Former factory Honda rider Ron Sun died on Tuesday, the result of heart and kidney failure, at age 60 in his home in the USA. He was the brother of another ex factory Honda rider Chuck Sun, who led team USA to their first MX des Nations win in 1981.
Chuck, a well-known figure in the UK vets scene who has raced the Vets Nations, paid tribute to his brother:
In 1979 Ron took to the road, a self funded privateer in older brother Chuck’s well used ’65 Chevy truck to hit the 250 National circuit on a Husqvarna finishing as one of the countries top privateers garnering a top ten overall in the Nation.
Ron carried his top ten momentum to the 1979 fall Trans-AMA series to secure a runner up position and catch the attention of American Honda with the intent to sign Ron to campaign the 1980 125 Nationals.
Honda contract in hand, Ron, while training on Mt. Hood ski slopes, flew to far off a downhill jump to flat land, snapping his tibia. Ron’s leg injury forced him to miss the first few supercross rounds and spent the year building strength on a 125 in which he was unfamiliar as Ron crafted his chops on the more powerful 250 and 430 Husqvarna’s.
Ron rose to World level performance by winning in northwest-like-mud the 2nd moto at the 1980 Mid-Ohio FIM 125 USGP of motocross, this after the bike watered out while leading the first moto, a heart breaker.
Ron loved to ride, his talent did not go unnoticed, receiving race promoter invites to South Africa, France and Canada where everyone easily befriended the easy going Oregonian. Ron grew up in a family of riders including Chuck, Mark and Kenny. Kenny and Suzanne, the youngest were twins, Suzie put herself through college at the University of Washington on a gymnastic scholarship. Ron was looking after our dad Roger who both paid daily visits to our mother Carolyn who was stricken with Alzheimer’s disease.
Ron dominated Vet pro payouts into his 40’s, his favorite method of training was riding technical trails of Trask Mountain in Oregon’s coast range and the ridges of Mt. Adams in Washington. Camping at council lake in a rig next to Ron and his then wife Rhonda, we all heard the roar of what we believe was a Sasquatch, but no one was willing to step outside to find out what the ruckus was all about!
Ronald B will be sorely missed by family and his many friends. Rest In Peace.