Jordan Szoke – Canadian Superbike and Trials Champion
When I was growing up, there was an extremely influential film called ‘On Any Sunday’ by Bruce Brown, creator of Endless Summer’, the ultimate film on surfing, that introduced me to all the various activities that motorcycles were being used that went beyond motorcross and street riding. Too young and no money, we practiced what we saw from the film on our bikes for hours each day.
The giant desert rallies, the speed and elegance of Superbike racing with the speed and knee dragging into the sharp turns occasionally resulted in crashes that would make Nascar fans squeal... and what was this ‘trial riding’? There was a much bigger world of motorcycles and every kid growing up in the 1970s just got hooked. I needed an expert from today to explain it all.
On a visit to Canada, I had the good fortune to sit down with the young and legendary, Jordan Szoke. Canada’s famous Jordan Szoke is an expert Trials rider and currently holds over 21 National championships. He also holds the record for the most Superbike Championships in Canadian History with 11 in total and breaking records by winning both Superbike and Sportbike championships for 5 years consecutively. His seventh title in 2010 and his tenth title in 2015 and his eleventh in 2017 was achieved with an unprecedented perfect season. He also brought home to Canada the BMW Motorrad Race Trophy, comprised of 20 championships with 27 different classes, staging 293 races on 89 circuits in 26 countries on six continents. Szoke has recently been inducted into the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame.
According to Wikipedia, Observed Trials, is a form of Motorsport in which the rider attempts to pass through an obstacle course without setting foot to ground.
Trials riding is an extreme test of bike handling skills, over all kinds of obstacles, both natural and man-made. It now has a strong – though small – following worldwide, though it is still primarily a European sport. Skills taken from trials riding can be used practically on any bike for balance, for example controlled braking and track standing, or balancing on the bike without putting a foot down. Competition trial bikes are characterized by powerful brakes, wide handlebars, lightweight parts, single-speed low gearing, low tire pressures with a thick rear tire, distinctive frame geometry, and usually no seat.
After watching an afternoon of his masterful skills and my futile attempts of banging off of obstacles man-made and natural, it becomes clear to me that this must be the precursor that this must of impacted the newer and unrelated sports of freestyle skateboarding and parkour.
One would think that Jordan was out here for fun, but clearly his commitment can be seen everywhere. He manages the team for BMW. If that wasn’t enough, he manages an extreme motorcycle travelling rodeo show that has the task to get the audience heart’s racing and eyes focused. Here it is described in advertisement for the very popular Stampede Days in Canada.
“Szoke offers a Motorcycle Experience like no other to all types events across the country. He provides an army of talent equipped with wealth of experience and professionalism. Watch for our High flying Freestyle Motorcross team pair with our precision Observed Trials team to provide a unique show experience for the whole family to enjoy”
Jordan gives it all to satisfy audiences and sponsors, but when asked what the Ride of his Life. Simply, he likes to ditch the limelight and head into the back country of Ompah, Canada and Granite Lake and practice his craft on the jagged rock formations in a serene and natural environment.
Watch the video to see Jordan blow your mind with his skills and my very own ‘Trials 101’ training video for you.