K&N Engineering’s new Aircharger High-Flow Air Intake System will take a path to market that the aftermarket leader is trying for the first time.
Made to provide low restriction, long service intervals and more horsepower to the Polaris RZR XP 900, dealers will be offered the product directly from K&N, rather than its distribution network. The product launched in November.
While K&N has used three-step distribution to become the market leader in aftermarket air filters and oil filters, with the bolt-on intake system’s intricate manufacturing process, it made more business sense to offer it direct to dealers.
“It’s a very elaborate machine, and because of the difficulty in the manufacturing and technical side on our end, it would have been expensive if we had done three-step distribution. The margins would not have been there for distribution,” powersports brand manager Johnny Jump said.
The K&N system adds 2hp and more than 2 foot pounds of torque to a stock RZR XP 900; modified vehicles will see even more impressive gains, Jump said.
While no jetting is necessary for the system, Jump figures that most of the consumers who spend $349 (MSRP) on it will then add exhaust and fuel management systems.
K&N continues to see its oil filters “move off the charts. As dealers and consumers become more aware of them, the more we’ll continue to have massive growth.”
Air filters, likewise, have seen continued growth in the V-twin segment, and sport bike air filters have also been “doing very well,” Jump reports.
“For air filters, our number one growth segment is side-by-sides and ATVs. The sport ATV segment is rather flat, but UTV has been great this year. Our air filters bring noticeable enhancement to side-by-sides. When you put our filter in, it offers better throttle response, and it revs out further in higher RPMs. It’s less restrictive than a paper filter. You feel like the side-by-side is running better and going faster.”
Similarly, on-road enthusiasts are finding the performance enhancement to their liking.
“We see it offering better throttle response at higher touring speeds and cruising speeds. Normally at 3,900 RPMs you’re at 69 mph; now with our filter that’s going to be 71 mph, but the bike’s not working as hard.”
Jump is finding that dealers who match his product with sales of the latest synthetic and semi-synthetic oils are seeing bottom-line growth.
“With our oil filters, one of the major benefits that people are not aware of is that it’s designed to be compatible with synthetic oil and semi-synthetic blends. Our oil filter is less affected by those oils than a paper filter would be. And our warranty stands behind the longer service intervals suggested by those types of oil manufacturers.
“From a dealer’s standpoint, more and more dealers are pushing across the synthetic oils, but they’re still reaching for low-cost oil filters. You take our spin-on canister at the high end of the spectrum, and look at the profit dollars vs. a lesser brand, and you have to consider the profit dollars you’re making. Profitability keeps the doors open, so it would make sense to consider selling an oil filter that’s compatible with those oils and gain profitability at the same time.”