Out of Minnesota – The Tom Benolkin Story
Excerpts from Pioneers of Minnesota Motocross

For a few years in the early 80s, Tom Benolkin was a force to be reckoned with on the national Motocross circuit, then just as quickly disappeared. Getting to those lofty heights presented many obstacles, but with the help and support of his family, and with no small amount of riding talent, he was the first Minnesotan to make it to a factory team.

Once he achieved the dream of that factory ride, it wasn’t all roses. Benolkin rode in a time of rapid technological change, the Golden Era as he refers to it now. With the trick parts and factory support came machinery that was at, or sometimes over, the bleeding edge of technology.


This photo is from his first race on a 125 back in 1973, which he won

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