One of the best Freestyle Moto-X (FMX) Athletes of India, Rey Dhillon a.k.a “ReyRyder” (June, 1978). Raised in Los Angeles, California, he started riding Moto-X at age 10, and was racing a Honda CR80cc by the age of 11. He was also a professional skateboarder from age 16 to 21. He has ridden with pros like Cary Hart, Brian Deegan, Seth Enslow and Jeremy McGrath in his formative FMX years. He has won over 20 Super-cross races in India and has been a part of Team Yamaha India and TVS Motor Co. racing teams. He is the No. 1 ranked FMX rider in India and top 10 ranked Super cross rider in India. Rey has pioneered the American style of motocross riding in India and has been teaching junior riders for a long time.
Rey Speaks with Active8 Sports on his passions and thrills on skateboarding, Moto-X & FMX!
Preferred Style: Silky Smooth/ Effortless
Signature FMX Trick: CORDOVA
Sponsors: JT Racing, 100% Goggles, Race Tech Suspension, Twin Air Filters, Monster Energy, Works Connection, FMF Racing , Boyesen Racing & Dubya U.S.A.
At age 10 you were riding your first Moto-X, and started racing at age 11 already, what was that experience like?
Yea started riding at age 10 , My dad bought me a Honda MR50 mini Moto-X bike, it was 3 speed with clutch and was tough to learn how to ride. Used to ride every day before & after school. Loved that bike.. After 1 year of riding we got a full race Honda CR80R and did my first race. I felt that I was riding pretty good at the neighborhood track, but when I went for my 1st race on a proper MX track with all the best rider's from surrounding area..It was very intimidating and I rode horribly, finished dead last!
It was just the beginning and you were already an Am skateboarder with Dogtown Skateboards.
I got into skateboarding from friends at school around age 13 and progressed really fast, I really took to it easy and kinda left Moto-X racing. I liked the whole image of skaters back then ..We were Punks ..Loved punk bands- Sex Pistols, Minor Threat, Suicidal Tendencies.etc..Then we started going for Skate contest's and I did really well even won sometimes in the unsponsored division..Then Jim Muir owner of Dogtown called me and asked if I wanted to be the Team..It was the happiest day of my life at the time.
Did you roll with the Dog Town Boyz?
Yea.Ben Schroder the Dogtown Pro skated with me and recommended me to Jim Muir and eventually I was hanging out with all the Boys. Micke Alba, Aaron Murray, Scott Oster and Eric Dresen..Those were Pro team rider's at the time.
You moved on to other sponsors there after?
I skated for Dogtown and then Rob Roskopp from Santa Cruz skates contacted me and the they were Re-Launching Sims Skateboards and wanted me to be apart of it..I said yes but, I wanted to go Pro as soon as possible...I also left Gull Wing trucks to ride for Thunder.
At the age of 24 you entered Moto X- what made you take that jump?
Well actually at age 14 1/2 I had a high speed crash racing at a big series race. My Mom was in India at the time, The fall had broken my wrist, so when my Mom returned she said" That's It your done with racing"!! So I Started skateboarding age 15 to 23..Then I had my own money at age 24, so I decided to get back into Motocross and I bought a Honda CR125R..
You’ve ridden alongside pros like Cary Hart, Brian Deegan and more. What's been one of the best experiences with them?
Well the first time I ever did a real professional FMX Show was at the Orange County Fairgrounds. They had a FMX halftime show in the Costa Mesa Speedway..My friend Seth Enslow told the promoter to put me in the show. I was riding with Seth, Cary Hart , Mike Metzger, Colin Morrison and I was so nervous, but I remember that Cary Hart was very supportive and told me "your gonna do fine" and that really helped calm me down and I rode good..Cary is a really great guy..
Who’s been your inspiration for these sports?
In Skateboarding I looked up to Ben Schroder and Christian Hosoi, In Moto-X I liked James Stewart, Jeremy McGrath and in FMX my favorite was Travis Pastrana and Nate Adams..Currently I am a really big fan of Ken Roczen.
You then moved on to FMX, tell us about that.
I shifted to FMX because I was really good at jumping and I liked doing tricks and that reminded my of my Skating days.
What's the worst that's happened while riding?
My worst injury was when FMX Jumps went from Dirt Take off ramps to Metal Ramps. The first time I jumped the ramp I went a gear too high and had too much speed and crashed real bad.. I was in the hospital for 1 week , had a surgery to repair my collapsed lung and had some broken ribs severe body trauma....
You job must be one of the coolest out there!
The Coolest thing about my job is just Thrilling the crowd. I love entertaining the audience, making them remember me when they go home, after having a great time. Also the travel is pretty cool, going to all these different cities to do shows and meet new people!
What’s been your happiest achievement in all the gnarly years?
The happiest was when I finally learned Superman Seat Grabs. I saw Cary Hart do them and knew that I wanted to do just like him....
You’ve also pioneered the American style moto-x riding in India, what’s your vision for that?
Well I really didn't mean to pioneer the style, I just rode the way I learned in the U.S. and all the Indian rider's saw me and tried to emulate the style..
What’s it like prepping young kids in this sport?
I helped a promoter/friend Ashley Gomes of GSA, His 2 sons are getting into SX racing and I went to Goa for a week to train them and felt I did well teaching them because of all my experience..I felt like like a coach after the training, but I liked doing it...
What are the websites or brands that you follow?
Websites I follow are racerxonline.com, vitalmx.com and transworld.motocross.com. Brands I follow are my Sponsor's & supporters!
Besides skateboards & bikes, what else are your hobbies?
Hobbies I like are going to the gym to work on fitness, I like buying cars and fixing them up with all the modern accessories and I enjoy watching Hollywood Movies too...
Rey Dhillon Rides as a Stunt Double for this Mountain Dew Ad
Tell us about your bike set-up
I have a Honda CR250R 2-Stroke bike which is totally set-up for Freestyle Moto-X, It has a very stiff suspension for handling big jumps by Race Tech, the seat is cut way down for leg clearance for performing tricks and High Bend handle bars as well...The Honda CRF450R is a full factory Super-cross bike, that is well suited for racing in India.
A word of advice for anyone interested in becoming a freestyle motocross rider
If you wanna become a FMX rider, I suggest that you ride Motocross for a couple of years and concentrate on getting comfortable with jumping!! Once you can do big jumps over 60 feet, then go for it dude...
Rey Dhillon Quote:
Don't Kid Guy I'm the Crowd-pleaser"
-Rey Dhillon aka Rey Ryder
Image Credits: Ketan Dadar, Vineet Sharma & Friends!