The Gone Riding Catalogue Issue 37
In reality the Ballard's business idea all started back in the 80's during my racing years in the USA. Luckily, I had met up with a US desert racer AL Baker who had convinced me that it would be a great idea to start a business back in Australia based on the very popular Honda XR's. Baker had also played a huge part in the development of those bikes and of course knew them inside and out, plus the large numbers that been sold back here in OZ.
So from a hand shake deal back in 1989 I kicked things off and straight away had felt it was important to produce some sort of informative parts and information brochure, but with business pressures and the new XR race team we'd formed, our first catalogue had to be pushed back to 1990. with more time it had managed to grow even bigger, after jamming in as many new products as we could and turning it more into a catalogue than a simple brochure. Funnily enough that philosophy still runs true today.
Issue 1: For me this was XR's Only catalogue. This catalogue was one of the hardest to produce and believe me it got thrown in the bin a number of times. We worked with a local newspaper 'The Mountain Gazette' and were able to produce our first catalogue! 1000 copies were sent out to all the keen Honda XR owners. Finally it was out there and they loved it!
Issue 4: Things had been going well but we had pressure from suppliers overseas and customers here to supply parts for other bikes. So in 1993 we added the Enduro-X name and expanded the number of lines and pages in our catalogue.
Issue 6: We loved this catalogue because it was our first colour issue and had a thick glossy cover! We'd decided to go with thicker and stronger covers because we'd realised our customers were hanging on to them and going through them multiple times. Our catalogues were being used as a reference tool for the industry, so we didn't want them falling apart. 2000 catalogues were printed.
Issue 9: This issue was huge as it was the very first catalogue we distributed inside of a magazine. We were able to put our catalogue in the laps of all the magazine readers and in doing so added an extra 2500 run-on copies to produce and post out.
Issue 12: This issue mostly celebrated the move to the 'Ballard's Offroad' trading name but also celebrated the expansion and move to the Penrith shop.
Issue 14: Roger Harvey was employed to do this catalogue. This was our first ever cartoon cover and my favourite of all time. The cover was a real photo (that was slightly cartooned) of our OZ team rider Glenn Kearney railing a drawn rut. We printed 3500 (our most ever) run-on catalogues and registered the the name 'Gone Riding'.
Issue 20 & 21: Our Catalogues were still being distributed with magazines but this year we decided to try producing 2 in a year! The first was released in February (like they always are) and the second was released in july. We wound up doing this a few times which is why we are currently celebrating 30 years but are up to catalogue 37!
Issue 24: This issue stood out because of its unique sepia finish. We especially liked this issue because Stefan Merriman (a 4 time world champ) had just joined our race team. We now feel extremely proud to have been involved in the early development stages of so many champs, you can see them featured on the back cover of this catalogue.
Issue 35: It's mentioned earlier that issue #1 was one of our toughest but without a doubt this catalogue was the hardest. We merged with MXstore and everyone here really wanted to maintain what the catalogue was all about whilst also adding Australia's largest MX range to the mix. We also moved to the Gold Coast which made this year pretty crazy for Ballards Offroad.
Issue 36: We realised with the Ballard's & MXstore partnership that we needed a new catalogue name to celebrate the merge, so we decided to start using the name 'Gone Riding'. With more pages (76!) and more copies printed than ever, means more riding.
The Gone Riding Catalogue was born!
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