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Optimum Performance

Meet The 3-Dimensional Dynamic Duo

Moto Guzzi and Aprilia lines arrive in Kirkland

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” is a common question asked of young children as they progress toward adulthood. And, in some cases, it just never turns out to be the way they had hoped it would in their youth.

It’s a pretty certain thing that Alan Kwang and Michael Mason never expected to be teaching rider education, servicing bikes and then adding several OEM product lines. Funny how things evolve.

The pair met at Pacific Raceways in the late 2000s. Both racers, with Mason selling tires out of a trailer under the name CTW (Cycle Tire Wholesale), the duo struck up a friendship and soon conceived a rider education program as a non-profit venture. In 2010, Optimum Performance Rider Training was born. That model provided them enough revenue from student sign-ups to run the operation on a shoestring budget with enough money to pay the bills. Instructors are not paid and instead are provided additional track time during track day events. When it comes to money, the two had learned from others who were attempting to run track days and failing to meet their obligations. Most of those are gone now.

OPRT puts on more than a dozen track days each year between Pacific Raceways, The Ridge and Portland International Raceway.

By the mid-2010s things were changing in the motorcycle retail world on the eastside of the Puget Sound. Eastside Motosports shuttered their OEM agreements with Yamaha and Suzuki, becoming Ducati Bellevue (now Ducati Redmond). Kent Kawasaki, University Honda/Yamaha and Renton Motorcycle Company had all sailed with the Great Recession. A number of independent service providers like Renton’s Cycle Works had also closed out, leaving a large void when it came to the need for independent service and tire sales.

Photos: Above - Alan Kwang. Belew - Michael Mason

So Kwang and Mason pulled out their calculators, found a space in an industrial park in Kirkland and in 2015 Optimum Performance Motorsports was born. Word spread quickly and soon the facility was loaded with service and tire work. Adding a dyno placed them as one of the few shops with such a device, making them an even more attractive choice for those wanting to up their bike’s horsepower.

In 2017, Seattle’s Moto International was sold to a tech contractor who lived in the South Sound. By the summer of 2018 the game was up and the operation was shut down. Kwang and Mason once again saw an opportunity and in October 2018 were granted OEM dealership status for Aprilia and Moto Guzzi by the Piaggio Corporation.

Being cautious with funds, Team OP won’t be bringing every model and color of the two lines in until spring. At that time, they’ll have some decisions to make about a build-out or moving to a more suitable location. Nonetheless, when you visit between now and then, you’re sure to see plenty of Guzzis and Aprilias lined up side by side with other brands they service.

Understanding the importance of getting riders to experience a bike, OP will be providing demo rides during track days and race days on certain models as a way to grow their customer base. For more street-focused models, there’s no doubt these two creative types will come up with something unique as well.

Photo: Getting a demo rider on her way.

Optimum Performance is now the only dealer south of Bellingham in the Puget Sound who can access OEM parts for the two lines. In addition, Mason has already gone through certified tech training for Aprilia and Moto Guzzi.

More change is in the wind… Watch this space.

SR/November 2018

For more information about rider training, visit optimum-performance.org. For more information about the shop and the services they provide visit opmotorsports.com.


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