Dealer Expo 2006

DALLAS — Here are just some of the new items that caught our attention at the Tucker Rocky sales show on Jan. 20-22 in Dallas.
All of these accessories or apparel will be displayed at the Dealer Expo in Indianapolis.
Vendors were asked to describe their company, their company’s biggest challenge as well as what’s the one item that dealers can’t miss at this year’s Dealer Expo.
Hinson Clutch Components
Ron Hinson, head of sales and marketing
About the company: The company, located in Upland, Calif., was started in 1992 and concentrated initially on ATV parts. Since 1995, the company has developed motorcycle parts as well. The company, started by Hinson’s father, Wayne, has 13 employees and is distributed by Parts Unlimited, Tucker Rocky, Western Power Sports and Advantage Performance.
Company’s biggest challenge: “Keeping up with demand,” Ron Hinson said. “We do 99% of the manufacturing in-house. That’s the only way to keep our standards where they need to be. But that proves to be a constant challenge. We had 20% growth in 2005. Growth like that is hard to project.”
If a dealer has only time to see one product at your booth at the Dealer Expo, what should it be? Hinson said it’s the company’s new slipper clutch. “There’s going to be a lot of buzz over that,” he said. “Nobody has built a really good slipper clutch for the road race market.”
If you were in a room full of dealers and you could advise them of the best selling point on this product, what would it be? Since 99% of the product is made in-house, Hinson said, dealers and consumers “can 100 percent count on the fact that you get what you pay for.”
Continental Tire
Greg Reich, sales manager
About the company: Continental Tire is the largest German tire manufacturer and fourth largest tire maker in the world. The company is based out of Hannover, Germany, and does much of its manufacturing there. The company, which also has a manufacturing plant in Korea, has a number of distributing companies.
Company’s biggest challenge: Keeping dealers in tune with new tire technology. “Tire technology is moving so fast, even compared to two years ago,” Reich said, noting the company has had seven new tire lines in the past six years partially because of the rapid advancement in technology. “The amount of grip and and durability you can get out of a tire just in the last two years is really advanced.”
If a dealer has only time to see one product at your booth at the Dealer Expo, what should it be? Reich pointed to the new ContiSport Attack series, a steel-belted wheel. The company’s brochure said the new tires achieve a lean angle that is a new standard for its class.
If you were in a room full of dealers and you could advise them of the best selling point on this product, what would it be? “Pitch the technology,” Reich said. “You get the latest tire for your bike, at the highest performance level and save yourself a couple of bucks at the same.”
DOWCO
Deb Drinan, divisional sales for western region, and John Petta, sales representative
About the company: DOWCO, a privately held company based out of Manitowoc, Wis., was started in 1922. The company, which has widespread distribution, manufactures all of its products at its plants in Wisconsin and China.
Company’s biggest challenge: The company is most well-known in the powersports industry for its canvas covers. Drinan said the company has worked in the past few years to make sure dealers and sales reps know that DOWCO is becoming more of a one-stop shop. “We’re moving so much into being a multi-line product for our dealers so they can look at us and say, ‘Oh, I can order this, this and this,’” she said.
If a dealer has only time to see one product at your booth at the Dealer Expo, what should it be? Both Drinan and Petta highlighted the new Iron Rider Motorcycle Luggage System, a series of polyester bags that can be used separately or attach together. “Probably the most unique about all of this stuff is you have speciality bags,” Petta said, noting the line has a garment bag and a commuter bag, which is designed to hold a laptop.
If you were in a room full of dealers and you could advise them of the best selling point on this product, what would it be? Drinan pointed to the brand name. “DOWCO’s such a name in the industry” that consumers can be guaranteed a quality product, she said. “We’re so well known for what we do.”
EVS
Todd Lentz, director of sales
About the company: The business, which is headquartered in Los Angeles, was started in 1985 as a motocross company. It now sells protective gear as well as other accessories and apparel. The company has 150 products and roughly 40 employees, Lentz said, and distributes its line through Tucker Rocky, Parts Unlimited and Motorcycle Stuff.
Company’s biggest challenge: For Lentz and the rest of EVS, it’s insuring distributing companies’ sales reps and dealers are as educated about protective gear as the consumer is. Lentz said he’s seen consumers approach dealership staff about knee braces and “parts people just scatter because they don’t have the power of knowledge.” The knee brace market, he said, is vastly undersold. “Less than 20% of people that ride a dirt bike wear a knee brace or own a knee brace,” Lentz said. “That means there’s 80% of opportunity out there.”
If a dealer has only time to see one product at your booth at the Dealer Expo, what should it be? Lentz pointed to the Vision Knee Brace, a “top of the line knee brace at an affordable price,” according to the company’s catalog. The brace, which is new for youth this year, has impact-resistant thigh and calf panels, along with a full-coverage knee cup.
If you were in a room full of dealers and you could advise them of the best selling point on this product, what would it be? “So many people give you the excuse, ‘I have good knees. Why do I need a knee brace?’” Lentz said. “You don’t have a concussion, but you wear a helmet. That’s our whole philosophy. We are a helmet for your knee. Don’t wait for your post-operative knee surgery. Be preventative.”
DG Performance Specialties
Mark Dooley, president
About the company: DG manufactures the Road Burner series exclusively for Tucker Rocky and builds a separate line, Hard-Krome, for Parts Unlimited. DG, which is located in Anaheim, Calif., has 150 employees and manufactures everything in-house.
Company’s biggest challenge: The company is changing locations in Anaheim, moving from seven separate buildings into one 65,000-square foot facility. The transition has been a challenging one as Dooley and his staff try to keep up on production. “I already had a full-time job,” Dooley said. “Now I’m like the general contractor on the new building and I’m dealing with all these friggin’ headaches that I’m not used to dealing with. So I got my hands full. We’ll get through it but it makes things interesting.”
If a dealer has only time to see one product at your booth at the Dealer Expo, what should it be? Dooley believes it’s the company’s 3” Stepped Drag Pros, a doublewall exhaust system that comes with baffles and “stepped headpipes for increased power,” according to the Road Burner catalog.
If you were in a room full of dealers and you could advise them of the best selling point on this product, what would it be? “These pipes are guaranteed not to blue or discolor for a year,” Dooley said. “That’s an industry-first. And we have zero coming back for that.”

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