Slater Skins

Company Bio
Established in 1995 by John C. Slater, founder and CEO.

John started riding at the age of 6 with guidance from his father. A year later he started racing. In 1976 he saw his first Pro race live at Unadilla in upper state NY, the Trans AMA and saw Roger DeCoster, Adolph Weil, Rex Staton on Harley Davidson, Gerrit Wolsink, Marty Smith, Tommy Croft, and Jim Pomeroy all racing there. Over the next sixteen years, John started racing pro, with his most memorable moment being when he qualified in 1992 for the Unadilla 250 USGP. John has also watched the legendary races between Bob Hannah and Kent Howerton at Southwick. At this point John had decided he wanted to be involved with Motocross for life. John had the opportunity to see the 1987 Trophe DeNations at Unadilla. 

He moved from the East coast to the West coast in the early 90s to start his first motocross business. After a few years decided to refocus his efforts back on the East Coast in Connecticut and started SRP Slater Racing Products where he introduced SLATER SKINS.

SRP manufactures SLATER SKINS, full body panels made from polypropylene, high impact, heat resistant plastic. This material is very durable and is paintable, unlike many other plastics. SLATER SKINS are a set of streamlined panels designed especially to help promote the off-road racing sport by giving corporate sponsors 1,200 square inches of advertising space which is 900 square inches larger than the stock panels.

John promoted, built and designed Arena crosses in New Haven, CT at the New Haven coliseum, as well as promoting Monster Trucking events there. He sold sponsorships on the SLATER SKINS and hired riders for the Arena cross. The largest sponsor he brought in for these Arena Events was Foxwoods Casino.

SRP has worked with Mike Metzger, Mike Jones, Kenny Bartram and Jeremy Stenberg in the freestyle market. Metzger won the Vans Triple Crown while sporting the SLATER SKINS. Freestyle has gotten the attention of Corporate America with the introduction of NBCs Gravity Games and X-Games. The 2000 Gravity Games had even more riders sporting SLATER SKINS including Mike Jones.

SLATER SKINS were First, Second and Third on the Saturday Gravity games. The Sunday games showed the Second and Third place riders with the SLATER SKINS.

Because of the coverage at the Gravity games, John was able to get SoBe to sponsor a freestyle rider, Kenny Bartram who subsequently became injured just before the X-Games. John and SoBe then managed to hire on Trevor Vines to replace Kenny Bartram in time for the X-Games. SoBe continues to sponsor Trevor Vines and Team SoBe Suzuki Motocross.


The Ct Post Article

One of John Slater's greatest joys in life is building racing motorcycles from the ground up in his 1,000-square-foot shop at the end of Plains Road.
Along the way, he invented a product called "Slater Skin," an engine heat shield that has drawn national attention in the motorcycle industry.
Slater Skin is a thermal-formed, plastic covering that protects the rider from engine heat while providing enhanced airflow cooling over the engine. The product may revolutionize the sport of motocross, as it makes the engine cover resist enough heat to show a racing sponsor's name in big letters, as is done with race cars.

John Andros, of Westport, a former motorcycle racer and friend of Slater, said that racing motorcycles could eventually become their own billboards.
"Before this, the sponsor's name was small, just crammed all over the fenders," Andros said. "Now, it's almost like a billboard. That's what he's trying to do: give more exposure to the industry. And, it's working."
National attention has included free help from the Space Alliance Technology Outreach Program in Houston, which is supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Slater, 42, of Shelton, won't give away any of his secrets.
"I'm self-taught. I'm a motorcycle mechanic and racer," said Slater, president of Slater Racing Products

The Space Alliance Technology Outreach Program is a nonprofit, NASA-funded organization that helps small businesses with engineering challenges, said A.J. Lucas, deputy program director for the SATOP New York and New England region.
"Slater said he was on the verge of something that was going to be big, so we provided engineering help," Lucas said. "We're interested in general business growth. In his case, it was being able to attract advertising sponsors to support motorcycle racing."

Slater, a graduate of Shelton High School, followed his post-secondary education with a year in the auto-body program at Emmett O'Brien Technical High School in Ansonia.
"That year in body shop helped me deal with prototype molds in clay. After that, I just tinkered," Slater said. "I'm an inventor. I create things. I get up in the middle of the night and write things down."
He spent most of his 20s racing around the country while doing construction work to support his hobby. His pinnacle was making the 1992 U.S. Grand Prix Motorcycle Racing Team.
"After that, I started my own business and [started] getting involved in plastics," he said. "The sport was starting to step up. There was more sponsorship needed for advertising."

The product has gone through several improvements, and therefore several patents. Frank Canevari, a former motorcycle racer and president of Newhart Plastics in Milford, has dealt with Slater for 10 years.
"He brings me the plastic sheet with the sponsor's name on it. We mold it to the mold, and he puts it on the motorcycle," Canevari said. "The Slater Skin is known for both air flow and protecting the rider from the heat of the engine.
"He's got a good product going," he added. "When he perfects it, he wants to produce it himself. He's still working to perfect it."

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