Kayla Kahn’s Motocross challenge
This is the first in a series about a former Ramona woman working her way to fulfilling her goal of earning her Pro Motocross license.
By Matt Finley
Having talent and hefty goals is one thing. But having everything stripped away from you while you’re trying to excel at life is something very different. Working through that kind of challenge is what makes the great ones stand out among everyone else.
Kayla Kahn looks like just such a person.
Kahn has lived in Ramona since her birth in 1989. She loves to ride dirt-bikes, and was attracted to Freestyle Motocross (FMX). She decided that racing motocross like her father, Barona Oaks MX veteran Karl Kahn, was a better alternative to FMX and she is in the process of getting her Pro Motocross license. Her short-term goal is to race in the X-Games, a prestigious action-sports event that attracts the world’s best riders.
While training and practicing for the X-Games at Barona Oaks Motocross and at Pala Raceway, Kahn’s financial partners encountered their own set of life’s challenges and had to suddenly abandon their efforts to help get Kahn into the career-changing international competition.
Being solely dependent on the financial backing of their partner who could no longer sponsor them, Kahn and her inspiration/soul-mate Samantha Stewart were left with no money and no way of training. It’s an indication of the far-reaching effects of the economic turmoil some face today, a commonality shared by so many in different walks of life trying to work through joblessness and inflation and all the stress that goes along with it.
They were left with little hope of being able to compete at a national level and were forced to sell everything they couldn’t pack in their car and go to Oregon to live with Kahn’s uncle in the Eugene/Springfield area. Once there they began making bamboo pipes from her uncle’s property and selling them to locals and smoke-shops.
They put all their effort into making money so they could get back on their feet and get Kahn back in the seat hitting jumps getting ready for X-Games. It took so much time and effort to make enough gas money to get into town there was no time or money to practice.
They tried to contact companies to get sponsorship to race but were met with doubt and disbelief.
The pair decided the only way to make things work was to not pay for gas to commute into town every day. They moved into town, staying in the car. They met an elderly couple who let them stay on their property in an old RV with no electricity.
They stayed there for a couple of months while they worked and saved enough money to get back to Poway, where they had arranged for a place to stay for six months. In the couple of months they’ve been back in Southern California they have been working with All American KTM in Ramona and Motoworld of El Cajon to get gear and a ride for Kahn to get back on track.
Kahn’s fight to get back in the saddle after the setback is far from over. She participates every weekend in the CMMC races at Barona Oaks Raceway as she tries to secure her Pro license. Last weekend she had a long, misty day with a poorly running bike and a couple of trips into the dirt separating her from her bike.
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