MXA GUIDED TOUR: Inside Troy Lee Designs Remodeled Lumber Yard

January 15, 2009
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A TOUR OF TROY LEE’S FORMER LUMBER YARD


Troy Lee Designs is housed in the former Ganahl Lumber Yard in Corona, California. Troy completely remodeled the five acre site to house his race teams, warehouse, helmet painting facility, showroom and museum.

Troy Lee started his career as a professional motorcycle racer?in fact, Troy raced for Mitch Payton’s original Pro Circuit Husqvarna team. In his spare time he pursued his love of art. Troy expressed himself by painting helmets and pretty soon he was so busy painting helmets for his competition that he didn’t have time to race against them.

The paint booths are where the artists work on custom paint jobs for professional motocross, F1, MotoGP and Indy car racers. Troy has painted MXA’s famous orange helmets since Day One.

ÿÿÿ Troy’s original paint shop was in his garage in Corona, California. When he outgrew the garage (and the city took exception to him running a paint shop in a residential neighborhood), Troy rented a hangar at Corona Municipal Airport (just a few hangars down from where Jody keeps his airplane). Troy Lee Designs quickly needed more room. So, Troy and buddy Mitch Payton decided to buy matching buildings just across the street from the airport on Wild Turkey Circle. Mitch put Team Peak’s race shop in his building, while Troy put in his paint shop, growing product line and mini museum next door. Again, the space was too small. Mitch moved to his multi-building Taj Mahal on the 91 freeway and Troy took over both his and Mitch’s old buildings. Even then, it was not big enough to handle Troy’s booming business.

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The machines in Troy’s showroom change regularly. You never know what you’ll find.

Tired of constantly moving, Troy went looking a place with growth potential. He found an abandoned lumber yard in Corona (not far from the Fender Guitar museum) and spent over a year remodeling and rebuilding it. Sitting on five acres, the former Ganahl Lumber Yard gave him room for his museum-style showroom, paint department, warehouse, race shop (for his Supermoto and 250 West team) and room to expand.

NASCAR Sprint, Craftsman Truck and Nationwide drivers are among Troy’s best customers.

ÿÿÿ Troy’s showroom is littered with motocross memorabilia?most notably the helmets he has painted for the biggest stars in road racing, Indy cars and motocross. On the day the photos were shot, the showroom housed P.J. Jones’s American LeMans Toyota race car and an Indianapolis 500 car from 1958. Back in the paint department, Troy’s boys were working on pit crew and driver helmets for the Husqvarna chainsaw-sponsored NASCAR team.

Shaun Palmer’s bike: The one he made a 125 Supercross Main on.

The bikes in the showroom change constantly, but range from the number 224 bike that Shaun Palmer raced when he made his one-and-only 125 West main event, Jeff Ward’s Supermoto bikes, Jeremy McGrath’s Team Peak Honda CR125, Eddie Hick’s aluminum-framed DMC YZ80, a vintage CZ and a Jawa Speedway bike.

The bikes are mixed in with clothig a product displays.

ÿÿÿ If you are an insider you might even be able to sneak upstairs to spy on next year’s products being worked on by Maki in the design department. Unfortunately, we can’t show any of the super secret future stuff.

Maki (shown) and Troy collaborate on all of the clothing design.

For more info go to www.troyleedesigns.com.

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