Motorcycles have played a major role in the life of Jamestown native Shawn Higbee from racing to national championships to having a part in their development. Higbee, who was born in Jamestown on Aug. 17, 1970, started using motorized two-wheeled vehicles as early as the age of seven. He rode off-road mini bikes in his early years followed by falling in love with fast street bikes as a teenager. Higbee rode the same model bike that Tom Cruise used in the movie Top Gun and later got a job at Harley-Davidson of Jamestown after graduating from Southwestern Central School. While at Southwestern, he competed in wrestling and cross country and in 1987-1988 was a member of the Division 1 championship wrestling team. By working at Harley-Davidson as a technician, his interest grew en route to beginning his road-racing career on a Harley-Davidson Sportster. In just a few years, motorcycle road-racing would become the pro career for Higbee.
In 1994, Higbee moved to California where it didn't take long before he won the AMA Harley-Davidson Twinsports Championship for Bartels Harley-Davidson. Also, he placed second in the AMA Middleweight Team Challenge. Higbee was introduced to the movie industry as his impressive riding abilities were used when an experienced motocycle driver was needed. In 1995, he was second in the AMA Harley-Davidson Twinsport Series for Bartels Harley-Davidson.