We started 5X Racing in 2007 as a means to help fund my Spec Miata racing addiction. When building our original two cars in 2006-2007 (which we still have), we created some pretty neat little racing parts to go on them, so we started a very simple website to sell those parts and also aimed to offer all of the parts needed to build - or maintain - your own Spec Miata racecar. Over the years, we started making more and more Miata racing parts until we had a nice catalog of our own branded parts, adding to that, we got a real website and polished our look. From there, we just kept growing, and growing, until we became one of the more recognizable Miata parts manufacturers in the country. A lot of this notoriety came from our famous 5X Racing Bronze Shifter Bushings for the Miata. This is the part that put us on the map and is something almost every Miata enthusiast in the country has on their cars. That brings us to present day, where we now supply several of the worlds largest Miata parts retailers with our products to sell on their sites as well.
The RZR And Off Road Roots:
How the off road direction you ask? In 2016 we bought ourselves a Polaris RZR to have some family fun with, as our 5X Racing garage/workshop where we build and maintain our cars is located on 5-acres in Central Florida. I grew up on that 5-acres riding dirt bikes and ATV's, so we dug up the old trails and started blasting around them on our RZR. I thought the RZR and other side-by-sides were VERY cool, and that there was a lot of potential to make parts for them in addition to Miatas, so we started 5X Offroad in the spring of 2017 to focus on selling parts for UTV's and side-by-sides. After struggling to establish important wholesale connections (without an actual powersports dealership) and more importantly - realizing that the off road utility/recreational vehicle market was completely saturated with companies doing this already - we shifted over to focusing on parts for another fun off road vehicle we have in our stable, the Suzuki DR-Z400 Dual Sport motorcycle.
I've owned a DR-Z400S for a few years as I've always been a dirt bike kinda guy. The ability to put a license plate on a DRZ and drive it down to the store to get a 6-pack make it the ideal two-wheeled machine for me (it even has a rack to strap your 6-pack to!). The DRZ is a great bike and the market for it is not as saturated as it is with UTV's, so we started exploring parts for it and were able to secure wholesale relationships easier, as well as the ability to focus on one bike, that has remained relatively unchanged throughout its 18-year model run (unlike side-by-sides, which have a wide-variety of different models with their own unique chassis and engine configurations). The DRZ parts were selling decent enough, were fun to learn about and offer - and are something we will revisit in the future (or keep on our site to share the space with the Offroad Miatas) - but once this Off Road Miata scene started popping up, it called to us!
Enter: The Offroadster!
I mean, c'mon! I've been an off road enthusiast my whole life on ATV's, dirt bikes, side-by-sides, AND we're Miata racers and parts manufacturers for the last 12-years, then someone (Paco Motorsports) comes out with AN OFF ROAD MIATA! You're kidding, right?! The perfect meld of two things we love and know VERY well! We HAD to get in on this! What really sealed the deal for us was an Instagram contest we ran on our 5X Racing account where we posted #5xracinggiveaway tagged photos we liked the best on our feed, and our followers voted on them. The one with the most likes wins. Which pictures do you think got the most likes? The off road Miatas of course! In fact, that winning picture is in regular rotation in our home page carousel, and is courtesy of Greg Maple as he blasts around the the Oregon mountains while competing in the Gambler 500 Rally. Low budget Miata doing crazy things on dirt wins the most likes out of a host of shiny, perfection level street Miatas? There's something to that! We looked into it a little deeper and found that this is still an emerging market, with a fair amount of enthusiasm. Dig a little deeper and find events going on like the Gambler Rally and local SCCA Rallycross events, and the potential to take an off road Miata out of our 5-acres was truly there. We then looked into what companies are making off road Miata parts. One, Paco Motorsports. We had a plan instantly!
Engage: 5X Offroad Miata Parts
So let's recap:
- I've been an off-roader since I was 4-years old
- I've ran a Miata racing parts company since 2007
- I've raced a Spec Miata since 2006
- 5X Racing grew and I wanted to expand into a new genre to build for the future
- We started 5X Offroad with the initial goal of offering UTV parts and eventually manufacturing parts as well
- The UTV parts route was a dead-end for us, so we switched to DRZ400 parts
- The Offroad Miata scene happened and it's all we can think about
- We changed our format immediately to focus on the Offroad Miata!
It's fairly obvious what happened here, and it involves us wanting to begin a sister business to 5X Racing that explored "other than Miata" markets, and the Miata found a way to turn this whole endeavor right back around to itself with off road Miatas! They really do think that the answer to everything is "Miata" don't they! I think they just might be 100% correct on that! Let's see where we can take this adventure, and I'm sure it is going to include a lot of "roads less traveled".
Thanks for reading, and we hope you enjoy our new Off Road specific Miata parts shop!
Owner - 5X Offroad