Monday, June 5, 2017
OSCAR STORIES: JON BEKEFY
My name is Jon Bekefy and this is my 2015 KTM 690.
My old man got me hooked onto motorcycles. I grew up listening to stories from my mom about my dad being a wild man. He was a motorcyclist, lumberjack and a bit of an outlaw.
The man was legit. The first thing I learned about my dad was the scar down the middle of his face was there because of getting bashed on the head with a beer bottle in a bar brawl.
That was my male role model growing up. He was a badass.
My mom’s brother was also a rider but quit right after getting into an accident. In my brain, at that age, I was like “well, that’s unacceptable, clearly my dad is fucking awesome.”
I’m first generation North American and my mom and dad lived in Vancouver before then. My dad was an immigrant and his favorite person when I was a kid was Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was a Gold’s Gym t-shirt wearing type of a guy. By type, I mean that was legitimately my dad. While my Mom was in the hospital giving birth to me he was pumping iron.
In high school I was doing a lot of BMX and mountain bike racing and finally dragged home my first Honda as a garage project. I decided I was going to be a motorcyclist. I remember Top Gun also inspired me along with my dad and all of that kind of pop culture explosion of motorcycling. It was a done deal. Tom Cruise was the man. He is a legit and talented rider and talented car driver. I know he is a little kooky but as a role model, when I was a child, Top Gun and Maverick were just so rad. Maverick was a total fuck-up and successful at the same time and when I was a kid, I thought “hey I can be goofy or stupid and be totally awesome,” and that’s powerful...unintentionally powerful.
I’ve lived in San Francisco since 2000, so riding in San Francisco and going on the track, will always be for me. But being into motorcycles and being on a bike is the sharp end of the stick. It is something that will totally fuck you up more often than not. And more often than not, it has NOT shown me what I’m good at, but it reminds me of what I’m really fucking terrible at...like riding.
Even working on bikes is always a lesson in humility. It’s really cool to stay alive and stay somewhat fast and to be smart in what you’re doing. It’s more about focusing on what you don’t know.