Ed and Grothus Dragbikes Back Up to Speed at the Man Cup

The loss of a spouse, mother, and major component of the racing team is something that few families can contemplate until it happens. When Judy Grothus passed away, she left a hole that—personally and professionally—has required time to heal for Ed Grothus and his family-run Grothus Dragbikes operation.
“Obviously, our family has had a rough almost two and a half years with Judy getting sick and eventually passing from ovarian cancer,” said Ed. “It was this (Man Cup) World Finals event three years ago that was our last race together as a family at SGMP. At that race, Brody won the $5000 all-four sanction 4.60 shootout on Friday night over Doug Frierson’s grandson, and made the semis on Sunday too. Bradley won Top Gas, and our Canadian customer Jean Gosselin won his second straight championship in Pro Open and ran a career best 6.27 in the semis. So it was a pretty good event for us and this will be my first time back to SGMP since then.”
Brunson Grothus at the 2019 Man Cup World Finals

Judy Grothus with her bother Tom Klemme and sons Brody and Brunson, with Brunson’s family at SGMP. (photo courtesy of Ed Grothus)

Judy had been such a vital part of the racing experience for Ed, that he wasn’t at all sure he wanted to return to the track at all and had little appetite for the demands of running the finest dragbike chassis manufacturing business in the world. He lives on a golf course, and as a retired firefighter who loves to golf, maybe it was time to do the easy thing.

“It has been 18 months since I lost my partner of almost 40 years, but I am doing about as well as could be expected. There was a time when honestly I wasn’t sure if I’d ever want to go to the track again nor build another chassis or machine another part.

Ed Grothus celebrating the life of his beloved Judy at this year’s MotorcycleMania event at Eddyville.

“That was then, this is now. The good news is I am back to a good place in my mind and am really looking forward to my return. I’m about as motivated as I have ever been in regards to our Grothus Dragbikes business and we are as busy as we have ever been, despite the shape of our country today.

“We are in the middle of a massive billet aluminum parts manufacturing run am bringing a bunch of those parts to the Word Finals to share with our incredible customer base. I’m not sure how many bikes we are bringing or who will be riding them but I do know we are gonna have a hell of a parts display.”

So by all means, make sure you check out the Grothus Dragbikes display this weekend.

“I am currently working on a couple of 4.60 chassis and hope to have one of them to show off on our parts table. We can provide about anything needed for ones’ chassis needs from top to bottom and front to back.”

Which is practical, very welcome news for a racing community that has come to realize that—like the presence of a loved one—the supply chain of the parts they rely on can’t be taken for granted.

The Master at work on a set of wheelie bars
“Here is probably the most important thing I want to share,” finished Ed. “During my daily struggle with life’s direction after Judys passing, it was my son Bradley (seen with Ed in the featured photo at the top of the page) who really shouldered keeping our doors open and the supporting of our customers. It was all him. Without Bradley’s drive and passion, I’m sure we would not be in the position we are in today, and that is why we are looking to expand. I’m really wanting to pass along my knowledge of chassis building along to someone much younger than I.

“We are also hoping to continue to ramp up the production of all of our parts so we can open back up our internet purchasing. Currently we have suspended the ability for anyone to order online, they just call or text or email us to place an order. I’m hoping within six months or so we can change that.”

And I know personally that Grothus Dragbikes has exciting news yet to be announced. Welcome back Ed and the entire Grothus family, the track hasn’t been the same without you!



story and photos (except for the parts photos and where noted) by Tim Hailey
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