John K. Lehman, founder and director of Lehman Trikes, passed away on Jan. 5 in Arizona at the age of 60. The suspected cause of death was a heart failure brought on by an embolism, according to a company press release.
He is survived by his wife, Linda; son, Quinten; daughter, Leann; sisters Gladys, Linda and Carol; and three grandchildren.
In 1984, Lehman's passion for motorcycling and his love of family led him to create the first modern trike so his wife, Linda, could carry one of their children. His creation had more to do with family togetherness than a business venture. The vehicle garnered so much interest everywhere they traveled that Lehman Industries was born, and John Lehman would go on to become one of the most recognized names in motorcycling.
In 1993, Larry Strilchuk, a longtime friend, joined John, and Lehman Trikes, Inc. was formed. In 2009, Lehman was inducted into the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum Hall of Fame.
"Today is crushingly sad," Strilchuk said. "John Lehman was my lifelong friend and amazing partner. Through good and bad times, John's gracious nature, love of family and friends, and positive outlook always touched everyone who came in contact with him. He was dearly loved and will be sorely missed."
Known for his caring and charitable nature, Lehman, along with Strilchuk, started a program called the "Good Turn Trike," which eventually became an annual event that provided people facing great challenges who have a passion for motorcycling a trike for free. Lehman also helped raise money for terminally ill children through "Make A Wish Foundation," "Kids n' Chrome" and many other charities. He remained active in the company until his passing.
Lehman Trikes, Inc. had recently announced a Letter of Intent from an investment group relating to the sale of Lehman Trikes USA, Inc. The passing of Mr. Lehman will not materially affect that endeavor, the company said.