Hall of Fame Inductee - 2009
Lou Kimzey was a motorcyclist and a journalist. Before combining those two passions, Lou started three publishing companies aimed at a variety of specialty audiences including teens and car enthusiasts.
In the early 1970s, Kimzey was Creative Director of Big Bike magazine, but left there to join with Joe Terisi and Mil Blair to create and publish the gritty biker magazine Easyriders, the first lifestyle biker magazine on the market. Known for its well-written articles, wild humor, honest editorials and for promoting the bond of brotherhoods, Easyriders became a world sensation – the largest selling newsstand motorcycle magazine in the world.
Early in its existence, Easyriders decided to include information about legislation that would impact bikers. Lou saw the importance of gathering people together to present a unified front to lawmakers and lobbying in favor of bikers’ rights, and started a non-profit organization for bikers. What started out as the National Custom Cycle Association (or NCCA), soon was renamed to A.B.A.T.E., which originally stood for “A Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enactments.” Incidentally, in some states, the acronym hasn’t changed, but many state organizations are now known as “American Bikers Aimed Toward Education.”
Lou continued to publish Easyriders and other motorcycle magazines until 1986. Lou died in 1997 at the age of 69 after fighting complications of diabetes for a number of years.