If you don’t know who Preston Petty is, and you ride dirtbikes, you still owe him a debt of gratitude.

A true Pioneer in the sport’s early days, Petty was one of the first Americans to compete in the sport of motocross, one of the first to contest the International Six Days Enduro, and he revolutionized the sport by inventing the unbreakable plastic motocross fender in the early 1970s. So, if you ride dirtbikes, Preston Petty has helped you out by saving you money whether you knew it or not.

And, sometimes when people really need help, gratitude isn’t enough.

Now 75, Petty suffers from COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulomary Disease), and he was recently admitted to the hospital after he was found to be nonresponsive in the RV that’s parked in a Southern California crane yard that he calls home. He was diagnosed with severe malnourishment and pneumonia, and while his condition has since improved, he is going to require more constant medical assistance in the future. Living off of a small social security check and whatever small side jobs he can find, Petty cannot afford medical insurance.

Petty has never been about money or lavish living. In fact, he can almost always be spotted wearing the same blue mechanic’s coveralls regardless of whether he is at the racetrack or at a formal dinner. He has spent his life by being imaginative, inventive, enthusiastic, and tirelessly helping his friends and fellow motorcyclists rather than worrying about how much money he could make from those pursuits. That said, now it’s our turn to not only think about Petty and his wellbeing but also act to help out a man who has dedicated his life to motorcycling and made legendary contributions to its advancement. Recently, Petty has been working to develop a Zero electric motorcycle for dirt track use, a project that could someday have a huge impact on the sport’s viability in the long run. Check out the video here:

Petty is far too proud a man to ask for help himself, so some friends of his have stepped in and set up a gofundme campaign to assist him. The goal of the campaign is to raise $100,000 to replace his deteriorated RV and the loaner pickup truck that has over 400,000 miles on the odometer, and to help defray his short- and long-term medical costs. According to the text on the gofundme site, 100% of all proceeds will go straight to Petty himself. To date, the campaign has generated close to 10% of its total goal in less than 20 hours. That’s encouraging, but there is still a long way to go before the goal can be achieved.
Petty may be down, but he’s not out. Not yet. He is also working toward getting back into the motorcycle business by manufacturing motorcycle grips, but the process is ongoing. Contributing to the gofundme campaign set up by his friends is also intended to help him through until he can get his new business up and running, a process that is expected to take about a year.

Anyone who knows Preston Petty also knows that there isn’t anything in his power that he wouldn’t do to help them achieve their goals. Whether motorcycle industry members, fans of American motorcycling history, dirtbike enthusiasts, or all of the above, it is in our power to help reach this goal for him.

If you would like to contribute to the Preston Petty gofundme campaign, please visit

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