Jan. 22, 2007 – Aftermarket Digest

eBay’s Fee Increase Affects Powersports
Powersports buyers will be affected by eBay’s fee increases for the new year.
The online company announced its transaction service fee for motorcycles and other powersports vehicles is increasing to $40, a 33 percent increase over the prior year.
Other fee increases include:

  • Insertion fees for the $1 to $9.99 level are increasing from .35 to .40 cents.
  • Final value fees are increasing for the $25.01 to $1,000 level from 3 percent to 3.25 percent.
  • Transaction service fee for cars, trucks and its “other vehicles and trailers” categories will be raised to $50 from $40.
    The company said no fee adjustments are scheduled for eBay Stores or Store Inventory listings.
    In the fee announcement, eBay North America President Bill Cobb noted that traffic to online shopping sites on the day after Thanksgiving rose 12 percent from last year, according to Nielsen/NetRatings. Among those online shoppers, eBay was the No. 1 destination with 7.5 million unique visitors.
    KYMCO Expands Its Partnership With ARI?
    KYMCO USA has expanded its relationship with ARI by licensing WarrantySmart, ARI’s Web-based warranty claims and product registration processing solution.
    ARI’s WarrantySmart enables dealers to streamline product registration and warranty claim submission and processing, as well as to check claim status online. Prior to the new agreement, KYMCO dealers had used ARI’s PartSmart electronic parts lookup catalog.
    “We are experiencing rapid growth in our number of dealers and number of units sold in the United States In order to support this growth, it is imperative that we have the tools and infrastructure to support our dealer network,” Eric Bondy, president of KYMCO, said in a press release. “ARI proved to be a valuable partner during the implementation of PartSmart and has provided us with superior support as our needs have grown. As a result, when we made the decision to expand our dealer support technology to include a warranty and product registration processing solution.”
    “WarrantySmart will also benefit KYMCO’s dealers by increasing the accuracy and efficiency of the warranty claim process, resulting in faster turnaround times,” Brian Dearing, chairman and CEO of ARI, said.
    KYMCO USA, located in Inman, S.C, has more than 600 dealers in the United States.
    ARI currently provides about 99 parts catalogs (many of which contain multiple lines of equipment) for about 77 equipment manufacturers in the United States and Europe.
    Custom Chrome Adds Terminal Velocity
    On the tails of its first Vendor Council, Custom Chrome has added aftermarket fuel management manufacturer Terry Components’ Terminal Velocity to its lineup.
    Terminal Velocity is a closed loop system that allows retention of the original ECU that has EPA-approval and self-adjusts during normal riding conditions after a rider has changed out pipes, installed performance parts or rides at a different altitude. Terry Components’ founder Keith Terry created the product alongside design experts at Delphi and General Motors.
    Terminal Velocity units for fuel-injected Harley-Davidson’s from 1995-2007 are available now from Custom Chrome dealers.
    ARKONA Opens Up New Sales Office
    ARKONA Inc., a provider of business management solutions to automotive and powersports dealerships, has opened a new sales office, its ninth new office in the past two years.
    The new sales office will serve the states of Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and the upper peninsula of Michigan.
    To accommodate the customer growth and sales activity in the region, ARKONA has hired Jim Cassidy to head the north central region sales office, which will be in Noblesville, Ind. Cassidy has more than 20 years of sales experience in the automotive industry, including more than 14 years with Reynolds & Reynolds.
    Dunlop Will Be An Official Sponsor For ATV Racing Tour
    Dunlop Tire will be an official sponsor of the WPSA PowerSports ATV Tour during the 2007 season.
    As part of its 2007 program, Dunlop will be the featured sponsor for the “QuadTerrain Helmet Cam.”
    “We’re pleased to welcome a sponsor of Dunlop’s stature to the PowerSports ATV Tour,”?PowerSports Entertainment, Inc. CEO Rick Murphy said in a press release. “We look forward to showcasing the Dunlop brand at each of our venues and on television during the 2007 season.”
    The move comes after Dunlop’s 2006 success with SuperQuad Pro 450 MX and Team Suzuki’s Doug Gust and the radial QUADMAX Sport technology as well as Quad Terrain success with Arctic Cat’s Daryl Rath and the QUADMAX utility range.
    “We were impressed with the visibility the tour garnered last season, making it an easy decision for us to come on as a sponsor,”?said Dennis Teed, Dunlop’s director for its ATV Business Unit. “Plus, the Tour gives us a perfect place in which to continue development of ATV racing’s top racing tires.”
    Fuel Tank Manufacturer Receives CARB Certification
    Centro, Inc., a custom rotational molder, has recently received certification from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for its fuel tanks under the Innovative Product Category.
    Centro, headquartered in North Liberty, Iowa, is the only rotational molder that has received such certification from California. The new California regulations for low evaporative emissions tanks go into affect for small off-road equipment with 25 horsepower or less engines in 2008.
    Centro passed the stringent California tests using CE10 fuel (10 percent ethanol), which is more difficult than using the specified CERT (standard test) fuel. This positions Centro to meet future EPA standards, which are likely to regulate emissions for off-road vehicles outside California.
    One of Centro’s approved products has a patent pending and will be called RotoLoPerm Technology. Centro’s three different solutions provide a variety of choices for different applications, depending on size, operating temperature, impact requirements and molded features.
    Centro, which makes fuel tanks for powersports vehicles, was recently listed as the 6th largest rotational molder in North America, according to Plastics News, and the largest custom rotational molder in North America. Centro has been in business since 1970 and has five plant locations in four states.
    SuperTrapp Announces Product Line for Victory
    SuperTrapp Industries has launched three products for Victory.
    All three new products use the power of the company’s patented Tunable Disc Technology. By adding or removing discs, the sound level and powerband can be adjusted to meet an individual rider’s needs. All Victory products have completely rebuildable core and packing.
    The first of three new products for Victory is the SuperTrapp 2:1 SuperMegs (MSRP $629), available at dealers nationwide. The 2.5” collector provides maximum flow while the three-piece, full-coverage heat shields keep the blues away. The SuperTrapp 2:1 SuperMegs are available for Vegas, 8-Ball and Kingpin.
    FatShots Slip-Ons for Victory provide crisp throttle response and performance throughout the power curve (MSRP $489) These are finished in quality chrome and are available for Vegas, 8-Ball, Kingpin, Hammer and Jackpot.
    The Internal Disc Slip-Ons for Victory are styled with a chromed muffler that resembles the classic stock look (MSRP $489). Fuel map changes are not required. Available for Vegas, 8-Ball, Kingpin, Hammer and Jackpot.
    MC Advantages Staff Completes S&S?Training Course
    MC Advantages recently completed the S&S Distributor Training Course.
    The S&S Distributor Training Course is designed to equip distributor reps with knowledge about S&S parts and engines and is part of S&S’ ongoing efforts to ensure the best possible service and advice to its end users.
    “The members of our sales force are serious about motorcycles and V-twin engines, so being here at S&S has been a great experience,” said Kent Reed, general manager of MC Advantages, Inc. “This has helped our team learn about the features and benefits of S&S products so we can provide great service to our clients, and sell more S&S parts.
    “EPA issues are confusing in the market; the S&S information has been very helpful in our understanding of the issues and clarified many points.”
    Four-stroke Kart Racing Engine Will Be Sold In The U.S.
    La Chatre Motor Co. and Eagle Kart Engines introduced the first purpose built four-stroke kart racing engine in December at the Performance Racing Industry trade show in Orlando.
    Performance Racing Industry hosts its annual trade show in Orlando each year where the performance racing industry exhibits its products and services.
    Racing designer and engineer Stephane Cherban had been developing the engines for the last decade.
    “Designing an engine is not the difficulty. It is finding the time and the capital to complete the project that is difficult,”?Cherban said. “Two-strokes are easy to manufacture; four-strokes are far more complex and costly.”
    The new engines are of 250ccs, four-valve, overhead camshaft design, with dry-sump and integral water pump, starter and alternator. Even with all the built-in components, the engines weigh in at 35 pounds and produce 30 horsepower with a broad torque band.
    When asked why he produced a four-stroke engine over a two-stroke one, Cherban said: “Two-stroke power is not the future. More and more countries are banning them and the two-strokes used in karting today are adaptations from scooters and other industries. Karters need their own purpose-built four-stroke engine.”
    The engines are designed for use in Sprint karting, dirt and pavement oval, Enduro, and for endurance events. The engines will be sold in the United States under the Eagle brand.
    NASCAR Teams To Endorse Motorcycles
    Two powersports companies will launch a small-displacement motorcycle that will be endorsed by NASCAR teams.
    Tank Sports, a company that develops, engineers and markets Chinese-built product, and Moto Cycle Corp. will launch the Moto 50 NASCAR Signature Series in the first quarter of the new year. The 50cc motorcycle will have DOT, EPA and CARB certification, the companies said in a press release.
    NASCAR teams that have already signed up to endorse the bike include 2006 Nextel Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson as well as Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon and Michael Waltrip.
    The small-displacement bike is part of a newly established relationship between Moto and Tank. “We strongly believe this is just the beginning of a long-term relationship with Moto with many more models to be released in 2007,” Mike Turber, Tank’s national sales manager and marketing director, said.
    Communications Company XeComm Signs New Client
    XeComm, a Virginia-based company that seeks to enhance dealer-customer communication, has signed World of Powersports, Inc. to its Customer Won program.
    The program provides automated customer follow up and satisfaction surveys from all parts of the dealership, including sales, service, parts and accessories. “We feel that staying in touch with our customers is key to operating a successful business,” World of Powersports’ Mike Jackson said in a press release. “ Following up the unit sale with an email sales flyers will really increase our after the sale accessory business.” psb

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