• Racing pioneers in NHRA Pro Stock, Top Fuel classes
• Rider Vance & tuner Hines combined for 14 titles, 24 victories
• Founded iconic racing brand in 1979
• V&H teams have won AMA Supersport, Superbike titles
• Two-time DAYTONA 200 Champions (1990, 1993)
• Vance named one of NHRA’s 50 Greatest Drivers (2001)
• Worldwide aftermarket parts supplier
Few rider/tuner pairings in the history of the sport have dominated the way Terry Vance and Byron Hines have, harvesting dozens of national championships across multiple categories. From the early ‘70s until Vance retired from riding in 1988, they won 14 national titles, in both Pro Stock and Top Fuel classes, and 24 NHRA national victories. The duo’s popularity was a major reason the NHRA added motorcycle racing to its national championship series. In 1980, they formed Vance & Hines, which they’ve built into one of the world’s largest aftermarket parts suppliers. Their road racing teams have won AMA Supersport and Superbike titles and collected signature victories in the DAYTONA 200 (1990, 1993) and the U.S. round of the 1999 World Superbike Series. More recently, the duo ran the Harley-Davidson® Screamin’ Eagle®/Vance & Hines Pro Stock drag racing team, which has won more races and championships. Vance is listed in the NHRA’s Top 50 Drivers. Vance (1999) and Hines (2014) were inducted into the AMA Hall of Fame.
By Kevin McKenna
It isn’t an exaggeration to suggest that without the influence of Terry Vance and Byron Hines, the sport of motorcycle drag racing might not exist. At the very least, it would not be the thriving industry that it is today.
Vance and Hines met at Lions Dragstrip in the early 1970s and became fast friends. As partners, they set records and won races at a previously unimaginable pace. They also built a business empire that almost singlehandedly transformed the motorcycle aftermarket industry.
Vance, an ambitious and naturally gifted rider, proved to be the perfect match for Hines, a U.S. Army veteran who honed his considerable mechanical skills during his military service in Vietnam. Like Lennon and McCartney or Wilbur and Orville Wright, the partnership of Vance & Hines proved to be far greater than the sum of its parts.
Working in tandem as rider and mechanic, Vance & Hines quickly became a dominant force in motorcycle drag racing, first in Southern California before eventually expanding their influence to the National Hot Rod Association, Dragbike USA, and other nationally sanctioned events. They also took an active interest
in the growth and preservation of the sport, raising the level of professionalism to previously unseen heights.
Vance & Hines practically invented the Pro Stock Motorcycle class, a production-based category that highlights the latest technology from a variety of OEM manufacturers.
In addition to their dominant years in Pro Stock Motorcycle, Vance & Hines also made their mark in the Top Fuel Motorcycle class. Fueled by explosive nitromethane, Top Fuel Motorcycles are the Mt. Everest of two-wheel drag racing and not for the faint of heart.
Fear aside, Vance made history in 1984 when he clocked the first six-second quarter-mile pass on a Top Fuel Motorcycle, a 6.98, at Orange County International Raceway in Southern California.
In 1987, Vance also became the first Pro Stock Motorcycle rider to record a seven-second elapsed time at the Texas Motorplex. A year later, Vance won the final four events of the season, bringing his career total to 27. Then, in the prime of his career, Vance promptly announced his retirement as a rider, electing to go out on top. Not surprisingly, Vance, a 14-time national champion, was named one of NHRA’s Top 50 Drivers of its first half-century in 2001, the highest placed of just three motorcycle racers so honored.
Vance’s retirement paved the way for a changing of the guard. The team continued to forge ahead with Hines’ sons, Matt and Andrew along with teammates Eddie Krawiec and Angelle Sampey, combining to win 13 more NHRA championships and more than 100 races.
Vance & Hines also ventured into road racing and enjoyed similar success, winning AMA Supersport and Superbike titles and the prestigious Daytona 200 on two occasions.
Success on the racetrack and in business went hand-in-hand for the dynamic duo when they launched the motorcycle aftermarket company that bears their names in 1979.
Featuring a timeless and iconic logo, Vance & Hines specializes in building motorcycle exhaust systems and a variety of other parts and accessories. It quickly grew into one of the world’s largest aftermarket motorcycle companies.
Kevin McKenna is the longtime Senior Editor of National Dragster, NHRA’s in-house publication. He is also the author of the How to Drag Race book. McKenna and his wife, Jill, live in Indianapolis and can often be found drag racing their Mustang.