Ari Henning

Brief motorcycling history: From infancy through adolescence I traveled with my father Todd as he pursued vintage roadracing championships around the country, in Canada and even Europe. As soon as I could walk I started riding a Honda Z50, but became frustrated with the centrifugal clutch-it wouldn’t let me replicate the exhilarating sound of wide-open upshifts I heard my dad do on track-so I moved up to a Yamaha YZ80. After numerous noise complaints from the neighbors, I got a much quieter Suzuki DR100. When my dad got hurt at Seats Point in 1999 my interests changed, and I didn’t get back into bikes until 2005 at age 19. I decided to fix up the ’83 Honda VT500 Ascot that was buried in my parents’ basement, and got hooked on street riding. Soon after I bought a Suzuki Bandit 600, and with winter approaching made the decision to bail on school and hit the road, spending the next six months and all my savings cruising the back roads of America. That was a way better education than I would have gotten in college! I ended my tour in California, quickly put down roots and wrote about the experience for Motorcyclist. I tried my hand at roadracing until I went broke, and then was miraculously hired by the magazine! Best experience in motojournalism: In the brief time I’ve been a journo, I’ve had enough once-in-a-lifetime experiences to satisfy me for the rest of my riding days. The press launches are unreal, with the opportunity to ride brand-new sportbikes on world-class racetracks in exotic locations. I’ve gotten to bowl with Gary Nixon, chase Jay Springsteen around a mini-oval and take a Ducati 1098S for a ride through the mountains. But the best part of the job is a recurring one: the part of a photo shoot when the photographer yells, “Now do a wheelie!” Worst experience in motojournalism: Crashing the magazine’s Suzuki GSX-R750-before I was even hired!