Taka moved from Japan to California over four years ago to be able to ride as much as possible with the other Temecula riders. He trains with Jeremy "Twitch" Stenberg and the Dirt Bike Kids Crew and despite a busy schedule - living the dream and competing in FMX events across the US - Higashino still finds time to return to his native Japan a few times a year to ride with the MX-Virus crew.
Looking at his haircut and riding style, you can tell that Taka is a real punk rocker with no fear of going big, even when performing the most technical backflip combos. The Temecula resident worked harder than ever to add some top results to his stats. A well-deserved gold medal at X-Games for his FMX run and a silver for Best Trick showed that the Temecula resident was on top of his game at the time.
After two good rounds on the 2012 World Tour, Higashino was back in the 2013 Red Bull X-Fighters series and proved he could be one of the riders to win the tour with three podiums in three events. The victory in his hometown, Osaka, was a dream come true for him. He finished the season with a strong third place overall and received an invite for the following season.
In 2014, Taka missed out on the season opener and couldn't match his performance in Osaka from the previous year. After a disappointing eighth place there, the Yamaha rider rode back to better shape in Madrid with a fifth place. Taka fought for victory in Munich, but Sheehan was just stronger in a dramatic finale. When the tour moved to Pretoria for its final stop, Higashino couldn't come to grips with the red African soil and he finished seventh but gained enough points to finish the World Tour in fifth. This was enough to earn him an invitation for the 2015 World Tour but the young Japanese rider was unable to use his pre-qualification until the 3rd stop in Madrid, where he ended up seventh. After a disappointing event in Pretoria in 2014, Higashino finally conquered the red soil in Africa and reached the podium with a solid performance, but he was unable to carry that momentum over to the next event in Abu Dhabi, closing the season with a seventh place and finishing ninth overall on the tour.
With a seventh place in Madrid in 2016 the Yamaha rider didn't meet his own expectations, but he was still a crowd favourite with his unique Rock Solid Flip, a trick that that nobody else in the sport executes better than him.
Watch out for the Dirt Bike Kids rider in Madrid – a true Samurai is always ready to strike.
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