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FXR Racing dealer meeting relocation a success

FXR’s first-ever dealer meeting in the U.S. was a hit at Minnesota’s ERX park

For some Canadian-born and -based companies, the thought of hosting their marquee annual event in the U.S. could be a taboo subject. 

But for FXR Racing, which revealed its 2019 product lineup in a three-day dealer meeting at ERX Motor Park in Elk River, Minn., it was more akin to visiting their neighbor’s house—if their backyard happened to be a powersports haven.

Due to its setting, the annual dealer meeting featured more of a festive atmosphere; with FXR-sponsored riders, employees and media alike taking to the snocross track aboard both snowmobiles and the ever-popular snow bikes. 

Adjacent to the racetrack, the Carlson Motorsports building provided a relaxed setting for dealers to talk business with the FXR team. The cozy cabin feel of the space and abundance of food and drink cast a jovial mood over the meeting.

“Bringing these people together here, they’re already having a great experience, in a comfy location that makes you feel like you’re at home. It helps to get the dealers away from the daily stress of their businesses,” said Aaron Wiebe, FXR’s Director of Sales.

(From left) FXR’s Michelle Montsion, Mike Fogelson and Steve Fogelson (rear) from Up North Sports in Bemidji, Minnesota, Dan Walsh and Jeremy Bester — both of FXR — catch up during the FXR 2019 product launch and dealer meeting in Elk River, Minnesota. Photos by Dave McMahon/Powersports Business

But aside from the impressive amenities at EXR Motor Park, the decision to shift their annual meeting from Winnipeg, a short drive from FXR’s hometown of Oak Bluff, Manitoba, to this year’s location just outside of Minneapolis, was a nod to one of the company’s best markets.

“We have a tremendous following throughout Minnesota that’s impossible to ignore. We’re probably not going to California or Florida but where else would you find this setup at ERX Motor Park — it breathes what we’re about,” Wiebe added. 

While they won’t be heading out west for next year’s show, some of the motocross products that debuted at the dealer meeting will help grow FXR’s presence in motocross hotbeds. 

One such example, the Factory Ride MX Boot, is FXR’s first foray into motocross boots. Their first boot comes in three colors: black, white and hi-viz. According to Wiede, FXR Racing’s desire to tap into the motocross market is based on the fact that outside of their primary markets, snowmobile apparel has a limited reach due to the weather.

“Motocross has been a market that we’ve been playing into since the beginning, because in Manitoba or Minnesota you have six months of snow and then dirt, but the thing is that in places as close as southern Minnesota, the snow is never guaranteed, so that’s been a little tough on certain time frames,” Wiede said, adding that much of the inspiration behind their designs for snowmobile apparel and motocross alike comes from many of the longtime employees’ backgrounds as motocross riders. 

What was constant among the dozens of 2019 products that lined the spacious warehouse building was the variety of different styles and bright color options. The multitude of loud colors has become a calling card for the brand, and is a reason that they have become popular with customers and dealers alike.


“It’s always the brightest, nicest clothing out there, and at races or anywhere else, that’s what you see the most of,” said Dan Richardson, the owner of Northway Sports in East Bethel, Minnesota.

Richardson noted that while his dealership tends to sell more insulated, price-point jackets and two-piece snowsuits, the FXR brand is highly popular with his Minnesotan customer base.

One of the more impressive pieces of outerwear FXR Racing will debut in 2019 is the Boost Dri-Link two-piece monosuit line. With an advanced 360-degree zipper system and hidden suspenders, the suit can be converted between a one and two-piece shell. According to Doug Rust, marketing manager for FXR, the 360-degree technology was introduced to dealers late last year, but was redesigned and improved for this year’s line. As the initial model sold out in October last year, he anticipates that it’ll again be a hit with dealers.

Aside from jackets, another highly anticipated new product is the CLEARidium Anti-Fog lens, which will be available in the Pilot and Core goggle lines. The single, pre-curved polycarbonate lens is designed to prevent lens fogging for the rider in all conditions. Dealers could be seen performing their own testing by holding the goggle up and breathing into it, and seeing no fog on the lens.

For Mike Ferguson, the owner of Up North Sports in Bemidji, Minnesota, it’s these FXR products that impress him, and that have helped his apparel company grow, in addition to the jackets. FXR’s continued development of new products is what has kept him buying from them since Up North Sports opened its doors in the mid-2000s.

“Their jackets have always been their staple piece for us, but the huge growth areas we’re seeing is with the boots, helmets and the goggles. They make great goggles and they’re going to take over some huge areas of the industry,” Ferguson said.

Everyone congregated at the snocross track after dinner for the FXR Dominator Challenge, which pitted snow bikes against snowmobiles in a bracket-style, elimination competition. Riding a snow bike, three-time X-Games medalist Kody Kamm took home top honors. 

After a fireworks display, the night concluded with a fashion show. A handful of FXR riders strutted in and out of the Carlson Motorsports building geared up head-to-toe in the 2019 FXR products. The loud background music and lightshow was a perfect match for the bright colors and styles featured on the riders. 

Overall, it was a fitting end to the marquee day of the three-day meeting. The fashion show was an opportunity to showcase the new products that drew dealers from across the U.S. and Canada, but at the same time it felt like a homecoming celebration of sorts, for a company seeking to expand its significant presence from the Upper Midwestern states to the rest of the U.S.


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