History Text Part 9-B

By 1983 GRIFFS had started to fall behind. The market was hyper-competitive, and JT was an absolute juggernaut. Steve Stackable had left the sport, and his brother Rolf was losing interest. Stanley knew he was in trouble, and tried to adapt. However, competition and higher costs were kneecapping him. He still was making a great product, but, just like today, marketing was driving the business and he was getting out-promoted. In a very short space of time, more than 70% of his business had vaporized, and after owning the late 1970s and early 80s GRIFFS left the motorcycle market completely in 1987.

GRIFFS started in 1974, and for about a decade was everywhere. It was never as flashy as some other brands, but pick up any magazine, look at old photos, browse EBay, or talk to industry people from that era, and you'll find the Gryphon rearing up. GRIFFS broke new ground with the use of Cordura, was known for innovative designs, and set the benchmark for quality. GRIFFS had raced with some of the most famous riders and brands in the industry, and built a fan base that still exists today. Along the way, GRIFFS carved out a part of motocross and motorcycle history that is rivaled by few brands in in existence. In the words of former factory rider Steve Bauer, “they were motocross”.

Facts and Notes

  • Launched sometime around 1973 - 1974.
  • The first company to use Cordura in a motorcycle application.
  • First company to use Kevlar for motorcycle gear.
  • First company to use Nomex in motorcycle gear.
  • Instrumental in getting the AMA to change rules to allow nylon MX pants.
  • Outfitted the MX Des Nations team.
  • Outfitted the US ISDT Team multiple years.
  • Produced gear for Maico, Can-Am, KTM, Bultaco, Husqvarna, Carabela, Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Harley-Davidson, Fox, Answer, O'Neal and a few others.
  • Made motocross pants, enduro jackets, jerseys, gearbags, boot gaitors, mechanics pants and shirts, casual wear, vests, heated electric clothing, touring gear, Nomex products, and many other items.
  • Sold well over 200,000 pair of pants, 12,000 jackets, and many other items.
  • Appeared in hundreds of magazines and on dozens of magazine covers
  • Worn in many historical MX events including Weinert in Oakland paddle tire race, Superbikers, "Let Broc Bye" race, and many more.
  • Still has a small but passionate group of GRIFFS fans, including me.