Devin Battley at his motorcycle dealership in 2013
August 31, 1950 |
Arlington, Virginia, United States
Devin Battley (born August 31, 1950, in Arlington, Virginia) is an American businessman known for his involvement with motorcycles as a racer and as a dealer. From an early age, Battley enjoyed racing motorcycles and participated in many national championships. He helped to orchestrate Harley-Davidson's interest in Buell motorcycles, and he sold motorcycles to King Hussein of Jordan and Mike Tyson.
1981–1999: Racing career
From 1981 to 1984, Battley raced in the Battle of the Twins (later, Pro Twins), part of the AMA Professional Road Racing series, as well as:
- 58th Laconia Classic, Battle of the Twins, Laconia NH, June 20, 1981, 1st place Stock Production
- AMA Superbike Championship Series: Final Round, Daytona Beach FL, October 3–4, 1981, finished 2nd place Stock Production class but won the championship
- Battle of the Twins, Talladega, Alabama, March 14, 1982, 5th place Expert Modified class
- AMA Superbike Championship Series: Final Round, West Palm Beach FL, October 10, 1982, 2nd place Grand Prix class
- AMA Grand national Championship Series: Round 26, Sonoma CA, August 21, 1983, 2nd place Grand Prix class
- AMA Superbike Championship Series: Battle of the Twins, Elkhart Lake WI, June 10, 1984, finished 4th overall and 3rd in the Grand Prix class
- Finished third in the national point standings in 1984 in the Grand Prix class.
On March 1 and 2 in 1999, at the AHRMA Classic Days at Daytona International Speedway, Battley took first place in two races. First, in the eight-lap Formula One class, and then in the Battle of the Twins Open class. He was riding a 1998 Ducati 916.
1986–present: Buell Motorcycles
In 1986 Battley, through his friendship with Erik Buell, arranged for Rockville Harley-Davidson to become the world's first Buell dealership. Battley still has Buell #001, an RR1000 Battletwin, in his private collection.
In 1987 Battley smuggled Buell onto a cruise ship for the Harley-Davidson annual dealers' meeting. Battley told Harley-Davidson then-CEO, Vaughn Beals, that Buell could give the company a performance image with no risk to Harley. They set up a table for Buell to speak with dealers and by cruise-end he had deposits and orders for 25 motorcycles. Attendees such as Bill Bartels, Don Tilley, Devin Battley and Frank Ulicki (all ex-racers) went on to become some of Buells most successful dealers.
1994–1996: Sales to King Hussein
In 1994 and 1996 Battley sold a collection of motorcycles to Hussein bin Talal, King Hussein I of Jordan. He traveled to Jordan to deliver and test the motorcycles. While there he road across country with the King. A well publicized photo shows the King and Queen Noor riding a black, 1994 XLH1200 Harley-Davidson Sportster that Battley sold him.
In 1999, Battley was interviewed on ABC's Nightline with Ted Koppel about his experiences with King Hussein. In the broadcast, the Nightline commentator says, "[The King] enjoyed racing cars and motorcycles. There was a Harley dealer in Maryland, near a home the King kept there, that was his chief supplier." Battley is then interviewed, saying, "Anytime, he was liable to jump on one of these motorcycles, go blasting out of the palace grounds, you know, with his bodyguards in the big Mercedes chasing him and, you know, the King riding this motorcycle, he just got on the gas, kept going!"
List of motorcycles sold to King Hussein
|Manufacturer||Year||Make and model||Color||Last of VIN|
|Harley-Davidson||1996||FXSTC Softail Custom||Violet||50657|
|Harley-Davidson||1996||FLSTN Softail Deluxe||Grey/Silver||50672|
|Harley-Davidson||1994||FLHTCU Electra Glide Ultra Classic with Sidecar||Aqua/Silver||506662|
|Harley-Davidson||1994||FLHTCU Electra Glide Ultra Classic with Sidecar||Black||506438|
|Harley-Davidson||1994||FLSTC Heritage Softail Classic||Black||031282|
|Harley-Davidson||1994||FXDL Dyna Low||Aqua/Silver||312038|
In 2004, Queen Noor published a book, A Leap of Faith: Memoirs of an Unexpected Life, which featured, on the paperback version, a picture of the king and queen riding on a 1994 Harley-Davidson FLSTC Heritage Softail that Battley sold the king.
2008: Chairman of the Maryland Governor's All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) Safety Task Force
In 2008, the legislature of Maryland created a task force to define all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and how they should be handled under Maryland law. Battley was appointed to the committee through his role as president of the Maryland Motorcycle Dealers Association and was elected chairman of the task force. The task force produced a report for the Maryland legislature in December 2008.
1999–2009: Big tree
- Stayin' Safe, Lawrence Grodsky, 2008, ISBN 978-1-884313-72-1, pages 326–327
- Cycle News, July 8, 1981, page 64
- Cycle News, Oct. 14, 1981, page 11
- Cycle News, Mar. 24, 1982, page 11
- Cycle News, Oct. 20 1982, page 13
- Cycle News, Aug. 31 1983, page 54
- Cycle News, Jun. 20 1984, page 10
- Cycle World, November 1987, page 32
- Cycle News, Mar. 17, 1999
- Cycle News, July 15, 1987 number 27, page 37
- 25 Years of Buell, Canfield & Gess, 2008, ISBN 978-1-884313-74-5, pages 42-44
- Walneck's Classic Cycle Trader "Davenport Show Issue", October 2006, page 33
- Nightline: Hussein of Jordan, ABC Evening News for Friday, Feb 05, 1999
- http://msa.maryland.gov/msa/mdmanual/26excom/defunct/html/02atv.html Maryland State Archives record of the All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) Safety Task Force
- Maryland State Archives record of the report of the task force