AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame | Where Heroes Live On
First Name
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Rolf Tibblin


1962 and 1963 500cc World Motocross Champion. Member of Sweden's championship-winning Motocross of Nations team in 1961 and 1962.

Rolf Tibblin was born May 7, 1937 in Stockholm, Sweden. He became one of the top riders in the Motocross Grand Prix World Championships during the 1960s.

In 1958 Tibblin contested the European 250cc Motocross Championship (the predecessor of the World 250cc Motocross Championship), and finished second aboard a Husqvarna. He returned in 1959 and won the European 250cc Motocross Championship with the Husqvarna factory team.

In 1960 Tibblin moved to the ranks of the F.I.M. 500cc Motocross World Championship, where he finished in third-place aboard a Husqvarna. Two years later he captured the top prize in motocross: the 1962 500cc Motocross World Championship title. In 1963 he successfully defended the 500cc Motocross World title for Husqvarna. Tibblin was also member of Sweden's championship-winning Motocross of Nations team in 1961 and 1962.

Tibblin entered the 1964 500cc Motocross World Championship riding a Nils Hedlund-designed machine, but finished second to Jeff Smith. In the 1965 Championship Tibblin rode for CZ and finished third behind Jeff Smith and Paul Friedrichs. In the 1966 season he finished second aboard the CZ.

Tibblin is remembered as one of the more physically fit motocross racers of his day. In 1968 he wrote a book about fitness and training, which was published with help from U.S. motocross race promoter and Husqvarna importer Edison Dye. His overall strength is illustrated in a mid-1970s photo showing Tibblin racing in the Hang Ten Grand Prix at Carlsbad Raceway in California. He is wearing a large, helmet-mounted camera and battery pack said to weigh nearly 50 lbs.

Tibblin also raced with Gunnar Nilsson in the 1972 Baja 1000, and the pair won the motorcycle division aboard a Husqvarna with a time of 19 hours and 19 minutes.

After retiring from professional competition, Tibblin ran a motocross school in Southern California. He later moved to Sri Lanka, where he held membership with the Sri Lanka Association of Drivers and Riders (SLARDAR), and is credited with helping SLARDAR to enhance and uplift motor sports in Sri Lanka.

Fellow competitor Jeff Smith summed up Tibblin's persona with the following quote: "The man who designed and made Tibblin's 1964 championship mount was Nils Hedlund. It was really the last great motocross machine before the two-strokes came flooding in. It took a strong, fit man to handle such a machine and Tibblin was the man to do it. He was the first person in motocross to take training seriously and I was privileged to know him and learn some of his methods. He was also a very humorous person, easy to get along with and always 'very, very, sorry' if he knocked you down!"