NMS and the Martinmaas’ – the FIRST family of Reno Motocross
When you walk into Reno KTM – Nevada Motorcycle Specialties, you immediately notice the small, independent family feel that brings most people to motocross and motorcycling in the first place; employees greet you and Dee is the first one to say hey. Its the kind of thing that really is a drawing point for the moto industry. It smells like a bike shop. Nothing is super fancy, but if you need it, Reno KTM has it. They also have what matters: Family…
I had the opportunity to interview Mark and Dee Martinmaas as this was an opportunity to chat with them and learn a lot of new things. Let me tell you, I learned a lot. Multitudes of stories, videos and profiles have been done on Reno KTM, which is not why I wanted to do this interview. I wanted to hear about who they ARE, the core of the reasons for what they do. You would be surprised by what they said.
During our chat, I learned that Mark and his siblings were 13 kids deep. I also found out that they originate from South Dakota and their father was an inventor. His father wanted to move close to a coast, so low and behold, he chose Reno. If you know anything about Mark and Chester, you know that they are resourceful guys and the things they come up with are definitely imbedded in the genetic makeup of both of them. I asked many questions about their personal successes and Mark made it a point to tell me that they were harbingers of the four-stroke revolution, 25 years early. These two guys, using the XR500 Honda motor as the power plant, constructed their own four stroke race bikes in the early 80’s even racing them to many class wins. Take it from me, the XR500 motor was and is still a great motor, but to think that the bikes were built from the ground up, you really start to realize that saying they are passionate about dirt bikes is a SERIOUS understatement. They are serious studs. Speaking of STUDS, Chester is an extremely eligible bachelor, moto ladies…
Mark, during our conversation, told me that if you like and ride a trail in the Moonrocks area, either him or his brother Chester may have had something to do with it. They have been riding around here for almost 40 years. If you love the trails here in the 775, stop by and thank either one of these two guys, they deserve it.
I talked at length with Mark about the ways that motorcycle riding, more specifically, dirt bikes, build character. He told me that pushing personal limits is very rewarding, but also, pushing past those can be painful. He also told me that its ability to injure you very quickly can be humbling, but for this very reason, it can also help those without focus, regain that focus. He also made a point that it can spill over into other aspects of general life. You must be in shape, both physically and mentally and if you are not, you will be found out very quickly. He also pointed out that it is a very personal experience and that people who ride have a firm grasp on reality as a whole.
Mark and Chester have many accolades they hold, both personally and professionally. What they have achieved could be surprising for some people who have not been a customer of the shop. Mark and Chester are both local legends in the racing scene around Northern Nevada, both in the District 36, and local motocross races. Chester has done very well in MRANN as well. Mark is a District 36 Champion in the Vet Expert class, he is also a local series champ in the over 50 class. Chester has also won the over 50 class locally in motocross and in the mid 2000’s, Chester had more than one top ten finish at a MRANN series race. During that time, MRANN was at its pinnacle, in my opinion, and this holds great merit; Chester was over 50 years old during this time! Chester also had an outstanding finish in a Hare Scrambles event held out in Hungry Valley back in the 80’s, finishing second to local legend Greg Searle.
Any time spent at Reno KTM would not be complete without talking at length with Dee and this time was no different. She eschews honor and thinks that, in its purest form, honor is the essence of life. With that said, she feels that Reno KTM and its family are built on this honor. Dee told me that her customer family sees that in the shop culture and that is probably the greatest achievement of her moto life; being able to take someones money on just a handshake. She also believes that the aforementioned culture is the foundation of the shop in general and she revels in the fact that many generations of families have shopped there and been influenced by the shop. She takes pride in the fact that young people work there and she believes that the work culture can influence them to greater heights, professionally and personally.
All-in-all, Reno KTM is just like you thought; a place of family. The first family of motocross in the 775. Thanks for reading!