Frank Keegan: The Man Behind KR4 Performance
Through e-mails, phone calls, and texts I got the chance to see how Frank Keegan, the owner of KR4 Performance and Keegan Wireless, has enough energy and time in the day to keep on top of things.
So what are your roots in offroad racing? My off road roots run deep in Western PA. Growing up as a kid in western PA, you either played school sports or rode dirt bikes. I tried the team sports route and didn’t agree with the way it was structured. If you weren’t the coaches’ kid or your dad didn’t know the coach you never played regardless of skill. You weren’t in the click. I remember one time, the head coach took some favorite football kids for Pizza after the game and the rest of us didn’t get invited because we didn’t start. It was then and there I stopped playing school sports and focused on motorcycle racing. I started out racing some local hare scrambles in District 5 and eventually some GNCC’s in 1988. In 1989 I won District 5 and the State Championship and a new YZ250 from Yamaha for being the overall B rider on a Yamaha in the GNCC Series. I then raced Pro in the 1990’s, awarded most improved rider, riding for ATK Motorcycles, and Yamaha. Had the pleasure of racing against legend Eddie Lojak, Scott Plessinger, Scott Summers, Terry Cunningham, Jeff Russell and Duane Conner. It was a lot of fun and really defines who I am today as a person! Racing teaches you that if you want something bad enough, it’s up to you to get it done nothing in this world is handed to you!
Where did the idea for KR4 Performance come from and how long has it been around? Our KR4 model started from the idea of creating a company that helps youth riders get to the top without making the many mistakes we experienced over the years. Our model is simple, help support the rider as much as we can, help them to make good choices, help market them, give them a factory image to build their career so that they can take it to the next level and move to our Pro Team. Our performance shop can financially help the rider with offsetting the high cost of working on a 4 stroke motor. We offer deep discounts to our riders.
After Jason Thomas split with F.A.R., where did the idea come from to start a race team with him as your rider? In 2011 I went in search looking for sponsorship to help with our 2012 Kawasaki Youth Team and it was a huge success. We received support from Kawasaki, Dunlop, Sunstar and Maxima and we put together our Youth Team. When Jason Thomas decided he wanted to leave F.A.R., I guess you could say we were at the right place at the right time and it all made sense.
With Keegan Electric, KR4 Performance, the race team, and four boys that race; when do you have time to breath? I guess you can say I’m pretty busy, but the key to success and getting things done is basically to surround yourself with good people (my wife being # 1), the right people who know how it’s supposed to work. At the end of the day customer satisfaction is our number one goal!
What is the hardest part of being a team owner? I would say the day to day decision making is the hardest part of owning a team because the decision you make today can affect everyone on the team differently tomorrow. Making the right decision is hard when it affects multiple team members and their families.
What is the ultimate goal for the KR4 Performance team? Our number one goal at KR4 is customer satisfaction! I would say our Ultimate goal is; if you’re at an amateur level, we want to be the go to guys for anyone interested in taking their racing to a Pro level. A team on the level of a SX/MX satellite team such as JDR KTM, Star Valli Yamaha, Rockstar Suzuki, Pro Circuit Kawasaki.
What is your ultimate goal as the team owner? As a business and team owner their needs to be money in your bank account at the end of the day. Like any business, cash flow is always a major concern and our goal is to develop a business model that works.
We talked about your new “Arrive-N-Race” program, could you elaborate more on this new venture? We are very excited about our 2013 GNCC Arrive n Race program. I’ve hired Billy Beam, who has experience with Arrive-n-Drive programs from the Auto racing industry and we are currently building our program for next year. KR4’s Arrive n Race is very similar to auto racing in that a driver (Rider) contracts a team to run him in a race or championship series. This model is primarily driven by the high cost of fuel to travel to all races and it saves the racer time & money. Our program is ideal for aspiring racers to gain attention, the factory image, and a direct pipeline to our pro team. KR4’s Arrive n Race program is simply a feeder program to our pro team. Anyone selected will receive a deep discount across the board for tires, oil, gear and equipment, they will also be a part of our social media and marketing coverage, they will receive one on one training from our pro riders, have access to our race shop, be a part of test n tune days and be under the KR4 canopy at the GNCC races.
When do you plan to kick off the Arrive-N-Race program? We have already contracted a few racers for the remainder of the 2012 GNCC season and its going great. Officially we will start our program next year at the GNCC round one located in River Ranch Florida. We will be doing some test n tune events before then throughout the winter in preparation to next year’s season.
What brands of bikes do you plan to have with this program? We are currently discussing with a few motorcycle manufacturers and hope to have things wrapped up very soon. We are not opposed to having mutaple brands either, I guess time will tell!
Who would like to thank for helping out this year? I would like to thank God for the plan he has given me, my family, wife Kristin, Colin, Conner, Brandon and Brian, my brother Brian and my Dad for always being there and helping out. All of our sponsors, Kawasaki, Maxima, Dunlop Tires, Sunstar, Frank Porupski, Jason Thomas, Billy & Karlynn Beam, Mark Heresco , the Ward & Rush Family.
Please check out our website at www.kr4performance.com