Posts Tagged ‘Baja’

I Have Returned from Vacation

August 9, 2010

Joe Delmont

It’s always great to be on vacation, but it’s nice to be back, too. I’ve recently spent the better part of two weeks vacationing on a lake in northern Wisconsin with my wife, Bobbie, the three kids, Steve, Bryan, and Kate, and four grandkids. I golfed, read three novels, played with the grandkids, and spent too much time with a big, ol’ black Lab mutt named Jimmy, who visited every day. Jimmy is the only dog I every knew who retrieved rocks. That’s rocks, as in stones, big stones, that he would dig out of the bottom of the lake and then drop at your feet with a big, wet grin. Obviously, Jimmy doesn’t know the difference between a rock and a tennis ball.

Summer’s a busy time anyway, even without a vacation in the north woods. My wife and I have picked up two days of babysitting for the grandkids on Tuesday and Wednesday to save them some day care dollars. Four little bundles of energy, ranging from seven months to six years, each wanting lots of attention involving library visits (good), swimming lessons at the neighbor’s pool (not so good), and trips to the local kiddy park with juice and snacks (bad).

OK, I know I’ve said I want to spend time with the new generation, but it’s difficult to keep up. Bobbie and I don’t remember how we raised three kids of our own. Must have been some grandparents heavily involved in that schedule.

Story Backlog
At any rate, I’m back at the keyboard, and I’m looking at a stack of story notes. Tucker Rocky. Baja Motorsports. ITC’s investigation of intellectual property rights. CFMOTO’s suit against EPA. And a couple of other industry stories based upon research from Power Products Marketing, the Minneapolis research firm, plus my column for September Dealernews and the Dealer Lab report on Bill Shenk’s June performance—another profitable month.  I’m also heading to the Parts Unlimited show in Janesville and visiting the new Baja headquarters at the complex of its parent company TTI in Anderson, SC, at the end of the month.

And suddenly it’s September. Where has the year gone? JD

Contact me with story ideas and news tips at
jdelmont@dealernews.com or 612/845-8091.

Off-Road Star Blais Still Passionate About Cycles

June 12, 2009

Chris Blais has a passion for motorcycles.

Off-road motorcycle enthusiasts no doubt recognize Blais’ name from the stellar riding career he carved out for himself in the sport of desert racing.

Chris Blais

Chris Blais

Check out his scorecard:
2003 – 2nd overall at the Baja 1000
2005 – 4th overall at the Nevada 1000
2005 – 2nd place at the Terrible’s Town 250
2005 – 2nd place at the Parker 250
2005 – 4th overall at the Baja 500
2005 – 1st overall at the San Felipe 250
2005 – 4th overall at the Tunisia Rally
2005 – 9th overall at the Dakar Rally
2006 – 4th overall at the Dakar Rally
2007 – 3rd overall at the Dakar Rally

Blais, who started his career in 2001 atop a Honda, ultimately turned to riding for KTM and quickly became among the most promising riders in the United States. Then, in August 2007, Blais’ riding career came to an end when he damaged his vertebrae as the result of a motorcycle crash in the desert near Tonapah, Nev., while pre-running the Best in the Desert (BITD) Vegas to Reno race.

What is he doing now? Click here to find out.

Second Co-Founder Departs Baja Motorsports

May 16, 2009

Ryan Daugherty Resigns From Leading Chinese Distributor

Handled Sales & Marketing, Product Development, Sourcing

Ryan Daugherty, one of the co-founders of Baja Motorsports, has resigned the company and is looking for other opportunities, he told me. Daugherty, Rich Godfrey and Jennifer Andrew launched Baja in 2004 and built it into a leading distributor of Chinese powersports products—including kid’s ATVs and dirt bikes— in the U.S. and Canada. Last year, Baja sold an estimated $70 million worth of products at wholesale. Its leading customers include Pep Boys, Fleet Farm and Canadian Tire.

Ryan Daugherty

Ryan Daugherty

“It’s just time for a change,” Daugherty told me. “I’ve enjoyed helping build Baja to its current strong position in the market, but I’m going to step back now for a bit and look at the powersports industry. It’s changing and I know there will be other opportunities down the road.”

Daugherty says he doesn’t have any deadline in mind for taking on a new position.

I tried to get in touch with Rich Godfrey a couple of times to see what changes he’s likely to make now that his partner is gone, but I haven’t hear from him yet. I’ll let you know what he has to say when we hook up.

Daugherty, 43, has been vice president for sales and marketing at Baja. His duties include developing new products, sourcing those products in China and marketing the products to dealers and consumers. One of his big efforts has been developing training and service materials for technicians and customers.

He also wrote Baja’s ATV Action Plan recently presented to the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission); Baja is one of only two importers of Chinese products that has had its Action Plan approve by the CPSC. An approved Action Plan is required before a foreign manufacturer can sell ATVs in the U.S. under provisions contained in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008.

With Daugherty’s departure, Godfrey remains the sole co-founder of Baja still with the company. Andrew sold her shares in 2007 and left the company when Techtronics Industries, Inc., (TTI) acquired a majority share of Baja. Daugherty sold his equity position to TTI almost two years ago.

TTI is a $3.2 billion manufacturer who’s stock is traded on the Hong Kong Exchange. It manufactures private label household goods for leading brands, and it also owns several internationally known brands, including Hoover, Dirt Devil, Milwaukee, Homelite and Ryobi. JD

Contact me with news tips and story ideas
at 952/893-6876 or joe@powersportsupdate.com.

Rally Hero Scot Harden Featured on Scorpion TV

April 29, 2009

Motorcycle rally champion Scot Harden blazed a trail to Scorpion Sports HQ last week to talk about the helmet and apparel supplier’s new XDR Collection.

Scot Harden

Scot Harden

XDR stands for “Xtreme Distance Riding” so nobody is more qualified to talk about what goes into great riding gear than Harden. During his trip to Scorpion, he took the time to point out some of the many features and benefits that differentiate the XDR Collection from ordinary gear. Fortunately, the cameras were rolling and a short video clip now appears at Scorpion’s home page, while a longer version where Scot discusses rallying with Scorpion VP Eric Anderson appears at the ScorpionNation YouTube site .

Harden is a member of the American Motorcyclist Association Motorcycle Hall of Fame. He has served as African Rally champion, two-time Dakar Rally veteran, three-time Baja 500 and Baja 1000 Overall champion, three-time ISDE medalist, U.S. Trophy Team member and two-time AMA Amateur National Off-road champion.

Scorpion XDR Commander

Scorpion XDR Commander

Last August, Harden was hired as national sales and marketing manager of Husqvarna Motorcycles NA, LLC. Prior to that he spearheaded corporate marketing strategies, product development and sales for KTM North America.

During his Hall Of Fame racing career, Harden has logged more than 200,000 off road miles that is enough to circumnavigate the entire planet eight times. I suggest anyone having a chance to talk with Scot jump at the opportunity.

Campbell Rides to 11th Overall Baja Win

November 22, 2008

Well, he did it – Johnny Campbell picked up the record 11th overall Baja 1000 motorcycle title by crossing the race course finish line in Ensenada, Mexico, at shortly after 7 p.m. on Nov. 21 – 12 hours, 29 minutes and 10 seconds after his team began the 631-mile journey through the Baja peninsula.

Riding for Team Honda, Campbell was aided in his achievement by teammates Robby Bell and Kendall Norman.

Campbell was tied with Baja Wunderkind Larry Roeseler for 10 overall motorcycle wins leading into this year’s 41st Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 off-road race. Roeseler’s record of 10 overall motorcycle wins in the event was achieved in 1994. It took 13 years before Campbell tied the record last year.

Starting and finishing in Ensenada, just across the U.S. border, the elapsed-time race this year includes nearly 375 teams from 39 states and 24 countries. The first motorcycles entered the course at 6:30 a.m., with the first four-wheel vehicles starting around four hours later. Vehicles left in 30-second intervals. Every participant will have 31 hours to complete the distance.

The Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 awards presentation takes place 10 a.m. Sunday, November 23 at the San Nicolas Hotel in Ensenada.

Johnny Campbell picked up his 11th cycle win at the 41st Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 off-road race

Johnny Campbell picked up his 11th cycle win at the 41st Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 off-road race