AMSOIL Swapmoto Race Series Rider Profile | Viviana Contreras
Presented by AMSOIL
Hometown: Wildomar, CA
Sponsors: Fasthouse, Bell, Thrill Seekers, ASV, David from Team Sights, Mad Moose, Star RV Rentals, ODI, Throttle Syndicate, Ohlins
Classes Raced: Women, 450 Intermediate
Viviana Contreras is a regular at the AMSOIL Swapmoto Race Series and she is hands down, one of the quickest female racers we’ve ever had sign up! Piloting a KTM 250 SX two-stroke, she is also a top competitor in the men’s Intermediate classes. We caught up with the friendly SoCal native at the Perris round of the El Dorado Series…
We have seen you at the Swapmoto Race Series for a while now and you’re obviously the fastest girl here. The thing that stands out to us is that you ride a 250 two-stroke. Why do you choose the bike that you ride?
First of all, it is just cheaper than the four-stroke and more reliable for me. I just love the two-stroke. I rode a Honda CRF150R four-stroke and I didn’t like it at first because I grew up racing two-strokes. I hopped back off of that and got a 250 two-stroke and I’ve been loving it since then.
The KTM 250 SX is better than a 150 SX?
Yeah, way more power!
A modern-day KTM is brutally fast and hard-hitting! We are impressed that you’re hanging on to that thing.
Yeah, it has got some horsepower! It’s fun!
How did you get your start in moto?
We used to go out to the desert a lot and go camping with our family. I had a Yamaha 90 and my mom took me out there almost every weekend while she worked out there. I would just ride up and down the wash. I loved it after that. I started racing TransWorld races and now I’m doing Mammoth, Loretta’s, and all the other big races.
Are you on the women’s amateur national circuit yet?
Yeah, I believe so.
We are used to seeing you win out here, how do you do at the big women’s races?
Big races have a lot more girls show up. Loretta’s last year I got ninth and Mammoth I got fourth. It gives me a run for my money.
You’re a cute 16-year-old girl and you ride dirtbikes. Why is it dirtbikes instead of something else?
I was never much of a dance, gymnastics, or princess person. I like being and playing in the dirt. Just being out there.
You said you grew up riding a small bike. Did the rest of your family ride as well? What influenced you?
Ashley Fiolek actually influenced me and I read one of her books in school when we had to do a book report. I did a book report on her book and it all started there. No one really did it in my family, so I was the first one to do it.
Really? Was it hard to talk to your parents into letting you race motocross?
Yeah, a little bit at first. They were asking me if I was sure I wanted to do it instead of doing ballet. I told them I was sure I wanted to do dirtbikes and motocross racing.
How often do you ride? Is your lifestyle tailored around the racing?
I go to school five days a week, so it is pretty hard to get riding in. I ride two times a week and I mountain bike three times a week. I try and stay fit.
Where do you ride mountain bikes?
La Cresta, Vale Lake, Greer…all around town!
Tell me about your bike and what have you done to customize it to yourself? I see you switched out the horrible stock forks…
(Laughs) Yeah, I have some suspension, a pipe, some sprockets, chain, and some bars. That is really it. Nothing big or done to the motor, just stock, I can’t handle it.
Your Ohlins stuff is spring, right? It’s not air?
No air. The air was just a little bit too much of a hassle to undo the air forks, stuff like that, so it is all spring in there. Ohlins does a really good job setting the springs to my weight and everything like that.
How did you get hooked up with Fasthouse?
Up in Mammoth last year, one of my friend’s buddy wanted us to go watch pit bike races. He was sponsored by Fasthouse and we ended up going to dinner with Fasthouse. I ended up meeting all of these cool guys, Kenny, Fonzy, and all the Fasthouse workers. They were asking my name and it all began there. Fonzy hooked me up with all the gear, all the good stuff. I love it.
Do you have a coach? Where do you learn to improve your technique and style?
I don’t have a coach at the moment right now. Normally it is my mom out there pushing me. We come out here Wednesday and Thursday night just to ride putting in motos. My mom is my coach.
This makes your story even more impressive. You got into it, without relatives or friends, you’re self-taught and you’re out here ripping. Do you study videos or do you just pick it up?
I watch a lot a Supercross, motocross, Youtube videos, and all the Instagram edits.
One would say that the heyday of women’s motocross was back in Ashley’s era. I don’t know if there is a whole lot to aspire to as a professional woman right now, but what motivates you?
What motivates me right now is all the other woman riders out there and I want to be just like them. I want to push and be like the guys too if guys can do it then girls can do it too. I want to be there with the guys racing.
What do you like better? Racing the girl’s class or the guys?
Probably the girl’s class. The boy’s class is fun, it is challenging though. I have to work my way up in the boy’s class, but I like racing the boys too.
How do you feel guys react when they get passed by you? Do you ever feel like you get ridden against differently because you’re a female?
Yeah, all of the guys come off the track and say stuff like “you got passed by a girl” or their dads would say “you’re riding like a girl”. Then my mom would tell me that I’m riding like a boy and just try. All the guys push harder when they see a girl behind them they think they need to get on the gas and go. It’s always been like that since day one.
In the future, are you going to go to college? What do you aspire to be when you grow up? Are you going to try and make something out of this motocross thing?
Try and make something out of this motocross thing for sure. Once, I get out of high school and see where it takes me. I want to put in all the work and become a professional woman motocross racer.