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Jim Pomeroy

1952-2006

The Northwest lost a true motorcycle legend in early August when Jim Pomeroy lost his life while driving his jeep along Ahtanum Road near Yakima. He was 53 years old.

Pomeroy built his motorcycle career throughout the 70’s competing in a number of motocross events in both Europe and the USA snagging top honors along the way. He was the first American to win a FIM World Championship MX event which he did in Spain in 1973. Often riding a Bultaco, Jim later switched to Honda in the late 70’s and continued to score well along a number of circuits.

Pomeroy retired from racing in the early 1980’s and went on to breed a number of riders through his own motocross school. He remained active in the sport doing various vintage days events both national and local like Dino Days, an event put on locally by the Tacoma Ducks motorcycle club annually. In 1999 Jim was inducted into the AMA Hall of Fame.

He was well liked among members of the Northwest Motorcycling community and often made the trip over from Yakima to Seattle to partake in Vintage Motorcycle Enthusiasts club events. When the Pacific Northwest Museum of Motorcycling began auctioning off bikes several years ago for fund raising Jim penned his name to a Bultaco used in the 2004 auction.

Terry Saxlund who worked at University Honda/Bultaco when Jim’s star began to rise put it this way – "we found out real quick he was genuine, not at all pretentious, not arrogant, just a talented likable kid who wanted to please, have fun and win races. It was a pleasure to have him as a representative for our dealership.

Photo: During a VME gathering.  Jim at center.  Photo courtesy of Barry Mercer/VME

In the early 80’s Jim had become interested in teaching street skills as well. Bill Spencer of Latus Motors in Oregon was on the range when Jim participated in his first class (see photo below). "Seven of this group went on to become MSF certified instructors. The course was held at Sumner HS circa 1981, one of the first training sites in the new WMSP prior to the currant program. Jim wanted to start his own training program, so I suggested that he take the basic MRC to assist him with his understanding and coaching techniques that could apply in the development of track training and skills."

Photo:  Motorcycle Rider Course circa 1981.  Jim is in the stripped shirt. Photo courtesy of Don Daugherty

Don Daughrtey was also on hand that same day. He reveals the candid side of Pomeroy’s attendance. "Jim was his usual gregarious self throughout the class, until he tried to dispute the notion of counter steering with our instructor and my friend, Bill Spencer. I think Jim called 'B.S.' to the idea that one would push on the left handlebar to go left (thus effectively deflecting the wheel right to initiate a lean) and vice-versa for the opposite direction. Jim remained steadfastly unconvinced even in the face of seeing the maneuver on the training video from a top view. Clearly, the counter steering could be seen. Just to 'prove' that it was all a lie, we all filed out to the parking lot to watch as Jim tried to wrestle the little 250 cruiser into left and right turns without counter steering. Here was a world-beating motocross ace attempting to disprove the physics of counter steering. Needless to say, Jim finally sheepishly admitted to the possibility that counter steering just MIGHT be legitimate!”

Photo: The last tank Jim signed on August 2nd at a VME gathering in Georgetown.  Photo courtesy of Barry Mercer/VME


There are many more stories about Jim and you can celebrate his life with others by sharing and listening to these stories in the years to come. The Northwest has lost a legend, but his friendship toward others and the community will last forever.

SR/Summer 2006


 

A fund has been set up in Jim's daughter, Jamie Lee's name for those that would like to help.

To contribute, please contact the following:


Banner Bank*
5005 Summitview Ave.
Yakima, WA 98908

Please note:  Make the check out to the
Jim Pomeroy Memorial Fund and on the memo line put Jamie Lee Pomeroy


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