American Motorcycle Dealer AMD 230 September 2018 - Page 10

FBI is Official North American BRIEFS Distributor for Nitron Racing Suspension Systems BIZ SEMA says that the automotive specialty equipment market experienced an eighth straight year of post-recession growth, reaching $43 billion in 2017 (+4%). Pickup products accounted for $12.44 billion (29%) of sales in 2017; in-store purchases accounted for roughly two- thirds of all retail sales in 2017; 33% of all specialty-equipment consumers were under 30 years old and 42% of all forced induction products (turbochargers, superchargers, etc.) purchased were DIY installed. Dowco, manufacturer of the Willie & Max luggage brand among others, has sold its marine business segment to Patrick Industries. The Dowco Powersports and Plastics business segments will continue to be privately held by Chuck Webster, who has owned Dowco since 1975. Over the next several months Dowco will transition names to Redline Plastics, who will build a new corporate headquarters and manufacturing facility in Manitowoc, WI. The Dowco brand name will continue to be used by Redline Plastics for powersports covers for the foreseeable future. Market researcher Freedonia estimates global demand for motorcycles as projected to rise by +4.4% p.a. through 2022 to 121.5m units. It cites increasing use for recreational purposes, growing availability of affordable models and expansion of road networks in developing markets as drivers. Global demand was for 80.7m units in 2017, with Asia responsible for some 80% of sales. New personal watercraft (PWC) sales increased +3% in the U.S. in June, continuing a monthly upward trend that started five years ago. Honda has celebrated its 20th anniversary of Side by Side and ATV production at its South Carolina factory. The company recently completed a $45m expansion project at the facility and has built its three- millionth ATV there since production began in 1998. Yamaha has reported consolidated net sales of 851.3 billion yen (+2.8%) for the first half of 2018 with global net sales of motorcycles +3.7%, thanks largely to strong results in emerging markets; operating income was +4.3% as a result of high profitability in the ASEAN region. 10 Hendersonville, North Carolina based Fast Bike Industries, LLC (FBI) has announced its appointment as the official North American distributor for the leading edge, British made suspension range from Nitron Racing Systems. David Behrend, owner of FBI says that “the addition of Nitron is in keeping with our mission to distribute the best brands and products to dealers and their riders - those seeking high-performance high-quality aftermarket motorcycle suspension with a genuine race pedigree.” Although best known for sports bike shock absorbers and front- end cartridge kits, Nitron also offers a range of feature variant Harley aftermarket and custom V-twin suspension products at a selection of price points - all of which are manufactured at its state-of-the-art facility in the UK. “We are in business to provide the best available aftermarket suspension upgrades to our vast dealer network and customer base. With Nitron officially onboard, we are continuing our commitment to serve our dealers and many motorcycle segments at the highest possible levels of performance, qualit y, technology, durability and support. “Nitron has an extensive product line and we are excited to be able to offer high- performance shocks and fork cartridge components covering road, track, custom and adventure model motorcycles.” Nitron has been at the forefront of motorsport suspension technology since 1998. Founder Guy Evans has been preparing for the North American market for years and felt that Fast Bike Industries was the right partner to help that expansion. “I have personally known David Behrend for several years, and we are working closely with his team to ensure we are delivering the right product at the right price with uncompromising quality,” said Evans. “Nitron has been preparing for AMERICAN MOTORCYCLE DEALER - SEPTEMBER 2018 the North American market for years and are duly committed to an aggressive expansion, so it is with real excitement that we announce Fast Bike Industries as our importer and future partner for this extremely important market. The timing is perfect for both businesses.” Nitron Racing Systems founder Guy Evans (left) and David Behrend, who founded Fast Bike Industries in 2009 Nitron started out making shock absorbers for cars in 1997, but these days its motorcycle product line accounts for more than 35 percent of sales, and Guy Evans sees the motorcycle aftermarket as where Nitron’s best prospects for further growth lays