Competitive By Nature
From searching for the perfect lines around the race circuit to trying to create the perfect lines in design, Sam has been on the pursuit of perfection since the age of 5 when his father encouraged him to start riding motorcycles. With his Dad’s constant support throughout the years from dirt track to supermotard and several years later and his Spray painting trade under his belt he commenced road racing.
Sam began racing his fathers post classic XS650 Yamaha and his commitment paid off winning an Australian Title in the Period 4 Post Classic Section on the underpowered Yamaha. Sam pursued his dream of winning by investing his savings into a new Kawasaki ZX6R and thrived in the world of racing. He and his father used their knowledge to compete in the Australian Formula Xtreme Series. After a good crack over the course of a few years and two broken collar bones, Sam changed his tactics. The decision to keep one of the ZX6R’s saw them competing for fun in a club series. However, when a Team invited Sam to ride with them in the FX Series he has instantly hooked again after the first round. Sam focused on self-improvement and faced the exhilarating challenges that only motorsports can offer. Even tho a serious accident left Sam minus his little finger the memory of regret for quitting racing when he was younger drove him to get back on the bike practicing for the next round of the championship. There he met Al Samuels, a track coach, and mentor. With his help, Sam went on to win consecutive races at the last round of the championship and finished 4th in the championship.
Training harder than ever 2017 was going to be the year to win the Championship. Unfortunately, engine problems saw them on the back foot in the first round. Then Round 2 Sam crashed out and fell behind in points and his confidence was challenged. The next 3 rounds saw him place conservatively in 4th place. Round 6 was held at his home track (Sydney Motorsport Park) and his plan to be competitive saw him qualify 3rd and was never more ready. Several attempts to take the lead led to a small miscalculation and lost the front end which destroyed his motorcycle. In race two and on his spare bike, Sam’s grit and determination gained him his first podium of the year. A year filled with challenges highs and lows the team were ecstatic, to say the least. With only the spare bike to compete on at the final round in Phillip Island Victoria, the morning air was filled with frustration in qualifying as Sam struggled to make the top 10 on the underdeveloped machine. A few laps into the race he felt the need to push it but lost the front end on one of the fastest corners of the circuit, dislocating his left shoulder and destroying his 2nd bike. Weighing up options Sam took a step back from racing for 2018 and is now focusing on his passion for creative design and painting.
Sam credits his grandmother for his creativity. From the moment he was born he was surrounded by her beautiful works of art that she poured all her passion into. Nana (V.N. Merritt) would always get the paints out and share her knowledge with Sam but he didn’t really take to painting flowers with watercolors.
Although, it definitely led him down the own path of creativity and he drew his first motorbike at the age of 4. This went on for some years, drawing his idols on the race tracks and the classic race bikes his dad built. At 14 years a good friend introduced sam to airbrushing and taught him a few tricks and continued to practice this skill. School finished and it just seemed a good idea to take on a spray painting apprenticeship. The art of airbrushing began to blend with spray paint, but he was still to find his niche.
Then at 26 years while at a bike show with his Dad they spotted a GSX1100 which just blew his mind. His Dad knew of one for sale so by the end of the week they had fully stripped the GSX back to the frame and began rebuilding this old GSX1100 which was named Bumble Bee. Sam’s imagination was unleashed and felt so gratified with the simplicity the way the colors came together, he knew this was the start of a new adventure, this new approach to design, creativity, and painting would forge the way into his future career.