HOT NEWS – March 31, 2003

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is continuing to investigate a fire which destroyed Nelson’s Speed Shop, one of the largest snowmobile dealers in Michigan, on Sept. 17, 2001.
It has been determined that the fire was deliberately set, ATF Special Agent Jack Smith told Powersports Business.
The dealership’s main building and its contents were completely destroyed, resulting in a loss of more than $3 million. One firefighter was injured when he was struck by a projectile from one of the many exploding sleds housed within the building.
Owner Jack Nelson has rebuilt the dealership. A reward of up to $15,000 is offered to anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for the blaze. Contact Agent Smith, 616/456-2566, or the Michigan Arson Prevention Committee, 800/442-7766.
Military Wants More ATVs
The U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM)
, MacDill AFB, Fla., wants to purchase at least 2,000 ATVs.
The USSOCOM Department of Procurement (DOP) says the vehicles should be lightweight, highly mobile, and capable of transporting gear or personnel. Units may have three, four and six wheels, and must come with associated manuals, life cycle spare parts and training.
The purchase of all 2,000 machines would be extended over a period of five years, and the DOP says an “indefinite delivery type of contract for one year plus four option years is anticipated.”
The purchase decision will be determined by which proposal provides the “best value,” USSOCOM Contractor Contract Specialist Anthony E. Cheever told Powersports Business. Cheever says the government has no preferred brand name, and says the machines will be used in all types of military environments.
The U.S. Special Operations Command has about 403 ATVs currently in use. The formal Request for Proposal (RFP) from the U.S. government should be available May 21, 2003.
ATV Magazine Editor joins american suzuki
Glenn Hansen
, editor-in-chief of three powersports magazines produced by Ehlert Publishing Group, ATV Magazine, ATV Sport and REV, has joined American Suzuki as advertising manager for Suzuki’s motorcycle/ATV division.
Hansen, 39, will be responsible for media planning, coordinating advertising and dealer-support materials, and budget management. He will report directly to Mel Harris, vice president of Suzuki’s motorcycle/ATV division.
Hansen was employed at Minneapolis-based Ehlert for nine years, first as a managing editor on the company’s personal watercraft magazines and later as editor-in-chief in the ATV/Off-road group.
Replacing Hansen at Ehlert are Chaz Rice, who has been named managing editor of REV, and Blake Stranz, who will edit ATV Magazine. Rice had been associate editor of the ATV/Off-road group and Stranz was managing editor of Snow Goer and Snow Week.
Steve Davey Resigns
Steve Davey
, associate publisher of ATV Industry magazine and Motorcycle Industry magazine, has resigned to pursue other interests. Davey told Powersports Business that he’s looking for a job in the industry that has a greater focus on marketing or product development.
Davey, who joined the magazines in May of 2002, previously had served in the marketing department of Custom Chrome, and Global Motorsport Group, for more than 12 years, where he participated in a variety of marketing functions, including media relations, media planning/buying, catalog and advertising production, event planning, and also took the lead on the company’s patent and trademark activities.
ProQuest unit Names klausner President
ProQuest Company
, a leading provider of information solutions and content to the powersports, library classroom, and automotive markets, has named Ron Klausner as president, ProQuest Information and Learning.
Prior to joining ProQuest, Klausner had been with D&B (formerly known as Dun & Bradstreet), where he most recently served as senior vice president, U.S. Sales, leading a segment with more than $900 million in revenue.
Hibbert Steps off Sleds
Tucker Hibbert
, 18, of Thief River Falls, Minn., says he will stop snowmobile racing to pursue a career racing motocross, beginning the summer of 2003.
“I’ve had a great and fulfilling career racing snocross,” said Hibbert. “I’ve worked with great people, enjoyed some awesome racing and achieved my goals. Now it’s time to pursue the other goals and dreams I’ve had.”
Hibbert began his snowmobile racing career during the 2000 season, competing in the World Snowmobile Association (WSA) Semi Pro classes, and went on to win the ESPN Winter X Games final. He turned professional the next season, and claimed one of two WSA Pro Championship titles. In 2002, Hibbert continued his ascension, winning both Pro Championship titles. He claimed 9 Pro victories during the 2003 season.
The son of Team Arctic legend Kirk Hibbert, Tucker raced for Arctic Cat his entire career. “We’re all sad to see Tucker go,” said Team Arctic Race Manager Brian Sturgeon. “I’m sure he’ll do great things in motocross. If he ever wants to return to snowmobile racing, Team Arctic will welcome him with open arms.”
Ex Titan Exec Joins Patriot
Mark Green
, former manager of marketing, sales and dealer development for Titan Motorcycle Corp., has been named senior vice president of sales and marketing for Patriot Motorcycle Corp. (OTC: PMCY).
Green has more than 20 years experience in sales, marketing and promotion in the motor sports and entertainment industry. He previously served among the top three motorcycle financial managers at Conseco Financial Corp., and later built Biker’s Dream Motorcycles into a national chain of eight stores from its original store in only two years.
TFC Restructures
TFC Enterprises, Inc.
(NASDAQ:TFCE), Norfolk, Va., made the following management changes, effective March 1, 2003: Robert S. Raley, Jr. retained the title of chairman and CEO of TFC Enterprises, Inc.; and Ronald G. Tray was appointed CEO of TFC’s primary operating subsidiary, The Finance Company, and will remain as president.
Raley will no longer be the CEO of The Finance Company, but will remain as chairman and an employee. Denise L. Newlon, TFC’s principal accounting officer, will assume the title of CFO — formerly held by Tray.
TFC Enterprises conducts its operations primarily through one wholly-owned subsidiary, The Finance Company, which specializes in purchasing and servicing installment sales contracts originated by automobile and motorcycle dealers.
National PWC Jamboree
The AWA’s National PWC Jamboree is to be held at Nashville Shores in Nashville, Tenn., on May 16-18. It recently listed its own Web site address for information (
In addition, contest details were also announced, including a new “Sickest Trick” competition sponsored by 24-7 Innovations. The grand prize for the Poker Run was also revealed to be a choice of one model from any of the five major PWC manufacturers, including Honda’s F-12, Kawasaki’s 800 SX-R, the Polaris Virage, Sea-Doo GTI and Yamaha’s XL700.
Kasea names Top Dealers
Kasea Motorsports
, Seattle, Wash., a producer and distributor of powersports products including ATVs, off-road motorcycles, scooters and go-karts, has announced its top 10 dealer performers:
1. Wasatch — Utah
2. Cycle Sports of Salem — Ore.
3. Eastside Motorsports — Nev.
4. Tim Worthingtion Sales — Colo.
5. Roseburge Cycle — Ore.
6. Corona Powersports — Calif.
7. Klemm Cycle — Calif.
8. North Country Motorsports —Wash.
9. Motorsports Unlimited —Wash.
10. Marine Products Pro Shop —Nev.
Salesman of the Year went to Josh Moffitt of District 2, while the Most Improved Salesman award was received by District 1 salesman John Boguslawski.
Kasea Motorsports distributes product to eight countries and serves nearly 800 dealers across the U.S.
Museum honors donor
The Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, Pickerington, Ohio, named Dal Smilie of Helena, Montana, a Charter Founder for contributing more than $50,000 to the museum.
Smilie joins four other individual Charter Founders: Mike and Margaret Wilson of Cedar Rapids, Iowa (1997); Robert and Mae Beard of Fort Wayne, Indiana (1998); Fred and Jerriann Dauer of Honolulu, Hawaii (1999); and Samuel G. Swope of Louisville, Kentucky (2000). Contributions exceeding $50,000 from Progressive Motorcycle Insurance and the Antique Motorcycle Club of America have earned these organizations Charter Founder status as well.
Motosurf Nationals Picks Oceanside
The IJSBA says the pro-only Motosurf Nationals, will be held in Oceanside, Calif. “There’s no better place than Oceanside when it comes to racing in Southern California,” explained the IJSBA’s Kirk Holland of the single city location.
Like last season, eight rounds will be held over four weekends, beginning April 26th and running on consecutive weekends until May 18th. Three of those weekends will be held in the Pacific near the Oceanside Pier; the fourth will be held inside the jetty. The IJSBA revealed that races the weekend of May 3-4 will be run in conjunction with the Oceanside Harbor Days, a city-sponsored festival that, like last year’s event in Laughlin, Nev., will also feature APBA powerboat racing.
As a result of a schedule conflict with an existing European event, freestyle events will not be held the final weekend of May 17-18. The Pro Freestyle title will only be determined from Rounds 1-6.
Minimum Age reduced
In an effort to encourage participation and growth for future competitors, the IJSBA has lowered the minimum age in two new Ski classes, Amateur 14-15 Ski Stock, and Amateur 14-15 Ski Limited. According to IJSBA officials, the organization hopes the new age rules will entice young competitors who might otherwise be lost to pursuits such as motocross or skateboarding.
Yamaha Makes Changes
Yamaha Motor Co. reportedly has plans to revamp its parts ordering system in Japan. Currently, orders from roughly 7,000 Yamaha retailers in Japan are routed to distribution centers in Hokkaido, Saitama and Shiga prefectures, depending on each location’s inventory.
According to the Nikkei Report, Yamaha plans to build an order-receiving system linking its computers with its phones, an integrated system, to be operational in May, which will reportedly require an initial investment of about $257,000.
After the new system is launched, all orders will be concentrated at the Saitama Prefecture center, which will manage the inventory of the head office and the two other distribution centers. When a retailer calls Yamaha Motor to place an order for parts, the retailer’s name and address will appear on an employee’s computer screen at the Saitama center. The employee can then research inventory from all three distribution centers and answer the caller’s questions immediately.

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