Born: 1975
Inducted into MNZ Hall of Fame: 2008

Shayne King was born in to a motocross family, his father Ash owning a motorcycle shop and being a leading rider himself.

King joined his brother Darryll to become a famous double act in the history of New Zealand motocross racing through the 1980s and 1990s and into the 21st century.

From an early age, Shayne showed his ability by first winning the 1985-86 New Zealand 125cc Junior Motocross Championship and following that up with the New Zealand 1986-87 125cc Senior Motocross Championship in his first year of senior competition. It was a great start to what would become a glittering career.

Through the late 1980s and early 1990s, the name King would appear on many results sheets, be it Shayne, Darryll or even younger brother Damian.

In 1993, Shayne and mechanic Jimmy packed up and headed for Europe for the first time to ride in the FIM 125cc World Championship and selected international meetings. While not scoring any world championship points, it was a good learning experience. King won four international races in Europe and finished inside the top ten in eleven further races. This same year, he, brother Darryll and Darryl Atkins represented NZ and took fifth place overall in the Motocross des Nations in Austria.

Returning to New Zealand, King dominated the 1993-94 season. He won the Pro 125cc and Pro-Open NZ Championships, Pro 125cc and Open Supercross Championships and both the Pro 125cc and Open New Zealand Motocross Grand Prix at Woodville.

King headed back to Europe in 1994 aiming to finish in the top three in the 500cc World Championship. It started well with a win at the opening round. The following round disaster struck, as he caught his foot on a unforgiving rock. A broken foot ruled him out for much of the series, eventually finishing the year 24th outright.

For the 1995 season, King was signed by the KTM factory with a new machine and eventually finished ninth overall in the FIM 500cc Motocross Championship, after being as high as fifth at one stage. Big brother Darryll finished the year in third. King then teamed up with Darryll and Josh Coppins for the Motocross des Nations in Slovakia, placing seventh overall. Returning home for a limited season, he again won the NZ Motocross GP and finished third in the Pro-250 Supercross Championship.

Finally, in 1996, it all came together. King achieved his dream of becoming the FIM World 500cc Motocross Champion, only three seasons after he had arrived in Europe. New Zealand had its first Motocross World Champion.

He backed that up the following season with a third place behind brother Darryll and Joel Smets, who won the championship, then teamed up with Darryll and Josh Coppins to take NZ to third place overall in the 1998 Motocross des Nations in the UK.

Still a top ten world championship rider, he would finish eight in 1998, fifth in 1999 and seventh in 2001 in the 500cc World Motocross Championship. In 2000 he raced with limited success in the USA for KTM.

After returning to New Zealand, he continued to race successfully in his home country and Australia, winning his final two NZ championships in 2005 (250cc and 500cc) while establishing his wholesale motorcycle accessory business in his home town of New Plymouth. Shayne retired from active racing in 2007 after winning over thirty New Zealand Championship titles and a World Championship in twenty years of racing.

Shayne  was honoured with a special award by the New Zealand Sports Foundation in 1997 along with brother Darryll, Aaron Slight and Simon Crafar. Shayne was inducted to the Motorcycling New Zealand Hall of Fame in 2008.

Prepared for the MNZ Hall of Fame by MNZ Historian Ian Dawson

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