Go Go Gear Founder Arlene Battishill Interview With Lady Moto

Arlene Battishill in a red cafe jacket, during a 1,000 mile trip from Tijuana to Cabo San Lucas.Real entrepreneurial passion means committing to your product. And for one female motorcycle entrepreneur that meant getting tied up and dragged along eight feet of gritty asphalt.

We met Go Go Gear CEO and President Arlene Battishill at the Indianapolis Dealer Expo, where we learned (much to our shock and awe) that the bruised and battered jacket hanging on the end of her display rack wasn’t just the casualty of a nasty spill, it was the jacket worn in the rigorous Go Go Gear product trials – by Battishill herself.

LadyMoto spoke with the entrepreneur-turned-amateur stuntwoman about what it was like being dragged behind a motorcycle, and what we can expect to see next in the series of Hollywood-worthy testing.

thumb_Go_Go_Gear_4LadyMoto: What inspired you, or how did you get the idea to do the testing yourself?

Arlene Battishill: I’d been thinking about how to test the jackets early on. I called the Stuntwoman’s Association and they wanted about $1,500 to have a stuntwoman crash in one of the jackets. But the more I thought about it, I realized I should just do it myself. I’m 50 years old and no spring chicken, so this wasn’t high on my list of things to do in life – BUT I felt that if I was going to be producing safety gear, I’d better know for sure it works.

LM: Have you had any stunt experience?

AB: Stunt experience! Are you kidding? I have experience with getting manicures and pedicures, not doing stunts!

Steve Seidner of California Scooter Company drags Battishill down the street.LM: Who did you talk into tying you up and dragging you down the street?

AB: The test was kind of a fluke. I was out at the California Scooter Company in Laverne, CA, test-driving some of their bikes, and I asked the owner Steve Seidner if he was willing to help me test the jacket. He said, “Ok, sure!” — having NO idea what I actually had in mind. It happened so fast I don’t think he really even had time to think about it. I told him to go grab a tow rope and that I wanted him to drag me down the street in my jacket.

It was a completely surreal experience. I was lying there on my back, being dragged along the pavement and looking up at the sky wondering what on earth I was doing. The test would have gone longer, but at about 80 feet I started to smell something “burning”. It wasn’t actually burning – the fabric was just heating up from the abrasion, but when I smelled it I let go just in case I was on fire! No fire at all, just abrasion. I was actually sort of disappointed! Just kidding!

The first layer of fabric is the one that took the brunt of the damage. The REAL abrasion resistant fabric inside the jacket wasn’t damaged at all.

Arlene Battishill dragging down the pavement in a Go Go Gear jacket.LM: How have people generally responded to the test jacket when they see it?

AB: Most people can’t believe that I tested it myself. More than anything, their response is, “Wow, you really stand behind your product!” I think that having someone else do the test would have created a perception of “distance” between my product and me.

LM: You mentioned when we first met that your next test will be done with an airplane. When and where will that be?

AB: I talked with Steve Seidner at California Scooter Company about doing the airplane stunt. He knows someone who has a small airplane and they’re located right on an airfield. We just have to figure out how to get the airfield to cooperate and let us do it on the runway for free.

LM: Will you be videoing the next demo for YouTube?

Yes, definitely. I’m so bummed that our videotape ran out just as we started the drag test, so we HAVE to have new footage of a test. I’m also preparing my own crash test dummy that I’m going to throw out of a car at a high speed to again test the jacket, so we’ll get that on tape for sure. I have video of me throwing myself down a 50-foot hill in the jacket, but a lot of people have been critical of that footage because I didn’t throw myself off a motorcycle to test the armor. Easy for everyone else to say when they’re not the ones doing it! Sofa warriors!

And of course, if we can actually pull off the airplane stunt, you bet we’ll get that on videotape.

Check for updates on the Go Go Gear line and testing stunts on her blog, http://scooter-girls.com/wp/

Repsol Honda on Top in Qatar

Stoner_QatarThe MotoGP has just finished the final testing session before the start of the 2011 MotoGP season, and Casey Stoner found himself at the top.

The Repsol Honda duo of Stoner and Dani Pedrosa were on top throughout the final testing session, but it was Stoner’s turn to take top honors today. Stoner set a 1’55.681 lap time around the Qatar track, barely edging out his teammate by .06 seconds.

The two Honda riders were more than a half second faster than the third place rider, Ben Spies. Following the Yamaha rider were two more Honda machines ridden by Marco Simoncelli and the final Repsol Honda rider, Andrea Dovizioso.

Randy de Puniet was the fastest Ducati on the track and the final rider to finish within a second of Stoner.

2010 MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo spent the day working on his electronics and his acceleration in the lower gears, and finished 7th for the day, more than a second behind the Repsol Honda duo.

Colin Edwards, Nicky Hayden, and Hector Barbera finished out the top 10.

Valentino Rossi had a promising start to the Qatar test yesterday, but today his times slowed.

The 2011 MotoGP season starts next weekend in Qatar, and it looks like a Honda rider is going to claim the first win of the season.

MotoGP – 2nd Testing Session – Qatar

  1. Casey Stoner – Repsol Honda Team – 1:55.681
  2. Dani Pedrosa – Repsol Honda Team
  3. Ben Spies – Yamaha Factory Racing
  4. Marco Simoncelli – San Carlo Honda Gresini
  5. Andrea Dovizioso – Repsol Honda Team
  6. Randy De Puniet – Pramac Racing Team
  7. Jorge Lorenzo – Yamaha Factory Racing
  8. Colin Edwards – Monster Yamaha Tech 3
  9. Nicky Hayden – Ducati Marlboro Team
  10. Hiroshi Aoyama – San Carlo Honda Gresini

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

DiSalvo Wins Daytona 200 Thanks to Amazing Effort by Crew

jason_disalvo_wins_daytona_200The Daytona 200 is one of few AMA races that relies so heavily on the quick work of a team’s pit crew. When the Daytona 200 was shortened to a 15 lap sprint this weekend, some people complained that it was taking the pit crews out of the equation. Jason DiSalvo, who gave Ducati its first Daytona 200 this weekend, would argue otherwise.

“That was probably the greatest pit stop in motorcycle history,” DiSalvo said after the race.

So why was Team Latus Motors Ducati team’s effort such an impressive display of mechanical excellence? Because Team Latus did more than just swap out tires. During the delay, DiSalvo’s team changed out an entire engine.

The Daytona 200 was red flagged after riders were experiencing trouble with their front tires. The red flag was good news for DiSalvo who was having engine trouble. When DiSalvo returned to the pits, it was decided that for him to continue, they would have to swap the engine.

“It’s really unbelievable,” DiSalvo said. “Those guys worked so hard to get that bike put back together and ready to rock, on time to start. It’s just amazing. I’m almost a little bit speechless . I don’t think it has sunk in yet.”

When DiSalvo returned to the pits, he wasn’t sure if the AMA would let him continue. But the pit crew went to work anyway, just in case the AMA gave them the OK to re-enter the race. When the AMA gave them the go-ahead, the Latus Motors Ducati team was ready to go.

“I have to thank a couple people aside from the team,” DiSalvo said. “One is the AMA officials for letting us restart the race. I know there was some question about whether we would be able to restart, but when we were given the go-ahead…. I want to thank them for that. And again, the crew. It’s just unbelievable what they did.”

The 2011 Daytona 200 didn’t go off as planned, and riders weren’t required to make all of the scheduled pit stops. But that doesn’t mean that the hard work of the pit crews was taken out of the equation. If anything, DiSalvo won because of his team’s effort.

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

MotoGP Gives Japan Option Not to Host MotoGP Race

motegiIn the wake of tragedy, the MotoGP has come out to state its support of Japan. The MotoGP has given the organizers of the Japan Grand Prix the opportunity to decide whether or not they will host the third round of the MotoGP season.

Japan has just been devastated by a 8.9 magnitude earthquake, followed by a massive tsunami. Japan is supposed to host the third round of the 2011 MotoGP season, but the MotoGP understands that this may not be possible.

“Japan is a very important country to this championship,” said CEO of Dorna Sports, Carmelo Ezpeleta. “We are with them during these painful moments.”

Japan is supposed to host a race on April 24th at Motegi.

“No decision will be made until it is seen how events evolve during this week,” Ezpeleta said. “We are putting the interests of Japan above what was to be the third round of the season.”

Hiroshi Aoyama is the only Japanese rider in the MotoGP championship, but many riders on the MotoGP grid ride Japanese bikes.

“I have had the opportunity to speak with those at the Motegi Circuit,” Ezpeleta continued. “Fortunately, none who work there were injured. It remains to be seen how those involved deal with this terrible event. For our part, we are there for whatever they need. MotoGP will do what Japan asks us.”

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

Statement Released by Honda About Japan Earthquakes

hondaHonda has just released a statement about the massive earthquake that struck Japan earlier this week.

“Honda would like to express its deepest sympathy and condolences to the victims of The 2011 Off the Pacific Coast of Tohoku Earthquake in northeastern Japan,” Honda said in the release. “Our sincere hopes for the earliest possible relief and recovery of the affected areas.”

Honda has shot down production activities in five plants in Japan. Honda has suspended all activity in the Tochigi area, where the damage was the most destructive.

In the release, Honda also addresses relief efforts. Honda will be giving 300 million yen ($3.66 million) toward the relief effort, as well as donating 1,000 gasoline generators and 5,000 gas canisters. Honda is also dispatching staff to devastated areas to instruct people on how to use the generators.

Honda also says that it will cooperate with te rolling blackouts requested by the Ministry of Economy. Honda says that they are “prioritizing the relief and recovery of affected areas.”

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com