State director profile – Nicky Zarras

This column is to honor the State Directors whose drive and personality improves the quality of life of their state MSTA members.

nicky_zarrasThis month STAReview magazine feature’s Nevada’s State Director Nick Zarras.

STAReview Magazine (SRM): What prompted you to join the MSTA and how long have you been in a member?

Zarras: I was hunting around the web sites and came upon the HSTA forum run off the site. It provided a casual spot to talk to like-minded motorcyclist. I was impressed with their knowledge and also the commentary was dignified. Not the media hype type of topics and language found on some forums. In the summer of 2007 I wrote an article for STAReview titled “Riding Disabled.” In January 2008 I was recruited to become an Editor at Large, which at my then 264-pound weight I was eminently qualified for. I have now trimmed down to 208 pounds. I became a Feature Editor in February 2008. In May 2012 I became Managing Editor.

SRM: Tell me about your first bike? What motorcycle do you ride to events now?

Zarras: My first bike was an old Harley-Davison M65. It was the Italian connection 65 cc commuter. I used to use it in New Jersey as a trail bike along the paths behind our apartments. Since 2003 I ride my 2001 VFR. It is my product test bike or, as I call it, my pickup truck.

SRM: How long were you a member before you became a State Director and what prompted you to volunteer for the position?

Zarras: I don’t really remember. Gary Kozlowski was the State Director and he recruited me. I gave it up for a while when my health went south, but picked it up again later.

SRM: What were your goals for your state once you became a State Director?

Zarras: I wanted to mimic the other great state organizations. I started a website and did a newsletter but then when my health changed I stopped. Now I have been linking with many motorcycle sellers and manufacturers, and my plans are to keep the members informed of local events. We are a small group in Nevada but there are a lot of great events close by to attend. So we can piggy back on great events. We just attended a MARS (Motorcycle Awareness Riders Safety) First Fallen Rider event. Damon A. Schuetze, ESQ ( is the driving force of this program. Dale Kieffer of Racers Edge, a co-founder of MARS, hosted the 2014 Track Day, AMT (Advanced Motorcycle Training) programs and assisted alongside the MARS group in the “Parade Laps to bring more awareness to rider education and safety. He was my instructor at the Yamaha Champions Riding School. Steve Avalos of BMW Motorcycles of Las Vegas is a key member of the MARS team and with the other MARS staff volunteers, insured the days success. The event started at Carter Powersports on South Decatur, and PK Handley, another key member, led the group to Las Vegas Motor Speedway. I rode the chase position. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Motors officers (LVMPD) were there also. They did the “Parade Laps” on the track with us. LVMPD motors has a strong program to increase the safety of motorcyclist in Nevada. Today had a great group of riders with outstanding comradery.

SRM: What does it take to be a State Director in respect to time and effort?

Zarras: Whatever you want to put into it.

SRM: What do you find to be the best way the members can help the State Director?

Zarras: Committing to write a state newsletter or suggest and run local rides.

SRM: What is one of your best memories as a State Director?

Zarras: No single one, it is just the comradery you build with other riders, and the life experiences you generate. It is not because I am state director for Nevada it is because we enjoy the motorcycle rides we go on together.

SRM: What one recommendation can you make to MSTA members who are thinking of becoming a State Director, Assistant Director or Co-Director?

Zarras: Delegate as much as you can if you have a large organization. Get out there and link to as many businesses, and organizations as you can and make them part of your organizational lives. Get your events and members into STAReview. It is not only a publication but a memory album for members. Take lots of pictures at your local events.

I would like to thank MSTA and the STAReview staff for making Nevada a great place to ride, and for enhancing my and other riders’ life experiences.

Ride Safe my friend…Clear skies, clear roads….

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