We spoke to rising star Justen Behmer about his career and future aspirations.
Most 17-year-olds tend to spend their time playing video games or scrolling through TikTok. Justen Behmer is not like many other 17-year-olds, Justen is a motorcycle road racer.
However, like so many other riders that have burst onto the national scene, Justen got an early start riding and racing motorcycles. Having parents that are competitive racers in multiple disciplines only helped fuel the fire.
After competing and winning at the local, regional and club levels Justen stepped up to the MotoAmerica Junior Cup championship in 2022, while racing at the national level brings greater competition, the need for greater concentration and a whole lot of patience, Justen Behmer has met each challenge head on as he looks to make his mark in the sport.
When did you start riding motorcycles?
I started riding motorcycles at 4 years old.
What was the first bike you learned to ride on?
My first bike was a Yamaha PW50.
What was the bike you first raced on?
My first race was on a KTM50 when I was 6 years old. The second race was on a Honda CRF50 which I learned to shift on.
Where was your first race?
Bandimere Go Cart Track, Denver, Colorado, USA for MiniMoto.
What was it about racing that got you hooked?
The thrill of racing and my love of motorcycles have me hooked.
What series did you race in over the past few years?
I have raced MotoAmerica, Motorcycle Roadracing Association, CVMA and Rocky Mountain MiniMoto in the past few years.
List your accomplishments in those series’ (podium, winner, etc.)
Current 2022 finishes are as follows:
MotoAmerica – 10th, 12th, 12th, 16th – Junior Cup – two race weekends
CVMA – 2nd, 3rd, 4th (5), 5th, 6th (2), 7th, 8th, 9th (2), 10th, 11th, 15th, 18th, 27th, 32nd – five classes – three race weekends
MRA – 2nd (2), 7th, 8th, 10th, 17th – six classes – one weekend
When did you first enter the MotoAmerica scene?
2022 is my first year racing in MotoAmerica.
Tell me about the bike you are riding for 2022?
My current race bikes are a 2021 Kawasaki Ninja 400 built to MotoAmerica Junior Cup specs and a 2014 Kawasaki ZX-6.
Goals for this season?
My goal outside of my club racing is to have a Top 10 finish in MotoAmerica Junior Cup which I did accomplish at the Road America round. I will continue to strive for more top 10 finishes in MotoAmerica.
Biggest challenges for 2022?
The biggest challenge is learning the different bike set up from club racing at MRA to MotoAmerica and learning the different tracks.
Ultimate goals in the sport? MotoGP? WSBK?
My ultimate goal in motorcycle racing would be to race in WSBK.
Any racing heroes growing up?
My race heroes are Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi.
The biggest influence on your career?
The biggest influence on my racing career is James Tittle.
Any advice for other young kids that want to get into racing?
My advice to other young kids is to never get discouraged by faster riders but instead look to them to improve your speed and yourself.
Featured images – Brian J. Nelson and Kelly Vernell.