Another tattoo junkie – Mike Metzger ranks as one of the worlds best freestyle motocrossers of his time. Commonly referred to as “The Godfather of Freestyle Motocross”, he has forever etched his name in the history books of the sport.
Mike was born 1975 in California and fell in love with competing in motocross and supercross at a young age. It didn’t take long before his motivation switched to the early days of FMX and he began channeling his creativity into performing tricks in the air. He quickly became a leader and star of freestyle motocross and branded his name onto the sport in 2002 by winning the Freestyle and Big Air events in the X-Games. That year he also took 2nd place in Step Up earning himself a hefty sum of cash to boot. It was at this X-Games that he busted out 2 consecutive backflips which had never been done before.
It seems that “Mike Metzger” is synonymous with “backflips” – and he can’t get enough of them. On May 4th 2006, in a true display of balls-to-the-wall courage, he successfully backflipped his Kwacka over the fountains in front of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, setting a world record of 125 feet. – See the photo sequence on the “dirt bike riders page” –
But there is a price tag attached to being one of the worlds greatest freestylers and that price tag comes in the form of injuries and broken bones – dozens of which Mike has had. To remind himself of this he has the word “pain” tattooed on the inside of his mouth. In January 2007 he almost paid the ultimate price while practicing for an episode of Stunt Junkies. Mike – lacking vital ‘fear cells’ in his brain – came up with the ingenious idea of setting up ramps on two barges spaced 75 feet from each other in the Queen Mary Harbor, with the goal of backflipping between them. He overshot the landing and broke his back, nearly paralyzing himself. A world of pain, some intensive surgery, two titanium rods in his back, and a dash of recovery time later and Mike is lucky to be riding (and ripping) again.
Maturing in life (and realizing the human body can only take so much of a beating), he finds himself more focused on family and business ventures these days rather than just riding and partying. But he still knows how to lay it down with the best of them in the odd competition. And to make sure no one forgets him, he also has one of his own FMX tricks named after him. So if you decide to pursue freestyle MX you will have to be able to perform a “McMetz”. And no this doesn’t mean downing a hamburger and fries while ramp jumping. It’s where you thrust both feet over the handlebars then swing them back around under your hands which have let go causing you to ‘float’ disconnected from the bike. Then you have to somehow reacquaint yourself with the bike before touching down.
So although your days of watching Mike Metzger backflipping his way around the globe at various events may be numbered, you can always revisit his antics and early-day shenanigans on one of many DVDs that he stars in. And those vids will never go out of fashion…
SOME CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
1998 – IFMA Champion
1999 – IFMA Champion
– Vans Triple Crown Champion
2000 – Gravity Games Silver Medalist
2001 – Munich, Germany NEA Award Best MotoX Overall
2002 – Gravity Games Silver Medalist
– X Games Freestyle Competition Gold Medalist
– X Games Big Air Gold Medalist
– X Games Step Up Silver Medalist
– X Games 2002 Athlete of the Year
2003 – Winter X Games FMX Big Air Gold Medalist
– Jumped the Golden Gate Bridge at Disney’s California Adventure
2004 – Winter X Games Silver Medalist
– Brought Super Moto into The X Games
2006 – Set World Record by backflipping 125 feet over the Caesars Palace fountains
Place of Birth: Huntington Beach, California
Other Interests: Supermoto, truck racing, web and clothing businesses
* All care was taken to get this information correct at the time of writing. If anything is wrong please contact me so I can correct it.