Charlie St. Clair, executive director for Laconia Motorcycle Week, has been awarded the 2018 Silver Spoke Award for Government in recognition for the good work he has done to improve the image of motorcycling. The award was presented on May 12, 2018 at the 33rd Annual NCOM Convention and Awards Banquet in Mobile, Alabama. NCOM (National Coalition of Motorcyclists) is a national motorcyclist’s rights organization and was created to promote a positive image, serve as a legislative voice, educate and unite the motorcycling community. Says Richard M. Lester, NCOM Founder, “we have found that communication between motorcyclists is not only valuable, but necessary to achieve our mutual goals.” The convention, which draws more than a thousand motorcyclists from throughout the United States and around the world, offers workshops and seminars on timely issues such as the intelligent transportation system and how it effects motorcycles, running for public office, learning the legislative process, motorcycle safety and awareness, fighting anti-motorcycle discrimination, veteran affairs, motivating the grass roots and more.
Laconia Motorcycle Week is the world’s oldest motorcycle rally. In his capacity as Executive Director, Charlie has worked for the nonprofit for three decades and has committed himself to educating visitors and residents of the lakes region about the community of motorcycling. Says Charlie after hearing of his Silver Spoke Award nomination, “I’m proud to have served this great community of riders and the relationships we’ve built over the years. There’s a reason why Laconia Motorcycle Week has a legacy spanning 95 years, and I dedicate this award to all the people that have made this rally such a success through its camaraderie and love of riding.”
Laconia Motorcycle Week® gives great appreciation to all of our sponsors, especially our Presenting Sponsors: Progressive, AMSOIL, American Iron Outfitters and AARP as well as the State of New Hampshirefor their large financial support of our rally each year.
Editor’s Note: As bike enthusiasts, we at Iron Trader News have had the opportunity to order from and work with the people at Lowbrow Customs. The people on Lowbrow’s team are riders, too, and they make it easy to find the right parts and move a project along. We’re glad to share this input from Lowbrow’s Tyler Malinky on their business processes and philosophy.
There are changes sweeping the aftermarket motorcycle parts industry. The change is fueled by new technology and the increasing adoption of e-commerce. From toilet paper to automobiles, this shake-up continues to offer positive outcomes for the consumer. One indicator of this in the motorcycle industry is Lowbrow Customs.
Founded in 2004,Lowbrow Customsoriginated in the early days of e-commerce. They ignored the standard practices of motorcycle shops and took a different path. “I was a customer myself, and options online for motorcycle parts were limited. The poor selection and especially the bad service frustrated me,” said Lowbrow founder and CEO, Tyler Malinky. “I thought, I can do better than that.” He focused on procuring unique parts for a wide range of motorcycles. Lowbrow stocks thousands of motorcycle parts and accessories that they design and manufacture. This array of innovative products is not available anywhere else. Creating their own niche meant there wasn’t much competition.“We need to give customers as much information as possible. As if they were holding the parts in their hands,” says Malinky. “Which is why we spend so much time and energy producinghow-to videos, writing articles, and providing free motorcycle tech support… even for products we don’t sell.” This leads to a customer with confidence. Lowbrow’s passion and authenticity showed, making them a mainstay in the custom motorcycle scene. “We are our own customer,” said Malinky. “It’s easy to advance and evolve when your job is also your hobby and passion. If I need a particular part for my own motorcycle, chances are, someone else does as well.”
Traditional motorcycle part retailers are stocking showroom shelves and printing thick catalogs. Progressive brands, like Lowbrow, warehouse retail direct, ready-to-ship inventory to customers world-wide. Instead of a catalog, the focus is on keeping up with modern technology; from inventory management to user experience. The direct-to-retail model allows complete control of their brand and lower prices for the customer. An affiliate program is the most recent technical expansion undertaken at Lowbrow. The Lowbrow Customsaffiliate programallows key partners to help advertise for Lowbrow. They benefit by earning a commission on the resulting sales. This process is a departure from traditional print advertising and online banner ads. An affiliate program works with individuals and companies who create high-quality content. With it, they earn passive income by adding links to their articles, videos, and online content. In a world saturated with ads, curated content is becoming a valuable resource. Useful articles containing links, should a reader want to learn more, are an asset and tool.
“With the amount of information online, it is easy for customers to identify exactly the parts they want,” says Malinky. “They are now often more informed than their local motorcycle dealers. We help customers be confident the parts will fit their motorcycle. They can place their order and have it arrive on their doorstep days later.” With constant advances in technology and communication, the consumer now plays an active role. Transparency and accountability are assets to a company. As long as they’re doing it right.
From my very first rally back in the 90’s something… I kept a close eye on the man I respected pretty much more than any other, and I had never even met him at that point. Over the years we’ve chatted many many times, been on rides together, and so on. His photography never ceases to capture my undivided focus. The angles, the lighting, the vision… like no other. I do my best to imitate, but that’s all I can hope for. Michael has created a new website which is why I am doing this post. I encourage our Iron Trader News audience to visit his site & check out his amazing work. http://lichterphoto.com/