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Cycle Magazine Editor Schilling Headed for Motorcycle Hall of Fame

The Motorcycle Hall of Fame recently named the first member of the class of 2011: Phil Schilling, one of motorcycling’s most accomplished journalists and an expert race tuner who set the early mark for Ducati’s on-track success in America.

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The Motorcycle Hall of Fame recently named the first member of the class of 2011: Phil Schilling, one of motorcycling’s most accomplished journalists and an expert race tuner who set the early mark for Ducati’s on-track success in America.

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Schilling, who led the editorial department of Cycle magazine for nearly 20 years, will be honored at the 2011 induction ceremony as part of the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) Legends Champions Weekend at the Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas, Nev., Nov. 18-20.

"Phil Schilling was many things in motorcycling, but above all he was a pillar of journalistic integrity and an industry pioneer in editorial innovation," said Jeffrey V. Heininger, chairman of the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation, which raises money for the Hall of Fame. "We’re honored to welcome him as the first member of the 2011 class of the Motorcycle Hall of Fame."

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Schilling was teaching at the University of Wisconsin when Hall of Famer Cook Neilson asked him to become managing editor of Cycle. Schilling and Neilson developed Cycle into the gold standard of motorcycle periodicals in the 1970s. Neilson, inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006, says Schilling’s influence touched all those who worked there during Schilling’s tenure.

"To this day, Phil remains motor journalism’s finest editor, and its finest writer," Neilson said. "I’ve known him now for more than 40 years. He’s been my best friend through all of it. I know he’s honored to join the Hall of Fame. All those whose lives Phil has touched – riders, racers, writers, readers – should feel honored too."

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Schilling and Neilson were not just successful at the editor’s desk. In 1977, they entered a Ducati in the Daytona 200 and gave Ducati its first AMA Superbike win in the United States.

"I never thought I would be considered for this type of honor," Schilling said. "I feel like there are a lot of other people who are more deserving. While the Neilson and Schilling era of Cycle magazine is something I’m really proud of, I’m also very proud of the people we worked with and who became the next generation of Cycle magazine editors and continued to improve the publication."

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Schilling is the first announced member of the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Class of 2011. The rest of the 2011 inductees will be announced in random order over the next few weeks.

The Class of 2011 will officially be inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame on Nov. 18 as part of the AMA Legends Champions Weekend. More information about the Motorcycle Hall of Fame can be found at MotorcycleMuseum.org.

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