Rider Spotlight: Kyle Wyman
NEWS March 29, 2012
Photo by Brian J. Nelson
AMAP: Where are you from?
KW: Rochester, N.Y. Though, I’ve been on the road for the past 41 days, consecutively.
AMAP: Where are you at now, and what do you have going on?
KW: I’m in Sarasota, Fla. training, fishing, hanging out and waiting for the next race. I’m preparing myself and my team for Road Atlanta.
AMAP: How did you get into riding motorcycles?
KW: I started riding a PW50 when I was five. I rode around the back yard till I was eight. That’s when I got involved in local flat track races. I went through the amateur ranks till I went AMA Pro Flat Track. I did three years of AMA Pro Flat Track before switching over to AMA Pro Road Racing in 2009.
AMAP: Do you think there are some benefits or drawbacks in having flat track racing as a background?
KW: I don’t think there are any drawbacks. I didn’t have a chance to ride any of the 125cc bikes or GP style bikes, but it’s a great way to handle a bike. You learn how to handle a motorcycle, even when it seems out of control. It makes life a lot easier when you make that switch to road racing and feel the back tire slipping.
AMAP: Do you think riding the Harley-Davidson XR1200 in the Vance & Hines XR1200 Series resembles racing a v-twin racebike in AMA Pro Flat Track?
KW: I feel like it’s an exact copy. I raced the Harley-Davidson XR750 for three years in AMA Pro Flat Track, and Harley-Davidson came out with the XR1200 resembling the XR750. The fact that it’s just like the flat track bike makes it very similar in riding style. You reach down and grab the fork tube on the straights just like you would at Springfield or Indy Mile. Riding the XR1200 resembles flat track than a 600cc sport bike.
AMAP: You started 2011 off by winning your first race at Daytona in the Vance & Hines XR1200 Series and followed it up this year with a repeat win. How’s it feel to win at Daytona?
KW: Daytona is more special than any other track out there. It’s not just a special place for road racing, but racing in general. They call it the world center of racing for a reason, and when you pull in and look around, you see it. When it’s the first race of the year, there’s so much hype surrounding it. Being able to pull off a win in the beginning of the season is really special. There have only been two XR1200 races at Daytona, and I’ve won both of them.
AMAP: Last year, you rode for Richie Morris Racing. Talk about racing under the Kyle Wyman Racing/Vesrah/Kuryakyn banner.
KW: It’s definitely a change. After last season, I was left without an opportunity to ride, so I created my own opportunity. Kuryakyn stepped up and gave me a motorcycle. Vesrah is helping me out to transport my motorcycles. That’s all you need to go racing. Things are looking really good. We’ve got a new sponsor… Spyke’s Harley-Davidson out of Indiana gave me three more motorcycles. Hopefully we can get more bikes on the grid and keep the series growing!
AMAP: What’s it like racing in the same series as your brothers Cody and Travis Wyman?
KW: It’s kind of difficult. You’re worried about your brothers. We’ve been racing together for our entire lives. It throws another thing into the mix, as you try to minimize your distractions on race weekend, yet you worry about your brothers and what they’re up to at the track. It’s cool having them there with me, and having three people with the last name Wyman helps get the name throughout the track! laughs
AMAP: In the off-season or when you’re not at the track, do you get to hang out or ride with your brothers?
KW: We hang out a lot. We don’t get to ride together a bunch in the off-season, because we live in N.Y., but when we do, it gets pretty competitive. We like to go out and ride together for sure.
AMAP: Out of all the motorcycles you’ve ridden, what’s your favorite?
KW: My favorite would have to be the Harley-Davidson XR750 I rode in AMA Pro Flat Track. There’s nothing like grabbing a handful of throttle when you’re on a cushion half-mile and hearing that thing grunt.
AMAP: With all the traveling you’re doing, what draws you to the sport? The thrill, competition or the speed?
KW: The biggest thing is being young and free really.. Taking off in my truck with an XR1200 in the bed on Feb. 15 and not knowing how long I’d be on the road is a feeling like no other. I know where I’m going to be for the next few days, but after that, who knows? It’s like I’m flying by the seat of my pants, and that’s fun for me. Not a lot of people have the opportunity to live a lifestyle like that, so I’m going to take advantage of it. I love racing motorcycles, and right now I get to do that and travel like I am .. I couldn’t ask for anything more than that.
AMAP: Are you the kind of rider that’s always on a cycling bike when training?
KW: There’s no better training than riding motorcycles. One thing that I always want to do is be on a motorcycle, but that takes a lot of time and money, so I can’t always do that. Being on a bicycle is one of the better forms of training I do, but running and yoga help keep me physically fit and mentally strong. Motorcycle riding is very much a mentally challenging sport.
AMAP: After finishing the 2011 season fifth in points, what are your expectations going into 2012 in the AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series?
KW: I’m in a much better mental state this year than last season. I want to stay mentally strong and win the championship. We’ve had a bit of a monkey wrench thrown into my plans with the XR Showdown, so the work between now and Indianapolis isn’t as important as later races, but I want to go out, win races and show everyone that I’ll be there at the end.
AMAP: Who would you say is your racing hero?
KW: I don’t know.. I could list five riders that I like their riding and style, but ever since I started road racing, I’ve taken a different path. I want to be a team owner, work with sponsors one-on-one and manage things. I know other riders have done that, but I want to create my own. There are riders that have overcome things to get where they are, and I want to be one of them.
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