« Dave Thorpe interview - MXoN | Main | Scenes from High Point on PAMX – DC Vet Homecoming Saturday »

Danny "Magoo" Chandler - MXoN


In the autumn of 1982, around this time, some 36 years ago, the greatest motocross race in the World got to witness something very beautiful. Danny “Magoo” Chandler, considered to this day one of the most flamboyant riders in the history of the sport put a masterclass on his opposition. Beating the Worlds best and doing something that will never be achieved again.

Chandler was part of the American team for the Trophies and Motocross des Nation international team events. On the smooth and fast racing circuits of Gaildorf, Germany, and Wohlen, Switzerland, Chandler came through and won every moto in both the Trophies des Nations for 250cc bikes in Germany and again a week later in the Motocross des Nations (then for 500cc bikes) in Switzerland. Chandler became the only rider ever to win both motos of both events in the same year. Chandler returned to America a hero in the eyes of motocross fans everywhere.


Chandler was injured in a practice crash during the off-season after 1983 and, while not fully recovered, managed two top-10 finishes in the AMA nationals in 1984. Chandler was dropped from Team Honda after the ’84 season. During the winter, a call came from Europe and he was given the opportunity to race in the Motocross World Championships for the 1985 season. He first rode for a British Kawasaki team, but after disagreements with the team over team orders to finish behind his teammate, Chandler quit and was quickly picked up by KTM.

With the Austrian manufacturer, Chandler came through to win the French GP. He was solidly in contention in the world championships before a serious crash in Italy halfway through the season ended any chance he had to earn a world title. While recovering from his injuries, an Italian-based Kawasaki team signed him to race in the world championship in 1986. Unfortunately for Chandler, his racing career was about to come to a heartbreaking end.

At the Paris Supercross, Chandler suffered a crash in a heat race that broke his neck and left him paralyzed forever.

After the accident, Chandler went through a tough period. Within the span of a few years after the accident, he went through a divorce and then suffered even further when both his parents died within a few years of one another.

"In the long run the accident has left me a richer and fuller person," Chandler says positively. "Had it not been for that I would just be another guy walking around. Now I have an interesting and compelling story to tell the kids."

Chandler would visit the Motocross of Nations again in 2009, a guest from Youthstream, and a popular guest, who was constantly asked questions about his amazing career.

Unfortunately Chandler passed away on May 5, 2010, following an extended illness.

Gaildorf, Germany - September, 1982

Moto One

1. Danny Chandler (USA/Honda)

2. Dave Thorpe (Great Britain/Kawasaki)

3. Jeremy Whatley (Great Britain/)

4. Harry Everts (Belgium/)

5. Johnny O’Mara (USA/Honda)

Moto two

1. Danny Chandler (USA/Honda)

2. André Vromans (Belgium /Suzuki)

3. Johnny O’Mara (USA/Honda)

4. Rolf Dieffenbach (Germany/)

5. Georges Jobé (Belgium/Suzuki)


1. Danny Chandler (USA/Honda) 1-1

2. André Vromans (Belgium /Suzuki) 6-2

3. Johnny O’Mara (USA/Honda) 3-5

Team Overall

1. USA (23 points)

2. Belgium (34)

3. Germany (64)

Wohlen, Switzerland - September, 1982

Moto One

1. Danny Chandler (USA/Honda)

2. André Vromans (Belgium /Suzuki)

3. David Thorpe (Great Britain/Kawasaki)

Moto two

1. Danny Chandler (USA/Honda)

2. David Bailey (USA/Honda)

3. André Vromans (Belgium /Suzuki)


1. Danny Chandler (USA/Honda) 1-1

2. André Vromans (Belgium /Suzuki) 2-3

3. David Bailey (USA/Honda) 4-2

Team Overall

1. USA (Bailey , O'Mara , Chandler , Gibson)

2. Belgium (Everts, Vromans , Jobé, Laquaye)

3. Great Britain  (Thorpe , Hudson , Whatley , Watson)

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>