Getting to Know Kyle Warner

Aug 27, 2016
by Lauren Jenkins  
Kyle Warner GTK interview


Like so many of us, Kyle Warner found that bikes were so much more than just bikes, they are an escape in the bad times and a whole lot more in the good times. Growing up in California with a number of trails on his doorstep, Kyle was lucky enough to turn his passion into a career. A skilled rider who started off riding downhill, once a friend introduced him to enduro he was soon hooked. Following his signing with Marin in 2014, Kyle has posted some great results locally and has made a strong impression on the EWS circuit. We caught up with him to find out more about his riding and racing...

Kyle Warner GTK interview

Who is Kyle Warner?

I am just a simple guy who loves bikes and was lucky to find racing at a crucial time as a teenager. After some really tough years at home and with the help of some great friends, I just decided to chase that passion as hard as I could until it became my livelihood. I have been through a lot of transitions in the past 8 years of my life, but that damn bike has been with me every step of the way.

Where are you from and where do you live?

I was born and raised in a little northern California town called Chico. I love it there and I am having a really hard time finding a reason to leave. There are so many cool people in town and the amount of different terrain within two hours of home is hard to beat. Plus the weather is awesome!

Who do you ride for?

I currently ride for, Marin bikes, SR Suntour, Fly Racing, Shimano, WTB, Deity components, Garmin, MRP, KS, Smith, Slime, and I'm also getting some local support from Synergy Chiropractic, Renew Float Spa, TNT athletic performance and Greenline Cycles to keep me going during the off season!

It was a real shame that Ski Bowl officials took the ridge section out of stage 6 thus eliminating the technically challenging upper section that fed into this high speed bermalicious rally section of the track. But trail damage from a recent event dictated that course change. More than a few racers were bummed out by that decision but ultimately it was not really a big deal the high speed section and the rock garden below served just fine to separate out the pretenders. Kyle Warner getting ALL of this berm en route to an NAET overall win.

Where are you happiest?

I am happiest when I am with good people that enjoy life. I love being at the races and taking friends out on their first rides. Some of the best memories from the past few years are just talking trash with the boys at Dinner.

What’s been your favourite race/contest venue?

My favorite race I have ever done is Megavalanche in 2013. That was by far the gnarliest event I have ever competed in. 400 dudes on a glacier 60mph it was scary haha.

How do you feel your season went last year?

To be honest, my season was better than I could have hope for. I competed in 13 races and was able to podium (top 5) at 12 of them. I was also able to defend the NAET title and win my second overall championship in two years. I felt like I was riding really well and being able to have my former teammate, Cody Kelley to help both of us step up our game. I was really happy to be able to beat Richie Rude in two stages at the Winterpark NAET towards the end of the season and winning two stages at Mammoth National Champs was awesome! I just tried to focus on keeping it fun and take my time with every track. It's really easy to rush through a race weekend and I felt like I was able to deal with that a lot better than in 2014.

What are your strengths?

I guess my biggest strengths are race preparation and keeping calm when the clock is on. There are so many amazing riders out there and only a few guys are able to manage a weekend and post a successful result. I think race prep and practice management is the most important part of the weekend and it is really easily overlooked by most racers.

What are your weaknesses?

I'm sure I could get a little bit better at everything. I think one thing I really need to work on, is being comfortable on steep wet roots. I'm getting better but we don't have many trails like that around California.

Kyle Warner GTK interview

What’s been your luckiest escape?

We actually race a lot on trails with massive exposure / drops off the side of the singletrack and I've definitely almost sent it off some cliffs. I've learned to chill until you know where you're going haha. If you can't see the landing just roll by and hit it the next run or stop and session.

What bikes are you riding right now?

Right now I split my time pretty evenly between a Marin Mount Vision, Deity Cryptkeeper, and a Marin Cortina cross bike. I love all of them but the Mount Vision is so much fun to play on!

Who’s your favourite rider?

Greg Minnaar, smooth and calculated and one of the most consistent guys in the history of the sport.

Kyle Warner GTK interview

Who or what inspires you?

I'm inspired by the fact that it's possible to impact the lives of younger generations in really positive ways by just being a good dude when you meet them. I remember how much it meant to me when someone I looked up to was cool and I try to keep the kids fired up!

What do you enjoy doing away from bikes?

I love riding dirtbikes, other than that I don't know if anything I do isn't bike related. I probably need to work on that haha.

What are you listening to right now?

Lots of podcasts recently, Joe Rogan experience or Hardcore history. It's nice to get a long road ride in and learn some cool things on a rainy day.

Kyle Warner GTK interview

What’s your favourite movie/ TV show?

As far as movies go I am a huge fan of space movies like the Martian, Interstellar, etc.

What’s your favourite non-bike website? or

What’s your favourite motto or saying?

Whether you think you can, or cannot, you are right.

Kyle Warner GTK interview

What grinds your gears?

When I see ungrateful kids getting tons of support and not even caring. There are a lot of great riders out there that just need a break. If you have support from your parents or sponsors please at least appreciate it and tell them thank you.

What makes you happy?

Seeing people that might be dealing with a lot of stress at home just get out on a bike and grin ear to ear. There is nothing better than taking a buddy out on a ride when you know they need to shred and forget whats going on. It's crazy how something so simple can transform someone's outlook on life.

If you weren’t a pro mountain biker, what would you be doing?

If I hadn't gotten the opportunity to become a racer I would probably be going to school working on a degree. I have always wanted to be a science teacher and would love the opportunity to inspire kids to think outside of the box . I think I will stick to this for a while though haha.

Kyle Warner GTK interview

If you were in charge of the sport, what changes would you make?

I would love to see mandatory POV footage from the top (5-10) ranked guys in the overall series. Start officials make sure the camera is recording at start of trail and finish line officials help the rider stop recording. After the race riders would turn in the SD card and officials would just watch the winning run of each stage. If they found someone doing something unsportsmanlike they would get a penalty and the next rider would then be reviewed until a clean run is found. This would help ensure people are racing fair and it would give the race promoters a ton of cool POV footage for social media. How many times have you seen a winning run from an enduro race online?

When you hang up your racing/riding shoes, how do you want to be remembered?

I want to be remembered as an honest, good dude who helped get some people motivated to find happiness on two wheels.

Kyle Warner GTK interview

What does the future hold for Kyle Warner?

Long term, I am trying really hard to figure that out right now. I wan't to do something to make a difference and I'm not quite sure how I want to go about that. Helping to get a pump track built in my hometown has been so much more gratifying than any race result I have ever gotten. I think about how cool it is every time I go out there and see people smiling.

MENTIONS: @MarinBikes / @SRSuntour / @FlyRacing / @shimano / @deityusa / @wilderness-trail-bikes / @SmithOptics

Author Info:
laurenjenkins avatar

Member since Jan 10, 2012
105 articles

  • 36 1
 How about live POV footage? With some interface on the video site where you can switch POV's from rider to rider. It would be an amazing way to make Enduro more watchable, exciting, and it would get big sponsors like Gopro/ Sony onboard too.

Compared with rigging a course up with HD cams, I'd imagine the logistics would be pretty simple.
  • 7 24
flag russthedog (Aug 27, 2016 at 1:55) (Below Threshold)
 It would be horribly boring
  • 8 0
 @russthedog: Possibly. I dunno,I reckon with split times and stuff showing up on screen it would be kinda cool, and being able to flick between riders
  • 11 0
 @russthedog: They would set a bunch of live cameras to film the best parts, cutting to the GoPro to fill in between where cams are placed. Isn't that how Rally is filmed?
  • 8 0
 Would be incredibly expensive to do live due to the networking requirements and size of the courses. It would be very easy to edit some great footage together after the fact though. I do like the idea of mandatory POV footage though. Instead of having the officials review, just post it up on YouTube and allow the public to review. If anything is found it could be flagged for official review.
  • 2 0
 Would be cool and spirit of enduro for sure :p
  • 2 1
 @Rubberelli: That would be cool, I hope they do that for wc dh
  • 17 0
 Great Mega video. Best I've seen. So the subtext here is that some of the best Riders are cheating, but they can't be caught because they are not witnessed on various parts of the stages? I really never even thought about that. If so, something needs to be done like his suggestion about GoPros.
  • 12 1
 I don't think people are out right cheating, just sometimes find "creative french lines". It's hard to define what's on and off course, in enduro though.
  • 1 0
 I second that mega video sentiment. Been considering riding it....this is just adding onto the pile
  • 14 0
 I bought some gear from Kyle from the buy/sell and introduced myself at one of the races. Since then, he still says hi to me at events all across the country... Highland mtb park, Ashland Enduro, EWS winterpark. Proper dude. Stay Rad!
  • 6 0
 Same here! Bought some pedals off of him, he answered all my noob questions and invited me to ride with him anytime. Never would have known how epic of a rider he is. Other riders in Chico have bigger ego's and half the talent!
  • 3 0
 Ha, still killin it on his old Pitch. Dude is way cool, reminds me of Aaron Gwin, so humble. I might just have to try and get that bike off him after the season's over, best lookin Marin esp with those black Duro's. That is if he lets it go, love supporting local racers when they put last seasons gear up for sale.
  • 12 0
 One of the coolest dudes I have met. At a race in CO Kyle stopped on a transfer to help me, a random Joe, tune my fork. After physically working on my steed Kyle took off to win the race. A class act!
  • 9 0
 Yep. Raced at a few races with Kyle. I've never seen a more approachable pro rider. Just a truly good dude.
  • 1 0
 Yes, it's been said many times on these post. I got to spend some quality time with him on my home turf in Hawaii and at several events across the country and all I can say is, Kyle is the real deal genuine athlete. I truly believe that the USA is in good hands with the current generation riders like multi time DH World Cup Champ Aaron Gwin, Enduro World Champ Richie Rude, and 2x Enduro National Champ Kyle Warner. Just awesome to see such great representation for our sport.
  • 11 1
 The last question always gets me. "When you hang up your riding shoes..."

Come on...once I'm too old to ride mtb I'll just stick to riding on the road....with my kids and groceries on an extra-cycle....then as an old man in overalls...then as a senile old man with a pot on my head...

the day I hang up my riding shoes will be the day they have to put me in a home someplace. Unless I get horribly injured and can't even move my arms...
  • 5 0
 I think that's supposed to be more of a "When you retire from racing..." kind of question. I doubt many pros are just gonna stop riding altogether one day.
  • 1 0
 @wpplayer18: I'm too literal!!!
  • 5 0

My Bro shot this video of Kyle way back when they were both at Chico (I think Kyle went to school there, my brother did). He was an aspiring amateur videographer at the time and won a contest put on by Magura.
  • 2 0
 Your brother makes some pretty epic videos! I just watched all his old Rainbow videos from back in the day haha
  • 1 0
 @gmcgurk: Yea good old Bo. I can't believe that place is still there. Seems like dirt jumps only lasted a few months on average before getting dozed. Check his parkfield video too, it captures collegiate racing pretty well. I take camera man credit for capturing the longest crash ever (girl on slalom course)!
  • 8 0
 This dude is just as cool at the races as he seems in this interview. Chico rips! kill trail!
  • 4 0
  • 7 0
 Sierra Nevada Brewery...some of the best micros.
  • 4 0
 @rcrdrvr: Sierra Nevada Beer is great no matter popular is has become, its still amazing fresh in Chico. the restaurant is pretty damn good too and very well priced. I love and miss Chico. Keep climbing that ladder Kyle!
  • 6 0
 Met and had the chance to ride with Kyle today at the NAET race, quality dude for sure. Saw him picking up trail litter and helping a guy with a broken chain. Good luck the rest of the season man!
  • 4 0
 Kyle is a class act!!! Way to represent Chico!!! Thanks for all of your effort for the pump track!! You will change and shape the lives of youth. You touch the lives of more people than you will ever meet!! We support you all the way!! Thanks for paying us back by being and outstanding sportsman!! !!!!!!! Kill Trail !!!!!!
  • 1 0
 I met Kyle when I was 16 back in 2007 and got lucky to grow up riding with him. I was a Moto kid who got pushed out of Moto do to family/money issues. Every weekend I had to drive up to Chico a hour away from my home town to drop my brother off with our dad. With no more motos for me I got in to dh And ended up meeting kyle through a group of riders(thunder bringers). me being a shitty rider at the time trying to get use to not having a throttle, Warner naturally being him, helped me out. For a few years I ended up going to Chico every weekend just to go ride something with him. Kyle kept me sane and stoked on life. Hopefully I can stop spending money on my drift car and go ride some whistler with you again. Stoked to call you a friend.
  • 1 0
 True to your roots !! Your a star Kyle ! Your riding is sublime and your an asset to the sport ! Came across Kyle 18 months ago after watching some videos on FB. Such a skilful rider ! He helped me out with some off season training advice ! True gent. Well done this season ! All the best for next year.
  • 3 0
 Yeah, Kyle!! Proud to have been your teammate these past few seasons. Thanks for being rad.
  • 2 0
 I listen to JRE & Hardcore history also when riding but I'm nowhere near as fast! Seems like a cool dude, glad he's getting the results.
  • 2 0
 Captions for the last photo:
- Feel the flow boy, fly, flyyyy!
- I'm going to stab that irritant next time I ride by... he made my dad put those roadie wheels on my BMX...
  • 3 0
 A great guy with great values... ride on
  • 4 1
 Warner!!! So much respect for this guy, awesome human being.
  • 3 0
 Nice one. Good clips and answers to the questions. Plus...Chico.
  • 1 0
 It'd be great to have Kyle over here working for British Cycling. Never mind mandatory POV footage, POV footage is banned in half the races here!
  • 1 0
 Great article, it is nice to hear his outlook on being a pro and how it seems he is on and off the bike. He seems like a great guy. Good luck in all your upcoming races!
  • 1 0
 I just met Kyle at a race this weekend. Had no idea he was so fast by meeting him. Just a really nice guy hanging out at a bike race.
  • 1 0
 I really wish pink bike would cover Kyle Warner again... One of the most down to earth riders in the in the bike industry. We are so gutted to hear about his vaccine injury.
  • 2 0
 Came to this page out of boredom but I'm glad I did. Cool interview
  • 1 0
 Met him last year during the NAET races. Very nice and humble and humble dude.
  • 2 0
 Front page! Kyle Warner is rad.
  • 1 0
 Let me just say....that megavalanche POV vid was epic...and the music choice was SPOT ON ! Best of luck Kyle
  • 1 0
 The world is a better place because of people like Kyle Warner. Amazing shredder. And an even better person!
  • 1 0
 WARNER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 1 0
 +1 for Hardcore History. Dan Carlin kicks ass!
  • 1 0
 Great Mega video!
  • 1 0
 Kyle is the man!
  • 1 0

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