Second Co-Founder Departs Baja Motorsports


Ryan Daugherty Resigns From Leading Chinese Distributor

Handled Sales & Marketing, Product Development, Sourcing

Ryan Daugherty, one of the co-founders of Baja Motorsports, has resigned the company and is looking for other opportunities, he told me. Daugherty, Rich Godfrey and Jennifer Andrew launched Baja in 2004 and built it into a leading distributor of Chinese powersports products—including kid’s ATVs and dirt bikes— in the U.S. and Canada. Last year, Baja sold an estimated $70 million worth of products at wholesale. Its leading customers include Pep Boys, Fleet Farm and Canadian Tire.

Ryan Daugherty

Ryan Daugherty

“It’s just time for a change,” Daugherty told me. “I’ve enjoyed helping build Baja to its current strong position in the market, but I’m going to step back now for a bit and look at the powersports industry. It’s changing and I know there will be other opportunities down the road.”

Daugherty says he doesn’t have any deadline in mind for taking on a new position.

I tried to get in touch with Rich Godfrey a couple of times to see what changes he’s likely to make now that his partner is gone, but I haven’t hear from him yet. I’ll let you know what he has to say when we hook up.

Daugherty, 43, has been vice president for sales and marketing at Baja. His duties include developing new products, sourcing those products in China and marketing the products to dealers and consumers. One of his big efforts has been developing training and service materials for technicians and customers.

He also wrote Baja’s ATV Action Plan recently presented to the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission); Baja is one of only two importers of Chinese products that has had its Action Plan approve by the CPSC. An approved Action Plan is required before a foreign manufacturer can sell ATVs in the U.S. under provisions contained in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008.

With Daugherty’s departure, Godfrey remains the sole co-founder of Baja still with the company. Andrew sold her shares in 2007 and left the company when Techtronics Industries, Inc., (TTI) acquired a majority share of Baja. Daugherty sold his equity position to TTI almost two years ago.

TTI is a $3.2 billion manufacturer who’s stock is traded on the Hong Kong Exchange. It manufactures private label household goods for leading brands, and it also owns several internationally known brands, including Hoover, Dirt Devil, Milwaukee, Homelite and Ryobi. JD

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13 Responses to “Second Co-Founder Departs Baja Motorsports”

  1. Anthony Wick Says:

    Baja Motorsports is the worst company I’ve ever had the displeasure of dealing with. I bought two brand new bikes a sc150 and a 250 cruiser neither made it to 100 miles before seriously breaking down and Baja denied warranty coverage for both bikes. Seems to be a trend that this company always denies warranty any time they think they can get away with it.

    One bike they refused warranty on because they say it still had packing oil in it and too much packing oil at that. It made it to 49 miles and now wont shift and is stuck between 4th and 5th gear. The other made it to 65 miles before the magneto gave up. They were both purchased brand new at a retail store going out of business sale. I submitted them both to to repair in a timely fashion but both were turned down on warranty and not only that but the warranty center in my area is Scoot-N-Scedaddle and those sob’s are just putting the bike back together broken and I have to go haul it back. They refuse to repair it even if I pay them and claim that for two weeks they didn’t have a tool to work on the 250 and could only get authorization for 1 hour diganostic and then 1 hour to put it back together to give me back a broken bike. (Two broken bikes)

    Baja motorsports is absolute crap when it comes to trating their customers right or standing behind their products. I think a lot of the story with this guy leaving was left out to be “POLITICALLY CORRECT” or whatever. Complete RIP OFF COMPANY with SUBSTANDARD products and a warranry you can almost count on being denied.

  2. Bill Adams Says:

    Anyone who would buy a Baja Motorsports product is asking for serious heartache. I bought an SC150 and babied it. Kept it in the garage and rode it 12 miles to my office about three dozen times before the motor blew. Baja would not stand behind their product and laughed at me when I called to complain. DON’T BUY JUNK!!!!

  3. Andy Kurela Says:

    Mr Anthony Wick, you should have changed out the packing oil. That stuff is not anywhere close to sufficient, it is just in there so it can make the journey overseas safely. It is sure as shit not meant for riding. Read page 1 of your owner’s manual and you will see that.

    Mr Bill Adams, why did the motor blow? And why did Baja not cover it? These are important details.

    I am a lifelong motor sports enthusiast, and my experience with Baja has been awesome. A friend of mine who works at Costco told me they had a Mini Baja there that was returned and Baja did not want to pay to ship it back, so they told Costco to just destroy it. The bike fired right up when I changed the spark plug out. We sold it to a friend for half its going price to give to his kid as a b-day present, brand new except for the spark plug. I told him to call me if it ever gave him trouble. 2 years later and not a peep, and the kid rides it all the time. The funny thing is, the idiot who returned it to Costco originally probably went through more headache doing that then changing the plug. It just goes to show you…

  4. michael milstaed Says:

    Baja sold to the wrong companies, Costco and Pep Boys with no mechanics to prep products no wonder people leave the company. I too repaired many Baja products that were made from left over parts from the Vento and QJ lines of scooters, it is easy for me to tell who made them and why so cheap, Baja ordered this way, I too picked up bikes Costco threw in dumpster and fix in five seconds, its a shame when there are dealers out there that know what they are doing and too many controlling things who do not like Ryan

  5. Barry Harper Says:

    Mr Daugherty,

    My wife is from the Philippines. I am soon to retire and have been interested in opening a motorcycle, motor-scooter dealership there. I have been searching all over the globe for the right priced machine. Would you tell me more about Baja or would you suggest another manufacture in Asia I could buy from. Look forward in hearing from you.

  6. Ethan Tudor W. Says:

    As of October 15th 2009, we have had no problem with Baja Motorsports. They have replaced Batteries, a Tire, a Charger, and charger plug all at no cost to us un der their Warrnty. plan. I bought a BE-500 Scooter for my Husband and he loves it. It’s all electric, go’s 30/35 miles on a charge, and charges overnight. It HAS had a couple of issues with the batteries and charger, but Baja has been great in geting it all worked out. I have no problem with them. -Y

  7. Ian Corbett Says:

    Hi All
    I’ve been selling parts for Baja Motorsports for close to a year and must admit their service has been great! Most of my customers tell me they have great luck! Their Bikes and ATVs are low priced and quality is good. Pricing on parts is cheap! Come visit our website! For those of you experincing problems please try our help section- Ian

  8. Dealernewsblog Top 20 Viewed Stories of 2009 « Dealernews Blog Says:

    […] Second Co-Founder Departs Baja Motorsports […]

  9. Ken McDowell Says:

    The Baja Wilderness WD 90 is the biggest piece of s**t I have ever seen. The only thing worse than the machine is the customer service. I purchased it new, took it home and unloaded it. After trying to ride it around my driveway and in the back yard I found that if I wasn’t on level ground it would not move. The machine would just sit there and roar. I took it to one of their “authorized service shops” and they diagnosed the problem and ordered the parts. It took 9 months to get this wreck “fixed” and I’m not sure that the repair shop didn’t just get tired of me calling for 9 months and decided put it back together and said it was done. It still cannot move up an incline or be taken off pavement. My son had an old battry powered quad from Toys-R-Us that would run circles around this gas powered China made junk. NEVER, EVER PURCHASE A BAJA PRODUCT!!!

  10. mark Says:


  11. Fred Says:

    I just found this garbage. I am an ex CSR employee at Baja MotorSports and this guy Daugherty is a liar. He and the other senior managers were forced to resign about 1 year ago as they had secretly stated a new company that was against a non-compete agreement with the present owner. These guys are being sued in Washington state where they probably registered the business. their new illegal company is Metal Motor Sports ( supposedly located in Tempe, AZ. nobody answers the phone at this website. I warn people not to do business with this new company as it is illegal and Daughery and partners almost destroyed Baja Motor Sports with lousy service, etc.

  12. steve kuhns Says:

    i have a baja wilderness 250 atv the transmission housing cracked.I can not found a replacement. Can you help me please i loved driving the atv. The vin # is LAWAAGMC35C102712. thanks steve

  13. John Powell Says:

    its a shame that you all had problems with your bikes. i bought a zs125 street scooter in 2006 from pepboys and so far have put over 5000 miles on it. how ever it did need a headlight after a couple years, other than that its been a great bike for the son and i have run the piss out of it and it just keeps going, and im 40 pounds over the limit for its the one big problem is locating a manual on their site.

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