Racing, which recently celebrated its 30th anniversary,
is Canada's largest motocross exclusivity shop. You won't
find any fancy street bikes, no Harley Hogs, and no leather
and chrome doodads at this Newmarket, Ontario Honda/Yamaha
dealership. Machine Racing is 100% dirt bike oriented,
and proud of it!
its name implies, Machine Racing is about "racing"
and geared towards the hardcore motocross, enduro, and
hare scrambles competitor. That doesn't mean, however,
that Machine's friendly staff doesn't welcome the not
so hardcore off road enthusiasts - like regular moms and
dads who just want to take the kids trail riding. Or first
timers looking for a place to get a handle on things like
what to buy, where to ride, what to do and not to do,
etc. Questions don't cost a dime at Machine and the answers
are always free.
you're into off roading, whether you race or just like
to hit the trails at a leisurely pace, we're the place
for you," said Bill Philip, co-owner/founder of Machine
Racing. "Even if you're an absolute beginner, we'll
take the time to look after your needs, no matter how
large or small. At Machine, the customer is still king
Machine Racing you'll always find a solid inventory of
new and used
dirt bike models. A huge parts inventory is always on
hand. You can walk into Machine any time of the year and
buy a complete top-end or clutch for any model year YZ
or CR. Machine's knowledgeable, nine, fulltime employees,
who are all off road riding enthusiasts, are there to
serve you. Even Toni Sharpless - renowned for her success
as a 1980s early 90s road racer - rides dirt bikes with
the best of them. Sharpless was invited to join the business
in 1996 to create and operate an accessory department
that's second to none.
focus at Machine Racing is on fun and safety, product
affordability and availability," said Sharpless.
"We really are like a big family here and we care
about each and every one of our customers."
located in Bradford, Ontario, and called The Machine,
the business moved to a larger, 4,000 sq. ft. location
in Aurora in 1986. That's four years after John Nelson,
one of the best-known figures in Canadian Motocross and
Off Road Racing, joined the team. That's also the year
when Philip, under the urging of Nelson, decided to become
an exclusive dirt bike dealership/service shop to meet
the growing demand of off road motorcycling. Not to mention
indulge Nelson's preoccupation with dirt bikes.
always been an off road fanatic, both racing and recreational,"
said Nelson. "I thought it made sense that we could
provide better service, backed by a genuine enthusiasm
for our product, by going strictly off-road because we
all lived, breathed and ate dirt bikes. Well, at least
I did and the people I hung around with."
brought with him a passion for motocross that seemed to
consume him. Although he doesn't like to boast, Nelson
had accrued many accomplishments in motocross and enduros
by the time he became a partner in Machine, with more
to follow. In 1988, Nelson attended his first ISDE in
France and won a Bronze Medal. Over the course of the
following years he would add three Silver Medals to his
list of ISDE accomplishments.
a long time, the shop operated with a staff of only three
or four employees, with Philip (AKA Willy Wonka - Machine
is big on nicknames) serving as President, Nelson (Moaner
or Chop-Chop Johnny), as General Manager and David Hodgkinson
(Chippy), as chief mechanic, remaining a constant. The
shop name was changed from The Machine to Machine Racing
in 1991, and has been growing steadily ever since, both
in size and staff.
1999, with business exploding, Machine Racing moved to
an impressive 10,000 sq.ft building in Sharon,
Ontario (near Newmarket). Machine Racing now features
the largest selection of refurbished used
dirt bikes in the country - a virtual sea of red and
blue. You walk into Machine Racing and are faced with
a 2,500 sq.ft. showroom that's filled with nothing but
accessories - no bikes! It's a concept Sharpless says
was born from "measuring profit".
order to serve their racing minded customers better -
especially those competing at top provincial and national
levels - Machine Racing pools resources with Aurora-based
Bondi Engine Works. Bondi integrates their latest in technological
know-how and a state-of-the art dyno testing with the
riding experience of Machine. After a Machine Racing bike
leaves Bondi, it goes straight to a motocross track for
a rigorous workout and final fine-tuning."We ensure
every customer has the best possible dirt bike setup available
to him or her," said Nelson. "It's also our
policy to make race testing information available to the
customer. We don't hoard it because our success is based
on the success of our customers."
also has its own, in-house full service suspension shop
called Landing Gear. It is the brainchild
of Nelson. Today,
there are three full time factory trained mechanics on
hand, a receiver/shipper and parts personnel.
Nelson's initiative, Machine launched one of the first professionally
run MX Race Team of the 1980s. With Nelson as team manager
(but don't call him that), Machine has fielded some of the
who's who in Canadian racing from Doug "Sweeper"
Hoover, Jeff Surwall and Carl Vaillancourt to Bill Wallin,
Chuck Mesley, Chris Pomeroy, Ryan
Gauld and Mike Island.
Surwall, Wallin and the rest delivered numerous Ontario
Provinceincial Championship titles for the team, Hoover won
the 500cc National #1 plate in 1988. Vaillancourt won the
250cc #1 National plate in 1995. More recently, Mesley and
Gauld have kept Machine in the 250 Nationals top-ten. Island,
has kept the team afloat in the 125 East top-ten. In addition
to winning races and championships, Machine has twice laid
claim to the prestigious Rick Joseph Memorial Award through
the efforts of Mesley (1996) and Island (1998).
in the woods" category was given to the shop when,
in 1993, off road icon Craig Kennedy (CK) won an AMA Championship.
Kennedy still competes in enduros today for Machine Racing.
Glenn Buchanan, another off road racing legend, won the
2001 Canadian Enduro series for Machine.
in doubt, just drop into Machine Racing and visit their
"Wall of Fame/Shame" area which has on display
hundreds of awards and pictures from smiling racers, a testimony
to the fun and service customers receive at Machine Racing.
let's not forget Machine's beloved, crusty, old Colonel.
The Colonel has been a permanent fixture with the MX Team's
support van, supplying parts and questionable advice on
race day, for longer than anyone can remember. Not only
that, whenever the occasion requires an onsite barbecue
chef, The Colonel dons his apron and steps up to the grill
to burn some mouthwatering treats for everyone.