Making its public debut at this year's 75th anniversary Sturgis Rally, Ciro may be a 'new kid on the block' in terms of its parts and accessory industry trading record, but it has significant v-twin industry DNA.
Established in May 2014 by a certain Mr Aero Rudd, if that last name sounds familiar, it should - his father is no less than Tom Rudd, founder of Drag Specialties in the 1960s, long before it eventually came into Fred Fox's ownership, and then founder of Kuryakyn in the 1980s.
Only time will tell just how close to the tree this particular apple has fallen, but to judge by the first tranche of accessory designs, the first catalog, the website and social media presence, the significant investment in premises and show-rig, then my guess would be that this particular apple has soft-landed right under a tree that Aero Rudd will be shaking-up pretty good in the years to come!
|Though still early days, Ciro has hit the ground running with an impressive and fresh looking, design-led initial product offering that clearly stakes the ground on which they intend to compete|
|CIRO made its debut at the easy-access, user-friendly Black Hills Harley-Davidson lot alongside the I90 at this year's 75th anniversary Sturgis Rally|
|Aero Rudd founded Ciro with a team of designers in 2014|
During Sturgis, Ciro were set up at the popular and user-friendly lot staged just off the I90 outside Rapid City, SD, by the impressive Black-Hills Harley-Davidson team. Their planned presence there for the rally apparently ruffled some feathers before the event, but hey - the freedom to compete is the American way!
They followed that up with a presence at the Drag Specialties annual National Vendor Presentations and Dealer Showcase event at Madison, Wisconsin, and for the time being the Ciro business model will be to sell through Drag Specialties as a sole distributor and self-distribute to non-Drag shops.
Ciro has some 150 plus part numbers slated to appear in the 2016 Drag Specialties catalog, many under their "Shock and Awe" brand, and all of them hinting at the design cues and a freshness of approach that is at the heart of the Ciro project - one where design, in the true and holistic meaning of the word, really is what this new vendor is all about.
Despite the heritage, from the get-go Ciro has not been a one-man show - Rudd's is far from the only DNA powering this venture. Aero Rudd set the business up with a team of designers who clearly have a fresh eye, fresh approach and fresh minds.
They opened a 6,700 sq ft (650 sq m) design center in Hudson, 20 minutes east of St Paul, Minnesota, on the western/Wisconsin shore of the St. Croix River.
Equipped with the latest 3D design software and 3D Rapid Prototyping printers, they also have 30,000 sq ft of off-site warehousing to hold inventory and fulfil orders.
At this stage the company employs designers, buyers and accounting personnel, but a sales and tech staff and warehouse team will be added soon.
In addition to selling in the United States through Drag Specialties and in Canada through Parts Canada, Aero says "we do intend to actively pursue customers in Europe, Japan and Australia just as soon as possible"; Aero is well aware that their very contemporary design oeuvre is one that will play well internationally.
Aero says that the philosophy at Ciro is "such that we will only pursue a product if we can make it better and cooler than what is already out there", and he goes on to say that "judging by customers' reaction at Sturgis, I think that we have been succeeding in our designs so far.
"I think there is great opportunity for Ciro in the motorcycle market, but in other sectors too, such as the quickly growing UTV market and automotive. We decided to get a solid product line for the motorcycle market out first, so that we could support experimenting in other markets while still releasing great new parts for bikes."