® Norm Henkel


Norm is on the far left in this picture. Everyone enjoyed working with him.

Norm (Sr.) and I met when I went to work for Mid-Cities Honda/Kawasaki in about 1978. We became close friends, having much in common. One thing everyone will say, Norm was a really really good guy. Many was the time he would invite me to dinner with his family, and he knew how to be personable and friendly. I learned from him much of what it took to deal with people, and not coincidentally, what a great dealership service manager looked like. Everyone repected Norm, he just had that way about him. Quiet, but proficient. And a people person. He told me stories of being in Vietnam as a helicopter crew chief. He preceded me at American Honda by a couple years, but eventually we both worked there at the same time, he in Motorcycle Training at first, me in Customer Relations (can you say "fish out of water..."?). Norm went on to the Auto division as a District Service Manager and I went to Motorcycle Mechanics Institute to teach.

The 350cc dragbike. Norm's wife and I pitted for him when he ran it at Terminal Island. That's little Norman Jr. inside the car with the bike. He works for American Honda himself now and he's not so little any more. The ignition was a magneto unit from a TD Yamaha. Also Yoshi parts all over, cut down Z1 valves, handmade exhaust with true reverse cone megaphones. BIG Mikuni VM carbs, stacks. Norman rode the bike himself. His wife Annette and he once ran an independent shop in Florida.

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