If you are an avid motocrosser, the nearest bike shop is most likely your source for all things moto. No matter what your need is—from goggles to graphics—the local dealership usually has you covered. Of course, it would be impossible for shops to help you out without the help of a few hardworking distributors to keep them supplied and stocked with all of the latest-and-greatest moto goods. In short, you wouldn’t get your parts by race day if it weren’t for companies like MTA.
An acronym for Motorcycle Tires & Accessories (and not to be confused with the Metropolitan Transportation Association), MTA is located in the heart of the motocross industry in Corona, California. Run by none other than former Pro racer/ current vet fast-guy Willy Musgrave, MTA is enjoying huge success and staying quite busy as one of the nation’s largest distributors of motorcycle tires and—you guessed it—accessories. Carrying a wide variety of hard and soft goods, the company distributes product from big-name brands such as Bridgestone, AXO, Maxxis and Utopia. The building in Corona marks MTA’s West coast office, while the hub of the company is located back East in Choudrant, Louisiana.
When you first enter the MTA building, the company’s fine female accounting department—rather than a showroom floor— greets you. The reason for this is that MTA is an order-only distributor, and does not have an open showroom for customers to cruise. Just beyond the entrance of the building sits the main office, where Willy and his team of salesmen stay hard at work talking to dealers, taking orders and setting up accounts. The crew shows up each day at 7:00 am, because this is when the Eastern region dealers are up and at it. And if you look around the sales office at MTA, you don’t see a bunch of suit-and-tie geeks. Rather, you get a solid collection of skinned elbows and moto-shirts, because almost every one of MTA’s salesmen is an avid motocrosser. “It’s a great atmosphere, said Willy, when asked about the sales staff at MTA. “Almost everyone here is a rider, which helps a lot in terms of product knowledge. The fact that we are all active in the sport really helps us to relate to our customers, and I think this makes us much more efficient at what we do. The same can’t be said for many other distributors, and the attitude at MTA certainly affirms this. The walls of the sales office are lined with a great collection of autographed jerseys, and the majority of trucks in the parking lot have tie-downs in the back. It’s certain that most dealers are probably quite grateful to be dealing with bikers when they call up MTA.
Behind the sales office in MTA lies the huge warehouse, which is packed to the brim with product. Here, about a dozen employees work furiously to pack and ship orders as they come in. “We pride ourselves in filling our orders on time, ” Willy told us “That is what sets us apart from our competitors. Business is actually a lot like racing motocross: there is a fine line between being too cautious, and riding on the edge. The spot in the middle is right where you want to be. And fortunately, we are getting pretty good at riding right on that middle line.
Willy then pointed out all of the different brands that MTA stocks. AXO replaced Extreme a few years ago as MTA’s main apparel brand, while tubes and tires are stocked from companies like Bridgestone, Maxxis, Cheng Shin and Kenda. MTA also sells Utopia goggles and Polisport plastic, as well as helmets from Zeus and F8, the former being Willy’s own line of helmets. “Sales are solid right now, and we don’t really have any slow season. Willy explained. “There will be a month or two here and there that may seem slow, but it’s not that those months are bad, it’s that the rest are so busy that normal months now seem slow! So what about Willy as a racer? He shrugs, “It can be tough to find time, but I still make it out to the track when I can. Willy can be found most Sundays at the local motocross races, where he still competes in the Pro class and helps out his kids, who also race.
After only a few minutes of walking around inside the big white building, it is apparent how big of an operation MTA has going. With a positive, forward thinking attitude, Willy—and each of his employees—are more than eager to continue to push the company to new heights, and to continue the increasing success that they have seen over the past few years. With so many customers nationwide, it can be a constant challenge to try to meet every dealer’s demand around the country. But, fortunately for them, that is exactly what MTA does best.
1550 Melissa Court
Corona, CA 92879