History of Marietta Motorsports
Marietta Motorsports is a name that has long been known and respected in the sportbike and roadracing communities. Founded in 1989 by Paul Wright, the Marietta, Georgia, shop had humble beginnings: originally, the shop specialized in building race bikes and the staff consisted of just Paul and his toolbox. Thanks to word-of-mouth recommendations and slew of satisfied customers (not to mention Paul’s own success on the racetrack), MARMO’s reputation began to grow. Suddenly, new customers were knocking at the door, wanting the precision tuning that Marietta Motorsports could offer. Riding and racing is about much more than a great motor, though, and Marietta Motorsports expanded to include a huge inventory of parts, accessories and apparel: everything you could possibly need, and you could get it fast.
With the expansion of its inventory, Marietta Motorsports grew outside its niche as a place for local riders. The combination of a solid reputation for quality, racers on staff to offer practical advice, and a presence at local- and national-level races propelled Marietta Motorsports to the national stage. Customers throughout the United States relied on MARMO to keep their bikes running perfectly and looking great. In 2005, Paul closed Marietta Motorsports so he could concentrate on his new venture Highland Park. After 16 years, racers and riders no longer had a home for top-notch service, bench racing and chatting with knowledgeable staff.
History of BBC Racing
While Marietta Motorsports was growing, another new force in race preparation emerged: BBC Racing. Owner Craig “Huey” Stewart worked on his own motorcycles for years before a friend brought an EX500 to him, asking Huey to turn it into a race bike. After a lot of coercion, Huey relented: he prepped the bike and began crew chief duties for his friend. One visit to the track opened up unexpected new possibilities: looking around, Huey realized there was a lot of opportunity for wrenching on racers’ machines. BBC Racing was born, but it was still a nights and weekends gig while Huey continued to work at Lockheed. His background in the Air Force had prepared him for the precision necessary when building race bikes, and some weekends yielded more income than Huey made at his “day job”!
To give back to the industry that was quickly changing his life, Huey began sponsoring up-and-coming racers. First, he simply offered his services as a mechanic and crew chief, but soon his sponsorship grew into a full race program that fostered promising young talent. Longtime Marietta Motorsports employee Chris “Opie” Caylor was no stranger to the track, and he approached Huey with proposal: if Huey bought a Suzuki SV650, Opie would give hime the parts bought with his race winnings, compete in the 2002 Suzuki Cup Finals, then hand the SV back to Huey. Huey agreed, though he wondered what he’d gotten himself into when Opie crashed during the qualifying session at Road Atlanta.
Not one to give up easily, Opie started the SV650 Cup race from the back row but went on to finish fourth. That same SV carried BBC Racing rider Martin Musil to numerous WERA Sportsman Series race wins and WERA National Series podium finishes. Despite a crash that sidelined Musil mid-season, he was able to wrap up two Sportsman Series championships. At the same time, Huey was helping other racers, such as then 17-year-old Matt Lynn, who was just starting a career that would lead to AMA Pro Racing. Huey’s adventures with Opie Caylor, however, were far from over.
The Huey and Opie Show
After gleaning experience working with WERA racers, opportunities in the AMA Pro Racing paddock began to materialize. After assisting Scott Carpenter in the Daytona 200 one year, Huey was ready for more. Once again, Opie approached Huey, asking if he would take on the role of crew chief for a privateer program. For two years, the pair traveled the country, competing in both WERA and AMA events.
When Opie’s career began to move forward, Huey was there to support him, serving as crew chief at Safety First Racing. During this time, Huey met Blake Young under the Matsushima tent and the two hit it off. Huey spent a year as Blake’s crew chief before the young talent moved up to the factory-backed Yoshimura Suzuki team through M4. Job offers from AMA teams still roll in every season, but Huey has to turn them down these days. Despite his love of racing, a new opportunity was calling: the rebirth of Marietta Motorsports.
Marietta Motorsports Reborn
When Huey’s “real” job at Lockheed changed and was no longer as fulfilling as it had once been, Huey took a voluntary layoff and early retirement, saying he would open a motorcycle shop “someday.” Someday came a lot sooner than expected. Huey and a partner opened a shop briefly, but they parted ways when it was discovered eachwanted to head the shop in a different direction. On Huey’s last day at the shop, as he was packing up his tools, the phone rang. It was Paul Wright, and he offered to sell Marietta Motorsports to Huey. In addition to the respected name, Huey was also able to secure many of the employees that had made MarMo such a dynamic shop.
It was a seamless transition: customers could get the same quality and care from the same trusted people. The new Marietta Motorsports was purchased by BBC Racing and reopened in 2006, and by the third year of its existence, the shop was already in need of expansion. Word traveled quickly that Marietta Motorsports was the place for late-model sportbikes, whether they were roadracing machines, drag racers or street bikes. Up-to-date technology, the latest “go fast” tricks and the family atmosphere combine to make Marietta Motorsports a true sportbike boutique.