Sport Rider contributing editor Henny Ray Abrams passes

Long-time veteran reporter of Grand Prix and AMA racing dies at 58; covered racing for Sport Rider since the magazine’s inception 20 years ago

Brian J. Nelson

Long-time Sport Rider contributing editor Henny Ray Abrams was found dead yesterday in his Brooklyn, New York apartment after a lack of response to messages (which was totally out of character for him) for several days led Cycle News editor Paul Carruthers to have Abrams' friend (and veteran vintage bike racer) Dave Roper check in on him. He was 58.

Abrams was a veteran journalist who covered Grand Prix and AMA racing since the '70s, and he had been a constant contributor to Sport Rider Magazine since its inception in 1993. In fact, there are not many issues in the magazine's history that do not have at least one feature story credited to him. Abrams' long history in covering racing allowed him to build a network of contacts that often gave unparalleled access to various individuals, and his innate ability to solicit information from people permitted him to get the inside scoop that few others could uncover. Abrams also was an accomplished photographer as well, in addition to being an AP reporter for general media coverage in the New York area.

"When Paul (Carruthers) contacted me early yesterday morning asking if I'd heard from Henny in the past few days, I instantly got a bad feeling," recalled Sport Rider editor-in-chief Kent Kunitsugu. "Henny was one of those people who would respond to your message no matter what he was doing. I'm still having a hard time accepting that he's gone

“Henny was that guy you always knew would have the inside info on a breaking story. And he had a tireless work ethic that always reminded me I usually wasn’t working hard enough. I’d be in some racetrack pressroom somewhere with darkness falling thinking I was the last man standing, until I’d look up and see Henny busy transcribing some interview or whatnot. Or I’d be talking to someone thinking I got the inside scoop on a breaking story, and I’d walk up to Henny and announce the news, only to have him turn his laptop to show me he’d already written 500 words on the same story already. He leaves a huge void in motorcycle journalism that will be near impossible to fill.”