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HOT NEWS – September 6, 2004

September 6, 2004
Filed under News

Arctic Cat, Thief River Falls, has named Kale Wainer as media relations specialist. Kale has a background in snowmobile and ATV publishing.


Miller Starts Company
Rick Miller, former CEO of Intersport Fashions West, has formed a new company called Thrill Ride Sport. The company plans to develop the Thrill Ride brand of garments for the cruiser and street riding markets. The company intends to offer a full line of garments including leathers, textiles, hats and sweatshirts, he said in a statement announcing the firm.
At the same time, the company said it has reached agreement with Jack Daniels to produce a line of motorcycle apparel. It will be launched at the 2005 Dealer Expo.
Miller served as product manager and director of parts and accessories at Harley-Davidson from 1977 to 1984 when he joined Intersport Fashions.


Bad Toys Completes Buy
Bad Toys, Inc. (OTCBB:BTOI), a manufacturer and seller of custom V-Twin motorcycles, custom street rods and provider of brokerage services to custom, classic cars, and motorcycle owners, says it has completed the acquisition of majority interest in American Eagle Manufacturing Company, Inc. from the former majority shareholder of American Eagle for $4,250,000 in stock, cash, and promissory note.
The deal includes Eagle’s subsidiaries and wholly owned companies American Eagle’s Motorcycles and American Eagle’s FunKarts, L.A.
Bad Toys, Inc. said it plans to begin shipping American Eagle 2004 models to dealers this month. Bad Toys plans to operate American Eagle as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bad Toys, Inc. The acquisition should expandBad Toys’ research and manufacturing capabilities with the 35,000 sq. ft. production facility located in Carlsbad, Calif.
American Eagle motorcycles are assembled in-house and carry MSRP from $19,200 to $70,000, depending on model and options. Additional information can be found at www.americaneaglemotorcycles.com.


Louisiana Helmet law
Helmet use by motorcyclists in Louisiana is again mandatory. The new law, which stems from legislation passed earlier this year, replaces a 1999 rule that required helmets only for those under 18.
All motorcycle operators and riders, not just those 18 and over, now must wear approved helmets or face fines of $50 plus court costs initially, and more for additional offenses.
Louisiana is the 20th state in the nation to make safety helmets mandatory. Backers of the law claim motorcycles account for 2% of motor vehicles in Louisiana but their riders make up 9% of fatalities.


Pawelka joins KYMCO
Rick Pawelka has joined STR, Inc. (KYMCO Motorsports USA) as marketing manager. A motorsports marketing and communications veteran, Pawelka most recently was associated with Moto Guzzi and Aprilia USA. He handled print media, press relations, advertising, dealer relations, and industry events for the Italian motorcycle/scooter manufacturers.
In other Kymco news, Bert’s Mega Mall of Covina, Calif. —billed as the nation’s largest motorcycle, watercraft, and ATV superstore — said it will now carry KYMCO products. Bert’s also carry’s Kawasaki, Honda, Polaris, Bombardier/SeeDoo, Suzuki, Ducati, Tahoe Trailers, Crownline Boats and KTM motorcycles.
Based in Inman, S.C., KYMCO USA serves more than 400 dealers with 11 scooter models, five ATV models, and one motorcycle in the U.S. market.


Amick leaves AMA Board
Bill Amick, American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) vice president of events and entertainment since 1997, resigned, effective Aug. 26.
Amick, 53, completed his 30th year of service to the AMA in May. He previously served as editor of the AMA’s American Motorcyclist magazine and as department head in AMA Communications and AMA Pro Racing.
Amick cited a desire to take time off to recuperate from a series of successful cancer-related surgeries before opening an independent company specializing in communications, media relations and event management.


CycleTrader.com Tours
Dealers now have the ability to showcase their dealership, inventory and services 24 hours a day seven days a week through a new Virtual Tours feature on CycleTrader.com.
“With virtual tours on CycleTrader.com, buyers can essentially visit a dealership and view inventory from the comfort of their homes at any hour of the day or night,” says Danielle Kerner, general manager for CycleTrader.com. “With the Internet playing such an integral role in the way people make decisions, we wanted to add this feature so that dealers using our services could have a powerful presence on the our site.”
Dealers opting to add the Virtual Tour Feature to their existing inventory listings on CycleTrader.com will get a 360º rotating view inside the showroom, a 360º view of the lot, and up to 10 color photos.
In other CycleTrader.com news, the company says that the Suzuki brand has averaged the most growth on the Web site since January. Searches for Suzuki motorcycles at CycleTrader.com have grown a total of 53% since the beginning of the year, with average monthly searches for the brand totaling 383,000.
In January, 216,000 searches were performed. The number continued to increase substantially through March, when the number of searches more than doubled to over 458,000.
These searches account for the brand’s 10.5% growth rate on CycleTrader.com. The manufacturer with the next largest growth rate is Kawasaki, averaging a 10% increase in number of searches with approximately 311,000 monthly searches.
Leading in consumer searches with an average 700,000 monthly, the Honda brand marked 8.6% growth; Yamaha searches grew 7.5%, averaging 470,000 each month; and Harley Davidson, at 339,000 monthly searches, grew 4.1%.


Go-Ped Wins Injunction
A federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting the importation of gas and electric motorized scooters that infringe on the patents, trademarks and copyrights owned by Patmont Motor Werks, Inc., the manufacturer of GoPed brand products.
Basing arguments on intellectual property infringement, as well as inequities in export and import duties, Nevada-based Patmont sued a number of firms from China, Taiwan and Korea it claimed were importing knockoffs of GoPed brand goods.
Defendants include Zhejiang Tianya Machinery Mfg.Co. Ltd., Yongkang Jinling Industry & Trade Co., Zhejiang Joint Industry & Trade Co., Ltd., Zhejiang Yongkang Baote Vehicles Co., Ltd., Zhejiang Langtao Group, and Shenzhen Haunchengzing Industrial Co., Ltd., A/k/a Storm (all of which are referred to in court papers as the Chinese Scooter Cartel); Suzhou Ufree Industry Co., Ltd, a Chinese company; Electromechanical Automatic Control Equipment Co., Ltd., a Chinese company; Asianation Taiwan. Ltd., a Taiwanese company; and Tami Manufacturing, a Korean company.
When the defendants failed to file responses or appear for proceedings, U.S. District Court Judge Howard McKibben issued the temporary injunction.
A family-owned and operated company, Patmont introduced its GoPed brand of scooters in 1985. Go-Ped products are available through a dedicated network of dealers in North America, Europe, Asia Africa, Latin America and the Middle East, and on the Internet at www.goped.com.


APS adds 13th Dealership
America’s PowerSports (APS), a large national powersports dealer group based in Nashville, Tenn., has acquired Macomb Powersports in Chesterfield, Mich. It is the group’s 13th dealer location.
“The Detroit market is a significant beachhead for us in the important Midwest market, one of the largest and growing power sports areas of the country,” said Clark Vitulli, president and CEO of America’s PowerSports. “The dealership has all the right brands for this market; it’s our first venture into snowmobiles, and the leadership team at Macomb’s is hungry and talented. We look forward to significant growth in Motown,” added Vitulli.
Bill and Lynn Smith owned Macomb Powersports for more than 20 years. Brands include Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki, SeaDoo and Arctic Cat. Lloyd Hildebrand, the dealership’s sales manager for the past 11 years, has been named general manager.
Formed in November 1998, America’s PowerSports represents major brands including Harley-Davidson, Honda, BMW, Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki, SeaDoo, Polaris and Arctic Cat. The group’s 13 dealership locations are in six states. For more information, visit www.americaspowersports.com.


IronHorse Restructures with $25 Million
American IronHorse Motorcycle Co. has completed a $25 million financial re-structuring. AIH said Xponential Advisors Inc., a subsidiary of Xponential Inc. (Nasdaq: XPOI), a large investor in the company, converted $10.5 million of debt to equity, paid down over $7 million of debt, and raised $8 million of equity.
In other AIH news, the company tapped BrandEra, Ltd. as its public relations agency of record. BrandEra’s principals, who include Beth Owens, Oné Musel-Gilley and Reecanne Joeckel, share an eight-year history working both in-house and as consultants for American IronHorse. The firm provides marketing and public relations services for a number of motorcycle dealers and related vendors nationwide.


Two auction operations merge
National Powersport Auctions (NPA), a Poway, Calif.-based motorcycle, ATV and personal watercraft wholesale auction house, has merged with Dallas-based Vehicles In Motion Auction Corporation.
“Our merger with Vehicles In Motion solidly establishes NPA as the number one name in the powersports auction business,” said Cliff Clifford, NPA Chief Executive Officer , from the company’s corporate headquarters.
NPA moves approximately 1,000 vehicles per auction.
NPA offers wholesale buyers the opportunity to participate in monthly live and online auctions, from facilities located in San Diego, Dallas, Atlanta and Columbus, Ohio.
NPA has strategic partnerships with Yamaha, Harley-Davidson Financial Services and American Honda Finance, as well as institutional lenders such as Household Finance, GE Retail Sales and Sheffield Financial.
NPA was founded in 1989 by a group of San Diego motorcycle dealership principals seeking to reduce their own used motorcycle inventory.

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