Growing up surrounded by motorcycles and drag racing, Ryan Schnitz was destined to become a star in the sport. Ryan’s Father Dave Schnitz turned his love of wrenching on motorcycles into Schnitz Racing the same year he was born.
Spending countless hours at the track watching, learning and helping his father and customers gave him the chance to “watch what the pro’s do.”
In 1996 Ryan began racing with the help of Dave and went to nearly every test and tune night at the local track, Muncie Dragway. His competition debut came in 1997 running a nitrous injected Kawasaki 8.20/7.90 index bike (the quickest index at the time). Always wanting to push the bike harder, they started pushing the bike harder and harder to see just how quick they could go and eventually ran a best of 7.37 @ 187mph. Unheard-of at the time on such a small 7″ wide rear slick. The performance of that motorcycle convinced AMA Prostar to create a new heads up class called Top Eliminator.
600 Supersport was a popular and growing class in 1999 because of it’s limited modifications and factory support. Ryan competed on a rented Suzuki from Brock Davidson and did fairly well for a 2 year old motorcycle by going rounds and learning how to launch and manage the throttle and clutch while being very aggressive. In 2000 Ryan became a member of Kawasaki Team Green to complete on a Kawasaki ZX-6R in the class.
Ryan also began racing a nitrous GSXR-1100 built and tuned by Coby Adams in the Streetbike Shootout class in 2000. This was his first experience on a large cc non-wheelie bar streetbike. He finished 2nd in the Top Eliminator class and 3rd in 600 Supersport.
The first milestones came in 2001 when Ryan became the first rider to make a 9 second pass in the 600 Supersport class along with his first Championship. He also finished 2nd in the Streetbike Shooutout category and become a member of the 200MPH Club at the Maxton Mile on a stock engine Kawasaki ZX-12R
Rob Muzzy Racing signed Ryan to a multi-year contract in fall of 2001 to compete in AMA Prostar and NHRA with the new ZX-12R. Now a true professional drag racer at the age of 19, he competed in 600 Supersport, Superbike and Pro Stock. He earned another 600 Supersport Championship in 2002 and finished 2nd in Superbike.
NHRA Pro Stock competition with the best engineered awarded ZX-12R had its ups and downs. The team developed many new products and innovations in 2003 and 2004 with the project ZX-12R machine. The team also built a 1000 Supersport ZX-10R and Ryan became the first rider to run an 8 second pass in the class and secure his 3rd Championship.
In 2005 the team completed on an S&S powered Buell Pro Stock Motorcycle and won 3 national events and finished 4th in points. Ryan won 1 national event in 2006 and finished 7th in points. Ryan also test rode a number of new project bikes built by Muzzys including a Turbo ZX-10R and Turbo ZX-14.
Ryan and Muzzys teamed up with Kawasaki again in 2007 through 2009 to develop a Pro Stock ZX-14 for NHRA competition. Muzzys designed and built a billet ZX-14 cylinder head in house and the team was able to run a best of 7.14 @189 mph with a limited schedule.
HTP Performance teamed up with Ryan in 2010 to complete on a Nitrous GSXR-1000 in the competitive Mirock Real Street Class. The team set a new ET record of 7.81 @ 184mph. Brocks Performance also had Ryan test the new BMW S1000RR and was able to run an 8.49 @ 158mph with a stock engine. Later that year he began riding the HTP Pro Street Nitrous Hayabusa and helped the team develop their program.
2011 was a historic year. Ryan Schnitz and Cecil Towner at HTP Performance became the first Pro Street Motorcycle to run a 6 second pass. An astounding 6.90 @ 203mph with a Nitrous Injected Suzuki Hayabusa Streetbike.
Fast forwarding ten years and Ryan is running his business, Ryan Schnitz Racing, Inc. successfully, surrounded by his family. There’s one large difference in his racing career though, he’s teaching his eldest son Trevor the ins and outs of the racing world. Ryan truly enjoys going to the races with the crew and spends April through October traveling with a couple of the series schedules.