Sunday, December 18, 2016

Multitasking...Austin Kouba

Racing at the professional level of motocross takes dedication and drive that is unmatched by any sport. A series that travels across the country can test the limits of any privateer. Enter some local series races, GP events and some Canadian Nationals with a kid who knows the importance of a college education.

About 30 miles from Boise sits Star, Idaho. Home of Austin Kouba. At 4 years old, Kouba would learn to ride his Yamaha PW50 in his Grandpa's driveway. It wasn't until he was about 14 that he'd take to the motocross track. "Up until then it was trail riding and off-road stuff." After a failed attempt at football, Kouba thought the better route would be his dirt bike. "It was a mutual agreement to terminate my middle school football contract."

Rider: Austin Kouba | Photo: Rick Lords

Austin would go from racing the 250 novice class locally and admittedly not very good, to just missing out on qualifying for the Loretta Lynn's Amateur National in the A classes in 2013. He'd then go on to race the western rounds of the Canadian Nationals in 2014. Making his professional debut at The Wastelands in Nanaimo, B.C. Canada. Kouba would end the day 10th overall in the MX1 class. He'd then take to the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships here in the United States. In 2015, Austin would finish with 24-22 moto scores at the Utah National in the 450 class. This season he states the Glen Helen MXGP as a career highlight. He'd finish the event 24th overall. 

Being a privateer means the 21 year old puts in late nights and is responsible for preparing himself for races. The cold winters can restrict his resources a bit but his work ethic has him mentally and physically able to handle 30 minutes in the heat when the time comes. He races a local series through Idaho and Utah called RMX. "The tracks are rough and offer long motos." It prepares him for what he considers his strong point. "I'm not fast but I can usually push for 30+2." The rough tracks are something he strives to get better on. That's what separates the top guys and makes the local heroes look like squids when they attempt to race a national. 

Racing is not all to life for Kouba. He is a junior at Boise State University, where he is majoring in accounting. It's a journey to better himself in life and if he keeps the grades up, he keeps the support of his family to continue racing. His biggest support comes from his mom, dad and brother. A family who spends time together with their business making fork bleeders and snowbike bottoming kits called AirPro Fork. Balancing life is how Kouba looks at it. 

Kouba on the line at Washougal.

Sponsored by: Carl's Cycle Sales, Fokus Graphics, Fly Racing/WPS, RMX, Scott Goggles, Rekluse, Acerbis, Moto One, AirPro/Koubalink.

Kouba has been putting in the work to crack that top 20. He will switch from number 468 to 148 in 2017 and he's hoping to score his first national point. Keep an eye out for maybe the only Vietnamese accounting major in the field.

Follow Austin on Instagram: @akouba816

-Kyle Pesci

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