Powroll Past

This site offers vintage documentation and tech support for Powroll performance products and modifications. If you are unsure of a product number, check the catalog which includes part numbers for every product.

Powroll Print Catalog from 2005 https://drive.google.com/open?id=1WzXql8uK_HjdsYFfOPJ67J71Cs1faPZ8

This site is not run by Powroll Performance and is not affiliated with the company in any way. All information, artwork and documentation here was originally offered on the Powroll.com website, which is now defuct.

History of the shop

Originated in 1964 in Bend Oregon, Powroll was one of the oldest performance companies in the industry.

Begun by Paul Olmstead in a cinder block building behind his family home, Powroll initially designed and manufactured performance parts for Hondas, expanding to other makes and models as the Japanese motorcycle manufacturers increased their production of four stroke models.

Paul’s “eureka!” moment came when he invented a way to shrink OEM connecting rods, creating a simple and less expensive way to build stroker cranks for OHC four stroke engines. Powroll stroker cranks gave great reliability at a good price with little or no additional modification needed.

The iconic Powroll stroker crank showing the bulge in the center of the rod.

Although the company originally offered parts for everything from the CB/CL/SL series to the Elsinore 125 and 250, they settled exclusively on four-stroke singles by the mid 1970’s.

Pete Fisher began working at Powroll in the 1970’s as the head of the Research and Development team.  He purchased Powroll from the Olmsteads in the 1990’s when Paul was ready to retire.

Pete’s technical expertise with all things four stroke make him a go-to guy for other industry leaders with thumper questions. 

Pete was also an editor and wrote for a couple of popular Hi Torque publications in the late 80’s and early 90’s, working as 3 & 4 Wheel Action’s “Sarge” for a time. Pete is also very involved in the Vintage Race scene as a promoter for Vintage MX, modern Trial, the AHRMA Northwest Trials series, and was the promoter and organizer for the Steel Stampede AHRMA event still held every year at Crooked River Ranch, Oregon. 

The recreational rider was Powroll’s mainstay, however, racing was also a large part of their business. Powroll provided parts and service to many of the top names in the business; Ty Davis, Lance Smail, Rick Johnson, Jimmy Lewis, Scott Summers, Rich Taylor, Scott Russell, Kory Ellis and Craig Decker are among the top pro riders who owned at least one Powrolled engine.

Powroll was involved with winning the 1978 World Four Stroke Championship (Rod Kentner), their engines and expertise have helped create Bonneville speed records (at least one still stands), and sponsored flat track winning pros like John Wincewicz. Powroll engines won the 2000 Four Stroke Nationals (Team Breedlove, Craig Decker, Rider), White Brothers Mini Worlds (2000 & 2001), dominated the Langtown Mini Supercross events, won the Legends class at Screwydilla (Ron Sun on our CRF150 and XR 70) and were used in Kory Ellis’ pro quad class-winning machines.

The Powroll research and development team produced project machines like the competitive and coveted 200cc case-engine built for Quarter Midget racing.

CASE_ENGINE

The original CRF150 was produced by Powroll in 2001 (way before Honda rolled their first CRF150R off the line in 2007) . This state-of-the-art water-cooled, DOHC, 4-Valve Powroll project bike was the culmination of years of technical expertise and research. The bike was featured on Speedvision and in many industry-leading magazines.

Brilliant in-house engineering created the powerplant from blocks of aluminum hand-machined on pre-CNC-era lathes. Internal components were frankensteined from a strange variety of OEM components.

The company was still going strong, developing and producing product for the newly emerging modern four stroke up through about 2009. The massive downturn in the motorsports market that year caused hardship and even failure of many big names in the industry. Powroll continued to sell some product, mainly for the vintage market with their kits for the Honda four stroke 100’s and 125’s, but it proved to eventually be unprofitable. The final tooling, machinery, and building were sold off by 2019.