Posted by William Mullane | November 4, 2016
Project Area: Product Development
Rekluse Motor Sports designs and manufactures the “z-start”, an automatic motor-cycle clutch, for the motorcycle industry. President and dirt bike enthusiast, Al Youngwerth, established the company in 2002 to develop the product. Al came up with the idea for the z-start after purchasing another automatic clutch product that didn’t measure up to his expectations. He identified some fundamental design flaws and was confident he could come up with something better. The flaw with the automatic clutch he purchased was that it put too much stress on a bearing in the engine, which would cause the clutch to wobble. There was also a design flaw that could have caused transmission or engine failure. Al decided to design a clutch that overcame both of these problems. He had a background in product development but needed additional product development expertise and called in TechHelp.
In less than six months, Al took the z-Start product from concept and sketchesthrough to full product development, prototype production and testing, final production and market launch. Al worked closely with TechHelp (literally side by side) tomodel the product in a three dimensional design. TechHelp also conducted a finiteelement analysis of the clutch product concept. The final product was revolutionary, replacing the stock clutch pressure plate that is standard on off-road motorcycles
and, with its external adjustment capability, capable of being installed in minutes without the need to exchange or modify a motorcycle’s existing clutch parts. The new clutch meets the needs of a wide range of off-road (and now road!) motorcyclists, from beginners to professionals. New riders benefit from learning riding techniques more quickly and safely while experienced riders can tackle the toughest trails more easily while maintaining greater focus on potential obstacles.
- Revenue for 2003 – 2004 exceeded $1M and 2005 revenue of $1.5 – $2M is expected to double annually
- Exports for 2004 exceed $300,000
- TechHelp’s NPD intern became the Rekluse product development manager
- 15 new jobs created since 2002 and expects to employ 25-30 by 2006
- New products continue to be developed and new market segments for beginners, professionals and road (Harley) have been opened