Hometown: Abingdon, Virginia
Sponsors: KTM USA, Maxima, Fox, Oakley, DC, Ogio, Dunlop, WP, FMF, Renthal, Liquid Performance, Axcel Fast Graphics
Speed seems to run in the family among the Osbornes. Zach’s dad, Mark, has gone over 200MPH behind the wheel of an NHRA Pro Stocker and has also competed in the Crossover Challenge at Anaheim Stadium.
Like plenty of mini stars, Zach got started on a PW50 before moving to a KTM 50cc bike (his dad also owns a KTM dealership in Virginia). But as he grew, he was forced to switch to Suzukis when he moved to the 85s… KTM didn’t build an 85cc model at the time. But the folks at KTM had promised Zach that as soon as they launched their 85cc model he’d be back in the fold. Coming into 2003, Zach was already lending a hand with the development. “I was the main R&D guy. I’d done some testing over at the factory in Austria. The first one was definitely a prototype, but it was good and I liked it.”
Zach also brought home a championship on his first ride on the production version of the bike, though the whole process at Lake Whitney wasn’t really that simple. He’d already completed practice on another bike, while the Katooms were airfreighted in and assembled in time for the race. As Zach tells it, “We were ready, but in a way we weren’t. I’d never ridden the production bike, except for the hot lap on the morning of the race. I went out and won, and it was pretty awesome. They were pretty pumped when I won the first championship on it. I guess it was a surprise to everybody.”
Zach also competed in the 2003 F.I.M. Junior Motocross Cup 85cc World Championship in Asti, Italy, finishing third behind Ryan Villopoto and Christophe Pourcel. Not surprisingly, he lists Villopoto as his biggest competition.
This year he’s looking forward to a full slate of amateur Nationals, Loretta Lynn’s, and if invited, another shot at the Junior Cup aboard the mini. How soon before he makes the jump to bigger bikes? “I’ll at least make Loretta’s and the Mini O’s on the Supermini… I don’t know about next year. It just depends on how I grow.”
So what’s his favorite kind of riding? “It doesn’t really matter that much. I ride everything, but I like Supercross.”
His long-term goals? “To make it to Supercross as soon as I can, but not rush into it and get hurt…and to try and retire doing this. Make enough to make a living out of it…and have fun at the same time.”