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Cal Rayborn

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Cal Rayborn

Calvin Rayborn II ((1940-02-20)February 20, 1940 – December 29, 1973(1973-12-29) (aged 33)) was a top American motorcycle road racer in the 1960s and early 1970s.[1]

Born and raised in San Diego, California, Rayborn began riding motorcycles at an early age. He began his racing career in dirt track events in Southern California and in 1964, he began racing professionally in the A.M.A. Grand National Championship, a series which encompassed events in four distinctive dirt track disciplines plus road racing. Rayborn excelled at road racing, winning his first AMA national at Carlsbad, California in 1966.[1]

His prowess on road courses earned him a place on the Harley Davidson factory racing team. It was with Harley Davidson that he achieved his greatest success, winning two consecutive Daytona 200 victories in 1968 and 1969.[1] He also set two 1970 motorcycle land speed records. He accomplished a tremendous feat when he competed in the Trans-Atlantic Match Races in England in 1972.[2] The Trans-Atlantic Match Races pitted the best British riders against the top American road racers. On an outdated motorcycle with no experience on British race tracks, Rayborn won three of the six races.[3][4]

At the end of 1973, it was apparent that the Harley Davidson team couldn't provide him with a competitive motorcycle, so Rayborn accepted an offer to race for the Suzuki factory.[1] In late 1973, Rayborn travelled to New Zealand to compete in an auto racing event and to test ride a Suzuki. At the Pukekohe Park Raceway outside of Auckland, Rayborn was killed when he crashed after the bike's engine had seized, and his body slammed into a wall close to the track.[3][5]

Rayborn was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1999.[1]

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