Ducati.ms - The Ultimate Ducati Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,591 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Yesterday, I stood next to a large van. Inside were many boxes of parts and tools, the culmination of almost 17 years of work. EMS (emsduc.com) was sold. LT Snyder of Desmo Times bought the whole thing and will now be the "shim guy", incorporating it into his business, starting around the 1st of the year.

As I stood their looking at all the stuff in his van, my mind wandered back 17 years, the day I was working on my first Ducati, a 94 M900. I just bought it used and thought I would adjust the valves. I knew nothing about Ducatis, as I had never owned one Had gone on a few rides on a few of them over my lifetime, admired them, but didnt know squat about Desmo. After completing the valve adjustment and having such difficulty finding shims, I thought to myself "having a kit of these would make the job so much easier". The idea was born and so began this journey. Quite a journey it was. Started with 0 sales and came up with a plan to first make shims for the 8 mm bikes. Being a biomedical engineer with a high end Solidworks CAD system, it was easy to design up the parts, with all the pertinent tolerances based on my understanding of the how they worked. I bought valve stems, and keepers and modeled everything on CAD and looked for weak areas in the design and improved them. I ordered about 50 sets of them from vendors who had high quality production machines that I was acquainted with and put them on ebay and sold them all in about 3 months. I then order another set and began designing the 7 mm shims. I then hooked up with Guy Martin of MBP and helped redevelop that design and started selling that product. Over the next few years, I developed specialty tools also. For the first 6 years of the business, I also worked full time as a Project Engineer, then VP of Engineering at a small Orthopedic Company in the Sacramento area.

The very first forum I used for advertising my business was this one, Ducati.ms. I was an acquaintance of Scott on here and we used to go on rides together. He set me up as vendor in 2004, and I have been here since. Thank you Scott. Thus started the challenge of growing the business to make it sustainable. Many twists and turns, some of which I believe were divine meetings allowed the business to grow an grow. In the early days, I crossed paths with certain people in the Ducati community that simply embraced what I was doing and gave me incredible opportunities to grow the business. I want to thank those people publicly for their kindness and willingness to stick their neck out on my behalf A few that come to mind Vicky Smith (Ducati.net., Bruce Meyers of the old BCM, Ducati North America, who invited me Ducati Island for one of the Moto GP events, Mark Sutton of DucShop, GP Cycles in Sand Diego, Moto Corse in Portland, Ducati Kaemna, in Germany (Hauke and Timo), Desmodromico in Italy (thanks for Marco, the founder). The list goes on and on. In the end, EMS products have been sold to 43 countries to individual Ducati Enthusiasts, Independent Motorcycle Shops, Ducati Dealers, and Race teams.

As I approach 68 yrs. old, as times change, so do I. It was time to sell the business for me as it was a one man show (my wife helped alot). Some people compartmentalize things in their life well. I do not. Even shutting down the storefront from time to time to go on vacation did not stop the phone calls and emails. I always took each one as they came and would answer any and all questions to the best of my ability. Its time I bow out and head in a different direction to find my happiness. One thing I am so excited about is not having to make money ever again. I mean make it with my own hands, or my own mind. I have done that my entire life (as most people do), and am looking forward to doing the things I enjoy. I play guitar and want to further my expertise, maybe get into a band or maybe just play with another person. My two sons are grown now and married but live close. We spend time doing things together like golf. I am fortunate that I really enjoy my wife. We like to hang out together, so maybe we will travel a bit. I am also getting involved with a group of men, sort of a ministry type of gathering.

I spent the last 3 days with LT Snyder at my house. He drove his van out and I went over all the ins and outs of the business. We had a great time together. I have known him for as long as I have owned the business. He sells my shim kits and a few other things, but I never really spent any time with him. This 3 day melting of the minds was very enjoyable and I got to know him well. He has such a passion for motorcycles, Colonel in the Army Reserves, commands hundreds of soldiers, teaches business at a college near his home, and runs Desmo Times, a Ducati parts business. He is funny, can laugh at himself, and is very thoughtful. I now regards him as a good friend and I hope the best for him in the future.

Lastly, I want to thank all of you, my customers, that made this entire endeavor worthwhile. I enjoyed sharing my passion for Ducatis with each of you and enjoyed giving my expertise to help you all overcome the trials of all things Desmo.
I am confident that LT will continue to bring Desmo Valve Adjustment Products and his excellent experience to all future customers.

Here a couple of pics. I have the hat on.




977940








977939
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,122 Posts
Good for you, Mike. Enjoy your retirement, and drop us a line from time to time and let us know how you’re doing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,031 Posts
Yes, Congrats on the retirement. And definitely stay in touch here.

On one level, I can relate as I retired from active military duty almost a full 9 years ago.

On another, you're at a place in life I look forward to reaching in a decade or so.

The point I can finally retire fully, and just enjoy doing the things I love doing....sean
 

·
Smut peddler
Joined
·
878 Posts
That's a great story, glad to hear you've done well on something that has also helped so many of us. Enjoy your retirement, let us know when your band stops by San Diego on your worldwide tour. And now that you have time, come ride with us at to WCM 2020! You can help us all duct tape that traitor Scott to his new Bimmer and ride it off the dock of the resort into the lake! =)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,705 Posts
good work mike. always enjoyed doing business with you. done a few 4v the last couple of weeks and was thinking i need to order some more shims.

guess i'd better contact lt now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
937 Posts
Congratulations on the retirement I am hopefully not to far from that myself. I have to say
that I will miss your excellent customer service and quick shipping I was getting my shims
the next day from you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
I'm coming into motorcycles just as you're leaving them, so what can I say? I got onto forums in the early 2000s, probably just about that 17 years ago when you bought the M900. I've stuck to car forums since then and plenty of vendors and fellow gearheads helped everyone, figured out and made great parts, and supported everything that enthusiasts do. I always had a bike in the back of my mind and I can dive into finally owning a Monster knowing that there are tons of DIYs and parts available to keep the bike going, and a hell of a lot of that is due to people like you. Someone who can sit down and figure out something that makes you think "why didn't the factory just do it like that?" makes this possible, all the way back to the hot-rodders of the 1940s. I can follow a how-to written by someone, buy the parts you sat down and designed, and enjoy myself on a nice afternoon instead of having to pay a dealer over a grand to check a feeler gauge, do some math, and mess with some parts.

Enjoy the retirement, thanks for being a part of the enthusiast community, its people like you who make it possible to have this hobby!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,709 Posts
Congratulations on the retirement Mike! A big “Thank You” for all that you did for us over the years. And...I’m glad to see that you found the perfect successor to your business!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
12,038 Posts
OH wow Mike, this is truly starting another chapter and I am excited to see where it takes you. You are one heck of a great human and I am honored to know you. Are you going to being going out to Sand Mountain more? Whittling? Taking up the harmonica? Basket weaving? Traveling to rain forests? Please stay in touch here and in person, I think a occasional lunch or dinner would be in order.

That was a pretty long drive that LT made to come out, probably over 5,000 miles round trip which just goes to show how important your business is to him and that he will take the torch with all the pride you had. If anyone needs LT's website it is: http://desmotimes.com/index.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,591 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I'm coming into motorcycles just as you're leaving them, so what can I say? I got onto forums in the early 2000s, probably just about that 17 years ago when you bought the M900. I've stuck to car forums since then and plenty of vendors and fellow gearheads helped everyone, figured out and made great parts, and supported everything that enthusiasts do. I always had a bike in the back of my mind and I can dive into finally owning a Monster knowing that there are tons of DIYs and parts available to keep the bike going, and a hell of a lot of that is due to people like you. Someone who can sit down and figure out something that makes you think "why didn't the factory just do it like that?" makes this possible, all the way back to the hot-rodders of the 1940s. I can follow a how-to written by someone, buy the parts you sat down and designed, and enjoy myself on a nice afternoon instead of having to pay a dealer over a grand to check a feeler gauge, do some math, and mess with some parts.

Enjoy the retirement, thanks for being a part of the enthusiast community, its people like you who make it p
OH wow Mike, this is truly starting another chapter and I am excited to see where it takes you. You are one heck of a great human and I am honored to know you. Are you going to being going out to Sand Mountain more? Whittling? Taking up the harmonica? Basket weaving? Traveling to rain forests? Please stay in touch here and in person, I think a occasional lunch or dinner would be in order.

That was a pretty long drive that LT made to come out, probably over 5,000 miles round trip which just goes to show how important your business is to him and that he will take the torch with all the pride you had. If anyone needs LT's website it is: http://desmotimes.com/index.html
Hey Scott, in response to "are you going out to Sand Mountain more", all I can say is "oh my back"! This was the last time I rode there about 5 yrs. ago.
The years, the crashes, the time I played football with my kids for hours and jumped a little too high, reached a bit too far, with a bit too much twist, has caught up to me. So I am going in a different direction where I can use other talents to have fun and hopefully touch others. I will always cherish my memories with motorcycles that started when I was 10 yrs old. Racing Nortons in the 70's, all the dirt and Sand riding with my kids, the track days with the old Sac Duc club, the boring rides with the BMer guys, just kidding! Its just seemed the Duc guys were faster and we didnt spend all our time eating! Would love to have dinner some time after the new year. I was so busy all the time, I feel like a free man with the business gone. Now will have more time to enjoy old friends.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,591 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I'm coming into motorcycles just as you're leaving them, so what can I say? I got onto forums in the early 2000s, probably just about that 17 years ago when you bought the M900. I've stuck to car forums since then and plenty of vendors and fellow gearheads helped everyone, figured out and made great parts, and supported everything that enthusiasts do. I always had a bike in the back of my mind and I can dive into finally owning a Monster knowing that there are tons of DIYs and parts available to keep the bike going, and a hell of a lot of that is due to people like you. Someone who can sit down and figure out something that makes you think "why didn't the factory just do it like that?" makes this possible, all the way back to the hot-rodders of the 1940s. I can follow a how-to written by someone, buy the parts you sat down and designed, and enjoy myself on a nice afternoon instead of having to pay a dealer over a grand to check a feeler gauge, do some math, and mess with some parts.

Enjoy the retirement, thanks for being a part of the enthusiast community, its people like you who make it possible to have this hobby!
thanks for your kind and thoughtful comments.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,826 Posts
Congrats Mike! Enjoy the next chapter(s) of your life. Many retirees I chat with say that "they've never been busier!" I hope you get what you need out of life.

PS: I have one of your early 8mm kits. It's the balls!
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top