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FLASHBACK FRIDAY: The Legend Brian Kinwald

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By Mike Garrison

A Moment with Mike is a weekly opinion column where LiveRC’s Mike Garrison gives his take on hot-button issues, general topics, and conversations within the RC industry. The views and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of LiveRC.

We dedicate this week's Flashback Friday to the amazing R/C racing career of the late Brian Kinwald. 

Brian Kinwald grew up as a kid racing competitive BMX, but turned to R/C car racing a teenager, and kicked off his career racing throughout Southern California in the late 1980's. It didn't take long before Brian was turning heads and making moves. BK first joined Team Associated, where he began to make a name for himself in the early 1990's with podium finishes around the nation at events such as the ROAR Nationals, Reedy Race of Champions, Florida Winter Champs, and many more.

In 1992, Kinwald won his first ROAR National Championship title in the Mod 2wd Buggy class. With confidence at an all-time high, he would carry on to win the 1993 IFMAR 2wd Buggy World Championship in England. In 1994, Kinwald won his first stadium truck National Championship title, but would soon after part ways with Team Associated and Reedy to join Team Losi and Trinity.

The new rides didn't slow BK down, as he continued his winning ways and taking his new team to the top by scoring numerous National Championship titles and Team Losi's first ever IFMAR World Championship in 1997.

In 1999, Team Losi debuted the new XXX line of vehicles (which Brian helped to develop) at the ROAR Nationals hosted by MnM Raceway in Corona, California. Kinwald would take the TQ and win all three classes (2wd buggy, 4wd buggy, and stadium truck) convincingly. From 1999 - 2003 Brian would continue racking up win after win - including a ROAR National Championship title in 1/8-scale off-road. Overall in his career, Brian earned an incredible 30+ titles in the various classes combined. 

Aside from his impressive career on the racetrack, Brian was instrumental in development off the race track as well. BK played a major role in the design and development of numerous cars including those from Team Losi, X-Factory, and others. He was known throughout his career as the "tire prep king", as he was always innovating, cutting, splicing, designing and testing new tires. In the world of tires he was most well known for his famous BK Bar Tire from Losi.

(Losi BK Bar Tire)

Aside from tires and cars, BK spent time creating custom hand made parts with just his hands, an idea in mind, and a Dremel. While these parts were homemade, his amazing talent, skill, and precision made them a finished product that looked as though it were right off the assembly line.


While Brian's racing career, his ingenuity, and his innovations were impressive, the most legendary part of Brian Kinwald was his personality. Kinwald was a mentor to drivers big and small, was always willing to lend a helping a hand, and was a friend to anyone who had the honor of meeting him. He may have been the competition's biggest rival on the racetrack, but off the track he impacted the lives of so many as a friend, a family man, a hero, and a legend.

The endless memories of good times, adventures, friendships, laughter, and pure joy that Brian Kinwald brought to the R/C racing industry will live on forever.


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