Jan. 21, 2008 – Aftermarket Digest

Channel Blade Releases New Version of Footsteps

Channel Blade, an online marketing, lead management and sales education solutions provider for the powersports, marine and RV industries, has unveiled Footsteps 2.5, a feature-enhanced version of its manufacturer and dealer lead management solution, the company said in a press release.
“Channel Blade has made significant enhancements to the Footsteps platform, spanning Web site connectivity, reporting capabilities and overall management usability,” said Jon Lintvet, Channel Blade’s chief executive officer.
Currently free of charge for existing users, the Footsteps 2.5 release is the result of extensive collaboration with Channel Blade’s clients. Among the new edition’s elements is the ability to automatically assign leads to a sales person based on a predetermined set of business rules, eliminating the need for any manual intervention by a sales manager or other associate with similar responsibilities.

Thor MX Debuts Two New TV Commercials

Thor MX has created two new commercials for the 2008 Supercross season.
“Keepin’ it Real with Chad” and “Keepin’ it Real with Ryan,” starring Supercross champion Chad Reed and two-time SX Lites champion Ryan Villopoto, recently debuted on SPEED.
This year Thor’s design team worked with Modern Industry Pictures and Director Jeff Apps in Los Angeles to try to produce a light-hearted and fun commercial. The two 30-second spots use cutting-edge photography and lighting to showcase Thor’s 2008 Core performance racewear.
This year marks Thor’s 11th consecutive year of producing commercials to showcase its athletes and gear. “Keepin’ it Real” will run during televised races throughout the 2008 Supercross season on SPEED, with additional airings during televised MX and FMX events.

Custom Design Studios Unveils Two Products

Builder Kirk Taylor of Custom Design Studios has released two new products: an oil filter adapter and a caliper bracket cover, both of which are designed to make putting your custom ride together much easier.
The oil filter adapter allows you to install an oil filter in place of the generator on models that have an alternator left case (knuckle, pan or shovel). This one has 360-degree indexing designed by Taylor for easy oil line routing, only 5?8-inch thickness so installing a long oil filter without starter plug interference is no problem. It increases oil capacity and is 1.5 pounds lighter and has a MSRP of $75.
With the drive-side caliper bracket cover, you put a couple of dabs of clear silicone on the backside of the cover, and you’re done. They are raw aluminum, so you can paint, polish or plate to your needs. To remove, poke your screwdriver from the backside, and they’ll pop out with little effort. MSRP is $40/pair.
To order, call 415/382-6662 or e-mail customdesignstudio@sbcglobal.com.

Two-Story Toy Hauler Named Trade Show’s “Best of Show”

RVBusiness magazine has recognized Goshen, Ind.-based recreational vehicle manufacturer Keystone RV Co.’s newest innovation, the Keystone Outback Loft travel trailer, as the “Best of Show” new unit on display at the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s 45th Annual National RV Trade Show in Louisville.
The Keystone Outback Loft, a 31-foot toy-hauling trailer that adds a second, canvas-sided level for additional living space and comfort, was selected by consensus of the RVBusiness staff after a review of the 2008 models on display at the Nov. 27–29 national show held at the Kentucky Exposition Center.
The award recognizes the most interesting, creative and/or marketable new products introduced by North American manufacturers for the upcoming model year.
Runners-up include two creative ventures selected among hundreds on display: Nappanee, Ind.-based Newmar Corp.’s All Star “Ultimate Tailgate Vehicle” and Jackson Center, Ohio-based Airstream’s rear-ramp-equipped PanAmerica model.
“Just when you thought you’d seen it all, each year the RV industry turns itself on its ear introducing ‘off the charts’ innovations that evolve the way we think about RVing,” said Sherman Goldenberg, publisher of RVBusiness. “This year’s winners underscore the movement toward livability and creative-space utilization. During a time when the industry has gone sport-utility crazy, it’s not surprising that two of three winners are variants of the popular SURV (sport utility RV) theme.”
More information on the “Best of Show” winner and runners-up is featured in the January issue of RVBusiness, which is published by Affinity Media.

New Dollies Accommodate Mega-wide Skis on Sled

Sure Grip dollies has a new Mega-wide model to accommodate new wide skis like those found on Yamaha mountain sled and the 10-inch wide Simmons Gen 2. Sure Grips still fit wide vintage sleds and can be adjusted down to fit narrower ski designs.
The new dollies also accommodate all dual, single and offset wear bars ski designs. The dollies work like a wheel kit, allowing snowmobiles to be easily driven under their own power.
A set of dollies comes complete with a swivel track dolly for nonpowered operation that allows you to steer into the tightest spaces or spin 360 degrees. The new Mega-wide dollies retail for $139.99 and are available from Recreational Necessities Inc. (320/252-0278) or suregripdolly.com.

VP Racing Fuels’ Support of Motocross to Continue

VP Racing Fuels, a leader in race fuel technology, will continue its sponsorship of many factory and factory-supported motocross teams in 2008, according to Bruce Hendel, VP’s regional manager of its Western area.
“VP has enjoyed great success in the motorcycle market, and our alliance with these teams helps us stay on the leading edge with products for these applications,” Hendel said. “It’s a win-win as the teams help us with testing and feedback, while they enjoy the superior performance of VP’s fuels and continue winning championships.”
Motocross teams aligned with VP in 2008 included Factory Honda, Factory Yamaha, Factory Kawasaki, Factory KTM and Pro Circuit.
Mitch Payton, Pro Circuit’s president, attests to VP’s role in their success. “We’ve tested many other fuels, but VP has always made the most power,” Payton said. “That’s why VP has fueled every championship we’ve won since 1991.”
VP Racing Fuel-powered riders have swept all AMA Pro Racing Supercross and Motocross championships for the past four consecutive years.
In addition to fuels, VP’s product line includes performance chemicals, specialty lubricants, traction compounds and motorsport containers. More information can be obtained from VP’s Web site, vpracingfuels.com.

Battery Guide for Powersport Applications Now Available

EnerSys recently released its new four-page Odyssey battery powersports guide, which covers the six battery models available for various powersport applications, including motorcycles, snowmobiles, ATVs and PWCs.
The new battery powersports guide includes detailed specifications and terminal layouts for battery models PC310, PC535, PC545, PC625, PC680 and PC925.
“Our new Odyssey battery powersports guide is an excellent resource for those looking for a reliable and quality power source,” said Dana Kowalski, marketing communications supervisor for EnerSys.
The new battery powersports guide is part of an ongoing branding initiative for Odyssey batteries that includes segmentation of all products and communication materials by four markets: automotive/light truck vehicle, heavy duty/commercial, powersports and marine. psb

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