A new adventure. Something that has consumed the life of Freestyle Motocross rider, Nate Adams – from family, to running a business, to riding and competing, to being one of the first FMX riders to swing his leg over an electric bike.
Take some time out with Nate as he gives us a glimpse into his life and its future with this exclusive Video and Interview feature below…
Filmed and edited by Shawn van Zyl Media.
Give us a quick run-down of what’s been happening in your life over the last 4 years?
How much time ya got? [laughs] I’ve been busy! Running Deft Family of course, I got married to an amazing woman and we started our own family. We have 2.5 year old twin boys. I’ve won a gold medal at X Games in the Speed n Style discipline, had a few crashes, broke some bones, ya know, the usual.
The Deft brand has grown from strength to strength. How much time do you invest into the company and where do you see it going in the next few years?
Thank you. It’s been a tough few years, I have dedicated massive amounts of my time, energy and money into my brand, Deft Family, since 2009. I had a tremendous falling out with my original partners a few years back. It was extremely difficult to run the brand by myself and deal with all their bullcrap. I finally got my ownership back from them last year and things of been going much smoother since. We now have new product on the way things are starting to look great for the first time in a couple years.
I dedicate a lot of time to Deft Family! It’s a passion! In the next few years I really want to expand the clothing line, expand our glove line, add more functional Moto/ BMX/ MTB products, and really get a solid deal with a great distribution company. That’s the goal for the next 1–3 years.
You are currently one of the only FMX riders riding the Alta Motors electric bike. How did that come about and what were your first impressions of the bike?
Alta Motors approached me a couple years ago talking about a possible deal. Finally, we agreed to meet up for a ride day so I could really just spend a full day on the bike and decide whether I wanted to make the switch. After about a half an hour of riding the bike I knew I wanted to make the switch! They are awesome bikes. There’s nothing a conventional dirt bike is more capable of than an Alta Motors bike. They’re a lot of fun to ride.
And, at that point in my life and career, I needed a ‘change’. It was perfect timing and really lit a fire in me, and got me more motivated to ride than I’d been in a little while. If ya get a chance to ride one, do it. You’ll be loving it within minutes of throwing your leg over it.
How much did you have to adapt your riding style to ride the Alta as you would your 450?
It didn’t take long to adapt honestly. Within an hour of riding it for the first time I was jumping my FMX ramps and doing tricks. A few rides later I was Backflipping it and doing pretty much all my tricks.
They’re here to stay. They’re awesome bikes. I understand an electric dirt bike is not for everyone, but these Alta Motors bikes are here to stay. They’re fun, people like em and there’s a need and want for them in the moto industry and the motorcycle industry as a whole.
How would you best describe the experience and feel of riding an Alta Motors bike?
It’s just a dirt bike! That’s the beauty of it. It’s a dirt bike, that’s electric. There is a different vibe to them while you’re riding, because there’s not nearly as much motor noise. You can really hear your tire getting traction, breaking loose and it actually opens up another sense while you’re riding because you hear more of the bikes movements. You quickly develop the ability to not only feel your front/ rear wheel traction but you can hear it as well. Lots of similarities to a conventional gas powered dirt bike, but at the same time a lot of differences. They are very quickly adaptable to any skill of rider. Another attribute I really like, is it enables you to communicate with your riding buddies, a bit like you would on a mountain bike ride. It’s a lot of fun.
Does the bike help in making any tricks easier, or more difficult?
No tricks were easier nor more difficult. Like I said, it’s a dirt bike, that’s electric. Plenty of power to them, not quite as powerful as a 450. But, definitely much more powerful than a 250 2-stroke.
What has riding an electric bike enabled you to do that you would’ve never done on your 450?
It’s enabled me to ride at private practice facilities during unusual times and not piss off and neighbors. It’s great, no more noise complaints from neighbors.
Any world firsts planned on the electric bike?
Not at the moment. I’m 34, I ride because I love it and love having fun on my dirt bike. I’m doing my thing and riding as many events and having as much fun as possible. I’ll leave the triple flips to Josh Sheehan [laughs].
How do you see this technology changing or evolving the future of FMX, MX, Enduro, etc?
I see it allowing Motocross, Supercross, Freestyle, Endurocross and all types of Motocross events to take place in areas where they never could before. The bikes have nearly no noise, and zero emissions. I think it’s a great thing and will take it to new places, and take our awesome sport to people that would’ve never been introduced otherwise. It will grow the sport and that’s a good thing.
How long does it take to charge the bike, and how long does the battery last?
I can get about 2 to 2.5 hours of FMX riding from a single charge. That’s plenty of practice for me for one day. It takes 2 hours to charge fully from a flat battery.
Riding-wise, what have been some of the highlights of your 2018?
For 2018 my highlight was riding X Games on my Alta. It was fun of course to ride X Games, but also to do it on an electric bike was cool in itself. I was pumped to put that bike on the level that it belongs. I think it turned a lot of heads that weekend. Other than that, I rode X-Knights in Costa Rica and a heap of demos. All have been fun!
What plans do you have for your Freestyle Motocross career moving forward?
Just more if the same really. I’ll be riding as much as I can, riding shows, and just having fun with it. When I feel like it’s time to call it quits I will. But for now, I’m still loving it.
Can we expect to see Nate Adams competing on a main stage on an electric bike?
Absolutely, like when I rode X Games last summer. When the opportunities come up I will be there.
Time management between riding, competing, shows, running a company and family must get hectic at times. How do you make sure you stay on top of things and keep it all running smoothly?
No doubt! It gets hectic at times and can really feel like a big amount of weight on my shoulders. But, it’s just part of being a man, a professional, and business owner. I turn to God (Jesus Christ) not only when times are tough but when times are great as well. Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, says the Holy Bible. And I definitely know wisdom is what I need to lead my family, love my wife, raise my boys, operate a successful business and keep my professional riding career in tip top shape.
How much of yourself do you see in your twin boys, and do you see them taking to the same industry as they grow older?
Oh man, sooo much! It’s nuts, they’re little mini-me’s [laughs]. I truly don’t care whether they choose to go into the moto industry or not. I want them to be upstanding men, and men who make their lives what they want their lives to be, not what their dad wants. I will be a proud dad no matter what type of career they choose.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
I see myself riding and having fun in 5-years time! Basically, the same as what I’m doing now [laughs], but I’ll be semi-retired. I don’t want to compete for the rest of my life, but I will ride for the rest of my life. I see myself operating Deft Family or, selling it off sometime between now and five years. I see myself being a brand ambassador for some of my sponsors that have been with me through my career. Basically, I see myself in the moto industry, still riding, still in the mix, but without the pressure that comes with a competitive career. Just fun, all fun! Perhaps a lofty ambition, but time will tell.
Yes. I of course love and want to thank all my sponsors; Deft Family, Alta Motors, Monster Energy, cbdMD, Urban Armor Gear, GoPro, Alpinestars, HJC Helmets, Pro Taper, EVS Sports, Dragon Motorsports, Works Connection, Dunlop Tires, Thrill Seekers, Mongoose Bikes, Moto Stuff, Ogio, Enzo Racing Suspension and Split Designs.
And, of course I want to thank my entire family for sticking by me over the last 18 years of my career. My wife for her unyielding support. My twin boys for their love and motivation they give me. I am a blessed man.
Keep up with me! @NateAdams741 on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Photos by Shawn van Zyl Media and Connor Moore.