Thursday, March 31, 2011

Tha Heist Road Test 1

Tha Heist Road Test 1
The Scooter Maven takes out THA HEIST for our fans. Let me tell you its everything that we spoke about. Also, its actually DOT and EPA legal. Unlike some of the Cheaper Chinese copies this exhaust actually complies so I figured I would show you first hand. Distributed by PIT the company has a great reputation for having parts and we strongly endorse them.

It's a 229 CC Lifan motor from China built into a bobber or cruiser style motorcycle. They say they are also working on a cafe racer model as well. It's a neat little motorcycle. This Cleveland CycleWerks motorcycle weighs 275 pounds and can go 75 mph, and it gets great gas mileage as well. Definitely cooler than your average scooter.

More from the Scooter Maven at

SUNL ATVS shut down by CPSC

 I know SUNL did a horrible job, but even worse are the stores that carried the product knowing they had no warranty support and buying solely based on price.

You would be better off spending a few hundred more buying a CPI or an ETON ATV that having purchased something from Roketa or SunL but stores and consumers hardly listen. This was just posted at

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has terminated the ATV Action Plan for SunL Group, Inc., of Irving, Texas, making it illegal for dealers to import or distribute the company’s ATVs.
SunL Group was an importer and distributor of gas and electric scooters, dirt bikes, ATVs and go-karts. The company won approval for its ATV Action Plan Aug. 7, 2009.
CPSC staff recently received information that company was no longer in operation and could not fulfill the terms of its ATV Action Plan. The company can no longer provide a remedy as part of its 2008 recall of SunL Group SLA90 Youth ATVs. The commission terminated the Action Plan yesterday, according to a CPSC press release.
An ATV Action Plan is an agreement between CPSC and an ATV manufacturer, importer or distributor that describes actions that a company must carry out to promote ATV safety, including rider training and dissemination of safety information. An Action Plan also includes age recommendations and policies governing marketing, the sale of ATVs, and the monitoring of such sales. It is unlawful for an ATV manufacturer or distributor to import into or distribute any new assembled or unassembled ATV, unless the ATV is subject to a commission-approved ATV action plan.
CPSC is advising consumers to immediately stop using the SunL Group SL A90 Youth ATV, which CPSC says lacks front brakes, a manual fuel shut-off, padding to cover the sharp edges on the handlebar assembly, and is sold without a tire pressure gauge or adequate flag pole bracket.
Consumers who own other models of SunL ATVs should determine if the safety components identified here are present on their models before using the ATVs.
CPSC is still taking incident or injury reports that are either directly related to this product recall or involve a different hazard with the same product.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Buy parts so we can buy a ski boat! Behind the scenes

I had a dealer call yesterday asking about the Playboy Playmates and Ultra Music Festival in Miami, I assure you that is not our life at all. South Florida is great plenty to do on the weekends, but five days out of the week we can only watch.....

So while we count parts all day I have to deal with the constant noise of Ski Boats and girls sunbathing here in Miami behind MRP.

Our reality is more like this:

Order $150 or more for your stocking order get some free Italian Sunglasses


This summer don't get left out. Make sure your shop looks good and your staff looks good with some killer sunglasses from Bertoni. Over 100 styles in stock we will get you some awesome samples with your stocking order this week only. Starting today hey you might even get some cool Vespa or Moto GP sunglasses....

Fashion is an art much like selling scooters. So look your best this summer with Bertoni and MRP!

We do have Warranty Parts for Benelli and X50s but you have to have a dealer call us

A few months ago I posted this on the blog about the gas tanks on the X50.

I get calls on a weekly basis from consumers and riders that just purchased an X50 or M50 from dealers where they have them sitting on dealer floors. I'm posting this so you understand how the process works. We are not Benelli. We are not in the traditional motorvehicle chain of commerce. So if a third party has parts you need someone has to pay for them.

If you just purchased a new defective X50 ( for example I know a dealer on Miami Beach that has like 20 of them in his showroom) The dealer that sells it to you in most states has to give you warranty even if the distributor is out of business, the distributor is gone you have to hit the factory, and if the factory doesn't respond then if you go third party like MRP then you have to pay for it. Sadly, we can't give warranty on these parts so you have to call the distributor that sold it to you.

We have select engine, Benelli parts etc... its not an easy task but we have gas tanks and new replacement gas tanks in stock. You need to have a dealer or a website order them and sell them to you. Since we posted this Andretti has gone out of business and Mario Andretti is suing the crap out of them.

Call Mario Andretti if you like, he'll send you back to us for parts. If he agrees to pay for them we will send them to you no problem. Issue here is someone has to pay for them since were not responsible for the warranties. So anyone selling or importing new Benelli units has to cover the warranty, go up the chain of commerce and any distributor still selling them to dealers should cover the costs to you.

Were here to help, we want you to enjoy your Benelli, but if you call us we can only pass you on to a dealership. We can only give you a part number you will have to buy this on your own, we do not handle warranties. The manuals are on our site to help you as well and the best case is you take a picture of the part and have a dealer find it for you.

Thank You,

In the recent months, several dealers and consumers have contacted MRP regarding a leaky gas tank on the 2008-2009 Benelli Andretti Pepe models in the USA, also known as the X50 BENELLI X50 OR QUATTRO NOVE. We have received enough questions and phone calls regarding this matter, that we felt it necessary to make this post, as there may be some dealers and consumers unaware that their gas tank is leaking. Therefore, in the interest of safety, we feel it is important for consumers and dealers alike to inspect the X50 models and make sure their tank is not leaking. To our knowledge, this is not an official warranty issue, nor has there been a recall issued by the distributors and/or the manufacturer. However, as a result of requests for help from some dealers and consumers, MRP has for sale replacement gas tanks.

Dealers experiencing this issue should report it directly to their distributor.

Additionally, MRP would like to be clear that MRP is in NO WAY affiliated with the manufacturer and/or distributors, Powersports Factory Therefore, MRP cannot answer any questions or issues that an affected consumers who own a Benelli X50 and/or dealer who sold a Benelli X50 may have with regards to warranty and/or policies of the manufacturer and/or distributors regarding this situation.

MRP is here to help provide dealers with a solution through the purchase of a replacement tank. Also, to MRP's knowledge, it does not appear every X50 may have a leaky tank, otherwise, we believe there would be more complaints posted on-line. Again, MRP cannot and does not provide any warranty coverage in this matter. In this case, only the manufacturer and the distributor can answer your warranty questions. MRP does not have any knowledge of the manufactuer's policies and/or warranties. Our company does NOT handle the warranties nor are we the factory representative and/or agent in this matter. Dealers should check to see if the importer or distributor that sold them the bike has an agent for their product liability insurance that is handling the matter. The industry standard for this are companies that sell gas tank leak kits and replacements. Most importers and insurance companies either replace the tank with a factory tank or hire a third party such as DPS Technical Inc.

DPS Technical Inc. - Chemhelp
1160 Dewey Way, Suite D
Upland, CA 91786
(909) 981-5228 T
(909) 982-3747 F

DPS has handled these preventive recalls and matters for companies such as Piaggio, Ducati, and are the industry standard. They comply and help report to NHTSA.

Each state warranty and compliance regulations are different for dealers. For national policies please check:



As one of the largest a parts distributor in the USA, MRP is simply working to help fulfill a request for help from dealers/consumers who have expressed the need and desire repair their Benelli X50 MRP is here to help provide dealers with a solution through the purchase of a replacement tank, and it should be noted that MRP has a limited supply of replacement tanks at this time. If this matter is found to be a warranty issue by the manufacturer and/or distributor at a later time, consumers/dealers who purchase the replacement tank would have to contact the manufacturer and/or distributor to request reimbursement for the cost of the repair.

Also, MRP has heard from some consumers that a few dealers/mechanics have made some questionable "quick-fix" low cost repairs, such as attempting to have the tanks patched by welding or putting "glue" on the tanks to seal the leak. MRP has received calls from consumers telling us that the "glue" and welding repairs are not holding. MRP does not suggest nor condone this type of "quick-fix," low cost repair, as not only will metal tank very likely leak again, only resulting in repeated charges to the consumer trying to re-fix the leak, it could it expose the dealer to liability if the repair is found to be faulty, putting the consumer at risk, and/or resulting injury.

MRP has directed the dealer/consumers that continuously call our sales staff with questions to the respective dealers that sold the Benelli X50 and/or to the manufacturer/distributors to discuss their warranty questions and issues. However, MRP in an independent parts company that sells replacement parts to Dealers. We are here to serve the needs of our parts dealer network and one of our main goals is to assist in getting the parts that our dealers need and want to their customers.

Power Sports Factory
300 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

No more 2Strokes

Well it's official two more distributors here in Miami are out of two strokes. One of them is out of the scooter business, seems they can't afford the new DOT/EPA costs, more than likely they will be closing in the next few months.

New companies are filling in the gaps, even PIT just got a batch of CPI Oliver 2T 50cc ins so I'm not too concerned about all these other distributors being our or leaving the business

Monday, March 28, 2011

Gasoline above $4 in Miami

Gas report tells us its going to be above $4 in gas the rest of the summer in Miami. Do you have a scooter?

Get ready some stores have waiting lists for popular models.

Bank Atlantic Offering Financing For Scooter Shops

MRP is proud to announce we are working with Bank Atlantic Financing for $5,000 plus orders with Net 60 to 120 days for motorcycle shops looking to stock up for the summer. All qualifying orders must be on TK Exhausts, Armadillo Scooter Wear, or NG Disk Brakes.

BA has a long history of working with the motorcycle industry.

About BankAtlantic:
BankAtlantic, Florida’s Most Convenient Bank, is one of the largest financial institutions headquartered in Florida. BankAtlantic was rated as having the “Highest in Customer Satisfaction in Florida for Retail Banking” based on the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 Retail Banking Satisfaction Study™. Via its broad network of community branches and conveniently located ATMs, BankAtlantic provides a full line of personal, small business and commercial banking products and services. BankAtlantic is open 7 days a week and offers extended weekday hours, Online Banking & Bill Pay, a 7-Day Customer Service Center, Change Exchange coin counters, as well as retail and business checking accounts. Member FDIC. For further information, please visit www.BankAtlantic.com

Friday, March 25, 2011

GE makes front page of NY TImes

I started my day off by reading this great article on General Electric. 

Simply put they get money back every year and pay no taxes. Why does this not surprise me.

Many of us both in the distributor / importer and retail side refer to them as "Gets Everything" because if you ever finance your Powersports Business with them and find yourself in a problem like the 300 or so plus stores I dealt with between 2008-2010 they are likely to take your ILOC letter of credit, house, RV, and anything else you have of value if you find yourself in a bad position.

They also quite recently shut down the 6 remaining Super Scooter Stores of America that were trying to re-structure. Yes, they have that much power. Part of the blame does lie with scooter shops that sell out of trust, buy too much inventory, decide to get expensive motorcycles that have no turnover, but the reality is that the system is set up so the only winner is the bank. Factory gives them a discount for factory financing, Distributor pays the flooring for the dealer to GE, then the dealer pays flooring to GE on the bike etc... At one point their fun financing was having fun driving the scooter craze financing a good portion of all the Vespa buyers. If you look at the numbers for every Genuine, Vespa, Kymco sold in the country these guys get a few bucks. So the motorcycle market is a big portion of what their financing arm does.

If the dealer fails the distributor / OEM buys the product back at full price no matter how old it is ( not matter how scratched or messed up it is ( yes, they keep all the discounts etc...) its not exactly a fair set up. Do they have risk? Absolutely, but the laws, taxes, and everything else is written in their favor. Then you have companies that are great distributors that are basically indentured servants to GE. Try being a distributor that had to buy back 1,000 plus bikes last year and you have yourself a company that pays interest on every new bike, every bike in the warehouse, and every bike still out there.

They also advertise and are highly influential so I upset a few bankers / editors when I told dealers don't buy more than you need. Don't bet the family farm on GE, and try to pick up distributors with in-house financing at the SEMA show last year. I don't care if the GE sales rep is in the audience because the truth is he should be saying the same things. Giving financing to everyone without a proper understanding of what it can lead to is part of the reason the Powersports Industry crashed in the first place. More than a few industry insiders asked me to tone it down, but again most of them don't get the calls from people loosing their house in Foreclosure or business because of GE. If you don't need to finance with GE, then don't. It's not worth loosing your small mom and pop scooter store for a few extra units.

Right now they are the largest RV, ski boat, and motorcycle dealer in the country thanks to all the buybacks from 2010. Thanks to them the auction companies have become a lot bigger the last few years. The used market has been great meaning MRP has benefited.

In the interest of full disclosure GE closed down some of our competitors last year as well, but that doesn't mean I like what they did. DUH WINNING is a great thing, but not the way GE has made it happen. We need to be smart about financing the dealers

Now I read this, GE pays less taxes than the average Powersports Dealer. Unbelievable.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

How to Order or Parts when you run a small dealership, and thank you for the suggestions.

We're working on our site.

I listened to our clients at the show this year and I do talk to them every single day. I assure you our first step is to count all the parts we have, then to measure, upload, and make sure we have pictures. Sadly after 9 companies we are still in step 1 and 2. It is one of several projects we are undertaking right now. Things were moving so fast last year that we would buy a Vespa store that closed and I would sell most of the inventory before I even get to open it sometimes. Then in other cases it takes us three months to find the Diamo part a dealer was looking for. Fortunately we are making tremendous amounts of progress. See video below for some ideas.

If you knew us from the old days when we only had 1,500 parts and half were from Malaguti or SYM then you haven't seen anything, over a thousand parts belong in the racing category and you can find those applications at this link: Bookmark it, link to it, save it. To know our apps use this app.

I think the biggest issue I see at small operations is that the big shops don't have time for scooters and the small dealers don't have time to take care of the phone, walk in clients, and look up part numbers in manuals.

So I get phone calls where it starts off like this " I need a Caliper," my response is "Sir, do you have the brand, model, year for the caliper," and the response is "no it's Chinese maybe a Matrix?" well the truth is the Matrix is not some generic Chinese bike, nor is the Chinese Matrix II they come from two different factories.

Several companies that try to sell parts for brands like UM don't have anything that really works because they don't know this. Our issue is we haven't had time yet to take pictures of everything so we want dealers to use the PDF files found at: so until we are able to take a picture of all 20,000 parts we will have to ask that dealers send us a picture if its a brand they don't recognize. 

If you can't find the PDF file ( please check first ) use the Pricing Excel sheet. We can email this to you for everything in stock at the warehouse.

A couple of suggestions. Send the picture in mid resolution. Meaning don't send a 10meg picture. Put your camera or phone on mid range so the picture is under 1 meg. Send it to both emails we have here.
Send it from different angles
Show the part from different sides with measurements whenever possible.
Then if necessary take a picture of the Chinese bike.

Now if you don't have a mechanic, get one. Too many dealers don't have a full time mechanic these days.
I had several people come to me at the dealer expo this year with the same bright idea I heard three years ago which is "my wife is going to help me take internet orders from home," this doesn't work, maybe for helmets, and jackets, but for hard parts you need a mechanic. Now if you have a mechanic that has never fixed a scooter grab some crazy glue and put one of these on them.Fixing a Harley and a scooter are two different beast altogether. The mechanic might actually find Chinese scooter parts to be more difficult so buy a $30 camera at Best Buy and it will solve 90% of your problems and help us get you more parts quicker if we haven't taken the picture yet.

If you can put it on their forehead even better and stream it so we can see what he is looking at when he gets a Baja Motorsports or Sun L bike that hasn't been on the market for ten years. Trust me this camera will come in handy.

In the meantime, if you're buying parts keep in mind we are adding 20 to 30 parts per day to our inventory. It grows. The list of parts from last year looks nothing like the list today. I know of no other company that has this many OEM parts for bikes. It's an insane task and you have to be slightly crazy to do.

That's us. We are keeping dealers in business and consumers on the road.

We are almost at Step 3. We should be measuring, consolidating, and adding pictures in the next few months. We still have about 10,000 items to add, but we are almost there.

So for OEM parts from TNG, United Motors, CPI, we will be the best there is.

MRP carries the full range of Malaguti Scooter Parts: Malaguti Grizzly RCX machines are powered by Franco Morini 2-stroke engines. Models available in 2006 include MALAGUTI GRIZZLY RCX10, RCX12 & SUPERMOTO. There is also a 49.3cc Quad. The scooter range includes the 50cc Yesterday, a very cute scoot indeed available 2000-2005 (and other years, most likely) and the 125/250/400cc Madison. The Madison 125 is powered by a Yamaha YP125 engine. Formerly sold in the USA the parts are still available from MRP. Martin Racing Performance has 12,000 items in stock including all the OEM Parts for Malaguti Scooters sold in North America. 

Stocking Dealer locator 

MRP distributes OEM parts for TNG (CMSI) select models of CF Moto Daelim Motors Korea ( parts should appear on website by mid July) Malaguti of Italy ( Keeway Southeast (Keeway Vento QJ Andretti Yamati models) CPI Taiwan Powersports Factory Brands PSF Diamo Cubik (matches OEM Vento part numbers) as well as QJ and ZNEN (who manufacture bikes for a variety of scooter importers) such as FlyScooters Lance BMS Qlink models that were ZNEN corresponding to matching TNG parts
So any consumers looking for Daelim, Hyosung, TNG, United Motors, Malaguti, Linhai, Loncin, CF Moto, Qlink, Adly, Diamo, Italjet, Benelli, Andretti, Powersports Factory and more CALL YOUR LOCAL DEALER tell them to sign up with MRP! The One stop Shop for Scooter Parts!  

We also sell top name scooter brands like SN Duro Innova Kenda Bridgestone Gates Powerlink Manuals MRP distributes OEM parts for TNG (CMSI) select models of CF Moto Daelim Motors Korea ( parts should appear on website by mid July) Malaguti of Italy ( Keeway Southeast (Keeway Vento QJ Andretti Yamati models) CPI Taiwan Powersports Factory Brands PSF Diamo Cubik (matches OEM Vento part numbers) as well as QJ and ZNEN (who manufacture bikes for a variety of scooter importers) such as FlyScooters Lance BMS Qlink models that were ZNEN corresponding to matching TNG parts. Every scooter is someone's first ride we help the dealers and consumers find those hard to find parts. Doesn't matter what brand it is we've been doing the Chinese scooter parts thing since 2004 so we can help you find the right part. Since January 2009 MRP has expanded by acquiring the QJ -- Keeway Southeast distribution parts warehouse the Diamo USA / LS Motorsports / Italjet USA parts warehouse CPI -- TAIWAN Distribution and TNG Scooters. The company has OEM parts for Malaguti scooters of Italy Benelli (acquired by QJ in 2006) the Italian brand now made in China and sold in the USA under the Andretti name MH Motorhispania of Spain RX Loncin Lifan Linhai Zongshen Wangye MS UTVs and CPI Taiwan. In addition the company distributes performance parts from Athena Malossi Turbo Kit Innova Vee Rubber Duro Bando Gates Powerlink Posh Maxxis Namura Scooter Ninja Slipstreamer and MRP. 

Products carried by MRP can be obtain exclusively at select Motorcycle Dealerships and Repair Shops in the USA. MRP is the one stop wholesale ONLY scooter buggy and ATV parts distributor. For a list of retailers visit 

When it comes to parts we have it all: From Scooters to Chinese UTVs we got it: air filters, axles, batteries, Racing CDI, Racing Mufflers, Racing Coils, Racing Parts, battery chargers, High Quality Taiwan Bearings , Racing Parts for United Motors, Racing Parts for SYM, Racing Parts for Kymco, TK Exhausts, NG Disks, OEM replacemrnt CVT belts, more plastic body parts than anyone, brakes, brake pads, brake cables, throttle cables, Racing cables, H4 bulbs, Racing Carburetors, OEM CDIs, Racing Chains, Racing Scooter Controllers (electric) , Complete Scooter Parts and Electronics, Scooter Engine Parts, Scooter engines & motors, Racing DDI, Complete Scooter Frame Parts, Replacement Scooter Parts, Scooter Gas Caps, Chinese ATV parts, Chinese Dirtbike Parts, OEM gas tanks, Chrome parts, Chrome handles grips, Throttle controls, scooter lights, stock mufflers, Racing Sprockets, Replacemnt Tires, Scooter tubes, Awesome alloy scooter wheels, Racing EFI Controllers for Scooters from TK and more! 

We have a ton of stuff make sure to check it out on our site. Parts for: 125cc GY6 QMI152/157 QMJ152/157 4-stroke engines 250cc 4-stroke CN250 water-cooled 172mm engines 4-stroke QMB139 engines 50cc 2-stroke D1E41QMB02 D1E41QMB H1E41QMB and 1E41QMB model engines. This motor is used on many popular Chinese scooters including the Qingqi QMQT50-B2 50cc 2-stroke 1PE40QMB Minarelli based engine and more! Visit us today send us a picture

An update on the Adly ATV parts and Hyosung Scooter parts

I keep getting calls on this and I'm happy to report that we are making progress for these brands.

In the last month we've added more than 400 Adly and Hyosung.

Here at MRP we have the largest selection of Asian top name branded ATV parts included Adly of Taiwan and Hyosung of Korea. In this video we see the Hyosung 450cc brake cable as well as an Adly Taiwan 49cc Throttle cable. For consumers and dealers looking for parts for these brands MRP has the largest selection of parts. Wholesale only our website has links to over 1,100 stores where you can buy the parts Scooter parts, ATV parts, Dirt Bike parts, Go Kart parts and more! contact your local MRP dealer for more info.

MIC gets named checked in new Scooter Sales Articles

I just saw this figure again in an article from the Houston Chronicle from the MIC.

The funny thing is I mentioned this at Dealer Expo at our seminar this year how the numbers don't add up the least bit. It was a great moment at the show when I basically put it out there, I never reported to the MIC any of the 10,000 units I imported between 2000-2005. My father never reported any of the vehicles he imported estimated between 4,000 and 6,000 ( nobody knows sometimes it would take four scooters in parts to make one new Honda Joker ) Doug from Tomos was in the audience and you can hear him in the video below say he never reported to the MIC.

At the show this year two sales guys from a competitor told me straight up their boss didn't think United Motors had sold anything, that where were the bikes. My response was "wouldn't you like to know..." the truth is everyone would, but thats the point. Companies like CPI, United Motors, Diamo, Italjet, never ever reported to anyone. So unless you took their filling cabinet and Excel sheets and spent your nights looking at sales figures like someone I know, the truth is you're in the dark much like the MIC.

So at most what we have is estimates. Puerto Rico went from 12,000 units to 150,000 in a matter of two years. Now a third of those units say in warehouses from 2007 until 2010 and a few thousand were re-exported to the USA. I just saw some of the 250cc Wuxi scooters from a failed San Juan importer at the auction in Philly going for $400 a piece ( 2006 VINs ) the other issue is Hawaii and Guam. Nobody really counts them and customs pretty much lets anything in those markets.

The other issue is grey market. Last year I reported the dumping going on from Canada. The importers up there have had it worse than in the USA. So you have brands like Peugeot which has vowed never to export to America because of our unlimited liability court system and here they were on sale. The Scooter Scoop was the first to report the 300 plus SYM units that did not belong to Carter at the auctions where you had HD 200cc units going for $500 to the public without a title because they came from Canada -NO EPA, No American certificate and let me be clear not covered by Carters Product Liability Insurance. These grey market bikes are not counted by anyone. I keep getting reports from people when someone calls me at the office looking for a Malaguti 250cc part or a Malaguti 400cc part and I ask how the hell they got that in the country? They tell me in parts. I never imported those units yet people have them in their collections.

At Amerivespa this year I saw my first Gillera GP800cc in the US market. Same thing it was a grey market.

So to put it mildly nobody really knows. Not US Customs, definitely not EPA ( we are overcompensating for ten years of no enforcement now ) and the MIC can only guesstimate if you're kind and fill out the form they send you every now and then.

I personally know some Chinese importers that did between 20 and 30k pieces a year in 2007 and 2008. You add up every single scooter sold by Kymco, Genuine, SYM, TGB and it doesn't add up to what one Chinese importer in Texas did. I know there's a lot of hype from certain brands, but a few Chinese players do more than four or five MIC members combined in the 49cc - 150cc range that is dominated now by mainland players.

So how big is the US Scooter market. Nobody knows. Can you buy a Grey Market Peugeot in North Carolina from Canada right now? Yes. Can you buy a 400cc Malaguti probably, a Gillera more than likely. Are they legal. No way.

Are the Chinese still selling 90cc scooters as 49cc. Yes, every single day. For every container EPA and Customs stops two or three get in. They only have two people checking so can they keep track? Is it fair. Nope. Does the MIC talk to those guys? Sometimes, but by the time we realize there's a problem they go out of business much like Powersports Factory did and you can't go after people if they go out of business. Same applies to the Chinese importers that change names every year, they never report nor comply they just close the company in California and move to Texas. So we'll never know how many 90cc Scooters were imported and sold as 49cc in 2007, 2008, 2009, or 2010.

So expect to see this in the press the next few months as the gas hype figures appear, but the truth is I would say we under counted 2007 and 2007 by 200,000 plus units. 2011 could be anyones guess since many players have come back under different names. 


When fuel prices rose in 2008, scooters had a record U.S. sales year, and some dealers are expecting another big year in 2011 as gasoline again nears $4 a gallon. Annual scooter sales:
2000 42,000
2001 50,000
2002 70,000
2003 83,000
2004 96,000
2005 120,000
2006 131,000
2007 157,000
2008 228,000
2009 85,000
2010* 77,000
*Preliminary estimate
Source: Motorcycle Industry Council

Everyone talking about the numbers See video:

GILLERA GP 800cc I mentioned in case you've never seen it ( I wish they would bring them in as Gillera and not Aprilias or Piaggios for the US I really do )

Interview with on Gas Prices and Scooter Sales

This got picked up by Google, but some of my readers can't read it so I'm re-posting it in plain text.

Why Scooter Sales Rise with Gas Prices

From Click here for full pictures and article link.
Bart Madson
Managing Editor

Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Scooter sales rise with gas prices. Don’t believe it? Read the papers, my friend. Watch the news. The gas price/scooter sales news bit is pitched without mercy whenever the oil prices march upwards. It’s a now familiar media trope, and the hype plays into sales.

There is very little that can fixate the American public’s attention and dominate news cycles like rising gas prices (excepting maybe Charlie Sheen…). Scooters are heralded for their low costs and fuel savings and the "Rising Gas Price Fuel Scooter Sales" headline resides near the top of the newsroom go-to grab bag. Google alerts for the word “scooter” reveal one or two such cookie-cutter stories on a daily basis, often from small market TV stations or newspapers. Once the trend is set in motion, the momentum seems to feed itself.

The media fueling scooter sales is a phenomenon that’s not gone unnoticed by industry insiders such as Joel Martin. A former importer of brands like Malaguti Moto and SYM Taiwan, Martin is currently president of Martin Racing Performance – a scooter parts distributor for numerous brands including Asian imports (if you need a part for a Chinese-built scooter, Joel’s probably your best hope).

“I've been in the industry over 10 years. I have seen this trend happen every two to three years,” confirms Martin. “The media loves to grab rising gas prices and create this surge in scooter / motorcycle sales.” 


The argument for scooter as gas saver is based on sound logic. Buy a scooter, or fuel-efficient motorcycle, and save money in fuel costs. The higher the price of gas, the more alluring that fuel efficiency appears. Never mind the actual fuel-saving dividends will take years to pay off the principal investment, particularly if sourced only as supplemental transportation (read our real-world test of one scooter’s cost-saving claims in Scooting Thru Vespanomics 101).

On some level the fuel-saving sales hook plays on the general apprehension of oil as a finite resource. When a limited or unstable resource supply combines with increased demand, the average Joe doesn’t need an economics degree to figure the outcome. And while gas prices increase in the long-term, temporary or seasonal market spikes are met with foreboding. The gas hikes feel un-ending with fear that prices may never stop rising.

“The media hype made it seem like gasoline could go up forever so everyone started buying scooters,” agrees Martin when asked about the last great boom in the scooter market, during the summer of 2008 when prices tipped $4 per gallon. “As soon as gas went down the boom was over.”

A secondary scarcity issue made the 2008 boom a true scooter craze – a physical lack of units to sell. With some dealers unable keep up with the increased demand, the dearth of units, real or imagined, drove demand even higher as gas prices peaked. The constant media echo of pain at the pump only re-enforce the consumer’s worst fears, inspiring emotional reactions.

“The media hype played on that emotional set up. If you didn't buy one you were missing out, or worse there wouldn't be any next month,” says Martin, who notes a similar phenomenon in the current market. “The same is happening now with 2-strokes. Since its harder to get them dealers are getting a premium for 2-stroke 50cc units since all the distributors are out of them.”

The downside of the 2008 boom was, of course, the monumental bust that rattled the entire motorcycle industry (the US scooter industry plummetted 59% in 2009). Compounding the problem for scooter dealers, many had reacted to the 2008 frenzy by over-ordering, with the distributors and factories happy to play along. The result was a glut of unsold units once the economy turned south, with Martin noting: “That’s how some companies in Texas ended up with 20,000 scooters in a warehouse when the economy collapsed. Last I checked the same company still had 2000 units with 2008 VIN numbers which will likely finally sell this year.”


Queue up the present day situation, primed for at least a partial scooter revival. The unprecedented revolution sweeping the Middle East has generated uncertainty in the oil market. Once again the reality of $4 gas seems inevitable. The media chatter has been well underway for weeks now (it’s not unappreciated that this article will only contribute to the jabbering newsfeeds). Martin believes dealers must capitalize on the situation, brazenly encouraging dealers to fab up their own press releases to feed the hype. It’s a wag the dog scenario, but does it work?

“It does. Hype brings media, hype brings investors. Media brings foot traffic and customers,” says Martin. “One of the biggest problems facing the industry is the dramatic drop in sales and dealers closing. Nobody had access to capital, it's boom or bust. So my advice to dealers: go crazy with stunts like that. If I ran a dealer I would blow up a car for the local TV station, dress up like an oil baron taking candy from kids, go on the local news driving an E-Scooter – whatever it takes to get attention to your little shop.”

The latest media cycle started to peak with the revolution against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. The effect was notable for Martin too, who saw an immediate spike in interest from dealers looking for parts.

“Media brings more media. Stories of dealers selling out, supply chain problems all help. After the uprisings in the Middle East our parts phone line blew up from stores that had zero foot traffic in the weeks prior to the uprisings. Now we couldn't beat them off with a stick – eight phone lines of stores looking for parts.”

The recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan may have taken the media’s eye off Libya temporarily, stealing some of the momentum, but now it’s ramping up once again with US and UN-backed military intervention. (The Japanese situation may only fuel demand, with fears over production shut downs and parts shortages.) The stage is set and hurting dealers would be wise to heed Martin’s advice – get some attention and ride out this latest media wave for all its worth. With any luck, a craze is in the works.


An Open Letter to the EV Industry and why it will lead to Dealerships Growing again

An Open Letter to the EV Industry and why it will lead to Dealerships Growing again...

Next month we're talking to about EV bikes, I've been getting a lot of emails about the interview we just did on gas scooters, but what about the future? I've been talking to Bart Madson the managing Editor of the site. We have a follow up to this months article on the EV market and what is happening at the dealer level. I've been working on EV units and consulting for a lot of companies since 2005. So this should be an interesting follow up to the outlook on traditional gasoline based units. I'm still brainstorming my ideas here, but just to put them out there I will accept any email suggestions as we navigate this new industry changing powersports and the world for that matter.

One issue with the EV market and gas powered vehicles is that both are a very small segment of riders in the USA. In the traditional gasoline scooters and bikes there has been a complete changing of the buyer / consumer mentality at this point completely accepting the idea of the direct sales approach. I've written often on how this has killed the mom and pop stores ( in addition to JIT, the internet, and the Chinese effect.) It affects us at MRP as well. You need a very small well capitalized company to do direct sales or a large established company that can interact with consumers directly on facebook and by phone without killing your clients - the store with overhead and service to the consumer.

The biggest cost has always been support. Motorcycle riders by nature tend to want different amounts of technical support regardless of the amount of money they are spending. You have the buyer who is willing to pay a shop mechanic to install something properly and the riders that are not. The rise in drop shipping and people selling from their home garage has made this even more stressful for the small store with actual overhead. So if you call CycleGear direct or BikeBandit some buyers want to talk to a mechanic for two hours straight asking about how to properly install a carburator or an exhaust they can afford it. The small shop cannot afford this luxury of time. What ends up happening at the big guy is the sales clerk transfers you to a higher level, then to an expert mechanic, and if they can't solve the issue then back to the manufacturer they are drop shipping from. I know I can't afford all that time and that's one reason I've always been wholesale only, you don't want to take business from your clients and you want the store to support what they sold, but we are in a new age where this is becoming more fluid and I am starting to see even my approach is not 100% correct.

EV is changing that as well. So while I look at companies like LeoVince who have gone straight to consumers and dropped distributors, I also see what is happening in EV and why dealers are becoming more important than ever. It might come to the point where gas vehicles no longer need dealers, but EV at this point will require the full support of the industry at all levels to grwo.

In the EV world its even more complicated because the industry is relying on the knowledge of the local shop. On a highly complicated unit like a Vectrix this requires a lot of training. Small stores just don't have the staff to give the time buyers want on phone orders. I know this because I get calls everyday asking for installation tips on a jet or a carb, I would have to hire twenty people to handle all the calls. It might not be a bad idea, if I had the investment and the money I would gladly hire twenty people, but keep in mind many people call stores for technical help but don't buy anything. Worse they call the store or manufacturer, jam up the phone line, and then buy on Ebay. EV is a higher level of support on a more expensive bike. Not everyone can replace a module or diagnose a battery issue over the phone, you will need specialized centers.

That's something I like about EV is that you need training at the dealer level. You can't go around the dealer. People often complain to me that I should sell direct and screw the local dealer, but that's a consumers point of view. The cool thing about EV Scooters and Motorcycles. YOU NEED THE DEALER. You can't just go to EBAY and buy a part or replace it yourself. The tech is too new, its complicated, and if you open it up sometimes there's a plug or wire that will snap showing the consumer tried to do the repair himself so it voids the warranty.

My goal has always been to support the store that supports us. EV will be about the dealers, because they will have to be properly trained. They are appealing to the new affluent, the baby boomers, the early adopters of tech like an IPAD, the people who care about quality, and saving the earth. They are likely to support the shops and not try to undercut the dealership on parts and service.

EV Scooters and Motorcycles require a service infrastructure that the Chinese supply side has not broken. It requires evangelism on the side of the riders. It requires training of the end user, the service center, and the parts distribution network. This cannot be cut and bypassed by the guy working from his home without any overhead. So I see EV not only as the future, but Maybe just MAYBE ..... the future of service centers across America. The more complicated and more interesting the technology becomes, then it becomes something the guy working from the U-Haul cannot fix.

Meaning that there might be a resurgence in Dealerships thanks to the new high tech future.....

The Scooter Maven has been actively involved with EV Motorcycles and Scooters since 2005 having helped consult with Vectrix, Malaguti, and has advised several OEMs on how to maximize their competitive advantages in the emerging field. MRP is now expanding into the third party support for EV Scooters and Motorcycles

Another big box drop shipper is sending out flyers again

As the industry heats up you should be seeing more ads. Hey you might even see scooters at the local big box retailer this summer. They creep up on you and start displaying everywhere like the local mall.

Check out Northern Tools latest catalog, or a local Home Depot for new UTVs and ATVs.

In our opinion there is no getting past this. The big box retailers are finally here so scooter shops need to learn to repair these vehicles to stay profitable and find alternative sources for parts for scooters sold by Pep Boys ( like MRP ) since many companies like Baja Motorsports have imported from multiple distributors in the past few years and the company they outsource the parts distribution to doesn't know or understand all the complex issues dealing with the units. Past units imported five to six years ago are no longer supported, again the big box mentality its cheaper to take the ATV back at a Pep Boys and ship it back to Baja than to repair it because the big box stores do not repair or service these units on site ( more than likely they send you to a traditional dealership or repair shop that sometimes is unequipped and likely untrained on the unit ) this can be especially confusing if its from a factory that the distributor no longer buys from. Some of the private label companies purchased from ten to fifteen different factories.

We specialize in this. Diamo - LS Motorsports one of the companies whose inventory we acquired would buy from Zongshen, QJ, Wuxi, Lifan, CF MOTO, Jiangsu Linhai, Lingyuen, and Loncin just to name a few. It all sounds like giberish I know, but thats what we do. Some of these factories sell a few containers to companies that later switch management or distribution systems and they abandon all support for older models. This is the norm with big box retailers since they're not liable for the support like a traditional powersports dealer. Sams club doesn't care if your Vision, Yerf Dog, or XKart are supported because all those companies have closed despite having been sold by Sams.

So if you're looking for parts we're here to help.

SEARS Selling Baja and EBikes

Home Depot UTVs - Bulldog made by American Sportworks

In Italy you also have the Supermarkets selling scooters so this could be a sign of things to come.

Last but not least Pep Boys selling Baja, Hammerhead, and a host of other product from China.
Below we take a closer look at the pros and cons of big box retailers selling scooters and go karts. As we visit one of our local Pep Boys for a closer look at the suppliers of these vehicles.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Piaggio Group of Americas to tentatively Sponsor Scoot! Italy trip and buy ads again

The intern at Scoot! Magazine today sent me an email, letting me know that Piaggio Group of America has decided to not only continue its support of Scoot! Magazine ( they never stopped they just wanted to negotiate it seems, but odd choice of timing ) and I must say - THANK YOU PIAGGIO GROUP OF AMERICAS. Mr. Martinez, good call. Bien hecho Caballero.
Piaggio - Vespa stepping up to the plate is exactly what we needed. I have to say its something good in a sea of people that don't get it. Anyone can sell a scooter, but few people can lift an industry. This is about lifting this segment of the motorcycle industry up and to build it up so that it's sustainable. Several Chinese companies have pulled out of Scoot! Go luck to you guys. Seriously you're going to need it since the market is not going to get any easier. I expected that. I didn't expect the whole Piaggio thing to go down and make a turn for the better in 24 hours. Companies like Kymco, Jonway, Genuine they all signed up and will help keep Scoot! alive in the new digital age, I was there supporting Josh all the way this year making sure we keep this Scoot Industry alive.
Now I haven't spoken to Josh Rogers, he's a hard man to get a hold of lately ( I know he will call me shortly because he always calls me when I turn on my bat signal in the shape of a hamburger.) I am assuming he's happy about this and if its all true then the industry has actually done a really good thing.
Sometimes you have to give people a small push. I'm just as human as everyone else and we all make mistakes. At big companies sometimes you want to cut the small things thinking you will save money or negotiate with someone to save the company money. This is not one of those cases this was about the core of the American motorized scooter scene. The one percent of motorcycle riders who make a lot of noise. For better or worse even I have found myself at odds with what the industry needs, what consumers expect, and what the realities of the economy are, but regardless we must all have a center of communication and for the last ten years in my world that has been Scoot!
When I was in college and saw my first issue of Scoot, the magazine was almost 100% Piaggio and Vespa riders. You saw the small Derbi or Italjet ads since thats all the market had at the time, but it was about Vespa. Before the Scooter Maven even got into the industry, before the first Malaguti Moto ad appeared you saw Piaggio in there. As an industry insider again I repeat my call for leadership at the brand leader to not loose that support at the grass roots level of the people that support the brand. Thankfully someone out there is paying attention. Someone must have read my blog yesterday.
Piaggio / Vespa and now Aprilia have advertising power, they have 200 plus dealers, and a budget to help push the scooter lifestyle in the Americas. Scoot! has always had a strong working relationship with Piaggio so now that there is new management hopefully we will continue to see more support with test bikes ( stop offering them only in LA and NYC ) and send Mr Rogers some vehicles. Also, the MSF bikes still a great idea I know three employees at Piaggio agree with me on that one.
Great thing about Scoot! is that the magazine doesn't change. The owners have been there for a long time and they have worked through staff changes in the past. Here at MRP and the Scooter Maven we look forward to a New Digital Scoot! with the Scoot! club at the core of what they are doing. I think its a brilliant idea and I have to say again thank you Piaggio for moving so quickly and supporting them. Hopefully given the right budget Scoot! will be printing that buyers guide for 2012 and all the other companies that have dropped like flies will look up and say why didn't we support Scoot! the same way Vespa, Kymco, Genuine, and others did.
Make no mistake Piaggio has consistently advertised with Scoot! for over 10 years. If I wrote anything at all yesterday its because I was upset at the state of the industry. If we were to build a pyramid of brands and I will say it again Vespa is the top brand, they are the class president not by choice sometimes, but because they are the brand that is synonymous with the word scooter to every America. Nobody ever says wow Jincheng that means Scooter, nope they say Vespa from Japan to Singapore that's the name that everyone understands. It's the brand we all want to be. I know one or two people in the industry that their only goal in life is to make their company look and be Vespa, but that is a futile dream. Piaggio is the leader of the band, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't call a spade a spade and tell them what their responsabilities are. It's like if Superman decided to miss all the Justice League meetings nothing would ever get done. What you expect Aquaman to put out a volcano? I own a Vespa. I own a lot of Vespa parts. I make a living selling parts and accessories for Piaggio and its brands. I expect a lot out of them and sometimes that passion isn't in the heart of every employee at every company, but thats where the leadership has to step in and say you know what we need to do the right thing here.

This in my opinion is leadership in the right direction. I am finally impressed.
Mr. Martinez, good call. Bien hecho Caballero.
Now hopefully I will not get thrown out of the next Piaggio dealers meeting while I am stuffing myself on free food. Maybe its wishful thinking, but I was hoping for an invite.

The Scooter Maven

N-MP-02072-2 QMB 139 4 stroke Chinese 50cc GY6 MRP exhaust back in stock

Back in stock! Get your 4T 50cc ready for the summer with our award winning exhaust!
Same one you've seen on the track with Scootertronics,com

All Weather Scooter Systems? Could this help increase sales? Maybe....

Besides rising fuel costs and saving money we need to get more people riding.

The biggest issue I hear is that it might rain or it might snow a little. ( On fuel costs click here for my interview yesterday at )

I'm wondering why aren't more companies working on an All Weather System like Malaguti in Italy. These windshields could really help improve scooter sales in North America. In much of the world like Russia or even Japan people will ride a scooter in the snow or rain. Since in our country scooters are still in the "Toy" and "Recreational Ride" phase we need to offer some accessories like these to make sure American see it as everyday transportation.
What do you guys think? Is there a need for an All Weather System for the common Kymco / GY6 / Honda scooters out there?

Article on Gas Spikes and Scooter Sales Increases:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Great article up at Motorcycle USA with the Scooter Maven

Great article up at Motorcycle USA with the Scooter Maven

"The media fueling scooter sales is a phenomenon that’s not gone unnoticed by industry insiders such as Joel Martin. A former importer of brands like Malaguti Moto and SYM Taiwan, Martin is currently president of Martin Racing Performance – a scooter parts distributor for numerous brands including Asian imports (if you need a part for a Chinese-built scooter, Joel’s probably you’re best hope).

“I've been in the industry over 10 years. I have seen this trend happen every two to three years,” confirms Martin. “The media loves to grab rising gas prices and create this surge in scooter / motorcycle sales.”

Make sure to check out the full article at:

Next month Motorcycle USA plans on talking about the future of EV Scooters and the emerging field. I have some comments on sustainable growth. Stay tuned for more on that."

An Open Letter to the new CEO of Piaggio USA who just cut ads in Scoot!

Miguel Martinez, former general manager of Piaggio Spain, is now the leader of the Piaggio / Vespa / Aprilia Group in the greatest country and smallest scooter market in the world, yes the United States of America!

The first brilliant decision by Piaggio Group of Americas this week was to cut ads in Scoot! Magazine.

I heard about this and unlike the people at Scoot I will go ahead and publicly comment at sheer stupidity of the decision. It will all get blamed on some intern, but lets go ahead and break it down for the new bosses anyways on how they find more ways to shoot themselves in the foot.

This is an open letter to you sir so that you take immediate action to change the downhill slide your company is on. I just finished blogging about how the industry is affected by the decisions of the Industry leaders, how we emulate and follow their decision. Here is another great example of why Piaggio Group does not inspire nor lead.

While everyone has been focused on your predecesor who alianated much of the American core industry we all failed to see that your advertising in the wrong places.

Mr. Martinez my recommendation is that you immediately continue to advertise in Scoot! Magazine. This decision by one of your underlings to cancel advertising in the only US based scooter magazine brings nothing but red to my eyes. It's stupid decisions like this by people that know nothing about the US industry that led to the original decay of the Vespa brand name ( that and allowing certain people to trademark it then get rich when the company left the country are just legendary in the buffoonery that is Piaggio Group )

Stop the Buffoonery. Seriously man, whatever non-scooter people you have working there all the gas price increases will not save your operation.

For the cost of one day in your high priced New York offices or one ritzy galla or fashion show that Paolo sponsored you could have pre-paid advertising in Scoot! Magazine until 2012. Now when the magazine needs you the most you abandon them. Your company offers the most expensive scooters in the US market ( and the margins are nothing to brag about ) now you go and you abandon the magazine that supported you all these years. Next time I see a Piaggio sales rep eating at a high end restaurant I will remind them how the company is on a downhill slide.

I think it will come as no surprise as Kymco and Genuine continue to eat away at your dealer base. Let's fill in the blank. Scooter Maven walks into "VESPA OF _____" and he sees more Kymcos and more Genuines than Vespa's. A work of fiction or something that keeps happening more and more? Who by the way are way happier with the service over at Kymco and the margins. If you take a look Kymco was a full sponsor of something called AmeriVespa this year, and the year before, and the year before that.... you get the picture.

Three years ago one of your dealers gave away scooters and paid for everyone's meal at Amerivespa because your company wouldn't step up to the plate. It was embarrassing and many dealers still remember this.

You don't support the scene you will loose the scene. We might as well call the even AmeriKymco in the future.

You want to save some face. Call up Scoot! Magazine today and tell them the idiots at the ad agency subcontracted to a subcontractor to made a mistake.

Just In Time to affect Japanese Parts

I'm hearing rumors from dealers that some parts in the US Supply chain are starting to be affected. Even down in Mexico they are having issues since the factories have been closed and assembly lines have been shut or delayed that send parts from Japan.

Fortunately the T-Max is assembled in France so there should be plenty of scooter parts for the big sellers for the time being.

The Just in Time system isn't just at the dealership its from the factory to multiple assembly lines from Yamaha in Japan to assembly lines in Malaysia, Vietnam, Italy, France, Mexico, and in other countries. Factor in the distributors who also need parts and you have yourself a real problem if the factories don't start back up.

Dealer News is reporting today that Yamaha is suspending production, but no shortages exist.

My friend in Mexico is saying that since things were slow due to the economy they have stocked less and less, but now when they need some parts they are hearing there are big delays in the chain. What will this do to the warranty laws in Italy that are extremely consumer sided if someone can't get their parts in time?

According to the article it's only a few days, but add in all the other issues like shipping issues and the industry could face a worldwide shortage before the summer.

Monday, March 21, 2011

BMW testing new scooters

Visor Down is reporting that BMW is about to announce the new Scooters series.

I hope its true we could use a fine European brand to get Americans to take a second look at scooters. From the article WORD from Germany is that BMW's forthcoming big scooters – due to be launched in November and go on sale next year – have been spotted out on the roads near the firm's Munich factory

Read more:

See more at:

Bold Ideas at Powersports Business

If you haven't checked out the articles online at Powersports Business I suggest you check out the new BOLD IDEAS for 2011 section. It's still up for free and anyone can read it.

Something I have been saying for a long time: Bold Idea No. 10 - More, not less inventory He said the dealers in Detroit have cut back what they’re offering, leaving customers hungry for more product.

Parts Manager Adam Roth Don & Roy’s Motorsports says his new motto is “wide and shallow instead of narrow and deep.”
“Everybody’s backpedaling, cutting back,” Roth said. “We’re not. And we don’t think it’s a crazy idea.”

Make sure to check out the article.

china parts for scooters?

Every scooter is someone's first ride we help the dealers and consumers find those hard to find parts. Doesn't matter what brand it is we've been doing the Chinese scooter parts thing since 2004 so we can help you find the right part.

Since January 2009 MRP has expanded by acquiring the QJ -- Keeway Southeast distribution parts warehouse the Diamo USA / LS Motorsports / Italjet USA parts warehouse CPI -- TAIWAN Distribution and TNG Scooters.

The company has OEM parts for Malaguti scooters of Italy Benelli (acquired by QJ in 2006) the Italian brand now made in China and sold in the USA under the Andretti name MH Motorhispania of Spain RX Loncin Lifan Linhai Zongshen Wangye MS UTVs and CPI Taiwan. In addition the company distributes performance parts from Athena Malossi Turbo Kit Innova Vee Rubber Duro Bando Gates Powerlink Posh Maxxis Namura Scooter Ninja Slipstreamer and MRP.

The company has OEM parts for Malaguti scooters of Italy, Benelli (acquired by QJ in 2006) the Italian brand now made in China and sold in the USA under the Andretti name, MH Motorhispania of Spain, RX, Loncin, Lifan, Linhai, Zongshen, Wangye, MS UTVs, and CPI Taiwan. In addition the company distributes performance parts from Athena, Malossi, Turbo Kit, Innova, Vee Rubber, Duro, Bando, Gates, Powerlink, Posh, Maxxis, Namura, Scooter Ninja, Slipstreamer, and MRP.


Where to buy GY6 parts? MRP has the largest selection of OEM parts

Every scooter is someone's first ride we help the dealers and consumers find those hard to find parts. Doesn't matter what brand it is we've been doing the Chinese scooter parts thing since 2004 so we can help you find the right part.

Since January 2009 MRP has expanded by acquiring the QJ -- Keeway Southeast distribution parts warehouse the Diamo USA / LS Motorsports / Italjet USA parts warehouse CPI -- TAIWAN Distribution and TNG Scooters.

The company has OEM parts for Malaguti scooters of Italy Benelli (acquired by QJ in 2006) the Italian brand now made in China and sold in the USA under the Andretti name MH Motorhispania of Spain RX Loncin Lifan Linhai Zongshen Wangye MS UTVs and CPI Taiwan. In addition the company distributes performance parts from Athena Malossi Turbo Kit Innova Vee Rubber Duro Bando Gates Powerlink Posh Maxxis Namura Scooter Ninja Slipstreamer and MRP.

The company has OEM parts for Malaguti scooters of Italy, Benelli (acquired by QJ in 2006) the Italian brand now made in China and sold in the USA under the Andretti name, MH Motorhispania of Spain, RX, Loncin, Lifan, Linhai, Zongshen, Wangye, MS UTVs, and CPI Taiwan. In addition the company distributes performance parts from Athena, Malossi, Turbo Kit, Innova, Vee Rubber, Duro, Bando, Gates, Powerlink, Posh, Maxxis, Namura, Scooter Ninja, Slipstreamer, and MRP.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Hottest Girls on the Web

Someone asked me about the girls at the Dealer Show this year, you can check her out at this link. ( One of the hottest Girls on the web and at Indy this year )

You can thank the guys at PIT later

Parts for rental scooters Daelim

I walked into a dealer that buys parts from us. He was cannibalizing his rental Daelim fleet because he didn't know that MRP has the Daelim parts ( we have everything but cosmetics ) so we have most of the engine parts in stock for the 50cc and 125cc units. Call us with the part numbers, if you dont have the numbers take a picture.

We have exhausts, cylinders, gaskets, CDIs, everything you need for the Daelim units.

MotoMag State of the US Scooter Industry 2011

Mr. Chambers from MotoMag sent me some questions I thought I would share the answers with the blog followers:

1. What is the biggest growth today in the US Scooter Industry?

2011 continues to present significant developments in cross-industry consolidation and optimization. Companies have redundancies such as sales centers, sales representatives, and a range of verticals that need to be integrated. So in terms of real growth besides the ever-crazy gasoline inspired hype ( which I am the first to encourage ) we are still in consolidation phase. Growth will hopefully come in 2012. This year is more about moving the backlog of units and new brands ( I have met / spoken to a bunch of them and we will see them mature.)

There are some great new brands in the USA that are starting like Pit Motors, there’s CF Moto making a comeback, you see the guys at Kymco USA holding steady. Some companies have taken on investors to stay afloat, but you really don’t know what’s going on with them until they release that info publicly. At the same time you see distributors like Lance taking over distribution for SYM which indicates there is a revamping of the brand sales in the country.

2011 shows a lot of promise. I met up with Ivan from Tomberlin at Dealer Expo they have some new stuff in the works. I met the designer of the CCW bikes Scott with PIT Motors at Dealer Expo and was impressed with a new line called Cultura that might come out soon. We got approached by several private label UTVs and even new Go Kart brands that want to come into the market. The idea here is how can MRP help them considering how many parts we have.

2. What are the biggest problems you see in the industry right now as new brands emerge?

We need to be more efficient and eliminate those redundancies. I just met with one of the bigger distributors and they moved their entire back-end office back to Canada for their US operation because the warehouse had no need of secretaries and office staff. That was one way to cut costs, but you see the same going on in the smaller US vehicle distributors. Why invest $300,000 in parts for your new scooter brand when you can work with a partner that already has those parts in stock. The only people who can keep doing this and operate at a loss are the Chinese importers who live off factory credit or financing, the rest of us have to eventually make a profit.

We want to put it out there to potential investment in the industry. Why spend $300,000 in parts when you have a company in Miami that can help you become a more efficient distributor. Let MRP help you!

If you’re planning on going to China this summer and because of gas prices your Investment Capital Group wants to invest in a small private label scooter import to capitalize on $4 gas then team up with someone that can cut your costs. Invest in MRP and we will invest in you. We can cut your expenses in half. Why have a full staff and parts just sitting there when we have more parts than anyone. We are the result of 9 companies combined together bringing market efficiencies to a really inefficient marketplace.

The second issue is the same vehicles are being imported by four or five companies in the US market. You don’t have this in Europe, but in the USA you have companies like Peace which sell the same product with three distributors at three price points. It doesn’t work. I have known TGB – Taiwan Golden Bee for many years and in the 2000-2003 period they had three importers, none of them had any success because they competed with each other. Now you see Carter / Lance having the same situation trying to do joint distribution of SYM product from Taiwan. It never works.

The third issue is everyone lowering their price points. You can only sell at cost for so long, I know a lot of people who have tried to imitate what I do. I know it sounds crazy, but I’ve had former employees of the bigger companies always telling me we were always looking at you for guidance (they just happen to be bigger than our company.) The one thing that always surprised me is how many US companies would imitate the Chinese as they got into the distribution game be it in parts or scooters and have loss leaders and sell at cost. Just to gain market share they operate at a loss. What they have done is create a systematic mentality that appeals to the lowest common denominator for new unit sales. You have a complete breakdown of what is a Powersports dealer in the US market now. Traditional stores are competing with lawn mower shops and in some markets guys working from their garages. The 2008-2009 period only brought out more importers drop shipping units and selling on Ebay further escalating the problems in the sector. The industry has to elevate itself above that and I would like to see more government regulation on this so that people selling scooters have to operate under the same guidelines in all states as cars. What we need is full motor vehicle licensing, bond, and insurance requirements across state lines. It’s unfair to dealers in Florida who are required to have insurance and bonds in place and in some states you can sell motorcycles from your backyard. The internet has had disastrous effects nobody likes to address because our commerce isn’t regulated the way it should be.

3. How can these companies change while at the same time grow their sales and profits in this market?

Support the dealers.

Don’t go around them. This is also the trend in the industry.

4. When it comes to commitment to your partners, what sets your company apart?

We are committed to working together to develop a solution to meet the customer’s needs. Because of the different skill sets required the UTV dealer we now deal with has different needs from a EV or a scooter dealer. I do sales all day long from $40 dealers to the guy looking for a sub-distributor MRP buy in of $10,000. Obviously, I need to focus on the sub-distributors, but we have a huge catalog of parts so we have to get the word out on all the parts for United Motors, TNG, Keeway, Benelli, Andretti, Malaguti that we have in the warehouse. Believe it or not we still sell a ton of Malaguti Moto scooter parts. The reason being is when you buy something that was really made in Italy people will fix it. You paid $3k or $4k for it, it's not disposable. Most buyers these days pay $1000 for a Chinese scooter, use it and then it ends up in the garbage. I see Malaguti scooters I sold ten years ago in Miami with 400 miles on it and it looks new. It was kept in a garage. So when it comes to hard to come parts MRP is your one and only scooter parts source, dealers know this so efficient dealers that want to be profitable on the scooter side come to us for the hard to find stuff. Also, because we're the only guys in the US not selling consumer direct with a catalog they get in the mail. We have also diversified, the UTV dealers have a hard time finding UTV parts for Reusch, Chongqing Huansong, Lingyuen, and even private label CF-Moto so we are constantly adding new parts. I have been adding nearly 30 to 40 SKUS a day to our online inventory every single day for the past two years. I know of no other company that has gone from 2,000 SKUs to over 20,000 in three years in the scooter or aftermarket UTV industry.

If we have a sub-distributor that buys a container a year, he’s our partner. He’s buying with us at the factory and committed to showing off our brand. I will make sure that whatever brand he is focusing on he’s making a profit.

5 Why is this a good time for a solution provider, a dealer, a distributor to join in your sales / partner network?

Our program is designed to ensure high profitability for our buyers. Obviously like Parts Unlimited, WPS, and others the more you buy the more you save. We have the same programs in place. If you have a store and buy you go up the discount chain. We have changed the way we do business in the sense I will still sell only wholesale and we will sell to the guy who only needs $50 a year, but I don’t consider them a dealer since they are not representing our brands. However, the guy that’s stocking MRP, has a sign up, buys $500 a year is a real shop. You walk in they have our jackets, our exhausts, banners etc…. you have to support the dealer that supports you. You give the shop incentives to buy more and stock more.

Same for the sub-distributors. I have partners that spend more on marketing MRP products that we do in their countries. We have some big players selling MRP in Europe now, Australia is a market that shows a lot of promise and are buying with us from the same factories and representing our brand names in their markets. So the future holds a lot of promise for all the partners be it at the national retail level or the international distributor.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Anyone else Notice nobody has 2strokes in stock?

I'm getting like 10 calls a day looking for 2T 50cc scooters. Is it me or is everyone who used to import these out of the scooter game.

Down in Florida everyone is out of them.
United Motors - gone, Diamo - gone, Cubik K - gone, TGB Taiwan Golden Bee - done, Powersports Factory - Out of Business, Carter 2T SYM 50 Jet Euro units? gone, Baccio - no longer has stock, not importing bikes anymore so basically done. What can be done about the two strokes?

I know PIT MOTORS just got 200 of them in stock give them a buzz.

CF MOTO Z6 Could make you rich if you could get one.

So CF MOTO USA has one hell of a problem. These guys would be the number 1 UTV company if the factory could actually get them product.

The waiting from some dealers has gone from months to more months on the Z6. Some dealers have four or five pre-sold. I get requests for anything for these units every single day and I can't even get my hands on one. Rationing doesn't work. What the new management needs to do is stop being scared and go into production.

I understand the hesitation. Having too much inventory of road vehicles ( scooters ) in 2009 - 2010 made a lot of people loose a lot of money. This is a totally different market segment and while scooter dealers might want the next bargain the UTV dealers will pay a premium for the Z6. There are waiting lists of people. For the price, accessories, and value its a much better deal than Honda or Polaris.

What is taking CF MOTO so long to realize this? Let's get with the program we need more Z6 units in America today.

Will Earthquake Affect Japanese Scooter Exports?

Back in the day I used to be able to get Japanese export data the moment it came out from a great reporter ( formerly with Dealer News and Powersports Business ) Guido Ebert. Since then he is doing consulting so if you want to hire him visit his blog for his email. I bumped into him at Amerivespa last year. - See below

In his last few postings you could see that Japanese scooter exports were down because of the backlogs at dealerships. Nobody is reporting on the effect of the earthquake on Japanese OEMs yet. I'm wondering if they have sufficient stock to handle rising sales because of gas prices.

How will this affect Taiwanese and Chinese Scooter brands as Honda/Yamaha find themselves without sufficient inventory this summer?

I really wish Guido was still reporting for one of the trades.

A changing industry, Big Box Retailers and What has happened to Dealers this year?

Every single day it get's harder for dealers to compete.

As a distributor I am really grateful for the dealers that actually stock up in the beginning of the year allowing us to forecast and plan for 2011. We are all at cross-roads in this new age. To deal or not to deal with the big box retailer as the decline number of dealers despite gas prices start to add up. Shops are coming back to life, but is it sufficient to rescue the industry? I find myself asking the same question every single day.

However, we've come to the point where most scooter shops are just in time and refuse to stock unless you have something they absolutely need. This was pretty evident at the dealer expo this year where only one out of ten would come up to the booth to place an order. Then later when they absolutely need something they remember they haven't purchased something in two years. To me that's not a dealership, that's just someone that needs something. A dealer represents your brands, buys everything from a light bulb to that high volume item like an exhaust. I talk about this because I see the slide the industry is on right now in the United States and the pressure it puts on companies like MRP to go big box or direct.

I feel for the retailer I do, but the reality is a day doesn't go buy without a shop basically saying something like "I just want to buy one part why can't I get dealer pricing?" Seriously folks, if I wanted to sell one part to someone I would do retail and bypass the concept of a retail shop. I have always believed in the dealer, so I ask can the dealers restore my faith in the concept of wholesale only?
Distributors need dealers to show brands, not just push a sale. We need them to provide service, sales, and stock so that distributors can forecast. The other important aspect is they are the front line to counter the ever-increasing pressure form big box merchants.

Dealers are the front line when it comes to parts and accessories for the industry. Big Box locations like Costco, BJ's, Sears (Baja), Tractor Supply (Sportworks/Baja/Carter), Pep Boys (Baja), NAPA (WY), Home Depot (Sportworks), even Best Buy ( Did you see Brammo electric motorcycles in there last year?) Rural King, Farm & Fleet, Farm & Home Supply, Western Auto, Power Tools, are all carrying big box brands. From Tomberlin to Baja Powersports you see more names in these big box stores making the store just a service center. That's why stores need brands that are not sold in the big box retailers, they need brands that don't go retail direct. They are also starting to buy parts. To me thats a threat or a bonus that cannot be ignored because when I sell to a big box retailer we do volume.

If every brand you have in your shop can be purchased online or on Ebay then what is the point of the dealer. Seriously, I wouldn't need dealers if that was my primary outlet? We haven't gotten to that point yet. I want my dealers to stay alive because it becomes a sliding scale. All it takes for companies that depends on say SAMs Club is to have a recall or for them to stop buying parts and your company disappears. Anyone remember YerfDog? Godfrey's company? You have a recall from one major distributor and there goes your company. Poof - Gone! Same with parts you start selling all your wares to Pep Boys and they stop buying - Poof - Gone! So that's why MRP is sticking to the dealer only principle, but it does get hard when they keep knocking on our door.

The industry has gotten to the point where companies like Leo Vince take full page ads out talking about the decline of the Dealer Show

Companies like Leo Vince would rather sell on Ebay, Consumer Direct, than deal with sub-distributors and in many cases are just calling it like it is. The Dealer Expo should be for Dealers, but you have a bunch of people allowed to attend because in their state they have a retail license but work from a U-Haul. Let's be honest about what's happened to the industry in general then. Because if I'm going to spend $10k to exhibit I don't want all the dealers distracted by a motorcycle auction instead of spending money on new product. I don't want Chinese distributors that sell to WPS, PU, and to myself at the show going around us two or three years after you help establish their brands in the USA picking up dealers or selling samples from their booths. Like really, I am supposed to believe Advanstar or the MIC will apply any rules to the Chinese companies? They were 90% of the show this year. They were selling samples from their booths to the dealers in plain sight so they wouldn't have to take the parts back to China with them. These are the same companies now selling parts direct from China on Ebay sending them as gifts so they don't pay taxes while every distributor that complies with the law gets screwed on tariffs.

I also don't want people walking around asking if they can drop ship from their house. Maybe we should actually check who we are letting into these shows these days.

That's why as much as I regret the Ebay situation of the powersports business, I tell you that real dealers and distributors need to hold the line. Stop selling on Ebay, stop selling retail, and raise our standards. If you have no minimums, no buy ins and stand for nothing, the industry becomes nothing. We are headed into the age of anything goes. I hate the idea that if this slide continues that I will be forced to sell on Ebay just like everyone else, I'm hoping the dealers stick with us, start buying again because if this is the industry we're working towards it won't be a pretty one.

Leo Vince puts it right out there. If you buy nothing you get the minimum discount, if you buy X you get the best discount. At MRP we're forced to follow suit, but we haven't taken the extra step many of our competitors have done in setting up an 1800 number and selling consumer direct. Honestly, if we keep going in this direction we will end up like Italy where dealers barely make a living on service because you can buy all the brands direct from the OEM.

I wish Dealers would get organized and actually put their money where their moral compass was, but most people are too busy watching the bottom dollar to care. We have let the rules slide so far our industry might be too far gone to come back.

Every major distributor in the business is already setting up retail locations, retail websites, and drop shipping from each other. I worry what will be left of the industry.

The Leo Vince ad might have been a bad thing, but it's got a real point. I give them credit for calling it like it is. They don't care what happens because they sell no matter what. Brings me back to the Dealer Expo. You have to try harder at the show and harder with the dealers that attend to get fewer sales, then you get poor treatment by the people supposed to be helping you sell more. I just got a $1500 bill for shipping from Dealer Expo despite my box being properly labeled, despite my carrier being there on time, despite this having happened to me 3 times in 11 years. Despite me warning them I wouldn't put up with it anymore and that I would refuse to accept charges from someone that costs 400% more than my regular carrier. They always have some excuse. It's not Advanstar's fault its George Fern, then Fern blames the yard and the fact that Dealer Expo changed my booth number 3 times etc... I really don't care. It's the poor treatment of vendors at the shows, the sliding scale of the dealers, and the fact that dealers don't stock at these shows anymore. It's the diminishing returns at the dealer show year on year that have soured everyone in the industry on this. I was a guest speaker, I got more out of the seminar we gave on a personal level than the business I did because the sales didn't justify the expenses. Especially when George Fern pulls this 3 out of 11 times I exhibit.

I feel for the dealers I really do, but if one purchase from NAPA here in Miami is bigger than 30 dealers, it's better for me to sell more parts to NAPA than to focus on small dealers that no longer stock. Sadly, that's where we are headed because yesterday I saw it first hand. I had to beg a dealer to buy more than the TNG parts he had pre-sold, the manager from NAPA Auto Parts was out of scooter parts and spent $2,000. So much like the rest of the Powersports Industry I am forced to deal with the big box guy. Normally I could hold the line, but day after day this gets old when you have dealers not willing to stock a light bulb.

Comments? Thoughts?