International Dealer News IDN 147 February/March 2019 - Page 57

INDUSTRY EXTRA THE HISTORY OF THOR PARALLELS THE HISTORY OF MOTOCROSS Torsten Hallman founded the Thor (Torsten Hallman Original Racewear) motocross apparel brand in 1968. ast year saw the Thor Motocross brand celebrate its 50th anniversary. One of the oldest apparel brands in the MX market, its origins are rooted in the career of an extraordinary man, Swede Torsten Hallman, a man who did much to establish the sport of competitive motocross on both sides of the Atlantic, but especially in the USA. Inducted to the AMA Hall of Fame in 2000, along with Husqvarna importer Edison Dye, Torsten Hallman was one of the men responsible for L introducing motocross to the United States. Hallman was already a four-time World Motocross Champion (1962/3/6/7) when he went to the United States in the late 1960s, as part of Edison Dye’s efforts to popularise both the Husqvarna motorcycle brand and the sport of motocross. Hallman’s incredible skill on a motocross bike was a revelation to American fans and racers. Within a few years after Hallman’s first visit, motocross became the most popular form of motorcycle racing in the United States. Hallman was also a savvy businessman and founded a riding apparel company, Thor (Torsten Hallman Original Racewear), that heavily influenced the look and function of motocross riding gear at the time and ever since. Hallman was born in 1939 in Uppsala, Sweden. His father and older brother were both motorcycle racers and the family had built a small practice track on the farm where they lived. They often hosted many of the top Swedish racers, who would come to the farm when they were in the area to train on the practice track. Hallman’s first bike was a 100cc DKW, which he quickly wore out from riding so much. His father then moved young Hallman up to a Royal Enfield 125. By the time Hallman entered his first formal competition, he was already a skilled rider. He won that first race and knew that he wanted to pursue a Wasserliesch, Germany based Parts Europe distributes the Thor Motocross line throughout Europe from its state-of-the-art 16,500 sq m warehouse. INTERNATIONAL DEALER NEWS - FEBRUARY/MARCH 2019 57