Ryan Capes, the one-time world record holder for long-distance motorcycle jump, has died at the age of 40.
The news of Capes’ death was first announced in a Facebook post from MotoXAddicts. The post cited a friend of Capes’ family who had spoken to the motocross star’s mother. The post did not mention Capes’ cause of death.
Capes was the subject of the 2003 documentary My Way to the Record.
Capes Set a World Record in 2008 When He Jumped 391 Feet on a Motorcycle
Capes last set a world record in November 2008 when he jumped 391 feet on a motorcycle. Capes told RacerXOnline in 2008 that he performed the jump on a Kawasaki 450. During that interview, Capes said he had signed a deal with a major network to see if he could surpass 400 feet in a jump. Capes added that he was traveling 102 miles per hour when he hit the ramp.
Capes went on to say that he thought he could hit 500 feet in distance if he hit the “right ramp” at 120 miles per hour. Capes’ record was broken in June 2012 by teenager Alex Harvill, who achieved a distance of 425 feet.
Capes first set a world record, 310 feet and 4 inches, in October 2005.
According to his LinkedIn page, Capes has been a professional motorcycle rider since 1999.
Capes Referred to Himself as an ‘Adrenaline Junkie’ on His Instagram Bio
On March 4, Capes paid tribute to his son in a Facebook post that read, “My son is my world. I haven’t been the best dad lately but my son is my life.” According to that page, Capes was living in Seattle at the time of his death. Capes was from Clinton, Washington. On his Facebook profile, Capes says he graduated from South Whidbey High School in 1999 and Everett Community College.
Capes said in a 2003 interview with the South Whidbey Record of his upbringing on Whidbey Island that “Someone had to come off the rock and make a name for himself.”
Capes said in the same interview that he had been dirt biking since he was a teenager. He said he only took a break from the sport in senior year when his parents, Greg and Sherry, put pressure on him to get better grades.
In His Last Visible Facebook Post, Capes Called His Mother, ‘The Best Mom in the World’
The last visible post on Capes’ Facebook page saw the late motorcycle legend pay tribute to his mother, calling her the “best mom in the world.” Capes’ mother told the South Whidbey Record in 2003 that she used to try to dissuade her son from jumping on his motorcycle. Sherry Capes went on to say that as her son became a professional athlete, she began to support him. Capes’ mother added that she even attends his events, as long as she’s said some prayers beforehand. She said, “When you’re actually there, it’s not as bad as it seems.”
Capes says on his Instagram bio that he is an “adrenaline junkie.” Capes’ Instagram page has been inactive since January 20.
In a bio on his official website, Capes lists his interests as snowboarding, wakeboarding, dirt biking and traveling.