Growing up, all I could remember was my dad wrenching on his cars and bikes, and then going out to the races. I grew up very fortunate – we didn't have a lot of money, and my parents struggled quite a bit, but whenever he could my dad would buy toys that 90% of the time didn't run or had some type of issue so he could get them cheap. So we always had to make things work, whether that was pulling a working motor off of something completely different, or re-wiring electrical systems. We did pretty much everything you can think of: sport bike motors in off-road go-karts, 250cc motor swaps in pit bikes, 800hp rotary motors. You name it, we got into it.
Later on down the road, I started working for a company named Exotic Car Trader where I was able to have a full range of creativity. We did some crazy builds and one-off custom stuff for our main client base of NFL players – they would come into our shop and ask for something different than everyone else, and we would make it happen. Classic cars, new cars, off-road, on-road, fast, slow, all of it. I had no idea if some of the things they wanted would even be possible, but I knew I’d figure it out. Custom carbon fiber parts, painting, motor swaps and builds, suspension fab, interior upholstery, and of course getting to drive sweet exotics and custom builds – I learned more than I ever thought I would. It was an awesome team to be a part of.
As good as that was, I soon found a downside I hadn’t expected: working on customer cars was using up all my passion for my own personal projects. Eventually I didn't even want to look at my E36 that was half apart or my KTM 520 big bore stroker build, so I decided to part ways with Exotic and take on a new opportunity. Drawing on what I’d learned about R&D, fabrication, and what makes a strong team, I set out to earn my dream of having a motorcycle modification company I could call my own, focused on the kinds of bikes I love to ride.
GritShift is what I do every day, whether I’m on the clock or not. I look for any reason to go out and ride – it’s a chance to test out new products and look for ways to improve existing ones. Not many people can say they look forward to breaking down, but it gives me a chance to improve something not only for myself but for the rest of the riding community. It’s a community that drives new innovations like e-bikes, and it’s made up of people that are always welcoming and quick to give someone a chance, whether that’s a company with new ideas or a kid fixing dirt bikes with his dad.
So, what’s in store for GritShift? I plan to take this dream all the way, setting a footprint in the growing sport of e-bikes and helping to shape the future of e-bike racing and innovations. But I can’t do it alone, and I wouldn’t want to. I’m lucky to have assembled a team of like-minded people that are all passionate about riding and giving back to the community. Being here doing this – day in and day out – is something we all enjoy.