AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame | Where Heroes Live On
First Name
Last Name

Rob Muzzy


Tuner for multiple AMA Superbike championship teams Tuner for 125cc AMA Motocross championship team Top engine builder since the 1970s

Tuner, engine builder and race team owner Rob Muzzy describes himself as “a man who knows what he likes and what he likes is winning.”
With a career touching on seven decades, Muzzy ranks among the top engine builders and tuners in motorcycle racing history.
At the same time, his knack for spotting talent helped create the highly successful Team Muzzy racing group.
Muzzy got started in drag racing during the 1950s and raced dirt track as a novice in Southern California. He always built and tuned his own race engines.
“When it was time to move up to the next level—by then I was married and had a kid—I just decided that I wasn’t that serious about it,” Muzzy says. “I always had medium success as a rider. But I always had the quickest bike. So, the other guys were asking me to build engines for them. So moving from racing to tuning is just something that happened.”
Muzzy’s first shot at a performance business, in the 1970s, proved unsuccessful, largely due to an economic downturn at the time. So he responded to a Kawasaki ad for a motorcycle mechanic, landed the job and never looked back.
“That was the beginning of my real success, October 1980,” Muzzy says.
During the 1980s, Muzzy built and tuned engines for the Kawasaki and Honda racing teams. The Kawasaki team scored AMA Superbike championships in 1981, 1982 and 1983.
In 1984, Muzzy moved to Honda as crew chief for the team that won the AMA Grand National Motocross Championship.
From 1985 through 1987, Muzzy-tuned machines won the 125cc AMA National Motocross Championship, the Daytona 200 and the AMA Superbike Championship.
Winning with Muzzy as crew chief or tuner were Hall of Famers Eddie Lawson, Ricky Graham, Scott Russell and Doug Chandler, as well as Ron Lechien, Miguel Duhamel and Rickey Gadson.
In January of 1988, at the strong urging of his wife, Muzzy re-opened his own business, producing engines and exhaust systems for racers.
“I just wanted an easy, 40-hour-a-week job someplace, but my wife convinced me that I should take advantage of my reputation and skills,” he says.
Muzzy Performance Products is still operating in Bend, Ore., and Team Muzzy is still racing.
In 1988, Muzzy learned that Kawasaki planned to release a new 750cc bike.
“I got in touch with them and said, ‘Gee, you ought to race that thing,’ ” he says.
Kawasaki provided Muzzy with a “minimal budget” to build a bike and hire a rider. He recruited Russell and Chandler, who finished first and second in the 1990 AMA 750cc Supersport Championship. Chandler also won the AMA Superbike Championship that year.
Kawasaki then asked Muzzy to run its FIM World Superbike team. The team won two world championships.
“Those were probably my most successful days,” he says of managing U.S. and world racing teams while running a business. “But that almost killed me.”
Muzzy says the 1993 season was his most memorable, working with teams that won the AMA Supersport Championship and the FIM World Superbike Championship and notching Kawasaki’s first victory in the Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Road Race.
“Rob Muzzy’s successes stretch from his 1950s drag racing ventures to his current performance business,” says Ken Ford, a member of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame executive committee and assistant treasurer of the AMA board of directors. “Throughout his career, Rob’s determination, skills and strategies have placed him and his race teams at the top.”
Muzzy remains humble.
“To me, it doesn’t seem like anything I do is particularly outstanding,” he says. “I have a good eye for talent, and I have been fortunate to work with a lot of really good talent. We always have a strong team atmosphere, with everyone working toward the same goal.”