Lehman Trikes, Inc. (LTI) Spearfish, South Dakota – It is with great sadness that Lehman Trikes announces the untimely loss of John K. Lehman, Founder and Director. John passed away on Thursday, January 5, in Arizona. The suspected cause of death was a heart failure brought on by an embolism. John was 60 years old. He is survived by his wife Linda, one son - Quinten, one daughter - Leann, three surviving sisters – Gladys, Linda, Carol, and three grandchildren.
John was one of the most recognized, admired and respected individuals in the motorcycling industry, and is generally considered the Father of the Modern Trike. In 2009 John was inducted into the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum Hall of Fame.
His death comes less than a week after signing a letter of intent to sell the company he founded to an investment group. The company had been recently said it was seeking financial alternatives due to the challenging economic situation.
In 1984, John’s passion for motorcycling and his love of family led him to create the first modern trike so his wife, Linda, could carry one of their children. John’s creation had more to do with family togetherness than a business venture. The vehicle garnered so much interest everywhere they traveled that Lehman Industries was born, and John Lehman would go on to become one of the most recognized names in motorcycling.
In 1993, Larry Strilchuk, a long time friend, joined John and Lehman Trikes, Inc. was formed. “Today is crushingly sad,” stated Larry, “John Lehman was my lifelong friend and amazing partner. Through good and bad times, John’s gracious nature, love of family and friends, and positive outlook always touched everyone who came in contact with him. He was dearly loved and will be sorely missed.”
Known for his caring and charitable nature, John along with Larry started a program called the “Good Turn Trike” which eventually became an annual event providing people with a passion for motorcycling, who face some of life’s greatest challenges, a trike – for free. John’s big heart helped raise money for terminally ill children, “Make A Wish Foundation”, “Kids n’ Chrome”, and many other worthwhile charities. He remained active in the company until his passing.