Owned by Santa Ana, California based High End Products, the Danny Gray seats brand's 17 year relationship with Harley-Davidson as a custom seat vendor has been terminated, and following withdrawing distribution through Tucker Rocky, the brand will be sold through Western Power Sports/HardDrive and Parts Unlimited/Drag Specialties - its two remaining distributors.
John Strahl, VP Sales & Marketing for the brand, said that "we’re going to be advertising in all of the leading publications and on several social media platforms this year and are planning an aggressive PR campaign that will help us achieve our goals.
"We have also developed a new, nationwide dealer direct program that will help them strengthen customer relationships and sell more custom seats." A "Build Your Own" custom seat program is scheduled to launch in early spring.
High End has invested heavily in the Danny Gray brand, including the R&D and tooling that resulted in the 2014 launch of their IST (Independent Suspension Technology) line of motorcycle seats - a system designed to eliminate the compression and shock the body receives from riding on a traditional solid seat pan.
That technology was itself a spin-off from the 2011 High End Seating Solutions joint venture established with the Bellville, Illinois based medical equipment industry specialist ROHO Group. HESS was established to leverage ROHO's Airhawk brand 'Dry Floatation' seat cushion technology. High End had been a long-time seat maker for Harley-Davidson and operates from a 25,000 sq ft facility at Santa Ana.
HESS owner Don Mahoney went on to fully acquire the Airhawk brand from ROHO last year. Danny Gray got his start in the motorcycle seats business in the early 1970s, selling initially to Arlen Ness. Gray and High End teamed up in 2004.