Kenny Roberts (Senior) Begins a Column in Motorcyclist

The first column by the seminal motorcycle racer starts this month

"First off, I'd like to introduce myself. My name is Kenny Roberts. Senior." That kind of seems unnecessary doesn't it? After all, Kenny Roberts (Senior) is The Seminal American Motorcycle Racer.

He was a multiple Grand National Champion, back when a National Champ had to be able to do it all -- roadrace, mile flattrack, half-mile flattrack, shortrack, and TT. He was also one of the very few riders ever to score a Grand Slam by scoring victories in all five types of races.

Then in 1979, he decided to go to Europe and try his hand at GP roadracing. Lots of people thought he had potential, but few old European roadracing hands believed the cowboy from Modesto could make an impression in his first time out. American race fans, who had been watching Roberts do the seemingly impossible with motorcycles for years, weren't surprised at all when he won the 500cc World Championship on his first try, ushering in an era of American domination. Roberts was so good that the formerly top riders had to change their styles and learn his techniques just to see which way he went.

After retiring from riding competition, Roberts went on to not only manage his own team, but build his own bike. Recent arrivals to motorcyling may know him as the father of Kenny Roberts Jr, a world champion himself, or as the manager of The KR Proton Team.

For the first time, in the April issue of Motorcyclist magazine you can read, in his own words, how "King" Kenny discovered motorcycles and read what he has to say about his first race. "I passed everyone in the first turn..." This is the first installment of the "Roberts Chronicles," a series of columns written by the King himself. It's a must-read for any fan or student of motorcycle competition.

Kid Kenny Roberts at speed on a Hodaka.