Issue link: http://read.uberflip.com/i/803676
PWC 40 • April 3, 2017 • Powersports Business www.PowersportsBusiness.com Zero Motorcycles technology powers Gratis X1 Water sports enthusiasts of all levels looking to ride waterways off limits to gas-powered personal watercrafts will now have the free- dom to ride where they could never go before, with the new electric-powered Gratis X1. With no fuel, no sound and no emissions, the Gratis X1 is a thrilling yet easy-to-ride per- sonal watercraft that provides a one-of-a-kind experience on the water and is now available to order through Free Form Factory's website. "We are thrilled to unveil the world's first electric, stand-up personal watercraft. With the Gratis X1, riders will experience a power- ful, fun and quiet ride on some of the most pristine waterways on earth," said founder and CEO of Free Form Factory Jordan Dar- ling. "Free of the restrictions imposed on gas- powered watercraft, the Gratis X1 gives riders of all levels the ability to explore lakes, rivers and oceans they could only dream about rid- ing before." Exploration is made easy, fun and safe with the Gratis X1's dynamic LED headlights. To ensure riders get the most of each trip to the water, Free Form Factory has built the Gratis X1 with the ability to be charged any- where with a standard 110v electrical outlet or with a propane-based generator. In line with typical rider usage time of a gas-powered PWC, the Gratis X1 ride time featuring the integrated power pack is up to 45 minutes and up to 1 hour with the addi- tional 3.3 kWh power pack. "Access and ease of use are two very important requests from riders of personal watercrafts. No other PWC offers you the freedom to choose where you want to ride, when you want to ride and how to charge your ride, like the Gratis X1," said Darling. Using Zero Motorcycles' proven Z-Force drivetrain technology and Free Form Fac- tory's patented manufacturing process and proprietary HULKLITE polymer material makes the Gratis X1 the world's leading per- sonal watercraft with the environment and performance in mind. "We are proud that Free Form Factory has chosen Zero's Z-Force powertrain for the Gratis X1," said Jim Callahan, director of Business Development for Zero Motorcycles. "We are excited to help provide water sports enthusiasts with an exhilarating emissions- free experience." From start to finish, sustainability is at the core of creating the Gratis X1. The entire deck and hull components are 100 percent recy- clable while the trim and excess material from Free Form Factory's patented thermoform process is reused to build the next Gratis X1 hull and deck. "Every step of the manufacturing process is modeled with the highest of green stan- dards possible in mind, with superior perfor- mance. We believe it is important to reduce our negative impact on the environment and we are determined to reach our goal of zero waste," said Darling. The lightweight, durable polymer deck and hull allows for the Gratis X1 to support the weight of the battery while remaining the same weight as an average stand-up personal watercraft. Every major component of the Gratis X1 is built in the United States. Final assembly is completed in Sacramento, California. P r i c e f o r t h e G r a t i s X 1 s t a r t s a t $17,990. PSB Electric stand-up PWC released Like the segment it serves, Hot Products is expanding BY KATE SWANSON ASSISTANT EDITOR After 33 years in business, Hot Products is a company that has seen the PWC indus- try through both thriving and tough times. Founded in 1984 by Scott Saito, the company is based in San Diego, California, and has worked to build a network of more than 100 vendors and manufacturers alike. While the 1980s served as a boom for the PWC industry, it took a hit in the late 2000s with the U.S. economic recession. However, Tom Perry, manager of Hot Products, said that in recent years the availability of new models and gasoline prices have had a posi- tive effect. "Over the last couple years, the price of gas has helped a lot, and there have been some new models that have brought down the industry level back down into a price market that people can afford," Perry said. The Sea-Doo Spark, with its approach- able price point, he said, has contributed to this growth. Yamaha's EX model and Kawa- saki's SX-R stand-up Jet Ski will also help further business. "The SX-R has the potential of really push- ing the market. Every manufacturer in our industry that does have experience with a stand-up craft is working on parts as fast as possible," he added. "This is the first year that Sea-Doo, Yamaha and Kawasaki all have really new exciting models." Perry began working with Hot Products in the late 1980s and worked on some of the first catalogs. In the early years, the catalogs were 16 pages; however, the 2017 Hot Products catalog has grown to 342 pages. "The catalog is the life of this company," said Perry. The company annually builds the catalog in September and October, with plans to hand out the catalog in February at the first big race of the year, the 2017 Hot Products IJSBA Mark Hahn Memorial 300 race in Lake Havasu, Ari- zona, where it served as the title sponsor. The number of international attendees at the Lake Havasu race allows Hot Products to distribute its catalogs to a wider audience and save money on shipping at the same time. In addition to the Mark Hahn Memorial 300, Hot Products co-sponsored the 2017 Daytona Freeride alongside Hydro- Turf. Hot Products a l s o s p o n s o r e d the IJSBA World Finals in 2013 and 2 0 1 4 . I n 2 0 1 7 , the company will also sponsor both the 2017 U.S. and European Free- style Champion- ship races. Hot Products works with more than 100 vendors t o s u p p o r t i t s inventory, includ- ing core compa- nies, such as: ADA Racing, Atlantis Enterprises, Blow- sion, Dasa Racing, Factory Zero, Hot Rods, Hydro-Turf, Jettrim, Keihin, Mikuni America, Pro-X, R&D Racing, Rickter-RRP, RIVA Rac- ing, Skat-Trak, UMI Racing, Wiseco, Worx Racing, Wossner Pistons and WSM Perfor- mance Parts. With the help of a web programmer, Perry developed an inventory lookup tool for the company four years ago. Since that time, he said it is the most-viewed page on Hot Prod- ucts' website. "It's amazing to see how many people use the inventory lookup tool," said Perry. "I can see that it's used because when I get an order from the dealer, if I have three parts, they order all three. They order what they can see." Both the catalog and the inventory lookup tool go hand-in-hand. The item's part number from the catalog is entered into the database, which then shows the availability of the spe- cific product. Perry says the lookup tool has been invalu- able to the company's international cus- tomers, because it allows access to industry availability outside of normal business hours. In the case of international dealers, many take time to fill orders based on shipping costs and the favorable exchange rates. Looking forward to 2017, Perry said the company plans to continue expanding and evolving its dealer network. "Our specialty is consolidating export shipments. Businesswise there's not a country we won't ship to. Every country has a pre- ferred shipper. We let the customer pick who we ship with, and we make it happen." PSB Parts distributor capitalizing on PWC growth Hot Products compiles an annual product catalog featuring the product above. Its 2017 catalog is 342 pages long. Brandon Lawlor rides Free Form Factory's Gratis X1 electric PWC.