Looking at the current state of American motorcycle road racing and how bleak it has become, it’s remarkable to think, just over a decade ago, our national series was widely regarded as the best in the world. Riders like Mladin, Duhamel, Gobert, Bayliss, Hayden, Spies and many others carved out a name for themselves here, piloting ferocious superbikes better than, arguably, anyone else in the world.
Eric Bostrom belongs in this list of top-level talent to come out of America. Younger brother to World Superbike race winner and former AMA Superbike champion, Ben Bostrom, Eric’s career was often overshadowed by his brother’s. But the youngest of the Bostrom clan has had quite a career in his own right, having won the AMA Supersport and AMA Formula Xtreme championships. Before that, he also won the 1997 Harley-Davidson SuperTwins title, dominating the class by winning 10 of 11 races. Though he never won the AMA Superbike title, he finished second in points twice, in 2001 and 2002, losing out to none other than Mat Mladin and Nicky Hayden, respectively.
Injuries plagued Bostrom’s 2003 season, which was also Kawasaki’s last for a while. He then rode for Ducati the following two years, then Yamaha starting in 2005. The early Yamaha days saw E-Boz riding well, but something didn’t click in 2008. Despite the Yamaha R1 Superbike receiving help from the Italian World Superbike team, Bostrom felt he wasn’t riding the bike to his, or the bike’s, full potential. He eventually left the team in 2009.
Eric played journeyman racer after that, taking a sabbatical in 2009 and entering as a wildcard rider here and there afterwards. He faded away from the AMA scene after reuniting with Kawasaki in 2011, citing a need to take a step back from the pressures of racing to recharge his batteries. He turned to his second love, bicycles, and pedaled his legs off. Being a racer at heart, and with a little nudge from brother Ben, it wasn’t long before Eric started competing on bicycles as well. He’s pretty good at it, too, receiving sponsorship from Cannondale and Sho-Air, and mixing it up with some of the big names in pedaling.
Ironically, it’s this recharge that has led E-Boz to his current stage in life. There’s a saying, “Once a racer, always a racer,” and in 2012 Bostrom was itching to get back on a motorcycle. A few phone calls later and he found himself headlining an electric motorcycle race at Laguna Seca, as Brammo’s big star. The relationship has flourished ever since. Eric is now a test rider/ambassador for Brammo electric motorcycles, scratching that itch he has to stay on two wheels while embracing the future of our sport. In fact, he’s doing more than just embracing e-bikes, he’s doing his part in making these nearly silent batteries on wheels feel like the gas-powered bikes the rest of us all know and love. If there’s anyone qualified for the role, it’s Bostrom.
We had the pleasure of catching up with Eric recently to chat about bikes, racing, his career, electric motorcycles and his future. It was an enlightening conversation with the somewhat enigmatic character. Racers typically are focused on the competition and getting in the thick of battle. Not Eric. His outlook on life, which typifies the laid-back California stereotype, carries over onto the racetrack. One only need look to a certain Mat Mladin to recognize a vast difference in philosophies. Eric’s comments about Mladin are one of the highlights of our conversation.
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A new dad, E-Boz is genuinely excited to be a father of a beautiful little girl, and though he lives an active – and sometimes dangerous – lifestyle, he intends to keep living his life while making the best decisions he can.. Take a closer look at the man, the racer and the dad who is, Eric Bostrom.