Art Barda
1936 - 2007

This was forwarded to me earlier today. Art was a good friend and we go way back.
 I saw him at Springfield last year...and he still had that crazy laugh. GOD SPEED, my friend. You'll be missed.

At 9.06 This am 1 /23 /07 Art Barda Formerly National # 96 lost a long bout with cancer ...He was in Billings Mont. and his Daughter and Sons by his side... They say a service will be held in Billings on the 1st of Feb. and are trying to put something together at Daytona this year.....Marcys number in Mont. is 406 698 5876....Barda spent a couple weeks with me last year and was comfortable with Life and all he had been and done ....His laugh and smile will be forever missed...God knows we all covered a lot of ground but believe Barda was one of the Hi-Mileage models !

Posted by DTDiva

Haven't seen many Barda Bee's around lately.


My name is Marcy and I am Art Barda's daughter. Thank you so very much for the Barda Bee jpg. I only have one bee left, and my brothers and I were trying to take photos of it today for my fathers funeral. It means so much to all of us that he has been remembered by his old racing buddies. He was a very special man, and we miss him greatly.
Thank you.


Please give your family our thoughts from northern california. I knew your dad, he was a great guy. Another bit of Barda trivia, Art's son Kevin is a world class triathelete who trained Kuris Roberts the season he won the Daytona Supersport race, Kevin is a heck of a rider as well as a great guy.
Godspeed Art,
Rod Lake

Thank you for your thoughts and support. Kevin will really enjoy the compliment! We will be honoring my father at The AHRMA Flat track banquet in Daytona March 6th. We welcome everyone to join us for dinner,drinks,stories & photos. Please spread the word. Anyone interested can contact me for further details.

Rod, thanks for the compliment, world class is a little optimistic but thanks anyway.
I never caught the flat track bug but I still race motocross at the Vet Pro level.
Thanks for all the words, it is good to know my dad was well liked as he is my hero.
Hope you can make it out ot Daytona.

Hey Digger, Can you tell us little more about Art? I've heard that name all my life but I don't really know much about him.
Thanks, Nick

I'm sad to hear that. Art was a great guy and I always loved listening to his stories.
Scotty A

We all got Art Barda stories...  That was one cool guy.
At Daytona at the AMA Meeting for Pro Officials he made me a Referee for 600 Nationals and Regionals. When he did that the room was full of these AMA officials about 50-60 people at this luncheon. He looked at me and said do you have anything you would like to say? I said well its good to see one other person here that don't have WHITE HAIR and a BAD ATTITUDE! He cracked up and said yah I dye mine!
The rest of the room did not think it was one bit funny but Barda.  We laughed about that for years.

Nick,There are just too many stories to tell...but I'll give you a couple. I met Art at Santa Fe Speedway in about 1959. He took pity on the Calif. kid who didn't have a clue, and gave me some good pointers on how to get around that place. I even stayed at his house for a few weeks, and when he came out to the "left coast" he stayed at my place. He and I have remained friends all of these years. I saw him at Springfield last year. I was taking some t-shirts out to our rental car. I heard his voice and laugh, and knew right away who it was. We talked for a while, and when I asked him how he'd been doing he said "Other than the fact that I'm about to die...I'm great". That was the outlook that he always had.
Two great racing stories that came to mind when I heard of his death had both of us as major players. The first was at a 1/2 mile in the middle of nowhere. As some of you may remember, a lot of the tracks in ILL., Ohio, etc. only had crashwalls on the front straights. We were in the first heat race of the night, and they had just watered the track. Art and I checked it out...and it was extra slick. We decided that it was gonna' be a race between the two of whoever got the lead into turn one...the other would just follow for a couple of laps, then we'd race. Art got the lead with me in second, and hit the ground going into the corner. I had to lay my bike down. It was a pretty big crash. I yelled " ok?" He said he was...then asked about me. "I landed on my I'm fine". We stood up and checked out our arms and legs. Everything was in order...but our bikes were missing. We thought that the track crew had picked them up...but that wasn't the case. It took a few minutes before Art noticed a large mashed area in a corn field. My bike had hit his so hard that it stood both of them back up. They sailed over the 2' berm...and launched about 75 feet. It was quite a job getting them back thru all that corn to the track. We were both done for the day.
The second was at Lincoln, ILL. the day of the big crash that ended Resweber's racing days...broke Dick Klamfoth's back and killed a great racer named Jack Gouldson (spelling??...I'm old and forgetful.)
It was the 5 mile National on 9/16/62. I got a great start, and was leading the heat race by 1/2 a straight-a-way. With one lap to go I looked back and Art was in 2nd. Trying to be funny, I started waving my left arm...telling him to catch up. My humor backfired...and I overshot turn 3. There was a real skinny groove...but it was waaaay to my left. Art stayed on it and passed me about 10 feet from the checkered flag. We both had to meet with AMA's Jules Horky after the race. He wasn't very happy. He thought that I'd let Art win (for some unknown reason). We were there long after the other riders had been paid. We both made the National...but were told that if we ever pulled another stunt like that...we could expect to miss several races, as they would pull our licenses. We laughed about both of those events when we were talking at Springfield. I'm gonna' miss old #96 a lot. He was a fun guy and a good racer. It was pretty hard for us to stay out of trouble when we were together. Had I known that he was serious about almost being dead...I would have talked to him a lot more that day.

Thanks for the memories. As I get older these stories mean more and more to me.

A little bump from the rear, GO ART GO!

Do you have any idea how hard it is to find good moonshine in Calif?
Well...we've been working on it, and it got to me last night in a large pickle jar. A service is supposed to be held for Art tomorrow in Billings, MT. For those of you who knew this special dude, join us tomorrow night at 7PM Pacific Time. At my favorite pub we will be shutting down the jukebox and I'm pouring shots to toast my buddy. Say a little private prayer for Art and his family. Somehow...even good moonshine doesn't seem good enough.

Wish I could share in the celebration Digger, have a great time.

Man, oh man...does my head ever hurt. JG...thanks for all the help. We gave Art a great send-off last night. I say great...but none of my friends that were there are answering their phones today. They must all feel as bad as I do. I got a great phone call from his family last night, but was in no shape to return the call. To all of you who raised a glass last night in memory of #96...THANKS. That main event at the big dirt-track up above is getting bigger all the time.
The time trials are getting underway shortly...but the main event is gonna' have to wait for a few more of us to get in the grandstand.

Cycle News January 29, 2007

Former AMA Grand National dirt tracker Art Barda died on January 23 in Billings, Montana, from complications of prostate cancer.

Barda had a long career in motorcycling, racing professional dirt track from the late 1950s until the mid 70s - racing with his national number 96 on his BSAs, Velocettes and Triumphs.

Barda also became the Yamaha race team manager in the early 1970s, and helped usher in a then-rookie racer named Kenny Roberts. Barda continued to be involved in the sport, working as the professional dirt track manager for the AMA, and later with Kawasaki, Honda and Montesa. His riding talents also led him to some film work, including the B-movie classic, Deathsport.

Later in his life, Barda continued to enjoy racing vintage motorcycles and he had signed up to race a restored Indian at this year’s event in March.

Barda is survived by a daughter, Marcy Tatarka and granddaughter Jessica Tatarka; son Damon Barda and grandson Evan Barda; son Kevin Barda; and daughters Teri Cora and Kathie Favero, grandchildren Lonni, Shawn, Jordan, Blake and twin grandaughters.

Funeral services for Barda are scheduled for February 1 at the Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary in Billings.

A remembrance celebration is planned for Daytona Beach, during the first week of March. For more information, contact Marcy Tatarka at Donations in Barda’s name can be made to the charity of your choice or to the Big Sky Hospice, P.O. Box 35033, Billings, MT


BILLINGS- Art Barda raced his final lap Monday, Jan. 23, 2007 at Saint Vincent Healthcare, from complications of prostate cancer.

Art was born December 5, 1936 in Chicago, Illinois to Arthur and Marie Barda. He began a long career in motorcycling, racing professional dirt track from the late 1950’s until the mid 70’s. Art competed at the top national level for over ten years, holding long-standing speed records at his home track in Santa Fe Speedway, in Hinsdale, Ill. and at Bonneville Salt Flats. His BSA, Velocette, and Triumph motorcycles were always recognizable with the number 96 plate.

Art became the Yamaha Race team manager in the early 1970’s, and helped usher in a then-rookie racer Kenny Roberts. Art continued to be involved in the field, working as the dirt track manager for the American Motorcyclist Association, and later worked with the Kawasaki, Honda, and Montesa Motorcycle companies. His riding talents led him to some film and television work, including the B-movie classic, Deathsport.

Later in his life Art continued to enjoy racing vintage motorcycles; his annual visits to Daytona Beach were an event he cherished, as it reunited him with lifelong friends and racers. His optimism was evident, as he had signed up to race his restored Indian motorcycle at Daytona again this spring.


Art is survived by daughter Marcy (Dan) Tatarka of Billings and granddaughter Jessica Tatarka; son Damon (Mary) Barda and grandson Evan Barda; and son Kevin (Marie) Barda; and daughters Teri Cora and Kathie Ferraro.

Cremation has taken place. Funeral services will be held the 1st of February at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary in Billings. A reception will follow at the Yellowstone Art Museum, 401 N. 27th Street, Billings.

A remembrance celebration is planned in Daytona Beach, FL, March 6th during the dirt track banquet & bike week. Contact Marcy Tatarka at for further information.

Memorials in Art Barda’s name may be made to the charity of your choice or the Big Sky Hospice, Box 35033, Billings, MT.


Art Barda remembrance. We are saddened to report that long-time roadrace member Art Barda died Jan. 24 after a battle with cancer. Barda’s daughter, Marcy Tatarka, announces a celebration of his life at the Dirt Track Awards Banquet on March 6 in DeLand, Fla. She and her family extend an invitation to all who knew him and ask that you bring great stories: “We are all adults now, so I think we can hear them.” Contact her at 406-698-5876 or (Updated 2/8)

1968 Salinas, CA

by Dan Mahony

Art Barda (96-Velocette), Bart Markel(4), Mert Lawwill(18), Dick Mann(2)-Salinas, CA.  Half Mile, 1968

Print available from

Don Emde at Daytona

Enjoying an ice cold Coke and compliments from 3rd place finisher Cal Rayborn following my 250cc class win at Talladega in 1970.
Mel Dinesen, behind me on my right, beams as Cal praised the speed of Mel’s Yamaha TD2.
My dad, Floyd Emde, is behind me on my left, while Yamaha tuner Art Barda consoles runner-up Gary Nixon.
Don Emde Collection.