I’m Mark E. Founder of SIERRAADVGEAR.COM
Let me start by telling you little about me and my background in riding. I was 5 years old when I got my first bike and I remember that day like it was yesterday. In no time, I was flying with my brother with no fear around our 50-acre ranch on my new JR50. It didn’t take long till I got my YZ80. I could not even touch the ground but boy it seemed fast and I could really get in front of my brothers. They’d get upset as they could not keep up with me on their 125 cc.
Skip forward 10 years and I was racing motocross. Supercross was my favorite because it was like ranch racing: the terrain was always changing. This all got old and had some bad misfortunes in my 20’s with crashes and broken bones and then got married. Soon, it was time to spread my wings and get my first dual sport. I had it all set up with saddle bags and camping gear and that took me to places that took my breath away and I fell in love being able to go from road to dirt. All this time, I always looked at the BMW saying, “there’s something I really love about those bikes I’ve been seeing around on the roads and up in the sierras.” But like always, when you’re young and starting a family, money and time was never in my favor and so I had to settle for DRZ400’s and XR650’s to get by with. In 2014, I got my first, brand new 2014 BMW 1200 GS and I thought, “OMG, this will take me all over the USA, to areas I have only seen in pictures,” and knowing there was going to be some new uncharted areas I’d be finding very soon.
Shortly after I got the bike, I was in a severe car crash coming home from work that prevented me for riding for a couple years due to major nerve pain in my arms. Right after spinal surgery and neck disc replacement, I got released and within a week, I felt better than I have felt in a couple years. So, I decided to travel to a few countries and took a leave from work. First stop was India, then Europe. While there, I was traveling around and came across a group of adventure riders and most rode on BMW 1200’s. We hit it right off and we all become great friends and I was even given a loner bike the next day from one of the guys and drove all over.
This is how Sierra ADV Gear was born!
My new friends had connections with after-market stuff for these bikes. So, I came home with this dream about starting this business and setting up rides and events and hoping to bring riders together and exploring the U.S.A. I wanted to treat people and riders how I was treated in Europe. Most of the friends I met I still talk to today. We chat about me returning and doing a big ride across Europe and having them visit here so I can repay the favor and hospitality to them.
As I saved my money, I started thinking more and more about Sierra ADV Gear and bringing reasonably priced, good gear here and selling products to the public. I started with Boxes/Panniers since I needed some for my bike. I called my friends and ordered a few sets and started selling off a couple sets as soon as I posted them. I told myself, “I can start small-why not?” So, I ordered more and sold all in a few days. Not getting rich, but making it worth my time and making a little more than money just sitting in my bank. This happened over and over. But what really got me was meeting new BMW riders and getting a riding group together-a true group of new and some older riders all together. Making friends and others meeting other riders and upping their social groups and social networks. We get riders in all types of bikes from Harley’s, Hondas, KTM, BMW, Triumphs and a few others. If you ride on two wheels and want to get away, well, you’re my kind of person.
Now, I’m getting items from all over the world but staying small and keeping cost low so everyone can afford them. Finally, selling products I have grown to love on my bike. Some things I feel are a must have: I have ordered plenty of stuff from other websites and they just did not hold up or I ended up finding something better and found out where to order and get these products to the American People. I do stock more for the BMW world as of now but trust me, I will start adding other great adventure bikes products as well. Just bear with me, it’s all coming and hopefully, this website will grow with great upcoming events, blogs and social networking-with your input as well. Keep the two wheels rolling and be safe!