Carey Hart: FMX Pioneer

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If you know what freestyle motocross is then you should know who Carey Hart is – the heavily tattooed FMX pioneer and dirt bike legend, that has “Hart” tattooed between the knuckles on his right hand and “Luck” between the knuckles his left. He has been so influential to the sport that he is one of very few riders that has a trick named after him – the “Hart Attack“. A trick he invented which is basically a handstand with one hand on the throttle, the other gripping the rear of the seat, while mid-flight over a jump. Sounds easy huh? But like many other pro FMX riders, Carey Harts roots stemmed from motocross.

He was born in California on July 17, 1975 but spent most of his years growing up in Las Vegas. He got into MX at age 4 after his Dad bought him his first dirt bike, igniting the flame and setting him up for a celebrity-status lifestyle of bikes and cameras. In 1993, by age 18, he was racing professionally and also began racing in AMA supercross events, but he never seemed to be able to come away with any serious results and soon became unsatisfied with the sport. In 1998 he and a few friends began experimenting with tricks while jumping, and so the beginning of freestyle motocross had begun…

Carey Hart was never one to just follow the others, rather he preferred to push the limits of what was considered possible. And in 2000 he pulled off the FMX equivalent to cracking the 100m sprints in under 10 seconds record… he became the first person in the world to complete a back flip on a dirt bike. Although he didn’t ride away from it, in that moment at the Gravity Games he completely changed the perceptions of what other riders thought was possible and shot himself into stardom through various MX vids, TV shows, movies and interviews. And so what followed is what we have seen in the way of massive progression of back flips and a whole list of other mind blowing related tricks that is ‘common stuff’ these days.


Living the rock star-like lifestyle of freestyle motocross hasn’t all been cupcakes and tea parties for Carey though. He claims to have broken over 63 bones in his body and was aiming to have a hip replacement by 2011 at age 36. He reckons his 2nd worst accident happened when he was just 16. He jumped into the side of a tractor that was working on the track and broke both femurs, his tibia, fibula and wrist. How does one top that with a nastier accident I hear you ask? At Tony Hawks Boom Boom Huck Jam Tour he had his worst ever crash that not only almost killed him, but ended his freestyle career and put him out of riding for 5 years. He was about to launch off a ramp when a skater came in from the side forcing Carey to abort the run up and crash directly into some scaffolding. He broke both his legs and both arms. Youch! Imagine trying to take care of business with all of your limbs in casts!

Since his devastating accident he has picked up riding again at more casual events where his wife Pink has been found touring with him. But his main focus is now on his business ventures which happen to be a lot less bone crushing. He is pursuing his passion of tattooing and is utilizing his fame to run his own tattoo parlors and rock n’ roll nightclubs.



D.O.B: 17.07.1975
Home Town: Las Vegas, Nevada U.S.A
Racing Number: #46
Hobbies / Interests: Tattooing, cycling, supermoto, snowboarding, playing bass guitar (esp. with his mates from Korn), off road truck racing.

* All care was taken to get this information correct at the time of writing. If anything is wrong please contact me so I can correct it.

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Jim Harmer

I'm the co-owner of Dirt Bike Planet. I live in Star, Idaho and enjoy dirt biking with my wife and two boys throughout the Idaho mountains.

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