Pro Mod Suzuki
DWIGHT CHATS WITH BILLY VOSE
BIRTHTOWN: Philadelphia, PA
HOMETOWN: Buck Mountain, PA.
I've heard that Billy Vose has a reputation for being vocal and abrasively honest. Perhaps it is this aggressive approach to life is what also makes him a champion, a winner. When I met Billy Vose while interviewing Reggie Showers, I (Dwight) was surprised to learn his name, as we were talking to Reggie his input was valued and polite. Maybe it's because Billy Vose is from Pennsylvania, and Gary and I were born there too that we all shared something common. I'd like to think that common bond is honesty. When you see it, you know it. Billy Vose is that kind of person. He says he is an acquired taste, that what you see is what you get. Join us as we got what we saw. I saw a confident and competent tuner and rider. You are welcome to see what you get too, but odds are you'll see why this racer has ended up so often in the winners lane.
What are (or have been) your scariest moments?
"My scariest moment in racing was in Budds Creek, Maryland. My son was supposed to come back to our trailer after a run, but he didn't come back. I announced over the PA system. I ran into the woods looking for him. He was missing for about a half an hour, and then showed up. He was watching the drag races."
Do you work out?
"Sometimes. I'm so busy, and have limited time to work out. I bought a Universal Gym."
Do you have a special diet?
"I eat right…whole grain cereals and greens. I watch the fatty stuff."
What mental routine prepares you for each run?
"I don't know that I have a mental routine. I'm busy working on customer's bikes. My bike is probably the most neglected at the races. My business is building race bikes and tuning."
Do you have time for a hobby?
"I've had a lot of hobbies in the past. I moved to the mountains so I can be with my kids."
Many motorcyclists ride to unravel, what do you do to unwind?
"It depends on the day. I go to the shop and work…play with the kids. I have no set pattern."
What personal quality (one trait) would you want to be admired most for?
"Just being me. My brothers and I share the saying, 'why be normal?' Some people say I'm an acquired taste. I rub them wrong. I'm just straight forward. What you see is what you get. "
What's most important?
1.Fame 2.Money 3.Thrill/fun 4.Winning
"Thrill and the fun, but other things are more important. Racing is a family, my second family. We have camaraderie."
Who are your heroes?
"I admire a lot of people for different reasons. I admire Reggie Showers. How could you not?"
Are you happy?
"Very happy. Life doesn't get much better. I'm excited, so I talk about it. I'm not bragging. I'm excited."
What could make you happier?
"It wouldn't be money. I'd like to see motorcycle drag racing grow and make everyone happy. I'm happy with a healthy family and new house. Life doesn't get much better than it does now. No way I can complain."
If you could change one thing about motorcycle drag racing, what would it be?
"Exposure to the public."
When driving a car, do you always wear a seatbelt?
1. Yes. 2. No. 3. Sometimes
"Sometimes. Not all the time."
When asleep do you ever dream you're riding a motorcycle?
"I don't sleep a lot. My mind is very active. Whatever is on my mind, I dream about…more often it's the mechanical aspect not the riding."
Name one other sport you feel you could excel at.
"Driving a funny Car, a Fuel dragster, a Formula 1 car. I've set the track record at a local track. Paul Newman once wanted me to drive for him, but I would have had to relocate."
When frustrated. What do you do first?
1.Erupt 2.Withdraw 3.Try to be cool.
"Erupting doesn't get anything. That's part of the challenge. Work till you overcome it."
If you could make one part of your body stronger, what part would that be?
"My mind's too active already, although I wouldn't mind more knowledge of the world A to Z. Maybe stronger bones…I've had many broken bones. Some days, walking is a chore."
What does 185 (or faster) miles per hour on a motorcycle feel like?
Where do you find the most peace in your life?
" At home in the mountains."
Other than racing do you have a full-time occupation?
"Building race bikes and tuning."
"I've given you a bunch of additional comments. I've burned you up already."
An old photo; courtesy Z Custom
As I said at the onset of this interview, I was surprised to find Billy Vose cordial and cooperative. This proves to me (Dwight) once again why you have to meet the person, and not the reputation. Billy Vose also proved to me why he has been an AMA Prostar Pro Mod champion so frequently. He's a winner. Winners share many common traits, so that makes the selection of a single word to describe Billy a more difficult task. I had to find a word that seeks the fiber of Billy Vose. I had to find a word with a special edge.
I found an adjective in Webster's New World dictionary that means offensively bold. I'm using this word in a positive way, and Gary agreed… Billy Vose is…