History Text Part 5

There were bureaucratic hurdles to overcome. Even as late as 1977, the American Motorcyclist Association rulebook allowed only pants made of leather in professional motocross. They blocked the use of Stanley’s new pants for competition based on the fact that they were not fireproof. Stanley had his pants tested by an independent laboratory with excellent results, and petitioned the AMA. “I went before the AMA Board under the premise of having just my pants approved,” Stanley recalled, “but one of the board members was from a leather manufacturer. He was furious. In the meeting, he told them point blank that they would be giving the industry to me.” Eventually, the AMA reversed it position and approved all nylon pants for competition, without any testing or certification required.

GRIFFS had a jump on the competition, and sales grew quickly. GRIFFS pants were much more rugged than those produced by competing brands such as JT, who used cheaper fabric to target a lower price. Stanley's choice to use rugged DuPont Cordura gave GRIFFS a reputation for superior durability, particularly in areas like New England and Michigan, where the punishment dished out by terrain and the elements was relentless and unforgiving on riding gear. This led to motorcycle companies requesting branded gear made by GRIFFS. Maico first, then Kawasaki, Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Harley (yep, even Harley tried to make dirt bikes for a while), Can-Am, Penton, Bultaco all had their logos sewn onto GRIFFS-made clothing. GRIFFS was even making gear for fledgling brands that went on to become giants in the apparel industry themselves, including Fox, Answer, and O’Neal.