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INTERVIEW: Wade Young | Features

Wade Young began riding at the age of eight and, at 16, shocked the extreme enduro world by smoking Graham Jarvis and Chris Birch at Roof of Africa.

Since then, Young has added a second Roof of Africa win to his resume, signed with Sherco in 2016 and has continued to podium at extreme enduro events around the world.

You won the 2012 Roof of Africa at just 16, beating extreme enduro king Graham Jarvis in the process. You shocked the world wining that event. Did you surprise yourself?

Yes, I did surprise myself but I had the belief that I could do it. Roof was my first major victory and definitely the start to my enduro career. Before that I was not sure which way my riding career would go. It was personally a feeling I will never feel again, especially because I was not expecting to win. Being a “home” race also made it extra special. Although Lesotho is in South Africa it does not fall under the South African government – it is a land locked country.

South Africa is all lions, elephants and angry sharks attacking our surfers at J Bay. With this in mind, did you get so fast on a dirt bike because you were racing away from lions?

No, definitely not. We have no wild lions or elephants, they are all in game farms or Zoos. I grew up and still live on a small holding approximately 20km inland from Port Shepstone on the South Coast of KwaZulu Natal. The coast of KwaZulu Natal is a lot like your Sunshine Coast. It is a sugar cane and macadamia farming community. Port Shepstone is approximately one and half hours-drive South from Durban. From a young boy of eight years old I would go riding with all the older boys in the community and that is where my passion for riding began.

What model Sherco is your preferred bike and why?

My preferred bike for the extreme enduros is the 300cc two-stroke because it is light, has a lot of power and is easy to manoeuvre through rocks and doesn’t tire you out for big hills. I have recently used the 300cc four-stroke for some of the South African National Enduro events because of the smooth power delivery and it works well for the special tests.

Read the full interview with Wade Young in ADB issue #459 – on sale November 6.