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Next step for PWC exhaust company: Transitioning from sea to land

Liz Hochstedler, Managing Editor
May 13, 2013
Filed under Features, Top Stories

Company known for PWC exhausts hits the road with its sport bike line

The Coffman’s Exhaust name may be best known in the personal watercraft world, but the company has experience in a variety of segments, and it’s now entering the sport bike market.

Coffman’s new sport bike shorty exhausts are manufactured from 304 stainless steel tubing that’s CNC machined, mandrel bent and tig welded. While the high-quality construction is certainly noteworthy, the most noticeable feature is the anodized billet aluminum tip, which comes in four colors (candy apple red, gold, blue and polished aluminum) for a customized ride.

“The total trick element to this pipe is the billet, anodized aluminum tip. We like to call it ‘Style with Attitude,’” Pam Coffman, who works in marketing and promotions, said.

The exhausts fit stock, wide-tired and stretched swing arm applications, and the tip can be rotated to fit a rider’s needs. Included is an easy snap ring with an additional repackable black anodized sound suppressor and silencer.

“We’ve gone the extra mile to keep the sound level down,” Coffman said, adding that the snap ring will keep the sound suppressor on better than with other systems.

Coffman’s Exhaust, of Ukiah, Calif., leaned on its decades of experience when designing the sport bike line. Gary Coffman, a motorsports enthusiast, founded the company in 1973. He had a passion for motorcycle, ATV, rail, PWC and truck racing and turned that into a business.
“He has always been interested in motorcycles through most of his life and wants to experience them to the fullest extent,” said Pam Coffman, Gary’s wife.

Coffman’s Exhaust displays a small run of its stainless steel pipes at its Ukiah, Calif., headquarters.

Coffman’s Exhaust displays a small run of its stainless steel pipes at its Ukiah, Calif., headquarters.

Coffman’s Exhaust started out manufacturing 2- and 4-stroke pipes for off-road and street motorcycles and ATVs. In 1978, the company began producing its famous PWC exhausts.

“All of our watercraft exhausts were sold under Coffman’s, and we were one of the top two companies out there. We always attended all the races and World Finals and were very extremely involved in the market, so a lot of people know us for that. But a lot of people know us for our younger days when we did quads and motorcycles under the Coffman’s brand,” she said.

Private label, too

Though Coffman’s has made a variety of exhausts under its own name, private label pipes have meant big business for the company.
“We’re very strong with private label for ATVs and side-by-sides. That’s a big niche for us, doing the stainless steel tubing. We take a lot of pride in that,” Coffman said.

Recently the company entered into the automotive market with Coffman’s branded exhausts, and it’s now jumping into the sport bike segment as well.

“We’ve been looking into it for quite a while and had done a lot of research on it and really saw demand for something unique out there that wasn’t currently being offered,” Coffman said. “With the shorty exhausts, they were pretty much the same, and no one had the shortys with the anodized tip or our stainless steel method in the manufacturing process. We really want to pay attention to detail and make something that would want to stand out.”

Coffman’s is self-distributing its sport bike exhausts to ensure better pricing to dealers and consumers. Though the company doesn’t have much of a motorcycle dealer network as of now, it’s beginning to build those connections.

“We’re very familiar with working with dealers as partners, through our dealer network in the personal watercraft industry, and that was basically thousands of dealers worldwide. They have helped bring our product into the limelight, and they have supported us,” Coffman said.
What’s drawing dealers to the new sport bike product is the stainless steel construction, easy installation, one-year warranty, and of course, the eye-catching colors.

“You add just a little pow to your sport bike, and that’s why most people have a sport bike — they want something really trick and cool,” Coffman said. “This can provide all of that.”

The company has begun marketing the exhausts on its website and through press releases, but it’s also expecting word of mouth to be a key marketing tool for the product.

“We’re totally ecstatic, and the feedback that we’ve gotten so far has been fantastic,” Coffman said, “so we’re just going to keep going and pushing hard, and I think people are going to see something special out there.”

 

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