Sept. 8, 2003 – Whittington, Cornelius team up

Brian Cornelius of Empire Sales and Butch Whittington of Market Services International (MSI) have teamed up to establish a new sales and marketing agency, Paragon Powersports in Temecula, Calif.
Paragon Powersports is set up to provide sales, marketing, consulting, and representation for powersports manufacturers. The duo currently markets product for ITP, Tsubaki, Zeus, JT/Highflow, Progressive Suspension, White Brothers Exhausts and CEET through their respective businesses. Paragon accepted its first contract on Aug. 1 when it became the official North American sales and marketing agency for Polisport Plastics of Portugal, a manufacturer of off-road motorcycle and ATV plastic accessories. Cornelius says deals with other firms were being discussed.
“Butch and I have been doing distributor seminars together this year, and so this is something we’ve discussed for the past six months,” Cornelius told Powersports Business. “We’re each holding on to our original accounts, but from here on out we’ll be sharing new accounts under Paragon.”
Cornelius says the team hasn’t planned a definitive future for the new firm, but says it could eventually incorporate the accounts currently held separately by Empire and MSI and, perhaps, even become a manufacturer’s rep agency.
To help stimulate growth, Phil Whetsel, formerly of Motion Pro/Braking USA, has been hired on as sales and marketing manager. While Paragon will operate out of Temecula, Calif., Whetsel, who worked in a dealership for four years prior to joining Parts Unlimited and then Motion Pro, will remain based near Rockford, Ill. and most likely head the campaign for Polisport, Cornelius said.
Paragon Powersports is located at 43234 Business Park Dr. Suite #102, Temecula, Calif., 92590. For more information, contact Phil Whetsel in Illinois, 815/239-1346; Brian Cornelius in California, 909/695-5239; or Butch Whittington in Arizona, 623/386-8266.
Tour Master Offers Leather
Helmet House, Inc., Calabasas Hills, Calif., says it now carries Tour Master’s Cortech brand leather apparel.
Representing Tour Master’s first foray into leather apparel, the new line features four jackets and three pants in sport, cruiser/retro and traditional/sport-touring styles — all made of top-grain, Grade-A, Aniline drum-dyed 1.2-1.3mm leather.
The jackets have flow-through ventilation, a removable, insulated liner with zip-off sleeves, and removable CE-approved armor. The pants are designed to zip easily to any of the jackets, and have removable, CE-approved knee and hip armor; accordion-style rear expansion panels and dual stretch panels in the waist for increased on-bike flexibility; and soft, comfortable mesh inner linings.
Two of the jackets and two of the pants are also available in women’s sizes.
Why did Tour Master go with leather after a 30-year commitment to textiles? “To give us a complete apparel line for virtually every street rider,” says Mark Gandy, Helmet House director of products. “And because we didn’t want a me-too line, we took the time to find the leather quality and features we wanted at a price within most riders’ budgets.”
FMF’s Powercore S
is in the process of creating a few more applications for its Powercore S street exhaust, including systems for Aprilia, Ducati and popular sport-tourers and naked bikes.
“Most everybody in the industry has only seen just a smattering of the applications that we will be offering in the street market, but there will be much more forthcoming from us,” FMF National Sales Manager Doug Muellner recently told Powersports Business.
“We have not done as good a supply job as we’ve intended with that line,” Muellner said. “But, to justify that, we have been seriously upgrading our machinery, revamping processes, and building in training and efficiencies to increase our capacity to take on these new part numbers and provide the same high level of supply to our customers they’ve previously received.”
Muellner said a slowdown in supply of the Powercore S also was caused by some on-the-fly changes made to the product.
“Everything Don has ever made he instills a lot of his personal pride in, and one of the things we’re finding in the street market is that that buyer is a very discriminating buyer when it comes to fit and finish and installation type things,” Muellner said. “So we’re trying to address all of those concerns up front.”
Schwantz Expands Brand 34
Grand Prix Apparel and Accessories
, Lindon, Utah, now offers an updated selection of Kevin Schwantz’s Brand 34 sportwear. Schwantz, a former 500cc Grand Prix World Champion racing as #34, developed a lineup featuring visors, polos, sweatshirts, ladies wear and a custom Kevin Schwantz Supermoto crew replica shirt, all adorned with his Brand 34 logo. To view the gear, visit or click on the Brand 34 link on
Held Lawsuit Settled
Intersport Fashions West, Inc. (IFW)
, the exclusive North American distributor of Held gloves and tank bags, together with Held GmbH, Burberg, Germany, recently had a lawsuit brought by the former Held distributor, Helimot European Accessories, Inc., dismissed by the Superior Court of California. IFW is based in Tustin, Calif.; Helimot is based in San Jose, Calif.
IFW, which took over distribution of Held product in July 2002, says it will now increase its Held supply level and product selection and expand shipping service to dealers in the U.S. and Canada.
As previously reported, IFW also recently settled patent infringement suits it had brought against River Road, Roadgear, Triumph Motorcycles of America and Unik International. A similar suit brought against First Manufacturing Company and Specialty Sports Ltd. are in the process of settling while a suit against Marco Distributing, Inc., the maker of Joe Rocket apparel, remains unsettled.
Custom Chrome Dealer Show
Officials at Custom Chrome say the distributor’s 17th Annual Custom Chrome Dealer Show, to be held in Morgan Hill, Calif., Oct. 3-5, is on track for a record turnout both in terms of vendors and dealers. Over 120 vendors are scheduled to display their wares at the V-twin show and over 1,000 rooms in the area have been booked to house attendees.
The dealer show begins Friday evening with a welcome reception held in the Stonington Marquee, a football field sized tent, in front of the headquarters building.
Starting Saturday, vendor displays will be in the exhibit hall located in the building itself. The weekend includes four fashion shows, meals, refreshments, entertainment, the Motorcycle Manufacturers Extravaganza, the Custom Chrome Annual Lifetime Achievement Award, and an evening of gambling finished off with The Big Spin, where prizes worth close to $100,000 will be given away. Plus, there will be numerous “show deals” offered by the vendors and Custom Chrome, with merchandise prizes ranging up to a complete bike kit. For details, contact Dave Scott at 408/778-0500 ex. 558
Advantage relocates
Advantage Performance
has been operating from its new state-of-the-art facility in Riverside, Calif., since July 21. The move places Advantage offices, warehouse, R&D and manufacturing under the same roof. Advantage asks that all correspondence be sent to its new address: 930 Columbia Avenue, Riverside, Calif. 92507
Over five times the size of the distributor’s previous space, the new facility has been specifically designed to meet operational needs and inventory expansion, and features computer and software improvements, an automated order-fulfillment system to lower order processing costs and increase daily order output, a new Laser Confirm System for increased order accuracy, and a new Quick Return RMA System for “hassle free” returns.
Also effective July 21, inside sales reps and select staff have a direct dial number, which means calls now connect directly to a contact of choice (visit the distributor’s contact link at for Advantage employees and their respective numbers).
While the new facility comes with a new set of telephone numbers — a new toll free order fax, 800/523-5729; a new local number, 909/300-2250; and a new local fax, 909/300-2269 — Advantage says its dealers will be able to place secure Internet orders, check Advantage stock, look up orders, monitor accounts and track packages online by November.

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