Orillia’s motorcycle racing power couple is gearing up for a big weekend at the Southern Ontario Association of Racing series in Grand Bend.
Kyle and Melanie Newman are both passionate motorcycle racers who met and fell in love with each other through the sport.
“We both used to street ride and we met through various acquaintances and through street riding,” Kyle explained.
“It was actually at a kick-off to motorcycling party," Melanie added. "We met again at a bike show, and the rest was history. Our first date was actually at a bike met.”
Kyle and Melanie have been a couple for eight years and just celebrated their second wedding anniversary a couple of weeks ago.
Kyle, who is 30 years old, is originally from Oakville; Melanie, who is 27, is from Brampton. The young couple moved to Orillia about a year ago.
It might sound harsh, but Melanie’s first love wasn’t Kyle - it was motorcycles.
“I was basically born on a bike,” she said. “I was raised in the motorcycle world starting with dirt bikes and then, when I was 16, it was actually my birthday gift to get my licence.”
Melanie has been obsessed with the idea of motorcycle racing since she was a little girl. However, she had to wait over two decades before her dreams became a reality.
“I didn’t start racing until I was 22, but I always dreamed about racing motorcycles. I wrote about it in a Grade 6 report I did,” she recalled.
Kyle didn't discover motorcycling until 2014.
“I started just street riding. All we used to do was go out on the weekend and go fast and ride on twisty roads,” he explained.
“I mostly wanted to get into racing because of the competitive side of it. It’s a lot more interesting to me compared to just turning laps on a track.”
Kyle has had tons of success in his short career. He already has his pro licence and finished second at the Canada Superbike Championship two years ago.
Kyle and Melanie not only share the passion of motorcycle racing together, but they also share the track.
“We do individual races and we also do endurance races where it’s us and a couple of other riders,” Melanie explains.
Kyle and Melanie’s team is currently leading the GTU endurance class going into this weekend's finale, which features a three-hour race.
Individually, Kyle and Melanie are also looking for a successful finish to their 2019 season this weekend.
Kyle is leading in points for the Pro 600 Extreme class and has a 42-point lead; there are only 45 points possible to gain this weekend.
“I just have to stay out of trouble and bring it home to win the championship,” Kyle said.
Kyle is also third in the Pro Open Sprint Championship, but winning, he concedes, would be a long shot.
“I don’t really have a shot at it, so I’m going to just be calm and steady and, hopefully, finish in that third spot,” he said.
For Melanie this weekend, she is sitting in sixth in the Lost Era Heavyweight class.
“I’m hoping to hold on to that spot or move into fifth, it kind of depends on how things go,” she said.
Melanie is also racing in the AM 600 this weekend, where she currently ranks 21st out of 40 competitors.
“Hopefully, I can stay there at 21, or move up a bit. It’s a super competitive class and often referred to as a meat grinder,” she explained.
The road trip to Grand Bend is about a three-hour drive for the couple, which they make six times a year for the monthly races.
When not racing on the weekend, Kyle and Melanie teach the motorcycle course at Georgian College in both Orillia and Barrie; it's for people who want to get their motorcycle licence.
If you would like to follow Kyle and Melanie on their racing journey, you can find them at newmanracing.com.