Malcolm's Story

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Malcolm's Story

Born in 1941 in British Columbia, Canada.  Malcolm Smith grew up with a fascination for mechanical things, and from the first time he rode his Lambretta motor scooter in 1954 he was hooked. By 1956 he entered his first race on a 1949 Matchless. Since then he has tried just about every kind of racing.

Raised in Southern California, Malcolm was thirteen years old when he scraped enough money together to purchase his first motorcycle, a 1954 Lambretta scooter that now sits in the Malcolm Smith Motorsports Museum.

Lambretta_s.jpgHe quickly outgrew the scooter and moved on to a 1949 Matchless G80 that he would win his first race with.

"After that first race, it was all downhill from there,” says Malcolm of the start of his incredible racing career.  He would quickly gain the reputation of being a formidable opponent at the local races, but Malcolm had bigger goals than just winning local races.  In the late 1960’s Malcolm celebrated his first international successes, earning a silver medal at the 1966 ISDT and winning the first ever Baja 1000 the very next year.

Malcolm had become famous for being the first American to race the Italian built Husqvarna Motorcycles.  His partnership with Husqvarna would span five decades and become the most storied racer/brand partnership in the sports history.  The Malcolm Smith Motorsports Museum is filled with various Husqvarna motorcycles that Malcolm raced or rode during his professional and non-professional career.

Malcolm is a six-time winner – three times on a motorcycle and three times in a car – of the Baja 1000, off-road racing’s version of the Indy 500; a four-time winner of the Baja 500; a two-time winner of the Mint 400; and a two-time winner of the Roof of Africa Rally. As a tune-up for the Paris-Dakar Rally in 1987 he won the 1987 Rallye de l’Atlas in Morocco in an off-road buggy.

One of the world’s premier off-road motorcycle racers, Malcolm won eight gold medals (see below) between 1966 and 1976 in the International Six Day Trials, the European cross-country event considered the Olympics of motorcycling.

    * 1966 Sweden Silver

    * 1967 Poland Gold

    * 1969 Germany Gold

    * 1970 Spain Gold

    * 1971 Isle of Mann Gold

    * 1973 USA Gold

    * 1974 Italy Gold 1975 Isle of Mann Gold

    * 1976 Austria Gold

Malcolm’s talent on two-wheels earned him a co-starring role in Bruce Brown’s 1970’s classic motorcycle epic, "On Any Sunday" with Steve McQueen.  The notoriety that followed the movie elevated him to legendary status. Yet his modest demeanor and "Ah shucks" attitude is what contributed most to his folk hero stature.

In 1974 a serious motorcycle accident laid Malcolm up long enough to have him take a serious look at racing four-wheeled vehicles. He immediately rose to the top of that field.  Twice Malcolm participated in the Paris-Dakar Rally, a 22-day event in Northern Africa – “the most miserable piece of work an off-road racer will ever see”. Only 151 of the 603 cars, trucks and motorcycles starting the race made it to the finish in 1988. Entering in 1986 as Press Corp, and then in 1988 as a driver for the Camel Racing Service/Range Rover/Elf Racing Team. Smith and his navigator, Alain Fieuw, piloted their specially prepared Range Rover to a forth-place finish – the highest ever for an American at that time.

Malcolm served as a consultant for Range Rover of North America’s Great Divide Expedition, the first-ever continuous journey by motor vehicle along the Continental Divide in the rugged Colorado Rockies. A spectacular 14-day 1,000-mile trek through North America’s most vigorous terrain.

Touring Colorado’s Rockies is second nature for Smith, who has been a trail leader in the famous Colorado 500 motorcycle ride for more than a decade. When he is not racing or riding, he splits his time between Malcolm Smith Motorsports in Riverside, California, and his 'Sunshine Ranch' high in the mountains of Colorado.

Malcolm is a devoted family man. Married since 1984 to Joyce, he has 4 children – two sons and two daughters, all of whom enjoy riding motorcycles in their family time.  His wife Joyce shares the ownership responsibilities and was largely responsible for the design and layout of the new dealership.  Malcolm's first child, Louise Smith works in the beverage industry, and as an avid motorcycle rider she can be found regularly at local track days showing the boys how it's done.  Joel Smith, Malcolm's second child, owns and operates Tomac Mountain Bikes, and regularly rides mountain bikes as well as motorcycles.  Malcolm's third child, Ashley Smith, is the Apparel Manager at Malcolm Smith Motorsports and rides motorcycles whenever she gets the chance.  Malcolm's fourth and final child, Alexander Smith, is the Service Department and Facilities Manager at Malcolm Smith Motorsports and races motorcycles on a regular basis.

Malcolm started working for ‘Pappy’ Motts of Motts' Cycles in San Bernardino when he was fifteen, eventually landing at K&N Motorcycles.  He moved up quickly at K&N and eventually bought the dealership from Norm McDonald.  He renamed and reopened the relatively modest motorcycle dealer and repair shop in Riverside, California in 1966.  During the next 30 years the dealership flourished and expanded into larger locations.  After steady growth in the 90's, Malcolm decided that it was once again time to raise the bar and began construction on what was to become the standard for which all other dealerships would be judged.  After three years of construction, Malcolm moved his dealership to the current location at 7599 Indiana Avenue near Madison and the 91 freeway. The current location opened November 2006 as Southern California's premier motorsports destination.  In 2009, Malcolm Smith Motorsports was named “Number One Dealer in the Country” by Dealernews Magazine…Malcolm had once again won gold.

His newest endeavor, Malcolm Smith Adventures, Inc. grew out of the numerous requests to lead motorcyclists on tours of the Baja peninsula, traversing some of the legendary Baja 1000 trails. With the help and advice of Joyce, he introduced "Malcolm's Seven Days of Baja".  This annual charity event has grown to include 75 riders and support crew and has spawned several smaller rides in North and South America. To date the annual Six Days of Baja ride has contributed over $250,000 to his orphanage in Baja.  In 1995 he and his wife Joyce took interest in the then fledgling orphanage at Valle Trinidad in Baja Mexico. Today, this incredible facility nestled high in the Baja mountains is home to 50+ children, and the youngest children from those early days are now at university.

Today, Malcolm is still a talented motorcyclist, and can leave much younger riders in the dust – as evidenced by his recent veteran class win in the SCORE Baja 1000 race. Malcolm's lifetime of experience has influenced and shaped motorcycle design and riding safety gear to this day. He is regularly involved in product development with MSR and is a leading force in the motorsports industry.  Stop by ‘the shop’ as he calls it and see for yourself why Malcolm is so proud of his dealership.  You are sure to see him walking the floor and talking to customers.  If Malcolm isn't at his dealership, you can be sure that he is somewhere with his motorcycle, riding like the champion that he is.


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