The sun is just starting to come up here in Southern California and I just got off the phone doing an interview for our podcast. I spent the past thirty minutes with a racer that I have admired for years. Not only for his racing, but his overall involvement in motorcycling and with motorcyclists. Kevin Schwantz. 500cc World Roadracing Champion in 1993, founder of the Kevin Schwantz Suzuki Riding School www.schwantzschool.com and coach for the Red Bull Rookies Cup team.
Kevin had just wrapped up a two day school at Road Atlanta and was heading off to the airport for a motorcycle show in Paris and then down to Valencia Spain to coach the American Red Bull Rookies for a race against the European Red Bull Rookies. In our chat together you could hear the enthusiasm and pride he has for these young kids. When Heather and I were at the AMA Superbike Finale last month at Laguna Seca, Kevin was there coaching the kids all through the weekend. As we would walk around the paddock, we would see Kevin with his riders and they were all having a great time…hey, who wouldn’t? A couple of times we went looking for Kevin to talk with him for the podcast and we found him in the KTM Red Bull pits giving a pep talk to the kids. You should have seen these kids, their eyes and attention completely focused on what Kevin was saying.
Kevin came into this teaching and coaching position through a side door, you have to listen to the podcast www.themotoworld.com to hear about that side door, you can hear how much he has come to love it. I have a good friend who has attended his school twice, once as a journalist and once on her own. Angie credits Kevin with her success in roadracing. She was always fast, but Kevin helped her become smooth and fast.
Kevin Schwantz is an interesting man. Starting off trials riding in a ditch outside his family’s motorcycle shop in Houston Texas to World Roadracing Champion to Stock Car racer to owner of a Stock Car team to teacher and coach in motorcycling again.
It was a great thirty minutes with Kevin, well worth getting up before dawn to have a visit. Listen to the podcast and get to know Kevin a bit better, you’ll like it. I did