Local 7-year-old has passion for dirt bike racing
by Jennifer Cohron
Dec 17, 2012 | 2907 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Auston Harbin, a 7-year-old from Empire, is already a dirt bike racing champion. He started racing at 4.  Photo special to the Eagle
Auston Harbin, a 7-year-old from Empire, is already a dirt bike racing champion. He started racing at 4. Photo special to the Eagle
Auston Harbin wasn’t born on wheels, but he discovered them shortly thereafter.

Auston has been racing dirt bikes since he was 4 years old. Now 7, he has climbed his way to the top of his class in the Alabama State Championship Series.

His mother, Brandy Robinson, said Auston began asking for a dirt bike around age 3.

Although some dirt bikes come with training wheels, his parents refused to put him on anything with a motor until he learned to ride his regular bicycle without training wheels.

“He tried and tried. One day, I looked out the window and he was going across the yard. He was so excited,” Robinson said.

That Christmas, Auston became the proud owner of a Honda 50 cc. He entered his first race less than two months later.

Over the past three years, Auston and his family have traveled as far away as Mississippi to take part in motocross competitions.

The closest tracks to their home are in Empire and Warrior, where Auston does most of his practicing.

Auston now races in the Alabama State Championship Series, which takes place outdoors and runs March through October, as well as the Alabama ArenaCross Series, which fills up his winter.

Auston’s collection of bikes has grown to six. He is currently racing two on a regular basis and the others are used as back-ups.

Just like the pros, Auston has had to seek out sponsorships to help pay for his equipment.

Auson’s family has also invested a countless amount of money and time in his hobby.

“With ArenaCross, we have to get there every Saturday at 10 a.m. and we don’t get out of there until about 11 p.m. on Saturday nights,” Robinson said.

In three years of racing, Auston has taken several spills on the track but has never had a major accident.

Every time he is on a dirt bike, he is padded from head to toe with a long list of protective gear.

As a result, the sight of Auston on a bicycle strikes much more fear in his mother’s heart.

“When I see him out in the yard on his bicycle, I think ‘Oh, no.’ He will wreck a bicycle every time and come in with a skinned leg or some other injury,” Robinson said.

Auston loves his dirt bikes so much that he counts down until it’s race day again.

When he can’t be on the track, he and his stepfather, Terrell Robinson, stay up late at night watching YouTube videos of professional motocross racers.

Practice and passion have made perfect in Auston’s case. At an award ceremony for the Alabama State Championship Series earlier this month, Auston received three championship trophies.

Auston managed to hold on to first place in points from the time the season began in March.

Now that Auston has tasted of victory, his next goal is establishing the Auston Harbin brand.

“He says that he is going to have his own dirt bike in Wal-mart one day for everybody to buy,” Robinson said.