OPEN LETTER FROM BOB RATHKAMP ON WHAT HAPPENED TO GAERNE
I was reminded on Saturday at Anaheim 1 that I needed to send you some notes and a photo so MXA could to do a press release for me about what happened to Gaerne boots. Lots of riders, teams and sales guys have been asking me for boots at the races. In fact, I sold my last Gaerne boot more than a year ago!
My career started with O’Neal in 1978 as their Minnesota rep, while I was still living and racing there. While I was with O’Neal, I met Jim Hale who convinced me to join his “start up” venture called AXO Sport in 1984. Over the next few years, AXO acquired Renthal from Allan Greenwood and Sinisalo from Dave Fleming and suddenly we were more than a start-up.
In 1991 I left AXO and took Sinisalo with me. We had lots of great riders at Sinisalo—especially Jeff Ward. It wasn’t until 1998 that I became the official Gaerne North America office. I gave it 100% of my focus for the last 25 years. I can’t explain what happened between Gaerne North America and Gaerne Italy, but we were not able to come to an agreement with Gaerne Italy about moving forwards into the future. In response, I shut down Gaerne North America and closed the doors.
I have to say that I had lots of fun during my 25 years at Gaerne. I enjoyed working with my loyal customers, the dealers, our sponsored riders and, of course, benefitting from the help of motorcycle industry people like yourself. For everything, there is always an ending.
Currently, I’m open to doing some some sales consulting if anyone is interested they can contact me at [email protected]. Thank you for letting your readers and loyal Gaerne users know that I am no longer with Gaerne.
See ya at the track,