Although Tucker Rocky Distributing continues to expand on its business in the utility ATV market — capitalizing on its QuadBoss and Ducks Unlimited brand products — it appears that a recent OEM emphasis on the sport ATV market, and corresponding consumer interest, hasn’t gone unnoticed by the company.
According to vendors and TR officials assembled at the distributor’s annual ATV Ride & Retreat, held June 4-6 at the Hatfield-McCoy Trail System in Charleston, W.Va., the Texas-based company has increased focus on sport-related parts, garments and accessories for the coming year.
Sport-oriented vendors such as FMF and Big Gun, Maxxis and ITP, and AC Racing and UFO are now joined by such firms as Cobra, FullBore Plastic, PowerMadd, IMS/Roll Design, Pro Design, Fox Shox, Houser Racing, Works Performance Shocks, Progressive Suspension, DaltonPro, Bill’s Pipes, HMF Exhaust and Yoshimura.
Glen Urquhart, Tucker Rocky’s ATV segment manager, says more than 2,500 new part numbers were added to the 2005 ATV catalog.
“Over 60 new vendors were reviewed and those mentioned made the cut,” Urquhart told Powersports Business. “Others were not added because we simply ran out of time to review them in time for decisions to be made and the catalog work involved. All that did not get added this spring will be reviewed for possible addition during July and August of this year.”
Regarding the apparent emphasis on gear related to the sport quad market, Urquhart said recently added personnel in the Products Department allowed him time to pursue the market more aggressively.
“I finally had the time and help to go after the sport side of things, but there’s still much more to come,” he said.
THE NEW LINE-UP
“We don’t make many ATV-related parts, but we specialize in those we do offer,” said Christine Fahey of IMS/Roll Design, a company perhaps best known for its motorcycle plastics, especially aftermarket gas tanks.
While Tucker stocks a selection of IMS tanks — available for Honda ATCs and TRX and Yamaha’s Raptor — products shown by Fahey in W.Va. included a special-to-TR anti-vibration steering stem, available in a stainless steel or powder-coated black finish; Kick Up and flat foot pegs; race pegs; heel guards; a polished stainless steel shifter and a stainless brake lever.
Fahey said two powder-coated black bumpers also are set to be introduced in the fall as exclusives to TR. One will be for the cross country market while the other will be designed for motocrossers.
Further extending its offering of aftermarket body parts, TR now carries the FullBore line of ATV plastic. FullBore products include complete bodies for the Honda TRX250R, 250X, 300EX, 400EX; Polaris Predator; Kawasaki KFX400; Suzuki LT-Z400; and Yamaha Banshee, YFZ450 and 660 Raptor.
John Houser of Houser Racing was at the event, showing his race-tested A-arms, swingarm system and steering stem, while Mark Dooley, president of DG, displayed and promoted a number of bumpers, chassis protector kits and nerf bars.
All DG product in the TR catalog is available in an Alloy Series and a Fat Series, each series representing a different price point.
“Our new-for-’04 alloy series race peg nerf bar is a best-seller for us,” said Dooley of the system used by racers Tim Farr and Jeremiah Jones, “and we think we have a good thing going with our multiple models of front bumpers, including the new Mini V intended for youth quads.”
Other companies in Tucker Rocky’s ATV catalog also appear to be moving into the sport market.
“Sport quads make up a whole new market segment for us, and examining that market has been very exciting,” said Warn’s Patrick Storm. The entire Warn accessories guide is now offered in TR’s ATV catalog. Storm says a new addition to the line is the Warn 1.5CI sport quad winch, which is the same unit as TR’s 1,700 lb. Quad Boss winch except for the planetary gear ratio. Weighing 11 lbs., it features a 50-ft. cable.
“Sales through TR have increased dramatically during the past year,” said Storm, “and so this will serve to further build upon that success.”
Brian Cornelus promotes products for Progressive Suspension. New to the powersports market, Progressive’s sport-oriented 6th Sense ATV shocks carry a patented control valve technology first introduced in the mountain bike industry. Scheduled to be available in the fall, the dampers are likely to be priced in a range comparable to product from Ohlins.
“These are high-end units,” Cornelus said. “Five way adjustable damping and all of the bells and whistles.”
Although an “ATV” event, the TR function included more parts for sport and utility quads. According to Urquhart, a larger number of products for utility vehicles (UTVs) also are being established.
“Much like the sport ATV market, the UTV market always has been on our radar screen, but we did not have the manpower to go after it,” Urquhart said. “Again, dealers can expect much more to come from us in this segment.
“The goal in researching and obtaining product (for 2005) was to continue the growth of our utility product offering and to dramatically expand our sport product area.”
Swisher is one of the company’s included in TR’s expanding UTV product line-up. Its Quick Switch Implement System includes a universal mount kit, specialized receivers, a 62" plow blade, dump bucket, pallet lifter, five-foot power broom and separate actuator and lift.
“Utility vehicles are becoming increasingly popular, that’s no secret,” said Cycle Country’s Corey Kimmet, “and, right now, we have a blade and a bed lift kit for them, and we’re researching a winch kit.”
Cycle Country’s electro-mechanical bed lift kit comes with a price point below OE versions and fits the Kawasaki Mule; the utility plow blade comes in 70" and 72" versions.
ITP’s Craig Peterson says he believes utility vehicles “will account for bigger and bigger numbers in the future.” ITP designed three distinct tire and wheel packages solely for utility vehicles. The 589 M/S Kit features 589 M/S/ tires along with ITP’s C-Series aluminum wheel; the All Trail Kit for hard surfaces offers low-profile 23” rubber; and the Holeshot ATR Kit increases ground clearance.
Also recognizing the growing utility vehicle market, Patrick Storm says Warn has supplied Tucker Rocky with the Warn 4.0CI. Designed exclusively for UTVs, the 4.0CI can haul 4,000 lbs. with its 55-ft. cable and eases everything from self-recovery to moving timber.
Among the other UTV-only products in the ’05 TR ATV catalog: Tommy Toppers enclosures for units from John Deere, Kawasaki, Polaris and Yamaha; the Kenda Terra Trac K502 tire; Goodyear’s ATT tire series; and a Quad Boss loading ramp capable of holding 2,000 lbs.
Twenty-four vendors and 53 distributor reps attended the Tucker Rocky ATV Retreat and Ride, for which Urquhart says he has two major goals: “One, that our reps and vendors have fun, and two, that our reps learn more about ATV’ing and take that knowledge back to their dealers.”
Urquhart also wanted to acknowledge the people and companies that made the product intro at the Hatfield-McCoy trail possible: George Shepherd, East Zone sales manager for American Honda; Rod Lopusnak, motorcycle and ATV Marketing Manager for American Suzuki; Mike Ratz, owner of Logan Motorcycle Sales in Logan, W.Va.; trail guide Kevin Bates of Bandit’s Ridge Riders; and Matt Ballard and Mike Pinkerton of the Hatfield-McCoy trail system.
Tucker Rocky Distributing’s 518-page 2005 ATV Catalog was sent to dealers last month, and also is available digitally at www.TRdealer.com. To receive a copy, call 800/347-1010. psb
— Guido Ebert