Vernon’s Dave (Outlaw Dave) Rhodes, 81, was inducted into the Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame at the induction ceremony in Vancouver in November. Rhodes has devoted most of his life to the industry. (Rhodes family photo) At 81, Dave Rhodes still loves hitting the Okanagan trails on his bike. Rhodes was inducted into the Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame in November. (Rhodes family photo)

Okanagan man rolls into Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame

Dave (Outlaw Dave) Rhodes was one of eight inducted in Class of 2018 in Vancouver

Hardly any snow in the hills. Weather not too cold.

If somebody wanted to ring up Vernon’s Dave Rhodes, fire up the motorcycles and go for a spin on the local trails, Rhodes would enthusiastically say yes, such is his love and passion for being on two wheels in the open air.

Motorcycles have played a huge role for a vast majority of Rhodes’ 81 years on the planet, whether in his career as competitor, distributor or sales rep.

In November, in front of more than 300 people at the Delta Burnaby Hotel and Conference Centre, Rhodes was one of eight people inducted into the Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame.

“It was quite the surprise,” said Rhodes of the Hall call.

“My life has been about trials, the industry, racing cross-country, but putting back into the sport is what I enjoy. I love to help other people enjoy the same passion I have for motorcycles.”

A native of North Wales, Rhodes was 15 when a friend showed up at his home with a new motorcycle. Rhodes was instantly hooked and became a keen trials enthusiast (Trials riding is a sport that takes skill and balance while riding through sections comprised of logs, creeks, hills and slippery terrain without putting your feet down) and accomplished water.

Working as a printing apprentice, Rhodes, his wife and first-born child made the move to Calgary in March 1965, greeted with – 20-degree weather, and took a job as a photo engraver. In Calgary, Rhodes discovered Walt Healy Motorcycles and the Calgary Motorcycle Club. Healy had long been an Indian motorcycle icon and the Calgary club dabbled in road rides, hill climbs and scramble events.

RELATED: Silver Star revved for motocross event

In 1973, Rhodes jumped at the chance to join the motorcycle industry, becoming district manager in Calgary for the Yamaha Factory, which had opened a Canadian division in Vancouver. Rhodes’ territory was Western Canada.

During his time in Alberta, Rhodes organized and competed in trials events, and laid out 40 sections over a 70-mile loop as clerk of course for the first world championship trials in Bragg Creek, near Calgary.

Once Yamaha introduced its IT Enduro bike, the trials world went into the background for Rhode, who went full-on promoting, riding and competing. He was riding 100-mile-plus cross-country courses in Alberta and excelled in the discipline. He finished sixth out of 172 in the 1976 Moose Mountain Cross Country race in Alberta.

Rhodes and his family left Alberta in 1981 and arrived in Vernon. He left Yamaha in 1984, and, in 1987, Rhodes started OUTLaw Accessories, which he still operates (and is known as Outlaw Dave to friends, family and clients). Rhodes also initiated the Kelowna Trials Club and brought trials racing to the Okanagan.

Rhodes received a call from Don Clark of Mountain Motorcycles in Coquitlam, who wanted OUTLaw to market bikes, parts and accessories from the Okanagan through Western Canada. For three decades, the partnership has supported, encouraged, trained and sponsored observed trials and trial riders.

Asked what it is about getting on a motorcycle that excites him, Rhodes replied: “it’s hard to say.”

“I used to ride a motorcycle as my sole mode of transport, then on the weekends I’d be a competitor,” he said. “After the war in the U.K., there was a different way of life. But there was something about being on a motorcycle. The fresh air, the independence and the thrill of riding a motorcycle. I still have that passion.”

No longer a competitor, Rhodes is still an avid rider and heads out to a variety of spots up and down the valley on his trials bike with a few of the younger riders he mentors.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

Volunteers have been hard at work clearing the Salmon Arm Snowblazers’ trail system. (Salmon Arm Snowblazers-Facebook)
Salmon Arm Snowblazers plan for sledding season affected by pandemic

Club feeling fundraising pinch after events cancelled due to virus.

Steven Stuart Gardner has been charged with possession of a firearm contrary to an order and possession of a firearm without a licence. He has also been charged, under the Motor Vehicle Act, with driving while prohibited. (Crime Stoppers photo)
Car connected to shooting, dumped in Chase leads to unrelated arrest

Investigation of Kamloops shooting leads police to a rural Chase property

COVID-19 test tube. (Contributed)
test tube with the blood test is on the table next to the documents. Positive test for coronavirus covid-19. The concept of fighting a dangerous Chinese disease.
Interior Health launches online booking for COVID-19 tests

Testing is available to anyone with cold, influenza or COVID-19-like symptoms

Despite health and safety measures put in place for its July 3 reopening, the Salmar Grand hasn’t seen the audience numbers needed to remain open seven days a week. (File photo)
Salmon Arm’s Salmar Grand movie theatre reduces days of operation

Lack of new movie releases, limited audience numbers lead to decision

School District 83 will see another teacher reduction, this one expected at South Broadview Elementary come Monday, Oct. 26. (File photo)
Union objects to reductions in teaching positions in North Okanagan-Shuswap

South Broadview Elementary expected to see reduction of kindergarten teacher on Oct. 26

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A 20-year-old man was pronounced dead following a three vehicle collision on Highway 1 west of Revelstoke Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020. (File photo)
One dead after Highway 1 crash near Revelstoke

20-year-old man pronounced dead at the scene of a three vehicle collision west of Revelstoke

Volunteer registered nurse Stephanie Hamilton recieves a swab from a driver as she works at a Covid-19 testing site in the parking lot at Everett Memorial Stadium on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020 in Everett, Washington. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
13 more COVID-19 cases in Interior Health region

There are 624 cases in the region since the start of the pandemic

The body of Natsumi Kogawa, 30, was found in the Gabriola Mansion on Davie Street, Vancouver, in September 2016. Vernon man William Schneider, who was found guilty of second-degree murder, now awaits the decision of his appeal hearing Monday, Oct. 19, 2020. (Vancouver Police Department photo)
No decision yet for Vernon man appealing murder sentence

William Victor Schneider was convicted in relation to Natsumi Kogawa’s death in 2016

Vernon once again boasts the lowest gas prices in B.C. Oct. 20, 2020. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
North Okanagan boasts lowest gas prices in B.C.

Gas going up, and down, in Vernon specifically

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

École de L’Anse-au-sable. (Google Maps)
COVID-19 confirmed at Kelowna Francophone school

École de L’Anse-au-sable is not affiliated with local SD23

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP received footage of a suspect vehicle littering hate flyers around 21st Avenue in Vernon Oct. 17, 2020. (RCMP)
WATCH: Footage offers lead in hate-fuelled flyer probe: Vernon Mounties

Vernon police received footage of an older model green truck distributing flyers in the early morning hours Saturday

Most Read