Shane Watts, Owner and Creator of the DirtWise Academy
Date of Birth: November, 7, 1972
Birthplace: Maffra, VIC, Australia
Current Motorcycles: KTM 250 2-stroke
Six Time Australian Enduro Champion
Australian 500cc Motocross Champion
1997 World Enduro Champion
1998 International Six Day Enduro Overall Champion
2000 Grand National Cross Country Champion
Shane Watts grew up in a small country town in the state of Victoria. He progressed through club level racing to the national championship and then spent three years chasing the World Enduro Championship in Europe. In 1999, Shane made the move to the United States to race in the Grand National Cross Country series. Shane has just started his 13th year racing for KTM.
Some of the unique accomplishments of his career include: the only rider to win the ISDE Overall on a 125cc, first non-American to win the GNCC series, only rider to win GNCC races on two or more different engine capacity motorcycles (six different capacities in one year), gaining a National top 100 number for American Motorcross, and just missing a qualifying position for the Daytona Supercross.
Shane was married in January 2005 to Carrie Marshall, and had his first child, Eden Victoria, in July 2005 and his son, Rionn Kaleb, was born September 12, 2007. The newest Watts addition, Brock Landon Watts, was born on Thanksgiving day, 2010. Currently, Shane lives and trains in Newton, NC where he moved in December 2006. Shane spends most of his time traveling and organizing his DirtWise with Shane Watts Off Road Riding Academy. The Watts Family enjoys traveling, any outdoor activity, relaxing at the pool, or just sitting around. None of these things happen very often, but one day...!
Dave Neumeister, DirtWise Instructor
Date of Birth: June 1, 1974
Birthplace: St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
Current Motorcycles: 2012 KTM 250 XC-W 2-stroke & 2004 KX 125
Profession: Sr. Mechanical Engineer. Employer: MKS Instruments, HPS Products
Education: Graduated from Dartmouth College 1997, Phillips Exeter Academy 1992
2008 ISDE Greece Silver Medal & Top Canadian World Trophy Team Rider
2007 ISDE Chile Silver Medal Canadian World Trophy Team
2006 ISDE New Zealand Silver Medal Canadian Club Team
2002 WORCS #8 Overall Pro Class
2001 RMEC Overall Champion 1st Overall A/AA Division
1999 ISDE Portugal – Bronze Medal riding for USA Club Team
Dave Neumeister grew up in Calgary, Alberta, Canada where he learned how to ride motorcycle at the age of 6. While living in Canada, Dave’s primary sports focus was playing ice hockey and lacrosse. Motorcycle riding was mainly a hobby until he started racing in 1988. In 1989, Dave moved with his family to the US where he focused on finishing his education and pursuing his ice hockey career. After graduating college in 1997, Dave moved to Colorado and starting racing Enduros in the local Rocky Mountain Enduro Circuit (RMEC). He quickly advanced through the ranks and went on to win the RMEC championship in 2001. In 2002, Dave focused on the WORCS series and finished the year #8 in the Pro class. During Dave’s entire racing career, he has worked full time as a Mechanical Engineer for MKS Instruments, HPS Products, designing and manufacturing vacuum valves used in the semi-conductor industry. In 2008, after finishing the ISDE in Greece, Dave made the difficult decision to retire from professional level racing to pursue his family life.
In September 2009 Dave married Melissa Koch and they had their first son, Tanner David, in April 2011. Dave and Melissa are expecting their second son, due in December 2012. Currently, Dave lives in Loveland, CO and enjoys ‘good times’ trail rides when time allows.
Dave met Shane Watts back in the early 2000’s while racing the WORCS series via mutual friends, the Garrahan brothers.
In 2010, Dave started to work with Shane as a second instructor and has assisted at 10 different Dirtwise 2 day classes. During this time, Dave has learned all of the key fundamentals and teaching techniques that make the Dirtwise program the success it is today. Although Dave does not have nearly the same racing accomplishments as Shane, he shares the same dirt biking passion and desire to teach these skills to eager students. Dave is very excited to represent the Dirtwise Academy, and his goal is to maintain the highest level of teaching created by Shane and the Dirtwise Academy program. Dave will be focusing his teaching efforts on the new One-Day DirtWise ‘Fundamentals’ program.
Jason Thomas, DirtWise Instructor and XC2 Team Racer
Date of birth: November 7 1983
2012 GNCC Pro XC2 Champion
Canadian EnduroCross Champion
Canadian Cross Country Champion
British 12 hour Cross Country Champion
Welsh Two Day Enduro E1 Champion
2 x ISDE gold medals
Jason grew up in a very small village in the forests of mid Wales, growing up riding some of the toughest and most demanding trails in the world.
Playing soccer at a semi pro level until he turned 15, Jason then focused on his passion of racing dirt bikes.
Starting out at club level, Jason progressed through the motocross ranks, reaching a Pro level at age 18. After a few injuries racing motocross Jason turned his attention to cross country racing.
In 2005 Jason came to the US to compete in the GNCC series.
In 2008 Jason won his first ISDE Gold medal for the British Trophy team.