Every good race bike needs a good name, and Jeff Greene affectionately calls his Honda CRF 450 Old Bessie. A decade old, the supermoto bike has been through a lot, and she’s had plenty of facelifts to stay competitive.
“The carbs and wiring harness are the only original things on the bike, other than the frame. She’s kind of a mutt. For supermoto, you don’t need the latest and greatest,” Greene says.
Greene has been racing supermoto for the past ten years. He’s done some roadracing and even scooter racing, but he finally found his home in the SupermotoUSA paddock. “SupermotoUSA is the largest supermoto club in the country,” Greene says. “We’ve turned out people who have gone on to bigger things: Joey Pascarella, who won the Daytona 200, came from us. Cameron Beaubier and Michael Hannas are other SupermotoUSA guys.”
Long before motorcycles became a part of his life, Greene was a top amateur bicycle racer. He started down that path when he was fifteen, with dreams of being a professional. But by the time he moved from Santa Barbara, California, to San Francisco in his early 20s, Greene was burned out.
Around the same time, Greene read a magazine article about racing YSRs and Vespas. He had one of each in his garage and headed out to compete in his first race in March of ’93. He wound up riding his YSR to fourth in his debut race (meanwhile, first and second went to Ben and Eric Bostrom).
Greene won his second race on the YSR, and for a while he was content racing that and his scooter. Around 2000, though, he sold them for an RS125 GP bike. Greene began using Galfer products then, and he still does, though he has traded in his GP bike for the CRF 450.
Like any racing career, Greene’s has had some ups and downs, including a broken leg. Still, the high points far outweigh the low points. Greene took a top three points standing in four different championships in 2009. As for winning races, Greene says, “It took me 300 starts and I finally won a main! I had won a few heat races—I win a few of those every year—but that win is a highlight, especially since I checked out and ran away from everybody.”
Outside of racing, Greene juggles his dad duties (he has five kids) with racing, collecting vintage Volkswagens, and a passion for both tattoos and guitars. Even with so much going on, Green still finds time to treat Old Bessie to a weekend at the track.