DirtBikes.com is proud to announce that it has secured the talents of America’s true pioneer of dirtbike journalism, Rick “Super Hunky” Sieman, to be a regular contributor to the site.
Sieman was on the cutting edge of the dirtbike boom in America back in 1971. Sensing a market for a publication that would serve the needs of the exploding population of dirtbike enthusiasts, he convinced Daisy/Hi-Torque Publishing owner Bill Golden to start a new magazine, called Dirt Bike. The magazine was a runaway success, quickly reaching 275,000 circulation within four years, thanks to Sieman’s wit, humor and no-nonsense writing style.
Sieman was a fan of dirtbikes long before that, however. When he left Ohio in 1968 and moved to California, his 250 Bultaco Metisse was one of the few things he made sure to take with him. After spending his first six months out west in the sign painting business, he answered an ad in the Los Angeles Times for an advertising man for a new motorcycle publication.
“This turned out to be Big Bike magazine,” Sieman said. “Even though I knew virtually nothing about choppers, I worked my butt off and became an ad salesman par excellence. But during this time, I spent almost every weekend riding his dirt bikes in the desert, or on a motocross track. As the chopper magazine grew, I tried to talk Golden into starting a dirtbike magazine. Eventually, he reluctantly agreed to try one issue of Dirt Bike and if that didn’t work, to drop the subject forever. The rest is history.”
Sieman’s famous “Super Hunky” nickname became synonymous with the magazine, and how he got the moniker is an interesting story in itself.
“I was a member of the Dirt Diggers motorcycle club and a few of the guys would get together after the meeting and go to a place called the Sneaky Fox for burgers and beer,” he recalls. “One night they walked in and the bartender asked them if they were here for the arm wrestling contest. Entry fee was a pitcher of beer. About an hour later, I was the champion and the Dirt Diggers had 78 pitchers of beer to their credit. It should be pointed out that I used to be an Olympic weightlifter in the middle heavyweight class, and was a whole lot stronger than the average person. I did a standing press with 325 lbs., a snatch with 275 lbs. and a clean and jerk with 355 ¼ lbs.”
When Sieman got to the next club meeting, the members presented him with a riding jersey that said Super Hunky on it. Since his background is Czech, this seemed like a natural thing to do.
In late 1974, Sieman left Dirt Bike and took over Modern Cycle, which was on its last legs, making that publication a success also. Five years later, he returned to the editor’s chair at Dirt Bike magazine where he served for another 10 years before taking the reins of 4×4 truck publication Off-Road magazine. It was there that the off-road racing bug bit him hard, and he started racing trucks, including the famous Big Oly 2 all the while continuing to race dirt bikes almost every weekend.
After falling in love with the Baja 1000 and spending so much time south of the border, Sieman moved there for about 15 years before eventually, moving back to Arizona, where he lives now.
Now 76, Sieman looks back on his life with dirtbikes, and he has pulled together some numbers on his career: He has competed in 1562 dirtbike races during all those years, and even more events when you count off-road truck races. He has competed in and been a staunch advocate of vintage racing for years, only recently taking a break from active competition due to undergo knee replacement operations. He still rides though, with his current favorite bike a Honda CRF230 that has been highly modified in typical “Super Hunky” fashion, with double the horsepower and trick suspension.
Moving over from our sister publication Off-Road.com, where he has been a regular contributor for 14 years, Sieman will continue his popular Don’t Ask column on DirtBikes.com. He’ll also write tech and how-to columns as well as reprising many of his side-splitting From The Saddle columns.
“So get ready for a smile or two along with your dirt bike info,” Sieman said.
We can’t even begin to tell you how happy we are to have you, Hunk. Welcome aboard!