Photos By: Thad Josey
Provided by: Maxxis
Michelle Reiser- Yamaha Factory Backed ATV MX Racer
Michelle Reiser will begin her 5th year of racing
in 2006, and over the past couple of years she has
developed into a very competitive rider on the track
and not just another pretty face for trackside posters
and calendars. The past two seasons she has finished
respectively in 3rd place in the Women's A Class
behind two of the fastest women in ATV motocross,
Heather Byrd and Angela Butler(Moore). This pair
has dominated the Women's Class for almost a decade,
but Michelle has gradually been closing the gap,
so will 2006 be her break out year?
made you decide to start racing?
Ten Quick Facts
||ATV MX Racer
||19 Years Old
||Red Bud, MI
|Twist or Thumb:
Michelle Reiser:My brother, Freddie Reiser, was racing
in the GNC MX Nationals a year prior to me being around
four wheelers, and I went to Echeconnee Off-Road Park
in Georgia for the opening round of the 2002 season
with my family to watch Freddie race, and they ended
up signing me up to race, and I was like, well I will
try it. Before then, everyone said that I was too prissy
to race, so I was determined to prove them wrong even
though at first I didn’t like it, but I decided
to stick it out just to prove people wrong, and then
I ended up loving it, so I sold one of my show horses,
and used the money to purchase two quads and a race
trailer for my brother and I to travel to the races
did you finish out your first year of racing?
I finished out the 2002 season with eighth place in
the 91-250cc women’s class, and the following
year the women’s class was split into two classes,
and I moved into the women’s A Class.
have now been racing for four years, so what are plan
I will be racing the YFZ450 as a Yamaha Factory
Backed Rider in the new Women's 4 Stroke Production
are now officially a Yamaha Factory Backed Women's
Yes, I am the first Female Factory Backed Yamaha Rider
long ago did this come about?
I actually signed the contract just about a months
did your Yamaha Factory Ride develop?
Actually, I was receiving some support in 2005, and
for 2006 Yamaha decided to help me out even more.
Reiser was busy at the 2004 season finale at
Loretta Lynn's between racing in the Women's
A Class and being the Blingstar Model in- between
Motos that weekend
John Natalie Jr being a Honda Factory Backed Rider,
and now you are Yamaha Factory Backed Rider, will
this create any issues with you traveling to the races
and pitting together?
No, we will still pit out of the same trailer, but
I will be on one side and John will be on the other
side. I have my whole Yamaha popup tent with a backdrop
and streamers, and everything else I need to promote
Yamaha and my team. I also will have my own mechanic
shirts and t-shirts that I will be wearing at the
races, so basically we will have our own separate
tents at the races, so there shouldn’t be any
Any other new sponsors for 2006?
Yeah, I actually switched several sponsors for next
year. I am now riding for Roll/IMS and Elka. I also
am with RPM this year instead of Lonestar, and everything
one else will be the same.
are your main sponsors for 2006?
Michelle Reiser makes the switch
to Roll/IMS and Elka for 2006.
Factory Yamaha, Roll/IMS, Elka, Shift, Maxxis, Douglas
Wheels, RPM, Scott USA, Pro Designs, and Streamline
do you like your new 2006 YFZ450?
I received my 2006 YFZ450 about a month ago, but I
have only started riding it here recently because
I have been recovering for surgery and we had to get
it put together, so I have just started riding it.
did you need to have surgery?
I had to get surgery on my right pectoral muscle because
I crashed in Florida and tore my muscle three quarters
of the way through, so I had my surgery on September
14th, so I have been off my quad for 4 months and
a week after the surgery, and I just started riding
getting started riding again in Pennsylvania in the
middle of winter can be tough with the snow and cold
temperatures, so what are your practice plans?
I am doing all my training in the south, I went down
to Florida before Christmas, and John and I are back
in Florida practicing again, and we will stay here
till the middle of the month, then we are heading
to Texas, so John can have his engine built before
heading to California.
are your race plans for 2006?
I am going to race all the ATVA Motocross Nationals,
and probably the ATV Sport Tour once a schedule is
finally released. Also, I am going to build an YFZ450
specifically for the GNCC races because I want to
give cross country racing a try.
you are going to try GNCC racing?
Michelle was able to get a taste for XC Racing
at the 2004 Maxxis ATV Winter Olympics where
she took the championship by winning all three
event disciplines (MX, XC, TT)
Yeah, I have been told by a few people that I wouldn’t
be able to do it, which has motivated me to show them
that I can do it just like the whole motocross thing
that kicked off my ATV racing career.
you have any idea when your first GNCC race will be?
It will really depend on how fast that I can get a
quad built for racing in the GNCC series and how the
schedule works, but I wanted to try and race the Florida
GNCC, but I don’t think the schedule will allow
do think your chances are at winning the Women’s
Production Class Championship in 2006?
Now that everything is pretty much even in the class,
and I am not saying it wasn’t even before, but
bigger engines do help compared to just having a 450cc
engine, which is the cc new limit for the class, and
without me training last year and just going from
race to race, I feel much more confident heading into
the 2006 season.
am going to ride my butt off in January, and I am
definitely going to go for the championship this year.
I am now doing this as a fulltime job, and for me
to make a living, I need to go after the championship
and win because now there is money involved, which
gives me much more incentive.
a few years ago, did you ever expect to have yourself
in this position?
Never, to be honest with you, I really never thought
that I would be doing this for that long because of
my involvement in training and showing horses professionally,
so I figured that I would end up quitting ATV racing
after a few years because I just didn’t see
myself really getting into to it. Now, I just can
go without riding and racing.
that you are so involved in ATV racing, do you still
show or train horses?
Oh Yeah, I am still doing it. I have a 2.5 year old
black warm blood that I am training, and next year,
I plan on attending shows in between races, so I will
once again be following the show circuit and even
traveling to Florida for horse shows.
plus side on the horses is that a lot of the shows
are during the week on Tuesday and Wednesday, so I
can still attend a majority of the shows without missing
is easy to get your Yamaha YFZ450 to Florida by just
throwing it in the trailer and driving to Florida,
but I imagine it is much more difficult to travel
over 1,000 miles with a horse in the trailer?
With a Yamaha factory backed
ride, Michelle’s goal is to provide this
view to competition in 2006
The hardest part is maintaining the horse’s
body weight because when the horse is on the trailer
for a couple of days; its weight begins to drop, so
you have to feed the horse plenty of grain, so it
can be pretty tough traveling long distances because
you have to watch them all the time.
Thanks for your time, and do you have anything
else to say?
I look forward to this upcoming racing season more than ever, and plan
on giving it my best. Also, I am very excited to work with several new sponsors for 2006, and I
thank all my ongoing sponsors for all their support through the years.