William “Bill” Goudy was an AMA Class A (factory) competitor who raced during the 1910s aboard Cyclone and Excelsior-Henderson motorcycles.
Goudy was born in Enfield, Ill., on April 16, 1893. He attended Fairbury High School and studied engineering at the University of Illinois.
The Cyclone motorcycle was produced by the Joerns Motor Manufacturing Company of St. Paul, Minn. Goudy was hired to showcase the machine’s capabilities during the 1915 season, which included races at Venice, Calif., Peoria, Ill., and the 300-mile International Championship race at Dodge City, Kan.
Bill Goudy’s brother, Carl, was also a professional racer and had enjoyed a successful 1915 season with Excelsior motorcycles. Bill was set to race with Excelsior in 1916, but tragedy struck in January that year when he collided with a downed rider during a tuning session for a race at Bakersfield, Calif. He died as a result of his injuries.
He was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1998.