When Steve Grigg learned of the passing of 2002 AMA Superbike Champion and 2006 FIM MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden, he was devastated, along with hundreds of thousands of other motorcyclists and racing fans who were crushed by the loss of the American road racing legend.
After growing up racing with Nicky and his family, Grigg wanted to pay his respects to the Hayden family and honor Nicky for the incredible athlete he was.
While working late in the garage one night, the idea hit him: With the AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship just a few weeks away, Grigg and his son, Wristin, decided they wanted to create graphics for Wristin’s dirt bike that would replicate the bike Hayden rode to the 2006 world title.
Steve Grigg's son Wristin with his replica Nicky Hayden bike at the 2017 AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship.
“I was on the phone with MX Sports and the AMA the next day,” Grigg said. “The graphics wouldn’t have been right without running the famous No. 69.”
Grigg was able to secure the number and worked with a local graphics company to make sure that his son’s dirt bike would look as close as possible to Hayden’s famous Repsol Honda.
“We were getting all kinds of looks at Loretta’s,” Grigg said. “People were doing double takes and giving us the thumbs up. It was so cool. Just to see everyone know what it was for and see everybody recognizing and honoring Nicky was just really cool. It brought everyone together.”
While Wristin experienced some bad luck while competing in the AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship, both men say they weren’t upset with the outcome.
“We didn’t go down there to win a championship,” Grigg said. “It wasn’t about winning. It was just about Nicky this year. He’s a legend with a true American heart and I hope we can continue to keep his legacy alive.”