Kyle Redmond // Focused On One Thing

Kyle Redmond is “all-in” and having fun while he’s young.

Photo: Tanner Yeager.

By Dale Spangler

By Dale Spangler

Kyle Redmond is one of those racers that’s always in the thick of a race, often going unnoticed. Quiet and unassuming, Redmond seems to let his actions on the track speak for him. He also happens to be one of the best American EnduroCross and Hard Enduro riders at the moment, and with so much happening in 2018 involving Hard Enduro racing, we think the best is yet to come from Kyle Redmond. A random silly message from yours truly via Instagram (induced by a little too much red wine) led to a, “Hey, let’s do an interview for Dirt Buzz!” moment and so here we are: The Dirt Buzz Kyle Redmond Interview.  

Dirt Buzz: Kyle, how are things going at the moment? How would you say your season went for you this year?

KR: Just healing up right now from the season, had a few injuries. I’m happy with the way my year went. I know it could have gone better but it was actually the best overall year I've ever had. I ended up losing a lot of points in Boise and that’s the one race I wish I could have a re-do lol I had a fuel pump go out and had to hop on my teammate's beater practice bike so I was way off.

Redmond finished 4th in the 2017 EnduroCross Series, eight points out of third and nine points from second. Photo: Tanner Yeager.

DB: If it wasn’t for the injured wrist had you planned to compete in the entire SuperEnduro series?

KR: I wasn't supposed to race SuperEnduro, regardless of the wrist. I really wanted to go but It doesn't make sense for me to fly over and waste a bunch of my own money. I tried to go last season and every option I found was expensive on my end.

DB: When we had the idea of doing this interview, for some reason I mistakenly thought you are from Oregon and you corrected me and said you are from California. Tell us about how you got started riding and racing and where you grew up in California.

KR: I get that a lot actually, people just assume I'm from Oregon, not sure why? I grew up In Lake Hughes, it’s a really small town and just rode for fun until I was 18. I had a friend who was doing district 37 desert races and I went and tried a few. That’s where it all started.

"Privateers don't get the credit they deserve because when you see one on the podium next to a factory rider you don't see all the help they didn't get leading up to that race ...."

DB: You seem to really excel when the conditions get rough and nasty. Where would say that comes from? Is it something that just came naturally to you? Or did work hard to get where you are at?

KR: I think it comes from the way I grew up. My dad is gnarly on and off a bike and would take me and my brother to stuff that would always challenge us. He was against moto and didn't want us getting hurt because he broke his back jumping when he was younger so it was all about trails and hills. My dad is a freak about hill climbing and it’s what he lives for. I actually did my first hill climb event this year and did really well, so I think he was excited about that. I think riding has always come naturally for me, but the hard work came from him. He is like a robot… I mean the man eats a bag of trail mix and can work all day. That’s why I am able to stay competitive as a full privateer, wrenching, training and driving to all the races. I don't see many riders that are able to do everything like I do all on their own and I’m proud of that. I have been on my own most of my career except a couple years I had a mechanic. Privateers don't get the credit they deserve because when you see one on the podium next to a factory rider you don't see all the help they didn't get leading up to that race, like being able to fly or prepping the race bike before each race—it’s so much extra time.

DB: Watching some of the Vlogs with you and Haaker training for Erzberg is just mind-boggling. Did you guys push yourselves on purpose so that Erzberg would seem a little easier?

KR: That was so fun, we went up to Idaho and called it “project toughness.” It was actually just for Haaker going to Erzberg. I wasn't even going to race it until very last minute but Colton put so much effort into the race this year and I knew he needed help because you can’t just ride in the forest by yourself for a month. We had a great time and spent lots of quality time together—suffering. We race like three or four extreme events every year so it’s tough to go from 10-minute EX motos to long races like that so we basically just need more time on the bikes before a race like Erzberg. More so for endurance, especially when you race against guys whose only focus is extreme events. That was the reason for the trip.

Redmond recently re-signed with SRT and the team will have support from Husqvarna in 2018. Photo: Tanner Yeager.

DB: By now you have already heard about the new AMA extreme state championship series as well as the new World Enduro Super Series. It seems like the world of extreme enduro is starting gain some momentum. Will you be riding in both of these series?

KR: I am racing the American ones for sure not sure what I will do in Europe, probably just a couple. 

DB: Give is a rundown of your list of plans for 2018. Will you continue as part of the SRT team again next year?

KR: I signed again with SRT. I'm really happy where I'm at and just love working with them. Craig [Thompson] is so easy to work for and is a racer himself which I like because he's always at the races with us and knows what is going on. It’s good having him there and knowing he's having a good time riding his dirt bike also. It’s a unique team in that way, we have fun and it works. 

DB: It looks like you did some fun events this year in unique places like the Ukupacha Extreme in Ecuador and the El Inka Hard Enduro in Peru. How were those events and what was it like to experience?

KR: I have been trying to get more into the extreme world again lately. These two events were fun and tough. I went to Ukupatcha in just full EnduroCross mode, didn't even ride a 2-stroke until I lined up for the qualifier and finished 3rd in the final, but I was so tired and cramping like crazy [Laughs]. Peru, I prepared for a little and was riding a lot better. The race was like 60 miles, and I loved the track. I was almost to the finish and running 2nd but couldn't make one of the last climbs because I didn't have a single knob left on my tire. It was pretty funny that took me out. That’s why I love racing these events, you always have a crazy time!

Sometimes, despite every effort, something like this keeps a rider from finishing a Hard Enduro. Photo: Kyle Redmond.

DB: Tell us about your all-time favorite place that you have traveled to and raced?

KR: That’s hard to say, I think Colombia was my favorite though. The city Medellín is just amazing, surrounded by mountains and I remember seeing people training everywhere because the city is high up in elevation so they had lots of athletes training. I remember eating the best food as well.

DB: How about music? What’s on your playlist and in heavy rotation right now?

KR: I probably listened to Kendrick Lamar’s new album a million times since it came out earlier this year. I have also been playing Russ, Mac Miller and Vic Mensa a lot lately. I don't only listen to rap but when I’m training and riding I need to feel good so I listen to a lot of rap.

Redmond may not know what his future holds, but he's not letting that stop him from having fun in the present. Photo: Tanner Yeager.

DB: What’s in the future for you? Where do you see yourself five years down the road?

KR: I want to race extreme Enduro only when I’m a little older, more experience helps in that style. 

DB: And how about after you are done racing?

KR: Man, I hate this question. I am still trying to figure that out. I know I have been focused on only one thing for so long and it has hurt my future because this is a kind of dead-end road I’m going down. This sport takes a lot from you and gives very little back so I know this wasn't very smart. I’ve been “all-in” for a while, honestly, and had the mindset have fun while you’re young.

DB: Well, we appreciate you doing this interview with us and we wish you all the best in 2018. Any last words or people you’d like to thank?

KR: I’m surrounded by such good friends and my family I want to thank them.

Don't be surprised to see the best yet from Kyle Redmond in 2018. Photo: Tanner Yeager.