Skip Van Leeuwen
1938 - 2017
PICKERINGTON, Ohio — Skip Van Leeuwen, one of the best
Tourist Trophy riders in the history of AMA racing, passed away today,
June 21. He was 78.
“The American Motorcyclist Association extends heartfelt
condolences to the Van Leeuwen family and to all of Skip’s friends
inside and outside the motorcycling community,” said AMA President and
CEO Rob Dingman.
Mr. Van Leeuwen was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in
Mr. Van Leeuwen dominated AMA TT competition in the mid-1960s, winning
four nationals on the small dirt-track circuits that feature a jump and
left- and right-hand turns. He won AMA national TT races in Houston (in
the Astrodome), Castle Rock, Wash., and at his home track of Ascot Park
in Gardena, Calif. He also won numerous West Coast regional
championships during his racing career.
After retiring from racing in the early 1970s, Mr. Van Leeuwen went on
to launch a successful motorcycle accessories business.
After high school, Mr. Van Leeuwen and childhood friend Dick Hammer
bought Triumph 650s and began frequenting local speedways. Both would
go on to become nationally known racers.
While TT racing was his specialty, Mr. Van Leeuwen was also a road
racer. His best AMA national finish on a road course was fourth at
Carlsbad, Calif., in 1967.
By the early 1970s, Mr. Van Leeuwen was concentrating more on his
business interests and retired from racing in 1972.
His business, Van Leeuwen Enterprises, evolved over the years to become
one of the largest motorcycle accessory companies in the country.
Skip was awarded the Trailblazers Dick Hammer Award in 2007
TT racers Larry Wilburn and Skip
Toast to Skip