Growing up in a highly academic family, James Compton’s early passion for motorcycles and hot rods took a back seat to education and sports. After completing his education at the University of Washington, the former UW full back traded in his helmet and pads for a motorcycle helmet and leathers. James began road racing in 1992. After a 12 year race career highlighted by competing in AMA Pro Superbike and Formula Extreme classes, James once again shifted gears. He decided to hang up his leathers and has spent the last 13 years working in the AMA paddock as a mechanic, tuner, crew chief and team manager. At the track he excelled as a race mechanic, quickly catapulting his career to higher levels. His attention to detail, intricate knowledge of the bikes, and previous race experience as an AMA rider allowed him to offer great insight both on the track and in the pit. During that time, James had the privilege of working with some of the finest riders and teams in the world including Ben Spies, Steve Rapp, Jake Holden, Jason Pridmore, Cameron Beaubier, Bobby Fong and Michael Beck.
While tuning for Michael Jordan’s AMA Superbike team, James created his first full custom bike, “The Crusher”. Inspired by his love of classic hot rods as well as his passion for racing, this pro street style bike became an instant celebrity and was featured in magazines world-wide, prompting an invitation to compete in Discovery Channel’s Biker Build Off. In 2007, James brought home the Biker Build Off trophy and a new love for the artistic and creative side of motorcycling. Several years later, he was asked to participate in a build for an episode of Wrench Against the Machine.
At the close of the 2011 race season, James decided to leave the AMA paddock and focus his efforts on creating custom bikes and parts. In 2012, James Compton Customs was born. His primary platform since then has been the Kawasaki ZRX1200–one of his all time favorite bikes both on and off the track.