ÿÿ The men behind the logos don’t always get the publicity that their high-paid racers do. These men toil behind the scenes. These men don’t know the meaning of nine-to-five and would never be happy taking a vacation during the racing season. The motocross industry is forged by these men. They have dedicated countless hours, risked their finances, and based their lives on the premise of service to the sport of motocross.
ÿ The MXA staff decided to interview some of the mover-and-shakers of the motocross biz in an effort to share some of the wisdom, inspiration and experiences of the men behind the logos.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE INDUSTRY?
ÿÿ “Originally we raced four-wheelers, and I was Gary Denton’s mechanic. We started having clutch failures rapidly, so we made clutch baskets just for Gary. We made some go-kart clutches for a guy in Europe, but he didn’t take them. Luckily Honda became interested. Hinson clutches went into Steve Lamson’s bike first, and then they went into Jeremy’s bike. We really didn’t get a whole lot of exposure until Jeremy went to Suzuki and had a clutch problem, and they called and asked us to fix it. That’s when all the magazines jumped on and said you have to run a Hinson clutch.”
WHAT IS THE SINGLE GREATEST THING YOU’VE LEARNED IN YOUR YEARS OF BUSINESS?
ÿÿ “The customer can have a problem that may not seem like a big problem to us, but it’s a big problem to them. If you have a Barnett clutch and you call with a question, I’ll help you resolve it. We’re glad to help, and it seems to help build our business, because people know that we’re not here for the dollar. We’re here to do a good job.”
WHAT DO YOU EXPECT FOR THE FUTURE?
ÿÿ “We have a broad future because not many people go after the clutch market. We are always trying to reduce heat, and we are looking to build some different things for clutches. We have just tapped into the street market a little bit, and there are all kinds of other areas to go into. We have just tried to grow at a slow pace so that slow times, like the one we’re in, don’t crush us. We’re a small company and we own all of our own equipment and machinery, so we’ll survive.”
DO YOU HAVE ANY WORDS OF WISDOM FOR SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO START THEIR OWN COMPANY?
ÿÿ “Anyone who wants to start a business has to really care about their product. There are times when I give stuff away to people when I shouldn’t. It takes years and years to build up a good name, and ten minutes to tear it down.”