Tommy Bolton became known all over the world for taking motorcycles to speeds never seen before, but there is so much more to this guy from Los Angeles California.
His love for motorcycles started at an early age.
“When school let out, we were riding this one minibike all around the school, having fun, and that’s where the love started,” said Bolton.
Growing up in Los Angeles at the height of gang violence, Tommy said it was motorcycles that saved his life.
“The motorcycles and the minibikes kept me so busy that all that stuff passed me by,” Bolton said.
After street racing for a while, he realized that wasn’t a good path, and after a couple of trips to the racetrack, he gave legal racing a try.
“By the time I was twenty-three, I was becoming known around California as this fearless motorcycle racer,” Bolton said.
Bolton would eventually start traveling the racing circuit all over the United States.
“By me learning how to work on the motors and understand how they really work, then that really helped me,” said Bolton.
His life would change while racing at the Texas Motor Speedway in Dallas.
“I came up there, and I had a bunch of unknown parts on my bike that people said wouldn’t work,” Bolton said.
The race would make history and make Tommy a legend.
“They said Tom, you just went two hundred five miles an hour,” Bolton said.
Bolton became only the third person and the first African American to break the 20o mph barrier on a motorcycle and the first ever to do it multiple times.
“You know I’ve won over twenty-five championships,” Bolton said.
Being the legend, they are now even writing songs about him.
“The whole story just inspired me, and I was, hey man, I got you,” said rapper K.A.L.F.O.
Today, he is coach Tommy, managing his race team and building bikes in his Oklahoma City shop.
“I’m sixty-four years old now; the only time I want to race is for pleasure,” said Bolton.
It is common to see Bolton cruising the street of OKC on one of his custom street bikes.
“Cruising down a country road on one of these amazing Tombo bikes, you know I like that,” Bolton said