Working The Numbers

The power of research

A few weeks ago, J.D. Power and Associates unveiled the results of its 2010 U.S. Motorcycle Helmet Satisfaction Study, and for the 12th consecutive year, Arai took top honors with Shoei and Icon rounding out the top three. The study measures overall satisfaction using three key factors: ventilation, face shield and design/styling. Bottom line: the more satisfied a customer is with his helmet, the more likely he is to be brand loyal (see more survey results online at www.motorcycleproductnews.com).

To extrapolate that out a bit, perhaps the more satisfied a rider is with a helmet, the more likely they are to strap one on in the first place! But what about those beanies that don’t sport face shields? When it comes to biker-oriented helmets, this month’s product focus starting on page 16 reminds us that not all lids are created equal. Helmets are not a novelty, and our roundup of open-faced helmets exclusively features DOT approved models. In addition, we point you to some pretty compelling research that is sure to convert some of your wind-in-the-hair types from snapping up the cheapest bucket possible.

The ability of facts and figures to influence decisions is incredibly powerful, and I’m thrilled to announce that we’re sharing an excerpt from MPN‘s inaugural Tools & Equipment study on page 25 of this issue. Wanna see how your service department stacks up to the national averages? Flip the page and find out!

Our in-house research team led by fact guru Bob Roberts isn’t the only addition to MPN this month. We’re also introducing publisher Greg Cira, managing editor Brendan Baker, associate editor Hannah Schiffman and senior graphic designer Tammy House.

Cira has been involved in the media and publishing business for the past 18 years with MPN‘s parent company Babcox Media, where he has served and continues to serve as vice president, publisher and CFO. Cira has a B.S. in business administration with a major in accounting from Bowling Green State University.He is also a CPA and serves on the Financial Advisory Board of BPA International, Inc. (the audit bureau for business-to-business publishers).

Baker’s background is mostly in racing and automotive with 13 years of publishing experience to back it up; he currently serves as the sernior editor on Engine Builder. Baker’s father owned an independent auto parts store that specialized in racing and foreign car parts, and he grew up in the back room. Baker has worked for professional racing teams including an Indy Car team as a data acquisition assistant. He has built and raced his own cars for years. His motorcycling background includes motocross, and he currently owns a 1981 Suzuki GS550 that doesn’t run, which makes his wife happy (but not his editor!). He is an avid go-kart racer and enjoys working on his nearly century-old home with his wife.

Hannah Schiffman joined the Babcox Media team in June 2008 and also serves as the managing editor for BodyShop Business. Previously, she was a reporter at a small-town daily newspaper. Outside work, she likes to hit the golf course with her husband or tool around in one of the several antique cars her family has collected over the years. Her favorite is a 1914 Model T Ford because it’s the fastest, topping out at around 45 mph. She graduated from the University of Toledo in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in English with a writing emphasis, and assures us she’s comfortable giving two wheels a go.

Senior graphic designer Tammy House has been with Babcox for 28 years. House works with the SEMA Show Daily, Counterman, Fleet Equipment, BodyShop Business and now MPN.

I’m so happy to welcome the new MPN team to our staff. Their diverse history brings so much to the table, and the additional hands on deck will help MPN deliver more robust, well-researched content both in print and online with the launch of the new www.motorcycleproductnews.com this summer.

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