Making Shifting Great Again, Rory DesJardin on Episode 38


Making shifting great again, Rory DesJardin, from RADesigns joins us to share info on his products and business and the path he has been on to make it a success.  Get to know Rory as we have these last couple of seasons.

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1:47 – getting started with motorcycles

4:23 – gotta have the right tires

11:22 – first generation shifter for my Toyota

13:36 – The Shifter Guy

17:14 – my career before Shifters

20:32 – that’s me, that’s me!

25:12 – the environment at WE Rock

36:05 – everybody wants to be like the racers

40:32 – making the last big change

53:40 – the size of the industry

Reach out to Rory at  New phone #509-624-1607


Today’s guest on Conversations with Big Rich is Rory DesJardin. Rory is the owner of RADesigns, which is a company that specializes in shift management systems.

Rory. Thank you for coming on board with this interview today and conversations with Big Rich and discussing your background and history related to off-road. And how did you get started? First of all, again, thank you.

[00:01:47.500] – Rory DesJardin

Great to be here, Rich. I got started, I was raised on a wheat farm in southeastern Washington, so I was lived in the country. It was all about the dirt. I started riding Motorcycle’s. When I was maybe nine years old, it was a Honda 90 and I couldn’t touch the ground, so I started on the center stand, then rock it off and go right around.

And hopefully I could not wreck and be able to get up and get going again if I did that kind of progressed into. Where I lived, my dad worked for this farmer that own the property. He didn’t have horses. He had motorcycles to round up the cows. So it was kind of a motorized thing that influenced that way. My first set of wheels was a motorcycle. I bought a Enduro, you know, a dual sport. So that was what I had when I turned 16 to drive around in.

And I was always out. Like I said, we had quite a bit of acres and a lot of cattle. So I’d always be out on the cow trails riding around and doing the dirt that way. That lasted for two years riding that. And I was in high school and I bought a seventy challenger, so kind of like hot, hot rod type car. But, you know, on the farm we had a the owner had a nineteen forty six CJ2A that he’s the original owner of.

It’s still in his family. He’s passed away now but it’s still in his family. So I just drove that. I mean we use that for fixing fences and spraying weeds. So I spent a lot of seat time in that old Willys driving around and realizing they didn’t have enough power to spin out and get stuck. So it just went up on those hills because it was just amazing the places we could go.

And we had a Scout 800 too that was wasn’t nearly as fun, but that was kind of the two utility vehicles along with the fifty one power wagon. So with the PTO winch. So we’re always out. You spent a lot of time outdoors driving four wheel drives around on a ranch. So that was kind of the influence I had there. I went to college, had the car. Soon as I started working full time, I moved to Pasco Richland, the tri cities there in Washington, and I met some guys that were in a four wheel drive club.

Jeep Club is what everybody called it back then. And I had just bought a brand new nineteen eighty two Dodge D50. And they said, you have four wheel drive. Oh, yeah, we have, you know, these guys, Broncos’, Jeeps, you know, I’ve got an eighty two Dodge  D50 and you can see just kind of like the smirk on their faces going, yeah, OK, sure. You know. Well you can come along and see how you do.

Well I went out a couple of times with them and they came off like Fx70x14s or something like that on their, you know, little little tiny tires. A couple trips out and it was sand, a lot of sand dunes, you know, they’re little small areas of sand dunes. We’d go play and I found a set of 31x10x50s, but they didn’t quite fit until I took the dye grinder to the Fender Wells to make everything fit.   READ MORE


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