Balance: The Life of Ciaran Naran
“I always like to be well-rounded in whatever I do. I like to be able to things other than just ride a dirt bike, I think it’s good to keep a good balance in your life.” -Ciaran Naran
Words by: Hunter Dood
Photos by: Monti Smith, Travis Truitt and Hunter Dood
“I lived a fun life as kid,” Ciaran Naran said. “Growing up at the beach and desert, I was a kid with a lot of different interest and activities.”
Ciaran was born and raised in Huntington Beach and that allowed him to find his hobbies and passions. Naran quickly became passionate for surfing, skating, BMX and moto.
“I loved to ride my BMX bike, I loved surfing; it was part of my P.E. class in school. I would wake up every morning and go surf before school.”
Naran, now 21, credits his passion for riding to his dad. His dada has always been a motorsports enthusiast. He is a former Indy Car, Nascar and off-road crew chief.
“It all started when we would go out to the desert for fun as a family. My dad and I had our bikes and our family friends had theirs. Just enjoyed the freedom of riding with friends and family.”
His family would take trips to Salton Sea and Ocotillo. He said some of his greatest childhood memories were made riding in the desert with his dad.
“Not many families go out to the desert for a week and stay in a camper the entire time,” Naran said. “I think it made us closer as a family.”
As an amateur, Naran was solid. He never won and major titles but was in the mix.
Naran was a late bloomer but found success in riding. He qualified for Loretta’s eight times in a nine-year span.
Following a top 10 in the A class at Loretta’s in 2018, Naran made his pro debut at Hangtown in 2019.
“It was a rough one, but it was fun. I was so stoked to qualify for my first pro national on my first try. The second moto was probably the gnarliest track I have ever raced. It was such a rad experience; my dreams came true.”
At that point he saw the wetting on the walls and said “go to school."
Although he had some support, motocross is an expensive sport, and he decided that he didn’t want to keep spending his parent’s money. Currently, Naran is in College earning an engineering degree. He said school has always been important to him so he has been focusing on that.
“I still ride and race my dirt bike, but I have to keep balance,” he said. “I still race when the time is right, I’ll always be a racer."
You can find him at local motocross races but he’s also made his way back to the desert by way of the big 6 series.
“Off-road racing is a whole other world,” Naran said. “And to be honest, it ignited the spark again for me. It got me wondering, what’s next? Maybe the Baja 500 or 1000. I would love to do Baja someday.”
Naran said he’s now doing something he always wanted to do, which is make content.
“I was seeing my older friends like Todd Cram, Nick LaPaglia and Forrest Minchinton doing these cool trips on their bikes and boards and documenting it with films and photos. It just looked fun”
He got his chance last year when Dustin Humphrey broke off from Deus and started State of Ethos. He was invited to be part of a project based on the longest off-road race in the world, Vegas to Reno. That was his first time being part of project like that.
“The whole production of the film was something I never thought I would find myself doing, but the story telling side of racing is so cool it can be hard work but it really fun. The was a film and four-part behind the scenes on the trip. “It allows outsiders to see in, and that’s something Dustin is very good at. He’s a great story teller.”
Naran said Vegas to Reno was one of the best experiences for him.
“It was super fun for me because it brought me back out to the desert where I grew up riding. The experience was unreal. It was my first weekend with the SOE crew and I couldn’t have asked for better group to do that with.”
“It hasn’t stopped. I’ve been going to cool places and learned a lot in just a year with State of Ethos. It’s awesome we get to travel, ride dirt bikes and document our adventures.”
For the last two years Naran has been working at KTM, a company that showed him so much support during his amateur days.
“At KTM he is a customer service, reconditioning and demo unit technician. I take care of reconditioning our demo units.”
Naran hopes to work on a race team of some sort, similarly to his father.
“It has always been a goal of mine to work in automotive racing,” Naran said. “I think the stuff you learn from working on cars and for race teams is one of a kind. Not many people know how to do those things.”
Naran has been honing in on his skills by working on his bikes and his 1960 Ford F100.
“I built a 2021 Husky TC250 from the ground up. I framed it, got it powder coated, built the engine and just about everything else. I love that bike.”
Bike building has always been one of Naran’s passions.
“It allows me to show people who I am and be creative. I like to put a lot fo hours into my bike, and I think that shows a lot about my work ethic and that I care about my stuff.”
“It’s therapeutic for me.”
Naran said his bike building shows that he is not just a rider, but also a well-rounded mechanic. He even stated a new weekly Instagram Live series on @state_of_ethos called “The SOE Mechanics Club,” where he leads viewers through lessons in bike maintenance. He said there has been a lot of postitive response and hopes to grow into something bigger.
“I always like to be well-rounded in whatever I do. I like to be able to things other than just ride a dirt bike, I think it’s good to keep a good balance in your life.”
At the ripe age of 21, Naran seems to have his balancing act down.
"I'm excited for more adventures, memories and good times on dirt bikes with the boys."
Photos: @hdood_ @travistruittphoto