Wednesday, September 25, 2013

4 Questions with BMW Motorrad USA test rider Nate Kern

Nate Kern and SimplePart CEO Cole Getzler

He’s raced motorbikes all over the world, set countless track records on the pro circuit, and yesterday Nate Kern stopped by the SimplePart office in Decatur.

The 2008 Pro Thunderbike champion dropped in to say hello, and we couldn't resist the chance to sit down and ask him a few questions about his roots, racing and his strong partnership with BMW Motorrad USA.

It’s as simple as “keeping it fun” Nate says.

Favorite track you've ridden on?

“It would probably have to be Valencia, it’s a mix of everything. Really a rider's track, it allows (the rider) to show how good he is versus just the bike. You know it has a really technical section that you have to connect the dots. I mean every track you have to connect the dots, but on a scale of 1-10 some tracks just aren't as technical as others.”

Current favorite bike?

“My current favorite, hands down the S 1000. I’m not being too biased, you can call it brand X. If brand X has the same safety aspects and electronic parameters of what it takes to keep a beginner, average, decent, great it doesn't matter. We shaped the RR into a machine for the masses versus just a skilled rider, and that’s why I like it because some days I just want to relax and I don’t want to be on edge regardless of the elements or regardless of how I feel. I can turn on the electronics or turn them down based on how I feel.”

Nate shows off his skills on a BMW S 1000. (Photo courtesy BMW Motorrad USA)

Biggest challenge you've had in your line of work?

“Keeping it fun, it’s that simple. I never anticipated an end to racing, you know that first year I wasn't racing it was a tough transition. Now I realize that there’s so much more... I bleed blue and white, I love the BMW brand.”

What issues do you have, if any, getting new parts for your bikes?

“Well it’s interesting because I’m not going through as many consumables right now being off the race track. I’m on the track just as much if not more now just doing PR and testing. Wherever I’m at, the point is you’re going to go through parts. Thanks goodness I don’t go through a lot due to not crashing. There are a lot of new parts that BMW is coming up with. Their getting into a whole new demographic of riders here which is sport bikes. There are dealers out there that don’t even know new parts for these sport bikes exist. There’s kind of a disconnect, it’s not anything bad, but the fact is I talk to local dealers here I see the part exists and they say “we didn't know that.” So it’s not that simple for me as a consumer, I think there’s a major need to simplify getting what you want when you want it.”

Nate made it a point to end the Q and A with this statement: “Let the record show, I never had a Mohawk. Even when I could grow hair!”

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