Nov. 15, 2004 – DISTRIBUTOR REPORT
November 15, 2004
Filed under Features
MOTONATION PICKS UP SPIDI
Spidi Sport, a supplier of street and roadrace motorcycle apparel, announced the selection of Motonation as its new exclusive importer for the U.S. market effective immediately. Motonation, El Cajon, Calif., is the importer and distributor of Sidi and Set Up motorcycle boots.
“The street apparel market is one that Motonation has always felt would be a good match to our company, our existing brands, and our dealer exclusivity sales style for some time now,” said Bill Berroth, president of Motonation. “We did not want to make this step with just any brand but with a market leader.
“When we learned this summer that the Spidi brand was available we jumped at the chance and established a partnership that will see Motonation and Spidi working together towards the growth of the U.S. market for the brand for years to come.
“Motonation’s goal for the Spidi brand is to integrate it into our selected dealer sales style next to Sidi and Set Up boots and to give the brand the growth and exposure that it deserves in the United States,” Berroth told Powersports Business. “Spidi is internationally recognized as one of the premier apparel brands in the world but as of yet has not enjoyed the coverage in the U.S. that the brand deserves. Motonation will gain in increased sales volume and by adding a complementary line to the boots.”
KC International is a Ducati dealer in San Antonio that has retailed Spidi. This summer, when Spidi’s U.S. distribution was in flux, KC placed an order for the 2005 line and was supplied by Spidi directly in an effort for the manufacturer to retain the retailer while it searched for a new importer. While KC is listed on the Spidi Web site as a U.S. distributor, the dealership is not authorized to sell to other dealers, and will now also receive Spidi product from Motonation.
Retailers interested in acquiring an exclusive Spidi sales territory for their market area are asked to contact Motonation at 877/789-4940, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
In other Motonation news, the company dropped Wacker hand guards and recently negotiated price reductions on all Set Up boot models sold in the United States Berroth says the savings are being used to reduce retail price points.
In the Set Up off road line, the “Akira” drops from $229.99 to $209.99; the “Uno Sport” is reduced from $174.99 to $159.99; and the “MX Kid” is reduced from $134.99 to $126.99. In the Set Up street line, the “Gran Prix” goes from $174.99 to only $134.99; the “Gran Prix H2O” dives from $199.99 to $154.99; the “Pegaso Vented” is reduced from $159.99 to $129.99; and the “Pegaso H2O” is headed from $179.99 to $149.99.
BIG GUN SPLITS FROM WHITE BROS.
Big Gun Exhaust Systems has terminated its relationship with White Brothers, Inc., effective Oct. 22.
“Big Gun exhaust has been a part of the White Brothers family from the beginning, and always has had good relationships throughout the years,” the company said in a prepared statement. “Big Gun exhaust systems is looking towards the future and to meet our goals we have had to make some difficult decisions, and unfortunately the goals of White Brothers and Big Gun are different.”
“This is one of most difficult decisions I have had to make, seeing that White Brothers was our first distributor that helped grow Big Gun,” said Big Gun founder and president Mike Young. “We would like to thank White Brothers for all of their support over the years and best wishes for their future success.”
FAIRCHILD INTRODUCES REGIONAL MANAGERS
Fairchild Sports, the California-based distributor of products from Oxtar, Vemar, Hein Gericke, Schuberth and Held, has a new team of regional sales managers to assist Fairchild sales reps working throughout the United States.
Gene Hill has been tapped to cover the Midwest and Southeast, including Puerto Rico. Hill spent 21 years at Yamaha in posts ranging from district manager of the Motorcycle Division to national sales manager for Yamaha Watercraft. Chris Clovis, former district manager for Bombardier and Polaris, is regional sales manager for the Western states; Ron McCall, former consultant to Yamaha USA and American Honda, is northwest regional sales manager; and Rick Hurst serves as Northeast regional sales manager. Hurst spent 13 years with Moto-Race, in charge of sales development for Michelin race tires and Dainese apparel before taking on his management position at Fairchild Sports.
Each sales manager has been supplied with a Scion XB, decorated in company and product logos, to help transport gear.
“All four of them joined the company within the past year,” Fairchild’s Tom Monroe told Powersports Business. Monroe says Fairchild currently has approximately 20 sales reps serving customers throughout the United States, and says the company is seeking to hire additional team members. “We’re actively looking now.”
Fairchild held an open house at its facility in Tustin, Calif. on Oct. 4. Attendees included dealers and corporate customers.
“We had a lot of dealers and a lot of OEMs, and even some people from Tucker Rocky,” Monroe said.
For more information about Fairchild Sports, call 888/258-2120 or visit www.fairchildsports.com.
KERRY BRYANT LAUNCHES TEAM BRYANT
Kerry Bryant, long-time powersports veteran, has resigned his position as vice president of Jardine Performance Products/Doug Thorley Headers, effective Oct. 29, 2004, to launch his own company, Team Bryant, that will produce exhaust systems and other related products out of a facility in Anaheim, Calif.
During the past 25 years, Bryant has worked for SuperTrapp, Kerker, White Brothers, and Jardine. The new company is a family operation; Bryant will operate it with his wife, Jenny, and sons, Kenny and Kelly. The company will specialize in the development of exhaust systems for dirt and street applications, said Kenny Bryant. It also will manufacture carbon fiber parts and accessories. The company also “definitely” plans to produce products for the ATV market in the future.
For more information: phone 714/630-2386, or email firstname.lastname@example.org or www.areapnolimits.com
NESS MOTROCYCLES TO USE ELECTRONIC IDs
Arlen Ness Motorcycles, Dublin, Calif., soon will be adding an identification number to each of its bikes that will be carried in tiny computer “dots.” The DataDots will be produced by MicroID Technologies. About the size of a grain of sand, each set of DataDots will be encrypted with a unique alphanumeric code using a micro-laser etching process. The DataDots are suspended in a specially formulated adhesive containing a UV trace and may be applied by either a unique spray or brush-on process.
Arlen Ness Motorcycles will use DataDot motorcycle kits that will attach DataDots to their custom bikes and provide traceable information that is invisible to the naked eye. Authorities then use a special magnifier to view the DataDots and trace property back to the rightful owner.
Based in Sonora, Calif., MicroID Technologies is the authorized distributor of DataDot Technology in California. DataDots deter theft, counterfeiting and product reproduction through their unique traceable coding and small undetectable size. Visit www.microidtech.com or call 209/532-0056 for more information.
S&S REVAMPS WEBSITE, ADDS OPTIONS
S&S Cycle Inc. has a new Web site. While it has been up and running in various components for the past month, it is now fully operational.
S&S Webmaster Kevin Sather and company Audio/Visual Specialist Chad Baker have been working on the project.
“I have been adamant about improving our Web presence for some time and with the addition of Kevin earlier this year and Chad’s increased abilities in the A/V areas, we feel the consumer will have a much more exciting and interactive experience when visiting our site,” said S&S President Brett Smith.
“What I’m most excited about with the new site is that we’ll be able to perform live audio/visual feeds from some of our important events throughout the year. That will allow many of our customers that can’t make it to those events to still share in the experience either live or later,” said Baker.
Added features include a scrolling news menu, race updates, open forums, an S&S events calendar, S&S event photos and videos, plus a “new and improved” online Apparel & Accessories Store.
The online Apparel & Accessories Store now has updated photos and descriptions of S&S’s entire apparel and accessories product line including T-shirts, jackets, caps, lighters, leather goods and more.
“It’s more than just a new look,” said Marketing Manager Bruce Tessmer. “We’ve incorporated some great new features. One of these is the ability to sell apparel and accessory items on line. However, you have to keep in mind that this is for apparel items only. We still insist that customers buy our engine parts through an S&S dealer.”
S&S officials say they also are developing a new Customer Training & Certification program that will aggressively use the Web as an educational medium, a precursor to more rigorous and “hands-on” training at the new S&S Proven Performance Training Center currently being remodeled in La Crosse, Wis.
MOTOROLA, MOMODESIGN OFFER BLUETOOTH HELMET
Motorola and MomoDesign have introduced the first Bluetooth-enabled motorcycle helmet making it possible for motorcycle riders to scoot around town and stay connected.
Built on the design of Motorola’s HS810, the wireless helmet headset is placed in an open-faced MomoDesign helmet outfitted with an anti-scratch visor and carbon fibre details.
Compatible with any Bluetooth enabled handset, the wireless helmet headset is manufactured with a noise-reducing microphone to help minimize traffic and wind noise when riding at highway speed. All functions (answer, end, redial, voice dial and volume) can be made from the cover on the helmet, and the phone works once the rider is off the bike, as well. The battery lasts for up to five hours talk time and 100 hours standby time.
The Motorola wireless helmet headset also will be available as an aftermarket kit. The kit, containing the helmet adapter (microphone, speaker, cover), Bluetooth headset module, lanyard and charger, would easily attach to a consumer’s own helmet with included 3M adhesive.
The MomoDesign helmet and the wireless headset aftermarket kit are both expected to be available in early 2005.
REAR VIEW WITH REEVU
In another helmet first, U.K.-based Reevu introduced what it calls the world’s first motorcycle helmet with a built-in unbreakable rear-view mirror system.
Reevu officials say they spent 10 years developing the product, which allows the wearer to see the road behind via a system of unbreakable mirrors constructed out of ABS. Designed and created by Reevu, the lids are hand-assembled in Italy and are expected to be available by early 2005.
For more information, visit www.reevu.com
HONDA AND GAS
The 2004/2005 collection of GAS Jeans’ Official Honda Gas Merchandise was introduced at the GP of Portugal, and shown again at INTERMOT in September.
The Italian brand’s Honda-labeled apparel and accessory collection targets youthful motor sports enthusiasts and will be sold through motorcycle dealerships internationally as well as at fashion retailers in 20 countries.
The collection includes leather and denim jackets; technical down vests; 100% cotton shirts, t-shirts and sweatshirts. Also available are tops, skirts and jackets tailored specifically for women.
GAS has been a sponsor of the Repsol Honda MotoGP Team and HRC since 1998.
WELD TEAMS WITH SIMMS
Weld Racing Motorcycle says it has formed a relationship and will develop a wheel with custom bike builder Ron Simms.
Known for high-end custom bikes with wild paint jobs, Simms Custom Motorcycles is located in Hayward, Calif. Weld is headquartered in Kansas City, Mo.
“Ron has had an alliance with one of our competitors for many years and after visiting our new state-of-the-art facility, he saw with his own eyes the many advantages that Weld has over any other wheel manufacturer in the industry”, said Mark Finnie, vice president of Weld’s motorcycle division.
Weld Racing Motorcycle has 21 styles of wheels to choose from with matching rotors, pulleys or sprockets, including the new Pro Series wheels, designed by some of the nations top custom bike builders. Weld recently introduced a line of four-piston differential bore billet brake calipers, a pulley/rotor for right side drive bikes and an 18" x 14" two-piece wheel for Vee Rubber’s new 360 series tire. The wheels and pulleys come in either a show polished or chrome finish and are backed by a five-year warranty. To obtain Weld’s free catalogs, call 866-753-4289 or visit www.weldmotorcycle.com.
CHOOSE YOUR TIRE MONITORING SYSTEM
The U.S. Government, through the TREAD Act, has legislated that new passenger vehicles must be equipped with tire monitoring systems beginning with a phased implementation in 2005.
PressurePro Tire Systems Inc., a division of Advantage Enterprises, Inc., develops and markets proprietary tire pressure monitoring systems for the global automotive and transportation industries. The company attended INTERMOT to showcase its offerings to the international powersports industry.
Incorporated in 1991 and based in Kansas City, Mo., PressurePro, has offices in North America, Europe and Asia. For more information, visit www.advantagepressurepro.com or call 800/959-3505.
Yet another product offering tire condition information is the Tire Temperature Measuring System developed by Dutch company Bits in partnership with German firm Memotec GmbH.
“The creation of this product is a reaction to numerous inquiries from members of the motorcycling community,” said Memotec’s Ulli Mesch. “These people have crashed on cold tires, and recognize the need.”
Aside from every day use, Mesch said she believes track day participants will show particular interest in the product, which can be inspected at www.me-mo-tec.com or www.bits.nl.
From Pirelli comes the patented Pirelli Safety Wheel System, developed with fellow Italian manufacturer Brembo, which automatically re-inflates tires after a puncture or a drop in pressure thanks to an internal chamber containing compressed air.
The system comprises three elements: a special rim with an internal tube containing compressed air; a valve that regulates the passage of pressure between the tube and the tire; and the Pirelli Bike X-PRESSURE system, which monitors the pressure and temperature of tires.
When the tire deflates, the valve opens automatically, topping up the original pressure. Under normal conditions, a bike tire loses an average of 0.2 bar every three months. The system is able to compensate for a tire’s spontaneous loss of air for a period of between 9-12 months. The system’s valve is programmed to remain closed if tire pressure diminishes due to a drop in temperature, rather than a loss of air.
In the case of a puncture, two things immediately come into play: both the Bike X-PRESSURE system, which warns motorcyclists of a pressure loss by means of a visual signal, and the wheel system valve, which guarantees the passage of air into the tire, compensating for the loss of air.
REV’IT! SUPPLIES DEALER-DIRECT
REV’IT! Sport International is a Dutch supplier of motorcycle apparel new to the United States. The company offers 60 models of jackets, pants and gloves, with pricing “starting just slightly higher then the mass market brands,” according to Jordan Levitt, director of operations for Brighton Works Distribution, doing business as REV’IT! USA.
REV’IT! works with more than 1,200 dealers in Europe. Levitt says company officials were surprised at what they found upon entering the North American motorcycle clothing industry in 2003.
“It appeared that there was a tremendous division between the dealers who had figured out the secrets of profiting with apparel, and those who felt like they were fighting a losing battle,” said Levitt. “In Europe, motorcycle dealers rely on manufacturers to supply high quality products at fair prices, but they rarely compete on price. The focus is on providing the rider with the right products for their riding style and conditions, assuring the proper fit and function.”
REV’IT! says its dealer base in the United States consists of approximately 75% BMW dealers, and 20% Ducati, MV Agusta, Aprilia and Moto Guzzi dealers. Levitt says REV’IT! is able to offer dealers margins of up to 43% on textiles and 50% on gloves by providing products dealer direct, and says all Rev’IT! dealers are offered minimum territorial protection of 30 miles.
For more information, visit www.revitusa.com or call 888/681-0180.
CHARIOT EXPANDS, UPDATES
Trailer maker Chariot Manufacturing Company, Inc., a unit of American Commerce Solutions, Inc., has increased its capacity to produce the CS9 trailer four-fold and retooled the popular CS9 to add new features.
“As we continue to implement our sales and marketing plan, volume limitations due to tooling have been a concern,” said Steven Smith, president of Chariot. “We are in the process of building four new molds from the retooled CS9 master. This will immediately give us added capacity of over $1.5 million per year. We can now proceed with our marketing program knowing that we will be able to meet anticipated volume demand.”
Smith said changes to the CS9 were based on market feedback. New features include a wider channel to accommodate larger tire profiles and accommodations for self-locking wheel chocks, devices that make loading and unloading a motorcycle much easier and safer.
Chariot Manufacturing Company, Inc. is based in Bartow, Fla.