Jimmy Lewis, off-road motorcycle racer extraordinaire on Episode 168


King of the Motos, Rebelle Rally, Dirt Bike Test, Dakar, and the Jimmy Lewis Off-Road Riding School…there are a lot of balls in the air for a self-proclaimed washed-up motorcycle racer. Take a trip around the world with Jimmy and Rich while they talk about the evolution of motorcycles in off-road.  It’s a great listen, be sure to tune in on your favorite podcast app.


4:15 – I was only interested in school because it kept the motorcycles coming

11:18 – the original deal was we would ride once a month, it wasn’t going to become a thing

20:20 – I want to do this, how can you race and make money?

30:11 – I was really enjoying what I was doing, basically living in my box van, traveling around the country and racing

34:10 – “hey, do you want my job?”

38:54 – “we might be able to put something together for Dakar” – so, it was game on!

48:19 – you train and you focus and you do the right thing

58:03 – The way I like to put it is I ride the race, I don’t race the race

1:06:14 – I understood our audience, I knew who I was talking to

Special thanks to 4low Magazine and Maxxis Tires for support and sponsorship of this podcast.


[00:01:39.470] – Big Rich Klein

On today’s episode of Conversations with Big Rich, I’ve got Jimmy Lewis. Jimmy is an American motorcycle racer, a four time international 6 state enduro gold medalist, Dakar podium finisher, has Baja 1000 and Dubai Rally overalls. He’s a teacher of motorcycle skills, Rebelle Rally course director, and might have had something to do with the King of the Motos. He’s a podcaster and actually a really funny guy. Once you get to know him and he will talk to you. So, Jimmy, thank you for coming on board and spending some time talking with us today.

[00:02:21.250] – Jimmy Lewis

Yeah, thanks for having me. I’m really just a washed up motorcycle racer. Some people think I’m an a hole, but that’s… Maybe they do know me.

[00:02:37.560] – Big Rich Klein

No, I don’t. I think I know you fairly well after working, what, it’ll be eight years this year on the Rebelle.

[00:02:46.700] – Jimmy Lewis

When I met you, I was doing King of the Motos. You were out there in charge of, I think it was Chocolate Thunder. I didn’t want you to talk to me because if you talked to me there, I was probably doing something wrong. And believe me, that still carries on to this day when we are out on Rebelle doing stuff, I don’t want you to have to come talk to me.

[00:03:16.380] – Big Rich Klein

Don’t worry about that. I’m just there to do what I’m told by yourself. And whatever Emily wants me to do, that’s what I do.

[00:03:25.990] – Jimmy Lewis

I just do what my boss tells me. That’s it.

[00:03:28.080] – Big Rich Klein

That’s it. Okay. So let’s start off at the beginning. Where were you born and raised?

[00:03:34.320] – Jimmy Lewis

I was born in Ventura, California, and grew up there by the beach when I was about eight or nine years old. My dad was a fireman, and he always had other jobs, other things other than being a fireman. He wanted to be a rancher. We moved out to Somus, California, and that’s when the motorcycle thing started. So yeah, Ventura County, Southern California.

[00:04:05.390] – Big Rich Klein

Very good. And were you interested in school or did you just want to be out doing other things?

[00:04:15.680] – Jimmy Lewis

My only interest in school… I was always interested in learning stuff, but in reality bored me. But I was only interested in school because it kept the motorcycles coming. I had to have a certain level of grades for my parents to allow me to ride the motorcycles. And that literally progressed into I got good enough riding motorcycles to where I was making little contingency monies and things like this. And the motorcycles stopped costing us to race, to compete. But then it got to the point where I needed medical insurance. So I stayed in school for that reason more than anything because I could live at home. My mom said as long as I was going to school, I could live at home. Then I got medical insurance because of it. So I managed to graduate college on that program.  READ MORE


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