OKEECHOBEE — Little Levi Meyer is hard to beat when it comes to dirt bike racing. He is 7 years old and has been racing since he was 3.
Levi has three older brothers who also enjoy riding, and this was a huge factor in Levi’s decision to ride. Dad Nick raced as a child too, but he raced off-road, Enduros and GNCCs through the woods. “I started riding at 5 years old,” he said. “But I didn’t start racing until I was 11 or 12.” Nick remembers his grandfather fondly. “He always had motorcycles, and we would ride them all around the property.” Then when Nick’s mom married his stepfather, Nick and his brother bugged him to death about riding. “He was a Harley guy,” said Nick. “Finally, one Christmas, he bought us all dirt bikes. After watching us, he went out and got one for himself, and it turned into a family thing.” It wasn’t long before they were into woods racing and began traveling around. “I got really good at it and got heavy into racing. My brother liked riding but wasn’t as into racing.” He explained his brother was older and had girlfriends by then. He thought they were more fun than dirt bikes.
When Nick had his first son, Tyson, they got full-in to Motocross. Tyler started riding and racing at the age of 3. “It wasn’t as affordable then, so it was a little tougher for me, but we made it work,” he said.
When Nick and Wendi got together, they each already had two children and together they have two. They also unofficially adopted a son. “He just started coming over and never left,” they said. All of the boys ride, and one of the older boys still races.
Wendi and the girls also ride but are not involved in racing. The only family member who has not been on a dirt bike is the 3-year-old, but she taught herself to ride a bicycle without training wheels last Christmas and will most likely be riding a dirt bike soon. Nick said, “We’re big on outside stuff, so they all have multiple bikes, scooters and all that stuff.”
When Levi was a toddler, he used to ask his dad and older brothers to take him on rides. He had his own little Stacyc electric bike.
Levi said he did not win very often when he first started, but when he was about 5, the skills he had learned really kicked in.
When asked if he had ever crashed, Levi said he probably had a lot of injuries when he was little, but he doesn’t remember. He does remember crashing while racing down Monster Mountain. “I was probably going down full throttle,” he said. “My front end washed, and I did like a triple thousand back flips or maybe front flips.”
Wendi said she sometimes gets scared when Levi crashes. “I usually wait, and if I see anybody running then my heart starts to pound.” Levi wears every piece of protective gear you can imagine.
Now that he is older, Levi rides a PW and a Cobra Junior. They also have a Cobra Senior. Recently, Levi and his dad flew up to Detroit to test a new electric Cobra bike. If things work out, Levi could possibly be the company’s e-bike rider next year.
Recently, Levi took second place in a national championship and with his contingency money, his dad will be taking him to buy a 20” Stacyc. “They are pricey,” said Nick, “but it’s his money.”
Sponsorship is very important in this sport, and Levi has several but not enough according to Nick. “We could use some more.” Right now, Levi is sponsored by MotoBros and 110 Racing. 110 fully sponsors his gear, so everything he wears when racing comes from them. Levi is kind of their test model, letting the company know what works and what could use improvement. In return, he gets free gear explained Nick and Wendi. GPF (Georgia Practice Facility) is another sponsor. They are a training facility in Georgia owned by a close family friend. Levi trains there a couple times a month. Jensen Mx Training, Dunlop Tires, FMF Racing and 2 Live Paints are also sponsors. Though he is grateful for the support of those sponsors, he still needs more help. They are looking for a factory ride and would love to have local businesses as sponsors as well.
Soon, Levi will be racing in the Mini O’s which is probably the second biggest race in America, said Nick.
The Monster Energy AMA Amateur National Championship race is held in the summer at a ranch in Nashville owned by Loretta Lynn. This is the race where Levi took second place in July and is the biggest amateur race in the world.
Levi, as the Southeast Regional Champion, loves to ride and would train every day if his parents allowed it, but he is very young and small. “You can over train,” said Nick. “We have to be careful how often he rides.” Normally Levi rides two days during the week and spends his weekends either racing or training. They work on technical things during the week, but on the weekend, he just rides all day.
Nick said, “I don’t think people understand how hard you have to train to go to these races, how much dedication there is.”
It’s a huge commitment for the entire family. They travel all over to get to the different races. “I think we spent five days in our own beds this summer,” said Nick. Not only do they spend most of their time travelling, but when you reach national level, it costs upwards of $100,000. They own an RV and travel in it most of the time. Although sometimes they take their Sprinter van and stay in hotels. They enjoy checking out the attractions along the way.
If you’d like to keep up with Levi, you can follow him on Instagram @thelevimeyer.