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Rider Of The Month: Colton Haaker

Colton started riding motorcycles at the age of 7. His father John Haaker an ISDE Gold medalist introduced Colton to motorcycles at an early age. Colton became more competitive as years went on and raced amateur motocross for years, later started riding trials and competing nationally. In 2015 Colton Haaker will race a factory supported Husqvarna race program.

For the people that don't know you, please tell us a little more about yourself ?

I grew up trail riding in Hollister, ca and doing the weekend camping with my family. Going to the desert and the Sierras. By the time I was 12 I raced my first MX race I really enjoyed MX. I wanted to pursue that more than off-road and for a few years I did. But too many injuries at a young age caused my parents to rethink me riding motorcycles and then I didn’t have a bike anymore. They said concentrate on school and we’ll see what happens. So I did well in school for a little, played basketball, got a job at a local restaurant as a bus boy. By the time I was 16 and had a license my parents got me a trials bike and I started riding that everyday. In a years time I won a trials expert championship rode a round of Pro in 2007 and then went and raced Endurocross that year on the trials bike finished 4th in the Las Vegas main event and in 2008 they banned trials bikes from competing in the Premier Class. So I bought a 2008 KTM 250SX and rode the Endurocross series the next year on that. That same year Lucas Oil helped me with travel and from there I have been on the Endurocross tour and regular front runner in the series.

A few years back, you were one of the riders that could qualify for the main on a trials bike. What was that like and how did you feel at that time trial bikes were not allowed any more?

I competed on the trials in 2007 in the Endurocross series. It was cool from a fans perspective a little bit of the little guy on the little bike vs the the big guy. But as a sport it needed to progress and be just dirtbikes. In order to get to the next level of professionalism.

What does a normal day in your life look like?

Normal day is usually get up get some coffee make some breakfast let the dogs out of the house either go ride in the backyard or load to go ride somewhere. After riding eat lunch and either handle daily stuff around the house or mountain bike or gym after. Than make dinner hang with my girlfriend go to sleep, repeat.

You just signed a new deal with Husqvarna after a few years on Honda. What was the mean reason for the switch?

The main reason going to Husqvarna was the support and the potential of growth with the company. I am getting in with the brand at the second year for the revamped company and I can see it being long term. JCR had a fantastic program I enjoyed working with them and would again if the opportunities presented themselves, but moving forward with Husqvarna my goals are to be the best Endurocross rider win off-road races and so on the same as Husqvarna not exactly what Honda has very much interest in.

It looks like you still kept some of your last year personal sponsors over the Husqvarna corporate ones. Lucas Oil over Bel Ray. This most have taken some negotiations?

I was able to stay with Lucas Oil yes. Main reason is I have lots of opportunities to further expose myself and Husqvarna. Husqvarna recognizes that and it is working out well so far.

Beside the Endurocross series, are you racing any other event in 2015?

I am doing the King of Motos, Last Dog Standing, and Tennessee Knock Out.

You were very close to a championship this year. Where did you come up short?

I was very close to a championship this year. It was a good fight every race between Taddy myself and Cody. If I had to pin point anything I would say my starts. Had I ended the first lap farther up than I had it would have made my races a lot easier.

What Husqvarna will you be riding at the endurocross series?

I will be racing an FC350

What is one thing people don't know about you?

People don’t know how sarcastic I am.

If you were not a pro dirt bike rider, what would you be doing for a living?

I would be selling insurance and riding for fun.

You will be racing a bike without a kickstarter. How important is it to have a reliable battery on board?

Super important to have a strong battery I am happy to be equipped with a Super B battery because the Endurocross races are short and a stall and having to re-fire the bike could be the difference between 1st and 2nd.