'Pushing it to 11' Billings man adapts to test his skills on the flat track

AJ Etherington

Ryan Zahn has a new way of flat track motorcycle racing, not because he found a better way, but because he had no other way.

In dirt flat tracking, there are essentially two rules — stay off the brakes and always be twisting (the throttle).

Pro racers can hit 140 mph in the straights and dive at 90 into the corners, where sliding is actually the point. When the bike starts to yaw into a turn, racers lock their left elbow to push their weight down on the bike for traction. And then they gun it for the second or two it takes to hit the next turn.

Zahn was born without arms. On his right side he has a partial arm and hand with two fingers, enough to twist the throttle. But what he has in common with all the best racers is a fearlessness, an innate athleticism, and an indifference to being taken away in an ambulance.  (Jessica Jane Hart, the producer of this video, is working on a documentary following Zahn’s racing career and other hobbies).

Jessica Jane Hart video

Zahn was born without arms. On his

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