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Bill Schaeffer, Covid

We got this request from the niece of former national 96, Bill Schaeffer.

Dear Sideburn magazine

I need your help please. My name is Tammy Tyler and I am the niece of Bill Schaeffer. Bill is in the hospital with Covid and pneumonia.

Bill raced in the early-70s. His national number was 96. We grew up riding motorcycles and being around the sport. Motorcycle racing was his life back then. It was the whole family's life.

Bill is now a husband, father and grandfather of five. His oldest grandson got a motorcycle before getting a bicycle. Of course his coaching skills are a lot different now . His words are always Slow down , don't go so fast, dammit , and other expletives. Nobody ever listens though.

I am reaching out to you for some extra prayers and positivity today. Although the family is unable to visit they are able to FaceTime him. He is in an induced coma and unable to respond but we believe he hears us. Any cards or messages of positivity would mean a lot to the family as they can read them to him. Please , please reach out to any racers to send the family thoughts and prayers . Correspondence can be emailed to:

I thank you for reading this email

Please keep him in your prayers

Very sincerely

Tammy Tyler

Read about one of Bill's big wins at

Photo: Gary van Voorhis

1 Comment

Ted  Ellis
Ted Ellis
Jan 02, 2021

Thanks Gary! One of the most important messages I've ever received via this medium. It was 1974 that Billy Schaeffer lined up against Denny Palmgren, Rocky Simmons, Billy Eves, Johnny Goad, Eddie Adkins, Johnny Leale and Paul Smart for his heat race at Frederick, Maryland. While not as well known today, this was a STACKED field in 1974! Larry Darr, racing with H-D support on the still developing Alloy XR750 (think FTR750 in 2017!) had just established a new lap-record during his own heat race, but Billy made the 6-lap main, which he led all the way to the checkers.

Billy Schaeffer would be back on the podium in Frederick in 1977 for a close 1-2-3 between Billy Eves and…

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