July 2, 2007 – ATV Report

CPSC Issues Strong Warning on Meerkat ATVs
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued an unusually strong warning to consumers who own a Kazuma Meerkat 50 Youth ATV, which the agency says puts children at risk of injury or death due to multiple safety defects.
The ATVs, which were imported by Kazuma Pacific Inc., of Stafford, Texas, were found to have several serious defects. CPSC staff has determined the Meerkat 50 lacks front brakes, has no parking brake, is missing a neutral indicator light and can be started in gear. Additionally, the owner’s manual does not contain complete information on safe operation and maintenance of the ATV.
CPSC staff recommends that consumers stop using the product immediately because it is unsafe. The staff recommends that consumers demand a refund of the purchase price from the importer or dealer due to the defective condition of the ATV.
The risk with these ATVs is severe because these vehicles are intended for children ages 6-11, the CPSC said.
Kazuma Pacific has refused to provide complete incident or injury information for any of its products. Therefore, the CPSC has been unable to determine how many children have been injured. The CPSC said between December 2006 and May 2007, Kazuma Pacific has refused to implement a corrective action plan for this ATV.
Kazuma Pacific has sold at least 2,700 Meerkat 50 ATVs and has stated that they are continuing to sell the units that CPSC staff found to be defective. Kazuma dealers and Web retailers nationwide have sold this ATV since 2003 for between $525-$825.
Taiwan Company Launches Full-Size ATV Line
Taiwan Golden Bee Company (TGB), a company known for its line of scooters sold in the U.S., announced the launch of the TGB Outback 425 4×4 Adventure Series¸ a new line of full-size utility ATVs aimed squarely at the U.S. market.
Models include the Outback 425C, Outback 425 Special Edition and the Outback Camo Edition.
A TGB release said the Outback 425 4×4 Adventure Series ATVs are designed for hunters, farmers, campers and adventure seekers, and it will “set the standard for the next generation in ATV technology.”
All Outbacks will have an automatic transmission, an automatic locking front differential and standard high and low ranges.
Some of the features include water-tight locking compartments, a lock out shifter and a locking steering column, to deter theft.
Cobra Powersports, with more than 220 U.S. dealers, is the sole distributor of TGB products.
National Association for ATV Users Being Created
A partnership between the All-Terrain Vehicle Association of Minnesota (ATVAM) and Wisconsin All-Terrain Vehicle Association (WATVA) has spearheaded an effort to create ATV Alliance, a national ATV association to unify state associations, that work to strengthen and improve trail systems, programs and work with state government agencies.
Meetings to form the alliance, held in Minnesota, included several state and national associations, manufacturer representatives and aftermarket distributors. When the series of meetings concluded, all agreed to move forward to create the ATV Alliance.
“In Wisconsin and Minnesota, we’ve been through quite a bit in the last five to 10 years,” said Dave Hendricks, former president of ATVAM. “It would be nice to provide that information to organizations that may be just getting to where we were five or 10 years ago and to help them out.”
The next meeting of the ATV Alliance will take place in Minneapolis Oct. 22-25. Organizers will present a business plan, bylaws and funding options. They plan to fully launch the association some time next year.
ATV Safety Simulator Debuts in Wyoming
Chris McNeil, Wyoming’s trails and safety education coordinator, has invented and built an ATV safety simulator and is using it to give youths a head start in ATV safety. In recent weeks, 1,500 kids have learned to ride an ATV using the simulator.
“I don’t know how I taught an ATV safety course in the past without the simulator,” McNeil said. He uses the simulator in three lessons in his 17-lesson ATV course on safety and ethics.
The ATV safety simulator is a Honda 250 four-wheeler rigged to a complex hydraulic system in a moveable platform. Kids sit on the machine, and McNeil leads them through the complexities and risks of riding ATVs by using the hydraulics to make the ATV seem to climb steep hills, turn sharp corners and go back down the hill, all without ever leaving the platform or starting the engine.
Riders learn to stand up and lean forward going uphill, to lean into the slope when turning on a hill and to feel the limits of the machine. McNeil said he has been taking school children through the course 25-30 at a time for the past few weeks.
West Virginia and other states and the ATV Safety Institute have already expressed an interest in the machine and in the interactive trailer that accompanies it.
“I feel everybody needs to learn to ride these machines in a protected situation where they can really get the hang of it,” McNeil said.
Edelbrock Launches Advertising Competition
Edelbrock, a manufacturer of high-performance powersports and automotive accessories, announced a program to enable StreetFire.net users to compete to create a commercial for Edelbrock’s “Passion for Performance” campaign that will air on national TV and the Internet.
StreetFire.net is a source for automotive and racing news, with a library of user-uploaded videos.
Aside from infamy on Spike TV and the Web, the victorious video editor will receive a $2,500 gift certificate for Edelbrock products. The four-week contest begins at the end of July. StreetFire.net community members will vote on the submissions, and the top 10 will receive a promotional package of Edelbrock merchandise.
Vic Edelbrock, Edelbrock’s president and CEO, commented, “We’re thrilled to be a part of this contest and want to get the message out that Edelbrock is passionate about performance. We take our customers’ feedback very seriously and there is no stronger message than having our customers deliver a great video endorsement for us.”
Entry information can be found online at www.edelbrock.com/streetfire.
EVS sports Hires Marketing Coordinator
Melissa Hubbard has recently been hired as the marketing and public relations coordinator for EVS Sports.
Hubbard will head up all marketing, public relations and promotions, including planning, creation and implementation.
Hubbard, a motocross enthusiast, received her bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in sales and marketing communications from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville in May.
Last summer, she worked as an intern with EVS and created the current EVS Safety Online Column. After her 12 weeks at the company, she embarked on a four-month international exchange and spent the semester studying at the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology in Galway, Ireland. psb

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