The Muscle Milk TWMX Race Series has brought together a wide demographic group ranging from very young riders on 50’s to vet riders in their 40’s. The numbers of riders drops off drastically by the time you reach the 50+ class and it is hard pressed to find riders dedicated to the sport when they reach their 60’s. Riders of that age have lived through the history of the sport with many stories to tell. One of these riders is Lyle Sweeter. Lyle rides at least two classes at each race and sometimes three when it fits into the schedule, and can outrun riders 20 years his junior on a regular basis. We’ve all seen the T-shirt that says ‘You don’t stop riding because you get old, you get old because you stop riding’. Sweeter is living proof that this rings true.So Lyle, how long have you been riding? I’ve been riding a long time, I started in 1968. I kind of got started when motocross started. What does riding moto do for you, why do you do it? I don’t know, I just love it. Ever since I was a little kid, anything with a motor really interested me. You hear people talk about that all the time, but it is really true for me, cars and motorcycles, and when motocross broke through from Europe it was crazy. All the Europeans and the color, it was all new and exciting and it was something you could actually do. Car racing was impossible, you dream of being a Formula 1 driver, but you could ride motocross. It got me a lot, I wouldn’t be at Honda if it wasn’t for motorcycles, so it got me a career. You mention you work at Honda, what do you do for them? Yeah, I work for American Honda Motor Company, I am a National Sales Manager and I have responsibility for Honda and Acura. I started in the motorcycle division but I was there for only about two years before I moved to the automobiles. I’ve done a lot with motorcycles my whole life and the difference was ‘you have to have a car’ or ‘it would be nice to have a bike’. When I was working at bike dealerships we would be looking for work to do in the winter and with cars the work was always there and is another passion for me. This organization has transitioned from a vet oriented club to something much more now that TWMX has taken over, what do you think of the Transworld MX series? It’s amazing, everyone is saying that, but the thing I like about it is every race is a big race. If you go to some of the other clubs it is pretty laid back and there’s no fanfare. When you come to one of the Transworld races it looks like an event and there’s vendors and it makes you feel part of it. What else do you do outside of MX? I do moto, then I do more moto. I also have another business that is motorcycle related. It is a school to teach people how to ride street bikes, it is a Motorcycle Safety Foundation class, so that keeps me busy too. So I’ve got the Honda career, the school and the racing. I do go to the river once in a while but I’m not really into the water sports much. Does moto ‘keep you alive’? <laughs> Sometimes you wonder, don’t you? Does it keep me alive or work the other way? Really though, it gives me motivation and gets me to train. I work out every day and I don’t know if I would have the drive to do it if it wasn’t for racing. If I don’t work out I know I am going to be really, really tired and it’s going to be ugly. I think it makes a difference. You worry about getting hurt, everyone does, but I look at other sports like football, softball or that kind of thing and you can get hurt there too. Then you look at people my age and they fall off the curb and get hurt. If I’m going to get hurt, I’d rather do it on my bike.
Lyle Sweeter, 63 Irvine, CA