Motorcyclist Magazine Staff Biographies

Brian Catterson

Brief motorcycling history:
Grew up on Long Island, New York, but didn't discover motorcycles until my dad was transferred to California in '73. Moved back to NY a year later, saved money from my paper route to buy a used '75 Honda CR125 Elsinore, started racing motocross and never stopped. Bought a new Kawasaki GPz305 after college in '83, took the California Superbike School, moved back to California in '84, took the CSS Advanced class, started roadracing, landed a job at Cycle News in '88 and have been on permanent vacation ever since. I've raced everything from vintage motocross to AMA supermoto and roadrace nationals, on everything from an AJS 7R to a Yamaha GTS1000, and have won dozens of races and a few championships, most admittedly on overdog bikes against underdog competition.

Best experience in motojournalism:
That's an easy one...or maybe it's not! I think the feather in every motojournalist's cap is getting to ride the MotoGP World Champion's bike, and I've ridden both Mick Doohan's 1994 Honda NSR500 and Valentino Rossi's 2004 Yamaha YZR-M1.

Worst experience in motojournalism:
Becoming the first casualty at the newly re-opened Saddleback Park in 2001. It was media day, so all my peers were there, and I endoed in a rhythm section right in front of the pits and broke my right arm in 23 places. It took a year and four surgeries to get over that one.

Tim Carrithers
Executive Editor

I've been dealing with an intractable two-wheel dependency issues since my brother and I talked our dad into blowing $353 on a Yamaha Mini-Enduro in 1970. He's considerably bigger and more even-tempered six years younger, but I'm still faster.

After talking the authorities at CSU Chico out of a degree in Information & Communication Studies, I headed south on the 101 and went to work for Phil Schilling at Cycle Magazine. These people want me to list my best motorcycling experience, which I'd like to think hasn't happened yet. But, confined to events for which the statute of limitations has run out and it's racing Lyle Lovett up the road to Mike's Sky Ranch after a hundred something miles of Baja, followed by the obligatory Corona dust-removal drill.

On the flip side - literally - the worst was wading a 2003 Ducati 999S at California Speedway and waking up in the emergency room next to some misguided soul with a steak knife in his neck. "Domestic disturbance", the nurse said. And you thought motorcycles were dangerous.

Aaron Frank

Brief motorcycling history:
Unlike the other cool guys on staff, I didn't have my own MX bike when I was a kid. I discovered riding on the back of my father's Honda CB750 that he bought in 1970 and is still riding today. One of my best childhood memories is of being nine years old and riding two-up to Road America for the 1983 AMA Superbike National-and repacking the bike at 2 a.m. and riding back home after 12 hours of rain soaked us (and our camping gear) into submission! I got my first bike as soon as could legally ride (a 1972 Honda CL350 Scrambler) and worked my way up the displacement ladder from a cool-ass, cafe racer CB500 to a Hawk GT, CBR600F3, R1, and an endless succession of too-fast sportbikes culminating with the 215-hp Kawasaki ZX14 currently in my garage. Offsetting all that technology is my quirky 1972 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport "cruiser" that I do most of my street riding on nowadays (in the interest of maintaining my driving privileges). Somewhere between here and there I earned an expert roadracing license doing all sorts of CCS club racing and WERA National Endurance (mostly on lightweight twins), dabbled in Supermoto, and am looking forward in the coming year to learning how to drag race and also mastering the black art of riding in the dirt.

Best experience in motojournalism:
Having the opportunity to meet (and often ride with) so many of my racing heroes. Having dinner with Giacomo Agostini in Italy. Lapping Michelin's Clermont-Ferrand test track in France and trying to keep Freddie Spencer in sight. The most memorable, though, has to be the press intro for the 2004 GSX-R750 at Suzuki's Ryuyo Proving Grounds in Japan. It was only the second time journalists had been invited to Ryuyo (the first time was for the release of the original GSX-R750 in 1985) and hurtling down Ryuyo's 1.75-mile-long back straight at 175 mph tucked into Kevin Schwantz's slipstream was definitely a career highlight.

Worst experience in motojournalism:
Anytime I've crashed and broken bones. I fell off an RM250 at Bryon Motorsports Park a month after my first daughter, Kiva, was born in 2000, and quickly found that there are two things you can't do with a busted collar bone: change diapers or wrangle a newborn into a car seat. Then, in 2004, I parted ways with my GSX-R in T5 at Blackhawk Farms and snapped my clavicle again-just two weeks after my second daughter, Ruby, was born! That was when I found out exactly how much my wife Emily loved and supported me and my motorcycling hobby.

Ari Henning
Associate Editor

Brief motorcycling history:
From infancy through adolescence I traveled with my father Todd as he pursued vintage roadracing championships around the country, in Canada and even Europe. As soon as I could walk I started riding a Honda Z50, but became frustrated with the centrifugal clutch-it wouldn't let me replicate the exhilarating sound of wide-open upshifts I heard my dad do on track-so I moved up to a Yamaha YZ80. After numerous noise complaints from the neighbors, I got a much quieter Suzuki DR100. When my dad got hurt at Seats Point in 1999 my interests changed, and I didn't get back into bikes until 2005 at age 19. I decided to fix up the '83 Honda VT500 Ascot that was buried in my parents' basement, and got hooked on street riding. Soon after I bought a Suzuki Bandit 600, and with winter approaching made the decision to bail on school and hit the road, spending the next six months and all my savings cruising the back roads of America. That was a way better education than I would have gotten in college! I ended my tour in California, quickly put down roots and wrote about the experience for Motorcyclist. I tried my hand at roadracing until I went broke, and then was miraculously hired by the magazine!

Best experience in motojournalism:
In the brief time I've been a journo, I've had enough once-in-a-lifetime experiences to satisfy me for the rest of my riding days. The press launches are unreal, with the opportunity to ride brand-new sportbikes on world-class racetracks in exotic locations. I've gotten to bowl with Gary Nixon, chase Jay Springsteen around a mini-oval and take a Ducati 1098S for a ride through the mountains. But the best part of the job is a recurring one: the part of a photo shoot when the photographer yells, "Now do a wheelie!"

Worst experience in motojournalism:
Crashing the magazine's Suzuki GSX-R750-before I was even hired!

Brian, age 14 on his first motorcycle, a 1975 Honda CR125 M1
Rare photo of Carrithers' Xdusor-equipped AT2-M at secret Uvas Creek test facility, taken shortly after the earth cooled.
Aaron always has a smile for the public
Frank on the back of dad's '69 CB750--pearl white with candy stripes and bubbles!
Ari at age 10 airing out his mighty Suzuki DR100.