Sturgis Motorcycle Museum - Preserving our Motorcycle Hertiage

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Sturgis Motorcycle Museum - All rights reserved 2012

BONNIE TRUETT


Hall of Fame Inductee - 2014


Born in the hills of Havana, Arkansas and raised in a small cabin in Vian, Oklahoma, Bonnie just wanted to leave there. Eventually, he ended up in Wichita, Kansas where he managed to buy his first Harley Davidson motorcycle, a 1957 Sportster. Not satisfied with the power, Bonnie experimented by changing out the flywheels with an old set of K model flywheels. Word of the power boost eventually got out and others started asking him to do the same for their bikes. When racing around town earned too many tickets, Bonnie and his friend Paul Osborn took their bikes to the drag strip where they could open the throttle and unleash the power of these one of a kind sportsters. Wanting still more speed, Bonnie became one of the very earliest racers to use Nitro.


In 1968, Bonnie and Paul started “Truett & Osborn” cycles, a small shop in Wichita where they tuned street bikes to support their racing habits. In 1970, they rented an old landing strip and started Truett & Osborn Drags. Today this race is the oldest motorcycle drag race continuously operated by the same people – celebrating 43 years this summer.


As business owners and racers, Bonnie and Paul were innovators – making flywheels out of a special cast iron that would be more stable for both racing and street riding. They also made cams, cylinders, and rods. Next up for Bonnie was the creation of his own drag bike frame. Soon his hobby was a full blown business separate from “Truett & Osborn” - “Truett Frameworks.”


Competing on the track with the likes of Elmer Trett, Pete Hill, Jim “The Judge” McClure, Dave Campos, Joe Smith and other greats didn’t keep Bonnie from making friends off the track. After retiring from professional racing in 1984, Bonnie moved back to his hometown to focus on his frame business.


Bonnie and his wife Dianne live in his hometown. Although retired, he is always eager to help his son on the racing circuit and also enjoys spending time with his girls, Wendy, Teri, and Pam as well as his grandkids.

 


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