Out of the Blue | Nikki Voorhees | Schrader’s
By Jeff McConkey
Name: Nikki Voorhees
Date of Birth: 04/23/1997
Hometown: Rochester, NY
School and Grade or Occupation: Village of Honeoye Falls DPW
Bike: 2018 KTM 250sxf
Race Club: Empire MX, AMA, MRC
Class: Women’s, 250 Amateur
Who got you get started in racing?
Growing up, my family and I always had ATV’s and we would go camping/riding in the Adirondacks. When I was 12, I wanted to try and ride a dirt bike to see if it was any fun. I got the hang of it pretty fast and my dad took me to a lesson at Area 51 a few months later. After the lesson, I told my mom I wanted to do just one race…well, I ended up winning my first race. That was in 2011, and ever since then we haven’t stopped.
As a little girl, were you a ‘girly’ girl or a ‘tomboy?’
As a little girl I was most definitely a tomboy! A normal outfit for me was a T-shirt and long shorts with my hair tied up. I had a sand box that I would play in 24/7. Then, as I got a little bit older I started playing soccer and basketball.
Is there one female out there that you think has paved the way for other girls to be successful in moto?
I don’t think there is one female in particular that has “paved” the way for girls to be successful in Motocross. Women’s racing is always overlooked more than it should be, but no matter your speed, what kind of gear or bike you have, how big your camper is, I respect every girl that I line up next to. As women, we don’t get the credit we deserve so I think together as a whole we’ve all shared our part in helping women’s Motocross.
As a racer, are there any obstacles that you feel a female racer has to deal with that maybe a male racer doesn’t?
Motocross is a male dominated sport so that itself is a big obstacle to overcome. In the 7 years that I’ve been racing, the hardest thing I’ve had to deal with is not getting the same recognition that the guys get. Women are generally overlooked by major media companies and it tends to get frustrating after a while. Unless you’re out winning championships, very rarely will anyone ever hear your name.
Who do you like racing against better, the girls or boys?
I, personally, like racing with girls better than the guys. Only because I’ve had some of the best battles with my best friends on the track. Racing with the guys is fun, more challenging, and makes you a better rider, but it’s always nice to race with the women. Ever since I got on big bikes I’ve never really done that well racing with the guys, so racing women’s always helps boost my confidence and have more fun.
Who is your favourite female rider and why?
I’d have to say my favorite female rider would have to be Jessica Patterson. She’s a very down to earth girl who’s done amazing things in racing. She’s a great role model for younger racers.
Is there a racer you look up to and why?
I’ve always looked up to Ryan Dungey because he never gave up. When the odds were stacked against him, he’d find a way to overcome challenges to better himself.
Do you have a “can’t miss” race, or event that you try to attend every season?
My “can’t miss” race has always been Walton TransCan. I was really bummed last year when I found out they weren’t going to be having the National, but recently saw that they have decided to bring it back for 2018 and I’m really hoping I can make it. It’s without a doubt my favorite event.
Who is your hero?
I think my hero(s) would have to be both my mom and dad. My mom has always pushed me to do better. Sometimes it’s been a tough love situation, but without her standing behind me throughout the years I wouldn’t have made it as far as I have. And my dad, he’s always trying to find ways to help me get faster, or fixing my bike, or just trying to keep me calm and collected. Both of them have had such a huge impact on my life and without them I wouldn’t be the person I am today.
What are your plans and goals for the 2018 season?
My plans for this season are to stay healthy and have fun. Last season I started out coming off from ACL/meniscus surgery. I basically had to start from scratch at the beginning of the season. Then in August I broke my T4 vertebrae in my back which put me out the rest of the season. For 2018 I just want to stay healthy and have fun. When I’m having fun I ride/race 1000 times better.
What are your biggest accomplishments to date?
My biggest accomplishments include qualifying for Loretta Lynn’s 4 years in a row, two 3rd place overall finishes at Walton TransCan in 2014, and 2016, a 3rd place at the MMRS National in Ladies Pro, a 2nd and 3rd overall at the Millcreek Spring National, Area 51 CanAm class champion in the women’s class, winning rider of the year for WnyRacing in 2011, 2013, and 2017, and the 2017 recipient of the Ron Nye Memorial Award.
What is the biggest lesson that racing motocross has taught you so far?
I think the biggest lesson Motocross has taught me is to be independent. The only person you can truly depend on in racing is yourself. Yeah, there’s tons of people that help put it all together, but if you’re not confident in yourself and what you’re doing you’re not going to do good.
Most female racers leave the sport much earlier then male racers, why do you think that is?
Honestly, I think it’s because girls are smarter than guys (Laughs). Most of it I think is because girls know we’re never going to make a living off racing and have to find another way to support ourselves. Whether it’s going to college and getting a degree or working a full-time job, I think girls are more determined to be successful in something other than racing and we want to secure a future for ourselves.
Do you think it is possible for us to ever see a female Supercross champion?
I totally think it’s possible to see a female Supercross champion. The girls coming up right now are flying. Look at Jordan Jarvis and Hannah Hodges for example. They both have all of the resources available to become a SX champion. It may not be for a few years but I don’t think it will be long before we start seeing girls racing Supercross.
If you ever have children, will they be motocross racers ?
When I have kids they will most definitely be Motocross racers. I’ll introduce it to them at a young age and if they have a love for it, it’s something they will always be able to do. If it’s not something they are interested in, then I won’t force it on them. But they will definitely have the opportunity to try it.
Who do you want to thank?
I’d like to thank my mom, dad, and sister, Beef and Peg, The Treharne Family, Hebelers Sales and Service, Fly Racing, Scott Goggles, FMF, Nihilo, MotoOption, Dunlop, HotShot Mx, Twisted Designs, Traction Mx, MindFx, Matrix Concepts, Works Connection, 7s Cycle, ODI Grips, and Silver Springs MotoPark.