Photos by Nathan Hughes and Ale Di Lullo.

New INTENSE Factory Racing team rider Dakotah Norton has been a regular on the top step of the podium at the US ProGRT and Downhill South East series over the years and he is also familiar with the World Cup top 10. In the 2021 season he raced his way to three top ten finishes, narrowly missing out on a podium position at round #5 in Snowshoe (USA), and don’t forget his US Championships win at Winter Park, Colorado.

The 2022 season has started pretty well for Dak, on a new bike, and with his new INTENSE team, he rode to 11th place at the first round of this year’s World Cup in Lourdes, France. Having only had the new prototype M279 HP1 DH bike for two weeks it was a really solid performance, and a great start to the season.

“INTENSE has been winning races before I learned how to ride, so to be joining the INTENSE family this season is really exciting for me. They’re a brand that’s not afraid to step out of the mold as a racing program to put performance first. The entire program and everyone surrounding it has such a winning history, so I’m keen to put myself in a fresh environment and see what we can achieve together.” Dak

Who is Dakotah Norton?
Some two-wheeled enthusiast.

Where do you live?
Clinton, TN.

What do you do?
Mostly ride bicycles and motorcycles, although downhill racing takes up the majority of my time these days.

What is the worst job you have ever had?
Spent a couple years working as a mover. I really hated that.

Where are your favorite places?
Good jump trails, and moto tracks.

Where is your favorite place to ride?
Posh Woods.

When are you happiest?
Usually on my hardtail, I really enjoy riding that bike.

What makes you angry?
Spreading myself too thin, or feeling claustrophobic.

What makes you happy?
Going fast!

What is the best piece of advice you have even been given?
It’s OK to say no.

What are your extravagances?
Good coffee.

Who do you admire?
Travis Pastrana and Ricky Carmichael.

What’s the most important thing in your life?

What would you never throw away?

What is your greatest fear?

What is your luckiest escape?
My hometown.

What’s the first thing you do in the morning?

What’s the last thing you do at night?

What would your dream meal be?
Prime rib or good brisket.

What things do you always carry with you?
Phone, wallet, keys.

Do you have any regrets?
Not getting to chase my potential on a motorcycle.

What’s the most important lesson you have learnt?
Being OK with circumstances as they are between people.

If you could have dinner with three famous people (dead or alive) who would they be?
Ricky Carmichael, James Stewart and Sam Hill.

Who is your favorite rider?
Brandon Semenuk.

What is your favorite bike product of all time?
Good suspension.

What is your least favorite?
Large diameter handlebars and under powered brakes.

What’s your favorite motto or saying?
It is what it is.

What music are you listening to at the moment?
Tyler Childers, Zach Bryan, Colter Wall, Cody Jinks.

What one thing would you change about yourself?
Be OK with being OK.

What are your weaknesses?
Putting others before myself.

What does the future hold for you?
I just wanna keep ripping things that make me smile. I have a lot of goals I would like to chase, and I’m really excited to chase them on my terms without the fear of failure or the anxiety of performance. In the past I have limited myself because of racing, and it kind of made me lose the love for what I’m doing. Really just living for happiness these days and I’m excited about it. I have a fresh start, and I think that will show on the race track.