Advancing the sport of motorcycling

Shayne King

Born: 1975 -

Inducted into MNZ Hall of Fame: 2008

Shayne King was born in to a motocross family, his father Ash owning a motorcycle shop and a leading rider himself.

Shayne joined his brother Darryll to become a famous double act in the history of New Zealand motocross racing through the 1980s and 1990s and into the 21
st century.

From an early age Shayne showed his ability by first winning the 1985/86 New Zealand 125cc Junior Motocross Championship and following that up with a the New Zealand 1986/87 125cc Senior Motocross Championship in his first year in senior competition. It was a great start to what was to become a glittering career.

Through the late 1980s and early 1990s the name King would appeared on many results sheets, be it Shayne, Darryll or even younger brother Damian.
In 1993 Shayne and mechanic Jimmy packed up and headed for Europe for the first time. Riding in the 125cc FIM World Championship and selected International meetings. While not scoring any world championship points it was a good learning experience. Shayne won four International races in Europe and did not finish out of the top ten in eleven others. This same year Shayne  teamed with brother Darryll and Darryl Atkins to take fifth place overall in the Motocross des Nations in Austria .

Returning to New Zealand, Shayne dominated the 1993/94 season. Winning the Pro 125cc and Pro-Open national championship, Pro 125cc and Open Supercross Championships and the both the Pro 125cc and Open New Zealand Motocross Grand Prix at Woodville .

Shayne headed back to Europe in 1994 with the aim to finish in the top three in the 500cc World Championship. It all started well with him winning the opening round. The following round disaster struck, catching his foot on a unforgiving rock. He had broken his foot and was out  for much of the series, eventually  finishing the year in twenty fourth outright.

For the 1995 Shayne signed on with KTM factory  with a new machine and eventually finishing ninth overall in the FIM 500cc Motocross Championship after being as high as fifth at one stage. Big brother Darryll finished the year in third. Shayne then teamed up with Darryll and Josh Coppins placing seventh overall in the Motocross des Nations in Slovakia. Returning home for a limited season, Shayne won the New Zealand Motocross Grand Prix again and finished third in the New Zealand Pro-250 Supercross Championship.

Then it all came together in 1996, after seven months of backwards and forwards racing in Europe Shayne achieved his dream of becoming The FIM World 500cc Motocross Champion before he was twenty six years old and only three seasons after he had arrived in Europe.  New Zealand had it's first World Motocross Champion.

Shayne then backed that up in the following season in 1997 with a third place behind brother Darryll and Joel Smets who won the championship. Then teaming up with Darryll and Josh Coppins to take the New Zealand team to third place overall in the 1998 Motocross des Nations in the UK.

Still a top ten world championship rider he would finish eight in 1998 , fifth in 1999 and seventh in 2001 in the FIM 500cc World Motocross Championship. In 2000 he raced with limited success in the USA for KTM.

After returning to New Zealand he continued to race succesfully in his home country and Australia  winning his final two New Zealand championships in 2005 (250 and 500cc) while establishing his wholesale motorcycle accessory business in his home town of New Plymouth. Shayne retired from active racing in 2007 after winning over thirty New Zealand Championship titles and a World Championship in twenty years of racing.

Shayne  was awarded a special award by the New Zealand Sports Foundation in 1997 along with brother Darryll and Aaron Slight and Simon Crafar. Shayne was inducted to the Motorcycling New Zealand Hall of Fame in 2008.

Prepared for the MNZ Hall of Fame by MNZ Historian Ian Dawson