Hangtown MX: Danny ‘Magoo’ Chandler Tribute

18 05 2010

May 17, 2010 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Brad and Lori Lackey have received confirmation from the Dirt Diggers Motorcycle Club that there would be a memorial service for fallen hero Danny “Magoo” Chandler at the opening round of the motocross national series at Hangtown.

“The Dirt Diggers will be hosting a memorial service for Danny,” confirms America’s first MX champion Brad Lackey, who had been spearheading an effort to get a new special needs Sprinter van for Magoo, who passed away at age 50 on May 4.

“On Sunday, May 23 after Hangtown, there will be a Memorial Service at the big white media tent starting at 12 p.m.” adds Lackey.

“Family, friends and anyone who wants to pay their respects is invited… It will be a pot luck function, but I’m not sure of any more details at this time.”

Sadly the goal had been for Lackey to present Chandler with the van at Hangtown as part of the Nationals on Saturday.

The wildman from Northern California was one of the sport’s hardest chargers who became an American hero when he won all four motos of the 1982 Motocross and Trophee des Nations races… a feat never duplicated.

He also won the USGP at Carlsbad in 1982 to help cement his reputation as the best rider in the world that year. Although his racing career came to a premature end when a crash at the 1985 Paris Supercross left him paralyzed, Magoo continued to build a legion of fans, speaking of his experiences at schools and hospitals.

“I know Danny was excited about the van and extremely appreciative to all those who contributed,” adds Lackey. “He was genuinely surprised and humbled at the outpouring of support by all of his fans.”

More details of the memorial service will be announced as available: www.LegendsAndHeroesTour.org

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A Legend Passes: Danny “Magoo” Chandler

6 05 2010

By Karel Kramer
Photography by Fran Kuhn, Dirt Rider Archives

May 5, 2010 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Danny “Magoo” Chandler was one of the original Wildman showman of motocross. His loose and atomic aerial antics on KTMs won him wide fame before he ever hit it big as a racer. Magoo was not a win machine like McGrath or Carmichael, but when he had an on day, and usually at a fast track, he was unstoppable. He battled wheel-to-wheel with Bob Hannah at Sears Point when Hannah was on top of his game and Magoo was on a 250 Maico – hardly the best 250 of the era. Soon after he hit hard times. He raced a Yamaha YZ125, and then got help from Bobby Moore’s father who owned Pro-Trac trailers. Moore got him on Honda CR125Rs, and he won the series and a Suzuki support ride in the 125cc class. He had a strong year as a privateer, and earned a try-out ride for the Trans-AMA series – the AMA fall series at the time. Honda supported three riders in the series on preproduction CR480R Hondas. Magoo was one and Flying Mike Brown was another. Whoever won the series earned a Honda ride for ’82.

Magoo won the series and the ride, and 1982 was the highlight of Magoo’s career, including his epic four-for-four win at the MX and Trophee des Nations. For the remainder of his US career Chandler showed flashes of brilliance including a USGP win and dominating the Superbikers made-for-TV race that spawned modern Supermoto racing. In between he struggled with injuries that prevented him from winning any major titles. He did win the support of the fans around the world, though.

The stories about Chandler are legend, but at Dirt Rider we have a couple that others may not have heard. When the 1985 liquid-cooled Honda CR500R was given to the press we had to keep the bike very secret. We could only ride it at private tracks, and Honda didn’t want any outside test riders on the bike to spread rumors. We solved the problem by asking for Chandler to be our photo model. We shot the cover in the studio with the bike hanging on cables. Chandler, wearing all new gear and boots, would climb on the bike like some demented swinging mechanical bull, wait for the photographer to give him the thumbs-up, and he would flip the bike over and hang upside-down clinging to the bike with sheer strength and looking in the boot soles. He would hang as long as he could stand it, then swing the bike back up. The following day we went to the private Petersen Ranch motocross track, but Chandler didn’t approve of any of our normal jumps. He found a hill he could jump completely over in fourth or fifth gear whipped completely sideways.

To get the angle he wanted, ace photopher Rich Cox parked a van with a shooting platform on top next to the jump, and he shot from the roof. Chandler whipped the rear wheel right next to the van repeatedly at 60 mph. He was in the air for over 100 feet. He said that was easier than hanging the bike upside down on the cables!

Later a group of the Dirt Rider staff attended the Last Chance Trail Ride that went from Sacrameto to Lake Tahoe. Along the way it went through Magoo’s home town of Forest Hill. At the time Factory Effex owner and former factory Bultaco and Suzuki racer Bryar Holcomb was an ad sales guy for DR, and he ran into Chandler flying around in the woods on a CR500R. Chandler was prepping for the Superbikers race, so Honda had sent him a rear wheel with a Dirt Track tire to practice with. The problem was that the wheel was for a works Honda with disc rear brakes, and Magoo’s practice bike had a rear drum brake. So Chandler is blasting through the woods with a smooth dirt track tire and no rear brakes on a 500cc motocross bike. He convinced Holcomb to leave the ride for a bit and follow Danny on his trails. Bryar was on an IT490 Yamaha, so he had the top speed to stay the pace, and he just keyed off Magoo and did what he did. Finally, Magoo approached a sunny gap in the dense forest, and hit a jump that launched him out of the forest into the sunlight in fourth gear. The landing was back in the woods. Holcomb gulped, manned up and jumped blind right behind the Honda speedster. The jump was into the sun because it crossed a paved road! Magoo jumped it without even checking traffic. That was enough for BH, and he rejoined the trail ride.

When options ran out in the U.S., Chandler took a KTM ride in Europe, and he was faster and more consistent that anyone expected, and that earned him a Kawasaki ride for the following year. At the Paris SX Magoo crashed off the track and was left paralyzed with reduced control of his hands. Danny showed the heart of a champion and went of to promote races and work with children for the remainder of his life.

The motorcycle industry never forgot Danny, though, and recently Brad Lackey had been spear-heading a project to get Chandler a specially equipped van that would allow him to continue his work.

When I was covering national MX, few riders were as approachable and friendly as Danny Chandler. I witnessed him shake off incredible pain at Lakewood Colorado, pick up his bike and get back in the race. He never gave up, and always had time for the little guys. He will be missed.

SOURCE: Dirt Rider

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Art Auction to Benefit “Magoo” Van Fund

23 01 2010

Renowned motorsports artist Kelly Telfer is the latest legend to join in the effort to help out motocross hero Danny “Magoo” Chandler by creating a special painting of a young Chandler flying his KTM around Argyll Cycle Park circa 1976. The original 30″x48″ acrylic paint on high quality canvas is being sold via an online auction with 100% of the proceeds to the Magoo Van Fund Charity organized by MXGP World Champion Brad Lackey. The bidding for the painting begins Sunday, January 24th and will run for one week.

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“BAD BRAD” Lackey Release VIDEO for Danny “MAGOO” Chandler

25 09 2009

1982 FIM 500cc World Champion, Brad Lackey viral video to promote awareness of the Danny “Magoo” Chandler Van Fund. eBay auction goes LIVE Friday, September 25, 2009

FULLERTON, CALIF. -September 24, 2009 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Brad Lackey has produced a broadband viral video on YouTube about how viewers around the world can help him and his motocross friends raise funds to build and purchase a custom, modified van for 1982 Motocross and Trophee des Nations Champion Danny “Magoo” Chandler.magoo-logo

The brief video includes Lackey’s recollections about Chandler, a fellow Northern California racer, a recap of Chandler’s accomplishments and a painful glimpse of tragic 1985 Paris Supercross crash that ended Chandler’s career and changed his life forever. Lackey also discussed how today Chandler is working with younger motorcycle riders to learn to ride safer and better. Sadly, Chandler’s own basic transportation needs are sorely lacking and he’s in dire need of a solution; a solution that Lackey believes is a van equipped so that Chandler can maintain the work that he’s dedicated himself to.

Great footage from Danny’s DVD “Magoo – The Story of Danny Chandler” is also included as well as photos of the type of van Brad and friends are working so hard to purchase. Lackey hopes to raise between $75,000 and $100,000 to complete the project and establish the necessary maintenance and insurance funds. Thus far, about 25% of the proceeds have been raised.

“Jody Weisel at Motocross Action magazine suggested this idea could be a way to reach a larger audience and we all said ‘Yeah, let’s do it!,” said Brad Lackey. “Our hope is that this video goes around the world, and reaches many of the fans and industry people who Danny touched with his incredible riding ability and personality. We encourage everyone who knows Danny and knows people who know Danny, to send the video link to their friends.” Lackey added.

The video has information on how to donate through traditional means as well as the internet though http://www.LegendsAndHeroesTour.org. It also announces an eBay auction beginning on September 25th, 2009, featuring memorabilia from riders Bob Hannah, David Bailey, Tony DiStefano, Jim Holley, Jason Lawrence, Davi Millsaps, Brad himself, and more.

For more information, see the video and to donate visit:
www.LegendsAndHeroesTour.org or www.BradLackey.com.

For more information about Danny Chandler and to purchase Magoo merchandise and DVD’s visit www.DannyMagoo.com

The video was shot and produced by Pipeline Digital Media at Sportsmobile in Fresno, CA. All crew members who worked on the video were volunteering their time and talents.

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