Editorial Note: Luke Conner died of COVID-19 today in a hospital in Lafayette, Louisiana, according to AHRMA. He was 61.
AHRMA Mourns the Passing of Luke Conner
(July 31, 2021 Elora, TN) Luke Conner, a pillar of the vintage racing community and former chairman of the American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association (AHRMA) Board of Trustees, has died.
Conner was instrumental in developing and maintaining AHRMA’s road racing program as a class and series sponsor and by serving as the road race director in addition to his leadership roles with the association.
“AHRMA has lost a good friend. Multi-term trustee Luke Conner was a member who time and time again answered the bell when our club needed someone to step up. Just a few years ago he stepped in to direct AHRMA’s road race program with absolutely no notice given, he offered a short term loan to the club when needed to get over a hump, and over the years he spent hours with various members who had fallen on tough times and needed some love. Luke was a good friend at the track, a giving leader behind the scenes, and loved his AHRMA family. Race in Peace, Luke,” said Arthur Kowitz, current chairman of the AHRMA Trustees.
Conner served as a member of the Board of Trustees for several years before being elected chairman in 2018. During 2018, he took on the responsibilities of road race director, as a volunteer, following the passing of Cindy Cowell.
His commitment to AHRMA included securing the support of CPL Systems, a major sustainable energy company, as a national road race series sponsor and title sponsor for several years. Later, his racing team Luke’s RaceCraft would sponsor the series.
Curt Comer, AHRMA executive director, remembered Conner, “Luke Conner was Chairman of the Board when I came on as Executive Director. He had navigated AHRMA through some challenging times and was instrumental in many transitions after Cindy Cowell’s passing. His heart for AHRMA and infectious passion will be missed by all who knew him.”
As a racer, Conner competed in a variety of road racing and off-road events. He built, raced and maintained a fleet of race bikes including classic Harley-Davidson road racers.
His enthusiasm for vintage motorcycle racing included attracting new racers into the sport. He frequently offered his own motorcycles to potential racers and his generosity resulted in several new racers entering the AHRMA ranks.
His interest in growing vintage motorcycle competition included drag racing. He was instrumental in bringing vintage drag racing motorcycles into AHRMA racing events at venues that included a drag strip, most recently the AHRMA Classic MotoFest® in the Heartland held in Topeka, Kansas.
The American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association Ltd. is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to restoring and competing on classic motorcycles. With about 4000 members, AHRMA is the largest vintage racing group in North America and one of the biggest in the world. The association has grown steadily over the years, reflecting the increasing interest in classic bikes.