On the Radar: Brandon Caplar
By Jeff McConkey
Name: Brandon Caplar
Hometown: Ajax, Ontario
School & Grade: Fourth year student at Wilfrid Laurier University
Occupation: Off road Specialist at GP Bikes
Bike: 2015 KTM 250 SX-F
Race Club: MMRS
Classes: Open C, 250 C, Youth C
How did you get started in racing?
It was actually right around when I planned on going to Team Ontario Rugby tryouts, my dad and I shared a CRF 250X at the time just to trail ride. He had this brilliant idea to go check out OCMC, the club he raced at back in the 80’s. Sure enough, not long after that night I pulled together about $3500 and bought my own bike, a 2005 CRF 250R, and started racing OCMC in 2012.
What is your favourite track and why?
I really haven’t had the chance to ride too many tracks, but my favourite so far is definitely Muttco later in the day when it’s whooped out. You really notice a difference in riding technique when the sand gets rough and it’s that much more rewarding when you can put a solid lap together.
Who is your favourite rider and why?
Ryan Dungey has always been my favourite since I started riding. Probably due to the fact I admire how he has managed to defy the conventional path of racers sustaining injuries every few years but he can still be a title contender every season.
What Canadian Pro do you look up to and why?
I definitely look up to a guy like Cole Thompson. Watching him ride he makes it look so effortless that you almost forget how good he is. But every so often he reminds everyone he can still throw it sideways and have some fun on the bike.
What were your goals for this season, and did you reach them?
Well, this season is almost coming to an end, however, I still plan on earning the high point award at MMRS, as well as collecting some hardware in the Oakley Six Foot Trophy Series. When that wraps up I’m already registered for the upcoming AX Tour East rounds in London and Sarnia. Anyone who hasn’t heard about it yet should definitely check out www.arenacrosstour.ca. Hopefully, I manage to balance all of this with school for the next 6 weeks.
What are your biggest accomplishments?
I’d say being able to pick up the sport at such a late age compared to the average young racer. Keeping up with guys who have been on the bike since 50’s is pretty satisfying. I still have a lot to learn though, which is fine. It’s more fun being the underdog anyways.
What is your favourite part about going to the races?
The people, for sure. That’s why I love working at GP as well. Racers and their families are a different kind of people. It doesn’t matter whether you show up in your $100,000 motorhome or with a homemade trailer behind a sedan, unlike some communities everyone is accepted, and everyone looks out for each other. Maybe it’s because we all just love dirt bikes. Regardless, it’s a pretty amazing community to be a part of.
What do you like to do when you aren’t racing?
Well, what I like to do and what I have time to do are two different things usually. I’m heading back to school this week so I’ll be focusing on that whenever I’m not racing. But after this year of school, I plan on spending my time away from the track growing the motocross department at GP and getting back to my roots in snowmobiling throughout the winter again.
You’re not only a racer, you are also involved in the industry. Can you tell us about it?
I’m fortunate enough to get to work around the sport every single day when I’m home from school which is pretty awesome. I’ve been at GP Bikes for just over a year now and it’s been nothing but fun. I’ve done everything from fencing to line cook and if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s find a job that’s based around something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life. If anyone ever needs anything, aftermarket for their bike, OEM KTM, or any gear, they should definitely by the shop in Whitby, Ontario. I’d be happy to give them a hand.
Is your goal to get a good job in the industry one day?
Definitely, without a doubt. I don’t know where exactly but it will have something to do with dirt bikes. I’m just finishing up my final year at Laurier and then I’ll definitely stay at GP for few years because it’s just too much fun and then from there who knows. I’m open to relocating to a different province or even to the States in the future so I’m keeping my options open for sure.
Who would you like to thank?
I wouldn’t be able to be involved like I am in the sport without Tom and Jerry and everybody at GP Bikes. They’ve been really great this year especially in getting me to the races. The Goheen family has helped me improve my riding immensely and I’m very thankful for that. Just Giver Productions for the sickest helmets in the game. Tosh and Stef from Oakley, Anthony at Split Designs, Dustin Dever at Dustin’s MX Garage, Mike from Fox, and most importantly my entire family for always helping me in any way possible and keeping me humble.