Ray Price (motorcycles)

Ray Price (June 25, 1937 – December 16, 2015) was an American motorcycle drag racer and is credited as the “Father of the Funnybike". He was also a renowned designer, engineer and the first drag racer to be sponsored by Harley-Davidson. He also developed the first wheelie bar, and the two-speed automatic racing transmission for drag racing motorcycles. This was the first transmission that enabled the first motorcycle to ever achieve 200 miles per hour (320 km/h) and has now become standard in the sport. Price also created the Pro Fuel drag racing class.[1][2] Price is an inducted member of five halls of fame including the American Motorcycle Association Hall of Fame, Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame, the North Carolina Sport Hall of Fame, and the North Carolina Drag Racing Hall of Fame.

Ray Price
Born(1937-06-25)June 25, 1937
DiedDecember 16, 2015(2015-12-16) (aged 78)
OccupationMotorcycle drag racer
Years active1966–2003[1]
Known for"Father of the Funnybike"
wheelie bar, two-speed automatic transmission[1]

Price was born on a tobacco farm in Johnston County, North Carolina. He served four years as a radar specialist in aircraft armament control in the United States Air Force. At age 30 he purchased his first motorcycle and began his drag racing career three years later. Price continued his drag racing career through the 2003 All Harley Drag Racing Association season. Through the years Price and his race team amassed numerous wins, records, and championships in AMA ProStar/AMA Dragbike, All Harley Drag Racing Association, and the International Hot Rod Association.[1][3]

Price opened Precision Cycle in Raleigh, North Carolina in 1973, and in 1981 he acquired the Harley-Davidson franchise and his store became Ray Price Harley-Davidson. Price's dealership is one of the largest in the southeastern United States and is home to the Legends of Harley Drag Racing Museum on the 2nd floor of the dealership overlooking the showroom, the only museum of its kind.[4]

He died on December 16, 2015, aged 78.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Ray Price". Motorcycle Hall of Fame.
  2. ^ "Ray Price". National Motocycle Museum. Archived from the original on November 18, 2011.
  3. ^ "Four Inducted into Sturgis Hall of Fame". American Motorcycle. July 1993. p. 57.
  4. ^ "Ray Price Legends of Harley Drag Racing Museum". WRAL. January 6, 2011.
  5. ^ "Motorsports and Raleigh Icon Ray Price Dies At 78", ABC News, December 16, 2015