well if experience means anything to anybody…….
Wow.. 30 years ago this very month I started this company…July of 1985. Actually it was originally called FTZ Performance Research until we incorporated in 1988. Seems like a long time ago……. and yet seems like yesterday.. and with many memorable moments along the way, perhaps I could share some here:
Seems I was just destined to do this stuff – ever since I was 12 yrs old I have been taking some kind of motor apart and trying to make it run better and go faster. I went to work at the local Kawasaki dealer at 16, and at 18 I was already service manager at the local Suzuki dealership. At 20 I found myself in El Cajon, California working in the legendary Don Vesco’s race shop building 2-stroke exhausts.. Most know Don as the motorcycle King of Bonneville, but they also were at the time headquarters of the Husqvarna Desert racing team, and had just been a couple years before, the base of the Yamaha road race team. Big excitement for a gear-head kid from the Midwest! In fact I just remembered the other day it was actually Don who first taught me to tig weld… By that next summer I was back in Missouri, trying to scratch my own racing itch, and again working at the local bike shops….it was then I started modifying motors and frames/suspensions for many of the local motocross racers, and of course my own flattrack equipment..which I had really developed a passion for.. A few years later when flattrack racing morphed from250cc 2-strokes to 500cc 4-strokes, I got on board and built a locally competitive open class bike from a $75 salvage yard motor and a cut up stock frame.. In the quest to keep up with the expensive Rotax engines that I had to race against, I constructed a flow-bench using a industrial blower from a local scrap yard and with homemade manometers. Laid off from my construction trade at the time I spent day & night, for weeks, on that flowbench with everything from flathead motors to Harleys to state of the art 4-valve motors of the day.. doing heads for local racers….and with some kind tutoring from another motorcycle racing legend: Jerry Branch of Branch Flowmetrics I got pointed in the right direction. Jerry had built one of the first flow-benches in the country and had strong involvement with the HD factory racing team- since back in the day when they won with flathead KR’s! I have much gratitude for these folks who took interest in a young man with dreams of being an engine tuner, and took the time to steer me away from the ever present bullshit, and point me the right direction. The rest just kind of evolved from there.. 1985 I started the business just as ATV racing was getting big, and they sought me out… that took off with our engines winning 2 classes at Ashtabula in ’87, then Jackie Meadows winning the 4-stroke Pro class at Boyd, Texas the next year, then Mark Lee winning the 250 Pro class there in ’89 and later two more Nationals in OH & NY. A trip to Garden City, Kansas that August gave us our first Micro Sprint 250 National win with Paul Esworthy winning the 100 lap event, with our Jimmy Brewer finishing 2nd. Seems Paul won the NMMA National Championship the next year, and Jimmy went on to win the Nationals at Sweet Springs in ’91…in the following years we build hundreds of 250’s (and 125’s) and or motors won many NMMA Championships and Nationals & Regionals, but after a while it looked like the sport was obviously heading towards the 600’s, and so in late 1994 we built our first F2/F3 600 motor, using the building tricks & techniques I had learned on the single cylinder machines over the years..(only times 4!) Well Rick King won the NMMA championship in ’95 with that motor, the first of 9 consecutive NMMA National Championships all using our 600 motors… Then 2006 was memorable year with successes we had at the awesome I-30 $10000 to win event, and then our first trip “downunder” when Travis Senter won his first Oval Express series (with a borrowed car and a head and engine parts I brought down in a suitcase!) and then again in 2008. Fast forward to more recent years, with the building of the new shop, the addition of the new dyno, and Nathan Benson winning the 2014 Powri Championship for the 4th time, and it feels like a rebirth has taken place… and I know we are now going stronger than ever..
Please contact us on how we can improve your horsepower program- I am 100% confident that we can..
Thanks for the read, and a BIG THANK YOU to all that supported us over the years,