Tony Carbajal Interview
Two Brothers Racing, a sponsor of freestyle sportbike rider Tony Carbajal, recently sat down with the California native for a quick Q&A.
During breaks from “TC Freestyle” stunt shows during the Monster Jam in Anaheim, Calif., Carbajal, who stunts a Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R, talked about his beginnings, career and some crashes.
1. You’ve been riding motorcycles since you were a kid, but how and when did sportbike freestyle all start for you?
TC: “At 15 one of my best friends let me ride his 1996 Honda CBR 900RR. It was like I had just discovered motorcycles for the first time all over again. I didn’t even have a drivers license or my first automobile but I knew a motorcycle was what I was going to get around on. At my ripe age of 16 I had saved up just enough money to buy my first beautiful Honda CBR F4i that had just been recently wrapped around a telephone poll, fixed her up and started my adventures. Wheelies were just a hobby for the first year then came small demos for local shops and competitions. Every year the events and competitions grew bigger and with lots of hard work I am fortunate enough to say that my name did too.”
2. What sort of modifications do you make to your stunt bike?
TC: “For me, modifications begin with performance. After years of performing I only use products I can trust to deliver and keep my bikes looking clean. There are many to list but here are just a few:”
– TC signature series Two Brothers Racing Full System Exhaust along with the Two Bros Juice Box Pro Fuel Controller.
– Hotbodies Racing Bodywork
– GPR Stabilizer
– Impaktech crash cages
– RSC clutch lever and sub cage
– 5th gear Sprockets
– HoHey Designs rear handbrake
– Apex MFG clip-ons
– ODI Gips
– Custom built subframe and gas tanks
– HTmoto custom seats and traction
– TC signature edition CTS rotors.
3. What kind of bike do you ride and why?
TC: “My current machine of choice has been the 2012 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R. I had the opportunity to work along side Kawasaki in the past and I still continue to enjoy the motorcycles that they are producing.”
4. What’s been your worst injury?
TC: “Oh Boy! Back in 2005 I flipped a stoppie at 65 mph. I had a concussion, I broke my collarbone, separated my shoulder, broke my rotator cuff in half, broke my back, bruised lung, broken wrist and a heap of road rash that had me sleeping upright and peeling sheets off myself for almost three months. I learned my lesson and take precautions that could prevent such a catastrophe from recurring.”
5. Do you listen to music when you ride and if so, what are you rocking out to?
TC: “I haven’t ever tried riding with headphones. The sweet sound of the revlimiter is music to my ears.”
6. How long does it take you to learn a new trick?
“It really depends on how hard the trick is. Sometimes a trick will come to mind and I can stick it on the second or third try. Harder tricks can take several weeks of practice. Perfecting a trick is what takes the most time.”
7. What is the “holy grail” of tricks?
“The holy grail of tricks are technical tricks that are usually performed forward, but are now being performed backward. Switchback circle wheelies, switchback drifting and more.”
8. You’ve had the chance to perform all over the world. What was your favorite performance?
“I have had so many shows that have been epic over the years. Traveling and performing in Malaysia will always be memorable. The culture shock along with setting up and performing on a bike that I’d never ridden before was crazy. I did six shows for 30,000 people chanting my name all in a single weekend. Traveling to such a place and having people already know who you are is a great feeling.”
9. What are you goals for the future?
“I’m 26 years old. I plan to perform and grow my program for years to come if I can manage to stay healthy. I want to perform for new people in new places, continue partnerships with great companies and help one another grow. I have plans to grow my brand with new products for the industry. I also plan to continue to do stunt work for film and hope to contribute a whole new skill level to that industry.”
10. Party of Five: What four people would you like to have dinner and drinks with?
“Valentino Rossi, Evil Knievel, Dale Earnhardt, the fourth seat is up for auction if you’d like a chance to bid email me at Tony@TonyStunts.com. Ok if anyone possible I would choose Evil Knievel, Valentino Rossi, Dale Earnhardt – Some of motorsports greatest! I would complete the table with Mr. Steve Jobs because his success contributed to the success of so many others.”
Photo by Ron Lieback