A&S Motorcycles began life in 1968 as a motorcycle salvage yard. “Possibly the first in California,” says owner Randy Felice. As such, members of the Antique Motorcycle Association of America and the Fort Sutter Club remember buying Harley parts from A&S in the 1970s. The Sacramento, California-based company was founded by Anthony and Adrian Felice (Felice’s parents and the “A” in A&S), as well as Sheldon Pine (Felice’s grandfather and the “S” in the company name).
Sacramento is a mid-sized city with several easily accessible rural areas nearby, including the Lake Tahoe area and the challenging passes over the Sierra mountains. Summers are hot, while winter weather hovers just above freezing at night. It is possible to ride most of the year, making selling motorcycles a year-round proposition. Sacramento also offers a large population of people with disposable income, and A&S concentrates on the European motorcycles that many of these customers want.
The first location of A&S was in Folsom, a town East of Sacramento. From there, A&S, still a salvage yard, expanded to two more locations in the Sacramento area. In 1988, A&S’s game plan changed. The business became a dealership and started selling BMWs and the newly reinstated Triumph brand in its Citrus Heights location. Some employees that started working at A&S at that time are still at the dealership, contributing a wealth of knowledge and savvy that customers highly appreciate.
BMW sales eventually crowded out Triumph. Lack of space continued to be an issue, and the dealership moved in 1999 to a larger location in Roseville, California, a few miles East. The new location provided room for A&S to take on Ducati in 2009 and celebrate the return to selling Triumphs in 2011.
A&S belongs to a 20 Group, which suggested that all dealers take on an entry-level motorcycle. In response, A&S started selling Royal Enfield in 2020.
“It works perfectly with our other brands,” Felice says. “We sell Enfields to new riders, people looking for a second bike, women (we have a strong women’s riding group in Sacramento) and older people who are downsizing and looking for a lighter bike. Enfields are also popular with immigrants, who became familiar with the brand when they were growing up.”
The last original equipment manufacturer (OEM) A&S has taken on is Energica, introduced in June 2022 to capitalize on the growing number of ecology-conscious riders in the area. Recent sales have also been buoyed by high gas prices.
The dealership has an unusual management structure, which is expressive of the owner’s philosophy that everyone should do what he or she is best at. The general manager is Jeff Hanrahan, who, according to Felice, leads the dealership’s meetings and “does a better job than I could as GM.” Felice acts as the sales manager, which is what he feels he is best at, leaving the overall management of the business to Hanrahan. Both agree that the shop should strive to present the best customer experience in the business.
“Any time there is a breakdown, and a customer experiences an issue, we have a meeting,” Felice says. “We are always evaluating and tweaking the processes we have in place to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.”
The pandemic led to an uptick in new faces appearing at the dealership. Many explained that they had always wanted to ride someday but had put it off due to other commitments. The closing of other options and the rise of working from home gave these new customers the space to learn to ride.
The influx of new customers has led to a sales department policy of assigning each salesperson a time slot where that salesperson functions as showroom greeter. The role of the greeter is to greet each entering customer and allow them to wander around while being present to answer any questions. This policy allows the other salespeople to follow up with existing customers, check on the progress of custom work and perform other needed tasks without interruption.
“Every new customer gets a tour of the shop, including the service department,” Felice says. “I spent $70,000 on remodeling the service department so people like what they see. People like to be surprised in a good way when they go someplace new.”
A&S does not do a lot of advertising, with the exception of Google and Facebook ads. The shop gets customers by word of mouth (especially from the groups it supports) and from online reviews, especially Google. “We do what we do best,” he says. “Our main focus is managing our systems so we can provide an excellent customer experience. We support a long list of outside groups, who provide events and social interactions for our customers.”
There is a specific page on the A&S website for Friends of A&S Motorcycles. The list includes clickable images to take the reader to the specific group or business. A&S partners with two different motorcycle training organizations, a track day organization, clubs for women riders and for BMW and Ducati riders, a suspension tuner, adventure rider’s groups, a vintage bike restoration facility and café, and the local antique motorcycle association. The one non-motorcycling friend listed is a barbecue joint.
A&S sells a curated group of accessories, including Klim, BMW and Triumph parts and accessories, as well as Shoei and Arai helmets. Felice states that A&S has successfully battled internet sales by instituting a price match guarantee.
“Their price is our price,” he says. “We used to have a problem with internet sales, but since we instituted the price-match guarantee, our internet problem has been solved. Our customers want the latest and the greatest and are not necessarily looking for a bargain.”
Felice’s goal is for A&S to be the world leader in customer experience. He does not plan to take on any more franchises at this point. He is focused on honing his current operation to meet his goal, but feels he is well on his way — as shown by all the great online reviews.
“Great, friendly, knowledgeable staff. Beautiful showroom. Large service area. The salesperson was the most knowledgeable about riding, mechanics and the bike I’ve ever interacted with,” states a recent Google review.
1125 Orlando Ave.
Roseville, CA 95661
OEM: BMW, Ducati, Triumph, Royal Enfield, Energica
Aftermarket: Shoei, Arai, Klim