RIVA Racing's History - Humble Beginnings
Starting off as just a small mom and pop shop for retail consumers in the motor scooter world, RIVA Racing can draw its roots back to the beginning of RIVA Motorsports. In 1979, a New Jersey couple named Steve and Lynn Bamdas, with their 14-year-old son Dave and his 3 siblings, traveled south to Pompano Beach, Florida to start a small motorsports business.
At first, the business, called Lambretta South, sold product lines consisting of scooters, mopeds and go karts. In the early 1980’s, the shop acquired a new Yamaha “Riva” scooter line and changed the business name to Riva World. This particular line of scooters is what would cement the RIVA name in the history books by contributing to the company’s now iconic and most recognizable name.
RIVA RACING’S INTRODUCTION TO THE WATERCRAFT INDUSTRY
In 1987, Yamaha introduced their new watercraft line including the WaveJammer and WaveRunner 500, both of which were available at the now expanding RIVA World shop. By the early 90’s RIVA World changed names yet again to the now widely known title of RIVA Yamaha.
By this point, RIVA had not only begun carrying the full line of Yamaha products, but had launched a championship race effort led by Tim Judge, blazing the way to multiple National & World Titles aboard RIVA built WaveBlasters. Judge’s National and World number 1 plaques still hang proudly in RIVA’s showroom along with those of sponsored racers like Chris MacClugage, Jeff Jacobs and Dustin Farthing as a testament to RIVA’s racing efforts.
RIVA RACING AS THE FIRST YAMAHA FACTORY RACE TEAM
By the time the new Yamaha WaveRunner line was introduced to the shop, you could say business was doing very well. This success led to the appointment of RIVA as the first ever official Yamaha Factory Race Team for personal watercraft competition in 1992.
Dave Bamdas explained that the Yamaha Factory Race Team budget was an unprecedented one million dollars -plus. This allowed RIVA Yamaha to have the ability to continue expanding its ever evolving aftermarket performance product line through a dedicated research and development facility that is still in operation today.
With cutting-edge performance products and a pro-level budget, RIVA Yamaha was able to employ sponsored riders such as Chris MacClugage, Jeff Jacobs, Dustin Motzouris, Tera Laho and Nicholas Rius. Years of factory racing success continued with epic proportions, creating the need for expansion. RIVA acquired additional property and expanded their product line further by picking up Sea-Doo, Honda and Kawasaki brands.
RIVA RACING – WATERCRAFT PERFORMANCE SPECIALISTS – IS BORN
Just as it seemed the colossal Factory Yamaha Race Team budget would never end, the personal watercraft market took a dive, and the well dried up. Some speculate it was caused by a combination of new laws and regulations passed by the government and EPA, but one could write an entire article regarding this stage in PWC history books. Bamdas and RIVA Yamaha had to quickly adapt to the sudden market changes.
This proved to be an opportunity in disguise as RIVA refocused their strategies on expanding the research and development of aftermarket products which made pivotal gains. This would be the birth of RIVA Racing.
RIVA RACING TODAY
Today, RIVA Racing spans over six different buildings in Pompano Beach, Florida employing over 100 staff members. These buildings include departments for Research & Development (R&D), Sales & Technical Support, 2 fully staffed Parts and PWC Warehouses, International Shipping & Receiving Departments, PWC Sales, PWC Service, and Private Test Lake facility.
RIVA Racing is recognized worldwide as the premiere source for personal watercraft performance parts and accessories built with the highest quality standards in mind.
Along with their complete line of RIVA Racing PWC Performance Products & Accessories, they offer specially modified watercraft for the serious enthusiast or racer. A strong line of performance products has helped the Racing Support Team as well as many others capture numerous National & World Titles as well as a World Water Speed Record.
Thanks and Ride Safe!
- RIVA Racing