Choosing a tempting — and profitable — mix of parts and accessories is a challenge for any powersports dealership, but sellers of PWC just may have the most difficult task of the bunch. Why? The sport simply has so many wide-ranging influences. Attempting to satisfy everyone, from the hardcore performance junkie to the surf-and-wake crowd, from the introductory rider to laid-back touring enthusiast, is a tall order. There are still some items, however, that we’d argue should be on nearly every dealer’s radar for 2012.
GoPro HD Hero 2 Motorsports Edition
Fast becoming a must-have for the dedicated enthusiast, the GoPro Hero captures customer’s adventures in full high-definition video. The newest HD Hero 2 Motorsports Edition ($299.99) features full 1080p video and a 170-degree wide viewing angle and can capture 11-megapixel stills at an impressive rate of 10 per second. Other welcome improvements over its predecessor include an easy-to-navigate LCD interface, faster image processor, sharper glass lens and LED lights on all sides to let you know when you’re filming. Like the past version, this tiny camera is housed within a waterproof housing that’s rated to 197 feet, and easily transfers video to customers’ computers via USB cable for editing. Don’t overlook accessories that will keep the customer in your shop and add to the bottom line, including the Floaty Back Door ($14.99), an inexpensive add-on that replaces the back door of the waterproof case with a float-equipped version, and a wide variety of handlebar, helmet and chest mounting straps ($12.99-$39.99).
Retro Jet Pilot F20 Tigershark Wetsuits
Get ready to party like it’s 199…2. Jet Pilot, the company that arguably created the look for PWC enthusiasts way back in the mid-1980s, is re-releasing the F20 Tigershark suit in all its retro, neon glory. Riders can choose from multiple color schemes made famous by their legendary wearers, including the Rippenkroeger (purple/yellow), Slasher (orange/purple/green), Jammer (red/white/blue), Goatcher (black/grey), and Watkins (purple/grey). Suits, and their matching PFDs, will be available this Spring. Pricing has yet to be announced.
RIVA Turbocharger Kits
One of the priciest new aftermarket products for 2012, but considering kits offer from 400 to 500 horsepower, these kits will certainly be at the top of the list for the hardcore performance customer. RIVA worked with TiAL Racing to come up with kits for the Sea-Doo and Yamaha product lines, and the results are “competition-use-only” packages that promise to leave many a watercraft in their wake. Kits include a TiAL Racing turbocharger with water-jacketed, stainless-steel turbine housing to keep things cool and reliable, a Garrett GT30R ball bearing CHRA with billet compressor wheel capable of 500 hp, billet mounting brackets to avoid stress and fatigue, and all the other parts required to take maximum advantage of the elite category of PWC engines. Price? Retail runs around $5,000 for the engine kits; expect consumers to tack on at least another $3,000 in various extras.
It’s not as eye-catching as a new wetsuit or as glamorous as a high-performance mod, but one of the biggest sellers in dealerships for 2012 will likely be the fuel stabilizer. Like it or not, ethanol has become a reality in much of our nation’s fuel supply. And while that might be acceptable for a customer’s automobile, it’s a bad mix for their watercraft. Ethanol has been known to cause corrosion, phase separation of fuel, and the buildup of gum and varnish. In fact, Yamaha now recommends customers add fuel stabilizer at every fill-up. Popular brands include Yamalube, BRP XPS and Stabil.
BlackTip Traction Mats
While HydroTurf remains the industry standard, BlackTip is fast making inroads into a newly competitive traction pad market. Focusing on quick delivery, multiple color options, the convenience of standard pressure-sensitive adhesive and a competitive price point (most full kits are around $80), BlackTip targets an area of consumer’s craft that sees the most abuse. Kits are relatively simple to install, come in a variety of styles (grooved, wishbone or diamond plate), and seriously upgrade the looks of a customer’s craft. The companies behind BlackTip are industry behemoths — SBT and Watercraft Superstore. We’re betting they’re here to stay.