It follows the Touring edition, which came out in February, and the original Softail edition from May 2004. All are available at www.fixmyhog.com. “The response has been phenomenal,” said Santopietro. “We get e-mails every single day from people saying, “‘Thanks so much. You’re helping me save money.'”
While Fix My Hog, Inc. is based in California, the DVDs are recorded at the Waterbury shop of Santopietro’s childhood friend Bob LaRosa, owner of LA One Motorsports on Thomaston Avenue. LaRosa and mechanic Mark DePietro precisely explain what tools are needed and walk viewers through whatever project needs to be done.
A review of the Softail edition DVD last year by Steve Berner in “American Iron” magazine called it “surprisingly professional with clear photography and crisp sound.” Berner wrote, “I cannot think of a better production or more comprehensive how-to-guide for beginners or even a refresher for the more experienced among us.” What has surprised Santopietro most about the Fix My Hog series has been “that the responses have been what I expected. I thought there were a lot of people out there that didn’t know about maintenance,” he said, speaking by cell phone from the hospital where he had just become a father for the first time.
Santopietro didn’t know much about maintenance, either. LaRosa had always maintained his ’84 Harley Low Rider FXRS, until he moved to San Diego. Sticker shock when he took it in for service planted the seed for the DVD series. “I wanted to do my own stuff and not pay for the basics,” he recalled.
The prices of the DVDs (plus shipping and handling) are $39.95 for the Softail edition, which runs 70 minutes; $45.95 for the Touring edition, which runs 3 ½ hours; and $42.95 for the Sportster edition which runs a little over 3 hours. Total sales of the first two DVDs is nearly 10,000 units, Santopietro said. While an instructional DVD would seemingly sap customers from Harley dealerships, Santopietro suggested that “what formerly went to maintenance now goes to accessories. If I just saved $200 (on service) and I’m all giddy about it, I’m going to get those foot pegs that I wanted or those hand grips that I wanted.” The success of the Fix My Hog series is resulting in an expanding business. Santopietro said the DVDs are now being distributed in Australia and Canada and that additional “Fix My…” titles are on the way that will go beyond the Harley brand.
A DVD for dirt bikes is currently in the works, which he hopes to have out next year. He’s also targeting metric cruisers, such as the Star line. And, yes, there is another Harley DVD planned that will key in on “Bolt-on” performance products.
Copyright © 2005
Republican-American Newspaper – Waterbury, CT