Supercross Rider Wil Hahn is an extremely talented motorcycle rider.
He’s now decided to retire at the young age of 26.
Unfortunately, Supercross is a tough sport and the body can only take so many beatings. Wil was smart enough to realize when enough was enough. We were able to catch up with Wil recently. He now has a new job and is still going to be busy at the races. Read what he had to say about his new job, injury, and the future.
Thank you Wil for lending us your time, lets start with a little background. Where does a rider like you come from and when did dirtbikes start to play a role in your life?
For me, riding dirtbikes started in a small town in Kansas. My Father rode but never really raced. He had a friend named Ken Voss that rode locally and suggested we tried it out. Well obviously my Older Brother Tommy started before me so whatever the big brother was doing, I wanted to join in and do it with him!
When did you start to realize that you could make a living riding a motorcycle?
I actually quit at one time and came to California and stayed with my brother. He was starting to prep for his rookie year in Supercross and he kind of talked me back into it. He suggested that I gave it my all and started training correctly. He helped me surround myself with good people and that’s what I did and never looked back.
Wow, explain the relationship you have with your brother, and surely it has helped you as you made your way to the pro ranks.
Tommy and I’s relationship has always been good. He’s always treated me good, took me riding, and took me to get-togethers when we were young, even when he didn’t want to. As far as the riding goes, for me it was the golden ticket. I was always chasing Tom and trying to be on his level. He showed me the way and as he made mistakes, he made sure I didn’t do the same. I loved it and am truly thankful for it cause without him I never would have progressed the way I did.
Take us through the last few years of your career. Sum up some of the emotions as it was obviously quite a bit of a roller coaster.
Obviously I’ve been through injuries my entire career. The only year I made it through injury free was my rookie year in 2008, so coming off my title in 2013, I moved up to the 450 and was starting to really come alive and get great results. I ended up having a really bad crash in St. Louis and it ended my year. The following year, I was lucky enough to sign with Kawasaki Factory Team.
I had a blast and the guys there treated me great. The problem was, I wish I could have gotten them some better results in return for all their hard work, but I wasn’t able to do that so that’s life. It wasn’t lack of effort on either of our parts. I just want to thank them for the awesome support through injuries and tough times. I’ll be forever thankful for the opportunity.
Being known as one of the most positive guys in the sport is most likely a good thing, but did it ever put any pressure on you to hide your emotions, especially when struggling with the injuries?
No not at all. I’ve always been a believer that your attitude can really affect how you heal, feel, and all of the above that contributes to that. Not only that I’m a happy dude, yeah it sucks you broke some bones, but there is someone out there having a way worse day than you. Even when you feel sorry for yourself, don’t get me wrong there were some dark times in my life, it wasn’t always smiles…
How was the Australian Supercross experience, were you glad to race there before retirement?
I loved it, Troy Carroll and his team and family treated me great! The racing was awesome and I was able to go out on my terms and make some new friends doing so….
What was the deciding factor or factors in your decision to hang up the boots? How did it come about?
It wasn’t just one single thing. All the injuries stacked up. How can you expect to be on a level you want to be at while taking 3 months off every 6 months? The constant playing catch up really weighed on me. Also I have had a lot of concussions in my career. Concussions are something I needed to be realistic about and face. We all need to be aware of it. Bones can be fixed the brain cannot…
Do you have a sense of relief as everyone is training and stressing for A1 and you can kind of sit back and see it from the other side for once?
Yes and no…. there is a feeling you get in the off-season when you feel progress in your bike and body that’s unreal… it feels great. Now, I’m testing and helping the progress of the bikes here at Geico Honda but with no pressure on me. To possibly help another rider has now filled that void with happiness.
How did you find your way back to Geico Honda?
I left here on great terms (in 2014). These guys are my family…if they fired me tomorrow I’d still have the same love for them. I’m lucky that I’ve kept that and when the option came up, Jeff And Ziggy welcomed me back with open arms…
Do you see yourself being a part of the sport for a long time?
I’d like to think so. This is still my passion and what I know. Not having gone to college and what not, it is essentially what I have my degree in. With that being said, yeah I see myself being here for the long haul.
This question is most likely way to early to ask but have you kicked around the idea of doing a few races here and there or are you done for good?
I’m very open to doing some races but on my terms and only if the Team would be ok with it. Although, right now I’m happy knowing I don’t have to go racing. Right now I’m enjoying having a social life and a life outside of racing. When you’re a athlete, Friday nights are early nights at home eating right and going to bed. Its nice to go out and have a drink and let the hair down and relax a bit…even if I do still feel guilty at times.
Gotta let the hair down from time to time! Okay well thank you Wil for doing this. Good luck in all your future endeavors!
Thanks for your time!
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