Often labeled a child prodigy, Aaron’s true talents weren’t discovered until the start of his teen years. His familiarity with bikes started at age 2 when his parents bought him a Yamaha PW50, a small single-speed dirt bike that a lot of kids learn to ride on. He learned basic riding skills then quit riding until age 12 when he got on his first motocross bike. Aaron and his father rode trails and nearby motocross parks learning the clutch and further refining his bike handling skills.
It was at this time that Aaron’s father started developing an interest in the streetbike freestyle scene. Stunt riding mostly for fun, he took a commuter bike and converted it into a freestyle bike that he used to practice in parking lots. Like a sponge, Aaron took in everything his father taught him. One day, Aaron asked his father if he could ride “the big bike.” His father hesitated, unsure of how to respond. Aaron says, “But he finally let me do it, and within 45 minutes of riding around the parking lot, I was able to scrape the tail.” There was no turning back for Aaron. He remembers, “I gathered all the 10s, 20s, 1s and 5s I could find and was able to scrape up enough money to get my first bike.”
Despite his explosive success in streetbike freestyle over the last few years, the 17-year-old is diversifying. Starting in 2007, Aaron began pursuing a career in motorcycle road racing and has “been finishing top-three in almost all of the regional races I’ve entered,” he says. “I use road racing as a cross-training tool. The freestyle helps the road racing and the road racing helps the freestyle. I also do trials and moto.” Aaron says he has no plans to leave streetbike freestyle but considers himself an all-around motorsport athlete. He says, “A lot of other guys do multiple sports to stay on their toes…that’s what I do too.”
In recent years, streetbike freestyle has started undergoing a facelift of sorts, trading in its bad-boy image to become a legitimate sport and competition that hosts a more professional showcase. The sport’s premier competitions in the United States attract fans, riders, and media from around the world. Aaron has been one of the biggest catalysts for this change, and he’s well aware of it. He says his biggest accomplishment isn’t any one of the many trophies he’s won. Instead, it’s “bringing a clean image to the sport of streetbike freestyle (or freestyle street extreme). I’ve been able to put a clean face with strong younger image on this sport.” In doing so, he has almost single-handedly opened the doors wide open for the sport to become more mainstream, something his sponsors and many fans are thrilled about.
Aaron was taken under the tutelage of World Champion stunt rider Christian Pfeiffer at the 2008 Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix, where Pfeiffer selected Aaron Colton as the next big streetbike freestyle superstar. Christian Pfeiffer is one of his biggest role models. Aaron says, “Christian has sort of the same clean image that I have, except over in Europe.” He compares Christian’s accomplishments with his own, saying, “What I offer that’s different is that I’m the first young person in my sport, bringing sort of that family feeling you see at motocross and other motorsports and mainstream sports events. I think it’s something that’s catching on and is helping put some momentum behind the sport as a whole.”
In 2010, Aaron is taking a different approach to competition than he did in previous years when he attended just about every competition he could travel to. In freestyle street extreme, there are currently multiple competition series, totaling more than a dozen competitions, which keeps riders extremely busy. This year, Aaron’s primary focus for freestyle competitions is the XDL series. To stay focused on freestyle and at the top of his game, while jump starting his racing career, he will be hand picking national races with the toughest competition. This will push him to excel his riding and receive the highest level of experience and exposure, primarily in WERA National and AMA Supersport Series. After winning some WERA Nationals in 2009, he is confident he can excel in racing and freestyle, while continuing to push the sport of freestyle and provide an overall great “face” and image for the motorcycle industry. “It’s hard for me to set aside 12 or 13 weekends a year to compete in every competition, especially with the road racing and all of the shows and appearances I do for sponsors and clients around the country. It kind of adds up.”
So in 2011, he’s picked the biggest contests of the year, and he plans on going to those and winning them all. The confident teenager says, “I believe that I can go to the biggest competitions and prove that between my perseverance, riding ability and devotion to the core of what this freestyle sport is all about, that I can maintain and grow my high level of riding, success and credibility within the sport and the industry. Plus, it will give me time to promote the sport with more a more mainstream image.”