Wednesday, August 30, 2017 by Keith

A Tribute to Fredrick’s Son, His Final Ride

I'm sharing a story from a man I just met here in Bonneville. When I first saw him, he was at the starting line, head bowed down. He told me the bike he was riding was his son's, Richard, who had passed only a month or so before. Richard was a young man that held 2 Bonneville speed records and his father was riding his bike, with Richard's ashes strapped to the tank. 
Fredrick Klinger, Richard's Dad, hadn't ridden in 7 years and his head was bowed, before he took his son for a final ride on the salt.
Man, there is a lot of soul and heart here at this great place called Bonneville..
God Bless you both, Richard and Fritz.
The Letter Below is a response from my post of this story in Facebook, which has been shared over 360 times with the family and racing community. The letter is from a man I've never met, Richard's brother, Fritz Junior.

"Wow! This is a story that is a very emotionally charged, personal and humbling to me and my family. Thank you for the share! 

Every trip out to the salt flats for us was a big deal but this year really meant a lot to me, my family, my siblings and especially my father. I have essentially stayed off FB almost ever since the loss of my brother. Tonight I happened to come across this story so I thought I would share and add to it. 

When we returned to the salt this year to race I was flooded and overwhelmed with memories and different emotions as soon as we reached Wendover, of going out to the salt flats with my Brother Richard my Dad Fritz Klingler and Too Much Fun Club members. As kids we dugout holes in the salt with my dads screw drivers, rode dirt bikes as far as we could until we would loose sight of the pit area, collect live ammunition left over from old Pearl Harbor days, and race my dads vehicles as fast as we could even though we were not old enough to drive yet. My dad would scrape up whatever sponsorship he could get to help out and what little money we had just to make the trip out each year. 

I think I got my first license to race at the Salt Flats when I was about 14 or 15 years old when my dad strapped my ass on the old Harley and sent me down the track. My little brother looked on in jealousy that year and unbeknownst to me he would go on to not only surpass my speed of 156 but blow it out of the water and then some. 

My brother Rich went on to race prototype Harley Davidson's as well as my dads Streamliner which went over 220 MPH. This trip certainly was an emotional rollercoaster for me personally but it also gave me some closure knowing that my brother got to haul some ass down the track again as his ashes were strapped to the frame of my dads Harley. 

My dads story closely identifies with the Worlds Fastest Indian. We didn't have big money or big corporation sponsored factory bikes. Each year the pit crew changed slightly and we learned street knowledge from the year prior from the school of hard knocks. We were a bunch of hillbillies with no money and a bunch of crap we fabricated in our garage. Every year we went out we got faster and faster. Pretty soon we were setting records most of which if not all stand to this date. 

My brother Rich was just as crazy as my dad and had balls of steel or as my dad says "balls bigger than our brains". That's what it takes for anyone to run out on the salt flats and that tube with my brothers ashes mounted to my dads bike is a representation of the respect it takes to have balls bigger than your brains to make a pass down the salt. My brother planed on racing again this year and we made damn sure he got it. 

My family and I would like to thank you for this post and sharing your photos. I would also like to thank everyone who chipped into my dads go fund me account this year to help us make this happen this year. Without it, it wouldn't have been possible without your help and I wouldn't have missed it for the world. 

I can't wait to get back out there and send it down the track as fast as that bike will go with my little bro by my side. 

Thank you! 

Fritz Klingler Jr"


Fritz Klinger

Richard Klinger's ashes on the tank of his motorcycle.

Fritz, taking his son for the last ride.

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