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THE WEIRS TIMES & THE COCHECO TIMES, Thursday, December 29, 2011

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The Rokon’s patented two-wheel drive system with full time front and rear wheel drive allows for safe, stable control in all types of terrain.

reational opportunities it provides. An avid outdoors man, he’s hiked all of New Hampshire’s 4,000 foot high mountains and has also been active in his com- munity as chairman of the board of directors at Ports- mouth Hospital.

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All Rokons have American-built Kohler engines and the 2012 models will be upgraded from 6 horsepower, 171 cc engines to 7 horsepower, 208 cc’s for improved performance.

ROKON from 24 engineer and Dartmouth

grad, worked with him to figure out how to put the bikes back in production and that he has been heav- ily involved with state trade missions overseas market- ing New Hampshire export products. “When we were on the

airplane back from Saudi Arabia where we landed our biggest ever single or- der, from Russia, for our cycles,’’ says Blais, who is proud that virtually all of the parts Rokon uses for its bikes are fabricated right in Rochester or are otherwise American-made. He even went so far as to acquire a clutch manufac- turing operation from an Indiana manufacturer in order to keep production local and says that over the years his company has patented some of the ele- ments of the Rokon cycles

that it developed. Blais says that his com-

pany employs 10 people, all from the Rochester area, who are highly skilled ma- chinists and metal fabri- cators and who enjoy the intricate challenges of their work.

“We’re kind of a throw-

back style of operation, the way American manu- facturing used to be,’’ says Blais. He says that his company

sells about 500 Rokons per year and that he would like to see less regulation and red tape so that exporting would be a less onerous task. He says that the cost

of health care will be one of the biggest challenges faced by small manufac- turers like himself in the years ahead. Blais says that he loves

living in New Hampshire for the lifestyle and rec-

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