Legend Series

Gene Romero

Gene Romero - British Customs

Gene Romero was one of the best-known names in racing during the late 60s and early 70s. He was known as a TT specialist, and won the Grand National Championship in 1970 riding for Triumph. He was also voted the AMA’s Most Popular Rider of the Year in 1970.

Romero was born in California in 1947. Growing up, Romero competed in amateur scrambles and dirt track races around the dirt track courses of California’s Central Valley. He quickly became an expert TT Steeplechaser, and his first professional win came at the age of 19 at the Castle Rock TT. Two years later, in 1968, he won his first national at a TT race in Nebraska, on a Triumph.

Romero’s defining victory, however, came in 1975. Romero had been competing in the Daytona 200 since 1967, but had only come close to winning it twice in that time. During the 1975 Daytona, he held fourth for the majority of the race, but halfway through started putting relentless pressure on the racers in front of him. He passed legends Giacomo Agostini and Steve Baker, and caused Steve McLaughlin to crash out when he could no longer hold the lead in front of Romero. Romero’s rolled his way to victory, but would never again win the race.

Over his 16 year-long career, Romero won 12 AMA nationals. Romero also changed the course of the professional motorcycle racing scene when he was the first person to bring in non-motorcycle-oriented sponsorships.

In 1981, Romero retired from racing motorcycles. He raced cars briefly, before becoming a promoter and dirt track race program manager.

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