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Penton: The John Penton Story (2014)

Full-length documentary about the story of John Penton. An American icon and motorcycle pioneer who along with his family and a band of loyal followers, changed off-road motorcycling forever.



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John Penton ...
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Full-length documentary about John Penton. An American icon and motorcycle trailblazer who along with his family and a band of loyal followers, changed off-road motorcycling forever. This is an American story about family, competition, ingenuity and business that will tug at the hearts of everyone who sees it. John Penton is a motorcycle icon and pioneer who's life on a farm in Ohio led to a long list of motorcycling accomplishments and global notoriety. What began with a humble motorcycle shop, turned into international off-road racing career leading him to the discovery of the need for a smaller machine which he was soon selling in the US. With his innovative Penton motorcycles he introduced riding to a new generation of riders around the world.

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June 2014 (USA)  »

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Overly Long Doc Chronicles a Remarkable Life Story
28 August 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In this overly long documentary, at 2 hrs. and 14 min., the remarkable life story of John Penton is chronicled. Penton was a pioneer in the world of off-road motorcycle racing, especially in the decades of the 1960's and 70's. He not only was a most celebrated racer himself, but was directly involved in the design and engineering of the bikes, which would eventually take the name of Penton motorcycles.

I'll readily admit I knew virtually nothing about enduro racing before viewing this film, but I'm always interested in learning new things. I'm certainly no expert like the gentleman who wrote the other review here on IMDb, so a lot of the terms used here were too technical and detailed, at times, for me.

However, Penton's story (he was 88-years-old at the time of the filming) is quite fascinating to me. His innate solid character and integrity as a person, allowed him do business deals with a handshake and his word was really his bond. He also faced personal tragedies in his life, but still passed down his love of racing to his family, who enthusiastically picked up the mantle. Penton's gritty determination allowed him to keep moving forward, despite serious physical injuries and pain which would slow others. He came across to me as a real old-school persona, which seem to be rarer and rarer to find these days.

In summary, the documentary written and directed by Todd Huffman, and narrated by Lyle Lovett, could certainly have used some better editing. However, I still found Penton's story remarkable and interesting.

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