July 28, 2005
Filed under Features
Rod Lopusnak Leaves Suzuki
Rod Lopusnak has left American Suzuki Motor Corp. (ASMC). to take a marketing position with AMA Pro Racing.
Lopusnak served as marketing manager for ATVs and motorcycles at Suzuki. He was honored by Powersports Business magazine last year with a Powersports Leadership Award for his strong performance in rebuilding Suzuki's ATV program.
Under his direction, Suzuki's market share jumped from about 4% in 2001 to 10% in 2003. Suzuki's motorcycle sales also have grown over the last several years.
No replacement has been named for Lopusnak, and a company spokesman said the position is being re-evaluated due to the growth of the ATV and motorcycle operations.
In a related move, ASMC has promoted Joe Felts to the role of Off-Road Press Relations Administrator for ASMC's motorcycle/ATV division.
Felts will be responsible for press relations in regards to Suzuki ATV and off-road/motocross product lines. He will report directly to Glenn Hansen, ASMC's advertising and press relations manager for motorcycles and ATVs.
For the past five years, Felts has worked at ASMC's sales order desk and most recently as the motorcycle/ATV events marketing administrator.
KTM Warns of Gray Market
KTM North America, Inc., says it has discovered that motorcycles manufactured by KTM Sportmotorcycles of Austria have been imported from Europe directly by private individuals.
KTM North America, Inc. is the exclusive North American distributor of KTM Sportmotorcycles, and only KTM North America, Inc. is permitted to legally import a new KTM motorcycle into the United States or Canada. So-called “gray market” motorcycles do not meet safety and emissions regulations in the United States or Canada.
In a prepared statement sent to KTM dealers, the company says: “Only KTM motorcycles imported and distributed by KTM North America, Inc. and sold at retail by one of over 440 authorized dealerships throughout the United States and Canada are covered by the KTM warranty. Further, these are the only motorcycles that KTM North America, Inc. accepts responsibility for compliance with all regulations.
“Neither KTM North America, Inc., nor KTM Sportmotorcycle of Austria, will provide warranty coverage or service for motorcycles located in the United States and Canada which have not been sold through an authorized KTM retail dealer.
“KTM North America, Inc. its officers and directors, subsidiaries and affiliated companies emphatically state that they are not responsible in any way for KTM motorcycles located in the United States that have not been imported by KTM North America, Inc. and sold through an authorized KTM dealer.”
Ehlert Acquires Powerboat Magazine
Ehlert Publishing Group, Inc., Maple Grove, Minn., owner of Powersports Business magazine has acquired Powerboat magazine, the world's leading performance boating publication.
The announcement was made by Steve Hedlund, president of Ehlert, and Jerry Nordskog, owner and president of Nordskog Publishing, Inc., based in Ventura, Calif.
“We are proud to add Powerboat to our growing stable of
boating media,” said Hedlund. “Powerboat magazine is the unquestioned leader in the high-performance category, and it is an outstanding complement to our other titles in the boating market, which include Trailer Boats, Bass & Walleye Boats and WaterCraft World and Boating Industry.”
Powerboat magazine was founded in 1968 with a focus on performance boats, engines, poker runs, as well as race coverage. The magazine is well known for its “Performance Trials,” regarded as one of the industry's most comprehensive and authoritative testing programs.
The magazine has been led in recent years by Nordskog and Associate Publisher Vicki Newton. “Joining forces with Ehlert further strengthens the magazine,” said Newton, “and it will help keep Powerboat a prime source for high-performance boating information.”
With the Ehlert acquisition, Powerboat will be brought under the umbrella of the Ehlert Boating Group, which is led by Group Publisher Wiley Poole. Newton will continue to serve as associate publisher and Gregg Mansfield will remain as editor. The magazine, which is published 11 times annually with distribution of 32,000, will continue to be based in Ventura.
Ehlert is a subsidiary of Affinity Group, Inc., the largest media, marketing and retail company serving the recreational vehicle marketplace. In addition to publishing Powersports Business, Ehlert produces more than 20 consumer magazines serving the boating, motorcycle, ATV, snowmobile and camping markets,
Taipei Show Draws 5,033 Foreigners
The 2005 Taipei International Auto/Motorcycle Parts & Accessories Show ended its four-day run May 16 at the Taiwan World Trade Center after attracting 5,033 foreign buyers and 29,427 domestic visitors, according to the Taiwan External Trade and Development Council (TAITRA), the event's sponsor.
TAITRA is a key organization involved in promoting international trade for Taiwan businesses. TAITRA said the largest number of visitors came from, in order, Japan, the United States, Malaysia, China and Thailand.
China's 1Q Output: 3.48 million Cycles
China's motorcycle output during the first three months of the year reached 3,484,100 units, down 1.4% from output for the same period last year.
Manufacturers produced 1,164,200 units in January; 2,246,800 units in February; and 3,484,100 units in March, State-run Xinhua News Agency reported, quoting the country's National Bureau of Statistics.
China's motorcycle production totaled 14,294,000 units in 2003 and 15,815,500 units in 2004.
BRP Honors Designer
Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. (BRP) in association with the Institute of Design Montreal (IDM) has honored Douglas Ball, a Quebec industrial designer who influenced the future of the companies he worked for because of the products he created. BRP said Ball transformed the work environment of many people by introducing new systems and by dedicating part of his work to improve the quality of life of the handicapped. The BRP Sam-Lapointe Career award comes with a $10,000 dollar prize.
For winning the “Design IDM/BRP contest” with an innovative moped, the “E2B-750,” Johnathan Cote, a student at the University of Montreal, received a $2,500 prize and a three-month paid internship in one of BRP's design and innovation studios.
“BRP is proud to join with the Institute of Design, Montreal in promoting design in Quebec and supporting young designers,” said Denys Lapointe, vice president, design and innovation, BRP.
Motorcyclists Now ride Two-Up in Japan
Motorcyclists in Japan now can ride tandem on expressways, following a new law that went into effect April 1. The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA), a long-time proponent of motorcycle rights, says it is launching an extensive campaign to bolster safe riding practices. The new law allows passengers on motorcycles only if the bike is 125cc or larger and the operator is age 20 and older.
JAMA, which has been pushing the approach since 1992, now plans to produce pamphlets and a Web site to promote safe riding practices by motorcyclists new to the experience of riding two-up on expressways. The program will be produced under the theme “Good Highway Manners.”
Canadian ATV Consumer Show Planned
Although dates have yet to be announced, a new ATV expo is in the works in Fenwick, Ontario.
Stephen and Henry Bieda, of Bieda Powersports, said they plan to host an outdoor expo at their 88 acre powersports park.
The site, owned by Bieda Powersports, has been host to the World Cup of snowmobile grass drag races for the past 15 years. However, due to falling sales figures, low snow winters and industry-wide budget crunches, they canceled the snowmobile grass drags. With the cancellation of the popular snowmobile grass drags, they looked for alternative uses for the park, and an ATV expo fit well with their plans.
“The inconsistent weather patterns which make the sport of snowmobiling a challenge for promoters are not an issue for the ATV market,” Henry Bieda said.
The park includes a built-in mud bog, a 9.2 acre lake, motocross track and four miles of trails in
Minnesota Governor Hits the ATV Trails
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty got down and dirty at the All-Terrain Vehicle Association of Minnesota (ATVAM) spring convention at Park X in Hill City, Minn., in early May.
The annual event attracts ATVAM officers, members and others for a weekend of riding and taking care of business for the state association. The day before all of the festivities began, Gov. Tim Pawlenty joined ATVAM members, media and Minnesota powersports based manufacturers Arctic Cat and Polaris for the annual Ride With The Governor.
Pawlenty is no stranger to powersports. The Governor has taken part in numerous manufacturer-sponsored ATV and snowmobile rides, and has even showed his skills at trail-riding off-road motorcycles.
“I think we want to promote ATV riding in Minnesota, but we want to do it in a way that is responsible to the resource. I like the idea of getting people on the trails,” Pawlenty told the Grand Rapids, Minn., Herald-Review newspaper.
While the governor promotes safety, education and responsible use of ATVs and trail systems, he found himself answering to an incident he was in on the ride. While in a group of about 20 riders, the governor hit a tree stump and clipped a tree, which resulted in about $2,500 in damage to the ATV, according to reports. The governor was unhurt.
CCI Picks Up TP Products
Custom Chrome, a unit of Global Motorsport Group, Inc. (GMG), Morgan Hill, Calif., now offers engines and products from TP Engineering.
“We now have the most complete drivetrain offering in the industry with TP, S&S and Revtech products available from one source,” said John Lott, CEO of GMG.
The TP 114”, 121” and 124” will be offered in both standard and show polish. Along with the three engines, Custom Chrome also plans to offer TP's pro billet oil pump, TP Pro compression releases, and TP Pro-Vent rocker box covers for both Evolution and Twin Cam engines. Additionally, Custom Chrome plans to feature the TP Engines as an option with the company's HR3 Hardcore II Rolling Chassis.
PWC Tour Adds Event
An event called the Co-Ed Ski Challenge has been added to the 2005 Monster Energy Midwest Tour, a series of personal watercraft events.
The Co-Ed Ski Challenge is a stand-up race consisting of teams of one male and one female rider. It will be a single-moto format (one race) that will be run at each round of the series. The debut of the Co-Ed Ski Challenge will be at the first event of the series on June