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Aug 30, 2014

R.I.P.: Legendary Dealer, Tuner And Race Team Owner Don Tilley (Updated)

Don Tilley and his wife Robinette as seen a few days ago during a Harley-Davidson dealer event in Nashville, Tennessee. Photo courtesy Tilley Harley-Davidson.

Don Tilley, owner of Tilley Harley-Davidson in Statesville, North Carolina, suffered fatal injuries and his wife Robinette was seriously injured in a motorcycle crash at about 7:00 p.m. yesterday, August 29th near Asheville, North Carolina.

The Tilley Harley-Davidson Facebook Page carried this message:

"It is with our deepest regret to announce that Don and Robinette have been involved in a motorcycle accident on Friday August 29th. We are extremely sad to say that we have lost our beloved Don Tilley and that Robinette is currently in critical condition. We ask that everyone keep the entire Tilley family in their thoughts and prayers. We thank you all for your love and condolences and appreciate the many years of loyalty to the Tilley Harley-Davidson Family. DON TILLEY 1936-2014. He will be missed by all."

In the days prior to the crash, Tilley and his wife had been participating in a Harley-Davidson dealer event in Nashville, Tennessee. Two days earlier, on August 27th, Tilley posted a photo of himself on an electric Harley-Davidson to his own Facebook account, with the caption "My first ride on a elect bike & it's a Harley I was impressed." Tilley and his wife were on a dealer ride following the event in Nashville when, according to another ride participant, he lowsided in a corner and slid into a ditch, which sent his motorcycle tumbling.

Tilley built and successfully campaigned Harley-Davidson racebikes in AMA Pro racing when there were classes the bikes could be competitive in.

More information will be posted as it becomes available.

Roadracing World offers its condolences to the Tilley family and to Don Tilley's friends and fans.

Godspeed, Don Tilley.

*                                          *                                      *

Harley-Davidson Motor Co. issued the following statement to its dealers:

A Personal Message from HDMC Regarding Don Tilley

Dear Dealer,

With sadness, we regret to inform you that Don Tilley, dealer principal of Tilley Harley-Davidson in Statesville, North Carolina, passed away yesterday following a motorcycle accident. Don's wife, Robinette, was taken to a local hospital and is being treated for injuries. Don and Robinette Tilley opened the dealership in 1972, and sponsored many types of Harley motorcycle racing programs over the years.

We will provide further updates regarding funeral arrangements and Robinette Tilley's condition as information becomes available.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Tilley family during this difficult time.


Christian Walters, Managing Director, United States

Mike Kennedy, Vice President, North America

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