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Tuesday 28 February 2023

Parts Unlimited & Drag Specialties

Parts Unlimited & Drag Specialties 

2023 Spring NVP Product Expo

Louisville, Kentucky, in January 2023 was the final brick that rebuilt the wall. The 2020 show was the last to be staged in the powersports market before we all ran into the brick wall of a pandemic that is only now starting to fully unwind…

The pandemic experience will leave a permanent shadow on our market, some aspects of which will be good - the 24 months of being able to sell pretty much everything and anything is unlikely to come around again in our lifetimes. 

Some aspects of it are potentially bad though. Quite apart from the loss of loved ones and friends, the worry in the powersports industry now is whether the customers that fueled those 24 months of sales can be retained? 

With all the other potential issues bubbling under - inflation, supply chain, war, interest rates (it’s a well-rehearsed list), the generally agreed prognosis for the year ahead was that "flat" would be the most likely best result the parts and accessories market can hope for. 

However, there was still positivity in the aisles, still business being done, and there were still crowds. Record crowds in fact. 

It proved to be the best attended Expo to date with 2,121 dealer attendees and an overall attendance of over 2,800. With a 40% increase in exhibit space, there was more room for the record number of attendees as well as many new vendors to the Expo. 

The Expo weekend kicked off on Thursday with training for the Parts Unlimited and Drag Specialties sales team and extended into Friday, where they had additional opportunities to visit vendor displays to get a sneak peak of what’s new for 2023. 

"On Saturday and Sunday, exciting new brands and products were unveiled along with opportunities to connect with the industry’s leading brand representatives. Dealers attending the Expo received Expo discounts and additional incentives from participating vendors. 

"Saturday evening brought the industry together for the iconic Meet & Greet, which took place at The Sports & Social Club in the heart of downtown Louisville’s 4th Street Live Entertainment District - food, drinks, games and live entertainment for all." 

As ever, it was a superbly organized weekend, and I for one 'Doff my Hat' yet again to Kathy Sommervold, Lisa Reif and their crew for doing such a great job - "the oil in the engine!" 

S&S Cycle: Eric Bondy, VP of Sales and Business Development, told AMD: "Winter Power Package offers have proven very popular again this season. Dealers can order our 100" and 110" Big Bore kits for 1999-2007 Twin Cam upgrades, or 124" and 128" upgrades for the 107" and 114" M-8 models from 2017 to 2020. But they are not the largest displacement we offer. That accolade falls to our Black Granite 132" kits for 114" stock engines - including CVO models;

BS Battery: Following many years of success in Europe with Parts Europe, the Paris, France based battery and charger specialist recently signed a Drag Specialties and Parts Unlimited exclusivity deal with LeMans for the United States. As the company's sales in North America grow, owner Benjamin Sebban has hired former Yamaha USA man Frank Pittman to head up the brand and provide local support for the distributors' sales executives and their dealers. In other news, after five successful years, BS Battery has renewed its sponsorship of 2022 MotoGP Vice Champion Fabio Quartararo (23), who rides for the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team;

DP Brakes:
Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, originally developed by Dunlop, DP Brakes are the originators of sintered brake pads and these days some 95% of all new motorcycles and ATVs roll off its production lines with sintered brakes fitted as stock. Exclusively distributed in USA by Parts Unlimited and Drag Specialties, DP is the only manufacturer that concentrates 100 percent of its production on sintered metal pads;

Memphis Shades:
A dedicated, long-term supporter of AFT racing, Rossville, Tennessee based Memphis Shades recently announced that it has returned to an exclusive distribution arrangement with LeMans Corporation - Drag Specialties, Parts Unlimited, Parts Canada and Parts Europe - selling its full line of windshields, fairings and hardware. Memphis Shades designs and builds all its windshields, fairings and hardware in-house - "raw materials in, finished goods out," says Mike Curry;

Biltwell: Former Icon man Davin Wirtanen brought years of motorcycle helmet experience with him when he joined Biltwell as the new VP of Sales in 2022. "I had seen what Bill Bryant and 'McGoo' were doing with the Biltwell brand from within the industry and knew them well. When the chance to join them came up, it was an easy decision. They develop great designs and, from the rider's point of view, offer stylish, high quality helmets that are very much 'on-point' and offer them at a reasonable price. They understand that this is a business that is all about having fun. Biltwell is a brand that is all about having fun. It’s a brand that riders can relate to";