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Meet the ORMHOF Class of 2023:  Scot Harden

Meet the ORMHOF Class of 2023: Scot Harden

Scot Harden – Industry Pioneer

As a desert racer, OEM executive, event promoter, land use advocate, desert racing historian, brand ambassador, published author, and now a member of five motorsports Halls of Fame, Scot Harden impacts off-road.

Scot's wife Kristi has been with him every step of the way.  The Hardens were married in 1979 after dating for five years and celebrated 40 years of marriage in 2019. Kristi is ORMHOF inductee Jack Johnson's sister.

With 14 overall wins and 38 class championships at the Baja 1000, Baja 500, Las Vegas 400, Parker 400, SCORE, BITD, SNORE, HDRA, and other major Baja/off-road events to pioneering Rally competitions in North Africa, to leading the first serious U.S. motorcycle team effort at the grueling Dakar Rally to building companies, and brands, Harden has impacted an entire generation of off-road enthusiasts. His contributions to iconic off-road companies like KTM, Husqvarna, Best In The Desert, and a whole host of aftermarket companies as race team manager, factory rider, sales and marketing executive, spokesperson, and brand ambassador, Scot has left a huge mark on the industry and sport.

Scot Harden, 1980

Already a member of several other prestigious Halls of Fame including the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA), Trailblazers, Motorcycle Racing Association of Nevada (MRAN) and Hot Shoe Hall of Fames, Harden has been named by SCORE Journal as one of the “All Time Baja Moto Greats” and one of the “Top 10 Riders” in the history of U.S. off-road motorcycle competition by Dirt Rider Magazine.

“MRAN is where I got my start, and was my first Hall of Fame,” Scot told ORMHOF. “I was part of the inaugural class back in 1996 along with my good friends Casey Folks, Jack Johnson, and Max Switzer.”

Scot riding in his first ISDE in Brioude, France in 1980. He earned a silver medal.

Scot’s passion, drive for excellence and hard work is what drove him to be a very accomplished off-road racer, not just winning his class, but winning 14-overall victories in the biggest off-road races, including the Baja 1000, Baja 500, Las Vegas 400, and Parker 400, to name a few. Scot went on to race international rally raids in North Africa, being one of the first Americans to race and win one of these complicated multi-day “raids.” He also represented America as a member of Team USA Trophy Team in the prestigious International Six-days Enduro, racing against the best in the world, and winning a gold medal. 

Scot Harden on his way to winning the 1987 Djerba 500 Rallye in Tunisia. He was the first American to ever win a Marathon Raid Rallye.

Scot continued making major impacts beyond racing as Team Manager for KTM’s North American Dakar Rally Team, and KTM North America marketing and sales manager, helping put the brand on the map through the 1980s, 1990s, and beyond. His ambassador role in the industry sets a large footprint and is much of what his focus is today. He is a major editor at Dealernews, a Cycle News contributor, and an AMA magazine contributor.

Scot’s passion for the sport of off-road continues with the recent development of the “Handstands at 100 MPH” event with legendary SCORE Baja Champion and ORMHOF inductee Johnny Campbell. “Handstands” is designed to recognize the accomplishments of desert and Baja motorcycle racing legends from the past and present. Scot is also an instrumental part of the long-running Nevada 200 Trail Ride, which has been rated "The Best Trailride in America" by Dirt Bike Magazine.  The Nevada 200 will celebrate 40 years in 2024.

Scot and brother-in-law Jack Johnson, out scouting trails for the Nevada 200 Trailride.  Both are now Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame Inductees.

“Scot Hardin’s efforts to continue the promotion and legacies of the sport’s great off-road racers will educate present and future generations to know whose shoulders they are standing on,” says Jim Ryan, SCORE VP of Marketing. “Preserving the past and strengthening the future of motorcycle racers in Baja is important to SCORE and the motorcycle competitors overall.”

Scot was honored as Grand Marshal of the 2022 SCORE Baja 1000. Among his many Baja wins, Scot and partner Brent Wallingsford set a record of five consecutive SCORE motorcycle overall event wins in 1977 and 1978.

About the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame

The Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame was established in 1978 by racing promoter and NORRA founder Ed Pearlman to recognize and honor those individuals and organizations whose lifelong contributions to off-road motorsports have set a standard for others to follow. In 1995, legendary off-road racer Rod Hall became ORMHOF chairman, a position he held for more than twenty years, before selecting current chairman Mark McMillin as his successor.

The mission of the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame is to educate and inspire present and future generations of the off-road community by celebrating the achievements of those who came before.  Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame inductees represent excellence and achievement in many areas of off-road, including advocacy, journalism, industry, rock sports, desert racing, short course, and rally.  

ORMHOF maintains a collection of vintage off-road vehicles that are displayed at museums around the country, as well as an extensive online archive of print, images, and videos, with more content added as funds become available.  The Hall of Fame Off-Road Registry invites clubs, organizations, events, businesses, and individuals with fifty years or more of history in off-road to apply for Hall of Fame heritage status in the official archives of the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame. 

The Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame is funded through donations, individual memberships, and industry partners. A 501c non-profit organization, ORMHOF has earned a GuideStar Non-Profit Gold Seal of Transparency for 2023.

ORMHOF is guided by an all-volunteer board of leaders in the off-road community, including chairman Mark McMillin and board members Frank ‘Butch’ Arciero Jr, Dave Cole, Frank DeAngelo, Bud Feldkamp, Jeff Furrier, Bob Ham, Josh Hall, Gary Haugley, Rich Klein, Rafael Navarro III, Fardad Niknam, Bonnie Vessels, and Rory Ward.

Links to 2023 Gala tickets, discounted room rates, and Gala sponsorship opportunities are available on the 2023 Ceremony tab. We invite you to browse the ORMHOF online collections of print, images, and video, and to learn more about how to join, partner, or donate. Legends live at