The motorcycle industry unexpectedly lost one of its best known and most loved veterans, Marcel Fortney, who suffered a fatal heart attack at his ranch in Templeton, CA near Paso Robles on Monday, January 15th.
Fortney, 49, was most recently the U.S. agent for AGV, the prominent Italian helmet maker responsible for protecting Valentino Rossi's head throughout his career. Fortney worked with AGV's exclusive American distributor, Parts Unlimited.
"It's unbelievable that Marcel is no longer with us," said Parts Unlimited chief Jeff Fox. "I've known him since he was representing Pirelli back in the '80s and there wasn't a more knowledgeable or personable guy in the business."
Fortney's career in motorcycling spanned nearly 30 years, dating back to his first job with Cycle Guide magazine. He worked in various sales and marketing capacities with many of the industry's most respected firms including Fox Racing, Pirelli, Yoshimura, Artehouse, and most recently, AGV Helmets. Fortney had also owned and operated several San Francisco Bay area motorcycle dealerships.
"'Shocking' doesn't begin to describe Marcel's passing," said Justyn Amstutz, Executive Vice President and COO at National Powersport Auctions and a close friend of Fortney's. "Scott Cox and I were just with him last weekend preparing for the third Monterey Classic Bike Auction."
"Calm, cool, and creative; that was Marcel," continued Amstutz. "I just can't believe he's gone. Not only was he a leader in our industry but those of us blessed enough to also know him as a friend will miss him very much."
Marcel Fortney leaves his wife, Christie, and daughter Mackie, 14. A private memorial service is scheduled for noon on Sunday, January 28th in Ojai, CA and all of Marcel's friends are welcome to attend. A potluck meal will also take place for those who would like to participate. For further details about the memorial please call 760-436-9937.