Filip L.

  • Riding since: 2008
  • Bike: 2007 Suzuki SV650
  • Shared bike: 2006 Suzuki Boulevard M50
  • Riding style: Commuting, touring, exploring, aggressive on back roads, track time coming soon.
  • Favorite question: “I’m a new rider, and I need a helmet...and a jacket...and gloves…”

As far back as I can remember, I have always been drawn to anything with an engine. In my very early days, I was all about trains, preferably old steam locomotives. I remember dragging my grandmother to the local rail yard by their house day after day to drool over the amazing Victorian-era locomotives preserved and on display.

Not long after that I discovered Formula 1 racing, and since then I have had a long love affair with cars. That love led to a fascination with motorcycles, which ultimately culminated in my first-ever ride when I was 10. I remember my grandparents and I going to visit one of my grandfather’s friends. When we got to his house, it just so happened that his daughter was there with her Yamaha R1. My first-ever ride on a motorcycle was on the back of an R1.

At the time I was certain we were breaking every speed record in the world. In reality, we never went more than a few blocks down the street. But that was enough to get me hooked, and add motorcycles to the list of things I had to have. Next up, I started riding borrowed dirt bikes, mopeds, and ATVs. From there, I stepped up to a massive 49cc Indian-made scooter. I rode that bad boy for four years (stroked it out, bigger carb, got it up to 58 mph) until I turned 17 and took my learner’s permit test.

"I got my SV and my license not long after my 17th birthday, and have been riding ever since."

20,000 miles have gone since that time, and she’s been as far north as Maine and as far south as Tennessee. The list of modifications is growing along with the odometer reading, and the current plan is to make it a proper little sport tourer.

  • Future bikes: Honda CBR600RR, Suzuki V-Strom 1000, or KTM 390 Duke (if that ever comes over to the United States).

Favorite part about TeamZilla?: My favorite part about working here, besides the people and the atmosphere, has to be the amount I have learned since I started. I came in on my first day feeling pretty confident I knew quite a bit about moto gear (turns out I didn’t). I learned so much more than I ever thought I would, and that has certainly reflected in what I wear and what I recommend to customers. Turns out the gear I got at the dealership when I was 17 was not the best gear in the world, like I thought it was. The good news is there is a ton of information and selection available when it comes to motorcycle gear, and even a rider on a budget can get quality protective gear.