Hall of Fame Inductee - 2010
Ron McKinley was born and raised right here in the great state of South Dakota. After high school and a year of college, Ron spent 18 months in Vietnam before his honorable discharge in 1968. He came home, married his wife Jerri, and finished college.
It was 1971 when Ron tested for and was accepted by the South Dakota State Highway Patrol – he served with pride for 20 years until his retirement in 1991. In 1973, Ron purchased his first motorcycle, and so began his life of riding. A few years later, he worked to organize the state Highway Patrol’s motorcycle program which went into effect in 1979 when five Troopers completed 120 hours of police motorcycle training. That’s when Ron began his dedication to motorcycle safety. Both as a Highway Patrolman and later after his retirement, Ron spent countless hours on promoting motorcycle safety to individuals, groups and organizations.
After his retirement, Ron became an instructor for the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, instructing four to eight courses each year in South Dakota, North Dakota and Nebraska. At the same time, he accepted the position as the Volunteer State Safety Coordinator for the Harley-Davidson Motor Company. About that same time, Ron also became an instructor for Harley-Davidson’s Riders Edge program.
Ron has developed and implemented a Riding Skills Course, and Accident Analysis Course in which motorcycle crashes are analyzed to see what could have been done to avoid the crash.
Ron also writes a Safety Newsletter for 18 chapters on a monthly basis. When asked when he plans to slow down, Ron jokingly says “when I’ve mastered the art of teaching Common Sense to riders.”