Ray Price, owner of Ray Price Harley-Davidson and Ray Price Triumph in Raleigh, North Carolina, died in his sleep Wednesday night, WRAL reported. Price was 78 years old.
Price was known for using his dealerships as hosts for charity events, as well as the annual Capital City Bikefest, which drew more than 100,000 people to downtown Raleigh in September, according to WRAL. Just two weekends ago, Ray Price Harley-Davidson and the Raleigh Harley Owners Group hosted a ride that brought 50 bicycles and $3,000 in cash and toys to the Marines’ Toys for Tots campaign.
Price’s dealerships were named Powersports Business Power 50 winners in 2013 and 2014. Price was also inducted into the East Coast Drag Times Hall of Fame in November 2013.
The following message was posted on the Ray Price Harley-Davidson Facebook page on Wednesday night: Please keep the family and employees in your prayers as Ray Price passed away peacefully earlier this evening. Details of arrangements to be posted soon.
Ray Price, right, receives his dealerships’ 2014 Power 50 award from Powersports Business editor in chief Dave McMahon.
The AMA shared this release about Price's passing:
The American Motorcyclist Association extends its condolences to the family of AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Ray Price, who passed away on Dec. 16 at the age of 78.
Mr. Price was the father of drag racing's "Funnybike," designer of the motorcycle wheelie bar and developer of the two-speed automatic racing transmission. Mr. Price was an inductee of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.
Mr. Price bought his first motorcycle in 1963. In 1967, at the age of 30, he started his motorcycle drag racing career with a 1966 Harley-Davidson Sportster. He and his Ray Price Harley-Davidson drag racing team attained multiple race victories, records and championships in AMA Dragbike, the All Harley Drag Racing Association (AHDRA) and the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA). Mr. Price's personal racing career continued beyond his 65th birthday into the 2003 AHDRA season.
Ray Price Harley-Davidson in Raleigh, N.C., is one of the largest dealerships in the southeastern United States and hosts several annual charity events, including a Toys for Tots toy run, the Ray Price Easter Basket Ride and the annual Capital City Bikefest in downtown Raleigh.
To learn more about Mr. Price, see his biography at www.motorcyclemuseum.org/halloffame/detail.aspx?RacerID=354