|With Indianapolis hosting Round #12 of the 2007 Supercross
Series, it seems only fitting to look back into the past of one of Indiana's premier
business owner's motocross beginnings, Robert Davis of Graphics Lab UV Printing and
|Davis was born in Kokomo, Indiana where he was
raised and still resides today. His Father, Wayne, bought him a dirt bike when he was
about ten years old. He used to ride around an old collapsed barn behind his house. His
first bike was a GT 80 Yamaha with a metal gas tank and metal fenders with a mud flap on
the front fender. He first started racing at a track called Knobby Hills, located in
Hortonville, Indiana in June of 1978. The track had hills and a creek crossing. He
competed in the Sr. Mini class on a 1977 Yamaha YZ 80. In his first race, he finished 13th
out of 30 riders. He rode with work boots with duct tape around the top of the boots ,
blue jeans and a white open face helmet with a red visor. But he remembers having a cool
Yamaha race jersey though.
Some of his achievements during his racing career included
the Indiana State Points Champion in the 100 A class 1981-82 and the 125 A Class in 1982.
One of his biggest disappointments early in his career was not qualifying for the Amateur
Nationals and also having health issues when he was younger and not knowing it. Davis has
been a Cancer Survivor for ten years. "I cannot think of anything more
important." commented Davis. In his competing years, he like to compete at a track
that was at Lakeville, Indiana. "I also really liked Winchester, Indiana as a young
rider, but I did not do well there. The soil was incredible when they watered it like
crazy."Davis added, "The track was fast with whooped out sand. The Red Bud
grass race track is my favorite now".
Some of Robert's past sponsors were Super Seer Goggles, Moto-X Fox, Oury Grip, Barnett
Clutches, Max Pitts Yamaha, Plasticwerks, Yamaha Support Rider, and Mom and Dad. As he
looks back in time, some of his favorite competitors were Mike Leffler, Greg Chapman, Joe
Pennington, Roger Willett and the late Doug Jackson. As most motocross riders, Davis had
his sure of injuries. His worse was when he shoved his femur through his pelvic at Wabash
Cannonball in Indiana on Father's Day 2000. He had five plates, thirteen screws and a
fifteen inch scar from that incident. But the most interesting event that happened to was
in 1979 when he competing in Lakeville, Indiana. Davis was running 4th in the Sr. Mini
class and hit a dairy cow after a blind jump. "I was bummed because we protested but
it wasn't taken seriously. I still won the track championship that year. Cowboy hats were
in back then.
|Robert Davis 1978
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||Davis graduated from high school mid-term in
1983 and went to Florida to race the winter series. He was tutored in screen printing
basics. His father, Wayne, mother, Carolyn and brother, Matt traveled to the motocross
races together for many years as both boys competed in the sport. Robert married in 1990
to Denese and they were blessed with twin girls in 1997, Aly and Lexi. Lexi likes to ride,
but according to Robert, "Aly could care less."
Robert is the owner and
operator of Graphics Lab UV Printing and Throttle Jockey Graphics Lab was started in 1986
and manufactures stickers for markets that include racing, music, extreme sports, National
Parks and ski resorts. Throttle Jockey was started in 1992 and manufactures graphic kits,
seat covers, numbers and pre-printed backgrounds. TJ has been the sponsor of Factory Honda
for ten years.
Robert currently has a Honda CRF 450R, CRF 250X and a TTR 125 and he competes in the
30+35/+40 classes or whichever class the track offers. He feels the benefits of the
exercise and the competition keeps him motivated to keep on racing. Also, having success
at an older age is very appealing. The many friends at the track and in the industry are
racing motivation factors for Davis.
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|The thing that Davis likes most of all about racing is the
overall challenge and the demand of the sport. To him, nothing is more exciting. He has
seem many changes through the years in the sport some of been negative such as the
addition of classes and the reduction of track time. He feels that the tracks have become
much more challenging, but never rough enough.
He hopes to train harder and improve each
year. "My goal now is to be riding off-road when I am grey and old." He
continued by saying, "I also like Mountain Biking, working and hanging with my
family. Winter is for playing Halo 2. You are never too old!"
Robert concluded by saying "All through my life, my Mother and Father have
provided me structure. As far as racers go, I have a great deal of respect for Jeff
Stanton. He is one of the coolest people in the industry. Never pass up the opportunity to
meet him. I also have a huge respect for Mike Gosselaar, Ricky Carmichael's mechanic. He
called me when I was going through cancer. He has been a friend ever since. My brother
Matt is my closest friend and competitor now."