Goodbye to motorcycling’s greatest champion

I just heard that Harry Hurt died yesterday–Sunday–from what seems to be a heart attack. Harry had recently undergone  major back surgery.

Dr. Hurt was the originator of the first comprehensive motorcycle accident causation study–we know it by his name–the Hurt Study.

Harry was, in many ways, the original champion of motorcycle safety–and we owe far more to him than we think we do. I will be writing something longer–but wanted to let my readers know. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.


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5 Comments on “Goodbye to motorcycling’s greatest champion”

  1. Dave B Says:

    It’s unfortunate that we lose these great pioneers over time. The sad part is that that we don’t have people of the same caliper filling their shoes. From what I’ve read about Harry over the years, he was a no BS, straight shooter, take no prisoners guy. A dying breed.

  2. Art Friedman Says:

    Harry’s contribution to motorcycle safety cannot be overstated. At the time, the motorcycle cmmunity was very skeptical about research into motorcycle safety sponsored by Joan Claybrook’s agency, but Hurt won us over and showed us that there were very valuable lessons to learn. It wasn’t just his intellect and his method, but his enthusiasm for and understanding of motorcycling.

    Harry (Hugh H. Hurt, Jr.) was equally influential in the aviation world, and his book, “Aerodynamics for Naval Aviators” remains the definitive work on that topic.

    Ride in Peace, Harry.

  3. gymnast Says:

    Hugh H Hurt was indeed “one of the Good Guys” who called it as he saw it. He was a consummate professional as well. RIP Harry, you did good.

  4. David L. Hough Says:

    I learned of Harry’s death while in transit to Las Vegas for the AMA Motorcycling Hall of Fame. I heard the sad news from Fred Rau, who escorted me down his favorite roads across the Mojave.
    Harry impressed me with his candor and his respect. He always listened to my questions, and provided answers that were sincere and to the point. I interviewed him for a report in MCN several years ago, and he not only took the time to do the interview, but shared some additional information about riding skills from his considerable library.
    Only later did I learn from other journalists that they too had taken up Harry’s time and received his respectful answers.
    During the Hall of Fame induction, I requested that the organizers ask for a moment of silence in Harry’s honor. He had been inducted into the Hall of Fame in (as I recall) 2007. I’m not in Harry’s league, but I realize the scope of his accomplishments, and I feel a bit of kinship through the Hall of Fame.
    I’m going to miss him. It’s like losing your guide in a jungle.

  5. wmoon Says:

    David, Thank you for sharing. I think that for a great many of us, you are up there in the same league as Harry in our respect and admiration.

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