Dave Ekins

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Dave Ekins (born 1932) is an American off-road motorcycle racer who pioneered the sport of desert racing in the 1950s.[1] He was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2001.[1]

Motorcycle racing career[edit]

Born in Los Angeles, California, Ekins followed his brother and fellow Motorcycle Hall of Fame member, Bud Ekins, into motorcycle racing.[1][2] He and his brother honed their riding skills by riding the dirt trails in the hills above their Hollywood, California home.[1] Ekins' riding skill earned him sponsored racing motorcycles from factories such as; Velocette, Zundapp, Honda, Harley-Davidson and Bultaco.[1]

Ekins became one of the first American riders to use Honda motorcycles in desert races, helping usher in the era of lightweight, smaller-displacement off-road motorcycles.[1][3][4] In the late 1950s, most desert racers preferred heavy, ungainly, British parallel twin cylinder motorcycles. He competed in many of the most prestigious West Coast off-road races aboard motorcycles as small as 100ccs in displacement, often finishing ahead of competitors on larger motorcycles, including an overall victory at the 1967 Greenhorn Enduro aboard a 100cc Zundapp.[1][5]

In 1962 he and Bill Robertson rode a Honda CL72 motorcycle almost the entire length of Mexico's Baja California Peninsula in less than 40 hours to set the Tijuana-to-La Paz, Mexico record.[1][6][7] Their speed record provided a challenge for other off-road competitors with both, motorcycles and four wheeled vehicles.[1] One of these challengers to Ekins' record run was Ed Pearlman, who decided to organize a yearly off-road race that became known as the Baja 1000.[1][2]

In 1964 Ekins along with his brother, Bud, Steve McQueen and Cliff Coleman were members of the first American team to compete in the International Six Days Trial.[1] The International Six Day Trials, a form of off-road motorcycle Olympics, is the oldest annual competition sanctioned by the FIM dating back to 1913.[8] Ekins competed in five ISDT events and earned two gold medals and a bronze medal in the prestigious motorcycle competition.[1]

Ekins founded and launched the Sunline brand of motorcycle parts and accessories.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Dave Ekins at the AMA Hall of Fame". motorcyclemuseum.org. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Bud Ekins at the AMA Hall of Fame". motorcyclemuseum.org. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
  3. ^ "Honda's First Four Years in America: and you thought it was easy". motohistory.net. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
  4. ^ "American Honda Motor Company and Honda Motor Company". budanddaveekins.com. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
  5. ^ "Greenhorn Enduro Winners". district37ama.org. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  6. ^ "Honda's First Four Years in America". motohistory.net. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
  7. ^ "A Ride Down The Peninsula". budanddaveekins.com. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
  8. ^ "History of the International Six Day Trials". ultimatemotorcycling.com. Retrieved 22 February 2019.

External links[edit]