Owned by nearly every traveler, working professional, outdoorsman and student, backpacks have evolved into an industry filled with countless variations of zippers, pockets, clips and straps. But despite hundreds of packs to choose from in the late 1990s, they still weren’t getting the job done for Lynn Hodges and his new dirt bike.
“I decided to build an aluminum billet cargo rack for the back of my dirt bike because I was tired of wearing a backpack to carry my gear,” said Lynn. “As soon as my riding buddies saw it, they wanted racks for their bikes too, so I fashioned racks for them, and it all evolved from there.”
As Lynn’s custom cargo rack production expanded to include spark arrestors and kick stands, he soon found himself diving headfirst into the business he dubbed Pro Moto Billet. Today, Pro Moto Billet is home to a staff of nearly 25 employees and off-road enthusiasts who design, manufacture and distribute aftermarket accessories as part of the company’s two product lines: Fastway for dirt bike accessories, and Sector Seven for side-by-side accessories.
The majority of Lynn’s aluminum billet inventions are the first of their kind. With the addition of lighted sideview mirrors, fire extinguisher mounts, handguards, footpegs, steering stabilizers and more to their lineup, Pro Moto Billet continues to set the industry standard.
“We’ve built our name on being high-end,” said Lynn. “If you want the best, you’re going to buy a Pro Moto Billet part.”
Even though Pro Moto is currently running at a comfortable rate of growth, establishing and maintaining a name in the off-road industry was no small feat for this Nampa-based manufacturer.
“Survival has been the greatest challenge,” said Lynn. “In the beginning we were making a living, but it was still a lot of years eating rice and potatoes. Through perseverance, we got our product into the right hands. We hung in there, we worked hard, we treated our customers right and we created a successful brand.”
Networking also played a large role in the success of Pro Moto Billet and continues to do so today, particularly through their membership with SWIMA.
“Having access to contacts and information in the industry is so important,” Lynn said. “There are always things I can help people with, and things they can help me with, too. Building that camaraderie is huge.”
Through SWIMA, Lynn has also been able to take advantage of site tours, customized resources for research and development tax credits, and centralized 401K solutions for his employees.
“SWIMA’s 401K program is phenomenal,” said Lynn. “As a small business, it feels impossible to manage all the fiduciary components of a true 401K and still make it affordable, so the program SWIMA has set up is a real benefit to us.”
With more than 20 years of manufacturing under his belt, Lynn is an old pro and, with the help of SWIMA, he knows he has a place to turn if he ever feels stuck.
“I know I can knock on a few doors here if I ever need to. We’re all trying to make our way in our respective industries, but we don’t have to do it alone – we can do it together.”
To learn more about Pro Moto Billet and their brands, Fastway and Sector Seven, visit www.promotobillet.com.