For those who don’t know, Steve Hatch is the nicest butt-kicker on a dirt bike you’ll ever meet. His smile is as abundant as his off-road riding skills and he has turned his past success racing enduros into something he can now share with anyone who wants to get better on a dirt bike. We ran into Steve at the 2018 Gas Gas EC and XC bike launch and here is what he had to say.
How’s everything been going?
Everything has been going good. I’ve been doing the Steve Hatch Racing stuff, which is mentoring, coaching, and training of riders from all levels, from beginners to pros. A lot of the stuff I do is on the big programs that are basically year-long programs. I usually have about 10 to 12 that I’ll coach pretty much daily, as well as a ‘Chiseled Into A Champion’ two day program. Also different clinics around the country.
What is your deal with Gas Gas?
My new affiliation with Gas Gas is exciting. It’s pretty much an organic, growing together of using their trials bikes, a couple of those, and a couple of the dirt bikes in my training programs. So I’ll be riding those but riders can bring their own bikes and ride those as well as cross over to the trials side of training. Trials training is such a big factor with balance and control that transfers to the big bikes.
Looking back, I’ve been cross training with trials bikes for 25 years, since I was racing, and I had a Gas Gas back in the day even when I was racing for Suzuki. Looking ahead it has kind of morphed into a more serious thing looking at the trials side of training, using both the bikes and the trials bikes, making a great combination.
Have you hoped on the new machines?
I haven’t ridden the new dirt bikes [the photos in this post are from later that day when Steve did have a chance to rid the ’18 bikes]. I have been riding the Gas Gas trials bikes at my house in New York, those are amazing. There is so much now, being a coach and mentor and trainer that I can teach on a trials bike, it’s such a good tool, if you will. I’ve had Taylor Robert and Ryan Sipes and Kailub Russell and all those guys out riding the two trials bikes that I had and we’d cross train on them a ton.
Where are you working these days?
We are based full-time in New York, but I travel a lot too. I was just in South Carolina two weeks ago, then a few days ago in Texas, I’ll be in Colorado, Montana, I’m just all over the country still. Riders can get ahold of me and tell me where they are at, and I can potentially come to them or they can come to me. Ryan Sipes is still training with me and so is Josh Toth who’s won the first five GNCC’s this year [XC2 class], Ben Kelley who’s another up-and-comer, and I’ve got about nine other guys that local pros that want to be national pros. In the past I’ve worked with Taylor Robert and Kailub Russel, Justin Soule.
Do you plan on doing any testing or R&D for Gas Gas?
I think it morph into something like that. Obviously they are wanting me to get in front of the public. And thinking down the road, they are coming up with a lot of stuff like the electric side so I think that’s the future. There’s a few reasons why I’ve been contacted by a few different companies to do something with them but this one made the most since. With Gas Gas I’m involved with two styles of bikes, trials and dirt bikes, instead of just one and then down the road there might be even more.
Gas Gas is now owned by Torrot, an electric vehicle company. What do you think about electric bikes?
I think it’s the future for sure. I haven’t ridden all other brand bikes enough, but I used to have my daughter ride the Oset trials bike. I think it’s the future and, as we all know, the land usage, and the noise and everything that everyone can complain about I think it’s definitely going to be the next 10, 20, 30 years when they are going to get electric bikes just as good as a normal dirt bike which I think is exciting. Now, I think they are obviously heavy, the batteries go dead too quick, they take too long to charge, all different problems. But, you know, the car industry is helping to bring that along. A bunch of these big companies are involved and cross pollinating with the Formula One stuff, so I think it’s coming for all the right reasons. Yet for right now though, it’s not what us dirt bikers think of because you want noise and fun – that’s half the excitement.