DN 2.0 #11
A SALUTE TO AIMEXPO
Skidmark Garage Paying It Forward
eNews & Notes From AIMExpo
DISTRIBUTOR DOINGS Helmet House Hits 50 Parts Unlimited North American NVP
CONTENTS 06 WORLD’S LUCKIEST MAN 08 EDITORS NOTE 10 LETTERS+ 12 NEWS+ 16 SHIFTING GEARS+ 20 DEALER PROFILE+
Bob Althoff Musing On AIMExpo Robin Hartfiel On A Rising Tide The Industry On Dealernews What’s Happening? Who’s Where?
Skidmark Garage Paying It Forward
24 INDUSTRY RESEARCH+
Dr. Paul Leinberger On A Cut Above
26 INDUSTRY RESEARCH+
Lenny Sims NADAguides On Q3
29 SHOWTIME! 30 AIMExpo 2019 34 AIMExpo HONORS MIC ROLLS OUT 36 AIMExpo RIDER INITIATVE AIMExpo, Parts NVP & More
Gas Tank Awards
More Riders, Riding More
Shocking News From AIMExpo
40 CURRENTS 44 eRESEARCH+ 48 ROXOR A/T ROLLS OUT 52 OPINION+ 54 PERSONNEL FILES eNews & Notes
Honda Hobbit Habit, Part IV Inside MANA
William Douglas Little On Fortune 500 & Pizza
Alex Baylon On Cool Hand Luke
56 NORTHERN EXPOSURE 58 DIVERSITY+ 60 CONFESSIONS OF A CUSTOMER 62 MIC RIDEREPORT 64 ADVOCACY+ Marq C. Smith On Visibility
Harley-Davidson Takes The Pledge
Eric Anderson On AIMExpo
What Does The MIC Do For You?
Don Amador On Making Dollars & Sense Out Of Sand
OUR TEAM Bob Althoff W.L.M. Stan Simpson Vice President EDITORIAL Robin Hartfiel Editor Gus Stewart Creative Director Brenda Stiehl Production Manager CONTRIBUTORS Don Musick Genesys Technology Solutions Dr. Paul Leinberger Denny+Leinberger Strategy Eric Anderson Vroom Network Lenny Sims NADA Appraisal Guides Scot Harden AMA Hall Of Fame/Harden Offroad Hector Cademartori Illustrations William Douglas Little Unique Powersports Charlie Williams Off Road Editor Marq Smith Holeshot Motorsports, Canada Alisa Clickenger Women’s Motorcycle Tours Don Amador Quiet Warrior Racing Joe Bonnello Joe B Photography Uncle Paul Wunsch Love Cycles The Anonymous Dealer Dealer Advisory Board Bob Althoff Chairman
66 68 70 72 76
Uncle Paul Agent Provocateur
Parts Unlimited NVP Adds Canada
DISTRIBUTOR DOINGS Helmet House Hits 50
What Was On Target At AIMExpo
78 PRESS PASS+ 80 PARTING SHOT 81 AD INDEX 82 VALE+
Sand Sports Super Show The Anonymous Dealer On AIMExpo
Joey Belmont Big #1 Sports Jim Boltz Lynnwood Cycle Barn/WMDA Jim Foster Killeen Power Sports George Gatto Gatto Harley-Davidson Malcolm Hunter Deeley Harley-Davidson Robert Kay Star City Motorsports Bob Kee Destination Cycle Jerry Lenz Beaverton Motorcycles Kurt Mechling Performance PowerSports Don Owens Dothan Powersports Mark Peterson Southwest Superbikes Sandy Stroope Boat World Honda Polaris
This issue Brought To You By… Ave Atque Vale Dick Kryder
Heads Up On LS2 Subverter
ADVERTISING John Murphy Publishing Consultant firstname.lastname@example.org Tigra Tsujikawa Sponsorship Manager (949) 861-0863 email@example.com Blake Foulds Account Executive (760) 715-3045 Blakefoulds@dealernews.com
Dealernews Magazine P.O. Box 73640 San Clemente, CA 92673 Phone (949) 463-4319 www.dealernews.com © Copyright 2019
By Bob Althoff
f you missed it, you missed a wonderful week. AIMExpo outdid itself in many ways; the weather was beautiful and the crowds grew yet again. Last month we posed the question what does success look like? We now have an answer! Let me start with the simply amazing job done by Cinnamon Kearns and her crew. It is a massive organizational and logistical feat to pull together a show of this size. They continue to do it all (and more)… and to do so with a smile. Dealer turnout was not what it should have been. I get it. It’s hard to fit it all in. It’s hard to make the investment of time and money given all of the demands placed on us by our OEMs; our 20 Groups, our customers, etc. do we really have the time and money to go to a trade show? In a word, yes. This once-a-year, made-for-you event must be at the top of your ‘to-do’ list. Great educational content, important topics presented; useful networking opportunities galore; dealer incentives, products, vendors, service providers; all waiting for you. The question becomes can you afford not to be there? BE THERE IN 2020!
Some epic rides. More epic parties. And one more very special thing; SIDEWAYS SATURDAY indoor flat track racing is destined to be talked about (and repeated). Bar banging action; lots of classes, special appearances, kids on STACYCs — what fun! Oh, and thanks to AIMExpo who brought in SSGT Tim Chambers and his wife, Lorraine, as our industry special guests. Tim — AKA www.thesalutingmarine.com — has stood in salute to literally millions of us as we have made our yearly trek to pay homage to the fallen at Rolling Thunder for the past 18 years. AIME decided to bring Tim in from his home near San Diego for a fitting “Salute To The Saluting Marine.” He was touched by the many honors he received while in Columbus and all of us who got to meet this humble, but accomplished man were similarly appreciative of the opportunity to thank him for his service. Thanks also to our Dealernews team. Robin and all the contributors who worked the AIMExpo hard. You will be sharing the fruits of their labor in the weeks and months ahead. I’ll see you at AIMExpo next year! Bob Althoff W.L.M.
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Editor’s Note By Robin Hartfiel
STOP ME IF YOU HAVE HEARD THIS ONE… We’ve Been Here Before
IMExpo 2019 is not the first time the powersports industry convened in Columbus, nor was the 2017 show our initial trip. Back in 1970 the industry was at a crossroads when it rolled into Columbus, Ohio, for the 2nd Annual Motorcycle & Accessory Trade Show. Unit sales were slumping, new riders were dwindling and the industry seemed to be losing its way… Sound familiar? Compounding the issue, we had two motorcycle industry associations at the time. The established Motorcycle, Scooter & Allied Trades Association with roots going back to WWI and the upstart Motorcycle Safety Council were at odds with how best to revitalize the industry. However, both sides agreed to come together as a single combined entity for the greater good of the motorcycle market in America. On November 20th, 1969 the new Motorcycle Industry Council was launched. On February 22nd, 1970, MIC presented its platform to the industry at the trade show in Columbus, with the intent to keep the industry from running aground. The original #TogetherWeRise campaign — although we didn’t have social media hashtags back then — succeeded. The rising tide floated all boats as the industry pulled together and figured out a way to reverse the negative trends. Now 50 years later the MIC rolled into Columbus and rolled out its industry wide initiative to get “more riders, riding more” at the general session. MIC board chair Paul Vitrano was joined by vice chair Chuck Boderman and incoming MIC CEO/President Erik Pritchard. “This is not an ‘us’ problem limited to the MIC, it is a ‘we’ problem for everyone in this room,” noted Vitrano. “It is critical in understanding how to reach potential new riders.”
The More Riders mission statement is certainly admirable and distills it down to a common denominator the industry can rally around. The MIC worked with research firm Centauric to understand the culture code of motorcycling in America, and to identify the four steps on the journey to becoming a rider… However, I came away from the general session feeling that we have been here before. Going back to the 1980s Palm Springs Summit headed by the late Don Brown and then Dealernews publisher Don Emde which resulted in “Discover Today’s Motorcycling” initiative to change public perception, increase ridership and reinvigorate the industry, we have had a series of initiatives to re-invent — or at least revitalize — the industry. RockMoto circa 2010 and Revive Your Ride are among the more recent catchy campaigns that come to mind. “More Riders, Riding More” sounds pretty familiar to the 2011 “Ride More” marketing campaign my friends at Husqvarna came up with… but hey, it worked for Husky back then so maybe Scott Cox, Corey Eastman and Kris Odwarka were onto something? As for cracking the culture code, seems like Centauric may be borrowing liberally from Clotaire Rapaille’s 2007 best-seller and picking MIC’s data pocket to tell us something that the industry may intrinsically already know? But if it works, I’m all for it! I agree with Paul Vitrano in the fact that this is a “we” problem, not an MIC problem. It is easy to complain, and even easier to skip going to the trade show and hearing out what was presented in the general session. The hard part is actually committing to making a positive change! MIC leadership has urged everyone throughout the industry to unify, support the initiative, engage with it, and send questions, comments and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org — an action plan will be presented at the annual MIC Communications Symposium on November. 21. Yes, we have been here before… and the industry has continued to bounce back for the past 50 years under MIC auspices. Now more than ever is the time to step up or step out of the business altogether. #TogetherWeRise #MoreRidersRidingMore
Former Editor-in-Chief and publisher of Dealernews circa 19902003, Robin returns to the magazine. In addition to having been instrumental in creating the Dealernews Top 100 program (still the industry’s ultimate accolade for a motorcycle dealership), Hartfiel has worked for most of the B2B publications in the Powersports arena. Prior to the trade side, he worked as a beat reporter for a local newspaper was an editor of publications ranging from All About Beer to VW Trends.
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So sorry Brian and Dan to see all of your great work under water. Best wishes for the strength to rebuild. Don Emde Parts Magazine Aliso Viejo, CA
Our hearts go out to you all........ Tom Halbrook Festus, MO
Wishing you a speedy recovery! Wilma Stoughton Williams Stoughton Cycle Ranch Indianapolis, IN
This is terrible. We’re very sorry you’re going through this and hope you rebuild soon.
WELCOME BACK Thank you for the mention of Cycle News in the latest Dealernews! Your weekly e-blasts and the monthly issues have become part of my regular reading again. I am glad that Dealernews is back on track. Thanks, Sean Finley President, Motorcycle Group Digital Throttle LLC Lake Elsinore, CA www.DigitalThrottle.com
Beyond Creative Sunrise, FL
Very sorry to see this guys, hope all ends well! Craig Bills Springfield, MO
KLOCK STOPPER? After 22 years in business this is heartbreaking for all involved. We will rebuild and not only survive but thrive. The grace of God will conquer all things. It’s not that one doesn’t feel defeated. The last time it was ten inches back in 2010. This is much worse and yet community and friends rallied around us and we built it better and more efficient. May we pray for that same grace. Brian & Dan Klock Werks Mitchell, SD
Wow, we had this in H-Town 2 years ago. Feels like yesterday. So sorry. You’ll be able to salvage more than you think but is a sucker punch to go through it. H-town is stronger for going thru it in Sept of 17 but it was hard to see it then. Day by Day is all I can say. Scott A. Craig Last Man Standing Agency Montgomery, TX
Oh man this is heartbreaking. Gregory Michael Pierce Shoreview, MN
EASY RIDER Found this serendipitous bit of trivia while exploring some of the state’s film history in today’s La. Office of Tourism newsletter. Morganza is a nostoplight hiccup on the west side of the Mississippi, just about even with Angola Prison on the other bank. At one time it had a kick-ass restaurant that doubled down on great food and better cocktails. https://www.louisianatravel.com/ film-louisiana/easy-rider John Siebenthaler Siebenthaler Creative Seminole, FL
SELF CHECK OUT??? I’m sorry, but I’m old school! If you can’t take the time to check out and visit with a customer then you are too busy. Besides you miss any chance of talking to customer and sell anything else the customer might want — this is the time to up sell or even talk about possibly needing another style of unit. Granted these new younger folks love this. Anything to make their shopping faster the better. Speed, not customer service, are apparently what they look for. The very reason Walmart can let you order groceries and other goods on-line then drive up and have an employee load everything in your car for you. Just another exercise in speed shopping. Again, I’m old school. I refuse to use selfcheck out at any store. If the store is too good to take my money, then I’m too good to spend it with them. Walmart is a
prime example. Just another way to reduce their own employee costs. I don’t know about your area — but in our Walmart there are usually two employees on duty in the self-check areas just to help those trying to use the Self-Check Outs. Also, it is reported that Walmart has had some extra theft problems with these SelfCheck stations — customers have found out if you place items on the bottom of your cart, many times you can leave the store and not pay for those items. By the way, I don’t know if they do it in your area but our local Walmarts are now selling Lottery Tickets: Mo Lottery, Mega Millions, Power Ball… you name it. Just when does Walmart take in enough money from the consumer? Well, just my opinion. Again, I’m Old School. Dale Stotts, Partner Stotts Engine Service Monett, MO
Dealernews is indeed back. join in the conversation via e-mail Editor@dealernews.com Check us out on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ dealernews/ Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ DealernewsFan/ Follow along on Dealernews.com
Tune into the new YouTube channel: Dale is definitely old school! He is responding www.youtube.com/channel/ to a move afoot in the OPE sector that is UCZE6q4gQ5EIz0nOX4WaXw1w gaining traction with some powersports retail establishments. What do you think?
TARIFF TROUBLES AVOIDED
Motorcycles Exempted At Zero Hour
In an example of its “Together.We.Rise” tagline playing out in real life, the Motorcycle Industry Council rallied our disparate market to dodge a bullet. Proposed tariffs of up to 100% on motorcycles, parts and accessories coming in from European Union countries have been staved off after MIC execs and member OEMs testified before the Office of the United States Trade Representative. KTM, Indian Motorcycle and MIC staff testified at USTR hearings in Washington, D.C., making a case against the proposed tariffs. Member companies Cobra, Ducati, Indian and KTM also submitted written comments to the USTR opposing these tariffs. “We have been actively engaged in this dispute from day one, both in Washington, D.C., and also in Europe, to protect our dealers, support the motorcycle industry and allow our customers to continue to ride and experience motorcycling,” explained John Hinz, CEO of KTM North America. “Our brands and dealers have been operating in the United States for over fifty years and it is our responsibility to protect and grow the future of motorcycling. We commend the USTR’s recognition of the negative impact that the proposed tariffs would have had on our U.S. business, partners, dealers and customers.” “Had the tariffs been enacted, that would have meant extremely high prices for our American consumers of European motorcycles, parts, and accessories,” said Erik Pritchard, incoming MIC president and CEO. “Increased costs would have even discouraged motorcycle riders from performing routine but critical maintenance, such as brake pad and tire replacements, due to potential doubling on the price of parts.” “I want to thank Congressman Tim Walberg and Congressman Michael Burgess who are the co-chairs of the Congressional Motorcycle Caucus,” said Scott Schloegel, senior VP for government relations at the MIC. “They sent a terrific letter to the United States Trade Representative opposing additional tariffs, which are taxes paid by American consumers.”
OUTDOOR RECREATION ACCOUNTS FOR 2.2% OF ENTIRE U.S. ECONOMY Outdoor recreation accounted for 2.2% ($427.2 billion) of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017 according to statistics from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Motorcycles/ATVs come in third behind Boating/Fishing and RVing, and ahead of the Hunting/Shooting, Equestrian and Snow industries. The Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account (ORSA) also shows that inflation-adjusted GDP for the outdoor recreation economy grew by 3.9% in 2017, faster than the 2.4% growth of the overall U.S. economy. Real gross output, compensation and employment all grew faster in outdoor recreation than for the economy as a whole. On a macro scale, U.S. consumer spending is much larger than the U.S. GDP and gross output, demonstrating why the numbers are different and all are relevant. “All data points validate that outdoor recreation is growing and remains a critical component of the U.S. economy.” In addition to powersports-specific dollars, the closely aligned marine industry impacts many dealers. BEA analysis finds boating/fishing accounts for an additional $20.9 billion. RVing was the second-largest activity nationally with $16.9 billion. The good news is that not everyone is locked indoors tethered to a “mobile” device?
P,G&A IN PA
WPS Adds Another Warehouse
After its ambitious Boise warehouse expansion this spring, Western Power Sports continues to expand. The opening of a second warehouse in Pennsylvania adds an additional 110,000 square feet under roof for improved shipping efficiency. The new facility will house tires, snowplows and other large nonconveyable items. This will free up room at the already existing Elizabethtown facility ultimately offering a total of 254,000 square feet of warehouse space in PA. “Having purchased this additional facility in the northeastern United States allows for increased sales growth and distribution in order to service our dealers at a level we expect for many more years in the future,” says WPS CEO Craig Shoemaker “This is our third warehouse addition in 18 months… with more to come soon.” WPS will be rolling out some big news about new brands in the coming months and needed the PA facility to better service their East Coast dealers. WPS notes they are the fastest growing nationwide delivery system of powersports industry products. Its regional warehouse network now includes locations in Idaho, California, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Texas. “WPS strives to bring powersports dealers the best in service, product and delivery,” concludes Shoemaker. “It Is a formula that’s proven very successful over the last 59 years.”
BURNING MAN FOR MOTOHEADS?
King Of The Motos Rejoins King Of The Hammers King of the Motos is back! The extreme motorcycle race originally cooked up by Jimmy Lewis is set to return Saturday, February 8th. KOM 2020, as part of the Nitto King of the Hammers. “We’ve got a full racing lineup during race week 2020, which will run from January 31st through February 9th,” says Executive Director and co-founder Dave Cole. “KOM capping off the event just before a huge closing ceremony presented by Monster Energy Saturday night.” We have a ton planned and are really excited to be bringing back KOM as part of KOH race week. Stay tuned for more information! Contact: https://www.ultra4racing.com/contact-us
More On The Microsoft Exec’s Dealership Debacle
Nothing noble about the surprise shut down of the NobleRush group of dealerships. The Seattle Times has updated the saga of five area dealerships that mysteriously shut down at the end of September. Apparently Howard Crow, the Microsoft program manager-turned-motorcycle dealer, has been sued by his OEMs according to a lawsuit filed this week. The lawsuit, filed in King County Superior Court by VW Credit claims that Crow and several of his companies defaulted on nearly $2.7 million in loans used to finance the purchase of 170 Ducati motorcycles and other equipment for his dealerships in Seattle, according to the Seattle Times report. The lawsuit claims that Crow and his companies failed to make some payments on the bike loans and have refused to voluntarily surrender the bikes, which served as collateral for the loans. The suit also contends that Crow “is out of the country, with no definitive timeline for his return.” This impacts the entire Pacific Northwest, adds local motorcycle magazine Sound Rider. “This took a toll on a number of people… about 100 people lost their jobs. Customers had paid cash for new bikes that had yet to be delivered. Some customers had bikes in these shops for service. Others had bikes in showrooms on consignment as used inventory. It took several days for employees to get access to the shops, at no pay, to begin calling customers to arrange pick-up of their property. A week out there were still a lot of loose ends.” Crow’s Ducati dealerships, along with three other dealerships including the legendary Ride West BMW store and two multi-brand operations in Auburn — have been shuttered since Sept. 19, when employees and customers arrived to find the doors closed and, in some cases, moving crews hauling off dozens of bikes. Crow began acquiring the dealerships in 2012 and rebranding them under the name NobleRush.
TEAM RUBICON DEPLOYS RANGERS IN THE WAKE OF HURRICANE DORIAN
“We’d like to thank Polaris for their continued support of our mission to help communities impacted by disaster – both in the U.S. and around the world,” said Matt Colvin, Head of Partnerships at Team Rubicon. “These RANGER vehicles will be tremendous force multipliers for our teams in The Bahamas – allowing them to move quicker, access more remote areas, and remove more debris.” Polaris has deployed new RANGER 1000 vehicles to support the veteran-led disaster response organization to aid their relief efforts following Cat 5 Hurricane Dorian’s hit on the Bahamas. With more than 70,000 people displaced, recovery efforts in the Bahamas have been slowed down by ravaged infrastructure. “When natural disasters strike, Team Rubicon is ready to take action and we are honored to help support their mission,” said Kyle Duea, VP of Marketing Off-Road Vehicles at Polaris. “As the recovery efforts continue, our RANGER vehicles will provide Team Rubicon with transportation to deliver needed support and help communities affected by Hurricane Dorian rebuild.” Polaris has a history of supporting disaster relief efforts through work with organizations like Team Rubicon, and ongoing partnership with The Salvation Army and the Polaris Rescue & Relief Fleet. To find more information about Team Rubicon’s efforts following Hurricane Dorian, visit: https://teamrubiconusa.org/
YAMAHA OUTDOOR ACCESS INITIATIVE
Once again Yamaha is pledging up to $500,000 for the Outdoor Access Initiative (OAI). These grant funds support ventures protecting outdoor recreation. As part of this effort, Yamaha awarded more than $130,000 in funding and equipment to 13 organizations, including Wonders of Wildlife’s National Hunting and Fishing Day and various 4-H Foundation chapters. “The Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative has been committed to supporting and protecting outdoor recreation for over a decade by providing resources to make a difference in the quality and sustainability of access to our nation’s public land,” said Steve Nessl, Yamaha motorsports group marketing manager. For the past decade, the Yamaha OAI program has contributed nearly $4 million in funding and equipment to more than 300 deserving grant recipients across the country. Yamaha is actively seeking organizations who can utilize the available funds, and encourages interested parties to learn more about the program at YamahaOAI.com.
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Gary Silverhardt is the new CEO for Speed Leasing. Serving more than 400 dealers in 22 states, the Dania Beach, Florida-based company is the premier indirect lessor of HarleyDavidson and Indian motorcycles. “Gary has an entrepreneurial mindset, demonstrated leadership skills and a strong strategic vision, all of which are instrumental in achieving Speed Leasing’s goals,” says Steven Pasko, managing partner of 777 Partners, Speed Leasing’s parent company. “I believe his background and experience in developing vendor/dealer origination channels in the equipment finance industry will enhance the company’s growth.” Silverhardt stated, “I’m looking forward to leading an outstanding group of individuals whose efforts have already made Speed Leasing
今日は Konnichiwa Konya-San! Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. (KMC) welcomes Eigo Konya as President and CEO effective immediately. After three and a half successful years leading KMC to industry-leading retail and market share growth, Yoshi Tamura has returned to Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. in Japan. “It is a very exciting time to return to KMC,” says Konya. “Kawasaki has seen fantastic retail growth in the United States thanks to the best dealer network in the industry and new, exciting models each year. I look forward to leading such a top-tier company.” Konya was first with KMC in 2001-2007, contributing to record sales revenues in the U.S, which led to his appointment as GM of Kawasaki Motors Shanghai, Ltd. Konya led the team that built the Kawasaki brand in China, establishing the company, developing the sales structure and strategy, growing the dealer network and emerging annual revenue over a five year period. Returning to KMC, Konya says he is excited to continue the success the company has achieved in recent years and looks to continue growing retail sales and market share in the U.S. Konya addressed the U.S. dealer network at the Kawasaki Dealer Business Meeting, October 7-12th, 2019 in Palm Desert, California.
Strengthening the core! Western Power Sports has been making strategic internal moves to better service their dealers, starting with the introduction of new Boise Warehouse Manager, Jeff Searcy. Originally from Southern California, Searcy still has had a passion for desert racing and motocross. After moving to Idaho in 2002, he spent 16 years as an Operations Manager for a grocery distribution company… which made combining his passion with his profession the perfect transition to WPS. In his off time he rides dirtbikes, of course, and plays guitar.
Tihani Moore has been promoted to WPS Catalog Manager. Originally hired in 2018 as a Photo Editor, Tihani quickly moved to Print Production Artist where she was instrumental in implementing new processes and tasks for a variety of departments within WPS. After seeing her success, Tihani has been promoted to Catalog Manager, where she is now helping guide a team to create, organize and send out the company’s diverse collection of catalogs.
Amy Timony joins the WPS team as Senior Transportation ManagerLogistics. With more than 20 years of logistics experience across a wide variety of companies, Timony is a perfect fit to manage the complex transportation and logistics department at WPS. As a mother of two at Boise State University and an avid outdoorswoman, she is a perfect fit within the WPS family. Continued on page 18
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Rounding out the WPS team additions is Paul Gee, Senior Network & Systems Administrator. A Boise native with well over a decade of experience in IT, systems and network administration, Gee is a natural to help guide the booming growth of WPS and their IT networks. In his spare time, he is busy with two daughters exploring parks or enjoying the pool.
Author and veteran dealership exec Kevin R. Dunn has written himself a dream job description as GM for Capital Powersports in Wake Forest, North Carolina. Kevin comes to Capital Auto Group with 34 year years of powersports management experience — 24 of those years with Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Ducati and BMW dealerships more in California before moving to NC in 2009 to take over as GSM at Ray Price Harley-Davidson Triumph in Raleigh for nearly 8 years before becoming the National Brand Manager for Stealth Electric Bikes out of Australia and then joining Capital Powersports. “I am honored to take the mantle here at Capital Powersports, and want everyone to know we will strive to offer the ultimate customer experience and continue to be known for a great selection of products and pricing,” says Dunn. “I look forward to the future going forward and truly believe this store as part of the successful Capital Auto Group of 29 dealerships with Tim Michael at the helm will become the powerhouse store it should be.”
joined the sales team roster covering the Northern California area. Bauer has an industry background, including Parts and Service Manager roles with several dealerships. She is also an avid rider of dirtbikes (KLX300), quads and gokarts. Her street rides include a Triumph Bonneville and a Street Twin. Outside of riding, her interests include painting and baking. After putting ProTaper on the map as the Global Brand Manager for the past 7 years, Paul Perebijnos has joined his former competition at Renthal to fill a newly created role managing the brand in North and South America. Based in Southern California, Perebijnos brings more than 15 years experience to the position, building on his combination of racing and business expertise. After his own pro career wrapped up, he became a factory race team technician, most notably with Monster Energy ProCircuit Kawasaki, where he took Dean Wilson to a National title. His knowledge of the industry make him the perfect figure to spearhead Renthal’s growth. “I am very excited to secure Paul’s expertise to lead the Renthal brand in the USA and the clear spill over that it has to the rest of the world,” says Renthal president Tom Wade. “Paul is a consummate professional whose knowledge of the Renthal brand started years ago as a supported amateur racer, even before his time as a technician at Pro-Circuit Kawasaki. He brings unrivalled passion, knowledge and perspective for the Renthal brand and the sport in general.” Perebijnos adds, “I’m really proud to join the Renthal team. Renthal’s race-driven commitment to perfection has always set the standard in the industry, and I love the opportunities ahead to add fuel to that legacy.”
Parts Unlimited picked up a trio of top talent just in time for this year’s NVP (see page 68), including Tiffany Bauer. She
Also joining the team just prior to Parts Unlimited’s National Vendor Presentation was Nathan Moore, the newest sales rep for the South Central region covering dealers in the Missouri/ Arkansas area. An avid on- and offroad rider, Moore has several multi-week motorcycle trips exploring the country under his belt. In addition to riding, he has experience with sales and parts on the dealership side and has been on the planning committee for Lake of the Ozarks for the past two years. During his free time, Nathan is an avid outdoorsman, enjoying bow hunting and bow fishing.
Parts Unlimited is proud to have picked up a new sales rep for the Northeast region covering dealers in the Connecticut/Rhode Island/ SE Massachusetts area — Chris Lauro. A pro racer, Lauro currently competes in AMA Pro Motocross and holds the #334 plate. He also races NESC and has built a large fan base around the country. In addition to racing, he has previous experience in sales and parts on the dealership level. Away from the track, Lauro is still on two wheels enjoying cycling.
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For More Information: firstname.lastname@example.org (888)-994-4484
SKIDMARK GARAGE Paying It Forward
“ t is all my wife’s fault,” says Brian Schaffran. After Skidmark Garage is now everyone’s space to fix their humble beginnings in 2015 Skidmark Garage and its communal member-based work space concept had finally started gaining traction and was actually covering some of its costs. “Skidmark had become what I always knew it would — a no-collar community that thrives on helping each other out, getting dirty, jamming tunes, and riding.” Then wife/business partner and Skidmarketing strategist & media maven Molly Vaughn suggested opening the garage to a non-motorcycle LGBT event one evening.
stuff and be a part of a cooperative, no-collar community, says Schaffran. “We are a safe, inclusive space where everyone has something to contribute.” Along the way, they became a leader of the growing DIY urban garage movement. Schaffran immediately defers to others when talk of “leader” comes up, but admits to sharing best practices with the newer operations popping up.
There are a few rules upon which Skidmark Garage is built. Rule number one: Don’t be a douche. All other rules are secondary. “You can expect to receive help from “Honestly I thought that would kill the business. Sure other people working on their bikes; and in turn, you are we tried to mix newbies and millennials with seasoned expected to give help to the other people working on pros in the past, but I couldn’t fathom mixing hardcore their bikes.” bikers with the LGBT community… guess what? The guys I worried about the most were actually the most All are welcome, and everyone has something to welcoming, positive and inclusive members we had. Once contribute. Be a part of Skidmark Garage; learn how word spread that we really were a safe place, business to fix, customize, and maintain your ride. Store your took a quantum leap forward.” motorcycle here, hang out here, make friends here. “Owning and riding a vintage bike necessarily means working on it,” notes. “Wrenching on that bike in good company is a win/win.”
BACK STORY “In the 1990s, when I was living in Los Angeles, I drove an often broken VW van. After many visits to a great mechanic, he started lending me tools so I could fix things myself,” remembers Schaffran. “This led to me asking him if I could come in to use his lift on a Sunday — to which he only laughed.” This got Brian thinking that a garage with a bunch of lifts for rent would probably benefit a few million people in that city, seeing that 80% of them lived in apartments without garages — and no garage typically means no tools. “I shared the idea with a few others, and while everyone thought it was cool, none of us had the means to start it up.” So he sat on the idea... for 20 years. “I moved back to Cleveland in 2000 and soon bought my first bike, a 1978 CB750K. Seeing how I cut my teeth on that VW years earlier, I already possessed the confidence to take something apart (as long as I also possessed the manual) and put it back together. I wasn’t aware the value of this confidence was until I found most shops wouldn’t work on my old bike — not even the Honda dealership.
When I finally found a mechanic that would work on it, he soon closed his shop and stole every bike in the place — including mine. “I never forgot about the dream of the community garage, and quickly realized that it’s a much better fit for motorcycles. Soon, I started buying tools at garage sales and throwing them into a box. I knew that someday, my dream would no longer be just a dream.” Skidmark Garage finally became a reality in January of 2015. “I opened my doors to the public in March and had a killer grand opening party in May. People have come from many miles away with their bikes to use Skidmark’s tools, space, and community of knowledge/help to fix their rides.” Schaffran says everyone needs three places in their lives; home and work being the two primary ones… Skidmark being the third. “You don’t need to worry about being judged for your lack of experience, lack of knowledge, or your ride here. Fixing, learning and helping you out.” Wrench. Relax. Repeat. Continued on page 22
Continued from page 21
HOW TO DIY Skidmark Garage hosts monthly “How To” workshops. Training sessions, welding workshops and general assistance is provided by another like-minded individual Steve Knoble. A professional technician, Knoble regularly shares the wealth with the DIY member of the Skidmark members. “I have crewed on a Pro Fuel Harley team in the AHDRA, in addition to doing my own drag racing,” he explains his qualifications. “There have been track days on sportbikes and offroading on dirt bikes. I have repaired wrecks, restored vintage bikes and rebuilt both Harley and Metric engines. I worked in Research and Development, building performance exhaust systems and aftermarket parts for Supertrapp/Kerker/Jardine/FPS Radiators and JayBrake. I currently work in the aerospace industry full time. I also write a tech column for Thunder Roads Ohio. “We are also proud to offer training courses online for those who are not in the Greater Cleveland Area,” adds Knoble. The first courses offered include Motorcycle Electrical 101 and a video tutorial on how to use the tire machine at Skidmark, with more classes coming in the future. See more of Knoble Moto here: https://knoblemoto.com/
MEMBERSHIP HAS ITS PRIVILEGES Technically, membership means bay rental. Realistically, membership means being a part of the Skidmark community. Bay rental comes with the bike bench, the tool bench, and a large bin for miscellaneous parts. The tool bench contains any hand tool you could possibly need - all the standard and metric wrenches and sockets, every imaginable screwdriver, vice grips, crescent wrenches, pliers, mallets, brushes, feeler gauges, a can of WD-40, latex gloves, ziplock baggies, torque wrenches, electrical tape, a utility blade, rags, and safety goggles. Membership also means you get to store your bike at the garage for the duration of your membership. Oh yeah, there is access to the social aspects of live music, impromptu jam sessions and local talent alike… Skidmark is generally rocking from 10 a.m. until Midnight. And the lounge: Technically, membership means bay rental. Realistically, membership means being a part of the Skidmark community, including the lounge which has everything you need to relax between fighting with seized bolts. Plenty of couch space, board games, foosball, pingpong, darts, a fridge, a TV or two, microwave... It’s got all the amenities you had in your first studio apartment sans the murphy-bed.
5401 Hamilton Ave Cleveland, OH 44114 Phone: 440-591-4822 Email: email@example.com www.skidmarkgarage.com
Bringing Back Shop Class
otogo is a non-profit side hustle that grew out of Skidmark Community Motorcycle Garage. The goal is to build confidence in kids who have never even seen a screw driver before by providing a handson introduction to real world problem solving and critical thinking through the tangible avenue of motorcycle maintenance.
Mobile Shop Class program. “Through an industrial arts curriculum centered on a getting-your-handsdirty application, students learn proper tool usage, measurement, calculations and small engine operation and maintenance.”
Higher learning and vocational careers should not exist as mutually exclusive entities. ALL students benefit from “We bring the generations of skill-building once learned understanding how machines work. in our grandfathers’ garages into the classroom,” says Molly Vaughan, executive director of the Motor “Simply put, we bring back shop class,” says Molly.
5401 Hamilton Ave. Cleveland, Ohio 44114 216.701.7073 www.motogocleveland.com SEPTEMBER 2019
Dealernews Research By Dr. Paul Leinberger
A CUT ABOVE
What Do You Have That Apple/ Walmart/Pepsi Want?
have always considered powersports dealers to be a cut-above. A cut-above other small business owners and definitely better in tune with your customers than just about any market in the world. I have always known you to be ethical, hard-working, committed and involved in the communities where you do business. Now, in what has been billed as one of the most controversial and far-reaching changes in the history of American companies, the nearly 200 chief executives who make up the Business Roundtable (including the CEOs of Apple, Walmart, IBM, JP Morgan Chase and Pepsi), are intent on becoming more like you. Seriously. On August 19, 2019, the Business Roundtable released its new “Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation.” It read, in part, “While each of our individual companies serves its own corporate purpose, we share a fundamental commitment to all of our shareholders. We commit to: 1) Delivering value to our customers. We will further the tradition of American companies leading the way in meeting or exceeding customer expectations. 2) Investing in our employees. This starts with compensating them fairly and providing important benefits. It also includes supporting them through training and education that help develop new skills for a rapidly changing world. We foster diversity and inclusion, dignity and respect.
3) Dealing fairly and ethically with our suppliers. We are dedicated to serving as good partners to the other companies, large and small, that help us meet our missions. 4) Supporting the communities in which we work. We respect the people in our communities and protect the environment by embracing sustainable practices across our businesses. 5) Generating long-term value for shareholders. [They] provide the capital that allows companies to invest, grow, and innovate. We are committed to transparency and effective engagement with shareholders. 6) Each of our stakeholders is essential. We commit to deliver value for all of them, for the future success of our companies, our communities, and our country.” The statement is being viewed as controversial because it redefines the role of the corporation. For the past 50+ years, the role of the corporation has been simple: to maximize profits (for shareholders) at all costs. Known as the “Friedman Doctrine” it was named after Nobel Prize winning economist Milton Friedman. “There is one and only one social responsibility of business,” he wrote in The New York Times in 1970, and that is to “engage in activities designed to increase profits.” The new version dramatically expands the role of business beyond shareholders to include employees, protect the environment and deal fairly and ethically with their suppliers. What drove this change and who has been pushing for it? And most importantly, why should you, as a powersports dealer, care? The Business Roundtable (BRT) made the change because, as Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky and chair of the BRT explained: “People are asking fundamental questions about how well capitalism is serving society.” Indeed! JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, co-chair of the BRT added that the statement “is an acknowledgment that business can do more to help the average American.” Rising income inequality, climate change and growing public health concerns were among the issues cited by the BRT. Beyond those concerns, the CEOs of the BRT recognized that a shift had taken place in the mind of the public. A July 2019 survey commissioned by Fortune magazine found that nearly three-quarters of Americans (72%) agree that public companies should be “mission driven” as well as focused on shareholders and customers. 64% said that a company’s “primary purpose” should include “making the world better” along with “making money for shareholders.” Perhaps even more importantly – and here is why you, as a powersports dealer should care — this new view on the role of the corporation is being championed by CEOs because it is being driven by their employees, and especially by younger employees. Although only 46% of
Americans say that CEOs should take a stance on public issues, an overwhelming 80% of those ages 25 to 34 say they want to work for “engaged companies” (that take a stance on public issues). It is not surprising, then, that a growing number of Business Roundtable CEOs have decided that taking a stand on public issues is the right thing to do. 41% of Fortune 500 CEOs agree that solving social problems should be “part of [their] core business strategy (while only 7% hold the Friedman view that companies should “mainly focus on making profits and not be distracted by social goals”). A shift has taken place in how the public
views the role of the company and, by extension I would suggest, how your customers view you. Ask yourself: Are you in agreement with the six principles of the Business Roundtable? If so, how are you demonstrating your commitment to each of them? Further, do you need to take a stand on public issues – as younger Americans would like you to do? Before you answer, consider this: Increasingly, your future success is going to be dependent on your younger employees as well as on your ability to understand and meet the needs of the two youngest generational cohorts – Millennials and Generation Z.
A perennial keynote speaker for the Motorcycle Industry Council's annual Communications Symposium, Dr. Paul Leinberger has become the powersports industry's de facto futurist/strategist. Dr. Leinberger is an expert in market/brand strategy and research with more than two decades of social trend forecasting, market strategy and strategic planning. Prior to joining TTD, he was Senior VP of GfK NOP, where he ran the company’s flagship consumer trend services, Roper Reports, as well as the company’s groundbreaking Global Visual Database. His client list reads like a Who’s Who of corporate America: Hewlett-Packard, Apple, Disney, Nordstrom, Microsoft, Levi Strauss, E.& J. Gallo Winery and Toyota, among many others. Prior to his global responsibilities at GfK NOP, Dr. Leinberger was the Corporate Manager in the Product Planning and Market Strategy department at Nissan North America. Dr. Leinberger holds a Ph.D. in organizational and social psychology and a Masters of Urban Planning (Highest Honors). He lives in Irvine, California, and his work can be seen at www.dennyleinbergerstrategy.com
Dealernews Research By Lenny Sims
BY THE BOOK
NADAguides Market Insights Power The Market Values
emember the old “Do It In The Dirt” T-shirts that were popular when we were kids? Okay so maybe you need to be older than dirt to remember that far back, but the point is the dirt sector continues to support our industry. Dirtbikes, ATVs and now side-by-sides have a solid 10 year track record since the economic crash of 2008. Speaking of the past decade, note that we have shifted the NADAguides reporting structure and are only including the most recent 10 model years in our graphs now. This provides a more accurate/relevant set of numbers across all categories, particularly given the shift in sales volume from ATVs to UTVs. It would stand to reason that KTM has the highest volume of research activity for the off-highway brands. However Yamaha and Honda are right there in terms of research traffic. Polaris and Honda have a much clearer lead on the ATV side… somewhat surprising is the fact that Can-Am
was only 11% of the look-ups through the end of Q2. On the Side-by-Sides side, the utility segment is underperforming the previous two years, but is a moderate dip. UTVs are currently running 3.3% behind 2018. Sport Side-by-Sides started the year strong. but had only a slight bump in the second quarter. This segment is averaging essentially equal pricing year-over-year, but we anticipate big bumps in the coming months with Honda’s Talon and the new Kawasaki sport UTV entering the fray. Looking forward, consumer spending on dirt-related vehicles stayed relatively hot during the summer months. This should support values in the powersports market through Q3.
About NADAguides.com NADAguides.com, the largest publisher of the most market-reflective vehicle pricing and information available for new and used cars, classic cars, motorcycles, boats, RVs and manufactured homes, offers in-depth shopping and research tools including a broad range of data, products and service and informational articles as well as tips and advice. NADAguides. com also produces electronic products, mobile applications, raw data, web services, web-syndicated products and print guidebooks. NADAguides.com is operated by National Appraisal Guides, Inc., a division of J.D. Power.
J.D. Power/NADA Guides, Inc. 3200 Park Center Drive, 13th Floor Costa Mesa, CA 92626 (800) 966-6232 Fax (714) 556-8715 www.nadaguides.com/Motorcycles SEPTEMBER 2019
Thank You for being a part of the Powersports Industry and joining us in Columbus! We will see you next year. October 1-4, 2020. Columbus, Ohio
WELCOME TO INDUSTRY WEEK
PARTS PULLS OUT ALL THE STOPS
TAKING THE CAKE
SAND SPORTS SUPER SHOW
AIMExpo On Target PAGE 30
Helmet House Hits 50 PAGE 70
North American NVP PAGE 68
UTVs Strike Back PAGE 78
COLUMBUS ROCKS & INDUSTRY WEEK ROLLS ON AIMExpo On Target
redesigned show floor and reimagined experiences in the form of the “Neighborhoods” were the core foundation AIMExpo 2.0 was built on. The addition of an expanded demo area, the Cycle Volta eBike Pavilion and the Sideways Saturday races were certainly value-added aspects of AIMExpo presented by Nationwide in Columbus, Ohio, September 26-29, 2019… and the offsite happenings including AD Farrow’s Friday night “Let’s Ride” bash, the after hours access to the AMA Hall Of Fame and Carey Hart’s Good Ride were all icing on the cake. A subjective “seat of the pants” impression from the show floor was that the vibe seemed much more positive this year. Like last year in Las Vegas, we spent the trade days locked down at the booth doing Dealernews Live! videotaping, but asked everyone in the interview hot seat for their impression of the show. Representatives from the aftermarket exhibitors and OEMs alike confirmed that, by and large, there was a real buzz throughout the Greater Columbus Convention Center… and it wasn’t just the LiveWire spooling up in the A.D. Farrow booth behind us! However hard numbers are what really counts for some. According to the AIMExpo figures, there were nearly 20,000 attendees over the course of 4 days — 2,314 dealers/ buyers representing 992 separate retail locations. Our counterparts at PSB also reported 830 attendees for the Dealer Seminars. Is that enough critical mass for the trade days? “Like anything else in life, you get out of it what you put into it, but we are having a great show,” said Nelson-Rigg Director of Business Development Deb Drinnan. She
stacked the deck by sending out post cards to 1000 dealers to be redeemed at the Nelson-Rigg booth. “I had more than 100 cards come back on Thursday alone… quality time with 100 dealers on Day 1? Priceless!” For the 35 OEMS on the show floor and demo ride area, there were 13,933 consumers coming through the turnstiles. Is that enough traffic to warrant rolling the event marketing trucks and mobilizing the demo fleet? Vanderhall’s national sales manager Jeff Whalley certainly thinks so! “We are in a unique situation in that not a lot of people have had an opportunity to experience an autocycle. AIMExpo was the perfect opportunity to reach potential dealers and customers alike.” American Honda’s Experiential Marketing & Press Manager Chris Cox would certainly agree. Honda brought journalists in to experience riding the new Africa Twin the day before it made its U.S. debut on the AIMExpo show floor. “Honda is the largest manufacturing employer in the state of Ohio,” he notes. “This was a home game for us.” We will have more on the Honda launch with Off-Road Editor Charlie Williams impressions next issue. In addition to the home town heroes, there were international attendees from 55 countries. Pavilions from Taiwan, China, Pakistan and Italy were in the house. As in years past, the Italian Trade Association had one of the largest footprints on the show floor. Bravi tutti to Nighisti and all the ICE team.
GENERAL SESSION Industry Week 2.0 was kicked off by the Motorcycle Industry Council’s General Session focused on ridership and the future of our industry. The “More Riders, Riding More” initiative presented a strategic framework for the long-term viability of the powersports industry. Led by MIC chair Paul Vitrano (Polaris/Indian), MIC Vice Chair Chuck Boderman (American Honda Motor Co.), incoming MIC President/ CEO Erik Pritchard and AIMExpo host Ariana Escalante, the presentation explained how MIC has been cracking the “culture code” on how Americans relate to motorcycles. “This is not an ‘us’ problem limited to the MIC, it is a ‘we’ problem for everyone in this room,” added Vitrano. “It is critical in understanding how to reach potential new riders.” MIC leadership urged everyone throughout the industry to unify, support the initiative, engage with it, and send questions, comments, and suggestions to newriders@mic. org. An action plan and an initial set of tactical elements will be presented at the annual MIC Communications Symposium on November. 21. After months of collaborative work with consulting firm Centauric, it was clear that “potential consumers not only exist, they might actually be out there waiting for us to find them,” claimed Vitrano. To reach these potential riders, the MIC worked with Centauric to understand the culture code of motorcycling in America, and to identify the four steps on the journey to becoming a rider. “The distillation of the culture code of motorcycling in America, which can be summed up in two words: personal sovereignty,” explained Boderman. The culture code is “comprised of independence, power, mastery of both self and domain, and being at least a little bit bad-ass about it,” he said. “We need more riders, riding more,” concluded Pritchard. “Potential riders are on a journey, and it’s our job – all of us – to provide a roadmap and help them along the way to make sure they reach the destination. “Our industry is at an essential turning point, where we must unify as one body, speaking the culture code of motorcycling, and pulling in the same direction to create new riders.”
Stoughton Cycle Ranch reunion with Wilma Stoughton Williams and Jason Gearld.
THE NEIGHBORHOODS ARE A HIT A key component of the show’s evolution was a focus on the specific lifestyles that drive the passions of the powersports industry. Broken out as individual “neighborhoods” they each featured a “community hangout” focusing on the chosen lifestyle segment. Specifically, The Alley for Urban and Street culture; The Camp for the two- and four-wheel Adventure enthusiasts; and The Shop dedicated to the V-Twin/Cruiser and Custom community. “We’re excited to bring the diverse lifestyles that create motorcycle and powersports culture to the show floor,” said Andre Albert, Director, Sales and Marketing, MIC Events. “This year AIMExpo focused on uniting the industry to ensure that Together We Rise. “It is our mission to create a stronger industry that is united in its approach to engage the consumer through product showcases, education, customer service and immersive experiences,” he added. “We hope the neighborhoods we created allowed exhibitors and visitors alike to have a more invigorating experience at the show.” Gourmet coffee and full bars also made for a convivial spot to gather on the show floor in the middle of some really cool vehicles. Continued on page 34
Continued From page 31
hink Shark Tank for the powersorts industry. The MIC Gas Tank Competition was created to boost powersports entrepreneurs and their businesses. Originally developed as a spin-off of the PowerLily professional network for women in the industry, the annual competition is now open to individuals and groups; women and men — basically anyone with a better mousetrap. “I’m really excited for all five of our finalists,” said Cam Arnold, Gas Tank competition organizer. “Not to mention the great exposure and networking opportunities they received from exhibiting at the show. The real value for each finalist is getting the chance to work closely with some of our industry’s smartest leaders who served as mentors,” Arnold continued. “I wish to thank all the mentors for generously sharing their time and experience.” Dealernews was all-in for this program as Bob Althoff served as a judge; columnists Eric Anderson and Scot Harden served as mentors and our Diversity+ expert Alisa Clickenger was a former finalist. Congrats to Mimi and Moto (Nancy Gerloff and Mark Augustyn) and their mentor Frank Esposito for winning it all. “I am very proud of Nancy Gerloff and Mark Augustyn and their Mimi and Moto children’s books,” said Esposito. “I had the pleasure to be their mentor. Mimi and Moto was unanimously selected by the judges as the overall winner of the contest.” Second: Riders Share and Runner Up: Atwyld. Atwyld Mentor: Eric Anderson, VROOM Network Atwyld products are built for the modern woman who rides, and crafted with the most trusted quality materials. Atwyld was created to fill a void in the market between street fashion and motorcycle gear. While there are a lot of great products in the top tier of protective technical gear, there was nothing for the more fashion-conscious rider who also values fit, quality and styling as much as technical protection. The goal is to get more women riders to wear protective apparel while still feeling like themselves when they ride. Atwyld was founded by Anya Violet, Jamie Dempsey, and Corinne Lan Franco. Atwyld.com
Flying Duchess Mentor: Tim Calhoun Founded by woman rider and entrepreneur Alexis Dudley, Flying Duchess is bringing a fresh approach to women’s riding gear. The Santa Fe, New Mexico-based business recently released its first line of women’s apparel, and these style-driven and technically constructed pieces are the culmination of years spent designing for, and getting feedback from well-traveled women riders. The results are disruptive in design, refreshing in attitude, and incredible in attention to fit and finish. Flying Duchess jackets conjure the excitement of the 1950s café racer while embracing the fashion and protection expected by the 21st-century woman who rides. fdmotowear.com Gearhead Zone Mentor: Nicole Allen, Akrapovic Gearhead Zone, based in Los Angeles, is building an innovative launch platform, the Motorcycle Product Incubator, to help inventors develop, design and manufacture unique new tools and powersports products. The mission is to help gearheads who have fantastic product ideas start up and get to market quickly. Gearhead Zone was founded by Roy Nolan. www.gearheadzone.com Mimi and Moto Mentor: Frank Esposito, Frank Esposito Consulting Their goal is to become the Dr. Seuss and Walt Disney of the motorcycle world. Unique products are based on the characters of Mimi and Moto: The Motorcycle Monkeys, and consist of children’s books, merchandise, and future animation. These characters, combined with their values, offer a new opportunity to expand the entire motorcycle industry and to introduce children to the joys of the motorcycle lifestyle, helping to inspire and create the next generation of riders. Mimi and Moto were inspired by a special little girl and created by the wife and husband team of Nancy Gerloff and Mark Augustyn. mimiandmoto.com Riders Share Mentor: Scot Harden, Harden Offroad Riders Share is the Airbnb of motorcycle experiences, offering the largest choice of motorcycles to rent at competitive prices, with the most locations to choose from. More than 6,000 people have listed their motorcycles on Riders Share since it launched in February 2018, and more than $2 million in booking requests have been made since then. Riders Share was founded by two young bikers, Guillermo Cornejo and Brendon Lamb. riders-share.com Continued on page 36
CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE
No matter where you go, or how you go, trust us to get you there
for more information go to www.heidenautires.com
Continued From page 34
“Columbus has wholeheartedly embraced this major event,” said General Michael Ferriter, CEO/President of the National Veterans Memorial. “As home to the AMA and AIMExpo this town knows how to welcome riders. To do so in a way that remembers the fallen, respects the Rolling Thunder traditions, including Sgt. Chambers’ vigil and supports the National Veteran’s Memorial & Museum and other veteran cause is something we have worked hard to make happen.” AIMExpo attendees who joined Carey Hart’s “Good Ride” on Saturday were treated to a sample of what the local riding is like and a chance to experience the National Veterans Memorial. “We are within a 425-mile day’s ride of millions of motorcyclists,” noted Ty Geiser, Rolling Thunder Ohio liaison. “We expect Rolling Thunder Chapters from all over the Midwest to join us in Columbus next Memorial Day weekend at our event on 5.24.2020. “ This event has received approval and followed the guidelines from the National Rolling Thunder leadership. It is expected to draw Rolling Thunder Chapters, veterans and riders from as many as 15 states, all located within a day’s ride of Columbus. Bookending the riding season with Rolling Thunder on Memorial Day and AIMExpo the first of October, Columbus becomes Middle America’s ride-in motorcycle Mecca.
ROLLING THUNDER SALUTES THE SALUTING MARINE
he rumble, although distant Something was coming…
“It will be like the sound of rolling thunder coming across the bridge.” And come it did… from 2,500 that first year to ten, then hundreds of thousands of riders — all who heard the call; who felt the need to gather in what has become the most perfect manifestation that we Americans, and particularly we as motorcyclists would “never forget.” That was the origin of Rolling Thunder in Washington, DC 30+ years ago. Now Rolling Thunder’s six Ohio Chapters and the National Veterans Memorial & Museum are teaming up to bring the Thunder to Middle America on 5.24.2020. To help announce Rolling Thunder Ohio Demonstration, AIMExpo hosted SSgt. Tim Chambers, “The Saluting Marine” himself. Thank you for your service Sgt. Chambers… and thank you for spending time with veterans at the Watch Tower and taping Dealernews Live! with us.
The hope is that Sgt. Chambers will continue his vigil for the Rolling Thunder Ride For Freedom Demonstration in Columbus in 2020. In the meantime everyone can contribute to his ongoing mission to develop a program that will provide cost effective and/or free oral health care possibilities for American veterans, immediate family members and Gold Star Families via the 501(c) charity: https://thesalutingmarine.com/donate You can also follow The Saluting Marine https://thesalutingmarine.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheSalutingMarine/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thesalutingmarine/
THAT’S A WRAP Powersports Industry Week℠ 2.0 and its takeover of Columbus is in the books. However, it is not too early for dealers, media, industry professionals and enthusiasts to start planning for next year when North America’s largest and most important powersports tradeshow returns to the Greater Columbus Convention Center. See you in Columbus, Ohio next year for Powersports Industry Week℠ 3.0 when we do it all over again from October 1-4, 2020. #TogetherWeRise
Mens Sport Leather Jacket STARTING AT:
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• 1.2 to 1.4mm drum-dyed top grain cowhide
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AVAILABLE COLORS BLACK/GRAY
REAL LIVE WIRE! ePower Charges Into Columbus
BRPâ€™s ELECTRIFYING DEALER MEETING Some Shockers Shown In Las Vegas Page 40
UBCO UPENDS STATUS QUO
FRX1 Stuns Show Goers Page 41
By The Numbers Wrap-Up Page 44
“BRP has been working for some time on how to create e-vehicles to bring new experiences to potential and existing riders,” said Denys Lapointe, Senior VP, Design, Innovation and Creative Services. “We are truly excited about electric and see it as a potential opportunity for our business. We continue to constantly innovate, and e-vehicles are no exception. Our talented team from around the world is working on new ideas and we’re eager to hear the consumer’s reaction. For the moment, these are preliminary concepts as we are currently evaluating market viability.” These concepts follow a series of past ventures by BRP into electric propulsion, which included the introduction of its Neighborhood Electric Vehicle and its electric side-by-side vehicle, the development of a Can-Am Spyder electric prototype, and the commercialization of its Sonic electric kart products. “The future includes electric for us,” concluded Boisjoli. “What a fun evening, this is the best part of my job!”
BRP’s ELECTRIFYING DEALER MEETING Some Shockers Shown In Las Vegas
“Tonight at our dealer meeting in Las Vegas, we shared some of our early thinking about our electric concepts, as part of our exploration of electric alternatives,” said BRP boss Jose’ Boisjoli after riding an electric powered motorcycle onto the stage at the MGM Grand to kick off BRP’s 2020 dealer meeting. “I have always said it wasn’t a question of ‘IF’ we go electric, but ‘WHEN.’ I’m extremely proud to announce to all of you that “WHEN” is coming.” When is when? The word straight from Can-Am On-Road’s Brian Manning: regarding the motorcycle Boisjoli rode: “It’s an electric bike concept vehicle showing off some of our forward thinking in the electric space. Nothing more to report on that one, but it’s sweet.” While they aren’t talking about a timeframe for the new CanAm e-Bike, BRP did show off a full range of e-prototypes, from PWCs to Spyders. BRP believes the concept shown in Vegas show what the future could hold for “current “ product lines and future expansion. “As a leader in the powersports industry, BRP continues to push the limits of the industry by unlocking new ways to move people and to explore new territories, while still providing the fun and exhilarating experience that riders expect,” explained the Canadian corporation.
GATESY GOES TO TAIGA
Industry veteran Sean Gatesy has a shocking new gig… literally. He is now VP of sales & business development for electric snowmobile company Taiga Motors. “We are excited to have Sean join Taiga Motors,” says Sam Bruneau, CEO of Taiga Motors. “By adding him to our team it validates what we have been working on here at Taiga Motors the last 4 years. Sean’s industry experience and relationships, leadership skills, and long history of achieving sales objectives will prove valuable as the process begins to build out our dealer network.” Dealers may remember Gatesy from his sales and leadership roles with BRP, Arctic Cat and KYMCO. “Sam and his team have been busy creating product that is not being currently offered within the industry today,” says Gatesy. “A paradigm shift is about to take place and I am proud to be a part of it. We will start the process of immediately building out a premium dealer network, with additional news regarding demos and new product to follow soon,” says Sean Gatesy.
UBCO UPENDS AIMExpo
UBCO, the New Zealand-based eBike company, rolled out its new FRX1 Freeride Trail bike at AIMExpo. “Last year saw the initial launch of the UBCO brand to US dealers and since then we’ve signed up almost 40 dealers across the country,” said UBCO’s U.S. President, Ethan Ralston. “AIMExpo was not only an excellent launching platform for new OEMs, but it’s been great to work with them to highlight leading new electric vehicles, including ours.” UBCO recently announced it has entered into a general agreement with Lithuanian-based Neematic to bring Neematic’s free ride electric bike concept into the UBCO product family as the FRX1 (Freeride Trail Bike One). With a brushless motor delivering 20hp, the lightweight mid-drive frame and hardcore off-road suspension make for an exciting ride. UBCO sees the FRX1 as the perfect fusion of MTB and dirtbike, adding another dimension to UBCO’s growing product line. The bike boasts a twist throttle with Super Pedal Assist, long-travel suspension and hydraulic brakes in a package that weighs just 115 lbs. It can reach 50mph with a claimed charging time of 2.5 hours and a range up to 62 miles. UBCO adds that 10% charging available through the regenerative braking system. Back in 2015, New Zealanders Timothy Allan, Daryl Neal and Anthony Clyde launched UBCO with a 2x2, a dual electric drive utility motorbike for the agricultural and recreational markets. The original off-road 2x2 has now evolved into a road registered “dualpurpose” utility vehicle. “It’s vitally important to establish credibility in the marketplace, and AIMExpo allowed for that,” explained UBCO CEO Allan, CEO. “Attending industry shows over an extended period allows dealers and consumers to get to know the brand and the people behind it. We’re also committed to developing a strong nationwide dealer network and we see AIMExpo as a key component in achieving that.” “The UBCO 2x2 is being used in a wide array of environments and with the FRX1 we now we have the ability to offer another solution to our existing customers, while also tapping into new markets with our utility and performance product lines,” Tim continued. “One machine can’t meet everybody’s needs, but a variety of solutions allows us to reach new customers and be more attractive to potential dealers.”
UNDERCURRENT COMING FROM CANADA
Speaking of Taiga, the first of the new products Sean Gatesy mentioned broke cover with the release of the “Orca” electric PWC. The price is competitive and the technology has been proven in the Canadian company’s sleds. “We’ve seen a couple of electric PWCs in the past – notably, the Narke Electrojet, which struck us as a bit sad and flaccid at just 60-odd horsepower (45 kW), with a top speed of just 35 mph (55 km/h) and a range around 90 minutes,” wrote Loz Blain in New Atlas, noting the Orca can take a serious bite out the ePWC sector, unlike the opposition. “There was also the WAV, from Nikola, but that thing had a whiff of vaporware about it, including a promo video that featured it mightily being backed into the water on a trailer, and that was the only time you saw it moving.” A direct-drive impeller imparts 180 horsepower (134 kW), said to be good for 65 mph. Taiga claims two hours of run-time from its 23-kWh battery and provided you have access to a DC fast charge station, 80% is available in 20 minutes. And despite the carbonfiber construction, the package is priced at $24,000. Click here for all the undercurrent: https://taigamotors.ca/watercraft/
THE EV CAPITOL OF THE WORLD?
India has already surpassed China as the leading PTW (powered two wheeled) marketplace in the world and now the buzz is going electric. Specifically, Delhi is looking to be the “e-Epicenter” of the world according to Economic Times. “Delhi may need to deploy nearly 35,000 electric and accessible passenger vehicles, at least 1,000 electric vehicles for last-mile connectivity and several hundred public charging and swapping stations in the next year.” To support the objective of improving Delhi’s air quality, the draft EV policy by the Delhi government sets an ambitious target for Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) to make up 25% of new vehicle registrations by 2023. “As the capital city of potentially the second largest metropolitan area in the world, Delhi sends a signal to other cities, states and other nations,” said Clay Stranger, Principal, Rocky Mountain Institute. Delhi has the highest number of registered vehicles in the country (more than 10 million) and is adding more than 2,000 vehicles every day, so reducing vehicular emissions is a priority, according to Stranger.
FERRARI WINS IN ITALY…
Except this Ferrari was not an F1 car at Autodromo Nazionale Monza. Instead it was Team Trentino Gresini’s Matteo Ferrari piloting his Energica Ego Corsa to back to back wins at Misano World Circuit in the Moto E championship. The young Italian sent his hometown crowd into a frenzy by charging to a dominant victory on home turf to complete a double win on the weekend. Ferrari also stretched his championship lead to 19 points over new runner-up Hector Garzo (Tech 3 E-Racing). Mattia Casadei (Ongetta Sic58 Squadracorse) completed the podium thanks to a brilliant last-lap move on fellow Italian Niccolò Canepa (LCR E-Team). Energica and the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup will return to action on November 15 at Valencia’s ‘Circuito Ricardo Tormo’ for the final round of the season. Held in conjunction with the MotoGP series, the MotoE class will feature two races on the same weekend. For dealer details Stateside and an enlightening look at “Electric For Dummies” click here: https://www.energicamotorusa.com/
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Dealernews Research By Don Musick
Hobbit Habit Redux PART IV Does It Quack Like a Duck?
aybe the first question to ask is: what does a duck look like in eBike world? From Fig 9. below, you can see that electric bikes play in multiple segments. Sticking to these categories but lumping together the “performance” and “non-performance” subcategories, the following table illustrates samples from each. Needless to say, variations abound in each category not to mention other adjacent categories.
In spite differences in form and function, most of the eBikes above fall into 3 distinct classifications (originally initiated by the BPSA) that have currently since been adopted by 13 states (33 states have some level of eBike legislative definition): Class 1 - A bicycle that is equipped with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour. Class 2 - A bicycle that is equipped with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts that may provide assistance regardless of whether the rider is pedaling and is not capable of providing assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour. Class 3 - A bicycle that is equipped with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 28 miles per hour.
However, while most of the segments above are clearly bicycle-centric, an examination of products in the performance category shows a bleed-over into what many would consider the traditional powersports space (quacks like a duck). Stealth 2019 product offerings are summarized as follows (note: the H-52 pedal-less model is not shown):
or this video comparing a Sur-Ron Light Bee to a KTM Freeride E (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vme9CvFX1o&t=782s).
While all models are pedal-assist, only the two P-7 models qualify as eBikes under the previous classes. So what to make of the other “outlaw” models? Turns out, Stealth is not alone! Sur-Ron, Optibike and HPC all offer high performance electric bikes (ebikes?) as shown below.
Although pedals are not standard on the Sur-Ron (with a Hobbit-like curb weight of ~110 lbs.), there is an optional pedal kit available (Fig 15.) which allows it to be registered as an electric bicycle in most states. An optional “X Controller” also increases power output by 25%, top speed by 10% and adds regenerative braking at speeds over 8 mph.
In the later video, keep in mind the $3,475 price tag of the Light Bee vs. $8,299 for the Freeride E and weights of 84 lbs. vs. 245 lbs. respectively! Performance category aside, when it comes to the class 1 - 3 eBikes, the venerable Hobbit moped has certainly met its Six Million Dollar Man (lighter, faster, stronger)! In 1981 the Honda Hobbit had an msrp of $625, the Puch Sport Mk II $839 and the Yamaha Chappy $629 (source: Motorcyclist 1981 Moped and Economy Motorcycle Buyers Guide). In today’s dollars that would range from ~$2,000 to $2,600 or close to the middle of the eBike pricing survey in Fig 10. below. The Hobbits’ range of ~80 miles on a tank of pre-mix is pretty much matched by most of the Class 1-3 eBikes, although longer ranges are achievable with optional battery packs. So no blue smoke, no emissions, bantam weight, pedal assisted and you can actually pedal them (if you want to)! Is moped evolution complete?
Now before you dismiss bikes in this category as wannabees that don’t look, act or quack like ducks (motorcycles), I’d encourage you to take a look this YouTube video of a Sur-Ron competing in a hare scramble (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ooNkSPVHxs)
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The Usual and Unusual Suspects Auto companies too have dipped toes into the eBike waters In a recent BRIN article titled “E-bikes, Part Three: New Room, including General Motors, Ford, Maserati and others as New Elephants”, contributor Rick Vosper examines whether: shown in the next table (note none of these products are yet available in the U.S.). “… the eBike market will ultimately merge with the traditional independent bike dealers and brands or remain autonomous”. He goes on to note (under the sub-title “Welcome Our New Motor Sports Overlords”): “Of much greater importance (to the eBike industry) is the role of auto and motorcycle companies as direct e-bike competitors. Their products will end up going head to head with those from traditional bike companies, not to mention established e-bike only brands like Pedego or Rad Power.” Indeed, Polaris led the powersports industry charge in 2012 with the introduction of their eBike line manufactured by EVantage (note that Polaris is no longer producing eBikes and EVantage is now selling their own line consumer direct under the “Power In Motion” brand). Timing is everything, and while Polaris has disengaged (temporarily?) from the market, other powersports OEMs have jumped in. The table below shows ten “New Elephants” from powersports OEMs. To be sure, not all of these products have landed stateside, but several have (KTM, Yamaha, GenZe, Piaggio) with more likely to follow.
Of course eBike pricing is more closely aligned with the powersports industry and not so much the automotive space. However, GM is on record that they plan to adopt a multi-channel approach beginning with e-commerce followed by selling to IBDs, large retailers and national accounts. Film @ 11:00 pm! So there’s the opportunity knocking! In our next piece we’ll dive deeper into the IBD landscape, the OEMs that they support and how powersports dealers are answering the call. Full Disclosure While I’d like to take credit for the “Hobbit Habit” tag line, turns out Honda beat me to it… about forty years ago!
From his first motorcycles (a Honda S65 and an S90) when he was 16 to 50 years later, Don Musick has never stopped twisting the throttle. Although his accomplishments in the research arena have surpassed his MX career Don has over 25 years experience with major manufacturers in the Powersports and Automotive industries specializing in e-business solutions for retail distribution networks. His solution portfolio includes the development and implementation of manufacturer/ dealer extranets, consumer-direct commerce portals, manufacturer/dealer e-channel integrations as well as development of web-based sales force automation tools. For most of his career, Don has been fascinated (his wife would say obsessed) with geographic market analytics, dealer location planning and sales territory optimization. He founded Genesys Technology Solutions (GenesysTech) http://www.genesystech.com/ to develop new tools and market intelligence products to help manufacturers understand the competitive landscape of their industries, recognize opportunities and grow their businesses. A Spartan to the core, Don earned a B.S. in Physiology and PhD in Biochemistry from Michigan State University. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
According to Ansell, this is just the beginning as the A/T version should appeal to even more ranchers, hobby farmers and large scale agricultural operations… and as we were touring the operation, word came that ROXOR was now California-legal, making it a full 50 state sales opportunity. “We ramped things up slowly to make sure we maintain the quality and didn’t want to get too far in front of the dealer inventory. This year, we’re taking off and the last couple of months we’ve had record sales.” Because of the legal necessity to launch ROXOR as an offroad UTV rather than a street-legal automotive product, the company expected sales of the five-speed manual, fourwheel-drive vehicle to be split evenly between recreational and work use. With the A/T launch, Ansell sees the ratio “shifting” to 30% recreation and 70% work in the coming years, with the bulk of those sales being A/T since “80% of people in the U.S. don’t know how to drive stick shifts.” However for now, powersports dealers are still in the driver’s seat in terms of ROXOR sales.
ROXOR HAS THE RIGHT TOOL FOR THE JOB Rolling Out The A/T
t may not be mana from heaven, but the ROXOR’s value proposition powersports dealers and base of operations in Auburn Hills does make it MANA from Michigan. The Mahindra Automotive North America (MANA) factory has been rolling ROXORs off the assembly line since 2018. But their new automatic transmission warranted a trip to see the new A/T and get some saddle time with the rig… the fact that the press introduction included seeing the vehicle in action at a hop farm had nothing to do with Dealernews’ decision to fly straight from Parts NVP to Detroit. “We rolled out ROXOR In just 18 months,” said MANA VP of Marketing Rich Ansell standing in the bed of the new A/T at the front door of the factory. “We achieved our goal of signing 300 powersports dealers in 90 days, that’s unheard of, and added another 100 dealers in Canada. That speaks to the value proposition that ROXOR offers and dealers were able to see that.”
We will save the full tour of the 100,000 sq./ft. factory for next issue and focus on the unique selling propositions and how the new A/T measures up. “No more belts,” enthused our own Eric Anderson in his day job as ROXOR’s media wrangler. “Both the five-speed manual or new six-speed automatic transmission route the power through a twospeed transfer case instead of a rubber band, um I meant rubber belt CVT. You can choose between two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive high and low through real, old fashioned gears!” A globally sourced component, the new A/T is billed as “smart” technology. “It is derived from a joint project between a French company and General Motors,” Anderson said. “Cadillac and the Chevy Colorado utilize this automatic transmission technology.” The six-speed transmission uses an adaptive technology and a transmission electronic control module to adapt to your specific driving style. “It automatically calculates the average data when to downshift and when to upshift,” he explained. “If you are tooling around the hop rows at slow speed most of the time, it’s going to shift sooner to be the most efficient it can be.” But that is just part of the story. The choice of a diesel powerplant and the addition of the auto option ensure the ROXOR is a real workhorse.
Motivation comes from a 2.5-liter turbo diesel four-banger that can literally pull its own weight. A demonstration in the factory parking lot featured one unit pulling another 20 feet into the air to prove it! “Man does not live by horsepower alone; torque is the real story,” added Anderson. Vehicle weight is 3,000 pounds and ROXOR has a towing capacity of nearly 3,500 pounds. “That’s a towing capacity that no other UTV can match,” claimed Anderson. “From towing a hay trailer or pulling stumps out of the ground, ROXOR can handle it.” This is just one of the six unique selling propositions ROXOR has, according to Anderson. The Big Six: 1) Steel is real! Steel body instead of the plastic found on recreational UTVs 2) Boxed steel ladder construction frame: Heavy duty instead of a lightweight tubular aluminum frame 3) 4-cylinder turbo diesel: Bullet-proof and runs on Ag fuel rather than a high-strung gas engine 4) Automotive-style wheels: Light truck wheels and tires come standard. 5) 5-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission: Power routed through a 2-speed transfer case instead of a rubber belted (CVT) transmission 6) Tow capacity of 3,490 pounds: This is more towing capacity than other UTV on the market “Add it all up, and ROXOR delivers more smiles per mile… and more smiles per dollar invested,” quipped Anderson. “There are even cup holders!” There are also more than 100 SKUs worth of accessories. Dealer-installed options make for an additional profit center, but color-palette comes from the factory: Mahindra has six basic colors, but there more than 450 different custom colors and wraps available… including individual dealership logos. “If the customer wants pink with polka dots on it, ROXOR can build it,” Anderson concludes. The base ROXOR A/T starts at $18,999, while the 5-Speed manual version starts at $15,999. “How does that stack up against the prices of the plastic UTVs you are carrying,” asks Anderson. Mahindra Automotive North America 275 Rex Blvd Auburn Hills, Michigan 48326 https://www.mahindraautomotivena.com
TOP HOPS TESTING
hanks to Top Hops for interrupting their harvest to demonstrate the many ways ROXORs have been put to work on the farm… and for allowing unsupervised journalists free reign in the north 40! Located in neighboring Goodrich, MI, Top Hops grows 17 acres of hops for microbreweries and owners Sean and Mark Trowbridge made for good guinea pigs to test ROXOR work ethic. “My money is hanging on the trellis, and we need to pull those in,” says Sean, standing on a flatbed trailer being towed by a ROXOR between the rows of specialty hops. Once they are dried and pelletized high end hops are worth their weight in gold, literally. ROXOR’s ability to idle along between the rows all days is just one of the advantages it has over a light tractor or standard UTV. “We’ve hooked some pretty heavy equipment to it, and it handled just fine,” notes Sean. Their “from soil to boil” capabilities mean plenty of work. “We are a top of the line harvesting and processing center capable of picking, drying, bailing, pelletizing, packaging and storing frozen up to 30 acres worth of hops per year… all of which means moving heavy, specialized irrigation, fertilizing and harvesting equipment around at a moment’s notice. Of course there are the extra curricular activities. Not to incriminate himself, Sean simply says the ROXOR is much more versatile and fun than his old tractor. Top Hops LLC 9530 Ridge Road Goodrich, MI 48438 http://tophopsfarm.com https://www.facebook.com/TopHopsFarm/
WHAT THEY SAID The manual version was very forgiving in shifting and offered some fun in adjusting to tight turns and spaces on the 17-acre farm. The automatic transmission, which was driven most across the two days, kept up with challenges put to it, in particular on a makeshift track created in a field with relatively high grass. ~ Chris Hill Progressive Farmer Looks like a toy, but Mahindra means business. It’s an SUV you can love, but not legally drive on public roads. The vehicle’s capability is immediately clear, as is its agricultural intent. The short wheelbase and rugged leaf spring suspension combine were designed for capability, not comfort, but the ROXOR is maneuverable, easy to drive and instills confidence. It’s easy to imagine them becoming mainstays for the Forest Service, ranches, mines and parks and rec departments around the country. ~ Mark Phelan Detroit Free Press Stability control system? That would be you, along with an honest-to-God sticker on the dash that says “Don’t do anything stupid!” The list goes on, but if you take the glossy sell sheet for any other vehicle and rip off every page but the cover you would still be able to list all of the ROXORs features. It’s much closer to the Willys Jeep Granddad campaigned across Europe than the Wrangler mall cruiser his granddaughter pilots today. The ROXOR is tough, it’s gritty, and it’s resilient, just like the city of Detroit where it’s made. ~ John Arens ATV & SXS Illustrated In conclusion, the ROXOR from Mahindra is much more than a fun vehicle, it is a great ally for performing a multitude of tasks both in a recreational spirit and in functions that require very high traction capacities. It is this versatility that allows it to stand out and makes it a unique vehicle. One thing is certain, this vehicle is not suitable for everyone, but the customers who will acquire it will be the happiest in the world. ~ Patrick Roch UTV Planet
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OF FORTUNE 500 CORPORATIONS & CHEAP PIZZA Practice What We Preach, Again By William Douglas Little
f you read industry analyst Dr. Leinberger’s column this month you know that the 2019 Business Roundtable recently released its “Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation,” in which they are shifting corporate focus to include many forms of “giving back” and engaging on a more social and local level. Prominently featured as #4 on that list is “Supporting the communities in which we work.” Of course, we powersports dealers have been doing this for generations and on the outside it appears innocent enough; these corporations just want to make an effort to do right by these communities. However, I fear that the truth might be a bit more typical for corporate behavior: they’re beginning to see the light — that this local level of connection is the one place where we still defeat them… and now, they’re bringing the fight to us. Fortunately, many of these mega corporations are confused, with CEOs stepping into the limelight to promote their “personal positions” on hot-button topics. Coincidentally, their “personal view” on such topics usually matches the position of their key customer demographic… weird. However, with these corporations becoming more
and more “locally-minded,” it’s only a matter of time before they start competing with you on the local level by employing the one thing they have gobs of that you don’t - CASH! I’d expect to see them spending more freely in your community very soon in an effort to overshadow the Mom & Pops that they haven’t yet destroyed. So, what’s a kid to do? Our local customers have remained somewhat loyal over the years due to our continued shared commitment to community and cause. If the local big box starts throwing its endless funds at local stuff, how do we combat that? By working together. By supporting those who support us and by making sure that we adhere to a higher standard - an unquestionable dedication to local community - and that we’re vocal about the importance of this position with others everyday. In fact, this brings me back to a column I wrote back in 2007 about commitment to the community and the importance of steadfastly practicing what we preach … Practice What We Preach “You’re an idiot,” my buddy told me. “Well, thanks,” I said. This was the only reply that I could think of, considering his inability to understand the depth of the conversation that we were, (or should I say “I was”) having. I might have just as easily been discussing the theory of quantum physics with a road kill possum as explaining to him why I would choose to spend $11 on a pizza from the local store as opposed to $5 from a roadside truck. You see – I live in a small, rural community where everyone knows everyone and everyone knows everybody else’s business. Those of us with businesses in the community are a tight knit group. We see one another at the High School football games, at WalMart and the local restaurants. During these visits, the conversation inevitably turns to business and we discuss the challenges and successes facing each of us. One thing that we’ve all got in common is the tendency of outside business moving in and taking our customers. With my motorcycle dealership, I deal with Internet competitors who have no overhead and sell everything extremely cheap. With the local restaurant owners, it’s a big yellow panel truck hawking discount pizzas. With a Pizza Hut in residence for well over three decades, and a competing Domino’s for nearly as long, you wouldn’t think that there would be an opportunity for a third player to move onto the turf and steal business. Unless, of course, the third player wheels into town every Thursday night in a brightly-colored truck and parks at a lot just outside of city limits; the low overhead of two employees, one standing in the roll-up door at the rear of the truck, the other parading with a sandwich-board sign proclaiming: LARGE PIZZA, ANY WAY YOU WANT IT JUST $5
Under these circumstances, the few thousand residents of our small haven become the pizza-eatingest bunch of animals on the planet. A line forms, clogging traffic along the main roadway for what seems an infinite span. People from all walks of life patiently waiting to save money while allowing their brood to sink their teeth into a doughy feast of cheese and pepperoni; offering the young’uns their weekly treat, and the significant other her (or his) night off from kitchen duty. Every make of vehicle imaginable, from the oldest rust-bucket pickup to the newest innovation from Lexus, form a friendly, nonhonking line awaiting their chance to shout an order to the roadside chef and gladly handing one Lincoln to the guy with the sign. There, amidst the chaos and confusion of whored-out vittles along the city limit sign, is where our argument started. I had simply mentioned that I was calling Pizza Hut to order a (Thursday night) pizza, and my buddy went ballistic. “Why,” he asked, “would I want to spend extra money when I could stop on the way home and grab a cheap pie from the guy in the truck? It was on my way, and less than half of the money!” I tried to explain that Pizza Hut, (and Dominos, for that matter), had employed people in our community for years. People who bought parts and accessories from my dealership, who contributed money back into other businesses locally and kept things rolling. These stores had supplied tax money that funded the school where my friend had earned his education; built the ball fields where he played his Little League games; contributed donations to the 4-H and FFA buildings at the local fairgrounds where his son and others like him showed their hogs. All of it seemed to pass him by without so much as touching his ears. He looked dumbfounded, (more than usual), and concerned for my sanity. “Look,” I said. “These pizza-truck guys are no different than the magazine and Internet-based sellers that I deal with everyday. The company is not contributing to the local economy; they aren’t employing your friends or my customers; they aren’t paying taxes and helping to add to the growth of the area. They are simply coming into town with a truck and no overhead. They’re selling pizzas for a bargain price, (out of the back of a truck, for crying out loud), and you are gobbling them up… advertising for them by telling everyone what a great deal it is! Meanwhile, the customer that would be walking in here tomorrow to buy a new helmet from me, is instead laid off of his job at Pizza Hut because the truck-guys took away the business.” My buddy looked at me with a blank stare. “But, it’s cheaper,” he complained. “And so is the Internet guy who is selling factory second helmets out of his basement,” I said. “Sometimes we need to pay a little more in order to practice what we preach. Instead of saving six-bucks on a pie, why not contribute your efforts to helping one of our local companies keep their business? I have customers all over the community – as do you – and each of them deserves our support, just as much as we want to keep theirs. We scratch their backs, they’ll scratch ours, understand?” He nodded his head with what seemed a wave of fresh understanding washing over his face. I was proud, thinking that I had at least gotten my point across… if nothing more were to go right that evening, I felt that in a small way, I had done my part in supporting the local community. And, if I was lucky, he would explain the loyalty position to a few of his friends, spreading the good word like an infection that would finally win back the lost pizza business, and lend a hand of support to all in our little corner of the world. As I left the dealership and worked my way past the traffic jam en route to pick up my Pizza Hut pizza, I noticed a red pickup in line for the cheap pie parade. The pickup had my company’s sticker in the back window and sure enough, my buddy was behind the wheel. He waved like a toddler, smiling from his window as I passed. Needless to say, I didn’t wave back.
William Douglas Little is a former radio personality, stand-up comic, an auctioneer, a former multi-line dealership owner an author and a father of three. He lives on his farm in rural Missouri with his wife Beth. Find William’s book, “Mexican Bowl Fishing: And Other Tales of Life” on Amazon.
Personnel Files By Alex Baylon
A FAILURE TOCOMMUNICATE Recognize Employees… Or Lose Them!
ne of my favorite movie scenes comes from Cool Hand Luke. A very frustrated warden (played to a T by Strother Martin) has a problem getting through to a convict played by Paul Newman. Nothing seems to get through to the incorrigible Luke. While I’m not suggesting working in your shop is the same as a prison, “the failure to communicate” can be the same. A friend — the names have been changed to protect the innocent so we will just call him “Luke” — has worked for a motorcycle dealership for about a year. When Luke first accepted the gig, he thought it was his dream job and he was excited for better pay and a change of pace. Does this sound familiar? Similar to the “Grass is Greener” article from last month. Anyway Luke couldn’t wait to work for this particular company, on the bikes he’d always loved and was certified for, and with professionals that would teach him so much more. However, it turned out the manager of the shop wasn’t a dream boss. No matter what Luke did, he couldn’t get on the right side with the warden… um, I mean please the boss. Luke
knew his skills weren’t lacking. He’d trained with mechanics who were excellent, and supplemented those skills with hours of OEM training and slews of certifications. In fact, he started working on motorcycles when he was in his early teens and already had years of experience working on all makes and models. His enthusiasm and passion for motorcycles was contagious and everywhere he went, people responded to his positive attitude. Luke was, by all accounts, the ideal, dare I say, perfect, employee, yet Luke was miserable. Why? What was making Luke, and so many other employees with the same amount of passion and drive, unhappy at work? Simple…Luke’s issue WAS his boss. But, in a strange twist, turned out the boss actually thought Luke was an awesome employee. However, the boss just never told Luke that, or gave him any sort of recognition for his skills or positive attitude. So, Luke’s story begs the question, how DO managers and employers recognize employees in a manner that really lets the employee know how important they are to the company? It’s a tough question. Companies spend a fortune on gift
cards, trophies, employee of the month and other campaigns meant to show employees they’re doing well. Unfortunately, studies show these efforts are in vain and as a company, you’re wasting your money. Think about it, as an employee, what would you want? Does a $10 or even a $20 gift card to Starbucks, really fill your inner spirit with happiness and a feeling of kudos for a job well done? No. A gift card, and other type of monetary incentive, actually causes the opposite effect of what it’s supposed to do. Monetary incentives tend to lower motivation. It’s a sad, but well studied fact. What about a $100 gift card? That would motivate you, right? Wrong! All that does is convince you the job SHOULD provide an extra $100… and when it stops providing that, you lose even more motivation. In psychology, they say your intrinsic motivation (doing something because it’s personally motivating to you) is reduced or gone, and instead, your extrinsic motivation takes over (your desire to do something because you want to earn the reward). According to Gallup, the number one reason people leave their jobs is due to their manager…because their manager doesn’t make them feel appreciated or is micromanaging them — that’s a topic for a different article. Here’s an interesting tidbit: An effective employee recognition program reduces employee turnover by 31%. What manager doesn’t want to reduce turnover and make employees feel appreciated? Especially in the service department! Good techs are hard to find. Here are some basic tips on how to develop an effective employee recognition program: 1) Create a peer-to-peer recognition program. Employees who obtain praise from other coworkers often feel like the recognition is more valid. They feel like a manager “has” to praise them… but co-workers, well, they don’t have as much skin in the game. Some companies create a team to review employee of the month
nominations… and every month peers vote on which employee is most deserving of the honor. A billboard or section of the company website with a photo of the winning employee is an easy, free, way to share that recognition with the entire company. Don’t rely solely on an employee of the month to honor employees. It’s not really enough. This in conjunction with a gift card…that’s a win because the incentive is not necessarily the money, it’s the recognition for employee of the month! At least weekly, find something good that an employee did, or does and recognize it. Recognize the employee immediately. Delayed recognition comes off as an afterthought. When you see good, praise good. 2) Don’t use general praises to recognize people. Be specific. Tell them that you appreciated the extra time they took working with a
particular client. Or how well they did a particular job. Letting them know that you’re paying attention makes them feel important. Don’t repeatedly praise the same thing. This will take some effort, and you’ll have to pay attention. Paying attention will help you not only see things that could be praised, but could also help you as a manager to find areas where training could be improved. 3) Say thank you. When an employee does their job, sure, they’re getting paid for it. You shouldn’t have to say thank you all the time. But what you should do is be a good person. Treat people the way you’d want to be treated, and you’ll find the rewards will come to you in spades. Saying thank you when someone completes a task should be a standard thing you do. It recognized their work and effort, but also shows that you appreciate them, that they are important to you and the business.
4) Ask for feedback. By providing your employees the option to provide feedback, you are giving them a voice that they normally wouldn’t have. And, once you make it clear your employees are welcome to talk to you, about anything, you’ll find the entire company can benefit. The bottom line? COMMUNICATE! Remember that by simply communicating with your employees you can change attitudes, and make the worksite a place where people want to be. Communication fosters trust, and by fostering trust, you’ll find your praise will mean more. And if you are like Strother Martin’s character in Cool Hand Luke and continue to have “a failure to communicate…” well that is where MotorcycleIndustryJobs.com comes in!
MIJ Industry #PROfiles
Dealernews is honored to work with Motorcycle Industry Jobs to recognize the people who make up this great industry. “When you start reading the Industry #PROfles, you will notice that 80-90% of them get their start at a motorcycle dealership,” says MIJ founder Alex Baylon. “The dealers are on the front lines and have always been the heart and soul of the industry. Without motorcycle dealerships, most of us wouldn’t be where we are today, so part of our message is always going to be ‘support your local motorcycle shop.’” In addition to recognizing industry pros, Dealernews is also working with MIJ to create a job ticker tape of the latest positions opening in the industry at the Dealernews.com site. Check it out at: www.dealernews.com/Industry-Jobs “Tell us your story,” adds Baylon. “We would love to feature you! Click here to fill out the questionnaire: www.motorcycleindustryjobs.com/industry-profiles/
MotorcycleIndustryJobs.com founder Alex Baylon has been hiring and firing people in the powersports industry for 25 years. Currently with a major distributor, he has also been with Dragon Alliance, Ceet Racing, MX GP Services in Europe, Acerbis USA, Motonation/Sidi Boots and Scott USA. He started MIJ as he saw a need in the industry for people who are passionate about the motorcycle industry to have an employment outlet. The motorcycle industry like many others has always recycled employees from one company to another and it has always been done by word of mouth. MIJ allows companies in the industry to post their openings and give others in and out of the industry a chance to apply and insert new blood and fresh ideas in the many opportunities in the motorcycle industry. SEPTEMBER 2019 55
Northern Exposure By Marq C. Smith
Can You See Me Now?
was recently at AIMExpo 2019, as well as the NVP show put on by Parts Unlimited. One of the things I’ve written about in the past has been the death of brightly coloured clothing and helmets in dealerships. So, at each show I attend these days, I have made it my mission to find examples of both. I did find more than a few examples of brightly coloured jackets and pants, from yellow to Barbie pink. That wasn’t difficult at all. But brightly coloured helmets, well, that was a different story. At the NVP show in Madison, Wisconsin, I found one yellow helmet. At AIMExpo, I expected to find more, and I was right; I found three. One of them was the exact same helmet I saw at the Parts Unlimited show. Another was a ¾ helmet from a manufacturer I’ve never heard of before.
Of course, there were a few with yellow graphics, and even a couple of others with brightly coloured graphics in other tones. However, there were no other solid bright colours. I was looking primarily for Hi-Viz yellow, but any intense colours would do.
Of course, there were a few with yellow graphics, and even a couple of others with brightly coloured graphics in other tones. However, there were no other solid bright colours. I was looking primarily for Hi-Viz yellow, but any intense colours would do.
In this day and age of concerns about safety and visibility, I’m very surprised that we, as an industry, aren’t pushing brightly coloured helmets. We are starting to see more clothing in colours that are easy to see, but, for some reason, helmets are not being promoted as a visibility device.
I may be wrong, but I would be willing to bet that brightly coloured helmets are less involved than black ones. That would only make sense, at least to me. Does anyone out there have some stats?
Since I started to wear a Hi-Viz helmet, I’ve noticed that incidents of blind car drivers intruding into my space have dwindled by an amazing amount. However, when I talked to one representative at a helmet booth at AIMExpo, he told me that bright helmets did not sell well. He did seem to get the idea of bright colours, but, for him, it was all about sales volume. Which may be part of the problem. We have the ATGATT program to encourage riders to wear protective riding gear; why not a campaign to wear brightly coloured jackets and helmets? The helmets don’t have to be just yellow, although it seems to be a colour that is very visible in most situations. Pink, orange, green or any other bright tones could just as readily be worn to add visibility to the mix. Why not ATBGATT- All The Bright Gear All The Time? It’s up to us, as dealers, distributors, and manufacturers, to promote brighter clothing and helmets. We have to get away from the idea that black is the only “cool” colour, and show our clients that brightly tinted helmets could decrease collisions by a significant amount. Maybe a safety organization or a helmet manufacturer could look at the stats of motorcycle accidents where a collision with another vehicle happened, and what colour helmets the riders were wearing?
Many people buy a black helmet for fashion reasons; i.e. they want to match their black bike, or want a neutral colour that they can wear on any colour bike. I get it, but It’s time to promote bright helmets and make them more acceptable to our customers. And, of course, this gives us an opportunity to sell a different coloured helmet to someone going from one bike to one of a different hue. So there is a monetary incentive for the industry, as well. We should be the guiding force in this industry; we want our customers to not only have fun, but be safe and return time after time, year after year to our shops, bringing their friends and family along with them. It’s up to us. And maybe by making riding a motorcycle safer, we can get more of the new generations riding as well… And isn’t that what we all want?
Marq C. Smith has been involved in motorcycles since he was 17 years old. He worked for Canadian Harley-Davidson importer Trev Deeley as well as being the dealer principal for his dealership Western Powersports (not to be confused with the American Distributor Western Power Sports) for 21 years. He currently works at Holeshot Motorsports, in Langley, British Columbia, Canada. He taught rider safety courses for 10 years, and still is involved in making sure new riders get proper training. When he is not working in a dealership, he tours all over North America by motorcycle. He does plenty of dirtbiking and ATV riding as well. Famous Last Words: “I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.”
CHECKING OUR ‘BLIND SPOTS’
Harley-Davidson’s Commitment To Diversity And Inclusion
his summer The Motor Company made a concentrated effort to check its “blind spots” — not on the bikes, but in its internal point of view of the people who work at Harley-Davidson. This included a stop by the Blind Spots Bus, part of the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion initiative. “Our brains are wired to make assumptions, which can sometimes be off base. We think it’s an honest mistake; science calls it a blind spot – or unconscious bias. We can mitigate these biases by first understanding them; and this understanding is the intent of the Blind Spots Bus, which recently made a stop at Harley-Davidson’s corporate headquarters in Milwaukee, WI. There, nearly 130 Harley-Davidson employees experienced a series of immersive and interactive elements that helped them understand the nuances of unconscious bias. They also had the chance to sign the I Act On pledge, committing to addressing personal biases and cultivating an inclusive workplace and community. Matt Levatich signed the CEO Action Pledge for Diversity & Inclusion earlier this year. This event and the I Act On pledge are demonstrations of the company’s commitment to goals around creating a safe workplace environment and mitigating unconscious bias. “This is critical work, happening at a critical time in our company’s history,” said VP and Chief Human Resources Officer Julie Anding. “Our D&I strategy has three main tenets: Invite Everyone In, Illuminate the Issues and
Infuse Talent. Now more than ever, we need to expand the invitation and welcome employees and riders of all backgrounds to Harley-Davidson – and we can do that through genuine curiosity and deep respect for learning how to mitigate unconscious bias in our everyday actions. This will help us cultivate a more diverse and inclusive workplace and connect with the next generation of riders.” GET ON THE BUS By 2050 there will be no racial or ethnic majority in the US as traditionally under-represented groups become the majority, according to the CEO Action site. “Research shows that diversity increases creativity and innovation, promotes higher quality decisions, and enhances economic growth.” The CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion is the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion within the workplace. This commitment is driven by a realization that addressing diversity and inclusion is not a competitive issue, but a societal issue. Recognizing that change starts at the executive level, more than 700 CEOs of the world’s leading companies and business organizations, are leveraging their individual and collective voices to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Because there is a collective opportunity for both CEOs and the workforce to address these challenges, we have created the I Act On pledge for any individual to take. Click here for more: https://www.ceoaction.com
Confessions Of A Customer® By Eric Anderson
LESSONS LEARNED 10 Things I Took Away From The Industry Expo
ducation is a process, not a one-time event. Even with three decades of trade shows under my belt, I still learned from this year’s event. Here are 10 things learned by a veteran industry professional as his career continues to grow by attending AIMExpo presented by Nationwide, the annual industry trade show.
1) It’s not about the machines… really. It’s not even about the PG&A (parts, garments and accessories). Sure, we have to sell our unique selling propositions and F&Bs, but it really comes down to the PEOPLE who use those machines and gear — your human customers. It’s about the thrill those machines bring to our collective lives… along with the profits, of course) they bring to our businesses. A young, but very experienced social media expert ripped our industry by explaining how our industry’s retail advertising is obsessively focused on “the machine, the machine, the machine — preaching to the already converted while intimidating wannabe riders with a plethora of meaningless bullet points and race wins.” Whatever happened to the “nicest PEOPLE” campaigns? The highly successful “Go RVing” campaign uses lifestyle imagery of smiling PEOPLE at romantic destinations. In order to grow out of our self-made box, sell the sizzle instead of the metal. Lesson learned. 2) I don’t care how much smaller “the show” is compared to the old days. Cirque de Soleil re-invented the circus and we’ll re-invent our show, too. More than a few mentioned the show has shrunk. What’s your point? That is certainly no reason to stop attending. Let’s be part of the solution and not the problem — be there any physical way you can next year. Most of the same people and brands are still there, exhibit sizes are simply downsized… like your OEM’s,
distributor’s or dealership’s budgets. Duh! Everyone still needs to network and “go guerilla” with boots on the ground staying in touch with the ebb and flow of the industry. Staying away forces blinders on your industry POV and in fact is self-centered. The trade magazines cannot explain everything you need to know by regurgitating pre-packaged pablum-like press releases which are “cut and pasted” for your reading pleasure. The real backroom stories at AIMExpo were happening in real-time on the show floor… or in the after-hours cocktail lounges. Lesson learned. 3) OEM and distributor-only shows want to sell you their branded products. The OEM and distributor shows are product-driven. Sure, many of the manufacturers and aftermarket distributors were at AIMExpo, but they are more driven by their own sales meetings where they can pressure “dealer fish” in a single-branded barrel. What’s missing is the bigger industry picture… outside of the OE/distributors’ world of owned brands which they desire occupying 100% of your showrooms and shelves. No offense, but aren’t we all too product- and market share-focused these days when there aren’t enough customers to go around? Forest or trees? The “industry show” provides a higher altitude platform for the bigger picture… because it’s an entire industry and not a single pony show. Lesson learned. 4) The bigger picture “industry show” will never come to you — only product knowledge will. The industry show wants to sell you “unbranded” networking, new opportunities, fresh ideas, newly minted national initiatives, education and frankly a bigger industry-wide picture. Their goals are higher and about all industry brands — the size of the whole pie, not just your piece. Lesson learned. 5) The real “state of the industry” is always larger than you can imagine from your desk. The “mountaintops” at the non-profit MIC-owned show exist at a higher altitude than the rest of our profit-oriented businesses. It has to be. That’s not saying the profit-seeking businesses don’t have long range vision — they do — on making as shortterm a profit as possible. Someone has to be looking way out in front without having to maximize a short-term buck, effectively implementing a blistering merger or proctoring a turn-around stunt. More is to come from MIC on their “ridership” program as it develops from infancy — give it a chance because it’s the most unifying power we have before us. Together we rise… or independently we fall. Get it! Lesson learned.
6) In 2 days, I was reminded (again) how important (and fun) it is to work the industry show. It takes 363 days to grind on, defy entropy, expend energy and become thoroughly worn down. With just 48 hours of an industry trade show under your belt, you can become inspired again. If you didn’t feel that way after attending, I would say you didn’t look around and “work” the room. If you didn’t attend, you are even further away from missing the point. Networking with manufacturing, distributor and serviceproviding peers is as important as anything at this show. Is it bigger and better than a regional or national distributor show? “better?” Think about it! This is a national industry show! The gunsight of MIC is “AIMEd” at targets much higher and further away on the horizon than others. Why would you choose to ignore those industry targets and only focus on products… once again? Lesson learned. 7) The word “motorcycle” has “baggage” associated with it to prospective riders. We need to think differently to grow this industry. “Pre-owned” has replaced “used.” “Share” has replaced “rental.” “Uber” has replaced “taxi.” Is “personal mobility solution” going to have to replace “motorcycle.” I hope not either, but we might want to create an alternative word with the age of silent Harley-Davidson LiveWires, lightweight Cakes, stealthy UBCOs, cool Qooders and high-tech Levo Turbos blurring the moto-category lines. We need to wake up and face the paradigm shift as well as the coming kilowatts. How can we leverage “silence, pedals and tech” to overcome previous images of burly men on old, loud motorcycles? Things have truly changed. Lesson learned. 8) There are more children at the industry show than before riding at and attending the show. STACYC rocked it on the dealer show floor, the consumer show and at the Sideways Saturday flat track races. Kids are always the favorite and they showed it in spades everywhere I looked. Bring it on, youth! I still wonder, however, what we need to do between now and when these 6-year old kids grow up to buy bigger dirtbikes or street legal machines. We need a “bridge” to current 16 year old prospective riders. Lesson learned. 9) Diversity of design is widening. We may soon have street-legal, 3- and 4-wheeled scooters coming to the market. E-assisted bicycles, street and mountain, had their own section at the show. E-motorcycles were there, too. Monster-sized UTVs with 130 dBA stereos were included as
well. Even a new tire changer I need to add to my garage soon was demonstrating non-stop. Everywhere one looked there were new ideas. Not all will be successful, but it won’t be from lack of desire to show it off at the show. Choices! Freshness! Wow! Lesson learned. 10) The industry is taking responsibility to grow. MIC has a tough job to unite what is traditionally an industry of proud, individual thinkers and entrepreneurs. We all have our “knee-jerk” opinions on how to grow the industry, but I can guarantee most of you haven’t thought about it or studied it as much as they have in the last 6 months. As a board member for 18 years, I suggest you give this ridership program time to evolve, grow a name and then become something similar to what “Go RV’ing” was for American outdoor recreation. Standby! Lesson learned. It isn’t just the aftermarket that benefits. Industry shows also offer plenty to OEMs new to the industry (who don’t yet have sales meetings) and service-oriented businesses you will never see at an OEM or distributor show. Yes, you need to stay in touch with the “metal” and the “machine, machine, machine,” but don’t do it at the expense of a 40,000-foot view on your industry. Why would you continue to run your business tactically at the expense of a higher altitude and strategic POV?
Even an old dog can learn new tricks! Get out more… and save some travel budget for next year’s industry show.
Dress For Success
ealers are dressing more sloppily than ever. Yes, this is a weird one. The European and Asian pavilions showed off very well-dressed teams of people, as did the American exhibitors in their embroidered “team shirts.” But what happened to the American powersports dealer’s dress code? Basketball shorts, flip flops, sleeveless T-shirts and ballcaps… this is who we have become it appears. Those retailer/buyers walking the show aisles drew interesting comments from those in the foreign pavilions: “Why are they letting in consumers today?” “No,” I explained, “those are all dealers.” Hmm. Another lesson learned.
EVENTS AIMExpo presented by Nationwide Presenting the Industry-Wide Initiative to Get More Riders, Riding More The Motorcycle Industry Council presented the strategic framework for the long-term, industry-wide effort designed to boost ridership, get more riders, riding more, last week at the opening session for AIMExpo presented by Nationwide. Opening day for the nation’s biggest motorcycle show saw a packed ballroom at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, filled with hundreds of dealers, manufacturers, aftermarket companies, service providers, rider training professionals, and many others across the industry. Speakers revealed new findings about the “culture code” of motorcycling; how Americans relate to motorcycles, which is critical in understanding how to reach potential new riders. And speakers provided details about new research into the four steps on the journey to becoming a motorcyclist. Read More
Erik Pritchard, incoming MIC President and CEO
COMMUNICATIONS Motorcycles.org Showcases Summer Media Hits The team at Motorcycles.org, the industry’s media outreach program based at the MIC, has had a busy summer of generating media coverage for two-wheeling. And here’s a three-minute video with the highlights.
Preserve Protect, Promote You take care of business. We take care of the business environment. Strong, effective representation in Washington, D.C. and state capitals • Vigorous media outreach • Industry statistics source Sales data • Educational symposiums and networking opportunities Join MIC’s 650 member companies and strengthen the industry. Visit the MIC Business Center on the AIMExpo show floor at Booth #141 to learn how your company will benefit from membership, including how to get $200 or more off your 2019 AIMExpo Booth.
ADVOCACY AS A BUSINESS MODEL Making Dollars & Sense Out Of Sand by Donald Amador
here is a simple reason why powersports dealers and aftermarket companies joined with more than 1,000 fans of Ocean Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area — MONEY. The July 11, 2019 California Coastal Commission Hearing held in San Luis Obispo brought together industry and the public to protest the Commission’s staff proposal that would have begun the process of functionally closing the park to off-road use. Simply put, their livelihoods depend on it! Numerous state and federal economic studies continue to show that off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreation – which includes sand-based motorized activities — provides a huge fiscal benefit to the U.S. economy. One look at the success the Sand Sports Super Show has had during the past two decades demonstrates to the layman just how many dollars are invested into the sand! (See page 80 for full coverage of this year’s classic). According to a study released in September 2018 by the Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account (ORSA) and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) the outdoor recreation economy accounted for 2.2 percent ($412 billion) of current-dollar Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2016. This is serious business!
Locally, a 2016/2017 economic study produced by California State Parks (SP) stated the overall economic impact of just the Oceano Dunes OHV area is estimated to be $243,580,919 (Direct + Indirect + Induced Spending). Total economic impact by day visitors is estimated to be $22,133,719 and overnight visitor impact is a whopping $221,447,200! LINK TO OCEANO DUNES ECONOMIC REPORT http://ohv.parks.ca.gov/pages/1170/files/FinalOceano_Dunes_SVRA_2016_2017_3-5-18.pdf This isn’t just a California anomaly. If you talk with powersports dealers in Winchester Bay next to the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area and other shops in the West that are adjacent to popular dune or desert sand OHV areas like Glamis or Anza-Borrego they will tell you — without any studies — that their shop and other local businesses remain open because of sand-based OHV recreation. Period. It’s that seat-of-the-pants analysis from dealers, RV campgrounds, gas stations, hotels, and diners that may actually be more accurate than any current government economic report and leads me to believe those agencies may actually be grossly underreporting the economic impact of “off-road” motorized recreation. This fact was not lost on the people at Polaris who purchased the historic Glamis Beach Store and the 166 acres of land and buildings associated with it 2018. As I have stated before, powersports dealers are now an important part of the OHV advocacy equation. Now I hear from Dr. Leinberger that the Fortune 500 folks want what dealers have as well. That fact highlights the need for shops to be engaged (or at least support related advocacy efforts) in the political process. Don’t do it because it is your civic duty, Advocacy is now a part a new business model that keeps food on the table and a roof over your head.
Don Amador has been in the trail advocacy and recreation management profession for almost 29 years. Don is President of Quiet Warrior Racing/Consulting. Don served as a contractor to the BlueRibbon Coalition from 1996 until June, 2018. Don served on the California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission from 1994-2000. He has won numerous awards including being a 2016 Inductee into the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame and the 2018 Friend of the AMA Award. Don currently serves as the government affairs lead for AMA District 36 in Northern California. He may be reached via email at: email@example.com
Please tread lightly and travel only on routes and in areas designated open for motor vehicle use. Remember, Respected Access is Open Access.
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Wünschisms By Uncle Paul
otcha on that one, huh? Sounds like a term out of a James Bond movie. It is, sorta. It’s a counter-intelligence technique used in the spy business. Fidel Castro and Hungary used it very successfully during the Cold War. Now, China and North Korea are using the technique. Know what? Not a single foreign power has been able to recruit and maintain spies in these countries because they employ “agent provocateurs.” Here’s how the concept works as a fairy tale: Once upon a time, the politicians tell us, “It’s against the law to spy in this country.” So the people reply, “Yeah, no spying. But another country that’s into meddling in others’ affairs can’t stand not doing it, and they start sneakin’ around and spyin’ anyway. The politicians come back and say, “We ain’t kidding! If you don’t report this criminal activity, we’re gonna throw you in the slammer.” The people say, “Yeah, Throw ‘em in the slammer.” Now, realize “the people” don’t really give a hoot about politicians, their struggle to stay in power or their ideology. They mainly wanna be left alone so they can do their thing, go to work and raise their families. Obviously, the dirty deeds continue, because there’s just not much interest among the people in catching spies. Finally, the politicians go to the people (not really, they merely pass an obscure law… this is a fairy tale). “Listen up, now,” the politicians say. “If anyone approaches you to work for a foreign government, if anyone speaks to you of dissent, if even your best friend wants to form a political or ideological group of any sort (outside of the one we approve), you’re gonna get 20 years in the slammer. No questions asked. And,
by the way, you will be required on occasion to help us police this dissension in the ranks. “If you refuse to perform this civic duty as an agent provocateur, you get 20 years. If you fail to report any unlawful activities or recruiting effort (including our own) within 24 hours, you get 20 years. Damned if ya do, damned if you don’t, and damned if you don’t report anyone who tries it.” Where does all this fit in with the scooter business, especially with maintaining Aliens? Uncle Paul’s gettin’ to that, but next I need to tell you a war story, “an’ this is no shit.” Years ago, a friend of mine acquired a second franchised dealership. The shops were located on opposite ends of Houston. He spent the better part of the first year dedicated to the new acquisition, neglecting his original store. When he finally started giving time to both places, he suspected wholesale theft within the original shop’s ranks (12 employees). We discussed his suspicions, and since the weekend was coming up (dealers didn’t used to be open on Monday), I told him to get all his employees together. Tell them that he contracted with a security firm to come by on Tuesday to give everyone a lie-detector test. My friend Denny didn’t think that was a legal, so he couldn’t force them to take one. I had to agree, but I figured what the hell, tell them anyway; then see who doesn’t show up for work on Tuesday. Denny took it one step further. Sure enough, two employees called in on Tuesday morning and told him, “We aren’t taking no lousy lie-detector test, we quit!” At 11:30 that morning (just before lunch break), a plainclothes policeman (badge displayed) walked into the shop and placed a large black briefcase on the counter. “What’s that?” a young salesperson asked. “A lie-detector,” replied the cop. The youngster got one of those “I’m-gettin’sick” grins on his face and said, “You can’t make us take a lie-detector test.” The officer leaned forward, gave the kid his own version of a Dirty Harry smile and said, “Oh, yes I can. Is Denny in his office?” Denny and the fuzz shot the bull behind closed doors until nearly two o’clock. Then the cop grabbed his brick-laden briefcase and walked out of the building. Six sets of shop keys were lying on the countertop when he left. The work force dropped from 12 to four in a single day. Surprised both of us. Two-thirds of the employees were either spectating or participating in the skullduggery. This isn’t only a war story about violations of Wünschism #1. Nor is it about solutions to a particular security problem. I’m telling you this war story to demonstrate the tremendous pull of peer pressure, how humans have a strong need for group acceptance… and it’s also probably about the snitch taboo, particularly among young people. The moral courage to overcome something like this, to say something or stop a wrong, is not often found in today’s society. I think that’s what this war story is mostly about. I wonder what I would have done under similar circumstances, at a point in time where my feet weren’t so firmly planted on terra firma. You need to wonder why Uncle Paul told you the fairy tale and war story, and why they are tied together.
WE’VE BEEN DOING IT FULL THROTTLE FOR YEARS. We’re Piloteer, a fearless marketing agency who performs all our own stunts.
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P I L O T E E R CA / MI
Attendance figures support the decision to make it a North American function as Parts Unlimited and Drag Specialties experienced a 25% increase in participating dealers. The addition of Canadian dealers boosted overall dealer attendance by 38% over last year’s record numbers.
PARTS PULLS OUT ALL THE STOPS! North American NVP Includes Canada Too, Eh?
arts Unlimited, Drag Specialties and Parts Canada teamed up to present the “North American National Vendor Presentation” August 22nd – 25th at the Monona Terrace in Madison, Wisconsin. Timed to coincide with the fall buying season, the NVP marked the first time the distribution giant combined its U.S. and Canadian presentations. The collaboration exceeded all expectations, according to Parts. “When the three companies decided to combine for the first ever North American NVP, we knew it would be successful as Parts Unlimited wrote the book on how to do a vendor presentation,” noted Parts Canada President James Danyluk. “As the Expo unfolded, the massive scale of the success came clearly into view. Every dealer, supplier and staff member had nothing but positive comments on the NVP.”
The expanded show provided the perfect forum to introduce new brands in the Parts portfolio, including Kicker Audio, MB Quart and LiquiMoly. Parts Canada kicked off their booking program while Parts Unlimited and Drag Specialties introduced a new drop ship program. You read that right, Parts now has a drop ship program… what’s next? Returns? Another major announcement was the launch of new dealer websites which provide an industry-first, eCommerce-like shopping experience for Parts Unlimited and Drag Specialties. Dealers in attendance got to experience it first-hand and the sites will continue to roll out to more dealers in the wake of the NVP. All work and no play is not the motorcycle industry way. Immediately following the show hours on Saturday, the Meet & Greet brought the industry together with a Bike Show where attendees voted for their favorite Metric and V-Twin creations. People’s Choice Metric award winners were a 1975 custom KZ900 hardtail digger and a 1975 Honda CB750 Top Gas Drag Bike. On the V-Twin side the people picked a 2019 Custom Pan and a 2017 Road King.
The after party on Saturday night featured a Mini Bike Roundup race on the streets outside the Paradise Lounge in downtown Madison. Presented by Icon and Coleman Powersports, the mini-builds included bikes from S&S, Performance Machine, Speed Merchant and Biltwell. VP of Sales & Marketing Jeff Derge wrapped up the weekend saying, “The first ever North American NVP exceeded everyone’s expectations, thank you to all the dealers, vendors, the Parts Unlimited / Drag Specialties Sales Team and Parts Canada for all their efforts!”
“Canadian and American, the common theme was that they all would be back for the next one,” added Danyluk. “Thank you to the staff of all three companies and to the exhibitors for a job well done!” Final word from Mike Collins, CEO of Part’s parent company LeMans, “The excitement and momentum from this successful event will be the buzz for a long time. It shows what we can do when our companies work together. The release of the new products and incentives/programs by the vendors for the sales force and dealers are sure to bring a great fall season. Look for more of this in the future.”
HELMET HOUSE HITS 50 Having Your Cake And Eating It Too
elmet House has requested the pleasure of your attendance at the Annual Awards Banquet & 50th Anniversary Celebration is what the invitation read… no way we were going to pass on the opportunity to see history in the making and hang out with some long-time industry friends. According to the Small Business Association (SBA), a full 30% of new businesses fail during the first two years of being open; 50% fail during the first five years and 66% are done during the first 10. The SBA goes on to state that only 25% of small businesses make it to 15 years or more. “Put another way, half of all start-ups actually survive to their fourth year… here we are celebrating 50 years,” said Helmet House co-founder Phil Bellomy to kick off the distributor’s 50th Anniversary gala. “Not bad for a couple of guys selling seconds and blems at swap meets in 1969,” he quipped. “The secret of our success is that is similar to being married: you try to stay out of each other’s way and not piss each other off…” Obviously things were okay when he listened to me,” quickly interjected Bob Miller. “Once he starts to make his own decisions we have issues!” “See what I mean? Just like a married couple… and that is how we lasted so long,” shrugged Bellomy. “In reality, we told each other we would flip a coin… and I don’t remember flipping a coin too many times in the past 50 years. But when we did, we used my coin,” claimed Miller. Of course, 50 years made for a long evening traveling down memory lane, interspersed with video accolades from racers past and present, long-time Helmet House dealers, including Rick Chupp from Cycle Outfitters in Indianapolis, Ron Seidner from Bert’s, Dave Damron from Chaparral, Chris & Tammy Jones from Iron Pony and even Malcolm Smith. “I really appreciate what we have had, a great friendship and great partnership over the years,” Miller addressed the crowd at the end of the awards presentations. “My conservatism and Phil’s aggression have worked in synch. We wouldn’t be here
Helmet House founders Bob Miller and Phil Bellomy are joined by the new ownership group consisting of Dave Bertram, Scott Link, Don Becklin and Randy Hutchings.
HELMET HOUSE HAS NEW TEAM IN PLACE
Steve Gotoski represented AMA, host of the cocktail reception.
today if it was just one of us, I truly believe that.” Miller used his time on the stage to announce that he was cancer-free and back in the saddle, which really did bring the house down. “I personally wanted to thank Phil for stepping up the last six months while I was sick. He did something he has never done before in his life which was actually work.” Miller also announced that Dennis Yohman was retiring after more than three decades with Helmet House. It certainly wasn’t going to be the same old Helmet House with guys like Dennis stepping away… not by a long shot as the industry learned a couple weeks after the 50th gala celebration.
nbeknownst to most of the people at the Helmet House gala, the new management team was actually sitting in the crowd... along with a number of employees who’s days were numbered. “For more than 50 years, the two of us have enjoyed incredible success with Helmet House,” said Bob Miller and Phil Bellomy in a joint announcement of the new ownership. “Now, as the company heads into its next half-century, we move forward with a fresh new ownership structure, including Dave Bertram, Scott Link, Don Becklin and Randy Hutchings.” “All four of the new owners have deep roots in the motorcycle industry and a proven history of success,” Miller and Bellomy explained in the official press release. “We are certain that they, along with our existing team of incredibly talented employees, will carry on the Helmet House legacy. “As for us, we will retain ownership in the company, and will be available as needed to help the new management team with Helmet House’s long-range strategy from our emeritus roles.” “From our humble beginnings, Helmet House has grown to become a remarkable mainstay in the motorcycle industry; reliably supplying motorcycle dealers with top brands, including Shoei, HJC, Tourmaster, Cortech, and Sena. While adhering to our traditional business values, we have always empowered dealers and customers by adopting flexible and dealer-friendly practices. We are proactively pursuing this ownership and leadership transition to ensure that Helmet House continues its customer-first philosophy and heritage that has made the company and its partners so successful in the past.” The new team’s reputation precedes them: Dave Bertram, founder of retail chain Cycle Gear; Don Becklin, founder of Motorcycle Superstore and MotorcycleUSA.com; Scott Link, Alpinestars’ director of sales for 20+ years, and current Helmet House CFO Randy Hutchings, who has already been an integral piece of the company for the past 15 years. Together, this new team will be dedicated to upholding the philosophy that has served Helmet House and the retailers it has supported over the past half-century: “Through excellence and integrity, we at Helmet House are dedicated to improving our business by improving the business of our dealers.” SEPTEMBER 2019 71
PJ’s Homage To Amherst, Ohio
ealernews went into AIMExpo looking for locals and we found it with this month’s dealer profile on Skidmark Garage and builder PJ Grakauskas who’s Penton Tracker caught our eyes. PJ says he just wanted a Penton that was street legal. “From there I went with a tracker-inspired 70s theme build.” After 6-8 months of on and off work, his Penton Tracker was one of the highlights of the show, situated next to his good friend Brian Schaffran’s display in The Shop neighborhood. “Instead of doing it at chi-jer most of the assembly and work was done at Skidmark on this one, especially the nervous shaving of the motor cases to make the mono shock work,” says Grakaukas. The “chi-jer” moniker is his own shop named after his father — Chicago Jerry — a well known Penton/KTM motor rebuilder. “He still races them in AHRMA events… and don’t tell him, but he’s faster than me.” Chicago Jerry has amassed quite a collection of old Penton parts in his barn, so when PJ picked up a 1974 Mint 400, primarily because it had a clear title, the wheels were set in motion for the trick tracker. Being from the same small Ohio town that the Penton motorcycle story began in, PJ had to make a Penton. “I grew up and graduated from Amherst High. I even had my graduation party at the same hometown track — Meadowlarks — the Penton crew was known for.” Although he earned quite a bit a renown with his Indian Scout Bobber for an Indian-sponsored build-off, Grakauskas says he prefers passion over profit. “I don’t tend to have commissioned builds. I really just build rad bikes I want to ride and eventually sell them. “I pride myself in not having customers… I prefer to be helping like-minded people barter and collaborate on builds that really mean something,” PJ concludes. The perfect philosophy to fit in at his buddy Brian’s Skidmark Garage!
VStream+ Deluxe to raise the bar even higher for Gold Wings, says National Cycle’s national sales manager Paul Gomez. “The advanced “V” profile and dimensional contours push the wind vortex out and away from the rider’s helmet, resulting in a peaceful, quieter riding environment.” The “+” means these windscreens include a steel mounting bracket specifically designed and engineered for the Wing. “These windscreens are made from tough 4.5mm Quantum® hardcoated polycarbonate,” he adds. This high quality material, along with state-of-the-art manufacturing techniques, provides outstanding clarity, impact strength and scratch resistance unmatched by any windscreen maker worldwide.” http://www.nationalcycle.com/n20020.html
Dealernews was at the epicenter of the eBike movement at AIMExpo with the Cycle Volta demo ride area on one side and the LiveWire spooling up every couple of minutes. We even had the latest Tracker from Vintage Electric on display in the booth itself. “Ultimately, we just want to share what moves us,” explains founder Andrew Davidge. “The past and future don’t have to exist mutually exclusive of each other. Much like the Harleys, Indians and Flying Merkels that ruled the raceways of the early 20th century, the Tracker electric bike exemplifies the relationship of human and machine that drives us.” https://www.vintageelectricbikes.com/products/ tracker?variant=28672387842123
CLEARING THE AIR
All the way from Australia to Columbus, the FunnelWeb filter really is a better mouse trap. “Foam air filters have been used in off road motorcycles for nearly four decades,” explains company owner Niels van Kempen. “The filter’s pyramid foam profile increases the surface area of the filter by around 100%. This allows the filter to trap & hold far more dirt on its much larger outer surface meaning longer service intervals whilst maintaining optimum air flow.” Hey its not crazy if it works! https://www.funnelweb-filter.com
Simpson’s Scott Holbrooks certainly wasn’t singing the blues in Columbus. An Ohio boy his personal Buckeye Helmet was popular with the locals, but it was this stunning blue Bandit that caught our eye. The Outlaw Bandit has all of the classic Bandit styling, but with some added features to make it more aerodynamically stable,” says Hollbrooks. “A wider field of view and a redesigned shell improves rider visibility and minimizes helmet lift at high speeds.” Snell M2015 and DOT safety rated, see more at: https://simpsonraceproducts.com/motorcycle-helmets/
ROCK N ROLL
The Ascender gig-ready pro-play travel guitar rocked the AIMExpo… literally and figuratively when Racer X Publisher Scott Wallenberg stopped by to jam at their booth. A Jimmy Hendrix-style national anthem to start off Sideways Saturday. “A concealed lever ‘detensions’ the strings and unlocks a hinge at the neck, which allows the guitar to bend completely backwards as the strings follow the fold under light tension,” explains Ciari CEO Jonathan Spangler. “The Ascender can fit in a backpack and takes up less space than any travel guitar on the market.” If you missed a chance to play the guitar at AIMExpo, check out their website, launched the week after the show. “Our revamped website tells our story in a whole new way and includes plenty of photos and videos for you to explore.” www.CiariGuitars.com
LET THERE BE LIGHT!
“Simply put; the DENALI D4 is a beast,” says Ron Santos, Twisted Throttle’s Dealer Sales Manager. “It is DENALI’s most powerful light packing the punch of 8750 lumens in a pair of aggressively styled housings.” Two elliptical flood lenses and two spot beam lenses are included to create the ultimate hybrid beam pattern; a super wide close-range flood and a piercing spot beam in one housing. The spot lenses throw a massive beam of light 800 feet and carry an official E-Mark certification. https://denalielectronics.com/products/dnl-d4-10000
LS2 SUBVERTER Race Tested By Charlie Williams
new helmet showed up at Dealernews and I was next in line, so I get to introduce the LS2 Subverter off-road helmet! First thing you’re going to notice is the futuristic shape. Second the abundance of vents in the shell. Pick it up and it feels as light as it looks — 3.7 pounds (according to the Ebay postal scale here at the Gonzo compound). Interesting tidbit, 3.7 pounds is exactly what my new premium brand helmet weighs. I compare the two helmets back and forth, balance, weight distribution, perceived weight. I look at the two helmets without bias towards brand. Believe it or not, I like the LS2 better. I showed the two helmets to the girls in the office, they don’t know anything about helmets or brands, but they all picked the LS2 as being their favorite. Sure, they voted for the sharp look of the helmet, but when one cost 3 times the price of the other... Just what is LS2? Never heard of it? Me neither, so I asked Phil Ammendolia, president of LS2 America. Seems that back in 1990 Arthur Liao opened shop in a 600 square foot house in rural China, with one employee (that’s a 20’x30’ space, or a big 2 car garage). The two men got the ball rolling and in 1992 they moved into a 4,000 sq./ft. factory. Two years later they moved into a 18,000 sq./ft. purpose-built factory. In 2005 after continued growth, they moved in to their 330,000 sq./ft. factory and manufactured more than 2,000,000 helmets in a single year. Over 1,000 employees are employed in the factory. Research and development is done in Barcelona, Spain at the LS2 offices there. From company videos, that building looks to be 30,000 sq./ft. Then there is LS2 America with 30,000 sq./ ft. Oh, there are also dealers in 86 countries around the world stocking and selling LS2 Helmets. They are currently building more than 3 million helmets a year! Mr. Liao is either a helmet building genius, or a real estate genius… or a chain of command building genius. Consider the red tape involved in selling to 86 countries. I can hardly operate a modern parking meter, so we must admit there is SOME genius at work at LS2.
I am absolutely unqualified to TEST a helmet. I think about the company itself and it’s an amazing story. I started a few years before Mr. Liao did and all I’ve managed to create is a deep, slick walled hole filled with debt and failure with a firm bottom of burnt bridges and broken dreams. Since I can’t comprehend a business on the scale of LS2, so all I can do is report on my impression of what’s in my hands… or on my noggin. I hold it in my hands and it looks cool… literally. The Subverter has 35 air ports for ventilation. I put the LS2 on and it’s very comfortable. I grab it on long hot days. It does the trick. Fun fact: The face, head and upper chest are up to five times as sensitive to changes in temperature as other areas of the body. The cooling vents help radiate the heat from my noggin during the dog days of summer. The flexible visor does an adequate job of blocking roost. I did draw an early key time last race and direct sunlight shined through the visor when headed southeast, I fixed that with race tape... That’s about the only negative I have with the helmet, sunlight coming through the visor easily fixed with a strip of tape. This is another product I have to give high marks to, what I hold in my hands is nice, how it fits MY head is nice, the company is an amazing story, so yet another two thumbs up for LS2 Helmets. If you are shopping a helmet line to sell in your store, you should consider LS2. Centrally located in Chicago, shipping is a couple days in the lower 48. LS2 sales reps blanket the country, so if you want to see their line, just ask. Dirt, Street, Half, Kids, Adventure, Snow, Modular, Open Face, Touring, they have a complete line. LS2 America 2255 White Oak Cir Aurora, Illinois 60502 (888) 968-9888 www.LS2helmets.us
HARDEN & ASSOCIATES
Bringing a Unique Perspective to the Powersports Business
Specializing in Adventure, Dual Sport, Off-Road and EV market segments. Delivering solutions in today’s rapidly evolving marketplace. Over 35 years of senior level executive management experience. • • • • • •
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Scot Harden firstname.lastname@example.org
The latest Can-Ams fresh from Club BRP in Las Vegas.
Now a part of the Bonnier family of events when the media giant bought out Family Events back in 2016 (which had bought out the show from the founders at Wright Publishing/Hot VWs/Sand Sports Magazine), the SSSS event has maintained its focus on the dune crowd for the past two decades of operation.
Sand Sports Super Show Hits 21
othing beats getting dealt 21 when you are playing blackjack! Certainly the crowds attending the annual Sand Sports Super Show back in September hit the jackpot as all the major players in the dunes showed up at the Costa Mesa Fairgrounds for a three days of action. From Bell Helmet’s “Qualifier” pumper helmet to shocking developments from Fox LiveValve suspension on the aftermarket side and a collection of Can-Ams fresh from being introduced at the BRP dealer meeting in Las Vegas to Yamaha’s 2020 ATVs and UTVs, there was literally something for everyone. Honda even had the Turbo Talon stashed away in the Jackson Racing display. Billed as the world’s biggest sand-specific EXPO, maybe the Sand Sports Super Show should change its name. During the past two decades the fall kick off to sand season has also become the UTV industry’s trade show. Sure, the odd sand rail or old Baja Bug may still show up, but this event is the epicenter of the Side-BySide sector every September… a fact not lost on the OEMs and aftermarket leaders alike. In fact, Can-Am actually held its media launch and world premiere at the show back in 2012.
Greaves Racing is part of the bLU cRU again for the coming season.
Polaris 65th Anniversary RZR build.
Now catalogs full of new products and world premieres alike are rolled out like clockwork. Like the Dealer Expo back in the day, aftermarket players are conspicuous in their absence and failure to exhibit is a real sign of weakness. Attendance was up again this year, to the benefit of vendors and beer sales.
We will be checking out the Talon4 in the next issue.
Area dealers also made the most of the convoluted California laws by selling product that was being displayed by 300 someodd exhibitors, selling everything from tires and accessories to complete units. Bert’s Mega Mall had their customary hangar, bunt in recent years, strong dealer efforts from players like Temecula Motorsports have upped the ante.
The ultimate cross-over UTV?
Crowning achievement from King Shocks.
The Jackson Racing Turbo Talon was hidden behind the Honda display.
Mac’s tie-downs are looking to push into powersports dealers.
For a seat at the table for the 2020 Sand Sports Super Show, call (317) 236-6515 of click on www.sandsportssupershow.com
Anonymous Dealer Harley Needs To Take It To The Street
ecently I attended the 2019 AIMExpo, and found it very enjoyable as well as informative. If you didn’t go this year, make sure you do so next year. Not only do you see all the products in one place, but you’re also able to network with other dealers, and there are always some great speakers and seminars. It’s as good, or better, than any show I’ve seen in this country. I would also encourage more of the distributors and motorcycle manufacturers to participate. There were several of the OEMs who were conspicuous in their absence. As they say, #TogetherWeRise, so let’s all get on board next year! Another neat thing I did this year was to go on some test rides. There are some brilliant new bikes out this year. I tried a few different units, and was impressed by all of them. It’s great to see the technology and research going into today’s motorcycles. They’re so much better than the bikes we all started out on. Then I went to the Harley-Davidson test ride area. As usual, their bikes look great. They were shiny and the paint was wonderful, but looking around I could see no “Street” models. I asked, and was told, “Oh, we never bring them out.” Excuse me? Here we see HD having epic problems with declining sales and charges of them being irrelevant in this market; they are building bikes for Boomers, a market that is markedly declining. They say that they are
trying to get the “X” and “Y” generations into riding. The Street models, to me at least, are the ones that could do that. I went to the MIC meeting where there was talk about what we can do to bring the younger riders into the fold, yet here’s a company that has a line of bikes that I believe look nice, are priced perfectly and should sell well, but, “We never bring them out.” to demo days! I was told by one dealer that there wasn’t much profit in the “Street” models, and that’s why the dealers weren’t pushing them. I thought about how much I make on a PW50, or a Honda generator. There’s no excuse for not selling a unit that might just bring new riders not only into the store, but into their brand. Even if that model doesn’t have a huge margin. Honda, Yamaha, et al. look at their small bikes as gateway machines, which bring people into contact with the brand. How many of you look fondly at a brand because it was the first one you rode? As I’ve written before, when I went to a local HD dealer and asked how the Streets were selling, I was told “Who cares?” Well, dammit, Harley-Davidson Inc. should… Instead of ignoring a line of bikes that they may not make the gross profit that they’re used to, they need to demo them! Don’t hide them in the back — get them out front where new riders who think HDs are huge bikes ridden by fat old men can see them when they come in. Start to promote them, and dress some up on the floor so that potential clients can see them all customized. Surely there are some shops who have been successful selling the Street line? How do their sales stack up? Are these riders moving up to bigger Harleys? Are they buying more accessories and clothing? Does even a “low grossing” unit bring some profit in? Profit that would not exist if there were no Street sales? It’s time for Harley to get a bit more serious if they want to create more sales. These overly expensive electric motorcycles that they are pushing are not the answer. Maybe if they can get the price down to a reasonable level, and the range up, and the charging time shorter… Well, we’ll see. So, Harley-Davidson: let’s see you start to promote the Street line, I really believe that you could make something of them. You say that you need new riders. Let’s do something to bring them into the fold… and together maybe we will rise!
Yes, our international man of mystery is a real dealer; no we are not going to tell you who he is. Saying the things that you are thinking, without risking getting the franchise pulled. The Anonymous Dealer has more than three decades experience at the dealership, in every position from porter to dealer principal.
AIMExpo........................................................................28 DX1................................................................................43 Fuel Capital Group, Inc...............................................81 Harden & Associates...................................................77 Heideneu Tires.............................................................35 MBA Insurance ............................................................11 Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC)............................63 Motorcycle Industry Jobs (MIJ)..................................17 MOTOTV.........................................................................47 Motonation (Forcefield Body Armour)...............CVR 4 National Powersports Auctions (NPA)...................... 9
Piloteer Agency...........................................................67 STACYC..........................................................................59 Sullivan’s......................................................................38 Tread Lightly................................................................65 Trilobite........................................................................83 Tucker Powersports....................................................51 Twisted Throttle..........................................................19 United States Warranty Corporation.......................25 Vanderhall....................................................................... 7 Western Power Sports.............................................2-3 Woodcraft Technologies Inc. ....................................67
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10/2/19 9:42 AM
Photo by Joe Bonnello
Semper Fi Dick Kryder 1933-2019
emper Fidelis Uncle Dick. Industry icon Dick Kryder passed away on July 10, 2019 after a long career in the moto apparel industry, and most recently with Cobra USA. Although he was born in Indiana, he was raised in Milwaukie, Oregon. An Eagle Scout, Dick joined the U.S. Marine Corps. Dick enlisted on 1-30-1953, just beating the Draft Notice that was delivered to him shortly thereafter. He completed Drill Instructor School in San Diego before being shipped to Korea where he fought on the front lines near the 38th parallel. He was Honorably Discharged 1-29-56 as Sergeant E-4. During his time in service, he received the National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal and even a Good Conduct Medal. After the
Korean Conflict ended, Dick used the GI Bill to pay for school. He graduated from Portland State College in 1958 with a Bachelor of Science. In 1976 Dick was recruited by Jim Tobin the President of Scott USA to become the sales and marketing manager of the motorcycle division for the famous ski goggle company. He helped make Scott goggles the number one selling brand in the 1970â€™s and 1980â€™s. He also was responsible for the introduction of the infamous Scott plastic boot. Forward-thinking Dick was able to get top riders including Bob Hannah, Danny LaPorte and the Wheelie King, Doug Domokos to wear the boots in order to bring attention to the brand. In 1980 after Scott USA, he joined in a partnership with Bob Hannah and
Scott Boyer to form Hannah Racing Products (HRP). HRP was famous for having MX pants with built-in kidney belts along with their even more famous Flak-Jak chest protectors. Then in 1983 Dick teamed up with Scott Boyer to bring Smith Goggles to the motorcycle market. They pioneered the Smith Roll-Off System. Now there are motorcycle enthusiasts in muddy corners all around the world who enjoy the Roll-Off System. After HRP, Dick also began consulting for various industry companies. Within a few years he began working primarily for Cobra USA. At Cobra he was responsible for all foreign and international sales.
People will remember Dick Kryder as one of the nicest and fun loving people within our business. He will be sorely missed by all that knew him.
God speed Uncle Dick. ~ Ken Boyko
Trilobite is a new in the USA, premium brand of serious, yet relaxed look street/ adventure riding apparel. Founded in 2011 in the Czech Republic, a country with a rich history of quality engineering, Trilobite was named after all the trilobite fossils in the local gravel pit where the company founder, Martin Solar, learned to ride.
Unlike most of the other premium brands the Trilobite collection is engineered and tested by riders then turned over to designers to refine vs. the more widespread industry practice of designers creating an item and then directly sending it to the costing department and then straight into production leaving you, the dealer, and your clients, to test it. Using many proprietary materials combined with unique-quality materials Trilobite is a stand out brand. Whether it is Dyneena®, Raw denim, Kevlar®, Aramid, Cordura®, Cool-Max®, Wax Cotton, 3M® Scotch-Brite™, top grain goat and cow leather, Velcro® or Lycra®, Trilobite products are built using only the best and with a sharp tailored fit! Plus many items come standard with CE2 level protection.
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Forcefield Body Armour.
Protection does not need to feel like protection - strange thing eh? For over 25 years Forcefield has made it their business to produce armour that is soft, features repeat impact performance, has 3 dimensional moulding, is lightweight, offers heat activated/form fit moulding to the riders body shape and is breathable, all very intelligent.
Here’s the thing-
So comfortable that you don’t know you are wearing it- AND passes the CE 2 impact safety test at the industry’s highest possible levels! Tried and proven over decades to offer the very best professional protection. Used by the moto military, moto police, professional riders and stuntmen the world over- this is a product you need to be stocking. With virtually a zero returns rate, and massive rider satisfaction, this is a unique honest and very profitable brand.
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A SALUTE TO AIMEXPO — DEALER PROFILE: Skidmark Garage Paying It Forward — CURRENTS: eNews & Notes From AIMExpo — DISTRIBUTOR DOINGS: Helmet...
Published on Oct 14, 2019
A SALUTE TO AIMEXPO — DEALER PROFILE: Skidmark Garage Paying It Forward — CURRENTS: eNews & Notes From AIMExpo — DISTRIBUTOR DOINGS: Helmet...