About Us


Since 2008 Moto Academy NZ has provided motorcycle racing rider training and motorcycle racing for young New Zealand motorcycle racers. We are providing a unique professional motorcycle racing development programme in New Zealand. Our programme includes all aspects of motorcycle sport relating to safety, skills development, physical training, machine set-up and control, psychological development, media and sponsor relations and career development.


Director, Coach, Mentor:

Dr Stephen Bagshaw BSc, MSc, PhD, PostGradDipBusAdmin.

I am a career research scientist having specialised in electrochemistry, materials chemistry, nanomaterials, roading chemistry, a science educator and now, small business owner/operator.

I am proud to be of Maori and English descent affiliating to Te Arawa, (Ngati Terawhai, Ngati Rangiwewehi and Ngati Pikiao). I grew up in Kaikohe in the Far North attending Kaikohe West School and Northland College and then Auckland University. I took my PhD degree in Materials Chemistry studying the Vibrational Spectroscopy of organic molecules adsorbed onto Pillared-Clay surfaces.  In 1994 I moved to East Lansing in Michigan, USA where I had a Post-Doctoral research position were I was the inventor and lead scientist in the development of a totally new type of nano-porous silicate material. This period was an exciting period in the feild of porous inorganic materials and it was really cool being a part of it. In 1995 I moved to Montpellier, France where I did further research in porous materials including work in zeolite science looking at ion exchange for the separation of the gasses in air. In 1997 I moved back to New Zealand to Industrial Research Ltd in Lower Hutt, Wellington where I was the lead research scientist in the porous materials programme. For ten years I was able to publish at least two papers per year in good journals. It was a great time. But things change and the environment changed, so we packed our bags in 2005 and headed to the UK where I landed a good position in the Bionanotechnology Research group at the University of Kent, Canterbury. After a couple of years there we headed back to NZ to start our little family and landed in Palmerston North at Landcare Research Ltd, where while I had a job, there was actually nothing for me to do and no support at all to get anything going, so that job was really a waste of my time, very disappointing. But it did make me realise that I would need to move overseas again, or start something new, for myself. Given that we now had a new daughter and my partner Margo had a good job with Massey University, that was pretty much off the table. In my career I had worked all around the world in Australia, USA, France, Japan, Canada, Italy, Singapore and UK, so I am pretty satisfied with that.

So, in 2008, after the death of my good mate Derek Hill in a racing incident at Pukekohe, I decided to start coaching young riders so that they would build their racing careers on a good foundation of skills and safety. I launched Moto Academy NZ in February 2008.

I have been riding motorcycles since 1985 and racing motorcycles off and on since 1988. I competed at national level in 250cc Production (10th) 1990; 125 Grand Prix (6th 2000/01, 7th 2001/02) and 250 Grand Prix (2002/03, 3rd NZ Superbike Champs, 2nd Tourist Trophy and Grand Prix; 2004/05 1st Round 4, 2008 3rd Grand Prix, 2009 1st Grand Prix). My preferred machine is the Honda RS250 with the Yamaha TZ250 a close second. I have had many road bikes including: Yamaha TT250, Honda CX500, Kawasaki GPZ600(x2), Kawasaki GT750, Honda NSR250 (x2), Honda VFR750(x2) and most recently Kawasaki ZRX1200. I also recently restored a 1973 Yamaha FS1 'Fizzie' and until just recently I raced a Post-Classic 1989 NF5 Honda RS250.

Unfortunately in May 2012 there was a serious accident at Round 1 of Vic Club championships and Mark Brehaut, one of our students from 2011, was killed. On top of losing a young mate, Cameron Jones at Timaru NZSBK in Jan 2012 and of course, Derek, made me decide that I should give up racing myself, so I have sold the RS250 and all of my gear and can now focus soley on running and building Moto Academy NZ.

I am an experienced research scientist and science educator with developing skills in small business ownership and operation and now sports coaching and youth mentoring. I have obtained further education and knowledge of business methods, marketing and branding. I also gained some experience in small business management running Racing Links Ltd with Martin Dunn from 2003 to 2005.

I have also gained Level 1 coaching qualification through Motorcycling NZ.

I gained significant experience over the past 5-6 years in organising and operating motorcycle racing events and trackdays for Victoria Motorcycle Club of Wellington (VMCC). I have been a committee member (1998 – 2004) and club secretary (2000-2004) of the Victoria Motorcycle Club of Wellington (VMCC) who run what are now possibly New Zealands biggest motorcycle racing events.

I took on a successful organisational and mentoring role with Team Kiwi Challenge 2007 where four young riders and three mechanics travelled to the Australia MotoGP event in Australia to compete in the National 125cc support events.

We successfully assisted Hafiq Azmi from Malaysia on his journey in Red Bull Rookies Cup and World Moto3 championship in 2011 and 2012.

We welcomed Tyla Relph from Australia to race the early iteration IMD iM250 in NZSBK in 2015.

We were successful in mentoring Jason Hearn and Campbell Grayling to top three finishes in NZSBK 125GP/Moto3 championships 2019 and 300SS in 2019 and 2020.

We have now successfully mentored and coached Cormac Buchanan to 2 x NZSBK 150SS titles (2020, 2021) and NZSBK 300SS title (2021) and to Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup.

I have now sucessfully mentored 25 students in Moto Academy NZ.


Steve on the 1989 Honda RS250 NF5 at Manfeild 2011. Having a go at modern riding styles! Get that elbow down!