Archive for November, 2017

Thursday November 30th 2017

Thursday, November 30th, 2017

One of the large UK Dealers held a “Demo” day last weekend, and Heath was out with his camera - this is a shot of new TRS rider Chris Stay from the Isle of White.  - Chris just recently got back into Trials after taking a break, and is looking very good on the new bike.
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I don’t remember there ever being a Welsh World Champion in Motorcycle Trials, but this all changed when Iwan Roberts won the new Trial GP 2 class this year. - Roberts comes from a small village in North Wales, not far from where I grew up - can’t wait to see the new Mag: which should arrive in my letterbox soon.

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Here is a report on the Nanaimo fun Trial last week, put on by Rick Whiting and Kevin Couves

A scene from the Gentlemen's Invitational Trial at Nanaimo on Nov 26
A scene from the Gentleman’s Invitational Trial at Nanaimo on Nov 26
The Nanaimo Gasholes Trials Club organized their Second Annual Gentleman’s Invitational Trial on Sunday, November 26. There was some close competition, particularly in the Intermediate class, with only four points separating the top three riders. Fifteen riders competed in the trial, in which they managed to raise more than two hundred dollars for MS. Here are the results (top three in each class):Junior
1 Dave Carlson (Montesa)
2 Greg Raybeck (Beta)
3 Fred Warriner (Gas Gas)
Intermediate
1 Dave Moore (Honda)
2 Dave Fair (Vertigo)
3 Tim Jenneson (Gas Gas)

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Check out this video of British Army lads learning to ride Off Road !! - I think Taff went through that program.
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Yves Doyon posted these pics from back in 1985 - showing a bunch of TY Yams at a Quebec Trial, plus the bottom one shows him holding his young daughter Dominique, who now lives in the Okanagan, and won the Ladies Class at the WTC Trial at Malakwa in September.

I was chatting to somebody the other day, about the TY Mono bikes, that virtually took over the market in 1980’s and the fact that we started a class for these in the Outlaw Series, thinking that we would entice some older riders back into the sport. - But the only rider who has so far competed in the events, has been Stan. ( Maybe more for 2018?)
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Wednesday November 29th 2017

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

So did anybody notice the typo mistake in the blog yesterday? - I corrected it later, but in the Steve Day story, I said he was the 2018 Champion - when of course the season hasn’t started yet !!! - Just a reminder that everyone makes mistakes, which can sometimes get things taken out of context.

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Not a lot to report today - Yesterday was another visit to the Doc ( seems that these happen often when you get old) - but no bad news to give me after a bunch of tests in recent months. - As always, he asked if I had been riding my bike, so I explained about my knee problem -caused back in 1971, when I ended up with my leg in a cast for 3 months, -  something we have never discussed before. - After looking at the scar tissue - he is getting me in for an X ray, after which he figures he can help me with some treatment. ( Why didn’t I think of this sooner?)

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The fact that my main problem is with my right knee, ( Although I have also had surgery on the left) - is one of the reasons that I can’t wait to get my new 2018 Beta Evo 200 - which is a real “Pussy -cat” to kick over with the left leg. - The new bike was shipped out of New Brunswick yesterday, so should arrive next Monday.- Hopefully the weather will still be reasonable by then.

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This is a great photo of Debbie Evans on her TY 175 - she was a star back in the 70’s, riding the Scottish Six Days and lots of other events. - She went on to do stunt work in Hollywood, with husband Lane Leavett ( also a  great rider and former USA Champ)

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Debbie is shown riding a tricky camber - one of the sure ways to take “Dabs” from riders who do not practice this technique - we often put these in our Trials.

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Here is the video for today >>

https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Ftrialsguru.wordpress.com%2F2017%2F11%2F28%2Fssdt-compilation-2017%2F&h=ATNaIuHuz4PCik2RQWd48RzUwa55tsc3pCez0NXRA2Mfz4ESQaUfPTck4rOSnrV52XNgDWlOqOzF7-c6erXBmlSAiZ7EdGkvoT_SAr1MQpTLmA-nDI1UEixcCQgxJOcr1ga1J-4WygUjECDJvl5gIeHJMut6y2WTb6UienhJN6ZcW5mFdMPRMOqDAy_jOSGoHHozNe88YN1bXkoqXvodDlJqao_dpkxVFKe-7UNFaKP1yAiz2E0orKRA8BMq7LyrGCFF5wyim-6OlgQVgmTMw8Ky12_qHEXoazokhPwE

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Just saw these results from the 1975 World Round - ( I set that one up)

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Tuesday November 28th 2017

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

With the 2018 season just around the corner, some of the top riders are still in talks with the various Factories and Importers to secure new contracts for next year. - The latest rider to make a brand change is Brit Jack Shepard, who will join Malcolm Rathmell’s Sherco Team, after many years riding a Beta for John Lampkin.

In a Press release, Rathmell says that they will be supporting “Grass Roots” Trials in the UK, such as the British Championship Series, The Scottish Six Days, The Scott, and Traditional events such as the Reeth Two Day.

jack sheppard sherco

Here is a Pic of Jack with his new bike.

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There are a few other Brits, who have still not confirmed plans for 2018, including James Dabill, Jack Price and Iwan Roberts. - Although we are not sure just what contract deadlines they have. - It would not surprise me to see a big name announcement coming from Beta UK in the next few weeks, and maybe also TRS UK.

The bottom line is, that there is only so much money to go around, and everything  pertains to overall bike sales. -  Importers can only do so much, and with the main  focus by many of the top brands now on the more lucrative Enduro Market, the factories are all juggling numbers.

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Here is an old pic, of the 2017 WTC Expert #1 Plate and the  Expert#1 Outlaw Series  winner, Steve Day, who stopped by the Outlaw shop a few years ago and picked up a new Wulf Jacket ( I’m sure he still has it, as they never wear out)  - The old van which we bought new in 1993, is still parked at our place, retired with over a million KM on it, driving all over Western Canada ( Plus Barry & myself did the 94 Reno World round in it)

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We have been selling Wulf gear out of the UK since 1995, and the quality is second to none  - give us a call if you are looking for Helmets, boots, pants, shirts, jackets, gloves - we have them all in stock, and the prices are really good. ( Almost like Black Friday every day !!)
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I see that Ricky and Jason were out playing last weekend at OK Falls - this is a great area, especially late in the season when there is no dust. -Hopefully the nice weather will stick around for a while,

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Here is a report on the WTC Nova Scotia Trial from last weekend.

Hantsport, NS on November 26

Report from Michael Traves

What an awesome day! Thanks to everyone who came from near and far to make it such a great day. Rain stopped when we arrived and didn’t start again until we were done, the temperature was also perfect (9C) for a great day of trials.

Once again Kevin and his helpers put together an amazing loop of 8 sections with a great variety of challenges for everyone. Great to see a few new faces especially Adrian from APD “ our NS Beta dealer - he has promised to practice up over the winter and join us again next year.

Also great to see Stephen the Canadian distributor for Beta - He wasn’t able to make a lot of our events this year but has obviously been keeping his riding skills sharp traveling the country.

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Monday November 27th 2017

Monday, November 27th, 2017

Well ! - We did make a trip into town yesterday, and managed to get a great deal on a large ( 55″ Screen) TV. -And we got it set up just in time to watch the Snow games from Ottawa - otherwise known as the “Grey Cup”.  - Not that I’m a Football fan, but you have to admire these guys for playing in that weather, and they did put on quite a show. - In between I switched over to take in some of the Cannuck’s game, which was pretty exciting, although it was a loss for our team in a very long “Shoot-Out”.

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I see that the Nanaimo Trials riders, put on a fun Trial yesterday for Charity and had a good number show up to ride in the soggy conditions, good to see Kevin Couves and Rick Whiting promoting “Up Island”

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There is an old English expression regarding Dirt Bike riders - “They clean up pretty good” - meaning that they are not always flailing around in the mud.  - This pic from the FIM Awards Gala, shows  Beta’s Steve Holcombe   ( second from left) looking very smart as he accepts his World Championship Enduro Gold Medal.

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Also looking very “Spiffy” was Tony Bou, here accepting the new Martin Lampkin Trophy from Dougie and his Mum Isabel. - This is a brand new Trophy to honor Mart, who won the very first FIM World Championship, back in 1975.

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Enduro News.

It’s finally happening, USA has officially caught the extreme enduro bug with the announcement of a four-round state championship scheduled for 2018.

For 2018 the AMA have grouped together the RevLimiter Extreme Enduro, Mad Moose Hard Enduro, Last Dog Standing and Tough Like RORR to form their state championship.

“We are excited to finally share this big, new addition to the AMA racing calendar,” said AMA Off-Road Racing Manager Erek Kudla.

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Here’s a blast from the past - a time when we all got our news from the weekly Motorcycle papers. ( we still have some copies of these) - Of course now everything is “Instant” - but also quickly “Disposable”  - - Back in the 1950’s, we would ride a Sunday Trial, but wouldn’t know the results, until the following week, when they would be posted in the National Motorcycle Press. How times have changed - and not always for the best.

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Sunday November 26th 2017

Sunday, November 26th, 2017

Cloudy but mild in the valley today, but I will not be going out as I’m still feeling sick -  (Flu bug going around)  although I might go downtown & pick up a new TV as the sales are still on, with some pretty good deals.

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I guess the Grey Cup is on today from Ottawa ,  Calgary versus Toronto ( I think - I’m not much of a Football fan)

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The FIM awards presentations for Motorcycle Sport have been held in Europe  - this pic just posted of Welsh lad Iwan Roberts, who won the 2017 GP2 Class on his Beta. - I hope he gets more support for 2018.
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Here’s a good little video of the Australian 4 day Enduro - A few years ago a Canadian Team went over and did well - Guy Perret took his bike over as luggage and we got Interlube to sponsor the team with Opti Oil.

Australian 4-Day Enduro - A4DE

BTW - Did you know that it is illegal, for any manufacturer or dealer,  to tell you that you have to use only products sold by them in your Bike or sled - or they will void your warranty ?  - That story has been going the rounds for decades, with Skidoo being the latest to try and intimidate their customers. - Back in the 1980’s Fram oil filters took GM to court over this, and won a huge settlement, which was reported in the New York times.  ( The manufacturer or dealer can only suggest the customer use their oil or genuine parts)  If this happens to you - ask the dealer to please put that in writing, BEFORE you make any kind of deal.
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Saturday November 25th 2017

Saturday, November 25th, 2017

I forgot to mention yesterday, that the 24th was my brother’s birthday - he is still alive and living in the UK, not quite sure how old he is, but he must be around 85 - and while he did at one time own a bike, it was  more for going from home to work etc. - my elder brother ( now coming up 87 - also still alive) rode Trials with me back in the late 1950’s.  - We were all named “D” by my mother for some reason that I have not a clue - ( Donald, Douglas and David) - You can imagine the issues this caused.
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This is a pic of Martin Lampkin, riding a traditional type English Trials section.  - Yes, the ones we like to put in our events. - I think he was testing the Beamish Suzuki. - There have always been specialty Trials shops in the UK, with many building neat bikes using the very good English welded frames, with various engines installed. Perhaps the most famous of these was the Majesty, built by Mick Andrews and John E Shirt - ( using their initials with TY added.  - Only a few of these ever made their way to Canada, most brought in I believe,  by Peter Wylie of Vancouver Island.
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The only Trials event that we know of taking place, this weekend,  is the last one of the year in Nova Scotia - they have quite the bunch of enthusiasts in that region, and sanction their fun events through the WTC.
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We get quite a few calls from Eastern Canada, with people wanting parts and accessories - yesterday a shipment went out to New Brunswick - the place where our Beta bikes get shipped from..

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The weather continues to be very mild in the Valley, but we have all come down with colds at our house.  -

In other news - As usual I turned the TV on while making my morning cuppa char - but it would appear that the old very large  unit, that I bought over ten years ago at Walmart for $300 on sale, has finally given up the ghost, so I might be making a trip into town to do some Black Friday shopping. ( Luckily the one in Babsy’s Tea room is still working)

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We had a visit by Bruce Baker yesterday  - he is just back from one of his long adventure Off road rides down South - think it was the Moab region.  - Always good to chat to Bruce, who rides exceptionally well, in spite of the fact that his one knee  will hardly even bend.  ( Old MX injuries) - We compared scars, but Bruce had me beat.
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Friday November 24th 2017

Friday, November 24th, 2017

So it’s “Black Friday”  - another American excuse to promote big sales  !! It started me thinking about what we have for sale in “Black”  - always at a very good price. - but on “Special” today only. call us if you are interested.
Black  -2018 Beta Evo 300 .( Brand new never been started)
Black -  Outlaw toolbelts

   Black - Wulf Trials helmets 

Black  - Universal Fork guards

Black - Evo  pipe guards

Black - Wulf T shirts

Likely some other “Black”   stuff in the shop that we can discount today as well -  but better phone ahead !!!

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Still following on the “Black” theme, how about this nice “Black & White” photograph from back in the days of early “Scrambling” in the UK.  - It shows lanky Brian Stonebridge  leading Johny Draper and Geoff Ward.
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Stonebridge was a brilliant engineer as well as a very good Trials and Scrambles rider, who I saw race a 150cc BSA Bantam at Hawkstone Park. -this bike was a rocket using an expansion chamber exhaust, developed from the small European Road Race bike, - it was the start of highly tuned, lightweight two-strokes , taking over from the big heavy four strokes. - Stonebridge would leave BSA, to develop the very successful Greeves Off road models, but was tragically killed in a car crash. -

However the Greeves models that he had so much to do with, went on to win many championships in the hands of Dave Bickers.

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Here is a great video of the recent Costa Brava Two Day Trial in Spain.
Trial CostaBrava

And a super exciting Flat Track video

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Breaking News - Gas Gas spend more money >>  Sign Irish rider Danny McCanney.

Thursday November 23rd 2017

Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

So here we are again heading towards another weekend - the so called “Black Friday” sales all the rage on the various web-sites. - Hell ! at Outlaw, our Black Friday Specials go year round - seven days a week !!! - Just ask any of our customers. !!!

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Here is a good selection of Trials videos - including some footage of the 2017 Scott Trial - Check it out.
TrialsportVideo

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Not much to report today - weather continues to be nice & mild - Taff called last night to tell me about his trip to Wales - I see that the Panorama race for 2018 is on the same weekend as our Malakwa Trial,

And this is how they sometimes do things in France.

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It appears Jordi keeps adding to his European Trials Team - with the #2 German rider just coming on board.

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With Albert Cabestany officially retiring from World Trials - there is a rumor that  young Brit - Jack Price might be taking his seat at Sherco.  - Still no firm word on who Beta will sign for 2018 ( not many to choose from now) but I wouldn’t be surprised to see James Dabill’s name crop up on their shopping list.  - Vertigo just signed Farre and Dougie is staying with the team until the end of 2018.

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Wednesday November 22nd 2017

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

It doesn’t seem five minutes since we were posting snow pics from last winter - but I found this one from 2010 at Summerland, Pete and myself were out checking the area for the Outlaw Trial -( Pete took the pic)  the date was March 26th. - That was and is, a great section - not ridden much these days, but I plan on showing our new recruits this stuff at some point ( Yes I did make it up but not clean)
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A few people have made the comment recently “KTM should make a Trials make - it would be the best !   - Well folks surprise to say, KTM did make a few back in the 70’s -  Austrian rider Walter Luft rode one in the Scottish a few times,  but they were pretty average.  - It is worth noting that KTM worked closely with Beta at one point, with a view of buying out the Italian brand, but in the end the Family decided to go it alone and compete head to head with KTM in the Enduro market - ( Quite successful with a couple of Championships to date)
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More phone calls today with people looking for used Trials bikes  - hopefully my long conversations will help them make the right choice .
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So it would appear that Jaime Busto has indeed jumped ship from Honda and will ride Gas Gas in 2018 !! - What the !!! -  some folk might recall that Beta Trueba of Italy were just a tad put out, when Honda came calling with their big cheque book for Busto  - After all - they had nurtured the lad and had him under contract.

Obviously a lot of  speculation for this sudden change, - but what if Honda have already decided to cut back their involvement in World Trials?  - and are downsizing - Fuji is ready for retirement and Honda have done this before - ( Read the book - Honda Story - which tells of Sammy Miller’s involvement )

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Albert Cabestany has also announced that his plans for 2018 are still not final - Sherco Engineer, - Paxau, is retiring, as is Albert’s minder, but he is still weighing up his options with maybe a different role in the Industry.
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Looking ahead, we wonder about the whole Off road market -   Gas Gas are now spending a ton of money on Trials, and Enduro - new riders with lots of ability, but will this be enough  to keep the new owners afloat? -

(Remember the old saying “If you want to make a small fortune in the Motorcycle business, -   start with a big one “)

Various  Electric bikes are  being pushed right now - But sorry to say there is no money for dealers in mini-electric bikes. - The only hope is that the junior rider will elevate to the same brand in the future, not a bad idea, just like Yamaha did with the TY 80. ( We certainly love to see the families getting involved)
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Yesterday we picked up the #1 Plates for the 2017 Outlaw Trials Series  - these will be mailed out today - congrats to the winners and to all the riders who competed, we hope you all enjoyed the events.
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Here is our Vintage pic for today - it  shows a very young Mike Hailwood sitting on the NSU he raced, I believe the old guy might be Frank Cope  - his family owned a couple of large Motorcycle dealerships, in fact I bought my first bike from them.

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Tuesday November 21st 2017

Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

David Milan has had a spectacular season riding the Factory TRRS to a Spanish Championship win in 2017.
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And here is another TRS shot, and while it could easily be mistaken for a section in Scotland, it is in fact another Chris Hrabb shot from Revelstoke, where the mild weather is making for some great riding.

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Yesterday, I mentioned the large entry that they had at the Barcelona Trial - this was all vintage - but some of the bikes ( Including Fujigas’s trick Honda) cost huge amounts of money ( $20,000 - and up) - Fuji’s bike was likely way more than that. - So does this mean that “Money buys a win”  - I think not as any top rider can do amazing things on an old bike - ( I saw Sam King do this on an old 73 Suzuki at Malakwa)

Talking about Sam and Malakwa - I know that they are planning on hosting both Trials and Enduro schools at the Park in 2018, so if you want to learn from one of the best give them a call - or google CKMP.

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Yesterday, I had a long chat on the phone, with old friend Jimmy Corkle ( We posted a pic of him and his long white beard a few days ago)   - We covered a lot of ground in our conversation, as it’s been sometime since we touched base - no snow at Elko, but Jimmy is looking forward to getting out on the new sled he bought last year ( although he thinks he might have to trim his beard a bit !!)  - He still has the 2010 Evo 290 that I sold him, but has only been out on it once this past year.  ( If you need any mechanical work done on anything, Jimmy is your man in the  Fernie/ Cranbrook area)
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As expected, we have heard that the CPTA Trial was run in monsoon-like conditions - but it was still Alex Walton (TRS) who took the Expert win.  - Ross Rathbone made the long trip down, as did new to Trials,Dustin Labby from Kamloops - A full report  by Don Doerksen, will be up on Trials Canada later today.

Here is a pic of Ross ( photo credit Jeff Green)

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Here is the 2018 FIM World Trials Calendar.
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Here is our “Blast from the past” pic for today, which just popped up on FB - it shows Team Blackfoot Montesa, back in 1971 - Murray Nutt, Wayne Adderson and myself.

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Industry News - A sign of the times.

Home » News » Motorsport Aftermarket Group files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Motorsport Aftermarket Group files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Motorsport Aftermarket Group (MAG) has announced it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, as a means of eliminating $300 million in debt through a “debt for equity exchange.”

MAG owns and operates several prominent powersports companies, including Tucker Rocky, Biker’s Choice, DragonFire Racing, Kuryakyn, Progressive Suspension, QuadBoss, Vance & Hines and J&P Cycles. MAG company officials said the day-to-day operations of these businesses would be unaffected and they would operate as normal during the reorganization process.