Steve Stackable hangs out with fans at the Houston Supercross. Photography by Shan Moore.
When motocross was just getting started here in the U.S., Texas was producing some of the first stars of the sport, riders like Kent Howerton and Steve Wise quickly come to mind. But one of the most memorable and colorful was a tall and lanky, longhaired, Maico-riding Texan often simply called, “Stack.”
Steve Stackable was one of those riders who helped put the sport on the map and, along the way, captured the 1975 500cc AMA Motocross Championship and led the 1977 U.S. Motocross des Nation and Trophy des Nations teams to second-place finishes in France and Holland. Second place back then was about as good as a win.
During his career, Stackable won many prestigious races, including the Daytona Supercross and Unadilla National Motocross, both coming in the 500cc class. He rode for three factory teams – Maico, Suzuki and Kawasaki – before officially retiring from full-time racing in 1982. About that time, Stackable moved to San Diego where he sill resides.
At the Houston Supercross, Stackable was honored by the Legends and Heroes of Motocross group for his contributions to the sport, and, as always, Stack enjoyed being back in Texas and at the races, hanging out with his many fans and talking about good ol’ days. And there were many of them.
“It’s hard to explain how it feels,” Stackable said on comparing Supercross today compared to how it was over 30 years ago. “There’s so much going on here, and the progression of the sport from when it started to now is tremendous. The first rig to go to the races was the Action Supply U.S. Sports rig, and now you come out here and see all these rigs set up…it’s amazing how far it’s come. I’m honored and thrilled to be here and a part of it.”
Today, Stackable is a hang glider instructor and a pilot at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, California, but he hasn’t lost touch with the sport. He still follows it like he did back in the ‘70s.
“I watch every race,” he says. “I still like to keep up with the bikes and the technical side of it, too.”
When asked what surprises him the most about where the sport is today, Stackable says it’s all the money that’s now in the sport.
“It’s just amazing that there is so much involvement now.”
As much as the sport has grown since his days on the track, Stackable still has the distinction of being Texas’ only Supercross Champion.