Malcolm Smith is one of the greatest off-road racers of all time. Aside from captivating audiences in the seminal motorcycle documentary On Any Sunday, he captured eight ISDE gold medals, ten Baja 1000/400 titles (bikes and buggies), and two Mint 400 wins. Despite all that racing success, Smith kept his day job as the owner and operator of Malcolm Smith Motorsports (MSM) in Riverside, California.
Established in 1967, MSM predates Smith’s legendary racing career. After dropping out of college to take a service manager role at local motorcycle dealership K&N, the ever-industrious Smith quickly purchased the service department shortly before taking sole ownership of the dealership. Fifty-four years later, Malcolm Sports Motorsports remains a California landmark, drawing riders and Malcolm Smith fans from across the world to the 70,000 square-foot super-store.
While the showroom seems to go on forever, MSM has no problem filling the cavernous space with the latest gear, apparel, and row after row of premium motorcycle brands. The upstairs loft, however, is reserved for Smith’s extensive collection of vintage dirt bikes and race-winning enduros. Adjacent to the mini-museum, Ducati’s new ultra-modern showroom further elevates MSM’s offerings.
To celebrate the new space and service center, Ducati North America’s top brass, Malcolm Smith Motorsports teams, and loyal Ducatisti gathered for the ribbon-cutting ceremony on September 10, 2021. To everyone’s delight, the man himself, Malcolm Smith, was also in attendance for the historic occasion.
“This new partnership with Malcolm Smith Motorsports is the outcome of many years of evaluation and a shared goal that when we do it, we do it properly,” said Ducati North America CEO Jason Chinnock. “The demand for Ducati products has never been higher, and we feel that this location will be a welcoming home for both loyal Ducatisti and customers entirely new to the Ducati brand.”
Showcasing the Bologna brand’s full might, the new showroom displayed Ducati’s latest models, including the all-new 2021 Monster and Multistrada V4. From the Diavel to the Panigale V4 and everything in between, MSM’s Ducati fleet is certain to please brand loyalists as well as brand converts. In addition to the momentous ribbon-cutting ceremony, the dealership presented a Multistrada V4 S Sport purchased by longtime Malcolm Smith Motorsports and Ducati customer Mark Michell.
Following the celebrations, we caught up with Ducati North America CEO Jason Chinnock in the dedicated Scrambler Ducati exhibit to chat about the new partnership. Given the brand’s recent success at the Mint 400 and the resulting Desert Sled Fasthouse model, the collaboration with Malcolm Smith Motorsports makes more sense than ever. While Ducati isn’t emphasizing dirt-worthy models such as the Multistrada or Desert Sled, the brand’s North American arm has never hesitated to push the envelope.
“As long as we maintain the soul, the spirit of the brand, we can stretch it and remain authentic,” explained Chinnock.
Two such projects include a Hypermotard 1100 raced at the 2008 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb and a podium-finishing Scrambler Desert Sled from the 2019 Mint 400. Malcolm’s son and MSM General Manager Alex Smith proudly piloted the two Ducs in competition. Both machines were on display during the event as well, illustrating the long-established relationship between the two brands.
“Malcolm Smith Motorsports is known throughout the world for a passion for motorcycling, it’s a defining part of our family heritage,” admitted Alexander Smith “We aim to bring together our shared passion with a touch of Italian flair to the Riverside area, and we look forward to a great future representing Ducati’s expanding product lineup.”
Following the festivities, Malcolm Smith Motorsports hosted an open house and group ride on Saturday, September 11, 2021. With the full Ducati range in-house, MSM also offered demo rides to interested customers. While Malcolm Smith Motorsports and Ducati are both powerful entities individually, we can’t wait to see what the two brands do together.