Legend Lost : Ray Price Remembered

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Ray Price

June 25, 1937 to December 16, 2015 – Ray Price

It is with a heavy heart that I report to you all that one of the greatest Top Fuel Nitro Harley pilots of all time, the Father of Funny Bikes, Mr. Ray Price passed away Wednesday evening, December 16, 2015. I have been informed that Ray was in the presence of loved ones and at peace when he passed.


Ray Price started motorcycle drag racing so many years ago, most the people who will read this story were not born when Ray started drag racing. He began burning nitromethane in his drag bikes during the 1960’s. It’s quite likely that Ray Price has burned more barrels of nitromethane than any other fuel bike racer, dead or alive.

What’s most important to think about at this time of great loss with the passing of Ray; is that Mr. Ray Price was a racer all the way. He raced all he could till he could race no more. Born in 1937, Ray was 78 years old when he passed. He’s been Nitro Harley racing since at LEAST 1966, this I know for a fact. When you do the math, you’ll see Ray’s been burning CH3NO2 in his race bikes for 49 years now and if he had another year in him, he’d do it again.

Ray Price Racing

I’ve often thought that Ray is one of most magnificent men I’ve ever met. He had a purpose in life, a goal, to go nitro Harley racing and he did just that and he did it well. 2015 was another championship year in NHRA T/F bike racing for Ray Price Harley Davidson, just like it was in 2014 for the team. It will take competent researcher days-to-months to try and chronicle Ray’s decades of accomplishments. And no matter how hard someone dig’s, they’ll never find or see Ray’s greatest accomplishment in some list of numbers or a trophy case that needs its own floor of a museum to fit all the hardware in.


Ray’s biggest victory was in staying true to his course in life. He stayed true to the love of his life, his beloved wife Jean. Just as he did by staying true to his motorcycle of choice: Harley Fucking Davidson. For Ray Price, there was no other motorcycle worthy of his interest. Clearly Mr. Price was a devoted man of purpose and the success he earned was hard fought. With a smile.


While someone will unearth Ray’s accomplishments, few if any will ever know the true breadth of his impact on the sport of motorcycle drag racing, in terms of what he did for the sport. His generosity in helping keep the good ship AHDRA afloat is but one example of his behind the scenes efforts to not only further Nitro Harley racing, but motorcycle drag racing as well. Ray did a lot, just ask the people in the know.


So embedded a drag racer was Mr. Price, when he had his shop built, the famous Ray Price Harley Davidson, in Raleigh North Carolina, he had a museum included in the building just for motorcycle drag racing. He even had Nitro Harleys doing burin outs on the shop floor before it was refinished so as to embed the tire tracks into the floor…permanently.


This was Ray’s greatest accomplishment – he was a true man, true to his cause, true to his family, his motorcycles and to the sport of motorcycle drag racing. Do not mourn the loss and passing of this great man for too long, he would not want that. He’d rather you get off your back side and go do a burn out, or better yet, put some nitro in the tank when you do.

Ray Price

If you look up in the stars tonight, you’ll see one new one up there, one that maybe shines just a little bit brighter than the others. That’s because Ray and Jim McClure and Elmer are catching up a bit. And if the heavens should open up and it starts to rain, know that thunder will likely follow. There’s a bit of match racing going on up stairs. Don’t cry for Ray, thank him for all he gave. If you ask him for guidance, you’ll get it.

Information on Services – Rayprice.com/ray


Ray Price

Ray Price Tommy Grimes


Ray Price


Don Plesser and Ray Price

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  1. toby841
    toby841 17 December, 2015, 02:32

    How old was he when he stopped riding drag bikes

  2. Willy G
    Willy G 17 December, 2015, 02:43

    I was able to hang out with Ray many times while at the drag races with TC Chritenson & My dad John Gregory . Ray was always a great man to hang out with and talk to . I remember being at The St Petersburg NHRA 25 th anniversary Nationals 4th of July weekend 1997 with TC and my dad . Ray was there too . TC ran out of nitro and I went over to Ray’s pit area and told him about it , Ray just reached in his trailer and handed me a 5gal drum of 100% nitro for TC. I asked him how much he wanted for it , and he said that he didn’t want anything for it just give it to TC and tell him to get his bike ready to make some runs. What a really cool guy Ray was . Ray was and still is one of the greatest motorcycle drag racers of all time. R.I.P Ray Price You will be sadly missed

  3. Cindy O
    Cindy O 17 December, 2015, 06:37

    Wonderful Wonderful article about a true legend. Ray was a great man.

  4. Marc
    Marc 17 December, 2015, 07:08

    You will be missed my friend. You have taught a lot and lead by example.

    May God have Mercy on your Soul

  5. leshon
    leshon 17 December, 2015, 10:03

    Ray was one of the guys that got my dad into nitro racing over 40 years ago, he will surely be missed! Rest peacefully my friend!

    DOUG MORROW 17 December, 2015, 10:22


  7. Jersey
    Jersey 17 December, 2015, 11:09

    I was and am blessed in that Ray Price Harey Davidson is my home shop. It has been my pleasure and honor on many occasions to talk with Ray. Down to earth and genuine just a sampling of who he is. The Motorcycle Community has lost a Hero, Legend, Friend, Father and Husband. His smile was infectious and his hand shake hardy. Always a smile on his facead so quick to say hello how are you today. A sad day for those of us that knew him and a sadder day for those who never had the chance to meet him. But belive me those that did know him the stories will neve end and his story can never fully be told. Please keep his beautiful wife Mrs Jean, his Family as well as the Ray Price Harey Davidson Family in your thoughts and prayers. GOD needed another passionate racer in Heaven and he sure got one in Ray. RIP MY FRIEND

  8. Bikersully
    Bikersully 17 December, 2015, 12:23

    We will miss Ray Price very much. Rest in peace my friend.

  9. Don Plesser
    Don Plesser 17 December, 2015, 15:42

    I have had the honor and privilege to have know Ray since the late 70’s. Over the years our friendship grew. He is a true legend of our sport and will be missed by our family and the entire drag race community. God speed Ray Price.

  10. Panhead John
    Panhead John 17 December, 2015, 23:00

    The world just lost a Great Person and Top Fuel Racer, but he will Forever live in our hearts Forever, God Speed, and Tell Elmer and Jim to we still Love Them Too and none of you will ever be forgotten, I won’t let that happen, T/F Forever

  11. Jesse
    Jesse 18 December, 2015, 09:38

    I once asked Ray what it was like to launch in a nitro drag. He said he really didn’t know because he blacked out coming off the lights and came to way down the strip. Wow! Rest in peace Ray.

  12. Jimmy Fox
    Jimmy Fox 18 December, 2015, 19:38

    Ray was and always will be remembered as a true friend of the sport of motorcycle drag racing. I’ve had the privilege of knowing Ray for over 40 years. He was such a knowledgeable man and was so forthcoming with that knowledge. It’s hard to put into words how much the motorcycle racing community will miss him. I can remember when he had the Funny Bike sporty and would carry the wheel all the way through the lights. I asked him once if he thought he had tricked the lights to get a better MPH than he had actually run and he said “Aww I’ll never tell” …. He was a wonderful man and a pioneer of our sport. I will miss him terribly. His absence will leave a hole in our sport that may never be filled. God Speed Mr. Ray Price.. See you again some day on the big end.

  13. qwikhog
    qwikhog 19 December, 2015, 00:14

    Several years ago a racer from Georgia was at the Rock and broke an axle adjuster on his bagger. We sent him over to see if Ray might get one sent in from Raleigh the next day. They didn’t have the part in stock, so Ray told him to bring the broken part over and they would weld it. His crew welded it, and he would not take any payment at all. Told him to get it back on the bike and go racing. I will always remember that act of kindness and generosity, shown to a racer that had never been in his shop and likely never would be. What a class act, and one Hell of a rider. I feel blessed to have seen him line up next to Jim and some of the other greats. Thanks Ray, RIP.

  14. 2blood
    2blood 19 December, 2015, 01:41

    Ray has always been an insperation to me, He will be missed.

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