Out of the Blue: Nikki Voorhees
By Jeff McConkey
Photos by Billy Rainford
Name: Nikki Voorhees
Birthday: April 23, 1997
Hometown: Rochester, New York
School & Grade or Occupation: HF-L High School: 12th Grade
Bike: 2015 KTM 250SXf
Race Club: WNY Racing, CMRC, AMA
Classes: WMX, Ladies Pro, 250 Amateur, Women’s 14+, College Boy
How did you get started in racing?
Growing up, my family always had four-wheelers and one day when I was 12 I decided I wanted to try riding a dirt bike. So, we found a 1981 Honda XR 80 and I rode that for a bit. Then I begged to ride at a track so we sold my bike and got a KX100. I rode at practice a few times and fell in love with the sport and then asked my mom if I could race once. I remember telling her all I wanted was one big trophy then I wouldn’t race anymore. I ended up taking 1st in my first motocross race, became hooked, and now have a room full of trophies and other awards. Fast forward 4 years and I’ve competed at Loretta Lynn’s twice, raced the Ladies Pro Series with CMRC, placed 3rd at the Walton TransCan, won rider of the year twice, and have had over 70 overall wins. Motocross will always be a part of me even though I started at such a late age.
As a little girl, did you ever expect to be this deep into a sport like motocross?
Never!!! I didn’t start riding until age 12 and before that I was a soccer and basketball star! Two years into racing I decide it was something I really wanted to pursue, so I quit all of my other sports I was playing at the time. I do miss playing basketball, but I don’t regret the decisions I’ve made.
Do you think motocross is harder for a female to compete in?
Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. In the states, there isn’t much going on for women’s motocross so it’s nice being able to race up in Canada with faster girls who get what I think is more respect. They are treated just like the guys! I think being a female in a male-dominated sport makes us stand out more which is always nice!
Who is your favourite rider and why?
My favourite racer has to be Hannah Hodges mainly because she is a great role model. She’s very respectable and focused on her racing, but still finds time to hang out with friends and family. Even though she is younger than me, she is a great role model for all riders, young and old, male or female.
Is there one lady racer out there that you think has paved the way for other girls to be successful in the sport?
I think Jessica Patterson would be my best nomination. I think she really gave women’s motocross the bump start it needed to head in the right direction. She is also great with fans. I remember her messaging me over Facebook this year after I was upset with my results at Loretta Lynn’s and it really helped me get over everything.
What Canadian Pro do you look up to and why?
Probably Tyler or Jeremy Medaglia. I don’t know too much about the pros up in Canada but every race I’ve been to, I’ve always enjoyed watching them race. They always give it 100% even when times were tough.
What is your favourite track and why?
My favourite track is most definitely Walton!! I love the natural terrain and the guys there definitely know how to prep a track the right way!! We’ve been there the past two years and I plan on going many many more!
Who is your hero?
I think my hero(s) would definitely be my parents Tom and Tammy! They’ve stood behind me 100% from the beginning, and without them I wouldn’t be doing nearly as well as I am today. I also look up to my boyfriend Jesse Kirchmeyer and his parents Jeffery and Nicole. They take me under their wing when my parents can’t make it to the long distance races!
What are your goals for next season?
My goals for the 2015 season are to try and qualify for Loretta Lynn’s again in the women’s class, place top 5 in the Ladies Pro East Series up in Canada, top 3 again at Walton, start racing the amateur (B) class here in the states, do some of the WMX rounds in the US, and to have fun and stay healthy.
What are your biggest accomplishments?
My biggest accomplishments are definitely qualifying for Loretta Lynn’s, but my favourite accomplishment was my podium finish at the Walton TransCan. The previous year I finished 11th overall with 10-10-11 moto scores and this year I finished 3rd overall with 4-9-2 moto scores. That was by far the highlight of my racing career.
What is your favourite part about going to the races?
I think my favourite part of going to the races is being able to hang out with people who share the same passion as I do. Everyone is like one big family, and my closest friends are from racing.
What do you like to do when you aren’t racing?
I love to be outdoors! Camping, hiking, or even doing work outside is fun! Being stuck inside isn’t my forte. I also love to play basketball or go to Darien Lake with my boyfriend Jesse, and friends Olivia and Colton.
Is it important to have a motocross racer as a boyfriend/husband, or just a bonus?
I think it is both important and a bonus. I think it’s important since we are able to share the same interests, which makes it easier to make decisions about what to do day in and day out. It is also a bonus because we understand each other and the struggles/success motocross brings to our lives. Each of us is the other’s biggest motivator on and off the track and I honestly don’t think I would be where I am today without him.
If you ever have children, will they be motocross racers?
If I ever have kids they will most definitely have the opportunity to be a racer at a very young age, but if it isn’t something they want to do, I’m not going to force it upon them. It scares me to think of the dangers motocross brings, but I’ve enjoyed it so much I would love to pass on my passion for this sport to my kid one day!
Who do you want to thank?
I would like to thank: MB60 Action Sports, One Industries, Novik Gloves, MotoOption, 7sCycle Supply, NGK Spark Plugs, DP Brakes, Monster Energy, Amsoil, FMF, Factory Connection, Works Connection, Dunlop, Scott Goggles, Jammer Motosports, The Kirchmeyer Family, and my Mom Dad and Sister.