Levin Takahashi: Hawaiian For Fast
By Megan Maeda
Levin Takahashi is a 12-year-old from the big island of Hawaii, and he and his family made the trek to Southern California in hopes of finding some quality competition. Levin came away with the win in the 85ccc Novice class aboard his TM 85 with 5-1-1 moto scores at last weekend’s Mini Major. We caught up with him after his first moto win of the day.
Man! I think you came the furthest from anyone that has raced the Mini Major. What got you out here to California?
Um, just to try out all the competitions, and the new kit, and the new terrain. Because in Honolulu we only have like three kids in the 85 class, so it's better to come out here and challenge more kids.
My dad raced in Kawaii once, and the track was red dirt and really hard packed, what are the tracks at home like?
They're like hard packed like Kawaii, but when you ride your bike gets stained, your clothes get stained. Then you ride over here and the dirt just falls down off your fenders and you don't get stained. (Laughs)
How did you get into motocross in Hawaii? Like, why aren't you a surfer?
I ain't a surfer cause I don't like sharks! I don't go surfing, I got into motocross because my uncle Jace used to be a legend in motocross so he got me into that on my 10th birthday.
A couple of things about you stand out. First you're from Hawaii, then you're riding TM mini bike. How did you end up on TM?
One of my supporters, Tough Co. Racing, the mechanic that does my motors, he knew the main dealers so he said he could hook me up with a TM bike so I got it because of him.
How do you like the TM?
It's good, fast, and comfortable.
If you don't have a lot of guys to ride with? How have you gotten so fast?
My dad when I was little, used to push me. My uncle Jace used to come up and teach me how to do corner straights and jumps. They used to help me a lot, so that's how I got fast.
So are you the fastest guy on the island? Big bike and little bike?
No, not yet. One of my friends from Honolulu is a little bit faster than me, and he's on a little bike.
How many classes are you riding? Is the weekend going pretty good?
Three classes, and yeah! I'm stoked that I got the win!
So what is it about motocross that you like? There's so many different things for kids to do these days. What keeps you coming back to dirt bikes?
The fun, my friends, and the competition.
How far do you wanna take it?
All the way until my dream comes true!
What's the dream?
To become a professional motocross racer like Ryan Villopoto.
What sort of program are you on in Hawaii?
I only ride 2 days a week, Saturday and Sunday. The reason I came out here to Mini Major was because the track at home was closed for a month.
How did you get your bike over here?
My dad found out one-way shipping for it was $950, but then TM gave us a bike out here to race, so my dad didn't have to pay that money.
You gonna do any else fun while you're out here? Or is it just racing and go home?
Just racing and go home.
Any sponsors you’d like to thank?
TM Racing USA, TM Racing Hawaii, Mob Energy, Alias, Automatics, Safety 1 MX, Garner, 6D Helmets, auntie Tammy, mom, dad, sister, brothers, all my friends and anybody else I missed.