Archive for the ‘AIRHAWK Employee Spotlights’ Category

Still Putting in “Work” on the new BMW R1200 GS

Sunday, June 2nd, 2013

In order to maintain my title as “Ass Pad Tycoon,” I stay extremely busy travelling all over this great country of ours, spreading the word and saving asses.  That part of my job makes it difficult to do something else I love – writing about motorcycles, and the motorcycle industry.  So without further ado, I present the second portion of the evaluation of my new BMW R1200 GSW.

There have been countless reviews and press releases written by media professionals about the R1200 GSW, so I won’t bore you with the finite technical points. Just one man’s well-travelled experience!

We’ll start with the good: more power. It’s not just that this bike has more power than its predecessor. It’s the way that it’s spread out across the power band.  It starts low and pulls very hard throughout the RPM range up to around 9,000 RPM. It feels as if the torque delivery comes on a little later in the range than the old Boxer, and it is a little freer revving as well.  It does this without getting too far away from the feel that we’ve come to expect from the classic Boxer engine (BTW, this is my 4th Boxer powered bike), it just improves the throttle response and adds more horsepower.  My only real complaint about previous Boxer motors was that the power delivery was quite deceptive. Often times you wouldn’t really feel the power as much as you’d like.  When riding with others, you would know that it’s a very quick motor that works very well in the tight stuff, but it just never really felt fast.  This new Boxer changes that – it sounds and feels much faster.

Another big improvement is the suspension.  The electronically adjustable suspension delivers as promised (and promoted).  It’s far and away the best OE suspension that I have ever experienced.  Wouldn’t it be great if all of our riding was on tight and twisty canyon/mountain roads that were as smooth as silk?  Keep dreaming.  Unfortunately, in order to reach these roads, some of us have to travel long distances on less than desirable roads that can be described with almost any adjective other than “silky.”  Travelling these roads with your suspension set tight for the twisties will have you begging for the ride to be over before you ever get to the good stuff.  Not a problem with the GS.

Just hit the handlebar mounted control button until you see the “Road” selection, then select the “soft” choice for long periods of interstate with those harsh expansion joints at the bridges and you don’t even notice them anymore.  Seriously, this thing is a dream when you’re forced to mix it up on the long stretches of interstate with the big semi rigs.  I’m talking about the road surfaces that have been ravaged by countless thousands of semis with little or no repair work.  This bike just soaks it all up without any complaints at all.  When you exit the interstate, hit the button to put it in the “Normal” mode and it firms up a bit – good for all around riding conditions.  When you finally reach the sweet twisties; hit the button again into the “Hard” mode and you’re ready flog.  It’s that simple, and it really does work.

Since this is a Dual Sport bike, there are suspension modes for the dirt as well.  But there’s more – there are also electronic controls for throttle response and traction control!  When you select “Enduro” mode it tones down the throttle response and engages more traction control – but you really don’t notice it until you need it.  When in “Enduro Pro” the action is a bit more lively – more rooster tailability, brakes less linked, better throttle response.  It works!

Now on to the handling part.  My previous Boxers were the R1100 RT, R1100 S, and the R1200 R.  I’ll be honest, this thing really felt weird to me at first; too tall, bars too wide, tires not right, seating position too upright, etc..  After about 30 miles of riding it around town, it all began to feel perfect!  Some of the reviews that I have read complain about the steering being too light; I disagree.  It is a lot lighter feeling around town and at lower speeds (which is good), but when you start ripping through the curves it seems to tighten up without being too firm.  Pick your line and hit it hard, this GS will stay right on track until you decide to change it.  Inline adjustments don’t make the bike unsettled at all.

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I haven’t had the pleasure of taking this bike out for a spirited ride with my buddies in the twisties, but I can absolutely assure you that they will be shocked at how fast this thing is.  Brakes, suspension, steering, ergos…. It’s all good.

My job as a travelling Ass Pad Tycoon requires many long days in the saddle, and the APT needs as much comfort as he can get.  I’m not getting any younger, so every little improvement helps!  Number one on long distance comfort improvement is the electronic cruise control!!!!!  Those purists who scoff at the notion of cruise control on a GS probably haven’t ridden an 800 plus mile day with this great feature.  Not only is it great for the wrist, but for the head as well.  Let me explain.  A guy like me has a propensity to always be going well over the posted speed (seriously, I can’t help it, it’s just what feels natural to me).  Because of this, I’m constantly uptight about getting tickets (probably because I DO get them).  So I love taking breaks by locking the cruise in a few MPH above the posted speed and just totally chill for periods – at the end of the day you arrive at your destination just a bit more relaxed.

As a maker of comfort seating products, I’m sad to say that BMW has really done their homework on the seat for the new GS.  My problem with most of the BMW seats has been with the forward tilt that they exhibit.  I am constantly pushing myself back to give the “boys” some breathing room if you know what I mean.  The new seat allows you to adjust the nose and the rear of the seat independent of each other.  I have the front on the high setting, and the rear on low, and it’s about perfect.  The foam density is still a bit softer than I prefer, but it’s no longer the torture rack that it used to be.  The pillion is also adjustable for and aft; so I have it all the way back to give me more room up front.

Wind protection is also greatly improved on the new GS.  And the best part is that you can adjust the height of the windscreen with your left hand while going down the road – it’s hard to dial in the proper height without the wind, right?  In general, the ergos are perfect for most riding scenarios – lots of leg room, slight forward tilt without too much pressure on the wrists, yet still comfortable while riding on the dirt in the standing position.

Now for the minor negatives.  My main complaint is with the 6th gear. When I’m going 75 MPH, it runs at about 4,500 RPM.  It would be nice if it was kept under four grand. This would make those really long days on the interstate a bit more pleasant.

Another issue is with the blinkers.  I guess that I was one of the few who actually liked the quirky BMW way of blinking; but my problem is not with BMW going to the left side only control – it’s that they forgot to make them self cancelling.  It will occasionally cancel itself, but I still can’t figure out what makes them cancel when they do – usually they just continue to blink as I’m motoring down the road.

These are minor issues that I will get used to and I’ll forget that they were ever issues.  The people at BMW have just ensured that they will remain the kings of the heavy weight dual sport segment for many years to come.  This will be my go to bike for all occasions for many years to come, as it really does everything quite well.  If you haven’t ridden one yet, go do it now. Just make sure that you bring your checkbook because you’re going to want to ride this baby home.

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Putting the “Works” into the new BMW R1200 GS

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

As many of you know, BMW has finally shipped the much anticipated 2013 R1200 GS Liquid Cooled (some use an “LC” designator, and some “W”). I was fortunate to be one of the first in this country to get my grubby little hands on one, but I decided to wait awhile before giving my impressions of this great bike. You can’t really understand a machine like this until you’ve had an opportunity to put a lot of miles on it in varying conditions.

My lust for the GS started many many years ago, but it was never anything more than a fantasy –  a dream that someday I would load her up and set out for untold adventures in foreign lands. Last March, I rented one and took it on a three-day binge up the Pacific Coast Highway, then over to Lake Tahoe and Reno, before descending Sierra’s backside to Las Vegas and an I-15 finale through the Ivanpah Valley to Los Angeles.  The hook had been firmly set!

Fast forward to the Intermot show in Cologne, Germany where BMW formally launched the LC Boxer.  After handling this sweetheart of a ride for the week, I made the call to my guy Honz at Gateway BMW in St. Louis and asked him if he had a list going — he said he does now.

I now have 500 miles on my new rig – between my travel and dismal weather, it’s taken longer than I’d imagined to log this many miles.  I’ve ridden in rain, snow, wind, and finally a nice day yesterday; so now it’s safe to say that I’ve covered all the bases for a proper ride evaluation.

I will have plenty more to say about the GS, but for now, I will just say this — the GS flat out rocks!  More power, higher revving, more torque, better comfort, suspension and handling.  I guess I could just stop here, because each of these superlatives need their own explanation, but I won’t. Like all bikes, there are a couple of things about this rig that could use some improvement… but I’ll leave that for my next post.

From the road,

Steve

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AIRHAWK names Scott Parman as Consultant of International Development, Motorcycle Division

Friday, September 21st, 2012

Belleville, IL (PRWEB) September 21, 2012 Scott Parman

AIRHAWK®, manufacturer of support surface products for consumer applications, names Scott Parman as the Consultant of International Development, assuming leadership of all European AIRHAWK sales.

Parman brings 25 years of international marketing, sales and distributor management experience across a wide range of industries throughout Asia, The Middle East and Europe.

Based in Italy, Parman will be charged with overseeing all EU sales for the AIRHAWK and Danny Gray brands via an aggressive distributor acquisition and sales support program slated to begin at the INTERMOT 2012 Motorcycle Show in Cologne Germany from Oct. 2-7 followed shortly after by the EICMA Motorcycle show in Milan Italy from Nov. 13-18.

Steve Peyton, Director of AIRHAWK Sales commented, “The addition of Scott is an exciting opportunity for us. Scott is an incredibly talented businessman with the ability to deeply understand the international market, distribution channels and the implementation sales and marketing solutions. Scott’s extensive experience compliments our distinctive approach to implementing international expansion strategies.” Peyton added, “We are delighted to welcome this talented new member to our team.”

To see AIRHAWK’s upcoming events visit Airhawk.net. To view images from the rallies and more news visit Facebook.com/AirhawkSeats or blog.airhawk.net.

AIRHAWK is a brand of The ROHO Group that specializes in shape-fitting technology, manufacturing cushion and support surface products for medical applications as well as for recreational and commercial vehicle use. For more information, visit The ROHO Group’s website at http://www.therohogroup.com or contact Customer Care at (800) 851-3449.

For more information, contact:
Rebecca Waller
eMarketing & Consumer Segment Manager
The ROHO Group, Inc.
1-800-851-3449, ext. 2436
beccaw(at)therohogroup.com
AIRHAWK.net
Blog.AIRHAWK.net
Learn about AIRHAWK: http://www.therohogroup.com/corporate/about.jsp
Twitter.com/AIRHAWKCushion
LinkedIn.com/companies/the-roho-group
Facebook.com/AirhawkSeats

AIRHAWK Spotlight: Steve Peyton the Asspad Tycoon

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

Each edition of the newsletter, I wanted to spotlight a member of the AIRHAWK crew, but I didn’t want to just write a typical biography — snooze. I wanted a way to really showcase the entertaining personalities of the people behind the brand — I’m pretty sure that “absurd sense of humor” and “able to withstand intense amounts of sarcasm” are listed in our job requirements! Instead, I asked each team member the most random ice breaker questions that I could find. The third newsletter showcases the Asspad Tycoon — Steve Peyton, Director of AIRHAWK Sales.

Look for spotlights of other AIRHAWK team members in the upcoming newsletters. You can find the first Spotlight on Craig Johnson here and the second spotlight on Becca Heckert. Enjoy!

-Danielle

Danielle Boenisch
eMarketing and Support Surface Product Coordinator, AIRHAWK

Steve Peyton

Steve Peyton

Name: Steve Peyton

Age: 50

Hometown: Fort Worth, TX, but I went to seven different schools all over the place — so I really don’t have a hometown.

Current City: Belleville, IL

Spouse & Children: Wife, Lynda, and three children: Ross, Jake and Rosalie

Describe a typical day for you. I wake up early and read the news while drinking my coffee.  I try to get a workout in before work. There’s really no typical day at the office, my work spans the globe and several different industries. I travel a lot working with distributors and dealers.

Favorite Food: Mexican

Favorite Song: “Born to Be Wild” by Steppenwolf

Favorite Band: Coldplay

Favorite Movie: Princess Bride or something hokey like that.

Favorite Video Game: Madden 2011

What was your best subject in school?
Any science classes — anatomy and physiology was my favorite.

If you could be any superhero, who would you be?
I’m the Ass Pad Tycoon. How can it get any better than that?

What is your favorite place that you have traveled?
Austria is my favorite country. It has beautiful mountains with very friendly people. In the US, I like Sedona, AZ. You can find about any type of geographical land formation in a 60-mile radius.

If a movie was being made of your life, who would you cast to play you?
I’ve been told that Brad Pitt looks a lot like me….

Paper or Plastic?
Paper. I’m a big time conservationist.

If you owned a CB radio, what would your handle be?
APT of course.

What’s the closest you’ve come to becoming a pop star or winning an Oscar?
Everyday when I work the AIRHAWK booth it’s an Oscar-worthy performance. I’m a closet guitarist, so I’m a pop star when I’m jamming in my basement and nobody’s there to laugh.

If you knew that you could not fail, what would you do?
Live forever?

What do you like best about your hometown?
It’s fairly small, but has all of the perks of a large city — museums, parks, zoo, arts, etc. It’s a lot more laid back than Dallas.

If you could be one kind of beer, what would you be and why?
Free beer. Who doesn’t love free beer?

If you could travel to anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Somewhere in the South Pacific, like Fiji.  I’ve never been out that way.

What internet site do you surf the most?
Mostly sports and news sites.

Name three things that you think will become obsolete in ten years.
P.C’s, land lines, magazines…I believe that the iPad type devices will make all of these unnecessary.

What is your favorite movie/TV show quote?
While planning the next morning’s surfing trip in Vietnam, Col. Kilgore is told that they can’t go into that area because Charlie (NVA) ownes that point… he calmly looks at the young lieutenant and say “Charlie don’t surf.”

“What is it soldier?” —Kilgore
“It’s pretty hairy in there—it’s Charlie’s point…” —Mike
“Charlie don’t surf!” —Kilgore, Apocalypse Now 

If this was your last day to live, what would you do and why?
Spend it wisely with my family… doesn’t matter where.. but it would help if it was on a boat in some clear blue tropical water…

When you were six years old, what did you think that you were going to be when you grew up?
Fireman

Would you rather be rich or famous and why?
Rich. They say that money doesn’t make you happy, but it’s a lot easier to be miserable when you have lots of money!

What TV game show would you go on and why?
Ninja Warrior – the show that takes contestants through insane obstacle courses.

AIRHAWK Spotlight — Becca Heckert

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

Each edition of the newsletter, I wanted to spotlight a member of the AIRHAWK crew, but I didn’t want to just write a typical biography — snooze. I wanted a way to really showcase the entertaining personalities of the people behind the brand — I’m pretty sure that “absurd sense of humor” and “able to withstand intense amounts of sarcasm” are listed in our job requirements! Instead, I asked each team member the most random ice breaker questions that I could find. The second newsletter showcases the marketing guru behind AIRHAWK — Becca Heckert, eMarketing and Consumer Segment Manager. Heads up, I threw my own commentary in on a few of the answers. My comments are noted in italics and gray.

Look for spotlights of other AIRHAWK team members in the upcoming newsletters. You can find the first Spotlight on Craig Johnson here. The next one will come out in April. Enjoy!

-Danielle

Danielle Boenisch

eMarketing and Support Surface Product Coordinator

The ROHO Group/AIRHAWK

 

Becca Heckert

Becca Heckert

Don’t let this pretty face fool you. Becca is about as badass as they come.

Age: 26

Hometown: Okawville, IL

Current City: St Louis, MO

Spouse & Children: No and No (although I’ll be married at the end of April)

Describe a typical day for you. Nuts. I juggle multiple projects with multiple brands for our Consumer segment. One minute I’m speaking with a media rep, purchasing ad space and then next I’m working on a new website or online feature to enhance functionality, and even trade shows and rallies; you name it, I’m doing it or learning it.

Favorite Food: I’d have to run with pizza, although any item with mass quantities of sugar sure does tug at my heartstrings.

Favorite Song: Janis Joplin “Me & Bobby McGee”

Favorite Band: Of all time?!?!? Oooh this is difficult. I love almost every genre of music so this is like asking me for my favorite dessert! (Trust me, this girl loves dessert!) Maybe Jack Johnson as he makes me want to grab a drink and go sit on a beach. Or even Frank Sinatra, he’s an old crooner and I’d do anything to bring him back just to hear him sing.

Favorite Movie: Anything Adam Sandler, I’m a sucker for stupid comedy.

Favorite Video Game: I don’t play such silly things but if I did, it would be old school Mario brother or even some Atari.

What was your best subject in school? English always seemed to be a strong area. Apparently I can read, write and speak reeeal niiice.

If you could be any superhero, who would you be? Well I am sorry to say that I’m not a huge comic book person and I know very few superheros, so I’d have to say “not applicable” in this situation. But I do think Catwoman is a fairly foxy superhero and she drives wicked vehicles so I’d choose her by default.

What is your favorite place that you have traveled? Recently Germany, it’s such a beautiful place with fabulous architecture…and not to forget the glorious beer selection they offer.

If a movie was being made of your life, who would you cast to play you? Strictly off personality would be Tina Fey or Sarah Silverman. Although I recently watched Bridesmaids (I know, I know…) and Melissa McCarthy was PHENOMENAL in it! I’m keeping my eye are her — she’s pee-your-pants fantastic.

Paper or Plastic? Paper

If you owned a CB radio, what would your handle be? Pork Chop (Back story: Becca grew up on a hog farm.)

What’s the closest you’ve come to becoming a pop star or winning an Oscar? Uh, karaoke at a bar at 3:00 in the morning, I received a free beer from the ‘audience’ after my stellar performance of Janis Joplin.

If you knew that you could not fail, what would you do? Be the doctor that finds a cure for cancer — too many people are affected by it.

What do you like best about your hometown? The fact that I know 95% of the people in it.

If you could be one kind of beer, what would you be and why? Any ‘seasonal’ flavor because you get a cool draft tapper, like a pumpkin or snowman.

If you could travel to anywhere in the world, where would you go? Australia or New Zealand, but only if it didn’t require 24+ hours of flight time.

What internet site do you surf the most? At this moment in time, food blogs because I’m always looking for new recipes to try.

Name three things that you think will become obsolete in ten years. DVDs, newspapers in print form, and after 2 decades of seasonal appearances, the McDonald’s McRib sandwich will also disappear.

What is your favorite movie/TV show quote? “If peeing you’re pants is cool, then consider me Miles Davis.” – Old Farm Lady in Billy Madison

If this was your last day to live, what would you do and why? Spend it with my family because they are truly an awesome group of people. Cheesy and cliché? Perhaps, but it’s true.

When you were six years old, what did you think that you were going to be when you grew up? I’m pretty sure I wanted to be a veterinarian…until I realized you actually had to put animals to sleep as part of your job.

Would you rather be rich or famous and why? Rich, because you can still afford to do all the things a famous person can, the only difference is that you’ll enjoy them instead of being hounded by camera and be on every magazine and celebrity gossip blog.

What TV game show would you go on and why? The Price is Right! – only if Bob Barker was still doing it. I used to watch that show all the time and loved playing from my living room.