GOLDENTYRE, RACING SPIRIT IN A SLENDER BODY
Small and Italian; Goldentyre’s main business revolves around high performance off-road tires, and to learn more about it, we asked a few questions to Cristian Antoniotti, Race Manager of the company.
If you own an off-road racing bike, whether an Enduro, a Supermotard or a Flat Track, Goldentyre has the right solution for you. The company, though, could also bail you out in case you are desperately looking for replacements on your Citroen Diane or even if a Piaggio Ape needs winter tires for particularly rough terrain. These few details are enough to highlight the profile of a company that originates from off-road racing, and is yet able to provide for the needs of many road vehicles in need of hi-performance solutions.
The Goldentyre brand is the creation of a group of motorcycling specialists: suppliers of chassis and engine components, tire specialists, riders and so forth. In 2004 it was acquired by Buymec Srl, a company specialized in the production and distribution of motorcycle parts, which, within a short time, increased the brand’s visibility with a series of new competitive products on the market that helped enhance the company’s reputation in the racing world. Results soon followed, and nowadays Goldentyre is a real benchmark for racing teams all around the world, given that its products are exported to 40 different countries.
A constant Exchange of ideas
Goldentyre, compared to “mainstream” brands, has a much smaller size and production range, but this does not seem to represent a problem, since not having huge stocks to be renewed, the company can produce new models every three months. Goldentyre’s agility and flexibility are much appreciated assets in the fast changing world of motorbike racing. Furthermore, the company is restructuring its distribution network to further improve efficiency and reliability.
Selected importers, called Goldentyre Center, will be found all over the world; their task is to supply, advice and support local Goldentyre Retailers. The Pisa based company, as previously mentioned, thrives on feedback coming directly from the racing world, since its R&D section speaks precisely that language being made up, as it is, of specialists from the racing world such as former riders, trackside engineers and so on. Besides, Marco Caribotti, appointed late last year as General Manager of Goldentyre, does not hold back when it comes to wearing gloves and helmet and personally testing a new tire, keeping closely in touch with riders as well as the engineers and specialists of the R & D division. The concept is to receive the riders’ impressions and turn these over to the production specialists, who are entrusted with finding the right solutions. Before moving back to Cristian Antoniotti, we cannot help speaking about the GoldenBoys, a community of riders, whether professional or amateur, constantly in touch with the company. Once enrolled, the GoldenBoys receive a card and will enjoy several advantages during sports events such as Reserved Hospitality, where to sit, drinks (some of the sponsors are Red Bull and Kini) and perhaps making small talk with a factory team rider. And it does not end there: the GoldenBoys will receive support with their tires as well, the opportunity to test new products and to participate in workshops, special events and more.
Please tell us more about the history of the company…
GoldenTyre can rightly be considered one of the few companies in the industry that made the "Made in ITALY" philosophy its own. It was founded in 1978 as a tire manufacturer, but only 10 years ago, following the advent of a new ownership, did the high quality products philosophy become paramount, with large investments in innovation and development, leading us to become the company that everyone knows. By the end of 2014, Marco Cavallini, the former CEO, left the helm of the company to a new management team in order to make GoldenTyre increasingly competitive on the global market.
The Goldentyre product range is very specialized and geared towards off-road racing or specific niches: why such a radical choice? And will it always be so?
Yes, the future of Goldentyre will be increasingly linked to its ability to innovate and be more competitive. The niche products are our bread and butter, and not only because it is hard to compete with the big guys. Our size actually allows us to renew our whole production within just three months, or even less. Just think that our new company Headquarters are not located in your typical office building, but in an industrial building. From the offices, we can physically see the tires and the employees working around them.
What kind of costs and returns are generated by following teams on race tracks everywhere?
That is our target profile, the basis of our research and development. The image return is significant, but the expertise that we acquire from competitions is more important, and we transfer that very quickly to our serial production. Our goal is to allow lower class and amateur riders the opportunity to use the same tires previously used by great champions. I can already anticipate that we will participate in the Dakar, probably in 2017, with a top team: we will do our utmost to be ready and competitive!
Are you thinking of entering other product segments?
That is Top Secret I’m afraid!
Can you describe the creation process of a new product highlighting the link between your R & D department and the experience you gain on race tracks?
Usually we start by interfacing the current production with new ideas; these are expressed by our R & D on the basis of reports we receive from a number of riders. We create a first prototype taking those same ideas and characteristics to an extreme, then we test it, and if all goes well we start production, otherwise, after making the necessary changes, we will produce a second prototype and so on. So far, we have been quite lucky (if you believe in luck!) and we have never had to go further than 2 prototypes and then, as already said, we are very quick in the technology transfer process from R&D to production.
Where does the production take place, and if abroad, how do you monitor it?
Mainly in Asia. We have technical offices in Italy where we design our products and our engineers in Asia oversee the actual production... this is also to guarantee the preservation of our Made in Italy philosophy. We monitor the production with our staff on site. Some ultra-specialized products, though, are totally made in Italy, the holes and cross-sections of our mousse are hand carved with specially made tools: it is a job performed by enthusiastic experts and specialists, the only ones who can create products marked with the "X" of Extreme.
A widespread use of tire sensors is expected on cars and car fleets (in the wake of mandatory TPMS regulations): will this soon affect also motorcycles? How do you view this issue?
Well, at present that does not represent an issue for us.