Dealernews editors and contributors are crazy-busy each year in Indy. They’re responsible for writing and editing three Show Daily newspapers and three DealerNEWS ALERT e-newsletters, and updating Dealernews.com as well as the Dealernews Facebook and Twitter accounts. Then there are all the scheduled meetings and dinners, including the Top 100 Dealer Awards.
Sunday at the show is a tad more relaxed. Production of the Dailies is over, so we’re able to walk the show more casually and see what we missed the first two days of coverage. Below, in alphabetical order by company name, is a rundown of some of this year’s products and services of note. For full coverage, see our January and February print editions, as well as all the postings here on the website, and watch for our April magazine wrap-up.
Ability Dealer Management Solutions (www.abilitydms.com) made its debut at Dealer Expo. Ability is a subsidiary of Adam Systems, which has been in the dealer management system business for more than 20 years. Ability says it “offers dealers automated services and solutions to include Parts, Service, Unit Sales, Accounting, and more.” As a pricing special until the end of March, Ability will match any competitive quote and waive the first month’s maintenance. “We are excited about our first showing at the Dealer Expo, and dealer traffic has been much better than expected,” says Bruce Weaver, president of Ability DMS and Adam Systems. Ability recently bought Shamrock Systems, another longtime software player in the powersports market. Ability now claims to serve more than 1,000 auto and powersports dealerships.
AGV (www.agv.com) introduced at Indy its 2012 collection, which contains several new models. New for the company’s Racing line, for example, is the AGV Grid helmet (shown). It features new internal padding and new skin-friendly fabrics for improved comfort. MSRP starts at $399.95. AGV products are distributed by Parts Unlimited and Dainese USA.
Akrapovic (www.akrapovic.com), the 21-year-old exhaust system maker based in Slovenia, opened its first U.S. office in Irvine, Calif., in 2010. Then last summer the company entered the V-twin market. Indeed, the company displayed at Dealer Expo several systems for Harleys. The company also had a new system for the revamped 2012 Yamaha WR450F.
ASA Electronics (www.asaelectronics.com) is supplier of Jensen PowerSports speaker packages at three price points. “Good” retails for $179.99 and consists of a JAHD240 amp with a pair of JXHD30HPC speakers and a JPORTG 1/8-inch auxiliary input. The 80-watt system allows users to play their iPod or MP3 player. “Better” retails for $229.99 and consists of a MS30 radio with a pair of the JXHD30HPC speakers and a JENAUX auxiliary input with USB interface. This 160-watt system adds radio plus a USB input for a music stick. For another 60 bucks, users can add a second pair of JXHD30HPC speakers to take advantage of the four-channel head unit. “Best” retails for $479.99 and consists of a MS30 radio with two pairs of the JXHD30HPC speakers, a JAHD240 amp and a pair of MSX60RV speakers with a JENAUX. This six-speaker 240-watt system features all the playing capabilities already listed. Customers also can buy all these items individually. Another cool product offered by ASA Electronics is the Voyager ToughCam Digital Wireless Camera System for keeping an eye on a vehicle while transporting it. You mount the wireless camera in the trailer, then watch the bike via a small monitor while you drive.
Autodata (www.autodatapubs.com) has long provided dealers with technical data, labor times, labor estimators, and diagnostic trouble codes for motorcycles. Now it offers the same data and services for ATVs and side-by-sides.
Avitus Group (www.avitusgroup.com) was founded 16 years ago to help small businesses with back-end operations. “We do the things that don’t make business owners money, but that they’re often sucked into doing,” Kenneth Balster, the company’s VP of marketing, told us at the show. “Owners are usually very good on the revenue side of their business, but not good on back-end operations.” Avitus Group offers the following “mall of business services”: Human Resources, Safety & Risk Management, Employee Compensation, Employee Benefits, Bookkeeping, CFO Assistance, Business Valuation, Strategic Planning, Avitus Payroll Services, Recruiting, Training, and Taxation Services.
The BaggerShield (www.baggershield.com) adjustable touring windshield was displayed at last year’s show, but it wasn’t for sale yet. Now it’s available for about 15 different applications, including Harley-Davidson, Victory, Honda (the Gold Wing), Kawasaki and Yamaha models. There’s even a model for the Can-Am Spyder RS. Users can adjust the shield without tools from a low sport height to a tall touring height. The initial and final heights vary greatly depending on the application. See the product’s website for details. All shields are made from 3/16-inch-thick Lucite acrylic, and all have a tinted lower shield and a clear upper shield. Slip Streamer makes the BaggerShield, which is sold through distributors.
Belt Drives Ltd. (www.beltdrives.com) was displaying two new billet four-piston calipers CNC-machined in-house. GMA 525 Series calipers are for all 2000-to-2012 Softail and Dyna models and are available in chrome and black. GMA 500 Series calipers are for all 2008-to-2012 Touring models and are also available in chrome and black.
Canyon Dancer (www.canyondancer.com) was displaying nifty stainless steel Strap Rings that allow you to put a strap anywhere you can put a bolt. They sell for $8.95 per pack and are stamped with “Canyon Dancer.” A Moose Racing version is stamped accordingly and come in Moose Racing packaging. Canyon Dancer’s main products remain the Bar-Harness and Bar-Harness 2, the latter of which retails for $29.95. They offer an easier way to secure a motorcycle by tie-downs without damaging it.
ChannelAdvisor (www.channeladvisor.com) is a software company that helps retailers sell online through multiple channels like eBay and Amazon. Click here for an earlier article on the 10-year-old company. ChannelAdvisor’s Curtis McDowell told us at the show that dealers now selling $50,000 in products (or about 2,500 SKUs) online per month could benefit from his company’s services. McDowell also encourages all dealers to attend the AutoCommerce Show April 16 in Las Vegas. This event is just prior to the ChannelAdvisor Catalyst Conference, an educational networking conference for e-commerce leaders.
Chopper College (www.choppercollege2020.com) used the show to preview its Motorsports Academy online training modules due out in April. A rep at the booth said the company is already working with Royal Purple and is in negotiations with other vendors. Plans include “hands-on three-day boot camps,” technical education from industry professionals, and three new courses every three months in 2012.
DealerLogic (www.breezego.com), a dealer management system provider, now offers customizable dealer website templates. “Our websites are designed with two objectives in mind: ranking high in search engines and converting leads into opportunities,” says the company’s brochure. “We are experts in Web marketing, and we have built our dealer website platform to conform to best practices for ranking high in search engines.” As you’d expect, DealerLogic websites and software are integrated. Website visitors can search a dealer’s inventory by make, vehicle type, stock number, etc. To learn more, go to the company’s demo website at wwww.dealergeneral.com
DID Chain (www.didchain.com) has simplified its product line by merging its O-Ring V Series and its X-Ring VM Series into the new Pro-Street X-Ring VX Series. In developing the new chain, DID says it focused on improving rigidity. “Traditionally, tensile strength has been used to indicate the overall strength of a chain,” the company says. “But tensile strength is only a laboratory static measurement of a chain’s breaking point. Rigidity, on the other hand, is the ability of a chain to withstand forces that occur in a rider’s real-world experience. Increased rigidity means better power transfer from the engine to the ground and greater resistance to stretching under load.” The Pro-Street X-Ring VX Series is priced at the old O-ring MSRP and comes in 428VX, 520VX2, 525VX and 530VX sizes.
Duro (www.durotire.com) was talking up the new Kaden tire, which is a spec OE tire for the Arctic Cat Wildcat. In April, the company will introduce the Frontier tire (shown) for side-by-sides and utility four-wheelers. The tire will have a tread suitable for all terrains.
Expanding to the V-twin market, the GPR Stabilizer (www.gprstabilizer.com) is now available for Harley-Davidsons Sportster 1200s and Dyna Street Bobs. The adjustable product smoothes out the ride for less fatigue and reduced arm pump. The stabilizer bolts on via billet machined aluminum mounts and top clamp. Customers can choose among nine anodized damper colors.
HARD (Helmet Armour/Riding Divison) (www.hard-helmets.com) is a new helmet vendor that had an impressive-looking Dealer Expo booth. The Korean company launched at last year’s EICMA in Italy. A rep at the booth said that the company has factories in both Korea and China, and has a U.S. office in Los Angeles. HARD offers a surprising variety of helmets. Retail pricing, according to the rep: $199 for a fiberglass motocross helmet, $159 for a polycarbonate motocross helmet, $169 for a street full-face helmet, and $189 for a modular helmet. See the company’s website for additional types of helmets.
New from Spain-based Ixil Silencers (www.ixil.com) is the X55 made from stainless steel finished in a satin matte. The shiny “Big Flow” tip is chromed aluminum. Applications include Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, Suzuki and Yamaha models. There are also applications for the BMW S 1000 RR and Ducati 696 Monster.
This was the first Dealer Expo for KB Motorcycle Pistons, a division of United Engine and Machine Co. (www.uempistons.com) in Carson City, Nev. The company has been making pistons since 1922 and motorcycle pistons for about 20 years. The KB line is sold through distributors. KB’s new Hypereutectic Series is a stock replacement piston for the Harley-Davidson Sportster XR1200 and Buell 1200, model years 2008 to the present. The piston also can be retrofitted into a standard 1200. Another new product, sold under United Engine’s Icon Powersports brand, is a forged piston for 62 different four-stroke dirtbikes and ATVs, with more applications on the way. The piston is made from a 2618 alloy.
Klotz (www.klotzlube.com) was displaying a brand-new line of lubricants for ATVs and side-by-sides. It consists of three products:
- ATV/UTV Synthetic Engine Lubricant 0W/40,
- ATV/UTV Synthetic Engine Lubricant with Integrated Tansmission 10W/40, and
- ATV/UTV Front/Rear End Differential Lubricant.
Klotz recommends the 0W/40 lubricant for Polaris and John Deere vehicles. It recommends the 10W/40 lubricant for vehicles made by Arctic Cat, Can-Am, Honda, Kawasaki, KYMCO, Suzuki and Yamaha. Both engine lubricants are API- and JASO-certified.
We earlier reported on Kryptonite’s redesigned Keeper disc lock and new Evolution Series 4 line of integrated chain locks. Also new is the KryptoFlex 1518 Key Cable (www.kryptonitelock.com). Retailing for $34.95, the 6-foot-long 15 mm cable replaces the company’s previous 15 mm cable that retailed for $52. The cable has a noncoiling style for use in colder temperatures when a traditional coiled cable is too stiff to use. The lock head rotates 360 degrees for easier handling during locking and unlocking.
Lethal Threat (www.lethalthreat.com) has long offered a large selection of apparel, patches and decals and other products, doing its own embroidery in-house. One of its latest brands is Lethal Angel.
Liquid Image (www.liquidimageco.com) was displaying at the show its upcoming Torque HD Video Goggle, as well as its Ego mountable camera, both due in June. The Ego is a 1080P Wi-Fi-enabled video camera slated to retail for $179.99. It will come with a micro SD card plus one or more mount. The Ego features a 136-degree wide-angle lens, a 12.0MP still-images mode, and the ability to record video at up to 60 frames per second. The Torque HD Video Goggle will retail for $399 and come in black or white. It is both Wi-Fi- and GPS-enabled, and features a 136-degree wide-angle lens, a 12.0MP still-images camera mode, and two video modes: HD1080P at a rate up to 30 frames per second, and HD720P at a rate of up to 60 frames per second. Liquid Image also plans to introduce in October the Apex HD Video Goggle for Snow Sports, also retailing for $399.
MIC Systems & Software (www.micsystems.com) has added a warehouse locator to its dealer management system. The feature allows dealers to check product availability at the warehouses of Parts Unlimited, Tucker Rocky and Western Power Sports, giving them a better idea of shipping times. The company has also added a service technician scheduler that has a similar look to Microsoft Outlook.
Montgomery Motorsports (www.montgomerymotorsports.net) was displaying a carbon-fiber airbox for the Suzuki Hayabusa. The company claims that independent dyno testing shows that the airbox produces 4 horsepower over stock. Montgomery also claims the airbox is 4 lbs. lighter than stock. Two versions are available. The first, for 2007-and-earlier models, has a burst panel and accepts OEM and aftermarket filters. The second, for 2008-to-2012 models, contains no burst panel and does not have air filter capability. Montgomery also was displaying a Quick Seat Release (shown) for the 2007-and-earlier Hayabusa. This concealed part allows for the removal of the seat in a matter of seconds.
Motul (www.motul.com) was at the show with new packaging for its new MC Care line of 18 products, nine of which are brand-new: Filter Oil Spray, Chain Paste, Insect Remover, Scratch Remover, Chrome & Aluminum Polish, Perfect Seat, Helmet Clean, Perfect Leather and Hands Clean.
Early this year MTA merged with NHJ Powersports to form MTA LLC, which had a booth at Dealer Expo. This consolation of distributors comes about 18 months after Hap Jones and Nichols Motorcycle Supply combined to form NHJ Powersports. What makes this latest merger interesting is that MTA’s focus was off-road, NHJ’s street. So the new company will be able to serve a larger variety of dealers.
Nolan’s latest is the N104 modular helmet (www.nolanhelmets.com). The model uses two outer shell sizes: one for sizes XXS-L, the other for sizes XL-XXXL. The dual-action chin guard opening system is positioned in the center of the chin guard, allowing for one-handed opening. The eye port is larger than any other found on a Nolan helmet, both vertically and laterally. The visor can be removed using a push-button system, and a Pinlock anti-fog insert is included. The system controlling the internal sunscreen allows for immediate retraction of the screen in the standby position via a push-button release. To lower the inner shield, a slide bar is used. See the company’s website for additional features.
Optimum Performance Products (www.oppracing.com) is a 13-year-old distributor of performance parts located in Blaine, Wash. It was displaying at Dealer Expo a new BST full-carbon swing arm for the Ducati 1098, 1198, 848 and Street Fighter. The swing arm is much lighter and stiffer than stock, meaning less bending during riding. MSRP is set to be around $5,600. Another new product is the world’s first single-piece carbon fiber gas tank made by Carbon Design Team (or CDT). The ethanol-gas-resistant tank has no seams, meaning no leaks. Applications include the Ducati models listed above. Future applications are the 1199 Panigale and the BMW S 1000 RR.
Pit Bull (www.pit-bull.com) will be replacing its current front stands with its new universal Hybrid stand that gives the users the option to lift from the stem or from the forks. The former option allows for seven levels of height adjustment and features a 6 mm bolt to hold the calipers. Customers can choose from three price points: $209 retail for both options, $149 for a fork lift only, and $169 for a stem lift only. A removable handle is a $10 option.
The latest from Ram Mounts (www.rammount.com) is the X-Grip spring-loaded universal cell phone holder. It’s sold individually or in kits and is compatible and interchangeable with a wide range of Ram mounting products. Rubber-coated tips hold phones firm and stable. MSRP is $31.28.
Rush Racing (www.rushracingproducts.com) has a new brake rotor that it claims is 60 percent lighter than stock and will never warp or crack. The rotor is made of an aluminum ceramic composite. A booth rep said the rotor had no wear even after a quarter-million miles of testing. Applications are 1984-to-2012 Harleys. Rush Racing’s newest seat uses a combination of foam and memory gel and has a channel to relieve pressure on the tailbone and prostate. Applications are 2008-and-later Harley Touring models. Other fitments will be available shortly. Seams are sealed on the inside, keeping the seat dry. Rush Racing is currently conducting a 20-percent-off promotion on all seats.
RXSpeed runs a new social website catering to people who want to evaluate products by providing ratings and reviews as well as uploading product photos and DIYs of their installations. RXSpeed content can be shared on Facebook, Twitter and other outlets like forums and blogs. Dealers also can upload inventory and create a company profile. Take a tour at www.rxspeed.com/tour.php
Schumacher Electric (www.batterychargers.com) has been in the automotive market for 65 years. Now it’s tackling powersports. Its Battery Extender automatic 1-amp battery charger/maintainer comes with a 14-foot quick-connect harness, LEDs that indicate charging status, quick-connect ring connectors with in-line fuse and protective shroud, and quick-connect 50-amp clamps with in-line fuse. The total length of all cables is 20 feet to make it easy to charge from a distance. Coming in March is a Battery Extender automatic 3-amp battery charger/maintainer (shown) that keeps the user informed through scrolling digital messaging.
Scorpion Sports (www.scorpionusa.com) was letting dealers know that it has signed up with D2M. The two companies’ booths were adjacent to each other. Click here for an earlier article on D2M, which helps vendors sell dealer-direct. About seven months ago, Scorpion hired a new product manager: Michael MacGregor, who had spent 11 years with Helmet House. He says the company plans to have a big marketing push this spring. Two of the new products for April will be the entry-level Drafter jacket and pant, both with minimized branding. The jacket retails for $129.95 and features CE-approved armor at the elbows and shoulders, dual-adjustment waist belts, a belt loop for pant attachment, and mesh with 600-denier nylon impact panels. MacGregor said the company spent a lot of time getting the position right of the collarless neck opening. The pant retails for $109 and features CE-approved knee armor and stretch panels above the knee. Also new will be the Synergy graphic (pictured) for the EXO-400 helmet.
Southern Motorcycle Supply (www.southernms.com) announced last summer that it had become the exclusive U.S. distributor of JT Racing, the famous gear brand that had recently relaunched. Southern is distributing JT’s line of pants, jerseys, gloves, helmets and casual wear. At Dealer Expo, the distributor was displaying gear in 11 colorways, three of which were new. Shown here are two of the new colorways. The third features a bright orange. Southern is running a dealer special until the end of February: Buy $2,500 in gear and get 20 percent off dealer cost on additional gear orders for the rest of 2012.
3BR Powersports (www.3brpowersports.com) in April will introduce a 2.1-amp TAPP USB Power Port to complement its current 1-amp model. The products give riders power for accessories like GPS, cell phones, MP3 players and so on. 3BR says the panel mount for the 2.1-amp TAPP will be easier to use and will mount to thicker panels.
The TigerTail (www.tigertail.us) is a retractable tow rope system for ATVs and side-by-sides. “Superior to a tow strap and wicked-fast compared to any electric winch” is how the manufacturer describes the product. Mounts are available for most late-model utility ATVs and UTVs. Features include constant tension, self-locking hook storage, and fast installation with no wiring required. The system for ATVs has a steel frame and a 15-foot-long rope, weighs 8 lbs., measures 9 inches by 6 inches by 8 inches, and retails for $159.95. The UTV system has a thicker steel frame, weighs 9 lbs., measures 10 inches by 6 inches by 8 inches, and retails for $199.95. Its rope is 15 feet long but has an average rope-break strength of 12,000 lbs. instead of the ATV system’s 8,000 lbs.
Vital Media helps dealers make use of digital signage. The company’s products include dBoard (digital signage for sales or service areas), dB TV (digital signage with TV for waiting areas), and the Interactive Sales Assistance Suite that helps salespeople sell. This latter product can run on various devices like a tablet or video wall. Check out Vital Media’s content for in-store digital signage at wwww.vitalmedia.com/MCV
Workshop Hero (www.workshophero.com) is a new consumer-focused division of Armor Protective Packaging, a Michigan-based industrial company specializing in corrosion management systems. Metal Rescue is an acid-free, nonhazardous rust-removing liquid. Dry Coat is a spray rust preventative that reportedly dries quickly with any tacky residue. Both products are water-based, biodegradable, nontoxic and environmentally friendly.
Longtime windshield maker Zero Gravity (www.zerogravity-racing.com) now makes sportbike seats. The Latigo Series of performance saddles feature “specially formulated” foam, vinyl seat skins, and a lightweight ABS base that fits like stock. Applications include several Ducati, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha sportbikes.
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