Exhausts and iPhones: Gadget geeks find a home at Two Brothers

Publish Date: 
Jun 12, 2013
By Dennis Johnson

For the first few years, TBR built exhaust systems for Hondas only. There were some big wins in road racing as the Two Brothers name spread around the motorcycle enthusiast world. The company’s exhaust line, performance record and style attracted customers. It started branching out into other brands and products were selling retail direct. As Erion put it, “I knew it was ours to screw up. In hindsight, we didn’t screw it up!”

Building on this success, and moving up over the curve, the company started moving more manufacturing processes from outsourcers to in-house. Knowing that keeping key production steps in-house is the backbone of a successful manufacturer, they started taking on operations to help with cash flow, product quality, lead times and the ability to offer dealer margins. In came catalog and design work, advertising, warehousing, manufacturing, marketing, R&D, book keeping, and product development.

Retail direct sales moved into dealer direct sales, and as the numbers grew, the company signed on with Tucker Rocky to test the distributorship waters, and then with Western Power Sports and Marshall Distributing.

It’s within this burgeoning business “machine” that the roots of Rokform and iPhone covers first took hold, but more on that later.

The company that exists today has grown to differentiate itself from a crowded market with a unique aesthetic — check out the carbon fiber weave on some of the company’s exhaust cans —thanks to its in-house design team lead by designer/engineer Bernhard Leitner. Its lineup now includes slip-on exhausts, full systems, fuel controllers, air filters, billet stands, and assorted parts and accessories.

Two Brothers also pushes hard with a first-to-market product development focus, knowing that being first in the aftermarket is absolutely imperative, whether it be powersports or automotive. “People remember is you’re the first one to have the Kawasaki Ninja 300 pipe,” said Joel Albrecht, Two Brother’s president. “Everybody who buys one goes, ‘Oh, Two Brothers has a pipe. Let’s see if anybody else has one.’ They remember we had the pipe.”

On the product development side, the company has created several proprietary design features for its exhausts — the V.A.L.E system is one of them. At the retail end, it pioneered the use of point-of-sale packaging and specialty displays in the exhaust market. Conventional display methods usually involve a shelf or pegs and slat wall. (continued)