Photos and Story by Trent Howie
The son of a second-generation farmer, Jake Weimer grew up on a sugar beet farm. The Weimer family has a long history of working the soil in Rupert, but Jake’s idea of cultivating the dirt is a little different than his grandfather’s. Jake is currently making a name for himself nationally as an extreme athlete in the sport of motocross.
When his parents bought him a pee wee dirt bike to ride around the farm, Jake had no idea it would become his life. At 4 years old, Jake began riding motorcycles and was racing them within the same year at the Minidoka County fairgrounds motocross track. It wasn’t long before his dad Jason was taking him around the country to amateur national motocross races.
Jason Weimer was more than willing and able to take his son where he needed to go to become faster on a motorcycle.
“It’s not exactly common for an Idaho rider to become a pro motocrosser,” Jake says. “There haven’t been very many people that have done it, but there are quite a few people that ride in Idaho. I think the only thing that saved me was my dad. When I was at a young age, like 8 years old, he took me to California in the winters. I would basically get smoked there, and then I’d go home during the summer and wax everybody at the local stuff. What motivated me was going to California and saying, ‘Okay, well, obviously we’re not near as fast as they are down in California, so I need to step it up.’ Just traveling and riding different places and going to the amateur nationals really helped. As far as growing up in Idaho, I think it was good. You can get away from everything and there’s not much to get distracted by.”
“It’s not exactly common for an Idaho rider to become a pro motocrosser.”
At 14, Jake picked up a ride with Honda of Houston for the amateur nationals, then rode Suzuki for two years, gaining points toward his professional license. He later signed a contract with the Honda team.
“Even though I’m now on factory equipment my dad still plays a huge, huge, huge role in my racing. He did back then, and he still does now. I know a lot of people say this, but I can honestly say that if it wasn’t for him, I really wouldn’t be here. He is the one that got me here. For that, I have to thank him. He doesn’t need to be working on my bikes and getting ready to go to the races and stuff anymore, but as far as stuff that I don’t have time to deal with, he does a lot. When I was in California for a month getting ready for the U.S. Open, he was at home in Idaho rebuilding my supercross track.”
Since joining Team GEICO Powersports/AMSOIL Honda, Jake has had several podium performances and two big wins. The first win came in the off-season at the U.S. Open of Supercross in Las Vegas. Win number two came at round two of the 2008 Monster Energy Supercross Championship in Phoenix, Arizona. Motocross insiders claim that it was the best race of the season with a race-long battle between six riders.“I got the holeshot for the first time in my life, so that made it easy to stay up front and battle,” Jake says. “I just stayed smart out there, and I was able to take advantage when I needed to. It was a huge moment in my racing career, for sure. I knew that I was capable of winning, and it wasn’t a surprise to me at all, but to actually do it was amazing. I prepared so hard in the off-season to make things happen, so it was great to win.”
With the 2008 Supercross season over, Weimer is shifting his focus to the 2008 AMA Toyota Motocross Championship, hammering out practice lap after practice lap, training for one of the most physically demanding sports in the world.
He may not have continued in the family business, but his roots are still in Southern Idaho. Grabbing a handful of throttle, Jake launches his 250cc motorcycle out of the berm and rockets up the face of a dirt jump. Seventy five feet later, he lands and prepares for the next set of obstacles. He specializes in what some might call, “Moto-Cultivation.” A new way of ripping through the dirt.