Moriwaki Exhausts nets Big Valley relationship

Publish Date: 
Apr 1, 2002

To say that the crew at this year's Top 100 Grand Prize-winning dealership, Big Valley Motorsports in Reno, Nevada, is a competitive one would be to understate things just a bit.  Not only is the store a winner when it comes to merchandising and display techniques, it also boasts employees that like to frequent the winner's circle on the race track.

"Racing is a passion of ours," says Bob Hayashida, Big Valley's engineering and race support manager.  "It helps promote the sport while increasing our visibility in the marketplace."  The dealership actively participates in, as well as sponsors, pro and amateur MX, SX, enduro, desert and roadracing on both local and national levels.




Big Valley's involvement in racing can be traced all the way back to the person who founded the store more than 15 years ago.  Richard Thorwaldson was a factory-backed motocross rider in the '70s, and still races today.  His son, Rich Jr., now the dealership's GM, is also an accomplished racer.

It was due to the roadracing efforts of Hayashida and Rich Jr. that Moriwaki Engineering entered the picture in 1997.  In searching for parts for their race bike, a Honda VTR1000, they found that Moriwaki - a Japanese manufacturer of high-performance race parts - seemed to be focusing heavily on the then new V-twin.  "Not only were the parts effective," says Hayashida, "but we began to appreciate the knowledge and experience behind the company's development efforts."

The relationship with Moriwaki blossomed, and today Big Valley Motorsports is the company's sole North American importer/distributor.  "We also actively work with Moriwaki Engineering to guide product development for our market," claims Hayashida.  "Not only are the models here different than they are in Japan, so are the consumers."

Founded in 1973, Moriwaki is probably best known for its exhaust systems, which are available to fit the Suzuki GSX-R series, Yamaha's R1 and R6, the Kawasaki ZX9R and ZX6R, as well as Honda's RC51, VTR1000 and CBR series.  But the company also offers camshafts, piston kits, clip-ons and rear sets.  Moriwaki and Big Valley are also now jointly developing products for the off-road market, according to Hayashida.  Exhausts for Honda's XR650R and new CRF450 are already available, with systems for Yamaha's YZ426F on the way.

"Moriwaki is a company with a passion for racing and everything related to motorcycles," says Hayashida, adding it's the dealership's job to communicate that passion to the North American market.  "Our relationship with Moriwaki Engineering demonstrates our commitment to bringing the highest quality parts and services to the industry... to work hard to serve end users while also establishing a strong dealer network."

So the employees at Big Valley Motorsports will continue to race and, hopefully, win while running Moriwaki products.  "We all use Moriwaki products on our own bikes," boasts Hayashida.  "That's the only way to really provide the knowledge and experience necessary to properly support the product line." - Steve Nessl