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Shifting Gears (Mar.): Printing All The News That Fits

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Gimme a brake… Beringer Brakes’ U.S, agent Frog Specialties LLC has new digs. Consolidating all operations in Gardena, California, in the former Agajanian Enterprises building that once housed ASCOT raceway’s offices, Beringer Brakes U.S. facility boasts 3,700 sq./ft. of office, warehousing, R&D and warranty work space. Beringer Brakes are distributed through dealers, race teams and custom bike builders throughout the U.S., Central and South America. All dealer inquiries can be sent to [email protected] by phone at 310-817- 5447; or at Beringer Brakes U.S., 17832 S. Hobart Blvd., Gardena, CA 90248. New website is also live at www.beringerbrakes.us.


KIMPEX out as Bell rings up dealer-direct business north of the border. Bell Powersports announced it will end its exclusive distribution agreement with Kimpex in Canada. Bell will begin selling directly to dealers with the 2018 product line that begins shipping in July. “While we greatly appreciate the distribution services Kimpex has provided over the past four years, it is in the market’s best interest for Bell Helmets to begin selling direct to dealers,” said Bell’s Director of Sales Matt Schumann. “Moving forward, we believe this enhances efficiencies and accelerates opportunities for our partners and the overall market in Canada… we look forward to expanding Bell’s offering throughout the country.” Canadian dealers will still be able to place orders and re-orders for MY2017 product, as well as process returns and warranties through Kimpex.


Mike Doughty is the new general manager of motorcycle operations for Yamaha’s Motorsports Group. Doughty assumes the responsibilities of recently retired Dennis McNeal. “I am truly excited about this opportunity at what I consider a pivotal time for the motorcycle industry,” said Doughty. “Yamaha has, without a doubt, the best lineup of products in the industry and I believe the future looks very bright indeed for our Yamaha dealers!” Doughty has been with Yamaha for 27 years, most recently as regional business manager for the south region. Yamaha has also restructured its motorcycle operations team: Derek Brooks, previously responsible for all motorcycle product planning operations, has been promoted to the new position of motorcycle product line manager, overseeing new model product planning and marketing. Chris Peterman, will now oversee wholesale promotions in the newly created wholesale operations manager position. Long-time south region DM David Schaufler, joins the Motorcycle Group as off-road motorcycle media relations manager while Marcus DeMichele, who previously held responsibilities for all motorcycle media relations, to focus on the street segment as the street motorcycle media relations manager. Former Off-Road Motorcycle Product Planning Manager Philip Lash has been promoted to senior motorcycle product planning manager and will support Schauffer and DeMichele’s efforts as well.


Another OEM Update: Motus adds industry veteran John Alexander to its sales team as NE sales manager. “We are so proud to announce that John Alexander has joined Motus as northeast sales manager,” says VP Brian Case. “John brings an incredible amount of strategic and tactical experience earned over 25 successful years in the industry.” Before joining the boys in Birmingham, Alexander worked in dealer development at Bombardier Recreational Products, Triumph Motorcycles and Husqvarna Motorcycles. As the first of four regional managers Motus is hiring, John will oversee business development in the northeast from Maine to Virginia to Michigan, Case explains. In addition to new dealer acquisition, John will continue to develop the current network of Authorized Motus dealers. “I couldn’t be more excited about joining Motus as we grow from both product and dealer growth perspectives,” adds Alexander. “The three-year plans are amazing and I have never seen a more capable, passionate group of riders and entrepreneurs.”


Portable jump starter and rechargeable battery packs innovator Weego has hired Todd W. Roberson as the company’s new national sales manager. Robertson is responsible for business development and sales management for the automotive, marine, outdoor, powersports and industrial channels. “We continue to see explosive growth in Weego products, so adding to the Weego sales team we are able to effectively take on more opportunities,” said Weego CEO Gerry Toscani. “Todd’s ability to get ‘er done by building loyal distributor and dealer relationships will be a huge asset in helping us grow our brand. Plus, knowing that he uses ‘W’ in his signature means it’s fate that he’s now a part of the Weego family.” Roberson has already begun working with Weego distributors and dealers and says he is very excited to meet everyone in the powersports industry.


Powersports industry veteran Mike Keller is now strategic account manager for Bonnier Motorcycle Group’s in-house marketing agency QuickShift. Most recently, Keller served as associate publisher at Transworld Media, and has held leadership roles at British Customs and Suzuki’s agency Questus. A lifelong motorcyclist, Keller actually started his career as an intern at Cycle World, now owned by Bonnier. “We are super excited to welcome Mike back to Bonnier,” said QuickShift GM Garrett Kai. “He is an exceptional addition to the QuickShift team, and will be a key player in the future growth of our agency services business.” In addition to managing existing QuickShift clients, Keller will take on new business development for the group. “I’m thrilled to join QuickShift and the Bonnier Motorcycle Group,” added Keller. “I have always felt that the media business is my home, and the unique position of providing marketing services within the largest motorcycle media company in the world is a perfect place for me.” Keller will work out of the Bonnier Motorcycle Group’s Irvine, California offices.


On the move! UTV/ATV axle specialists 4XPro has a new address: 306 Mears Blvd., Oldsmar, FL 34677; phone (813) 814-4196. There should be no disruptions in dealer-orders according to the pros at 4XPro.

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SHORT SHIFTS: In shocking news, former 20 Group wrangler Mike Brunken is now a service advisor for electric car company Tesla. Most recently the director of 20 Clubs & educational training for Garage Composites, dealers will remember Mike from his years as the GM for Gart Sutton Associates, Assurrant Solutions and RPM Group after his formative years with the Lemco organization. Another auto-side switch as former Husqvarna Motorcycles President (circa 2010-2013) and later BMW Motorrad USA VP (2014-2016) Kris Odwarka is now on the automotive side serving as Center Performance Manager for BMW North America, “Helping our dealer partners to continually enhance our customer experience,” he says. Speaking of Husqvarna, former Husqvarna exec and later Zero Motorcycles VP of marketing Scot Harden is out at GasGas/Torrot. AIMExpo marketing coordinator Kurt Whittington has moved on and the Motorcycle Industry Council is seeking a replacement. Getting to the bottom of it, Whittington is now with Hacker Industries supplying the professional building community with floor underlayment products. Guess selling their building to Kawasaki wasn’t enough to keep teen apparel retailer Wet Seal from drowning in a sea of red ink? In late January Wet Seal notified employees in the company’s Irvine, California, HQ that the office was permanently shutting down. According to The Wall Street Journal, Versa Capital, which acquired Wet Seal for $7.5 million back in April 2015, couldn’t raise the funding necessary to keep the brand alive.

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