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Common Tread

RevZilla, Cycle Gear and the road ahead

Feb 10, 2016

Dear ZLA Army,

Over the last week, the buzz surrounding RevZilla’s future plans has been at the redline and the hardest part has been staying quiet in the face of the mixture of fact, fiction and sensationalism. We've been itching to share our next plan of attack, but we weren't able to do so until an agreement was signed (the deal is still subject to regulatory approval). We’re happy to finally be able to share details and give you a ZLA level of transparency via this letter and the linked FAQ.

Today, we are excited to announce that Matt, Nick and I will be partnering with J.W. Childs to form a new holding company that will own both Cycle Gear and RevZilla. Both sister companies will operate separately, but the ultimate intent is further elevating how all motorcyclists are served, online and off. It is an opportunity we have watched and evaluated since Cycle Gear was acquired by J.W. Childs in early 2015.

So, why now?

A little over eight years ago, Matt, Nick and I founded RevZilla out of our apartment and tiny store in Philadelphia. We set out to build the destination that we thought was missing from the motorcycle industry: natively digital and customer experience focused, with passion taking top billing from the expected norms of selection and low prices.

You could say we have been aggressive in attacking the opportunity and RevZilla’s success has certainly reflected that. We also have always tried to find the balance between full throttle growth and being responsible for the livelihoods of the now nearly 200 people on staff. It’s been sweepers and whoops for sure, especially being bootstrapped and self-funding it all. It’s also very surreal to think that we took our first order from our bombed-out Philly apartment where Nick’s room had a sheet for a door.

RevZilla could easily follow the double yellows and be successful doing what we’ve always done, but we like new challenges, placing big bets and playing to win. We also like to think that we understand the next generation of commerce and have the vision to shape what we believe the future should be. It’s in our DNA as entrepreneurs.

Today, the larger and more exciting opportunity is to think about how RevZilla can leverage new capital to scale more quickly and entertain new opportunities like our own retail destination stores or international expansion. We’ll still operate with the same orange culture and ethos that has earned the trust of riders for the better part of a decade. We don’t know how to do it any differently and I’m not about to sit back as the leader who remembers what “the orange used to mean.”

Apart from the benefits to RevZilla, we also believe that our new parent company could leverage our superpowers to accelerate and elevate Cycle Gear. The current Cycle Gear team is talented and focusing their attack on the right things while navigating a lot of change. We’re excited to support the effort moving forward. 

So what does all this mean?

RevZilla and Cycle Gear will continue to operate independently, as sister companies owned by myself, Matt, Nick and J.W. Childs. Regarding the internet's concerns about carelessly smashing the companies together tomorrow — Stop. Exhale. We’re two brands and two companies. The dumbest thing we could do would be to screw up the things we’re already great at; the things that so many of you love. The era of big companies faking it at the consumers’ expense because of limited choices is long gone. We believe the internet and the abundance economy of limitless choice rewards brand meritocracy. Staying in the lead means continuing to earn it with you, just as we always have.

We’re juiced to shift into the next chapter. We trust our instincts and are still having a blast. We’re still betting on ourselves, TeamZilla, and now J.W. Childs, that we can continue to change the game.  For over eight years, we’ve been contrarian about what would work in motorcycling, but you have continued to help carry our message. Because of you we’re relevant, have a huge audience and continue to have the huge orange balls to pull off huge new things.

It has been downright amazing over the last few days to see the level of protectiveness you showed for RevZilla in social media and the forums. You get it. You appreciate it. We’re still waiting for you at the bar, no gold chains in sight. I pinch myself that we created a brand you are so connected with. If we can’t continue to make RevZilla better while keeping our promises, you should shop somewhere else. RevZilla exists because we wouldn’t stand for any less, and neither should you.

RevZilla’s mission will remain to advance the experience of the motorcycle enthusiast through community, content and commerce. Our job is still to find your pain and alleviate it. Matt, Nick and I are still firmly at the helm and we’re certainly not looking to alter a secret recipe that so many of you love, just expand our orange dent in the moto-universe.

On behalf of the Founders,

Anthony Bucci
Co-Founder & CEO