If you’ve followed the journey of privateer Logan Karnow in the past year, you know what a wild roller coaster it’s been. To quickly catch up, he had his title sponsor for the 2022 supercross season pull his funding for a contract “breach,” which led to Karnow taking to social media to explain his side of the story and quickly gain tons of support from the industry and the fans. From there, he brought in new title sponsors completely out of left field, ranging from Twitter account handles of women who are popular on OnlyFans, Instagram accounts looking to build their brand, and even the PulpMX community Discord funded Karnow’s efforts for a round. It was unprecedented and Karnow was taking all of it in stride while putting in career best results out on the racetrack.
As we get ready to head into the 2023 racing season, Karnow’s hard work appears to have paid off as he announced yesterday the signing of the main brand OnlyFans as his title sponsor for all of 2023 in a rather lucrative deal. Karnow will take his talents to the 450SX class full time and will do so with one of the more recognizable current brands out there backing him along the way. With this interesting news, we called up Karnow to get the lowdown on it all.
Racer X: Let’s just start at the beginning. Tell me about contacting OnlyFans to even get this set up. What is step one in making this happen?
Logan Karnow: Honestly dude, I was laying in bed, it was about 10:30 p.m. and I just so happened to go on their Instagram. I saw that they had an email on their Instagram. I shot them a quick email and gave them a rundown of kind of what happened last year. The next morning, I get a follow from their marketing guy. He shot me a message saying that he checked out my Instagram. What’s funny is, I don’t know if you saw a few posts ago where I made a bike with Ken Roczen and tagged OnlyFans and stuff like that, and that was one of the first things that they saw which was totally unplanned, but it maybe worked out in my favor [laughs]. And yeah, it just went from there. Within that week, I have an agent who is helping me out and he and myself and the marketing guy ended up getting on a Zoom call kind of talking details and stuff like that. Then a couple weeks later, we had a deal, and it’s very exciting.
What, if any, was their history or knowledge of you beforehand? Did they know anything about you going through this whole thing with a previous sponsor last year and then you have several OnlyFans users come in and help you get through the rest of Supercross. What did they know and what have they learned since being in contact with you?
Yeah, I don’t think they really knew much about it until they checked out my Instagram. They did their digging. The marketing team kind of went back and found all the write ups on Google and all of that with how I continued racing last year. They all thought it was super cool using their platform to continue racing for the rest of the year. It’s going to be a hell of a year. I’m really excited about it.
How have the last seven months been for you personally, like off the motorcycle? How has it been to go through the situation that you did and then see the fan support and other sponsors reaching out for you where now you’re at the point where you can bring on a pretty big sponsor like this?
It was crazy. One thing I pride myself on is being very good to all my sponsors. All of the teams that I’ve ridden for would take me back in a second. I still train with Bubba Pauli’s team which I was on for 2021. Julien who owns PRMX, I was riding for them for two years, he just stopped by my house as he was driving through and I bought him dinner. We’re still cool. So, that’s something that I still really pride myself on. This dude completely screwing me over and blindsiding me was a pretty crappy situation. He took the bikes back, took my travel vehicle. All the good stuff. I pretty much just reached out on social media and let everyone know what was going on. I had a lot of fan support and actually made a nice chunk of change off that. I had enough money to go buy my own dirt bike and pretty much covered my travel for the rest of the year. I got some pretty cool title sponsors with Hanna Ray and everybody. People loved it because it was kind of a different way to approach going racing. I feel like motocross is a pretty corporate sport for the most part and I was kind of not that and I think people gravitated towards that, which was cool. I had the best result of my 450SX career at Detroit in the main which was unbelievable. The rest of the season went good. I put it in like four or five more main events after Detroit, had some good rounds, and let loose a bit after that. I bought myself a boat. Pretty much lived on the lake all summer having a good time. I was still riding a little bit, but I like to let loose a little bit and have a good time in the summertime.
You talked a bit about the fans responding to the way you were a bit off-brand with generating sponsorship. You were a bit off the wall from what we’ve normally seen. Where do those ideas come from? What in your mind clicked to do it the way you did it?
Honestly, I kind of just fell into it. After all that crap happened, Namura Pistons was my next best sponsor so without even questioning it I put Namura on my shrouds for Detroit. And then I got reached out to by Hanna Ray. She actually just slid in my DMs on Instagram and asked me if I would be interested in running her Twitter handle on my shroud for this amount of money. I’m like, ‘Absolutely!’ That’s a nice little chunk of change for me after all that went on. So yeah, I talked to my graphic guy and got all that handled, and really, I was totally not thinking it would blow up as much as it did. It really stirred up some news in the industry, which was cool. I really just lucked into it. And then after seeing how much success Hanna Ray had doing it, I was getting reached out to quite a bit and it just went from there.
I feel I have to ask this. There’s always perhaps the connotation that working with OnlyFans women and now actually OnlyFans looks maybe a little bit negative from a family sport perspective. Have you had any push back on any of that stuff at all though?
Honestly dude I have not. I’m sure there are some people who are very corporate that may not like it but I honestly don’t really care. I kind of found my little niche and it’s been crazy. I’m just very blessed to have this opportunity. It’s awesome.
So what bikes are you going to be riding next year?
I’m going to go 450 all next year. My local dealership Kennedy [Cycles], they gave me one bike, but they are such a small dealership that they only get a few bikes in a year. So, I went out and just bought another Kawasaki 450 actually like a few days ago at full retail. But it’s all good. I’m going to sell my bike I bought just before Detroit so I won’t be too much in the hole for bikes, which will be nice.
You had a career-best, like you said, in Supercross this past year. It’s been a wild year for you outside of the riding, but inside the riding, how have you felt? How was the year in terms of building and getting stronger and being more comfortable on the bike?
Yeah it was good. I feel like when I race the 250 class, I feel a lot more pressure because I’m expected to be in every main event. I’m expected to make it right out of the heat at this point. When I jumped to the 450 class, it was not expected of me to start making main events. So, once I started making main events, I did start to feel a lot more pressure. But I feel like I do well under pressure when I’m like, “Well this is what I’ve got to do.”
So as an extension to that, do you feel you’ve adapted mentally to the 450SX class now and there’s no more hurdles of thinking about the guys you’re racing against or what position you need to be in? You’re comfortable where you’re at?
Yeah absolutely. When I was not making 450 main events, I was pissed off, and I used to not be. When I got like an eighth or ninth in a 450 LCQ, there would be an after party. Like I need to celebrate [laughs]. But now if I get a fifth in an LCQ, I am throwing shit. I’m mad. So, that makes me feel that I know I belong there.
We’re still a little ways away of course, but what kind of goals do you want to lay out for yourself?
I don’t know, it’s tough to say. It’s no secret that the 450SX class was a little thinned out towards the end of the year last year. Obviously, the goal at A1 is, I want to put it in the main event. If I can get in most of the main events, that would ideally be my goal. Just to keep building and keep getting stronger in those main events and hopefully working up towards that top 15 consistently.
I wanted to ask your thoughts on the SuperMotocross series, just because as a privateer yourself, and only racing Supercross, what do you think of SMX as a series? Is it something that you’re focused on in Supercross trying to get enough points to stay in the top 20, and would you consider doing Nationals to make it? What’s your thought process with that?
I would not race the outdoors to race the SMX, that’s for sure. I think it’s going to be a stretch for me to be top 20 in points for supercross and motocross without doing the outdoors but if the AMA or whoever calls me to be a fill in, I will absolutely do it. Supposedly there’s some good money up for grabs so we’ll see.
Well awesome that this deal came together for you. I just lastly want to ask who you want to thank for not only what’s happening for you in 2023 but of course what’s happened for you this past year in getting you to this point?
Yeah man last year all my sponsors like Namura and all my title sponsors that reached out weekly, I couldn’t do it without them. FXR last year. We have a whole new sponsor list this year. A lot of people are sticking with me and that will be to follow, and I’m definitely excited to be announcing this news.