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Desert Dirt - Off-Road News - March 2011

Posted in News on March 1, 2011
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Ranger RZR 4 Takes Blue Water Desert Classic
Polaris regional sales manager Matt Parks took first place both days and first overall in the Pro UTV Class at the Best In The Desert, Blue Water Desert Challenge recently in Parker, Arizona. The Holz Racing built RZR 4, nicknamed the "Baja Bobsled," worked flawlessly and was victorious over 18 other UTVs, one of the largest UTV entries in premier desert racing in some time. Parks and co-pilot Bryce Wernsman endured limited visibility from dust and unbelievably deep silt areas on the track.

"This was our first race for the newly-built race Ranger RZR 4," Parks said. "The car ran great both days, and it was really fast, particularly in the rough. It was a great weekend and a fantastic outcome."

For more information, visit: Polaris,

Save Money and Help Our Planet
Need a new stock rear bumper for your truck? Buying through your local dealership can be costly. Going to the junkyard can result in finding mostly what they have, junk. Specialized Parts Planet will sell you quality recycled auto parts at a great price. They provide high-quality recycled parts to retail customers and those in the collisions, mechanical repair and insurance industries. By selling used instead of new parts, SPP and its customers are being environmentally pro-active. By buying original, clean and undamaged parts, each customer is helping minimize their imprint on the ecosystem. SPP not only saves the environment, but it saves customers 50 to 90 percent on each part it sells and offers a free six-month warranty (extended warranties are available for an additional fee).

For more information, visit: Specialized Parts Planet,

King Shocks Launches New Website
In case you haven't visiting the new King Shocks website, now is the time. The Mad Media-designed site is loaded with technical specifications, news, lifestyle, photos and videos.

The site contains a ton of info about the history of the King name, what the company does, and where it came from. It features the latest news and stories about King Shocks-sponsored drivers, worldwide events and new product developments.

You will also find in-depth information on their entire product line of OEM upgrade kits, Performance Race series shocks, UTV shocks, Pure Race shocks for competition, bumpstops, air shocks, coil springs, apparel and more. The new site has pages dedicated to finding your local dealer, a downloadable version of its catalog, how to send your shocks in for servicing, and even a King sponsorship application page for racers or custom builders.

For more information, visit: King Shocks,

Internet Car Shopping Leads to "Automotive Tourism"
In these tough economic times, people are doing much more to save a dollar. Online car shopping has been a growing trend for some time now, and on we learned that people are taking over the remaining portion of vehicles still under contract as a way to get a short-term lease with no down payment. About 15 percent more people this year are taking over leases from outside their own region. While the website provides transportation quotes for people who want the vehicle shipped to their location, a growing percentage are traveling outside their region to pick up the car and drive it back, an act has dubbed "automotive tourism."

Roughly 38 percent of all lease transactions now take place between two people not in the same region - sometimes as far apart as New York and California. This is up from 31 percent just five years ago. Of these transactions, 54 percent now travel to the region where the car is located and drive the vehicle back. This compares to just 12 percent five years ago. Because of the great deals offered people still save a significant amount even after the cost of travel.

"Like other areas of the economy, the Internet continues to change the way people shop for vehicles," said Sergio Stiberman, CEO and founder of "Many customers enjoy a significant cost savings because there's no down payment and they customize the lease terms by shopping for the right lease anywhere in the country. Even with the cost of a plane ticket they come home with large savings."

For more information, visit: Lease Trader,

23 Groups Urge EPA to Bar 12-Percent Ethanol in Gasoline
A diverse group of 23 environmental, consumer, food, auto, and other industry organizations recently asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to deny a request by ethanol manufacturers seeking authorization for the sale of gasoline containing 12-percent ethanol (E12). The groups include the Natural Resources Defense Council, National Consumers League, Association of International Automobile Manufacturers, Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, National Marine Manufacturers Association, and Grocery Manufacturers Association. It's not often we see the automotive industry and environmental industries come together in agreements to fight for a cause.

In a letter to EPA Assistant Administrator Gina McCarthy, the organizations express concerns regarding the lack of independent testing on "mid-level" ethanol blends. The letter says increasing levels of ethanol in gasoline could pose a danger to consumer safety and could harm engines and the environment. Current law limits the amount of ethanol in conventional gasoline to 10 percent. Many of the groups that signed the letter are working together on a campaign seeking to prevent EPA from approving 15-percent ethanol (E15) in gasoline.

Below is the letter that was sent to the EPA:

September 28, 2010
The Honorable Gina McCarthy
Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20460

Re: Joint Opposition to Approval of "E12" Without Comprehensive New Engine, Emissions and Safety Testing

Dear Assistant Administrator McCarthy:

The undersigned organizations strongly oppose recent requests by ethanol manufacturers that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approve a new and untested mid-level ethanol blend ("E12," or gasoline blended with 12 percent ethanol) for all gasoline engines.

There has been no opportunity to review the data submitted in support of an E12 authorization, no public comment period or peer review of the data purported to support this request, and no specific testing conducted by independent experts that supports the data submitted. We collectively agree that EPA must move cautiously to prevent the introduction of new mid-level ethanol blends that may impact engine durability, increase emissions, be incompatible with existing on- and non-road vehicles and engines, and decrease consumer safety.

Our organizations continue to oppose the introduction of E15 into commerce without comprehensive and independent testing. EPA approval of E12, without the same rigorous and extensive independent testing and without the opportunity for public comment and critique of the data submitted to support E12 would be misguided and would sidestep the new fuels and additives protections enacted by Congress and embodied in Section 211(f)(4) of the Clean Air Act.

Sincerely yours,

American Meat Institute
American Petroleum Institute
Association of International Automobile Manufacturers
Engine Manufacturers Association
Grocery Manufacturers Association
International Liquid Terminals Association
International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association
Motorcycle Industry Council
National Chicken Council
National Consumers League
National Council of Chain Restaurants
National Marine Manufacturers Association
National Meat Association
National Petrochemical & Refiners Association
National Turkey Federation
NATSO - National Association of Truck Stop Operators
Natural Resources Defense Council
Outdoor Power Equipment Institute
Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association
Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council
Snack Food Association
Specialty Equipment Market Association
Specialty Vehicle Institute of America

More information on this campaign - called "Say NO to Untested E15" - is available at

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