Don’t look now, but RevZilla has quietly launched its own motorcycle apparel line, under the name REAX.
The news has yet to hit the PR wires, but the new brand is featured on the RevZilla homepage, with 12 items (5 jackets, 4 gloves, and 3 pants) debuting for the product launch.
Almost two years in the making, RevZilla says that the REAX brand comes from the company’s experience selling and reviewing motorcycle apparel for the past decade.
Drawing from the experience, and the bounty of customer feedback that they have access to, the REAX brand aims to bring quality motorcycle gear, at an affordable price point.
From the early indications so far, the REAX team has seemingly achieved that very goal. From the product photos, the pieces look well-designed, and come with minimal branding.
“REAX is a concept that we started working on almost two years ago,” said RevZilla / Cycle Gear CEO Matt Kull. “After a decade of reviewing product, we thought it was time to take a swipe at it ourselves.”
Looking at the products at launch, the colors are muted, but on-trend, and the cuts seem to be of the “every man” variety – sorry ladies, its men only right now.
While not exactly bargain-basement pricing, RevZilla has been aggressive with the pricing strategy on REAX – shooting for that hard-to-find nexus of high value / reasonable cost.
“REAX’s core design philosophy is to offer a high level of quality and protection in a more subtle chassis,” continued Kull. “Material choices were deliberate, lightweight ventilated CE2 armor is standard in all jackets and pants.”
“Creature comforts and features that you expect, with maybe couple you didn’t, were goals of REAX product development. We looked for patterns and textures that help break the ‘Biker Uniform’ conventions. A focus on being more refined and less ‘in your face.'”
From our perspective, the jacket and pant offerings look especially intriguing, especially for urban riders, while the gloves look to be more of a miss for our tastes. It is pretty easy to envision any of these items on a variety of riders types, with REAX looking suitable for street, ADV, and even cruiser riders.
Of course, we reserve final judgment until we have gotten our dirty motorcycle-riding mits on the wares, but consider us quietly optimistic about RevZilla’s approach. Other brands, however, may not have the same impulse as us.
Comoto (parent company of RevZilla and Cycle Gear) is the 800 lbs gorilla when it comes to motorcycle apparel retail sales in the United States, and many other brands count on RevZilla and Cycle Gear for selling their wares, but now these brands face the prospect of competing against this retail giant.
Similarly, many customers count on RevZilla’s videos and blog posts to help guide their purchases, and while there has always been a modest conflict of interest in the brand’s reviews, now there is the added incentive to steer buyers in a certain direction.
“We are very grateful for the relationships we have with the other brands that we offer, and are not looking to replace or directly compete with what they do, they are and will continue to be our partners,” said Kull, in response to thoughts about conflicts with other brands.
Addressing these concerns to us, RevZilla / Cycle Gear CEO Matt Kull said the following:
“We also take our reputation as a credible, critical source of product review seriously, and thus we are committed to being as honest in our review of our own product as we are of anyone else’s.”
“We are certainly proud of the end result with REAX, but without fail not everything works out how you expected to and there are pros and cons for different applications. We felt it was important as well to be as transparent as possible with respect to the origins and ownership of REAX.”
With that being said, RevZilla’s own product videos about REAX haven’t exactly been waiving the flag regarding the ownership of REAX being an in-house brand.
For instance, the videos include RevZilla founder Anthony Bucci talking about REAX in the third person, like a distant entity, before a minute or so later where he begins to acknowledge in the video review the link between RevZilla and REAX.
All in all, REAX is an interesting move for RevZilla, and the brand will benefit greatly from dealing directly to the consumer, without the normal loss of margins that comes from using a reseller…as obviously RevZilla benefits by operating its own selling platform.
As one industry insider explained to me, the beauty of RevZilla doing its own product line is that they can focus on production and customer engagement, while their competition has the added detriment of having to also focus on distribution, which is perhaps the hardest nut to crack.