The King Says: Kenny Roberts Interview

Cycle News Staff | August 22, 2012

We haven’t heard much from Kenny Roberts since he left the paddock at the end of the 2007 season. The most influential motorcycle racer in American history quit the racing game when the money ran out and he hasn’t been back, though not for lack of effort. Roberts has been involved with a stillborn project in Las Vegas that was originally seen as a sort of motorsports theme park, with racing teams in a variety of championships based in Sin City. But five years on that’s still evolving and not much closer to reality. There was also a Moto2 project that went nowhere.

Whether he’s racing or not, the 61-year-old three-time 500cc World Champion remains passionate about motorcycles. The garage in his house, in a gated community on a golf course northeast of his ranch in Oakdale, California, is filled with motorcycles in various stages of development. He’s building his own chassis, he’s built a massively overpowered pocket racer and his daily ride is a Yamaha Super Tenere.

We spoke to Roberts in his motorhome at the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix at Laguna Seca. He was knowledgeable, as always, opinionated, as always, and contradictory, also as always. This is an edited version of that conversation.

Why did you stop racing as a team owner?

It’d become just less and less profitable. We ran out of money…

For the complete Cycle News interview, click on the following link: