Sturgis Motorcycle Museum - Preserving our Motorcycle Hertiage





Hall of Fame Inductee - Pre 2001 (1992)

Bobby started racing as a sophomore in High School in Triadelphia, West Virginia. With the help of his mother, who cashed in a life insurance policy, he was able to buy his first bike in 1938 for $392.00.  After he graduated from high school in 1941 he continued to race and won seven races before they were stopped due to World War II. 

After the war, he went to Columbus to race for his sponsor Ralph Shoppe, an Indian Motorcycle dealer. He earned about $7,000 a year racing, which was then good money.  In each of his two years as Champion, Bobby made about $10,000. (Today's champs earn about $200,000!)  Bobby raced for Harley-Davidson, BSA, Norton and Indian, from 1940 through 1958.  In 1949, Hill won 53 races.  


Bobby has 12 national career wins to his credit, two of them at Springfield, Illinois in 1951 and 1952, making him the AMA Grand National Champion for those two years.  In 1951 Hill was voted "Most Popular Rider in U.S." by cycle clubs and he is also the recipient of the "E.C. Smith Award."  He won the Ohio State Champion title four times on Ohio State Fairgrounds track, and won the Daytona "200" in 1954.  Along with E.C. Smith "The Grand Old Man of Racing", Bobby Hill did much to bring about the safety features of today's racing. 

Hill's Lifetime AMA membership number is 935. There were only 935 AMA members when he joined - today there are more than 130,000.