Generally, they called us first. That’s how it went, back in the 1980s, when we first got into manufacturing for motorcycles. By that point, Del West had nearly a decade under its belt of making titanium valves and retainers for race cars. Motorcycle manufacturers looked at that track record and said, “Hey, how about us?”
So we began making the same product, mainly for drag racing bikes. Heck, for a while there, we made valves for anything that moved. Motorcycles, motorboats, tractors, you name it. By the 1990s, though, we’d narrowed our focus to racing bikes, supplying major street racing teams. We’d love to tell you who those teams were, but even twenty years out, there are some secrets we still can’t share.
Since we were already in racing, it made sense to join forces with Pro Circuit in 2004. This Corona, Calif. company is a force in professional motocross, supplying parts and, often, entire engines they build themselves to their own teams as well as other major national and international teams. They use only Del West valvetrain components, giving us the confidence of knowing our parts go into expertly-engineered racing engines.
Of course, there’s more to motorcycles than motocross. We began making components for AMA Superbike, World Superbike and MotoGP. These we sell through distributors or directly to engine builders. “At this point,” says Shannon Decker, the product manager for Del West Powersports, “almost everyone worldwide chooses us for their valvetrain components.”
So prove it to us, you say. That’s the problem – we can’t. Like we said before, some things are secret and will always remain so. You’ll just have to trust us: where there’s a professional bike race, we’re there. In engine after engine, many times over.
But we knew there was a bigger market for our components than racing alone. In 2003, Del West began selling valves to KTM for the 450SX model of dirt bike. Within the space of a few years, we were also supplying Ducati, BMW, MV Augusta and Husqvarna motorcycles. A motorcycle enthusiast could tool around on Del West parts on a bike purchased from a dealership.
Today, we’ve taken on a new challenge – the after-market replacement market. Why should our great components only be available to manufacturers and pros? Now the Del West brand of technical excellence is available to any bike, at any time. Just ask your local distributor for our valvetrain components for your dirt or street bike.