In our country’s history, there was a time when people around the world flocked to America in hopes of creating a better life for themselves and their families. Family businesses exploded from the Atlantic to the Pacific, each one priding itself on creating personal relationships with its customers. The family business, mom-and-pop stores passed down through the generations, was embedded into the subconscious of post-World War II baby boomers. It built the middle class, which made America great. Sadly, the sincerity of family ownership has been taken away by social welfare programs and juggernaut corporations armed with telemarketers, foreign call centers, hidden fees, off-shore sourcing and tax-sheltered foreign headquarters. While the forest of family enterprises has been clear-cut over the decades, there are still a few seeds sprouting from the fertile ground of family tradition.
“ALL THREE MISSED THE FAMILY ATMOSPHERE OF RUNNING A COMPANY TOGETHER. KRISTIN AND JOHN WANTED WHAT TOM AND UNCLE DAN HAD.”
In 1975, two motorcycle racing brothers went into business together to design creative new products. They called their company White Brothers Cycle Specialties. Tom and Dan White’s company grew into one of America’s largest motorcycle distribution companies, with 165 employees and warehouses across the USA. Two of those 165 employees were Tom’s daughter, Kristen, and her husband-to-be, John Anderson. Kristen grew up in the White Brothers warehouse, holding every menial position imaginable as her father made her learn the trade in the trenches. Her husband John was a loyal White Brothers employee for 22 years and managed the White Brothers’ racing efforts. This was a full-on team effort led by two brothers and their family members.
In a perfect world, White Brothers Cycle Specialties would have been handed down to the next generation. But it didn’t happen. Dan White became infatuated with mountain bikes and moved to Colorado to pursue his and his son’s dream. Tom’s family was devastated by a heartbreaking injury to his son Brad. Thus, with the White Brothers’ business at its peak, the family sold the company to venture capitalists and the family lineage ended. Sadly, the venture capitalists made mistake after mistake and ran the once-profitable mega company into the ground—and out of business.
After Tom White sold White Brothers, he threw his efforts into his “Early Years of Motocross Museum,” charitable work and time on the board of the AMA Hall of Fame Museum. Kristen and John found positions within the motorcycle industry at another company. But there was a void that needed to be filled. All three missed the family atmosphere of running a company together. Kristin and John wanted what Tom and uncle Dan had. They wanted their own family business. With the help of Tom White’s relationships, going back decades with White Brothers, Kristin and John founded their own company, which they named Dubya USA—a play on the first letter of the White Brothers logo.
“DUBYA IS ONLY FIVE YEARS OLD, BUT JOHN AND KRISTEN (AS WELL AS THEIR TEAM OF EMPLOYEES) NOW HAVE 2000 ACTIVE DEALERS.”
Dubya USA started out as the exclusive importer of England’s Talon hubs. This Anglo-American relationship was not formed overnight, as Talon had a longstanding relationship with its long-time U.S. importer—Tom White. Kristen used the skills she learned growing up at the White Brothers, and John Anderson used his marketing and race-team connections to build on the Talon connection. Dubya quickly snowballed as other companies joined the Dubya program, including D.I.D rims and chains, Excel rims, Galfer brakes, RK chains and Kite hubs.
Dubya is only five years old, but John and Kristen (as well as their team of nine employees) now have 2000 active dealers. Other than being a parts distributor, Dubya USA is in the business of building race wheels. Dubya offers complete wheel-building services for most aftermarket hubs, as well as stock hub rebuilds. Dubya has all the machinery required to build aftermarket wheels that will satisfy every customer’s dreams. They even cut, bend and thread their own spokes for any custom application.
Dubya wheels, along with the other products they import, have been mounted on countless magazine project bikes over the past five years, but the company has never had the opportunity to build its own project bike. So, when John and Kristen had the chance to build a full-race showcase of what they can do, we were glad that they came to MXA to let us ride it.
Although Dubya’s focus was on the wheels and sprocket, the overall look of the bike was stunning.
The Dubya USA bike build is simple yet special. Thanks to the family’s rapport with Yamaha over the years (they built the suspension that Marty Moates used to win the 1980 USGP and the exhaust systems that Chad Reed won the Supercross title with), it made sense for Dubya to build up a yellow 60th Anniversary Edition of the YZ450F. With yellow being the retro color of Yamaha, John and Kristen decided to enhance the retro look by going with gold D.I.D. ST-X rims and Kite billet magnesium-colored hubs laced with Dubya spokes. Joe Gibbs Racing sent over a potpourri of parts used on Justin Barcia’s and Weston Peick’s bikes. JGR’s adjustable shock linkage and array of carbon fiber parts are all sold through the JGR website (www.jgrmx.com). The stock 25mm offset triple clamps were replaced with 22mm Kite clamps. It’s no surprise that John Anderson reached out to Doug Dubach’s DR.D firm for a YZ450F radiator lowering kit. (Doug was sponsored by the White Brothers for years.)
“THANKS TO THE FAMILIY’S RAPPORT WITH YAMAHA (THEY BUILT THE SUSPENSION THAT MARTY MOATES USED TO WIN THE 1980 USGP AND EXHAUST THAT CHAD REED WON THE SUPERCROSS TITLE WITH), IT MADE SENSE FOR DUBYA TO BUILD UP A YZ450F.”
What did Dubya do to the YZ450F engine and suspension? They did exactly what MXA did on its project Yamaha YZ450F in the March 2016 issue—they left them alone. The YZ450F is rocket fast and amazingly suspended in stock form. Dubya did, however, install a full-bulletproof Hinson clutch to help get the power to the ground. And, since the White Brothers’ successful exhaust empire went down with the ship a few years ago, Dubya turned to FMF for a complete Factory 4.1 exhaust.
This 60th Anniversary Edition Yamaha fit the mold of the Dubya brand. The combination brought us back to a time when you could put your trust in a simple handshake. A time when there was no fine print and there were no “Made in China” labels. To learn more about what Dubya USA has to offer, go to www.dubyausa.com.