Posts Tagged ‘dirt bikes’

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.

CPSC Issues Enforcement Stay

May 4, 2009

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said today that its two commissioners had voted May 1, 2009, to hold off enforcing the lead content provision of certain components in kid’s ATV, dirt bikes and snowmobiles for two years. The provisions were part of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) passed last year. The ban on machines for youths 12 and younger became effective Feb. 10, 2009.

This means that the CPSC won’t enforce the ban on the sale of these machines and related parts, garments and accessories, although it’s unclear exactly what impact this action might have for powersports dealers who have not been selling the banned machines or for manufacturers that have stopped producing and selling kid’s machines. The ban still could be enforced by state attorneys general and other local officials.

Many dealers are selling kid’s machines that have been modified to meet the standard or that have been reclassified as being designed for kids aged 12 and older.

Look for more information on this site later today. JD

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

Cobra Sells Kid’s Bikes Despite CPSC Ban

March 27, 2009

Bikes Meet Lead Content Requirements
Several Steps Ensure Legally Safe Products

Sean Hilbert may be the only motorcycle executive in the U.S. who is legally selling kid’s dirt bikes and ATVs, in spite of a federal ban on many such products.

Most of the high quality racing machines produced and sold by Cobra Motorcycle Manufacturing Company of Hillsdale, Mich., meet the current requirements spelled out in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), he told me the other day. Only one of Cobra’s models is not offered for sale.

Sean Hilbert

Sean Hilbert

Well, now, that’s very interesting. How can that be, when the rest of the industry has been shut down since Feb. 10, 2009, and all other manufacturers have ordered their dealers to pull these products from the showrooms?

Sale of products designed for kids ages 12 and younger that contain more than 600 parts per million of lead content for any part of the product in the machine have been banned since February by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Yet Cobra keeps selling most of its models.

Hilbert, who is president and CEO, isn’t breaking the law, he says. It’s just that his company is working very hard to produce machines that meet the stiff lead content requirements set by the law that was signed by President Bush last August. How does he do it?

Basically, three ways. First, by presenting certifications from his suppliers that their products don’t exceed the lead limits. Second, by doing a minimal amount of its own testing. And, third, by covering items that contain excess lead levels, thus preventing access to those items. More about these steps later.

What Is Cobra Motorcycle?

Cobra has been producing high quality small displacement racing ATVs and mini bikes since 1993. It has 35 employees and operates out of a 50,000 sq. ft combination office, warehouse and production facility in Hillsdale, Mich., about 100 miles from Detroit.  The building sits on about 10 acres that includes a test track and provides room for expansion of the main facility.

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Congress, CPSC Aren’t Working Together

February 25, 2009

Finger Pointing Isn’t Solving the Problem

It’s been 14 days since kid’s ATVs, motorcycles and related gear were unfairly banned from sale in the U.S., and there doesn’t seem to be a solution in sight. Why not? Isn’t that a reasonable question?

It seems, from my perspective, that we have two Washington heavyweights fighting for control of a piece of turf, while consumers, retailers and manufacturers are inconvenienced, endangered and losing money, to boot.

Look at consumers. We have youngsters who can’t buy an ATV or dirt bike that fits them, a very dangerous situation that pushes them into riding larger, powerful machines designed for adults. At the same time, we have children riding ATVs and dirt bikes that can’t be repaired because parts for these machines can’t be sold.

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