PowerSports Business

April 3, 2017

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www.PowersportsBusiness.com MOTORCYCLE Powersports Business • April 3, 2017 • 37 ment side of our sport is perhaps farther along in some ways in terms of the size and robust nature of some of the coaching businesses. Some of them are also much more formalized in their teaching processes, documentation, etc. I also think it was clear that the dirt and pavement experts want to learn from each other to make the sport and their businesses more successful. PSB: How many folks attended? MB: We had around 100 coaches, influenc- ers and industry leaders — for the most part, the movers and shakers of the sport. It was the perfect size audience for the inaugural Summit and the question and answer ses- sions allowed virtually everyone who wanted to share their views and provide input. The founding members (Jon-Erik Burleson, Jeff Emig and I) presented background, goals and plans for the USMCA, and the presentations by Dr. Paul Reiman and Jacques LaDou- ceur made the Summit really interactive and informative. Most of the participants we hear from felt it was a solid use of their time and expense to participate. PSB USMCA CONTINUED FROM PAGE 36 Now in its 15th year in the U.S., brand brings youth into stores BY LIZ KEENER SENIOR EDITOR Since SSR Motorsports was founded in 2002, the company has constantly evolved. Now, with a steady foothold in the U.S. and a 250-dealer base, SSR is looking to grow its presence. Brothers William and Dennis Li founded SSR Motorsports 15 years ago. Dennis led the production plant in China, while William was head of U.S. distribution. They built the brand on pit bike sales. Then in 2008, William Li purchased his brother's shares of the company. He closed SSR's Chinese factory and moved manufac- turing to another company in China, which in turn hired many former SSR plant staff, to ensure that the quality remained the same as it had been. After William Li acquired SSR, he began expanding the lineup. First ATVs, dune bug- gies and scooters were added. Then, in 2013 motocross bikes, dual sport bikes and UTVs replaced the ATVs and dune buggies. In 2015, SSR was named the exclusive U.S. distributor of Benelli motorcycles, adding the Razkull 125cc street bike, Buccaneers V-twin 250cc street bike and the Snake Eyes 250cc bobber to the SSR offerings. "With all the new products, SSR can supply a full line of products to stand alone," said Mel Harris, VP of Operations. Harris is a veteran of the powersports industry, who joined SSR in 2015. He spent 27 years at American Suzuki, ending his career there as VP of Motorcycles. Throughout its 15 years, SSR has built a network of 250 dealers, including two of the top 5 2016 Power 50 dealers, Logan Powers- ports Group and Hattiesburg Cycles. Mike Ratz, principal of Logan Powersports Group, added SSR models to the lineup at Logan Motorcycle Sales in Logan, West Vir- ginia, a few years ago, and has had so much success with the line that he added it at Route 119 Powersports in Danville, W.Va., about six months ago. "They've been good to us, and they work with us. I'd love to see them grow and keep growing," he said. Harris frequently has prospective dealers talk to Shawnda Mercer, general sales manager at Logan Motorcycle Sales, when they're look- ing to get on board. "They're a really good product. We've sold hundreds and hundreds of them," she said. "We mostly sell a lot of the smaller ones because they hold up so well for the kids." Harris explained that pit bikes are still SSR's best sellers, and Ratz says the small cc bikes are bringing all generations into his dealership. "What I've seen is it puts a lot of excitement SSR Motorsports expands product lineup See SSR, Page 38 Tim Cotter, events director at MX Sports, was one of the several industry members who spoke in support of the for- mation of the U.S. Motorcycle Coaching Association. The Summit was held at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

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