The motorcycle industry is a small one, a niche-within-a-niche that tends to attract a wide assortment of odd-but-good people linked through our love of the sport. And then there are the members of the community that tower above the rest. Today, with the passing of Kyle Clack, we lost one of those people.
I met Kyle just a few years ago when he took over media relations duties for Victory Motorcycles from Robert Pandya who’d stepped away to handle the Indian launch. Kyle had a way of building an immediate intimacy that went far beyond the good interpersonal skills required in his job. His geniality filled the room wherever he went, and when you parted, you knew you were better for the time you’d just shared.
I had the good fortune to spend a couple mornings eating breakfast with Kyle at Daytona Bike Week before heading out to do our jobs for our differing employers. It was during these meals that I learned of the wildly varied life that Kyle had lived, making me even more impressed with him. At the end of the meal, he’d say, “At the same time, tomorrow?” and we’d be off.
My short experience only scratched the surface of the man Kyle was. This morning, Robert Pandya posted the following eulogy on Facebook, and in it, he expresses the essence of Kyle’s life:
It is with the deepest of sadness combined with the appreciation for a life well-lived that we say goodbye to our friend Kyle Clack. On the morning of Thursday January 14th Kyle passed away from complications of a brain tumor diagnosed early last year.
It’s important to note that Kyle did not lose a battle, he in fact spent an entire life helping and winning and helping those he loved and many more he did not even know. Kyle has left this Earth a better place and was surrounded by loving friends as he headed off for his last adventure. To any measure, that is ending on a win.
Kyle’s passions and work were intertwined. His positive energy, limitless enthusiasm, quick laugh and genuine loving smile always resulted in friendship. Kyle’s impact on the World has been far greater than the average person. In his wake is immeasurable camaraderie and inspiration across the nation.
His work with the Ride for Kids helped deliver the vision of the late Mike and Dianne Traynor as well as millions of dollars towards research benefitting the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. The impact of his work was not limited to fundraising, but the mutual benefit of elevating the stature of motorcyclists through the Ride for Kids events, including the millions of positive impressions left behind. Affected children and families felt that impact every event for nearly a decade, as did the amazing staff of riders and coordinators across the country.
Kyle was the kind of person who measurably accelerated when he saw a friend walking his direction. The kind of guy who would raise a glass of fine bourbon to toast the day, only after he was sure you had some too. Kyle’s spirit, passion, friendship and humility are simply models for the rest of us to follow in our own daily lives.
It’s undeniable that the world continues on and that death is the constant. Individual life is a short blip in the span of eons. Making the maximum impact, the most genuine of friends and leaving behind a legacy for other to act on is the best way to honor someone no longer with us in body, but who lives in our hearts every day.
Per Kyle’s wishes, it’s requested that any memorial be a donation to: Care Partners Solace
Kyle will be cremated in a private ceremony, and his ashes will become part of the wind and the Earth that he so loved.
In your next quiet moment, reflect on the legacy of a great and humble man, and let that memory propel you towards your own greater life, for if you were a friend of Kyle Clack you are one of the luckiest people you know.