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Hi Otto! We’re beating the distance, Eastern/Western time and crazy schedule to do this interview about Biltwell and Metzeler tires before the Roll The Bones Old School Motorcycle Show starts. So thank you for participating in this little Q&A. So, first of all, what is your role at Biltwell? Howdy! What do I do at Biltwell?
Well, my first job here was building the offices in our old building. Literally, standing walls and hanging drywall. Bill and McGoo (co-founders) got to be buddies of mine and they knew I loved bike stuff so they enlisted my help for their events and then, this new thing called social media. They helped me get out of construction and gave me more responsibilities as our relationship grew (I’ll always be grateful for this). Now I help with our own events, tons of social media and of course, Biltwell promotions. I pitch in on marketing and R&D when asked and I also lead our small but driven customer service crew, too. We’ve got a tight team over here and I’m proud to have been a part of it for almost 7 years or so now.
What type of rider are you? Urban rider, off-road rider, solo rider, long road trip rider?
A mix of everything? What type of rider am I? Not a very good one! Been on a motorcycle about 12 years. Love long rides through the western states and have ridden most of the continental USA on my FXR or chopper. Ridden some of Baja on a Honda XR400, bunch of California off-road too. Raced my ’76 TT500 in some races as well. A little bit of everything I’d guess…again, none of it at a high level.
I did some research, and I found out that you did the NORA Mexican 1000 on a Sportster, which consist of 1300 miles of dirt roads in Baja. Was that a good idea or a bad good idea?
Ha, saw our NORRA race huh? Something our brand manager Barnacle Bill dreamed up and we didn’t think too much about till he and our in-house wrench Rouser started to build a bike for! It was a great time, we did what lots said couldn’t be done and we seem to have inspired a bunch of others on Sportsters to desert race in the process. Baja on a 500-pound bike isn’t easy but it was definitely something I’ll talk about for the rest of my life.
You’ve been selected as an ambassador for the new Metzeler CruiseTec line, what do you think of their new tires?
I’ve been running Metzeler products since I’ve been on a bike. I’ve always been a fan of their longevity, reliability and how predictable they are. The CruiseTec series does all those things better than its predecessor the 888 (or the 880 before that even) and looks good, too. I’m loving these things, man. Just did almost 1000 miles in Baja on them on our El Diablo Run with my GF in tow. Nary a hiccup!
Since when do you ride these tires? Are they on your FXR? Correct me if I’m wrong but this is your everyday ride, right?
Yessir, I’ve got the CruiseTec tires on my FXR. That’s my ‘ol reliable ride and good for two-up as well but I’m putting together a new chopper and I’ve got some Metzelers on it, too. My dirt bikes all got Metzeler 360’s on ’em as well.
To push these rubbers to the limit, what would be you ideal route? Let’s say we get lucky enough to test ride them for a day in California?
Good test of the CruiseTec tires? Death Valley in the summer…or the 395 up to Reno. Any hot climate is tough on tires, man. The Metzelers have always served me well on these routes. Baja can be brutal too!
#ThisIsCruisetec | Did Otto from Biltwell Inc. get what he wanted out of the CRUISETEC? It all comes down to #PerformancePerfected.
Publiée par Metzeler sur Mercredi 13 mars 2019
With the Biltwell brand, you support a lot of motorcycle events worldwide, and many of them, as the Roll The Bones, for example, discuss over few emails or over the phone, where it’s difficult to measure the outcome. What is a good fit when you’re looking at partnerships and sponsorship?
I’ve got some secrets I use to shake down event promoters that I’m not gonna give up BUT we do love events that promote our « Ride motorcycles, have fun » mantra AND if ya ever follow up with pics or tag us in stuff, we do value that as well. We’ve built some pretty good relationships through the years and working with the same people over and over lets us trust them to help guide us on what will be best for the event and the attendee’s and ultimately, the Biltwell brand.
A lot of things have changed in the motorcycle industry over the last 10 years, and Biltwell played a big role in this major shift by putting the spotlight on a whole new generation of riders. Based on your experience, what do you see as challenges for the future of the motorcycle industry?
I think unless companies and brands offer real value with their products, they’re gonna have a hard time attracting and keeping customers. This generation of riders can smell a rat fast. They’re not dumb, they value fun and honesty but also their time. I think we’re doing well over here at Biltwell because we understand those things AND truly love motorcycles. We work hard to make parts and helmets we use and believe in. I think a lot of motorcycle companies would benefit from having a couple of motorcycle riders in key positions in their brands. Just my two cents.
Thanks again to you and Biltwell for your support with the Roll The Bones!
Thank you guys for doing fun stuff. That’s something we can always get behind, man.