Posts Tagged ‘Malcolm Smith’

Malcolm Smith’s Stamp of Approval: The Malcolm Test

January 12, 2010

File this one under the Things We Like category. Seems that motorcycling legend, Top 100 Dealer Grand Prize winner and all-around super nice guy Malcolm Smith has started up a new blog over at his dealership’s website. It’s called The Malcolm Test and in it Malcolm puts his considerable knowledge to use testing, reviewing and showcasing the products that he sells at his Riverside, Calif. store, Malcolm Smith Motorsports

Here’s some wordage from the blog:

I created this blog to test and showcase products that standout to me in some way. I appreciate products that demonstrate unique design, quality craftsmanship, and superior functionality.

Looks like he started it at the first of 2010 and thus far he has reviews up for the Gaerne GX-1 boot and the Motion Pro Tri-Drive Mini-T Handle. And Malcolm’s a smart cookie in addition to being a good dude — at the end of each review he includes a buy-it-now link to the e-commerce portion of his store’s site. Nice stuff and a great way for Malcolm to capitalize on his well-deserved notoriety. This is an idea that might be worth replicating in some way, shape or form.

On a side note, at last year’s Dealer Expo, we (myself, Arlo Redwine and former editor Guido Ebert) had a chance to sit down to dinner with Malcolm, his wife, Joyce, son, Alexander, daughter, Ashley, the filmmaker Bruce Brown and some of the crew from the store (sorry for forgetting your names everybody, it was the wine!). We had a nice night in a private room at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse where we got to scarf down some delicious food, drink some fantastic wine and simply enjoy everybody’s company. That may go down as one of the most memorable “business” dinners I’ve ever been a part of as Malcolm, Joyce and the rest of the gang were perfect company.

 With that said, here’s another bit from Malcolm’s blog — his impressive stats:

– Six-time Baja 1000 Winner
– Four-time Baja 500 Winner
– Two-time Roof of Africa Rallye Winner
– Eight-time Six Days Enduro Gold Medal Winner
– Star of On Any Sunday
– Owner of Malcolm Smith Motorsports
– Industry Leader
– Philanthropist
– Family Man
– Still Winning and Grinning!

Blogged Too Soon — Malcolm’s Protest Sale

March 23, 2009

Last week I blogged about USA Today picking up the Malcolm Smith Kids Love 2 Ride protest sale, saying that it was odd that none of the local media has been actively covering the issue — that it took a national newspaper to pick up the story.

Well, turns out I blogged too soon. Turns out that the Temecula Valley News and the Press Enterprise both ran stories covering the protest sale and the youth ATV/bike ban. I’m glad to see the general press picking up on this issue given the huge impact motorcycling has on Southern California’s culture and economy.

The more play this story gets the better. I know we’re covering the heck out of it over at Dealernews.com.

Malcolm’s Protest Sale Gets Nationwide Attention

March 19, 2009

Interesting to note that it was USA Today that picked up Malcolm Smith’s protest sale of youth (12 and under) ATVs and dirtbikes. I’ve yet to see much (if any) coverage in the LA Times. Not sure about the Press Enterprise, Smith’s local paper, but I couldn’t find anything via Google.

I don’t know why this wouldn’t get more play in the local press given motorcycling — in all forms — is a huge part of the Southern Californiapicture-11 culture and economy. I know one place  you’ll get just about ALL THE COVERAGE you can stomach in regards to the lead content regulation effect on the powersports industry. That’s over here at Dealernews.com.

Here’s  the first paragraph of the story and a clicky to the full USA Today piece.

LOS ANGELES — Angry with a nationwide ban on sales of youth motorcycles and ATVs over lead concerns, one of the biggest dealers in Southern California plans to sell the child-size vehicles today despite potential criminal penalties.

Dealer Is Mad As Hell About Kid’s ATV Ban

March 16, 2009

*****EDITOR’S NOTE: Malcolm Smith has changed the time of his protest to 4 p.m. rather than 6 a.m. to accommodate those who want to attend. From his website kidslove2ride.wordpress.com “Due to numerous requests from Malcolm’s supporters far and wide, we have changed the timing of the event.”

So He’s Going To Sell Kid’s Machines on March 19

Remember that classic old movie from 1976, Network? If you do, you’ll remember the famous line from Howard Blake’s network anchor character, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore.”

That’s the way Malcolm Smith feels about the current ban prohibiting the sale of kid’s ATVs, motorcycles, and related parts, garments and accessories. That’s why he plans to take some drastic action.

Malcolm is putting his money where his mouth is. Literally. He’s challenging the ban by selling

Malcolm Smith

Malcolm Smith

kid’s machines out of his dazzling powersports dealership in Riverside, Calif., on Thursday. (The sale begins at 6 am PST, March 19, 2009.)

The move could cost him big bucks, a lot more than he’ll get selling a few little dirt bikes. Fines can run as much as $100,000 per violation, up to $15 million, and there are criminal penalties involved, as well. For you non-lawyers, that means, worst case, that Malcolm could end up in jail, if authorities decide to get really nasty.

When I talked with Malcolm today, I asked him what would happen if the authorities come in Thursday and tell him to stop selling. The cagey veteran, avoided a direct answer, but I could almost see him smiling over the phone: “It’ll make a good show,” he said softly.”

He told me that he’s not certain what he’ll do after Thursday. “It depends on what other dealers do,” he says. “I don’t want to be the only one that is completely out of business.”

For those of you who have not been following the ban, here’s the deal: The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), passed last year, put strict limits on the amount of lead contained in products made for youths aged 12 and younger. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) was charged with implementing the law.

(more…)

Top Dealer To Challenge CPSC Lead Content Rule

March 14, 2009

*****EDITOR’S NOTE: Malcolm Smith has changed the time of his protest to 4 p.m. rather than 6 a.m. to accommodate those who want to attend. From his website kidslove2ride.wordpress.com “Due to numerous requests from Malcolm’s supporters far and wide, we have changed the timing of the event.”


Malcolm Smith To Sell ATVs Next Thursday In Protest

Fines Could Be $100,000 Per Violation

Well, the battle for the right to sell kid’s ATVs and motorcycles continues to heat up, and it could come to a boil next week.

California motorcycle dealer and industry icon Malcolm Smith says he plans to sell kid’s ATVs and motorcycles to consumers next Thursday (6 am PST, March 19, 2009) in protest against a federal law that limits the amount of lead that can be contained in products made for children 12 and younger.

The sales could be expensive. The law calls for fines up to $100,000 per violation and a maximum of $15 million for a series of related violations. Jail time also is called for.

malcolmsmith_2008jpg-copy34And, according to one attorney who is very familiar with the law, there are also criminal penalties of up to five years in jail for a willful violation of the law.

The so called “lead content” provision is part of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) passed last year. The law is enforced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

The CPSIA and related rules developed by the CPSC ban the sale of ATVs and dirt bikes designed for children, ages 12 and younger. The ban became effective Feb. 10, 2009.

By one estimate developed by the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC), the ban could cost the powersports industry as much as $1 billion this year.

Dealernews magazine, a leading industry business publication, estimates that the unsold inventory of machines and related parts, accessories and apparel that dealers have pulled off their showrooms and dumped in storage areas totals more than $100 million.

Smith’s planned protest is the latest step in the battle for the right to sell these small machines to youths.

The CPSC last week, in effect, tightened the restriction when it ruled that, under the law as written, products for children can’t contain ANY lead absorption into the human body, nor have ANY adverse impact on public health and safety, a seeming departure from the limit of 600 parts per million specified by the law.

Most machines have accessible components that contain some lead, especially those made with alloys such as aluminum and copper—valve stems, brakes, engine parts, for example.

This tough standard makes it virtually impossible for powersports companies to gain any exceptions, ones that Congressional leaders say are available under the law. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn), a leading proponent of the CPSIA, told me that the agency has the authority to grant exceptions for ATVs and motorcycles.

The CPSC claims it can’t do that, and our industry is caught in the middle.

(more…)

Malcolm Smith is Dealernews’ Dealer of the Year

March 4, 2009

In case you missed it: Malcolm Smith Motorsports was named “Dealer of the Year” by Dealernews magazine’s Top 100 Dealer Program.malcolmsmith_2008jpg-copy

Malcolm is one of the most impressive and best-loved legends in motorcycling. As the raucous applause at the Indiana Roof Ballroom attested to, Mr. Smith and his team were more than deserving of the top prize at the 18th annual Top 100 Awards.

I had the pleasure of joining Malcolm and his family and team members at dinner following the festivities. Much to my delight, we were also joined by Bruce Brown. For those who don’t know, Bruce is a filmmaker perhaps best known for the surf film The Endless Summer (1964) and the motorcycle film On Any Sunday (1971). As Malcolm told me of On Any Sunday, “Bruce put me on the map with that movie.”

Sitting between those two, listening to an evening of stories about Steve McQueen, Hawaii, Dakar and a zany cast of characters, was perhaps the greatest treat I’ve been allowed to have during my time in the industry.