For bikers, it’s a tour through the sacred halls of Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s Harley-Davidson Headquarters and Museum, joining the ranks flooding the streets in Sturgis, South Dakota or even milling through the sweltering crowds of Daytona, Florida’s “Bike Week.” For car guys, it’s cruising Woodward Avenue, walking the famed Corvette Museum or wandering the many abandoned assembly lines of Auburn Hills or Dearborn, Michigan.
For those who have a love for a sport or industry, there are special places that need to be seen – and experienced – first hand. For us into personal watercraft, the IJSBA World Finals in Lake Havasu City, Arizona would definitely be one. Wandering the glistening floors of Pompano Beach, Florida’s RIVA Motorsports another. But in a sport so young and so full of flux, many of our holy places simply aren’t around anymore (PJS, Mobby’s, etc.).
Albeit only a handful of years old, the Mountain Motorsports franchise has fast become the place to see. Whether you’re purchasing a new craft, getting service or repairs on your existing machine or just loitering in hopes of catching a glimpse of the 17-time World Champion, Dustin Farthing, it’s worth a stop to peer through the insulated glass and watch as some of the fastest watercraft in racing be assembled, tested and fine tuned.
Recently, The Watercraft Journal was treated to a private tour hosted by none other than Phil Farthing, Dustin’s father. Phil came up with his son over four years earlier when the opportunity to open the new store was made available. The sprawling 55,000 square foot Marietta location was custom designed from the ground up, including the 4,000 square feet dedicated to the race shop, storage and staging.
The Pro Shop was originated to meet two needs: provide a clean environment for Phil, the dealership’s Service Manager, a place to build Dustin’s race skis, as well as other paying customers, in addition to developing new performance products under the Farthing Racing banner.
“Right now, we’ve got three setups for Dustin,” Phil explained, motioning to a pair of highly modified, all but completely satin black Yamaha WaveRunners. “All of ’em are FZRs: a case-mounted supercharged, a Vortech-supercharged one and a turbo-setup. He’ll race at this year’s Finals, but we’re hoping to make it to a couple of National Tour stops for testing.”
“We’ve uncovered a couple of weak-links that we think the other guys haven’t yet. It should provide us a bit of an edge,” he smirked.
One side of Farthing Racing has tipped heavily to one side. Dustin explained, “We build approximately 30 complete race skis a year for customers all over the world (and another half dozen for myself and Ryan Hardwick). We install customer performance parts and just recently got into custom Side x Sides.”
The champ continued, “We build and test everything in-house or in local city areas. We have slowed down on producing parts as we’ve realized we can build one ski and make the same profit as selling 300 ride plates.”
Phil continued our tour, showing us through the cavernous storage facility and back through the service department. We ended inside the nerve center, Dustin’s office. Shelves are packed with hand-painted helmets and bristling with trophies from countless championships and wins. “We were racing for 25 years or so. Sure it was fun, but we realized there was more money to be made selling to the public. This has allowed us to pick and choose what we want to do.”
Part of that freedom has been – as Dustin mentioned – custom Side x Side equipment made available through Farthing Racing. “We make the new trailing arms, doors, A-arms, and cages. Everything bolts into factory locations, so there’s no drilling or cutting.”
Likewise, Farthing Racing will have some of its parts first used on Dustin’s skis available soon enough. Dustin teased, “We’re working on some new Stock class parts for Yamaha and also some Open parts for new FZR. We should have things releasing now through [the World Finals in] Havasu.”
As the side x side market continues to expand, so does Dustin’s reach into the custom motorcycle industry, “[Our new brand,] Farthing Designs will launch a custom motorcycle division this season that will build 20 bikes in conjunction with one of the OE manufactures. They are bobber style frames with turbo charged 4-stroke motocross engines. Look for those to be out January 2015.”
Standing in Dustin’s office looking out on the massive showroom floor rife with new bikes, quads, and personal watercraft all beaming under the florescent bulbs, it was clear what Phil said earlier, “This has allowed us to pick and choose what we want to do.” Dustin’s own words clarified even further, “Our main source is our sales departments at our now three Georgia stores that help us continue doing what we love.”
Instead of holeshots and championships, it’s become product and service sales that has elevated the Farthing brand to these new heights. So if excellence is what drives you, then visiting the Farthing Racing Pro Shop needs to be on your PWC bucket list.