After founding the first University-accredited collegiate motorcycle club in the United States, Justin dabbled in road racing before discovering a love of adventure touring. A track day enthusiast, safe riding proponent, and avid collector of anything with wheels – both old and new – he is plugged into all things e-moto as the Editor of GritShift.
Unlike my teammates, I wasn’t born in the sidecar of a Harley going 100 MPH on a cool dark night. I don’t even know how to do a wheelie. I rode my neighbor’s dirt bike once when I was in grade school and I’m pretty sure my parents still don’t know that, because if they did I wouldn’t be sitting here on account of the permanent nature of death. But between that and nearly flipping a Honda three-wheeler, I was sold on the idea of getting a motorcycle one day. In college, I worked three jobs to make it happen, and eventually I had a Yamaha Maxim 750 cruiser to call my own. My roommate actually rode it home for me since I didn’t have my license or any riding experience whatsoever, but by the end of the week I was riding to all my classes feeling like a true Son of Anarchy.
My first motorcycle
That bike started a love affair with motorcycles that’s lasted to this day. I later picked up a sport touring bike, a Yamaha FZ6, and started exploring the Ozarks whenever I could. I founded the Missouri State University Motorcycle Club, the first University-accredited motorcycle club in the country, and Motorcyclists of the Ozarks, a thousand-member group for talking bikes and scheduling rides. I started a tradition of bike nights at a local shop, complete with food, drinks, and stunt riding, and I instructed rider training days on makeshift cone courses in campus parking lots. After I graduated, I worked at a Ducati and Triumph dealership, toured Northern California on a Honda CBR600RR, and briefly raced a 2008 Honda CBR1000RR built by BRG Racing. I couldn’t get enough of riding back then, and I still can’t today.
Tabling for the Missouri State University Motorcycle Club
It won’t be long before there’s an e-bike in the stable – turns out you can’t write for an e-bike site for very long without wanting one for yourself. In recent years I’ve gotten more into cycling, mountain biking, and off-road exploration in general, and that’s all a natural fit for something like a Sur Ron or Talaria. It’s like having a motorcycle on a bike path.
Riding my CBR600RR at Hallett
I’ve been privileged enough to experience classic scramblers and brats, hypermotards and streetfighters, café racers, superbikes, muscle cruisers, mopeds, ADV, and everything in between. I’ve been hailed on, rained on, snowed on, hurt, devastated, rejuvenated, and inspired behind my visor. Riding is my Zen, the great aligning force that makes life make sense, the constant reminder that life is too short to get caught up in moments that don’t truly matter.
The most expensive thing I've ever ridden
As the Editor of GritShift, I try to bring that passion to the page for others to enjoy. I'm thrilled to be part of such a new and innovative corner of the motorcycle world, and having known the GritShift team since before GritShift was even a thing, I can't think of a better seat for this ride.