Parts Unlimited: A bolder presence for Icon – February 12, 2007
February 12, 2007
Filed under Features
Icon will get a larger presence this year in Parts Unlimited’s exhibitor area at Dealer Expo.
Sporting a number of new jackets, helmets and other product, the Parts Unlimited in-house brand gets a new and bigger booth for this year’s show.
“As the brand grew, we thought we really need to reflect our brand image better,” Josh George, Icon’s general manager, said of the brand’s new booth.
Icon will have plenty of new products to display on that larger platform, including two items that sold especially well after their fall launch. Other in-house brands for LeMans Corp.’s Parts Unlimited and Drag Specialities also will have new products of note. Moose Racing officials pointed to new National Rifle Association-licensed ATV accessories as among its must-see items.
Whether it’s Moose or Icon, dealers can expect to see those brands and others represented by LeMans’ brand managers and product specialists at the Dealer Expo, said Greg Blackwell, vice president of sales for LeMans.
“Their No.1 goal and priority,” Blackwell said of the company’s brand managers and product specialists, “is to educate dealers and our sales reps about the product lines they represent and why the dealers and sales rep should be selling them.
“Those people will all be present in their respective booths at the show, whether that’s an Icon person, SBS person, Suomy person or an Alpinestars person.”
The Icon product specialists have at least two different jacket styles that they’ll be talking about extensively.
George, Icon’s general manager, believes the new high-end Accelerant, a jacket mixing leather and textiles, could someday rival the Motorhead for being the brand’s top seller.
“I’d say this could be the future step of that jacket,” George said of the Accelerant, noting it “has some really cool pieces that look like it’s bolted into the jacket. Everybody will see it at the show.”
The Accelerant has external back and shoulder protection with alloy inserts and features an abrasion-resistant texture Icon calls Stretch Ballistic Nylon, which is placed in strategic positions for comfort. The jacket also has CE-approved armor and a removable insulated windproof liner.
A second Accelerant jacket, the Stealth, features the same textile but is a distinctive and different look — a style that veers away from Icon’s traditional “punch-in-your-face” look.
“Although I’d say we want to be like that, we also wanted to show a softer or a more mature side” with the Accelerant Stealth jacket, George said, adding that because of that he doesn’t necessarily expect this jacket to be a big volume mover.
“Although probably for somebody like me or kind of a more European-taste rider, it might appeal to them more.”
Another jacket that could appeal to consumers this spring is Icon’s Battlecry jacket, which will share similar graphics as the Battlecry helmet that was released last fall. That helmet, with its aggressive graphics, was a big hit with consumers.
To draw them back, Icon has designed two Battlecry jackets, a leather version, which will retail for $600, and a mesh version for considerably less ($180).
“We still want them to wear protection,” George said of younger consumers who can only afford the mesh jacket. “So we can offer them the same cool vibe, but you don’t necessarily get the leather with the intense embroidery and all that.”
Another new jacket that many dealers will see for the first time is the Daytona DMH, which features distinctive graphics that go a long way in explaining the acronym DMH (Dead Man’s Hand). The jacket features removable CE-approved shoulder and elbow armor and a zippered intake and exhaust vents for cooling.
For the female rider, Icon will be displaying its Bombshell gear, including its high-heeled riding boot.
“This wasn’t something we just did for pure fashion reasons,” George said of the riding boot that was tested by women riders before its fall release. “We had to make it both functional and comfortable.
“And we said, ‘You know what, we make women’s boots, but more or less in the past we’ve done versions of men’s boots. Why don’t we get something that clearly says this is for the female rider?’ We recognize that (they) are a legitimate piece of this business and deserve as much as protection as the boys.”
The move paid off as the boot was sold out in its first month this fall, George said, noting Icon quickly restocked the product and the current inventory is at a good level for the spring.
“I have a feeling it’s going to be phenomenal,” George said of the boot’s spring sales. The boot is available in black and features internal ankle and insole padding for comfort and protection and a metal heel protection plate.
For Moose Racing, its utility division will show a variety of products that are officially licensed by the National Rifle Association, an organization that boasts a membership of more than 4 million. Many of these accessories will be available in black and Mossy Oak Camouflage patterns.
Moose Racing also will be touting its new M1 boot, which the company says has many of the same features as higher-priced boots. The M1 will retail for $99.95 for adults and $84.95 for the youth version.
Moose’s hard parts division will show its dirt bike aluminum radiator guards ($84.95), which are are made of 4mm thick 5052 aluminum and feature laser etched, black anodized support bars that protect expensive and fragile radiators from side impacts and twisting. psb