Stefan Everts is a very well known professional MX competitor from Belgium, but not much is known in the western world.
In this guide, Frontaer did some research to see his current status with Malaria and Amputation.
Stefan Everts Overview
Stefan practically was born to ride dirt bikes and by the age of 4, was already whizzing around on the equilavent of a PeeWee 50. Throughout his childhood and teenage years, his parents encouraged him to pursue his passion on 2 wheels.
Instead of school books, he opted for the race track and it certainly paid off. When others were finishing off school, he was already in the 125cc world championships with his debut at age 17. It only took 2 years of consistently hard work for him to secure his first title.
In the years to come, he would end up collecting numerous World Championship titles on his trusty 2-stroke dirt bikes. Instead of being the aggressive rider, he was smooth throughout his throttle and clutch control, with his riding being very much free-flowing.
He soon garned a reputation for his unique style of riding smoothly on the track. While most riders would rev it hard throughout each gear, Everts went high in the gearbox and would choose the higher gears and a standing position…even in the tight corners. Essentially, he was riding smarter instead of harder.
Stefan achieved a lot in his 16 years riding competitively. Up until 2006 when he finished racing, he had worked his way in with several times including Kawasaki, Honda and Suzuki. Towards the end of his riding career, he remained loyal to KTM.
His achievements include:
- Winning 101 Grand Prix victories in total which is staggering
- Was the 10 times World Champion
- The only rider in history to be World Champion for every Japanese manufacturer
- Was the Belgian Sportsman of the year 5 times
Upon ‘retiring’, he turn became the motocross race director for KTM’s factory team. Its in this position that he was able to turn his attention towards helping the next generation of riders become a weapon behind the handlebars.
Yet he continued to race competitively and turned his attention towards enduro. He competed at the Gotland Enduro competition (the biggest enduro in the world) twice, once in 2007 where his engine suffered issues due to mud, and again in 2008 when he crashed towards the race and couldn’t finish.
Injuries and Malaria
As you’ve probably heard, Stefan Everts has had some toes amputated due to catching a serious case of Malaria 2018, years after finishing his riding career.
Most riders continue to ride recreationally after retiring from competitive motocross and enduro. We can imagine this was not just heart-breaking for him, but a true scare for his family….especially as he had to go into a coma.
Fortunate, we have checked his Instagram mately and he’s alive and well. He’s spending a lot of time coaching his son to become a weapon behind the handlebars.
Stefan inspired a generation of riders to push past their existing limits, while encouraging the spectators to get into recreational dirt bike riding. It’s not often that we find someone willing to push himself beyond the edge, especially in the world of cotton wool.