Magenta/Yellow/Black & Blue: What Happened To Jim Leonard?
former superbike crewchief injured in crash
by staff
Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Former Vance and Hines Yamaha/Ducati Crewchief Jim Leonard (front right) was injured in an accident last February. He is nearing full strength in his convalescence.
image by dean f adams

There are few that would debate the statement that Jim Leonard has forgotten more about motorcycle racing engine tuning and chassis set up than many other crewchiefs will ever know. The sight, last year at Indy, of Leonard being waved in to garages at Yamaha and Ducati MotoGP and after pleasantries given the 'Listen, it's doing this. We've tried this to fix it. What do you think?' treatment means among the people who really know how racing motorcycles operate Leonard remains a man of respect.

Back in the early days of Vance & Hines Yamaha--when riders like David Sadowski, Jamie James, and Colin Edwards were part of the team--then-crew-chief Jim Leonard was quite fond of the team's vibrant colors. Magenta/Yellow/Black signified the team's brand, but little did Jim realize back then that, decades later, he'd be branded with those same colors, along with a little bit of blue to go with the black.

No, Jim didn't get a tattoo to commemorate those heady days of magnesium carburetors, carbon brakes, and persnickety OW01s. Unfortunately, he was "tattooed" from behind while riding his motorcycle to Vance & Hanes headquarters where he still works. The car plowed into him, launching him off the bike where he suffered multiple injuries, including a couple of broken vertebrae, a smashed shoulder, a badly damaged hand, and a whole bunch of magenta/yellow/black & blue bruises..


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