Latest motorcycle-industry small business to feel the economic squeeze? The Schwantz School. According
to school namesake and principal, 1993 500cc World Champion Kevin Schwantz, the 12-year-old program
has been tightening its belt for some time to no avail. Now, enough is enough.
“We haven’t seen recovery in attendance since the end of 2007,” says Schwantz, 48. “It’s been five years of trying to come up with ideas and do things to attract people to the school.
“With our program, the way we run it and the first-class operation that we produce, it’s hard to trim many
corners that would make it easier for the average person to participate. So, we’re going to minimize the
school this year.”
Over its decade-plus life, the Schwantz School has called both Road Atlanta and Barber Motorsports Park
home, but the only place you’ll find the two-day program in 2013 will be at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
in conjunction with the August 15-18 Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix.
“We’re going to do one, possibly two schools at Indy,” says Schwantz, “and then work on whatever special
requests we may have here in America or in Europe.
“Indy is an easier sell. The attraction is there. ‘Wow, MotoGP is going to be there. I really want to ride the same track as Nicky Hayden and Ben Spies and Valentino Rossi.’ There’s added excitement. You’ve got international people coming to the race, and we can hold schools before and after the event.
“Indy has been a lot of fun for us, and it’s a great environment to work in. Mel Harder and his staff welcome us with open arms. Mel is quite the rider himself, so we like to get him on track whenever we get a chance.”
Schwantz says his enthusiasm for the sport remains as strong as ever. “I still like riding my motorcycle as much as I ever have, and I still like riding fast. I’m going to keep my fleet of bikes, especially my Moriwaki 250s, because I really enjoy riding them.”
Schwantz’s plans to move his school to the new Circuit of The Americas near his home in Austin, Texas,
“As much as I like riding my motorcycles around the track, as much as my instructors and I enjoy every
opportunity to teach, the school has not made financial sense for a couple of years. It’s just not the time and place for it right now.”