Gerald Rinehart doesn't just know performance exhaust, he lives and breathes it. What began for him as a hobby in the basement of his house over twenty years ago has become a full-time profession and has made him the most recognizable name in motorsport exhaust today.
A construction welder by trade, Gerald lived all over the United States working on major construction projects for many years. An avid fan of stock car racing, Gerald took every opportunity to spend time in race shops. One particular place Gerald spent time was the race shop of Dave Marcus, famed NASCAR® driver and team owner. Marcus' head engine builder, Ray Zaruba, had found success in a particular set of exhaust header collectors; however, Zaruba had been unable to determine where or who had made the collectors. Recognizing Gerald's experience in welding and his interest in racing exhaust, Zaruba invited Gerald to fabricate new collectors. Jumping at the opportunity of a lifetime, Rinehart got two 2x12's and created a make-shift workbench, borrowed a bench vice from his neighbor, a small welding machine from his brother-in-law, and went to work throughout the nights after long days on the construction site. His collectors were so popular that other NASCAR® teams began ordering them faster than Rinehart could make them.
Gerald continued making collectors, but began studying what other fabricators were doing, and after a long and tenuous year and a half, Rinehart had an innovative design for his own complete exhaust system. The success, fame and popularity of Gerald's exhaust were so immediate that Gerald quit his employment as a construction welder and began building NASCAR® headers full-time in the same basement of his home.
By the end of the decade, Gerald was ready to expand his business; he just wasn't sure how to carry over his expertise in NASCAR® into the consumer industry. Motorcycle champion and Harley-Davidson(R) dealer, Don Tilley, asked Gerald to fabricate V-twin racing exhaust for him, personally. Gerald's motorcycle race application gained Tilley over 12 horsepower on an engine that had already been maxed to its limits. Responding to this engineering feat, Rinehart applied the technology to a 1999 Ultra Classic which increased the performance dynamically. The response was an average increase of 14 horsepower and 14 added foot pounds of torque - something unheard of the consumer market. His relationship with Tilley led to a meeting with an industry leading distributor, and an exhaust manufacturer, which resulted in an distribution agreement to manufacture and distribute Rinehart performance exhaust systems to motorcycle riders. Within three years, Rinehart pipes were the number one aftermarket motorcycle part ever sold in the history of the distributor. Rinehart's trademark black end caps and resplendent chrome finish did more than create insane popularity with riders and dealers; they represent quality, craftsmanship and performance, and are known throughout the industry as the choice for riders who want to get the most power and performance from their bikes.
Today, Rinehart continues to innovate through design and technology. While Gerald's goal is not to be recognized as the leader in the industry, or the biggest seller of performance exhaust systems, his goal is to develop exhaust technology that will maximize every ounce of performance a motorcycle can possibly produce. His tools may no longer be borrowed, but Gerald is still the down-to-earth guy that learned to make exhaust pipes in the basement of his home. In fact, if Gerald is not at his desk at the company office, he is probably on the road gaining input, advice and suggestions from dealers, mechanics, and customers. If you still can't find him, check in the shop behind his house. He's probably there, tinkering with a piece of steel tubing and a welding machine and creating his next masterpiece.