MOST people are surprised when they discover that the CEO of Ciro is a 26-year-old named Aero Rudd. This bio will give you a little more insight into the man behind the Ciro brand and how Ciro came to be where it is today.
Aero Rudd, the founder and President of Ciro, the Hudson, Wisconsin based motorcycle and automotive parts design firm, has the powersports industry in his blood. If the last name Rudd rings a bell, it’s because he is the son of industry icon, Tom Rudd, founder of Drag Specialties in 1968 and co- founder along with his wife Pat of Kuryakyn in 1989. Growing up in the motorcycle industry and having great role models, Aero always had the inkling of wanting to create his own business one day.
Aero felt it necessary to gain as much knowledge into all the various roles that make for a successful company so he began working different jobs each summer at Kuryakyn while he was in high school. The jobs ranged from customer service, tech support, returns, working on bikes, and even selling to customers at the biggest rallies. However, the job that interested him the most was the R&D department. This is also where he made some lifelong friendships and business connections that would later become part of Ciro.
Aero graduated high school and went on to college to study entrepreneurship. However, during his time there, he started to question why a degree was even needed to start a business.
Aero analyzed, “All this money I’m spending on school could be a much better investment if put towards a business instead.”
Although many would be reluctant to stray from the “typical” path of finishing a four-year degree, Aero was eager to start Ciro.
At this point, Tom Rudd resigned as president of Kuryakyn because he no longer believed in the direction the parent company MAG wanted him to go. Shortly after, several other key employees, including the entire senior design staff, also wanted to move on. Many of these employees had worked with Aero and wanted to team up with him and his new company to design motorcycle and automotive accessories at an even higher level. They all jumped at the opportunity as they all “Liked the freedom of being able to design and make what we thought was cool.”
Aero’s sister Azura, who rides a Sportster Iron 883, also joined Ciro as the Marketing and Social Media Manager after graduating from university.
His entire family has always had a strong connection in the motorcycle industry. Aero Rudd has a passion for building cars and motorcycles and turning them from stock builds into something that turns heads that you don’t see every day. This was an opportunity to finally pursue that passion.
Ciro first started with the focus of designing products for the automotive and UTV industry. However, Aero soon realised one of the biggest obstacles was figuring out where to sell enough parts to get a good return on the initial investment he had made. With not enough connections and avenues to sell those products in, Aero shifted focus to what he knew best, the motorcycle/automotive industry. Aero pitched Drag Specialties’ Fred Fox the idea of being Ciro’s main distributor and a pact was formed to have Drag Specialties distribute Ciro’s unique product line. Additionally, Ciro also designs and develops state-of-the-art products for the Mustang, Camaro, and Challenger models. However, these products are done under private label for other companies.
Growing up, Aero tried everything that included speed or nerves of steel. He won downhill mountain bicycle races, pole vaulting awards, loved high speed slalom skiing, kite boarding, and bungee jumping. He learned to ride when he was 14-years-old, starting at a dirt bike school in California to get the basics down. When he turned 16, he was ready for the real deal and got his motorcycle licence as well as a 2003 Springer Softail.
After a couple years of riding experience, Aero wanted to take his riding to the next level and enrolled in California Superbike School and rode a BMW S1000RR. He furthered his skills through attending automotive performance driving at Bondurant and at Laguna Seca as well as a course in driving an offshore 48 foot MTI catamaran with 2700 hp.
Many people ask, why name the company Ciro or Ciro3D, and what does it even mean? Aero decided on this name due to its Latin meaning, “Ruler” as he saw Ciro one day becoming the ruler of the motorcycle and powersports industry. This name was simply fitting. The 3D was later added to make the name easier to find online as well as its meaning in the design process that Ciro utilises with the latest 3D cad design software and 3D Stratasys prototype maker.
“For the future I see the Ciro product line expanding greatly, while staying up to date with the latest technology to help revolutionise the motorcycle industry by bringing the most exciting new products to market.”
Photo Credit: Dan Roerick Photography