Thank you providing a great website and forum for motorcycle enthusiasts. I appreciate that you have made this available. I have attached a response for posting on the blog, on behalf of Baldwin -Wilson Development Corporation. Hopefully this will answer many questions and provide the proper information in response to Chet Burozski’s Blog Posting.
My name is Dale Needleman and I am the “new” President of Baldwin Wilson Development Corporation, home of the “360 Brake”. In the past few days an entry to your blog was made by Mr. Chet Burozski. While it is true that Chet was the Senior Salesperson at BWDC, he no longer works for the company and has not for many months. Thankfully, Chet took our call this week, and we were able to address his concerns, answer some questions and provide him with information that he previously did not have. I am writing this blog entry to help answer some of the questions and concerns posted by your readers, and provide additional information as well. The facts – free from salesmanship are this:
The “360 Brake” was designed in late 2005, and became an “instant’ success. BWDC began taking orders and selling brakes incredibly fast during late 2006 and early 2007. The reality, however, was that the company infrastructure could not keep pace with sales and production. The prior management was never able to structure a sustainable production and marketing method, and the foundation for future success was not included in the commercialization model of the company. While the “360 Brake” was great, there were long lead times, significant back orders, and “custom” demands from customers which took internal focus off the core product. In short the company began a difficult slide out of control.
In late July of 2007 the shareholders voted in a new Board of Directors, in hopes of redirecting the efforts of the company, and saving the product from falling victim to the apparent insolvency of BWDC. In quick fashion, the Board found that orders for non-standard brakes were being taken, custom installations that had not been well thought out were occurring, some customer complaints that had not been investigated were filed without follow-up, and there were over 120 brakes on back order. The new management team moved to put an end to the above actions. Members of the previous management were released and all brake sales stopped as of 7-29-07. Our focus was simply to investigate the overall condition of the brake, the existing market strategies that were in place, and the opportunities that were available to properly serve our customers and to save the company.
In September 2007, the new management sent a letter to all distributors, customers and dealers, explaining that the brake was sometimes being misused or improperly installed, especially in certain unique custom applications. Some of the blog entries on this website suggest that our letter was nothing more than a “CYA” or that we don’t care about our customers. To the contrary, we sent our letter PRECISELY BECAUSE WE DO CARE. We truly care about our customers, value safety over sales, and wanted to be absolutely sure that the improper use or misuse of our products did not result in harm or injury to any rider. We are huge motorcycle fans and riders and we are part of the biking community. You are our biking “family,” and we want everyone to be safe. Although the “360 Brake” is an innovative and amazing product, it has limits, as does any mechanical device or braking system. There were rumors that the “360 Brake” could stop almost any bike traveling at any speed. We felt a responsibility to make sure that no one would rely on those rumors and misuse our product.
There is some confusion about our previous letter, and we thank Chet for explaining why it was misunderstood by some. We do not blame any motorcycle magazine or publisher for printing representations made by third parties about the previous Baldwin-Wilson “360 Brake”. Publishers cannot control the rumor mill any better than Baldwin-Wilson could. I apologize to anyone that has taken offense to our letter. Our intent was not to place blame but simply counter the rumors and prevent the misuse of our product for safety reasons. The truth is that how well a brake will perform, depends on how well it will convert kinetic energy to thermal energy, i.e. weight, speed, conditions of the brake, the riders braking tendencies, riding style, etc. We became concerned that many installations were not well thought out, and were overtaxing the brake. Different applications require different brakes, despite what the rumor mill promised about the Baldwin-Wilson brake. Our letter to the biking community was an attempt to explain this so that our products were not misused.
The letter we sent was an attempt to educate and answer questions. I have spoken personally to many happy customers with many different set ups. Our “700 pound.- 70 mph” numbers have built in safety factors, and were chosen carefully. We will not advertise the brake for speeds that encourage anyone to break the speed limits and we cannot know for sure if someone is a casual rider or a mountain road street racer. Since July 2007 the current management has worked hard to improve the brake for different applications. We now have a “chopper” bike brake and are working on a larger brake for heavier bikes. We have spent a lot of time and money over the past few weeks on this research and development.
So here we are. After extensive R&D work with a new group of design engineers, we are planning to introduce the new “360 Brake” very soon. The new “chopper” brake is also being built to raise the weight and speed limit while fitting into the same mounting parameters as the previous brake. It is our goal to return to the market as soon as possible with improved safety margin, fill the back orders, create an exchange and/or upgrade program, and service the motorcycle industry with an outstanding product. Our business and customer-oriented approach herald a new day for the “360 Brake”. We appreciate all the support we’ve received from publishers, customers, distributors, etc., and we pledge excellence in all our future dealings in the motorcycle community. We are not simply “under new management” – we are a completely “new” company that has taken a great product and made it better as well as safer for all riders.
Lastly, I would like to thank everyone, past and future customers, for the opportunity to answer some of your questions, address some of your concerns, and clear up some of the confusion. I stand proud of the “360 Brake” and look forward to an exciting future for the company and all customers who support and love our product”. Best Regards. Dale E. Needleman. President BWDC