P.R.O. is a growing force

By the Riders, For the Riders is the mantra of the Pro Riders Organization (P.R.O.), a non-profit group dedicated to organizing athletes in an effort to foster respect for professional action sports such as skateboarding, BMX and freestyle motocross.
“Our goal is to legitimize these disciplines as sports, rather than portraying them as simply entertainment,” says Wayne Kamemoto, an entertainment business manager who formed P.R.O. with athletes Brian Manley, Biker Sherlock and Chris Gentry.
To do that, P.R.O. seeks to globally promote the athletes and related events; provide certified rules, regulations and consistent judging; implement a worldwide ranking system; establish safety standards; secure equitable athlete purse distributions and provide input on course design.
The organization also provides full support for event sponsors, sport and tour organizers, media, agents, endemic manufacturers, merchandisers, amateur associations, and the athletes.
P.R.O. has brought together more than 80 professional athletes. Members emerging in leadership roles include Brian Deegan (freestyle motocross), Andy Macdonald, Buster Halterman (skateboarding) and Mike Metzger (freestyle motocross).
“We need to have a long-term focus in growing our sports,” said Macdonald.
Visit www.proriders.org for more information regarding the organization.

Warn Uses ShoreTel VoIP System
Warn Industries says it is using an IP telephony solution from ShoreTel to simplify and enhance voice communications, integrate multiple sites, and improve customer service.
Instead of running back and forth to administer the two separate phone systems serving Warn’s headquarters in Clackamas, Ore. and second manufacturing facility in Milwaukie, Ore., Toni Mekkers, telecommunications analyst at Warn, can manage both from a browser-based interface, the ShoreTel5 IP PBX system.
With a single voice system, call loads can be balanced across the two locations, and their receptionists can cover for each other. Warn is now adding its technical facility in Livonia, Mich., to the ShoreTel network, utilizing Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), and experimenting with softphones that turn the laptops of field salespeople and other mobile employees into full-featured desktop extensions.
“Once you’ve figured out how you want calls routed to best serve your customers, the ShoreTel contact center is easy to set up,” said Matt Bailey, Warn’s contact center manager. “I can go in and make routing changes, add groups, or change the auto-attendant menu. And I’m not a telecom guy.”
ShoreTel, Inc. www.shoretel.com, has operated since 1998. Vehicle recovery specialist Warn Industries, Inc. was purchase by Dover Corporation (NYSE: DOV) in October 2003 for approximately $325 million in cash. Dover Corporation is a diversified industrial manufacturer with over $4 billion in annual revenues and is comprised of over 50 operating companies that manufacture specialized industrial products and manufacturing equipment.
Warn, with annual sales in excess of $150 million, operates as a stand-alone company within the Dover Resources segment.

Ruling on Desert Access
A federal court ruling from earlier this month has the potential to shut down an additional 4.1 million acres of the California desert to all off-highway vehicles.
On Aug. 3, U.S. District Judge Susan Illston issued a ruling reversing an opinion by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that had allowed activities including cattle grazing and motorized recreation on some desert tortoise habitat controlled by the federal Bureau of Land Management.
The ruling stems from a lawsuit between the Center for Biological Diversity and AMA District 37.

Kolpin Hires Webber
Kolpin Outdoors, Inc., hired Jim Webber as National Sales Manager — Powersports. Webber will be responsible for all sales activities in the powersport channels.
Prior to joining Kolpin, Webber spent more than 10 years at Bell industries, where his responsibilities included sales management, purchasing oversight, Dealer Expo exhibit administration and new customer account creation. Webber currently resides in Beaver Dam, Wis.

GNC Banquet Announced
The 2004 ITP/ATVA GNC Nationals postseason banquet will again be held at the Drawbridge Inn in Fort Mitchell, Ky. The banquet doors are scheduled to open at 5 p.m., Saturday, November 6.
Championship awards for every class in both the MX, TT and Short Track series will be handed out at the banquet. A buffet-style dinner will be included with the purchase of the ticket. Hotel reservations should be made up to one month in advance to ensure room availability. The room rate is $85. Call 800/354-9793 for reservations.
Similar to 2003, ATV Sport will hold its annual “People’s Choice Awards” voting at the banquet. The live voting will run from 3 to 5 p.m., in the entrance hallway near the banquet room at the Drawbridge Inn. A nomination ballot will be handed to attendees once they present the “voting” ticket stub that is attached to the banquet ticket.
For more information, contact ATV Sport at 800/848-6247; or Baldwin Motorsports at 440/224-2734, www.baldwinmotorsports.com.

GUST Claims Championship
Doug Gust wrapped up the ITP/ATVA GNC MX Nationals championship with his 2-1 moto finishes at Round 10 at the London, Ky., track on the 4th of July. He celebrated taking the top podium for the round, and he can continue to celebrate his 2004 championship from now until the season finale at Loretta Lynn’s ranch. And, Gust was not going to let his championship slow his final races of the season, taking Round 11 with another first overall and 1-1 moto finishes at Southwick, Mass., to put a close to a successful July.
With the help of factory support, more manufacturers are taking notice of Suzuki’s successful support systemin Gust’s title run. The championship marks a remarkable return to ATV racing by the major manufacturers.

Yamaha Goes Public with 2-Trac
It may not be a four-wheeler, but we’ll report on it in this space regardless. Powersports Business has learned Yamaha’s two-wheel-drive WR450F 2-Trac motorcycle is set to be produced for consumers in limited quantities by the OEM’s subsidiary in France.
Developed in partnership with suspension specialist Öhlins Racing AB, the 2-Trac system uses hydraulics to supply a variable amount of drive to the front wheel. psb

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