There’s no doubt that motocrossers are a fashion-fickle bunch, and we know very few riders who’ll hesitate when it comes to adding a bit of trickness to their bikes¿especially if it’s actually functional bling.
Adrian Ciomo is the driving force at Ride Engineering, which he’s been busily building for the last four years. “I came out to California to work at Yamaha Motor Corporation, designing cruiser accessories, though my passion was always in dirt bikes. Eventually the dirt bike guy got hurt, and I started doing his job in my off hours. Eventually, they gave me his job, and that’s where I got most of my experience. I designed a lot of GYTR accessories for them.”
“The majority of what I do at Ride Engineering is bolt-on accessories, and filling little niches. Stuff that other people don’t offer.” Adrian is particularly proud of the Ride Engineering Bolt-On Fork Compression Adjusters, which allow access to tuning without having to remove the handlebars to access hard-to-reach adjusters. “We kept them low profile, so they’ll fit under just about any bar. The patent for that has been approved, and I’m just waiting for a patent number.”
Ride Engineering also offers a variety of other billet aluminum goodies, like triple clamps. “We spend a lot of additional time machining them to make them look good. Of course, we try to remove any unnecessary weight without compromising strength. Also, by building the stop into the side of the clamp, we’re able to get multiple applications out of the same bottom clamp. For example, one edge of the stop works for the RM-Z450, and the other face works for the RM250. That makes it more convenient for a dealer to stock a lower triple clamp because they’ll work on more than one model.”
There are also several brake-related items in the Ride Engineering catalog, as Adrian explains, “The braided steel brake lines that we do are very popular, and we make several little peripherals for the brake lines, like a rear master cylinder extension. The whole idea behind it is that you can put a little more fluid in the rear master cylinder, keep the whole system cooler, and have less chance of fade or losing your rear brake¿especially for guys who are kind of hard on their brakes. Also, the manufacturers still use big heavy ugly formed brackets to hold the stock brake lines on the fork protectors. We have little billet mounting brackets to hold the front brake line on. You don’t want to add a braided steel brake line for extra stopping power, and have it get caught in the wheel.”
Another example of fashion with function are the new Ride Engineering wheel spacers. “The whole idea behind them were to put a flange on them, so that when you push them through the seal, they’re very difficult to pull back out. When you change a tire, you go to line up your disk, and you’re putting your chain on, and the spacer falls out. We’ve tried to eliminate that problem.
“Our axle blocks are another popular accessory. Being colored, they’re a lot easier to see the adjustment lines, for more precise chain alignment. We also make them longer in the front, so the axle adjustment bolts don’t have to extend quite as far. That can help prevent them from getting bent or jammed. We can also hold the tolerances better than the stock ones. We make them tight. For example, on the Honda ones, you have to slide them in from the back of the swingarm. There’s not going to be any chance of them rocking or getting loose, or having your axle jam. For looks, we’ve recessed the axle head in the washer, just to make it look really sleek.”
Ride also has an array of other small items, including billet oil caps. “We’re replacing plastic plugs with billet ones for more reliability. Also, the aluminum expands at the same rate as the cases, so there’s a lot less chance of them falling out once the motor heats up. We make themm all a flush design, and part of it’s looks, but a rock’s got a lot less to catch on.”
Of course, keeping an eye on quality control is always a issue, and Adrian figures he has that covered. “Part of the key is being anal, which I am. Part of the key is keeping the orders small. so that you can keep control of the quality. And part of it is that with today’s CNC machines and programs, you’re almost guaranteed the first part and the last part are going to look the same. That’s kind of nice.”
Of course, Adrian is looking to expand the exposure for Ride Engineering in the next year, and is attacking that goal on a few different fronts. “We’re going bigger with one race team next year, Team Solitaire with Ryan Clark and Justin Buckelew. Those guys are going to be stepping up with a bigger rig, and for ’06 they’re going to be using all Ride Engineering products. We’ve come on board as a much bigger sponsor. Hopefully if Ryan can stay in the top ten, that will help plug the company.”
“I’m trying to keep the company as lean as possible for as long as possible. The idea is to use the dealers and all the accessory shops as storefronts. There are some direct sales done through the web site. That’s just so we can still reach people or Idaho or Kentucky, or places where we don’t have dealers.”
“This coming February will be our first trip to Indianapolis (for the annual Dealer Expo), and we’ll try to get some more east coast business, and get more of the guys out there exposed to the products, and convey the message that these products are above their typical consumables of tires and grips and oils, so this is all ‘found money’ or ‘found revenue’ if they stock it and push it to their customers. Just like chrome is great for cruisers, billet aluminum is great for these modern day four-strokes. A guy’s spending $7,000 on a bike these days, he might as well have some cool products to set his bike apart from the next guy.”
8195 Eastport Dr.
Huntington Beach, CA 92646