Lahaina resident’s life passion is motorcycle racing
LAHAINA – Lahaina resident Wade Jacobson is a man who loves speed – as in traveling a quarter-mile in 10.50 seconds at 135 miles per hour – on a motorcycle.
Jacobson has been riding motor-bikes since he was 11, and despite a horrific, head-on collision 13 years ago that left him flat on his back for six months and required two years of treatment before he said he felt “normal” again, he continues his life passion as an easy rider.
Now 54 years old, Jacobson grew up in the Southern California communities of Bellflower and Redondo Beach, riding first a Honda XR50, then moving up the speed and CC levels of motorcycles as he traversed the dirt tracks and off-road motorcycle trails in the area.
This included street racing quarter-mile tracks on secluded roadways that Jacobson and his cohorts called “unofficial” races.
“We’d just cruise around until we found an out-of-the-way, quarter-mile straight-away, and then we’d match-up and race until the cops came,” he said. “Then we’d scatter!”
Along the way, he financed his passion for riding motorcycles by attending Toyota’s factory automobile school, worked on cars to learn all he could about motorized vehicles and then started a mobile car repair service when he came to Lahaina in 1977.
That soon turned into working on motorbikes here on the Valley Isle.
“I spent about ten years learning about motorcycle repair and maintenance at Maui Motorcycles and earned my professional license in 2002,” Jacobson explained last week from the shop he now owns and operates, Lahaina Sportbikes in the Lahaina Industrial Area at 283 Wili Ko Place, Unit 13.
At his shop, Jacobson specializes in Kawasaki motorcycles and mopeds. He has one of the only electronic wheel balancers on the West Side.
Then, on weekends and at designated monthly events at Maui Raceway Park at Puunene, he takes to the serious racing that he has made his career interest since 1981.
“I’ve been riding a 900 Kawasaki Ninja and a 1400 ZX-14 in the Valley Isle Timing Association’s Motorcycle Bracket races since 2001,” he said.
Jacobson had some very good years at the VITA events, including a second overall finish in 2002 and a first place effort in 2006.
He topped it all by winning the George “Flintstone” Andrade National Dragster Challenge Championships Summit Pro Bike Bracket Wally Award in 2007.
“I rode my green 900 Ninja to win that one, and I retired that bike after that,” he said.
He’s fallen on some hard luck since that big win, but Jacobson still retains that passion for speed on two wheels, regardless of the six crashes he’s been through along the way.
“I do most of my traveling on bikes, and I still go on rides with my buddies on Sundays and still go to the monthly races at Puunene. I just love motorcycles,” he concluded.
Give Jacobson a call at 281-6654 to join him to enjoy the ride.