Last year when Chad Reed folded his company TwoTwo Motorsports then seemed to go underground for a few months leaving everyone wondering whether we had seen the last of the Supercross and Motocross Champion, we tried reaching out to him.
To no avail.
Messages sent to Reed's social media accounts went unanswered. (MotoSport was looking for riders to sign, you never know!) We checked with industry insiders for an email or phone number. Nothing. But as luck would have it, our research uncovered another Chad Reed. In fact, he's a privateer who races! And not only that, he's got his own company too.
This Chad Reed's email was pretty easy to find and though it initially got lost (Maybe that's what happened with our messages sent to the other Chad Reed. After all, Australia is pretty far away.) we finally connected and discovered exactly what makes the racing community so unique.
Reed races ATVs and has dealt with his share of injuries and setbacks. In fact, the year he attempted to race the ATV MX National Championship series full-time, he broke his back. Other injuries piled on and like a lot of cash-strapped privateers, Reed opted to take up racing as a part-time venture while he worked on building exhaust systems with his dad. And yes, he rides his own exhaust system on his ATVs.
The real Chad Reed stood up as far as we're concerned, took a break from a complete remodel job on a house he just bought, to talk to us about racing and, well, what it is like being Chad Reed.
Years riding pro: Raced Pro Am in 2011, turned Pro in 2013
What age did you start riding and on what: I started riding on a PW-50, the first quad I had was a Yamaha Blaster, then stepped up to a Yamaha YFZ 450
What do you ride now? KTM 450SX
Hometown: Belding, MI
- AMA District 14 A class champion
- First Place at 2013 Muddy Creek National in Class 15 - College 16-24
- Three Top 15 finishes in 2013 in Pro ATV class
- No National title but some podiums
Other sports participated in: Rides snowmobiles
Website: All 4 Racing
1. How did you get started riding ATVs?
I wasn't very good on a dirt bike so I started riding quads and that's where I stayed.
2. When did the pro racing bug bite?
When I was 14 we went to a National at Red Bud and I wanted to be a pro ATV racer ever since.
3. What does it take to be a pro ATV racer? Obviously you've got to practice. Can you shed some light on the training and time involved so others know what they're getting into if they decide to pursue quad racing?
It takes a ton of dedication, you have to put everything into it. You need to have a good diet and spend lots of time in the gym and on the quad practicing. You also have to find the time to do the maintenance.
4. I've interviewed John Natalie and he seemed really taken with the sense of community with ATV riding. What do you like most about racing quads?
The ATV racing community is one big family. Everybody helps everybody I have made so many friends in this sport I will never forget. John is one of those friends. He helped me a lot in the first year I raced Nationals full time. He is known as the Ironman and the "People's Champ." He is great with fans and the kids, great guy, glad to call him a friend.
5. You're not a full-time racer but you've got decent results (12th Overall at 2013 and 2014 Red Bud National) for entering just one or two ATV Nationals a year. Is full-time racing a dream or do you see it as a hobby?
I wish I could do it full time. I attempted it but an injury set me back from doing that. Now it is a hobby but would still love to try full time racing again.
6. What happened with the injury?
I have had a few injuries, about nine, over the years. The one major injury was a broken back in Pennsylvania at Steel City MX. That was 2011, the first year I tried running the full National schedule. It took a six hour surgery and a few months of rehab. Then it seemed I couldn't get away from injuries. The year after that it was a broken knee cap and the year after that I broke my tibia, fibula and wrist all in one crash. That one took me out of it.
7. Realistically, what would it take to get back to racing full time?
It would take a contract and enough money for me to quit my full time job and go racing full time. I would love to be able to race full time, I miss it.
8. So, you've got a full-time job. Where do you work and what do you do?
I work at a small fabrication shop. I build brew tanks for brewing beer and my dad and I also have a business together building performance exhaust systems called All 4 Racing.
9. Tell us about the business. How did you get into exhaust building? What makes All 4 Racing exhaust stand out from the rest?
My dad wanted to get more horsepower and he was tired of paying $600 for an exhaust and gaining 2 hp. He used to race snowmobiles and he did all the engine work and exhaust systems for them. He has been in to small engines and motorsports since he has been 12. We also wanted to make an exhaust system that would hold up over time. All of our systems are handmade, built to last. If there is something wrong with the product we stand behind it. If you break one, send it back we will get it fixed.
10. I hear you're remodeling a house. What upgrades are you doing and is it all you or do you have some help?
Complete remodel. The house was unfinished and vacant for the past six years. It's been a couple months now and just about halfway done. My dad and a couple friends are helping me, it's getting there slowly.
11. OK, now I have to ask, you've got a pretty famous namesake who rides dirt bikes. Do you ever get mistaken for the other Chad Reed?
(Laughs) Yes I have been a few times. We had my name on the trailer and we ended up putting "Not the dirt bike guy" underneath my name.
12. Do you ever play along and let whoever thinks you're the dirt bike Chad Reed believe you're him?
I have had a few friends watch Supercross on TV and they thought Chad was me and I went along with it for a bit. But then they figured it out not too long after.
13. You could almost be kindred spirits. He races dirt bikes you race quads. So, does having the same name as a Supercross and Motocross Champion help get you a bit more recognition? Or is it annoying or do the two worlds hardly cross paths?
I don't think it gave me much more recognition. Some people do joke about Chad Reed switching over to quads. Some people actually don't believe that's my name. I've had to show them my identification.
14. Do you follow Chad Reed? Are you a fan? Have you ever met?
Yes I am a fan. I like how he keeps racing even after everything (that's happened). You can tell he has a real love for the sport. I met him in 2004 at the Detroit Supercross at Pontiac Silverdome. They had me wait and got a picture with him.
15. Finally, the ATV MX National Championships just started, what rounds can we see you at this year?
I hope I will be able to make it to Sunset Ridge MX on June 18th-19th and Red Bud MX on July 30th-31st. if I have time I would like to go to more we will see how it all plays out.