CST is going full-throttle with its first-ever contingency program, offering generous cash prizes for winners and podium finishers in AMSOIL GNCC Racing, WORCS, the ATV MX National Championships and the AMA District 37 Big6 Grand Prix Series.
Prizes ranging from $400 to $50 will be awarded for upcoming races, with amounts varying according to series, class, and first, second or third-place finish. The contingency place begins April 21-22 for AMSOIL GNCC; April 27-29 for WORCS; April 14-15 for ATV MX; and May 5-6 for Big 6. Races prior to the specified dates are not covered by the program, and no prizes will be awarded retroactively.
To be eligible, racers must ride CST tires and display decals in the number and size specified on the entry form throughout the event.
For more information about the contingency awards from CST, visit csttires.com/us/contingency.
Distributed in more than 150 countries, the CST brand covers a wide range of market segments. CST products include tires and tubes for bicycles, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, autos, trucks, forklifts, agricultural and lawn and garden equipment.
Last week we went “behind the brand” to give you a bit of a history lesson on CST Tires. Starting this week, we’ll be introducing some of the people involved with CST Tires.
Chris Meyer is the Moto/ATV Marketing Coordinator for Maxxis/CST USA. While he has only been with CST since December, he says he’s been an active participant in the sport since he was nine years old. “I’m a lifelong participant in the sport, definitely,” says Meyer. “I was doing a lot of the same things I’m doing now the year before I took this job, I just wasn’t getting paid to do it.”
Meyer said that before CST he was working in the adult beverage industry and he sees a lot of parallels with what he’s doing now.
“I spent the early part of my professional career in the adult beverage industry,” says Meyers. “Mostly on the beer side of things working for distributors or suppliers. The alcohol industry is very similar to this one and is set up in three tiers with a manufacturer, a distributor and a retailer.
“There’s a lot of the same challenges you face in communication and tracking conversions, and you know, proving that your marketing dollars are well spent are very similar. Similar to CST where we have a completely different industry, at the end of the day product that needs to somehow engage with a consumer, they need to be able to connect with it.”
Meyer lets us in on the secret behind brand marketing, and that is to make the product or brand more than the sum of its parts. We used the analogy of the craft beer market and the quality of beers improving and multiplying almost daily, but consumers are lost in the value of these brands unless they know what it is or have tried it before.
“Corona is an example where the value of their beer was the retail price and the perceived value of the beer was way above what the quality of that beer,” says Meyer. “They did it from a marketing perspective. Ballast Point, on the other hand, did it from a price point perspective; they price their beer so high that you would convince yourself it’s good or else you’d feel stupid for spending that much on beer!”
He says CST is in a unique spot where it has to be marketed very carefully because it is very aggressively priced. “Whether we like it or not, a lower price just kind of dictates a certain level of quality when you look at different price points,” says Meyer. “The reason we made an investment in professional racing was to expand the number of guys we have that can perform at the top level. I mean, we have more CST wins in GNCC than Maxxis does right now.”
Currently, Meyer says he is focusing on some of their brand ambassadors and the racing events for CST. There will also be some upcoming tests with their pro riders like Beau Baron and Adam McGill. Be sure to stop and say hello to Chris when you see him at the track or an event. Besides knowing a lot about tires, he knows a thing or two about adult beverages and can make some good recommendations for tires or beer – or both.
The WORCS Pro Series is brutal in the UTV classes. The tracks are tough, the competition is even tougher and the tires not only need to hold up but they need to perform at the highest level to make it to the finish line.
CST Tires has just the tire for the brutal environment of UTV racing, and it goes by the name Dingo. This tire has been a staple for WORCS driver and CST brand ambassador Beau Baron. We caught up with Beau to get his take on the tires, and how they not only perform on the track but hold up for work and play as an all-round tire for any UTV.
“When it’s dusty, it’s hot and you’re worried about hitting the gas and the brake at the right time. You’re accelerating points, braking points, and so on. The last thing you want to worry about is your tires,” says Baron.
One of the things Baron says he likes the most about the Dingo is that it’s very predictable in a variety of conditions. “The predictability on my slides, the predictability in the ruts, you know, not popping out when I don’t want it to, but being able to have it loose enough to where I can throw it sideways and have a predictable slide. It’s just an all around great tire.”
The Dingo features an aggressive tread pattern for hard-hitting grip while accelerating in ruts. Its 8-ply-rated radial construction guarantees durability, ride comfort and confidence at high speeds on the trail. Designed for all types of terrain, the Dingo is the tire for the rider who loves to explore.
“I run two different tires for WORCS, so the Dingo is more for a hardpack setting,” notes Baron. “The tire is really good and it’s got a nice round shape to it so it doesn’t catch really hard in the ruts but you can lay it in there and stay in the ruts. It also has pretty good traction on hardpack.”
It’s all about durability.
That’s what CST USA’s Rick Emmert, manager of specialty tires, says that most of the company’s UTV consumers are looking for today.
“Whether it’s tread life or puncture resistance or carrying capacity, durability is really what consumers are looking for,” he says. “And that’s one thing that we’re providing, especially with our Behemoth line.”
Emmert says the Behemoth is aimed toward the Utility Side-by-Side consumer who is also value conscious and is looking for a durable tire that performs well but won’t break the bank.
“The Behemoth has been out a couple of years, but we’ve expanded the lineup to include a pretty broad range of sizes,” Emmert says. “It ranges from a general utility ATV with 12-inch wheels to a smaller SxS.”
The Behemoth is available in 25×8, 12×25 and 10×12 combinations and then also in 14- and 15-inch size wheels, which are a little bit more of a standard width for 800cc and larger UTVs. Plus, if somebody wants to go with an aftermarket wheel with a little bit different sizing, CST has a fitment for it.
The Behemoth features an aggressive tread pattern for hard-hitting grip when accelerating and massive shoulder treads for control in ruts. The tire employs a lower rolling resistance for hardpack conditions and gives confidence at high speeds on the trail or in deep mud. Deep, ridged shoulder lugs provide cornering traction, predictable sliding and extra sidewall protection while the 8-ply-rating ensures durability and reliability on any terrain.
CST is a division of Cheng Shin Rubber Ind. Co. Ltd., the largest manufacturer of bicycle tires in the world, employing more than 20,000 people worldwide. The company also offers products in many other categories, including the ATV and UTV markets.
While CST brand tires are distributed in more than 150 countries, covering a wide range of market segments, the team at CST USA develops and sells tires specifically for the North American market.
“The brand itself has been around since 1967 as kind of an offshoot of the Cheng Shin Tire brand,” says Rick Emmert, CST USA’s manager of specialty tires. “But I’d say the last five years is when we’ve been making the push here in the U.S. and Canada as a separate brand.”
Emmert says that in the 1980s, the parent company spun off Maxxis Tires as a separate premium brand, saw some success with it and decided there was room for a value brand such as CST. The company is now a global player.
Emmert notes that the U.S. team designs and markets all of their tires to fit the specific needs of the North American SxS/ATV/Moto consumer.
“After Maxxis came in and we expanded our facilities and factories in other countries, we realized there was an opportunity for another brand to have a unique and separate R&D department, an independent sales division and a different factory from where the other products are made. So (CST) is under the Chen Shin Rubber umbrella (the same as Maxxis), but it’s an entirely separate brand… separate everything,” explains Emmert.
Chris Meyer, CST USA’s Moto ATV/UTV marketing coordinator, echoes what Emmert says about being a separate brand. “We do hit different price points (than Maxxis), so we do go after a slightly different consumer. We do that for a reason, and that’s because Maxxis is an industry leader. With a brand that is emerging such as CST, it’s hard to launch products and brands at the top end, so you have to kind of start a little bit lower and work your way up.”
Meyer says that the typical CST consumer is a little more value conscious than a Maxxis customer. “We consider Maxxis as the flagship and then CST as the associate brand. There are many multiple brands in the passenger car tire industry. If you look at a Michelin, for example, they are the flagship brand, whereas Uniroyal or BF Goodrich would be an associate brand. We see it like that.”
As an emerging brand, CST is going after a different consumer and in more niche markets than the premium flagship brand. Meyer says that currently they are focused on the UTV, SxS market. “Our typical consumer right now would be utility side-by-side, utility ATV owner. These are consumers who are looking for performance but maybe aren’t looking to spend a whole paycheck on a product.”
One important thing to note about CST is that the company follows strict international standards and has received several certifications and awards including DOT (U.S. Department of Transportation) certification, ISO9001, E-Mark, TS 16949 and others.
Utilizing a first-rate manufacturing operation and highly efficient logistics, CST is quickly emerging as a leader in the powersports industry.