Larry who? is what you might be thinking. Either you are very familiar with him or you’re not. If you’re not, you should be. He has knocked out numerous titles through Asia and even raced in unusual terrain with the odd Elephant watching on. From X-Country to Motocross and Enduro, he’s covered it all….and it ain’t over yet. Now hailing from Taranaki, Larry is having to juggle family, work and his off road passion. This from the man himself…
Profession: Maintenance Manager Maari Oil Field
Bikes: KTM300EXC, KTM250SX
- Singapore MX Champion 2008
- Malaysian MX Champion 2008
- Cambodian MX Champion 2008
- Malaysian Cross Country Champion 2009-2010
- 10th E3 Australian Four Day Enduro A4DE 2010
Like most kids that grew up on a farm I started riding the farm bike whenever the old man wasn’t. Things didn’t start to get serious until I was about 17 and bought a second hand KDX200 with all the money I had saved up from making hay and milking cows.
In my first year of racing I did the NZ enduro champs in the intermediate class and ended up third. At the end of the year the local Suzuki shop was doing run out deals on old stock RM250’s and I bought my first new MX bike. It was awesome!
From there I got hooked on MX and never looked back. I loved going to the races and started to get better all the time. Over the years I raced both the 125 and 250 (there were no 450’s back then). My best results was a 3rd in the North Island Supercross championship and 16th in the MX nationals on the 125.
Over the years I managed to bust my knees pretty good and when I had had my fourth surgery I decided maybe it was time to give MX a break and went road racing for a season. It was interesting and a new challenge. I had a very hot RGV250 that I raced in F3 and had a blast. When it was wet the dirt bike skills paid off.
SE Asia Calling
In 2005 through the course of my work the opportunity came up to project manage a conversion in Singapore at the ship yards. The opportunity was too good to turn down so my wife and I were soon on our way.
Once we got there I discovered a small but enthusiastic bunch of MX riders who crossed the border every weekend to race. After a couple rides a local Kawasaki Team CBK in Malaysia asked me to be the 450 rider in the team. From there I was traveling across the border most weekends to race and train. It was a great experience and we raced all over SE Asia, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Singapore.
The racing was very different to NZ. The tracks were nearly always hard packed and tight. The locals had some professional riders who were pretty good at riding that stuff and winning the championships in 2008 was pretty tough. The crowds were massive and MX was a big thing when we would roll into the towns. Cambodia was probably the most impressive there were literally 10’s of thousands of people there to watch the races.
At the end of 2008 I had won the Malaysian championships and did an unsanctioned race at the end of the year that was held by our principal sponsor. The AAM which is Malaysia’s version of MNZ banned me for the following year for riding unsanctioned events. Everyone else who raced was not affected… I have a suspicion that one of the other teams management may have slipped a few Ringet in an officials pocket to make it happen.
Moving on and there is always a silver lining to every cloud and I kept racing unsanctioned events for Kawasaki and also got into cross country racing. The cross country racing was great fun and the terrain had everything from construction sites to rivers, logs, palm plantations, elephants, tigers….
In the start of 2011 my wife and I moved home with the idea of settling down and starting a family which we have subsequently done. Life is good and we now have a 6 month old son. Following his arrival my racing aspirations have changed a bit as I juggle a young family and demanding job.
Since I have been home I have raced the Enduro and cross country nationals together with some club MX.
Where to Next
There are a few things on my bucket list. I’d like to race the MX nationals this summer. I have to get to an ISDE one day. The A4DE was the most fun I have ever had on two wheels and I have to do that event again. Romanics has always been tempting!
Motorcycling is for life and I’m only just getting warmed up I’m sure the bucket list will only get longer!
Message to the Moaners
Riding here in NZ is so accessible and you can literally race every weekend. I often read a lot of complaints about the health of offroad motorcycling in NZ and that the tracks are no good, etc. Having lived and raced overseas I can only say that NZ is dirtbike heaven and we should all be grateful to live in a motorcycling paradise like this. Try having to export your bike to another country and drive for a minimum of two hours each way just to go riding at a rock hard, dusty, flogged out SX track every weekend just to practice and you’ll soon realise how lucky we are.
So when you next roll up to a club day where the track has just been groomed and watered or you’re at a local school trail ride that cost you $20 and includes a sausage afterward,s know that this is as good as it gets and make the most of it!