Racing with Ryan

 

Written by Heide Brandes in the June 2018 Issue

Racing with Ryan

 

Racing with Ryan

When it comes to motorcycle racing, Ryan Kilburn of Edmond gets a little excited.

A member of the EuroTek OKC store and team, Kilburn is a track racer, speeding his Italian-made Ducati Panigale 1299s around the curves at Hallett Motor Racing Circuit in Jennings, OK. And while he came to the sport of motorcycle track racing a little later in life, it’s a passion for him. Teaching and inspiring others to take up the sport is also a passion, but at first, motorcycles didn’t seem to be in Kilburn’s future.

We sat down for a quick question and answer with Kilburn about his racing career, his motorcycle and how others can join in the fun too.

Q: Were you a “motocross kid?”

No, not at all. My parents weren’t big into motorized things. In fact, my parents forbid me to have a motorcycle, but I loved watching the races and followed all the racing events. At 23, I bought my first bike. 

Q: How did you get into racing?

I was always told that I didn’t have the skills, and at the time, I didn’t. But I just wouldn’t let it go. In 2010, I hooked up with a former road racing champion out of Tulsa, Sam McDonald. He worked with me to get me up to speed and I got my racing license and that was in 2010. I’ve been doing it ever since. 

Q: Tell me about your first race.

I did really well, by the end of the day. I finished one of my races in sixth place, which I thought was fantastic. 

Q: What do you love about motorcycle racing? 

You see the machine and the person working together. I always liked that. In other forms of racing like auto racing, you don’t see the driver so you don’t get a sense of what the driver’s doing. Plus, I like the competition. You ride very close to the other riders, sometimes in a pack. You get to know everybody and understand their riding style - their personality and you can use that against them. You know what move you can make that would make them back off. It’s strategy. 

Q: Are you an adrenaline junkie?

Not at all. Honestly, this not an adrenaline sport, it’s a very physical sport and adrenaline exhausts you. You’re piloting a 400-plus pound motorcycle pushing 1000 degree exhaust, maybe you are racing in 110 degree heat and the asphast is over 130 - you want all the energy you have to go toward winning. 

Q: Tell me about your bike you have now and what you’ve done to it. 

My Panigale 1299s weighs 400 pounds and produces over 200 horsepower. Most of what I’ve done are modifications to make it safe for track riding- besides the racing bodywork and tuning - it’s basically a few steps away from a stock showroom bike.

Q: Why did you go with a Ducati? 

It was the opportunity to own - and race - the bike of my dreams. When I started at EuroTek OKC, they wanted me racing one of their other brands. We had everything set up for a BMW, but at the last second, I was just like, ‘I want a Ducati.’ I can’t pass up this opportunity. It’s an amazing bike.

Q: What would your advice be to others interested in racing? 

Come to one of our workshops that I help put on at EuroTek OKC. We go over everything you’d need to know to get started with track riding and road racing. We’ve had a lot of our customers get started that way. I would say - don’t just think about it, just do it.

Visit  www.bmwmcofokc.com for more information.

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