If you’ve spent any time either watching or participating in any kind of motorcycle racing, you know that it often runs in families. Think about the Haydens, or the Dunlops, or the Marquezes. For those reasons, it’s absolutely no surprise that five-time World Supersport Champion Kenan Sofuoğlu has been teaching his three-year-old son, Zayn, to ride bikes.
As those who’ve paid attention to racing also know, one common thread in the stories of most of the best racers in the world is that they all started early. The particular motorsport discipline isn’t the determining factor, but building early muscle memory and getting used to concepts like balance, operating the controls, and also getting comfortable with how a bike feels as you ride it are absolutely key.
Balance bikes and dirt bikes for kids as young as three aren’t at all uncommon—and there seem to be more options in those categories all the time. The Sofuoğlu family is way beyond that by this point, though. Over time, young Zayn has been progressively tackling all kinds of machines—with his family’s help, of course. Most recently, he tried his hand at a Honda Gold Wing 1800—yes, you read that right. The family posted video on Instagram, so be sure to watch it as many times as you need to, because seeing is believing.
As you can see, his proud dad is there the whole time, and someone always has a camera on Zayn as he’s riding the ‘Wing down the track. What’s more, Dad is there to meet him as he stops the bike in the paddock, so he can hold up the weight of the bike and let his kid safely hop down off the saddle.
This is clearly using Honda’s Dual Clutch Transmission as a teaching tool—and it makes even more sense if you’ve seen several other of the videos that the Sofuoğlu family has been posting on Instagram of Zayn’s time with bikes.
Sure, he’s ridden some dirt bikes, like a lot of kids do. However, he’s also ridden physically larger machines already—with his family’s help. There’s a video of him enjoying the redesigned Italjet Dragster, where he’s just standing up on the floorboards and appears to be having a great time. Not long after that, Zayn checked out a Yamaha TMAX maxi scooter, which packs a 560cc punch. How did he do? I think you probably already know.
Both the kid’s mom and dad run his IG account, and the family (including his siblings) have all been supporting Zayn’s budding interest in motorbikes. How far will he take it? I mean, he’s still incredibly young, so there’s no telling—but all we’re saying is, no one should be surprised when he shows up on a racing grid in the not-too-distant future.