Home » Features » Jan. 24, 2005 – Distributor Report

Jan. 24, 2005 – Distributor Report

Bell Sports announced January 5 that it acquired exclusive rights to design, market and sell Bell brand auto racing helmets and accessories in North and South America. The deal was struck with Bob Booth, who has held the rights to the Bell brand for auto racing helmets and accessories in the Americas since 2002. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Management, staff and distribution strategies at Bell Racing, Inc. will remain intact, and the company will operate from its current facilities in Rantoul, Ill. under the direction of Kwai Kong, president of the Specialty Business at Bell Sports.

Bell Sports is a unit of Riddell Bell Holdings, Inc., which had revenues of $320 million in 2003. In September, Riddell Bell Holdings Inc. was purchased by Texas-based Fenway Partners, a private equity firm managing a fund exceeding $900 million.

The company’s Riddell Sports division designs, markets and reconditions helmets, uniforms and athletic equipment used in football, baseball, lacrosse and other team sports, while the Bell Sports division concentrates on powersports, bicycling and other action sports.

Taiwan’s Cheng Shin Group recently expanded its business with Minnesota-based MTS Systems Corporation through a multimillion- dollar order for multiple Model 860 Rolling Resistance Tire Test Systems.

Cheng Shin Group is a long time MTS customer, having previously ordered multiple MTS FlatTrac III Tire Test Systems. Terms of the recent deal were not revealed.

The Model 860 Rolling Resistance Tire Test System assesses a tire’s rolling resistance. The system’s multi-axial force transducers allow rolling resistance, or drag force, to be measured to within 0.5 N.

“We rely on MTS tire test systems to measure the full spectrum of performance attributes that define a tire’s competitive advantage,” said David Tseng, Cheng Shin Group Research & Development Technical Executive. “The ability to capture this critical data accurately and efficiently is integral to our mission.”

Headquartered in Changhwa, Taiwan, Cheng Shin Group is the world’s 13th largest tire manufacturer with sales in 2004 approaching $1 billion. The group’s MAXXIS brand includes tires for bicycles, ATVs and Go-Karts, motorcycles, passenger cars, light and industrial trucks, commercial vehicles, buses, and agricultural tractors. MAXXIS corporate customers include General Motors, Volkswagen, Mitsubishi, Hyundai, Toyota, Nissan, Ford, Piaggio, Honda, Yamaha, Kymco and Giant.

MTS Systems Corporation, Eden Prairie, Minn., is a global supplier of test systems and industrial position sensors. The company had revenue of $367 million for the fiscal year ended October 2, 2004. MTS’ testing hardware and software solutions assist in the design, development, and manufacturing processes, and are used for determining the mechanical behavior of materials, products, and structures. The company is led by Chairman and CEO Sidney W. Emery, Jr.

Paragon Powersports has been appointed as the official United States sales and marketing agency for Motorex Oil of Switzerland, effective January 1, 2005.

Motorex has been manufacturing oils, cleaners, and care products since 1947. The Motorex Motoline of products have been tested and endorsed by Team Red Bull KTM, Yoshimura Suzuki, and other top racers worldwide.

Paragon also performs marketing duties for Baja Designs, Fluidyne, High Roller, Polisport and Sunstar.

Operated by Butch Whittington, Brian Cornelius and Chris Gabel, Paragon Powersports provides sales, marketing, consulting, and representation for manufacturers in the North American powersports industry. For more information, call Whittington, 623/386-8266; Cornelius, 951/695-5239; Gabel, 951/695-5289.

On January 4, Congressman Joseph Knollenberg (R-Mich-9) introduced the Stop Counterfeiting in Manufactured Goods Act in the 109th Congress in an effort to curtail what has been perceived as rampant growth of counterfeit goods in the United States market.

Rep. Knollenberg says a current loophole in U.S. law allows the makers of fake labels to escape prosecution for trademark infringement. Counterfeiters can import unmarked knock-offs into the country, where they are then wrapped with fraudulent U.S. trademarks and trade names and passed off onto unsuspecting consumers.

Rep. Knollenberg’s recently introduced legislation will close this loophole and increase the penalties for counterfeiting. The bill allows the seizure of the property used to produce counterfeit products, and requires restitution be made to the victims.

National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) says it will help Congressman Knollenberg recruit Congressional co-sponsors and other stakeholders to ensure the bill advances in Congress.

“Not only does the spread of counterfeit goods have an adverse effect on the ability of marine manufacturers to build healthy businesses that employ millions of Americans, it endangers consumers who purchase what they believe to be safe, quality products — (product which) may in fact be fraudulent, dangerous reproductions,” said NMMA President Thom Dammrich.

Joseph Hargett has been named national sales manager for helmet supplier Scorpion Sports, Inc.
Hargett began his career in the powersports industry in 1995 at Dyno Port in New York and made his move west to work with No Fear as a regional sales manager. He most recently served as Western Region sales representative for No Fear, MXNF, FMF Casual Wear, Asterisk, Factory Effex and other brands.

Scorpion Sports, Inc. supplies dirt and street helmets dealer-direct. Company founder Eric Anderson, a former vice president of Intersport Fashions West, sources the Snell/DOT-approved helmets from Asia. Anderson says Scorpion’s dealer direct distribution plan, exclusive EverClear no-fog faceshield, washable KwikWick liners and fresh graphics “will transform the helmet business.”

Erion Racing, Anaheim, Calif., is the new exclusive distributor of Ten Kate racing products in the United States. Ten Kate offers a full line of track-proven engine and chassis kit parts for motorcycle racing.

For more information on Erion Racing, go to www.erionracing.com or call 714/630-8850.

Barnett Tool & Eng. has a number of new products for 2005, including clutch and drive assemblies for the V-twin market and expanded offerings for off-road bikes and ATVs.

Barnett’s Chris Taylor told Powersports Business the company plans to introduce a 3” belt drive assembly designed for use with Barnett’s Scorpion lock-up clutches. He said a second new product for the American and metric V-twin market is a line of stainless steel “Platinum Series” braided cables. The stainless steel braid has a bright silver finish and a clear coating guaranteed not to “yellow” due to sunlight exposure.

“On the other side of the market, we have our billet clutch baskets,” Taylor said. “Technically they are not really ‘new’ for ‘05 as we already have many available, but we are still getting up to speed on getting baskets made for all the popular off-road motorcycles and ATVs.”

As for Barnett’s more popular product, Taylor said the company’s billet clutch baskets for Ducati dry clutch models “are really selling well.”

“If you haven’t seen our baskets, what makes them unique is the stainless steel inserts we use on the fingers of the basket. These inserts keep the basket from becoming grooved from the plate tabs and really extend the life of the basket and clutch plates.”

Barnett will display its product at Booth # 3601.

Remember, LRD Performance has moved. LRD’s new address is 9525 SW Commerce Circle, Wilsonville, Ore. 97070. The company can be reached by calling 503/885-9200 ext. 208.

Arlan Lehman founded LRD Performance in 1981 by building performance two-stroke engines and exhaust pipes in a small room in his parent’s barn in Amity, Ore.

Lehman spent the 1980s and 1990s building championship winning engines and exhaust systems for riders like Gary Denton, Barry Hawk, Bill Balance and Jeremiah Jones. In 2003, GNC and GNCC championship-winning two-stroke ATVs were powered by LRD built motors and pipes.

Today, LRD Performance is based in a 24,000 sq. ft. facility in Wilsonville, Oregon, about 15 miles south of Portland. The company operates with 20 full-time employees and, through deals with Southern Motorcycle Supply and J&M ATV, recently began offering its product through distributors.

For more information, visit www.lrdperformance.com.

EMGO has expanded its corporate headquarters near Atlanta by purchasing a neighboring facility boasting an additional 10,000 sq. ft.

EMGO now has more than 22,000 sq. ft of warehouse space, which company founder Emil Gomez says will allow for a larger and wider range of product stock. Gomez says he also plans to expand his staff and make additional computer purchases in 2005.

World of Powersports, Inc., Decatur, Ill., says it has co-developed a new dealer software application that gives dealers the ability to synchronize their major unit inventory with any Personal Data Assistant (PDA) running the Palm Operating System.

Known as “Inventory-Sync”, the new application allows users to search, sort, and analyze each vehicle through Stock number or VIN number searches. Particularly beneficial for larger dealerships with hundreds of units, the offering allows salesmen to search the dealer’s entire inventory without leaving the customer’s side.

Found on the Internet at www.worldofpowersports.com, World of Powersports is a wholesale parts/mail order supplier offering special dealer pricing on Genuine OEM Parts from Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha, Suzuki, Triumph, Polaris, Bombardier and Arctic Cat to non-franchised dealers and repair shops. Inventory-Sync is among the first products to be revealed following the company’s recent expansion into the dealer management software business.

For more information about Inventory-Sync, contact Wholesale Division Manager Mike Jackson by phone, 217/423-6521 x23, or visit the company at the Dealer Expo, Booth #3030.

Shoei Helmets and Original Buff Headwear have teamed up to produce an independently branded Buff garment with the Shoei name and logo.

Now available through Helmet House, Inc., the exclusive distributor of Shoei Helmets in the United States, the Shoei Buff is a helmet-compatible garment made from stretchy, seamless microfiber, and can be worn as a helmet liner, neck gaiter, face mask and in a number of other ways to address cold temperatures, wind, dust, precipitation and changing weather.

Original Buff is based outside of Barcelona, Spain, and opened a U.S. sales office in early 2003. Although popular for more than a decade in Europe, the product came to light in the U.S. through CBS’s Survivor television series.

“It was a natural fit for the Shoei brand because Buff is such a versatile product that can be used in so many different situations, and many of those applications suit the motorcyclist, especially the helmet-wearing motorcyclist,” said Michael MacGregor, who oversaw the project for Helmet House. “Shoei being a premier brand, we really wanted to produce something that showcased and reflected that quality.”

Visit www.shoei-helmets.com or www.buff.us for more information. Helmet House also plans to show the product at the Dealer Expo, Booth #3205.

Motorcycle Stuff GmbH has taken over the distribution of KBC helmets in Germany from former importer JF Motorsport, who will be displaying at the Dealer Expo in Indianapolis (Booth #4632).

The Pan-European arm of Motorcycle Stuff is based in Bad Kreuznach, Germany. U.S. suppliers seeking European distribution are asked to contact MC Stuff GmbH at 49 (0)671 794 9790; or e-mail info@motorcyclestuff.de.

FTM now represents Talon/Excel Wheelsets. Talon will join FTM’s current wheelset partner Excel Pro Series Wheelsets in supplying professional grade motocross, off-road, supermoto and mini wheelsets to the industry. FTM will specifically be representing Talon’s Ultra Lite Wheelsets for motocross racing applications. For application information and pricing, visit FTM in Indy, Booth #233, or call Leslie Sowden, 760/732-3161 x 101.

Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Dorna Sports, the Spanish-based company that holds the commercial and TV rights to the FIM MotoGP World Championships, announced Parts Unlimited as the sponsor of the 2005 Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix, July 8-10, 2005.

The 500cc Grand Prix World Championship raced at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca from 1988 to 1994. The series has since converted to the MotoGP class as the premier FIM Grand Prix World Championship series. The 2005 Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix will mark the debut of this class in the United States.

For tickets and information to the race, call Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca at 800/327-SECA.

Short Block Technologies is increasing support to consumers. On top of the company’s existing 12-month fault-free engine warranty on remanufactured PWC engines, SBT will now also offer a Premium Engine Package that ups the coverage to a full 24 months. Like the existing warranty, the two-year version covers all failures, including installation error, rider abuse, and neglect.

“We know the engines are good,” says Phil Friedlander, SBT engineering manager, “and this longer warranty is a natural progression of our quality program.” SBT, based in Clearwater, Fla., is the largest re-manufacturer of PWC engines worldwide.

EBC Brakes has been appointed the official brake brand of the THQ AMA Supercross Series and announced their co-sponsorship of the 2005 THQ AMA Supercross Series.

The THQ AMA Supercross Series takes place in 16 stadiums across the United States The EBC Brakes sponsorship is in conjunction with EBC Brakes distributor Parts Unlimited.

“I hope this is the first year of many in Supercross sponsorship,” said EBC boss Andy Freeman.” “We have done limited event-by-event Supercross sponsorship in the past but are glad to step up with this deeper deal.”

EBC Brakes has manufacturing facilities in Northampton and Bristol, England, as well as Cleveland, Ohio.

XACT Communication and Kuryakyn USA teamed up to offer a satellite radio receiver mount that will allow motorcycle, scooter and quad enthusiasts to listen to commercial-free SIRIUS Satellite Radio via an XACT Stream|jockey Plug + Play Satellite Radio Receiver anywhere in the U.S.

XACT demonstrated the unit on a Harley-Davidson and custom designed Vespa at the 2005 Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas, January 6-9. psb

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