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Western Power Sports: A growing supplier portfolio – February 12, 2007

February 12, 2007
Filed under Features

Western Power Sports, the Idaho distributor that reports a growing business and sales force, is adding to its supplier base, including the addition of a high-profile helmet manufacturer.
Western Power Sports (WPS) will unveil a number of new vendors at the upcoming Dealer Expo, including KBC Helmets.
“This is going to a real nice addition,” Terry Baisley, vice president of sales for WPS, said of KBC. “They have a very credible product, and it fits into the middle to middle-high category in the helmet spectrum.”
KBC Helmets, which carries a complete line for street and off-road segments, meet or exceed SNELL safety standards as well as DOT standards for its full-face helmets.
“Currently, we cover the low to mid end of the (helmet price-point) spectrum with Fly, GMAX and THH very well,” Baisley said of WPS’ offerings. “So this is a welcome addition to us.”
The Coming Year
The addition of KBC Helmets tops off a selling season that was successful enough that the company has expanded its work force and is looking to do the same with its facilities. WPS announced earlier this year that they would begin searching for a new warehouse to better serve the Northeast.
Since adding a warehouse in Memphis in 2003, the company has grown rapidly. Its sales force has gone from a group numbering in the 40s to one that was nearing 70 earlier last summer, when it held its annual national sales meeting. The sales force increase has occurred throughout the United States, with considerable expansion in the Southeast, the East and the Northeast.
“At WPS, we’re extremely excited about the 2007 season,” Baisley said. “2006 was great. We added a lot of new products that have done really well and we have a lot of new things we’ll be debuting at the Indy show.”
Those new things include at least three other new suppliers, including Sunstar Sprockets, DID Chains and Pro Grip.
Other New Additions
Sunstar has manufactured sprockets and high-performance brake disks for every major OEM in Japan, Europe and the United States, according to its Web site.
Sunstar and DID Chains represent “two of the leading companies in their categories,” Baisley said.
Pro Grip will provide WPS customers with a full line of grips, pads and goggles.
WPS also will be presenting new additions to its existing tire lines.
Shinko is unveiling a full selection of new cruiser tires, “which is going to be a mid-priced, high-level cruiser tire,” Baisley said. “So it should be very welcome.”
The distributor also will be showing off Michelin’s Pilot Power 2-CT, which will include Formula One technology “now brought to the public at a very reasonable price,” Baisley said.
Another existing vendor, Gaerne, will be showing at least three new styles of boots for the street, cruiser and women’s segments.
“They’re one of the few Italian boot companies that still produces a good part of the boot in Italy,” Baisley said of Gaerne.
Fly Racing
Among the new offerings that WPS’ in-house brand, Fly Racing, will be presenting include an ATV boot, which will retail for $89.95, and a new carbon fiber Kevlar helmet.
All of which point to a busy few days at WPS’ three Dealer Expo booths, one of which features the Fly Racing apparel.
“Our main focus at the show is to be there for our customers, to explain new product ranges and opportunities as well as enhance opportunities with our existing lines,” Baisley said.
That’s not to say WPS won’t be looking out for potential new vendors.
“Trying to be a progressive company, we’re always looking for the latest and greatest thing that shows up there,” he said, noting many of the more aggressive suppliers seek out WPS before the show.
“But there’s a lot of smaller, young product groups that show up at Indy. There are always a few treasures out there just looking for the right company to team up with.”

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