Northeastern Ohio is home, where I began riding mini bikes on trails cut through fields that later became a highway. My first motorcycle was a Suzuki TS185. I raced flat track for several years and owned a string of vintage Triumphs, Harleys and BMWs. Following some new riding friends on an R100RS one afternoon, we turned up a twisty, pot-holed gravel road. I quickly discovered the limitations of the RS’s suspension, and rediscovered off pavement is where the fun is. I soon traded the RS for an adventure bike and never looked back.

Life never follows a straight path. College wasn’t in the plans and I instead worked for a time as a repair technician. It was valuable experience that helped prepare me for what was to come.

Standing in a friend’s backyard one afternoon, a small plane flew low overhead and landed at a nearby field. I raced over to ask the pilot – who turned out to be a flight instructor – for a ride. A year later I earned a pilot’s license, followed by Bachelor and Master’s degrees in mechanical and aerospace engineering.

Out of college, I worked a few years as a government contract engineer until sketchy project funding and a chance meeting with a mentor prompted my exit to do freelance engineering design. I eventually parlayed my government and freelance work to land an aerospace contractor position. It’s this experience I bring to bear on the design of highly functional hardware for the CRF1000 Africa Twin.