Eric Swahn Racing Blog
|Posted by epswahn on February 1, 2022 at 3:40 PM||comments (0)|
ESR Podcast Directory
Here’s a list of the first year and a half of 81 podcasts I’ve published so far. I’ve attempted to categorize them based on the guest’s experience and background. Let me know if you see something that needs to be updated or changed.
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#1 Parents - Laura & Paul Swahn
#6 Brother - Kevin Swahn
#7 Dad - Paul Swahn
#8 Cousin - Tony Suzio - Tony Paints
#12 AJ Dombrowski
#42 Al Danaj - Emergency Medicine Doctor
#46 Matt Dombrowski
#27 Nafio Haque
#46 Matt Dombrowski
Musical Artists / Bands
#64 Ryan Mitchell – Water Culture
#42 Al Danaj – Emergency Medicine Doctor
#8 Tony Suzio - Tony Paints
#13 Gray Pham - GP Industries – Motorsports Filming
#19 Scott Fournier - The Float Institute - Float Tanks
#40 Max Tornow – Freedom Business Mentor - Coaching for Coaches
#44 Brandon Cretu - Rise Moto – Ohvale USA Distributor
#58 Robert Lackey - Bison Track LLC
#62 Michael Torres – Racing Manager
#69 Ethan Capalchuck - Southern Pride Performance Coach
#76 Schyler Kopp #2 - On Track Performance Coach
Movie Stars / TV Personalities
#10 Cristy Lee
#59 Jamie Howe
#20 Eric Lo - The Shiny Side Up Podcast
#22 Josh Wiese - Sponsored Rider Club Podcast
Podcasts I (Eric Swahn) appeared on
07/14/20 - So, you want to ride a Motorcycle? Podcast - Episode 048: Racing to the Track with Eric Swahn Racing
07/27/20 - Shiny Side Up Podcast #24 Eric Swahn (Owner of shopesr.com)
Vendors of Products that ESR Sells
#39 Moto-D Racing – Scott Diamond
#45 Motool – John Casebeer
#6 Brother - Kevin Swahn
Road Bicycle Racers
#3 Ed Garcia
Mountain Bike Racers
#9 Jeff O’Berry
#63 Sean Kingsbury #2
Street Motorcycle Riders
#2 Gary Douglas
#3 Ed Garcia
#8 Tony Suzio - Tony Paints
#52 Mark Merical – Race Line Ministry
Track Day & Racing Organizations
#54 Will Wildner – Great Lakes Supermoto
#57 Connor Barr – AHRMA
#70 Dustin Coyner – TrackDaz
Track Day & Racing Coaches
#9 Jeff O’Berry
#29 Carl Soltisz
#21 David Grey
#24 Joe Kremkow
#65 Joe Kremkow #2
Novice Amateur Motorcycle Racers – WERA / CCS
#9 Jeff O’Berry
#17 Anna Rigby - Red Spade
#38 Bob Sawicki
#52 Mark Merical – Race Line Ministry
#61 Billy Ball
#66 Niranjan Mahender
#68 Eric Garcia
Expert Amateur Motorcycle Racers – WERA / CCS
#14 Al Zahoui
#21 David Grey
#25 Ryan Boddy – Canadian?
#30 Schyler Kopp
#32 Aaron Dearborn
#36 Nick Hande
#53 Drew Lamourex
#73 Raul Herrera
#76 Schyler Kopp #2
#77 Tyler Jackson
#79 Eli Block
#81 Jacob Brown
#83 Vito DiCarlo
SMEC SuperMoto East Coast - SuperMoto Racers
#9 Jeff O’Berry
#29 Carl Soltisz
MotoAmerica Ohvale Mini Cup
#67 Ian Fraley
MotoAmerica - Junior Cup & KTM RC390
#4 Nolan Lamkin
#13 Gray Pham - GP Industries
#33 Kaegan Brown Racing
#35 Jack Roach
#37 Joseph Limandri
#55 Dezrae Caldwell
#72 Jack Roach #2
#74 Keagan Brown #2
#78 Joseph Limandri #2
#41 Dominic Doyle
#43 Jackson Blackmon
#47 John Knowles
#49 Tyler Humphreys - HSBK
AMA Pro Supersport & Daytona SportBike 600 Class
#16 Ryan Kerr
#18 James Rispoli
#21 David Grey
MotoAmerica Supersport 600 Class
#4 Nolan Lamkin
#5 John Hawkins
#28 Dustin Apgar - RIP
#29 Carl Soltisz
#34 Sean Kingsbury + Mark Rhoades
#50 Tyler Wasserbauer
MotoAmerica – Stock 1000
#15 Josh Geradot
#51 Steven Shakespeare
#56 Travis Wyman
AMA – Superbike
#71 Reese Wacker
MotoAmerica – Superbike 1000 Class
#11 Max Flinders
#26 Jayson Uribe
#35 Bobby Fong
#75 Jayson Uribe #2
#80 Johnny Rock Page
British Junior Supersport JSS
#82 Chloe Jones
British Supersport 600
#18 James Rispoli
British National Superstock 1000
#18 James Rispoli
American Flat Track
#16 Ryan Kerr
#18 James Rispoli
#23 Ben Lowe
#26 Jayson Uribe
#75 Jayson Uribe #2
FIM EWC - Endurance World Championship
#31 Andrew Lee
#44 Brandon Cretu
Isle of Man TT, Macau Grand Prix, Northwest 200, & Ulster GP
#44 Brandon Cretu
2021 World Superbike FIM Supersport World Champion & MotoE Racer
#60 Dominique Aegerter
Land Speed Racers
#48 Valerie Thompson – Female Land Speed Record Holder 328 MPH
Compilation of 1-10
Compilation of 11-20
Compilation of 21-30
|Posted by epswahn on July 19, 2021 at 6:00 PM||comments (0)|
Quite often someone will buy something on eBay or Amazon, and want to upgrade or change products
So if you need to make a payment, upgrade shipping, or donate.
If you want a product, please provide brand, part numbers, item names, quantities, colors, sizes, etc.
Venmo - https://venmo.com/u/ESR20
|Posted by epswahn on January 5, 2020 at 6:10 PM||comments (0)|
ESR / ERIC SWAHN RACING SPECIALIZES IN:
Motorcycle/ Motocross/ Mountain Bike/ Car Racing Gear, Parts, Accessories, & Tires
We sell motorcycle parts for most modern sportbikes:
Aprilia, BMW, Ducati, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, MV Agusta, Suzuki, Triumph, & Yamaha
Apparel & Riding Gear - Youth, Men, & Women - Armored Shorts/Hip Protection, Boots, Body Armor/Chest Protectors, Elbow Guards, Gloves, Googles, Goggle Lenses/ Tearoffs, Hats - Baseball Caps/ Beanies, Helmets - Helmet Liners/ Extra Visors, Hoodies, Jackets, Jerseys, Kidney Belt, Knee/Shin Guards, Pants, Shirts, Shoes, Shorts, Socks, Undersuits,
Sportbike Motorcycle Parts - Air Filters, Aluminum Forged Wheels, Bar Ends, Brake/ Clutch Calipers/ Guards/ Levers/ Lines/Master Cylinders/ F/R Oil Reservoirs/ Switches, Camera Mounts, Captive Wheel Spacers, 420/ 428/ 520/ 525/ 530 Chains, Chain Adjusters, Clip-on's/Handlebars, Crash Protection - Axle Block Sliders/ Cam/ Dashboard/ Endurance Cups/ Engine Case/ Sprocket/ Timing/ Valve Covers/ Shark/Toe Guards/ Tank Sliders, Electronics - Mantis Tire Temperature Sensor, Engine/ Oil Fill Plugs, Exhausts, Fender Eliminators, Folding Shifters, Fuel Caps, Mirrors & Mirror Eliminators, Grips, Quickshifters, Rearsets/Foot Pegs, Sprockets F/R & Sprocket Nuts, Suspension Parts - Preload Adjusters, Tank Grips, Throttle Tubes, Triple Clamps, Turn Signals
Car Parts – Wheels, Wheel Spacers
Motocross Motorcycle Parts - Grips, Roost Guards
Mountain Bike Parts – Axles, Bars, Driver Bodies, Fenders, Grips, Hubs - Freehub Bodies, Flat/ SPD Pedals, Quick Release Seat Post Clamps, Seat Posts, Stems, 26/ 29” Wheelsets/ Rims
Motorcycle Accessories - Backpacks & Hydration Backpacks, Bike Covers, Front & Rear Bike Stands, Gear/ Helmet Bags/ Goggle Boxes/ Rolling Luggage/ Tool Cases, Ramps, Strapless Transport Stands, Tire Warmers, Tools – Motool, Saddle/ Tank Bags, Stickers, Suspension Setup, Umbrellas, Workshop Mats, Etc.
Motorcycle Tires - DOT/Street, Slick, Rain, Off-road
Vendors - Core Moto, Driven Racing, Four Sigmatic, Import Image Racing / Nahm Industries, Jim O'Neal Distributing, M4 Performance Exhaust, Moto-D Racing, Motool, Upshift
Brands - Accossato, Akrapovic, Azonic, Blur Optics, Bonamici, Comis Racing Wheels, DNA Air Filters, Eazi-Grip Tank Grips, IRC Electronics, Kreiga, Noble Performance, O'Neal, Ogio Powersports, Rokker, Rukka, Silvers North America, Spark Exhausts.
We also sell items in over 500 categories including: Art, Books, Collectibles, Electronics, Movies, Music, Sporting Goods, Tools, & Video Games.
|Posted by epswahn on December 28, 2019 at 6:00 AM||comments (0)|
Photo from Yankee Springs TT 04/27/19
ESR 2019 Update Summary #27
In 2016 I started selling products on eBay, and I had a few volunteers who would help here and there through 2017. In June of 2018 I started hiring 1 person part time to help out M-F for up to 4 hours per day. After dozens of interviews I went through 6 employees in 2018. In 2019 I had 5 different employees by July. I did find three great people who made it past at least the 2 month mark. Small victories. My dad began working remotely for me in May and I’ve been showing him different parts of the business that he’s been helping with. I spent the rest of the year with no physical employee to help save up money and developed a slightly different plan. Although I’d love a physical employee here to help ship orders, it’s not essential right now. We need tens of thousands of new product listings to be created, which can be done from anywhere in the world. Continued in 2020 VAs below…
Racing – Mountain Bike Racing – MTB
I participated in all 10 rounds of the MMBA CPS – Michigan Mountain Bike Association Championship Points Series Races this year. I won the championship last year in my class so I moved up to Sport and got 4th overall in my class. I upgraded my bike this year after putting over 3,600 miles on my 20 year old vintage – main bicycle. I held out for so long, and what a huge massive difference it made. I got a brand spanking new 2019 Trek Top Fuel 8. It’s such an upgrade. Now I just need a better engine.
If you would like to place an order for anything that we sell, please send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with links, part numbers, sizes/colors, bike year/make/model, and I will do my best to help you out.
We have been approved as an Authorized Dealer of 8 distributors with multiple brands per distributor in some cases. We now have access to over 23,000 brand new items, ranging from Motorcycle, Motorsports, Racing, Motorcycle Racing, Car Racing, Car Parts, Car Rims, Car Suspension, Tools, Mountain Bike Parts, Apparel, Gear, Gloves, Goggles, Motocross, Dirt Bike Parts, etc.
Our newest Vendors & Brands are:
Core Moto - Brake Lines, Chains, Forged Wheels, Sprockets
Driven Racing - Apparel, Chasis, Drive, Electronics, Engine & Fuel, Fluid Containers, Foot Controls, Garage, Hand Controls, Mantis, Mirrors
Moto-D Racing - Accossato, Bonamici, DNA Air Filters, Eazi-Grip, IRC Electronics, Spark Exhausts
Import Image Racing / Nahm Industries - Comis Racing Wheels, Noble Performance
O'Neal - Motocross & Cycling O'Neal, Ogio Powersports
Motool - Suspension Tools
Upshift - Akrapovic, Kreiga, Rokker, Rukka
We want to focus on motorsports & racing parts. HOWEVER we also need to diversify our product lines due to seasonal changes so the next brands we go after won’t be motorsports. I want to sell everything. Nobody cares what your seller name is on eBay or Amazon as long as you have good feedback. The next categories I’d like to get into are: Electronics, Audio Equipment, Musical Instruments, Watches, Sporting Goods, etc.
We are continuing to develop our listing procedures, and in February I plan to begin with the next stage of this business. I started the sales side of this business with scaling the business in mind. So I have documented how to create a listing in detail from start to finish with each marketplace we sell on. This will be used to quickly train employees and soon to start with Virtual Assistants – VAs. I’m going to outsource my labor since the majority of my tasks can be done with excel and an internet connection. As long as my tasks are easily spelled out, then you don’t need to pay a lot for high quality labor, and using geoarbitrage to your advantage I found a team of workers from a company in India willing to help for $5/hr instead of what I was paying before $13/hr, almost a third of the cost. So I plan to begin with 1 full time VA who will also have a backup if the main assistant is out. Continued in Goals below…
I plan to continue with doing the 10 round Michigan MTB Championship as it’s massively cheaper than motorsports. I might do some road bicycle races for the first time at Grattan or Waterford hills, maybe a Sprint or Olympic Triathlon, maybe a few foot races, and a Tough Mudder. For me my racing priority is the mountain bike championship, then sprinkle in what doesn’t conflict. I’d like to be more competitive but at this point my business of ecommerce/sales comes first. I still work a full time job 0600 – 1430, then work ESR from at least 1500 – 1800 M-F and the rest of the time on the weekends.
As we get started with VAs I’m sure there will be issues we haven’t thought of yet, but once everything is up to speed I expect to get to at least 1,000 new listings being created per month. We’ll see how things progress, with someone familiar with the process it could be upwards of 2,000/month or more, I’m not sure yet. I’ve always been slowed down by wearing every hat so I never have the time to only focus on creating listings for an entire month.
Overall I’m excited for where ESR is as a company. I wish all of this would progress much faster and be selling millions by tomorrow, but I’m just staying patient and getting things done as best I can. They say it usually takes 5 years for a business to become profitable, but that’s with a team of people, maybe an investment, and working it full time. I’m doing this part time basically by myself, with no investors so it’s going to take a few days extra, but I am not stopping. It’s better than it was last year, and still improving.
Please consider making a purchase
Photo from Fort Custer 05/05/19
|Posted by epswahn on March 13, 2019 at 6:00 PM||comments (0)|
ESR – Eric Swahn Racing is looking to help make you money by selling your items through Consignment
We are an e-commerce online retailer looking to sell your items for you!
We specialize in Motorcycle Parts, Gear, and Tires, yet we sell in over 500 unique categories online including:
Art, Car Parts, Collectibles, Electronics (Cameras, Computers, Phones, TVs, etc.), Kitchen Equipment, Jewelry, Medical Equipment, Musical Instruments, Sporting Goods, Textbooks, Tools, & Vehicles (Cars/Trucks, Motorcycles, Scooters)
We are interested in items over $50. We’ve shipped over 1,500 orders to 49 states and 30+ countries. Chances are that we’ve sold your type of item successfully before. We take possession of the items, photograph them in our photography studio, list the items on a variety of marketplaces such as eBay, our website ShopESR.com, and Craigslist. We have a great reputation selling online and have 600+ positive reviews. You can drop off the items in Sterling Heights, MI for free, or we can arrange to pick them up from you for a small fee. Once we have the items, we take care of everything else. Once an item sells and passes the return period, we send you a check in the mail or digital payment through PayPal.
The Consignment percentages that we use are based on the sale price of the items:
>=$1,000 You Keep 90%
$500.00 - $999.99 You Keep 80%
$250.00 - $499.99 You Keep 70%
$100.00 - $249.99 You Keep 60%
$50.00 - $99.99 You Keep 50%
If you’re interested in our consignment program please send us an email to email@example.com with the number of items, a quick description, and a few photos.
|Posted by epswahn on July 18, 2017 at 1:30 PM||comments (0)|
(Maverick Viñales, 2017)
What Is More Entertaining, MotoGP or World Superbike? – 07/18/17
As a racer, I love watching a wide variety of racing over the average casual fan. I’ll enjoy just about any race that has good coverage you can follow from world level down to local club racing. I believe you can learn something from every category, they each have something to offer. When it comes to the rivalry between MotoGP and World Superbike, there are some major differences, but at the heart is good competitive motorcycle racing.
MotoGP is the pinnacle of the entire sport, with three classes comprised of Moto3 (250cc), Moto2 (600cc), and MotoGP (1000cc) bikes. The top class, allows for prototype purpose built racebikes which are the fastest on the planet. It’s very much like a Formula 1 atmosphere for motorcycles, with the newest trends and technologies coming out of this arena. Factory teams such as Ducati, Yamaha, Honda, KTM, and Aprilia, and Suzuki all compete in MotoGP currently and recently the series has seen a few new manufacturers get into the action. In past years, a handful of rider and team combinations largely dominated the competition. New sporting regulations have helped to bridge the gap between the satellite teams that operate without factory support, which has given birth to some tremendous battles. Since these bikes are prototypes, it’s virtually impossible to purchase one of these unless you have a few million dollars cash in the bank. These machines are valued around 2 million each, with tens of millions going into a single team program per year of development, operation, and travel expenses.
The two lower classes act as feeder programs towards to ultimate class, but a hotly contested series like this brings talent from well over a dozen countries. Only the crème of the crop advance to higher rankings here. In recent years, one of America’s best Josh Herrin, the reigning 2013 AMA Superbike Champion got his shot at Moto 2 for the 2014 season. Although he didn’t do exceedingly well in his first international season, his team gave him the boot and took on another rider who didn’t do much better than Josh. It was a very disappointing time for the American fans who didn’t feel he was given a real shot. Given some extra time to get up to speed, Josh could’ve been our next American racer on the world stage.
Moto 3 racing is some of the most exciting and close competitions you’ll ever see in racing. Due to extreme drafting and their lightweight bikes, it’s common to have large packs and groups of riders. At Mugello in Italy earlier this year, there were 21 riders being covered under 3.5 seconds at the finish line of a full-length 20 lap race. Overtakes happen at just about every other corner in a race like this. Lead changes seem to be an inevitable lap by lap occurrence in this field. While I did own a 250, I haven’t yet had the pleasure of racing in the lightweight category. I would be a decent candidate with my low weight at 145lbs but being 6’ tall gives me a slight disadvantage. I wonder how I would’ve fared in these battles.
World Superbike WSBK is the production based version of MotoGP. Their theory is that they want to be as close to what you can buy off the showroom floor as possible. They want you to be able to go out to your local racetrack and say I was 20 seconds slower than Chaz Davies on the same bike. That is not exactly the case right now but even so they’re specifically not a prototype series. Understandably, the manufacturers want to push for this as much as they can, and the teams want to cut costs any way that they can. Some of the largest costs involve engine research & development, designing new parts, and expensive modifications. If everything was closer to being homologated, true talent tends to rise to the top, also creating a better competitive environment.
The two-competing series aren’t explicitly competing against each other for viewership, they do want to further distance themselves from each other. Generally, the more well-known series is MotoGP, but diehard fans exist on both sides. It matters a lot where you live though. In my experience, it’s hard to find other people who even know that a race is going on, or that the series even exists here in Metro Detroit, Michigan. There are fans here, but much more widely dispersed. I imagine many European countries having a huge buzz on race day like how American Football is celebrated here.
The World Superbike Series has several classes, starting with the new World Supersport SSP 300, Superstock STK 600, Supersport SSP 600, Superstock STK 1000, and Superbike SBK 1000. Both the 600 and 1000 classes have stock and modified classes available to compete in.
Supersport 300 is a class comprised of the new talent yet to be seen on the larger international stage. It’s a brand-new class for 2017 with the minimum rider age being 15. It’s designed to be an affordable class where the opportunity for riders to become a professional racer is a real option. Riders will be allowed a lot of flexibility in testing and racing with any other championship to utilize every advantage they can. The series is currently only existing at the European rounds to cut costs even further, which seems a little biased in my opinion, but I get it.
I believe the Superstock STK 600 and Supersport SSP 600 classes have been combined in recent years. They used to be scored separately but they felt that they were so close in speed already there was no need to keep the class. Adding the 300 class was also more important than keeping 2 distinct 600 classes. One of my favorite races to watch, the 600 class is always a mix of overzealous rookie riders with experienced veterans. You typically get a lot more crashes than the 1000 class racers, closer racing because of less differences in speed, and times that are not far off from the superbikes, depending on the track.
The Superstock STK 1000 class is still run separately from the Superbike class. They have such a large number of competitors that it makes sense to split up the two. The Superstock class is a great place to learn how to ride a 1000 in competition without having to make the huge jump in expense of the top Superbike field. The only downside here is going to be the amount of coverage you can expect. In the STK 1000 gets significantly less coverage than SBK 1000, but some riders opt to run in STK because they have a better chance of finishing higher.
The main feature race of the day is the Superbike SBK 1000 race. Unlike all the other classes, they race on both Saturday and Sundays now. I do like this format, but it’s not currently possible for the other classes, there just isn’t enough time. This way the riders get two chances at a race. The weather is likely going to be different between the days and offers different race conditions, and hopefully different results, hopefully making the championship closer at the end of the year. Another new feature they introduced this year is a reverse gird after Race 1. The top 9 finishers from race 1 are reversed, letting the midpack riders get in the spotlight for a few laps while forcing the fastest riders to make their way back to the front, or to perish. This so far hasn’t stalled the front runners too much. The fastest riders get through no matter what, but it does create some fireworks! I would go as far as saying that a fully reversed grid for race two would be even more exciting!
Domestic series for individual countries resemble World Superbike classes far more than MotoGP. For MotoAmerica, the national series in the United States, the goal is to have the regulations be as close as possible if not identical from the world level down to the national level. This allows virtually anyone who competes in WSBK to come over to MotoAmerica and race in a wildcard event or to jump into our series with the same bike. It might not make financial sense to build a whole new bike for a different series, but if the regulations are identical, it makes it a real option.
Toni Elias, a former Moto2 World Champion made the jump from the World Stage to MotoAmerica. You might think this is the opposite direction you want to go in but for Toni, maybe it was right for him. As a Spaniard, he always wanted to spend more time learning about America. This also lessens his grueling travel load over the years. An international season of competition in GP or WSBK visits over a dozen countries, and days and days full of travel. On the other hand, a domestic series might give you a smaller pool of athletes, but the ferocity is still very high. Toni was able to win many races in his first year, and is currently Third in the Championship Points Standings in 2017, but the former MotoGP race winner has still yet to claim an American Superbike Title.
I choose to not pay for cable, so sometimes I need to get a little creative with how to watch the action. I just hook up a laptop next to my TV and use an HDMI cord.
The next upcoming races are:
MotoAmerica – Sonoma Raceway, California, USA, August 11-13 - MotoAmerica.com
-I watch the races for free on the beIN SPORTS USA YouTube Page typically a week after they’re broadcast live.
World Superbike – Lausitzring, Germany, August 18-20 - WorldSBK.com
- I watch the WSBK races live from the SBK Video Pass, an annual subscription for less than the cost of a single ticket
MotoGP – Brno, Czech Republic, August 4-6 - MotoGP.com
- I also pay for MotoGP, but again it’s a ton of content and action for less than a ticket price. You can also watch every past race, which is awesome!
Most popular post on Instagram
P.S. Please check out my latest project, my webstore! I’ve been working to populate the store with thousands of items, we’re currently over 1,600 total https://eric-swahn-racing.myshopify.com/. Let us know what you think!
See you at the races!
|Posted by epswahn on March 21, 2017 at 7:00 AM||comments (0)|
03/20/17 12:21 ESR LLC, Sterling Heights, MI, USA
Why I’m not racing – Blog Post
I did this post a little differently this time. I wrote out a blog post, then I recorded a video of me reading and talking about it a little bit. Check out the video: https://youtu.be/Zrp8GFzepJQ
I’m not racing for many reasons currently but it all comes down to money. I’m taking a step back due to finances and being smart about my money. As many of you know, I’ve been involved in roadracing & track riding for about 6 years, since 2011. In my career I’ve crashed over a dozen times and never had a major injury, cut/abrasion, or broken bone (until this one), but unfortunately in May of 2015 I highsided coming on to the main straight, crashed and hit the pit wall guard rail at Grattan Raceway Clockwise at a WERA Regional event. I have since recovered fully from all injuries and I’m stronger than I was beforehand. I even completed a Tough Mudder half marathon less than 4 months after the incident. Fitness wise, I currently do at least 1,000 miles between cycling and running every year. Through Occupational, Physical, and Speech Therapies I have fully regained strength and mobility. Even with a shoulder I’ve broken 4 times and dislocated it 5, I can do about 50 push-ups, and 25 chin-ups with zero pain.
I’ve recently worked for two companies that could easily be called startups. I worked at STG – Sportbike Track Gear for 2 years. They started in about 2006 I believe, so just over 10 years. I loved working with race gear and motorcycle parts it was definitely a good learning experience. Towards the end of my time working there, many people started getting canned left and right for no apparent reason. Since I was honorably “laid off” another 20-25 employees have been either laid off, fired, or quit. Every manager is gone that was there when I was there, and this is in a company where they only have about 20 people on staff. The turnover rate there is nuts, and lets just say it has nothing to do with the employees.
The second company I worked for was Pacific Motors in Detroit. They were in business for 7 years when I worked there & I worked there for less than 6 months. They were basically a glorified junk yard. They bought mainly high end European cars, sports cars, and exotic models, totaled cars on auction for a fraction of the price of the full retail. Strip the cars down to their frames, photograph, and list the parts online. I was hired in as a sales guy and within a month I was promoted to Sales Manager, then later Sales & Marketing Manager. I felt like I came in and fixed a lot of glaring issues. I wrote procedure manuals like I have done at every company I’ve worked for and honestly made significant improvements that had an impact on customer service, automation, and profitability. I genuinely believe they appreciate what I did there for them, but its important to remember that a business is not your friend. A business is there for profitability, and they felt I already fixed the main issues they were having. Even if you do a great job, here in Michigan at least we’re a fire at will state. There’s no contract stating that you have security for the next X years. The majority of people working today could potentially be in a position to lose their jobs tomorrow that had no bearing on their performance. There is no security.
This is what drove me to my current stage. Several years ago I started an LLC to separate personal from racing expenses. Most people on the outside have no clue what it costs to go racing. They say things like, my kids travel hockey is expensive, or whatever but until you go racing you have no idea. My tires alone for a weekend is about how much your kids hockey is for a year. So to look more professional for sponsors, and for myself financially I started this company, but didn’t really sell anything consistently for a year or two, just selling advertisement and promotion for sponsors. Just the tax savings alone are far worth starting an LLC. I’ve sold old junk on Craigslist and eBay for as long as I can remember so it was natural for me to list my own race tires and parts on there as well. I realized one day that I had sold every single tire I personally used, without really any effort. This really got me thinking. During the past two years, ever since I was laid off at STG I’ve been really big into selling items on Craigslist, Let Go and Offer Up to make a few extra bucks but also because I’m really a minimalist. My grandma was a hoarder, and many summers I helped my family clean out her entire house from top to bottom every few years growing up. So I’m a product of my environment. I also want to start traveling a lot more so I don’t want to have a ton of crap accumulated.
After my exit from Pacific Motors, I had enough. I’ve had a few revelations in my life and the latest is that I cannot see myself being happy trading time for money. Being an hourly or salary employee for someone else. There’s no security, you’re required to spend so much of your life there, and the pay isn’t always that good. In my book there’s not much pay that would justify the cost of spending 30-40 years going to the same building in the same office. That’s not what I want. I need a new model. The model of work I’m doing from now on is being the boss, working for myself, and automating tasks as I expand. As of today 03-20-17 13:49 I have over 1800 items live on eBay and over 500 on Craigslist. I’m just getting started, less than 6 months full time, but I have a good outline of where I want to go.
The plan is to get to at least 10,000 items in inventory with an emphasis on the $50-$250 price ranges across literally every product category. I’m already in over 80 eBay categories from race tires to baby clothes. I want to stick with smaller, shippable products, digital products will be explored later. The immediate goal is to get to $10,000 in monthly gross sales, which would be an average of $334/day. At the current order average I’d need 10-15 orders per day. If you put it into those numbers, it doesn’t sound too hard to achieve. I have hit the monthly goal once, but I’m not there yet. I have another several hundred items to upload to eBay, then I’m going to focus on getting the same items live on 8 separate world/local level marketplace platforms: Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Half, Shopify, Craigslist, Offer Up, & Let Go. I’m using software that allows you to have multiple listings for the same item on different channels. So basically you have up to 8 times the chances of someone seeing it versus just listing it one place.
Stage two I start with 1-2 part time employees taking over daily operations, orders, packing, shipping, messages, emails, sales.
Stage 3 is getting the business out of the basement. I have 10 rows of shelving for inventory, a shipping station, a desk workstation area for two people, and a photography booth setup all in about 650 sq ft of usable space with 6.5 ft ceilings. If I got just a 1,000 sq ft building that would be plenty of space for now.
Stage 4 is where I fully automate everything and walk away. I’ve been reading a lot about automation and businesses. The 4 Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss is a good place to start. This might sound naïve or unwise but why wouldn’t you do this? Someone once said, I believe that there is no one job that would satisfy about 7 Billion of us here on earth. So why is work or a good job the goal. Some days I wake up and I have 2 or 3 orders, or what is the best is when my phone wakes me up from the cash register “Cha-Ching!” as an alarm clock. If you were able to make $2,000 net/month from a side gig you can eventually automate, and just feed new products into, you would never have to work again. I think it would be great to have 30 million in the bank, but what if you could retire by 30, travel everywhere and live very comfortably. That’s my dream!
Stage 5 is what you’re all here for. Go Racing! Once this is automated, and everything is set up properly which I estimate would be around the $25K/Month area then I would go back to trackdays, WERA racing, getting back up to speed wthe intention of doing 5 years of MotoAmerica. At some point I intend on internationally competing with roadracing. Other huge passions I’ve yet to explore is getting into supermoto, motocross, flat track, karting, rally, sportscar racing, and openwheel racing. I have some experience with karting and I’ve done some excellent lap times and raced quite a bit, but not in shifter karts.
I really do enjoy doing this, I feel like I’m working for my future instead of working to make some boss happy, and not knowing if I would ever get a raise, or it not even being up to me. If I want to make more money, I can go work for a few hours and directly add to my value, make listings, improve something, source new items, anything. I’m not where I need to be sales wise, but it’s definitely growing. I just started and I’ve already had months that I was positive for both the business and me personally, with paying the proper taxes and all. I’m a salaried employee with a full W-2 and all, it feels good. You just need to be willing to eat some Oatmeal, PB&J’s, and Mac n’ Cheese.
Owner / Racer
*ESR Stuff Below!*
Motorcycle Tires: http://stores.ebay.com/ericswahnracing/Tires-/_i.html?_fsub=23409480011
Main Website: http://www.ericswahnracing.com/
eBay Store: http://stores.ebay.com/ericswahnracing
Etsy Store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/EricSwahnRacing
|Posted by epswahn on September 27, 2014 at 6:35 PM||comments (0)|
Alpinestars SP-1 One Piece Leather Suit Review
To call this suit an “entry level” product would be a disgrace. The Alpinestars SP-1 Leather Race Suit is an amazing product. While this isn't as glamorous as the full race replica suit, it's also not a slouch. This is by far the best suit Alpinestars makes for under $1,000. A few years ago I decided to make the jump to track days and I wanted a suit that would offer me a great amount of protection, without costing too much. I bought this as my first race suit and this is my review.
The biggest selling point for me was the protection vs cost ratio. The main features of this suit are as follows. 1.3mm premium full-grain leather for excellent abrasion resistance. YKK main zippers and Semi-auto lock zippers on the wrists ensure secure closure at all times. Removable/adjustable CE certified GP elbow and shoulder protectors with injection molded shell and dual density foam padding Perforated leather panels enhance airflow within the suit. Multiple stitched main seam construction for maximum tear resistance. Dual density back hump for improved aerodynamic and cooling performance. Accordion stretch panels on the elbows, lower back and knees improve flexibility and riding comfort. Lastly, anatomical race fit with ergonomically placed Aramidic stretch panels for optimal flexibility.
The SP-1 comes in black or white and sizes range from 46 Euro /36 US to 62/52. Offering a wide range of sizes, this suit allows just about anyone to find a size that works for them. I am 6' 155lbs and I fit into a 48/38. I prefer my suits to fit very tight at first so that once they stretch from use, they feel perfect. It's true that the first few times wearing a new suit can be uncomfortable, but just like a new hockey skate, baseball glove, or girlfriend, everything has a “break in” period.
As a consumer and a salesman, I really don't have anything negative to say about this suit. This suit took me through street riding, track days, Novice and Expert racing. It took the abuse of both highsides and lowsides many over the100MPH mark. Over a period of three seasons the suit withstood 8 crashes before tearing on the inside right knee. The durability of this product is phenomenal; even with the high speed crashes, no major repairs were needed. When the outer leather finally gave way, I was still protected by several layers of material. As long as you don't crash as much as I do, this suit could easily last ten years if not longer.
What's the downside? The downsides are just a result of this price point, and purchasing a more expensive suit comes with better features. The internal liner is not removable, but having a fan pull air through the suit works just as well. The impact areas, elbows, knees and shoulders could have better external abrasion protection although it still lasted 8 real crashes. Lastly is color choice, I chose the all black route. Boots, gloves, helmet, suit, you name it, everything black. While the idea was good on paper, dark colors soak up more heat. In the future, I would stay away from all black unless you're racing somewhere very cold.
Overall the SP-1 really lives up to the Alpinestars brand and is a great suit at an unbeatable price. I personally got a lot of enjoyment out of this suit and it protected me every time I needed it. I would recommend this suit for the street, track days and club racing.
Owner / Racer
|Posted by epswahn on September 27, 2014 at 6:20 PM||comments (0)|
Helmets in a Nutshell
AGV – Arai – Bell – Icon – Schuberth – Scorpion – Shark – Shoei
Ordering a helmet online can seem intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. For every brand and model helmet we carry, there is a corresponding size chart and our staff personally knows the helmets. We've also completed a full review video on how to the proper fit and shopping guides that are broken down by price range. Whether you are taking a trip around the block or racing for a championship, comfort is paramount. You need a helmet that will be comfortable yet snug.
One of the great things about working with STG is that I get to try on all the new products as they come into our shop. As a racer, I'm always looking for the best gear to save me the next time I hit the ground. Over the years, I've had six full face helmets that I started with street riding and then all the way up to National Expert racing. Thus far, I have had four Scorpion (two Scorpion EXO-700’s, two Scorpion EXO-750’s) and two Shoei (two Shoei X-Twelve’s) helmets total. I have crashed a total of eleven times on the track and out of those crashes, my helmet has hit the ground three times. Each time I was able to walk away without injury.
AMA Pro Roadracing along with WERA and many other race organizations require riders' helmets to be within five years of their manufacture date. This is due to the fact that as time passes, helmet glue, resins and other materials degrade. Petroleum based cleaning products further degrade performance along with normal wear and tear. Regardless of physical damage, technology today advances at such a fast rate that after five years, any helmet is simply out-dated. You wouldn't want to have a five year old flip phone - it's not going to be as efficient, and your helmet is the same way.
I have tried on just about every brand helmet we have in our store and have learned quite a bit about them. I wanted to try them all to get a better understanding of fit but I'll be honest, I love that new helmet smell! Most brands are very similar in sizing but I found that a few didn't fit me at all. My head circumference is 21.5 in / 55 cm, with an Intermediate Oval head shape. I consistently fit into a small with these brands, AGV, Arai, Bell, Schuberth, Scorpion, and Shoei were all comfortable. The Icon and Shark didn't fit my head shape, in my opinion they have more of a “long oval” shape to their helmets.
Shoei X-Twelve - best fit and my favorite helmet;
Arai Corsair V - very close 2nd to the X-Twelve;
Scorpion R-2000 - good race fit and similar to the EXO-750;
AGV Corsa and Pista - good fit but had to go to a medium-small;
AGV Horizon and K4 - fit a little on the tight side in a size small;
AGV K3 and Grid - decent fit in a size small;
Bell Star - was a little loose in a size small;
Bell RS-1 - more of a tight fit, possibly the wrong head shape;
Schuberth’s SR1 and S2 - high quality helmets and good fit;
Icon - too long oval and did not fit my head shape;
Shark - too long of an oval shape did not fit my head.
The higher quality helmet you purchase, the more “bells and whistles” you get. The air flow in the helmet improves, along with aerodynamics and stability. If a helmet is not properly wind tunnel tested, its possible to be unstable at high speeds and rock from side to side. Helmets made with carbon and other lightweight materials reduce fatigue while riding and creates a stronger, lighter helmet. Every helmet we sell follows strict safety regulations through DOT, ECE and SNELL. However, we all know that in the end, you get what you pay for. If all helmets have the same safety requirements then what makes one helmet better than another? Most people don't realize that many companies go above and beyond these minimum requirements to be certified. For example, Arai and Shoei have been at the top end of the market for over a century combined and don't bother making “entry level” helmets. This is contrasted by many younger companies who choose to make cheaper helmets for customers who don't want to spend top dollar on a helmet. How much is your life worth?
Out of all the brands and models available, I decided to go with the Shoei X-Twelve helmet. Shoei is a world class company and my number one helmet brand to wear. I have one Shoei X-Twelve B-Boz 2 TC-2 and one Shoei X-Twelve Solid Matte Black graphic. The helmet is very stable at speed, and is pretty quiet but, I always wear earplugs on the track which helps reduce wind noise even more (highly recommended). I really like the tinted shields that are available and I chose the mirrored silver/chrome look. The internal liner is padded nicely and is a near perfect fit for my head shape. Shoei spared no details with this model and this is literally the same helmet that world champions like Marc Marquez in MotoGP wear.
A very informative website on helmet certification standards is www.smf.org.
Owner / Racer
|Posted by epswahn on September 27, 2014 at 6:05 PM||comments (0)|