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Legends / Kenny Zahrt

“Man, motocross for me has been my life – it’s all I know, and still all I do! I have always been around motorcycles, worked on motorcycles and ridden motorcycles. That’s it, that’s what I did and still do!” So Cal born, local boy at Indian Dunes, he was one of the most colorful and cool characters racing motocross and supercross.

In 1974 he won a National at Redbud on a Bultaco and in 2013, still living the life, he raced at Red Bull Day in the Dirt 16.

Kenny passed away Friday, November 14th, 2014. He is missed. 

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Q&A

Name
Kenny Zahrt
Nickname
Zarht the Dart
Age
58
Why do you ride?
when I was 12,, I was into downhill bikes,, I always wanted to be better so I took off the brakes,, when we were coming home from camping one day,, I saw the most beauitiful motorcycle,, a 360 bultaco el bandito,, I told my mommy I want one of those,, my dad bought me a Yamaha 80 with a g.y.t. kit pipe and I rode the '68 ponderosa desert race,, out of over 230 guys I got 68th,, now i'm hooked,, we only thought it was a once a year race so we waited 'till '69 to race again,, I wanted to ride all the time,, my desert friend said go to saddleback,, I got a sl 100 Honda,, handled good but it was slow,, bruce mcdougal and chuck bowers always beat me on there hodakas,, it was '69 and my mommy said "Kenny, we can buy you a new bike or we can buy a new couch", I said I wanna bike,, she went to Pumphrey's and bought a new 100cc Sherpa s,, I started winning right away and it was easy.. I made some money,, bought mommy a couch and finally a car.
Where do you ride?
I rode everywhere,, the streets of my neighborhood,, the hills behind my house,, thr running track at el camino (my p.e. teacher knew exactly who it was),, whenever I see a cool spot,, I ride on it,, saw an 18 hole golf coarse back east,, it looked very inviting so I did the whole 18 holes 4 times,, it cost me $2500.00,, (when your 19 in my day,, that's $250,000.00) but just thik,, factory bike,, new tier's,, cut grass and a sandwash in every turn,, that was then,, now I just have bob shirey's land for the last 30 yrs.. jerry shore and me were driving thru palmdale and he showed me the scratch of land,, "jerry,, this is Anzac raceway,, I raced here in '69",, we craped out a track and it became L.A.C.R....poor jerry died in a tractor accident while making the best tracks in so. cal... won the no. 1 plate 9 times in so. cal. with ame,, crc and cmc
When you're not riding, you are...
Trying to make a living. In '68,, our bikes weren't to fast so tried to make them turn better and handle better,, I got into making the forks and shocks work better,, just over the years I got kinda really good at making the stock stuff work good,, when I rode for bultaco and eirstadt and payne rode bultaco's,, they wanted what zahrt had,, Richard worked with it,, payne said the bike sucked to the president of bultaco,, the president said "zahrt rides stock bikes,, get his suspension"..... that's what I do,, make bikes work
What do you do for a living?
I sleep,, I wake, I eat, I go potty then I sleep again, oh ya,the whole time i'm breathing the whole day.
Who are your heroes?
My heros were and are joel Robert,, roger decoster,, dave bickers from watching the at the '66 Westlake Grand Prix when I got good enough to ride fast,, I looked up to Harry Everst and Christian Goevners on the Puchs that devastated the CMC pro's, got to hug and shake hands with Joel at the Mid Valley reunion, that was a dream come true,, at the same time,, I got to meet roger for the first time,, (I've raced against him a few times but heck,, he always passed me) I'll always admire Pat Debenedeti and Billy Urban, Donnie Mmler, Jim Wilson and of course Rex Staten,(Rex would muscle,, I would finesse,Rex taught me a lot)
Motorcycle
'69,, '70, '71, '72, '73, '74, '77 Bultaco's. My favorite today was a '08 YZ stolen at Trans Cal
Track
Indian Dunes, Southwick, Buchanan and of course L.A.C.R.(sentimental).
Races
Buchanan, '74, and Puyallup, '75 and Daytona '77
Moto Memory
After '77 Daytona, Hannah came up to me and said "I've never been roosted so bad in my life"
Movie
"Winners Take All" of course, or "Batman and Robin"
Stunt
In '74, I did a no footer on the cover of MXA, then i did a no footer one hander on the cover of Dirt Bike