Jim Kolman: Wheelsport at heart.

par Isa More
dans Profils de pilotes












Jim Kolman #146, you are running a family business with ''WHEELSPORT'' in Ontario. Can you tell us more about the history of your business?
My father, Fred Kolman started Wheelsport in 1972. He is now retired and I have been running the business for the last 20 years. We are located in Ottawa and sell many brands like KTM, Yamaha, Suzuki, Polaris and Victory, Aprilia, Moto Guzzi. Wheelsport has always been strong in supporting off road and motocross markets. It is a big part of our business plan. We have become the premier dirt bike store in the Ottawa and Gatineau area.


Is the industry in good shape in Ottawa in 2016?
The motorcycle industry in Ottawa is good. Being a government town protects from the market highs and lows. Our economy is steady and business is always healthy. It is a lot of work and dedication, but also very rewarding at times.

Is it true that endurocross is in expansion in comparison of MX?
Endurocross is a unique sport. It is just as competitive as mx for sure. But the FMSQ has done a great job on making endurocross more achievable for the average rider. There are many different classes for all ages and skill levels. I think it is easier for new riders to become racers by joining the FMSQ. It is fun, well organised, safe and is a good sport for the whole family. These are some of the reasons why endurocross is growing in popularity so fast.

You sell KTM bikes at your shop. KTM won the ''Prix du Manufacturier 2016'' for the third year in a row at our FMSQ banquet. In your opinion, what is the secret of their success since ten years, on top of their amazing sense for marketing!?
The answer is simple. KTM makes the best off road bikes on the planet. Two stroke or four stroke, mini or full size, they are the best. KTM is at the top of their game right now. In my 38 years of racing, I have tried them all and if you want to race in the dirt, a KTM motorcycle should be in your garage. The bikes are well built, the company is progressive and ever changing. Their technology evolves faster than the competition.

You are well-known in the industry for the support you give to the riders and to the FMSQ as well. I see 'Wheelsport' stickers everywhere, on bikes and on trailers (laughs). Which riders do you support in 2016 and how do you select them?
Wheelsport supports many riders in many different clubs in mx, endurocross and even a few road racers. The list is very long. Just to name few FMSQ riders: is Gabriel Potvin who will be racing pro next year. Ben Lalonde, Bryson, Ashton and Cameron Durie, Billy Tighe, Pascal, Nathalie, Gabriel, and Dominic Couture. This just to name a few. I sponsor with discounts and support many more riders. There are dozens of riders who I wish "have a good race" on the start line. Most importantly I support my family. Benjamin, Hannah and Jacob Kolman. Also my wife Lisa Lacroix.


Your family is a family of riders: your sons are in Écolier B and in Amateur 17-, your wife is in Dame 35+, and yourself are in Sportsman. It has been a long time I wanted to catch you for this interview, you must be so busy! How do you manage to do everything? Do you have a clone (laughs)?
Life is busy for me for sure. I see it as two full time jobs. Wheelsport and team Kolman racing! It is a huge commitment. Spring and summer is crazy busy preparing bikes, mid week practice sessions, traveling and then the actual racing. I have been doing it all my life and wouldn't change a thing. We love doing this as a family and have made many good memories. We have no plans to stop racing anytime soon.


How is the family doing with their riding, did you bring a lot of throphies back in Ontario this year (laughs)?
2016 was a success for my family. Jacob won Ecolier B and is quickly becoming a very good woods rider. I am very proud of his composure on the track and the maturity in his racing skills. Benjamin had a fantastic season winning four or the nine rounds in Amateur -17 and finishing second overall. It was an exiting class to watch because the racing was so close every weekend. I'm sure he will be a top junior next year. My daughter Hannah also did all nine rounds in her first year of racing and I was impressed at her progress throughout the season. She finished fifth overall in Dame debutante B. My wife Lisa Lacroix races in Dames +35 and her best finish was 3rd at St Michel des Saints. I love riding the Sportsman class because I start one row ahead of my son Ben. My goal every weekend is for him to not pass me. We all love racing FMSQ very much. This year was a fun season.


What is your best moment for Wheelsport this season?
Wheelsport has had many good moments. It's difficult to pick just one. All of team Wheelsport's first place finishes are very good. People always like to see who is on top but a hole shot, a hard fought second or even finishing (when there's mud) can be just as exciting. The whole season was good. We had great weather and conditions and the tracks were very well prepared this year. I would like to thank all the FMSQ staff for their effort and support.

The best advice you could give to FMSQ riders with all your experience?
The FMSQ is a great club. It makes it easy to start racing because there is something for everyone. Four wheels or two, kids and grown ups, serious racers or weekend warriors. My advice is to buy your next bike at Wheelsport, join the FMSQ and go give racing a try. Thanks for this interview and see you at the races next year.

Jim Kolman #146



Wheelsport Ltd. Ottawa 
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Crédit photo:  Kolman family and Isa More (Jim Kolman-Parc Octane 2016).