In the above photo Rod is catching some air in 1965 at Maybrook NY on a HD CRS 250

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Here is Rod in front of the family HD dealership on his Suzuki

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Above is the 100 miler at Indianapolis Racway Park, Rod is #7, Yvon Duhamel #10, Roger Reiman #55, and Ron Pierce #97

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This is Rod #72 at Daytona with Dick Mann #2 just in Front, Mike Halewood in the back