Dropping In On: Shawn Davidson

We catch up with two-time National Enduro Women’s Champion Shawn Davidson inside this Dropping In On interview.

Shawn Davison, National Enduro Series 2016
Shawn Davidson will be going for a third national title in the Kenda AMA National Enduro Series in 2016.Photo By Shan Moore

There’s more emphasis on women’s racing than ever before and the Kenda AMA National Enduro Series is doing its part by initiating a Women’s podium at each of its races to give the ladies a better chance to get exposure for their sponsors.

Shawn Davidson has won the championship in the Women’s division in the National Enduro series the last two years, so we sat down with the New Jersey rider to get her thoughts on the class and the series.

Q: Tell us how the enduro series is going for you so far?

A: So far it’s going really good; the first round went well. Kacy Martinez is racing the series now, so I’m really excited about that because I’m going up against a Factory KTM rider. I was riding good in South Carolina and I actually ended up winning so I hope to keep that going this whole season.

I’m glad KTM has a women racing the National Enduro series; it brings more publicity to the class. I wish more top GNCC women racers would do the National Enduro series. I've won the Women’s class the last two years and I believe now with Kacy racing, it will bring more attention to us girls and I am excited about that.

Q: Did you grow up racing local Enduros in New Jersey?

A: Yeah, actually where I live in South Jersey, I live a mile from the Laffertys and pretty much all I’ve ever ridden was single track, banging bars. I think I’ve been to a motocross track once in my life, but that’s something I’m trying to improve on so I can get faster in that GNCC style stuff.

Q: Do you ride with the Lafferty family?

A: Yeah, I actually started when I was 15. I started riding with Rich Lafferty when I was probably 16, when I first got on a big bike. He’s taught me my whole life.

Q: What is it you like about the National Enduro Series?

A: I just like feeling that flow. The GNCC’s and that faster type stuff, I’m not used to the four-wheeler ruts. I just like following a single track and weaving in and out of the trees. It’s just my style of riding.

Q: Is there a lot of sand where you ride in New Jersey?

A: Yeah, it is. It’s just like South Carolina. That’s why I was excited South Carolina was the first race. It’s just like my backyard pretty much.

Q: Are you adapting more to the rocky terrain when you go to those races, like Pennsylvania and places like that?

A: Yeah. I really enjoy the Rattlesnake National in Pennsylvania. It’s rocky, and I think being taller and having longer legs helps me in that. I’ve raced ECA hare scrambles, which are pretty technical and rocky, so I’ve always done well in the rocks. As I travel and experience more places I’m starting to enjoy that type of terrain better.

Q: Tell us about the women's class. Is there a lot of camaraderie?

A: Yeah, in 2013 and I really battled with Mandy Mastin that year. When I started I was like, man, I’m never going to beat Mandy, this girl’s fast. I ended up doing the whole series and beating her out in some of the races by being more consistent than her. Then in 2015 Rachel Gutish raced and Mandy was back again too, and now I’m really looking forward to this year with Kacy.

Q: How would you characterize your style?

A: I try to be really smooth. I don’t get in the power band; I always just grab a gear. Kind of like Nick Fahringer, he lugs the bike in a higher gear. That’s what I’ve been trying to work on recently. I just made the transition to the four-stroke because with the two-stroke I felt like I was almost scared of the power when it kicked in. Now on the four-stroke I’m trying to learn to be more aggressive coming out of the corners, because it don’t have that abrupt power, so I can be more aggressive and not be scared it’s going to throw me into a tree or something. So that’s really something I’m trying to work on, being more aggressive coming out of the corners and not just staying in one gear and just lugging it.

Q: Tell us who your sponsors are?

A: Bell helmets, Factory Connection, Motorex, Moose Racing, Mika Metals, DT1Airfilter, Bike Graphix, DP Brakes, Kenda tires, Dirt Tricks, Bulletproof Designs, Enduro Engineering, G2 Ergonomics, FMF Racing, Automedics Motocross, Cheapassracing, TM Design Works, Kyle Wolfe Media, EKS Brand Goggles, Evans Coolant, and Nutraclipse.