Malcolm Smith, "Desert Master"


Malcolm Smith was born on March 9, 1941 (Saltspring Island/British Columbia/Canada), his sporting achievements and his popularity were crucial to the development of off-road in North America. Initially he competed with a MATCHLESS 500cc, later he joined HUSQVARNA.


He had relevant sports participation in the 60's and 70's. He won the Baja 1000 six times (3 times motorcycle + 3 times auto), four times the Baja 500, twice the Mint 400 and won an edition of the Atlas Rallye in Morocco. He participated twice in the Paris-Dakar and was eight times a gold medalist in the ISDT (a race known today as ISDE). Along with Steve McQueen (whom he was a personal friend) and Mert Lawwill he starred in the iconic documentary film On Any Sunday.


At the end of his sporting career, he created a brand of off-road products and equipment, Malcolm Smith Gold Medal Products, which was later renamed Malcolm Smith Racing and is now universally known as MSR. However, a few years ago, this brand was acquired by Tucker Rocky Distributing (a large North American distributor of motorcycle products).



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MSR ad featuring rider Mike Bell

Malcolm Smith at different stages of life

The importance of his role in motorcycling was recognized with the induction of his name into the Off-Road Motorsports Hall Of Fame in 1978, the Motorsports Hall Of Fame Of America in 1996 and the Motorcycle Hall Of Fame in 1998. In addition to his notable participation in On Any Sunday (1971), he appeared on the big screen four more times: Naturally Free (1975), Dirt (1979), On Any Sunday II (1981) and, recently, participated in a documentary on the Baja 1000 (2005): Dust To Glory, along with Mario Andretti and Robby Gordon. In 2000, Malcolm created a non-profit foundation whose intention is to help Mexicans. Now married for the third time with four children, he runs an important motorcycle establishment in Riverside, California (USA). Interestingly, some videos appear on Youtube where his rebelliousness and ability to intervene in favor of motorcycling prevail.


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Iconic image of Malcolm here in a painted version by Tom Fritz