March 31, 2003 – J & D Walter pushes its Zero-60 line

Jim Walter, owner of J&D Walter Distributors, Glenmont, NY, says he is preparing his proprietary Zero-60 line of street clothing for a big year.
“It’s still new to the market, so I can’t really benchmark how the line has done in its first year,” Walter says, “but it’s a complete line of street clothing — race suits, textiles, leather.”
Barely one year old, the Zero-60 line currently includes nine pieces of leather clothing, including jackets, pants and one-piece and two-piece race suits; nine textile offerings, including pants and three-quarter length jackets; and seven types of glove, from lightweight to full-race.
J&D was started 30 years ago as a Dunlop distributor. Since then, Walter says, the company has morphed into a very different entity.
“We always working on new products and, lately, we’ve been getting into more of the exclusive or specialized type of product,” Walter says. “We also own Top Gear — which does the Autocom — and we import Prexport line of boots out of Italy, which is an excellent, excellent product.”
In fact, Walter says he hopes people look to Prexport when looking for women’s sizes. “We stock women’s sizes in the Prexport boots, which is something not a lot of people do,” he says. “And, as a result, that line has been doing extremely well.
J&D Walter also carries, among other brand names, Cycle Country, Dunlop tires, Zeus, Arai, Xspeed, Scott and OSI Sport.
Speedrag extreme apparel
Speedrag Extreme Apparel
is product fresh to the market but it wasn’t created in a vacuum; it was designed in consultation with extreme and sport bike riders. Gabby Tinsit, Speedrag general manager, started the business in September 2002, and says he “wanted to do something for streetbike riders that was a little bit different from what was out there — something that was a little bit fresher and younger, and that could incorporate lifestyle.”
Speedrag jackets use technical and safety-minded fabrics — corduras and body armor — and the lifestyles segment offers a hoodie, a basic fleece and a T-shirt. Styling and design is done in-house, but the product is produced offshore. “We produced our inventory so that we constantly have an ample supply in our warehouse here in Irvine,” Tinsit told Powersports Business. “You can’t solicit a dealer, then get an order for six jackets and respond by saying that the order will be filled in four months.”
Tinsit says he has no plans to sell product through distributors, and says he prefers to function dealer-direct. Speedrag uses Airborne ground to deliver its product, and Tinsit says delivery times are usually four or five days across country and one or two days to locations on the West coast.
“Our goal is to offer good quality apparel at affordable prices,” Tinsit said, “and I think we’re a fresh alternative to what’s out there.”
For details, visit www.speedrag.com
Troy picks Performance Northwest
Performance Northwest
, a wholesale distributor with a warehouse and offices in Silverton, Ore., has become the official Troy Lee Designs distributor for the region it services — 400 dealers throughout Oregon, Washington and Idaho.
Performance Northwest, which currently deals with 13 suppliers, runs two delivery trucks loaded with each of the products the firm carries. Eric Rogers and his partner Mike Long started the firm in May 1999 in an effort to “supply the best service we could to a small number of dealers,” Rogers explains. “We basically started up to focus on this niche market in the northwest.”
Rogers says Performance Northwest started off as an oil distributor, carrying Spectra, Torco and Maxima oils — and then “kind of branched out into some aluminum products.”
“A lot of the products we stock are products retailers normally wouldn’t want to pay freight on,” he says, “heavier or awkward sized products like ramps, cases of oil, etc.
“Our guys basically travel around the northwest, selling products off of the trucks to dealers. They walk in, make the sale, and unload the product right there so the dealer can have the product on the spot and doesn’t have to wait for shipping.”
Van Leeuwen adds stabilizer
Van Leeuwen Enterprises, Inc.
, Arleta, Calif., is teaming with International Cyclesport to offer what it is calling the most sensitive steering stabilizer on the market today. Van Leeuwen says the ICS Stabilizer is not a conventional steering damper, since it has patented valving that allows the rider to feel little resistance under normal operating conditions.
“Our engineers designed the ICS Stabilizer to absorb any unwanted motion in the handlebars,” says Robert Rendall, Van Leeuwen marketing director.
ICS Stabilizer is a compact, non-obtrusive steering stabilizer for both street and off-road motorcycles utilizing hydraulic fluid for stabilizing pivotal movement of a motorcycle’s front wheel. The kit, through Van Leeuwen, includes the stabilizer, link arm, handlebar clamp, frame bracket and an instruction manual.
“This is an extraordinary product far superior to anything in the marketplace in both design and function,” said Skip Van Leeuwen, CEO. “We expect tremendous sales of this product.”
Hard Parts sees solid growth
Larry Cook
knows the powersports industry. He’s a former distributor of off-road product who later ran a business specializing in Gold Wing accessories. The former owner of Custom Dressers, Cook took on a new career in early 2002 when he started Hard Parts in Noble, OK.
Hard Parts designs, manufactures and distributes parts and accessories for motorcycles carrying badges from AlphaSports, Hyosung and Aquila. Cook says all Hard Parts products are fabricated and finished in Noble — including the soft goods like luggage.
Refusing to sell directly to consumers, Hard Parts started selling product at the Dealer Expo in 2002, and now serves about 180 dealers with luggage racks, exhaust systems, light bars, tank panels, engine guards, windshields, and even custom paint. The company is working on a big-bore kit called the “Big Boar for the new AlphaSports cruiser.”
Cook says Hard Parts’ sales for the month of February 2003 were up 100%, and he estimates full-year sales results will be up at least 50-75% over 2002 results. “But we’re really gauging that by the number of new dealers AlphaSports is signing up,” he said.
More information regarding Hard Parts product can be found at www.hardparts.info.
Motorcycle Stuff adds Sales Rep
Motorcycle Stuff
has hired Pat Dowd as an outside sales rep serving the Seattle area. He brings to the company eight years of sales and management experience in the motorcycle industry.
Dowd began his work as a manager at Seattle Cycle Center, a leading aftermarket parts and accessory store in Seattle. He then joined Motorcycle Works of Renton to help open the store in 1998, and was manager until moving from retail to distribution with Motorcycle Stuff. While working in both dealerships Pat specialized in purchasing, bike sales and financing.

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