Catalog product expands to meet side-by-side popularity
The Moose Racing booth wasn’t hard to spot at Parts Unlimited/Drag Specialties’ National Vendor Presentation in Madison, Wis. The end cap display featured the brand’s trademark orange logo, a side-by-side and an adventure touring bike, and it was frequently busy with dealers and reps alike.
Those stopping by had a lot to look at, as the brand introduced about 60 new products at the event, making its entire display a showcase of fresh product.
One of those new products was a Full Cab Enclosure, which was featured on the unit in the booth. Brand manager Dan Fitch described it as “the Cadillac of cab enclosures,” as it features a windshield of laminated tempered safety glass, a 13-gauge steel zinc- and powder-coated roof and lockable doors.
Also for the ATV/UTV market, Moose introduced a heavy-duty Gorilla Axle and a new line of 427X Wheels.
“We just introduced a new wheel, a new 427 Wheel. It retails for $89.95, so it’s a good value. Vision Wheel makes them for us, so they’re all certified and tested to automotive standards,” Fitch explained.
Like most vendors who play in the side-by-side space, that segment has been successful for Moose.
“Obviously that’s one of the major growing parts of the business for everyone,” Fitch said. “Polaris definitely has the market share in that aspect, but there are a lot of other players. You’ve got Yamaha coming back into the game, and everyone seems to be really upbeat and moving towards that segment. And for the dealers it’s a great product to sell that they can put a lot of accessories on, and we try to find a lot of new products to put on them.”
But side-by-side isn’t the only burgeoning market for Moose. Adventure touring has been growing in popularity, and the brand has been sure to grab a piece of that market.
“We came out with new crash guards, new center stands. We also offer seats, windshields, hard luggage, soft luggage,” Fitch reported. “We are expanding. We just came out with a new adventure line of apparel, which has been really well received. We’re really trying to cater to that customer and provide easy access through our dealer network.”
Though the adventure touring segment is generally regionalized to those areas that are most mountainous, Moose is seeing it grow across the country, especially among aging riders looking to bridge the gap between extreme off-road riding and street riding.
“It’s not as big as it’s been in Europe, but it is growing every year at a pretty decent pace. Obviously all the manufacturers are now offering models and it seems that a lot of people have now discovered that it’s more comfortable to ride a lot of the adventure touring bikes than some of the other product that’s out there,” Fitch said. “And that customer is an aging customer, kind of like myself, where we may have started in the off-road industry, but it still allows us to go out and travel and explore like we used to when we got involved in the riding dirt bikes.”
Moose has grown to become a brand people rely on for good quality at a reasonable price. Dealers like carrying the product because of the company’s strict advertising policy, preventing Internet retailers from charging less than brick-and-mortar stores, and because Moose aligns itself with quality manufacturers, including many in the U.S. Dealers and customers alike are also drawn to Moose’s innovation, which Fitch cites as very important to the brand.
“The companies that are going to excel in the down times of the industry and market, obviously the people that invest, are going to see the result, because people still want to spend money. They may be a little bit more conservative in how they spend it, but they’re still out there — they’re going to buy products,” he said. “It’s my job to make sure that we try to provide that for them.”