Motorcycling’s trailblazers are mourning the passing of Triumph aficionado extraordinaire, Pat Owens, whose exploits accumulating 500,000 miles on a 1970 Triumph T120 RT have been chronicled in Rider magazine and elsewhere. Pat, former Western Service Manager for Triumph, acquired the bike while tuning for AMA racing champion Gene Romero.
Pat later became the advanced semester instructor of motorcycle mechanics at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, a position he held for nearly 20 years. He left that post when elected to the Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees, where he became an outspoken advocate of vocational education and the motorcycle curriculum in particular. Pat helped initiate the annual Hansen Dam British Ride in 1980, which still draws the likes of Tonight Show host Jay Leno and other legendary riders. Pat’s widow, Donna, is hopeful of donating the high-mileage Triumph to a museum, and is retaining his never ridden 1977 Silver Jubilee in their den as a fitting memorial.