Just outside Jonesboro, Arkansas, a remarkable dealership has been steadily rising to prominence, offering an unparalleled powersports experience to enthusiasts and riders alike. Jonesboro Cycle & ATV, under the leadership of its co-owners Ben Kisling and Hemant Patel, has transformed from a modest 1,200-square-foot dealership into a 185,000-square-foot powersports destination, becoming one of the largest dealerships in the U.S.
The journey began with a passion for motorcycles and powersports.
“I started at another powersports dealership when I was 19 and it just kind of went from there,” Kisling says. “I was in sales, and then a few months later I met my business partner now, and we started wholesaling bikes together.”
A year later in 2006, the duo opened a small dealership where they mainly sold Chinese crate ATVs and sport bikes. Two years later, they were in a 4,500-square-foot space and began selling more parts and accessories along with cruiser-style motorcycles. After another five years, the business moved into their first large-scale facility and picked up its first franchise, Arctic Cat.
Over the next decade, the operation bought out a Kawasaki dealership a town over, a Can-Am dealership in Jonesboro and the original dealership Kisling worked at when he was 19. With the lattermost acquisition, the company acquired Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Polaris.
Today, it is by far the largest dealership in the region, and Kisling suspects it is the second- or third-largest powersports dealership in the U.S.
A Trailblazing Vision
The dealership’s growth was not accidental; it was driven by a clear vision to offer customers a comprehensive and immersive powersports experience. The company’s relentless pursuit of this vision led to strategic acquisitions of other dealerships and franchise agreements with renowned brands.
“I had a vision of having everything. Didn’t know how long it would take or when it would happen, but I had a vision of what it would be like at the end. But, of course, there were roadblocks because you never know when somebody will sell out, so it was kind of playing that by ear. I didn’t want to do anything big like this until I knew I had all the brands in the bag,” Kisling states.
To say Jonesboro Cycle & ATV’s catalogue is expansive is an understatement. The showroom is massive, and the MPN team first caught wind of the dealership when a satisfied customer reached out to us via email to explain how he drives over an hour to the dealership just to walk through and window shop.
Can-Am, CFMOTO, Coolster, Hammerhead Off-Road, Honda, Indian, Kawasaki, Polaris, Sea-Doo, Suzuki and Yamaha are all original equipment manufacturers (OEM) that the dealership carries, along with pre-owned Harley-Davidsons and other brands.
In addition to the wide range of vehicles, it also offers a large assortment of parts and accessories to allow limitless customization for customers’ rides. Customers can boost performance, enhance comfort or add a personal aesthetic flare to their vehicles with Jonesboro’s wide selection of add-ons.
Jonesboro Cycle & ATV also caters to customers seeking personalized powersports experiences. Its ability to offer custom builds and accessories has garnered a devoted following. Whether it’s creating specialized rigs for hunters or crafting unique side-by-sides, the dealership’s team goes the extra mile to turn dreams into reality.
“We try to accessorize a ton of stuff,” Kisling says. “We do custom builds, and that’s growing for a lot of customers. They like stuff ready to go, and they don’t want to wait on it. The custom Can-Am side-by-sides and Polaris vehicles are really cool, and customers like when all the additions are already on their vehicles; it’s less work for them to get everything set up and ready to use.”
The most intriguing part of Jonesboro Cycle and ATV is its status as more of a destination spot than a traditional dealership. There is a full coffee shop positioned in the middle of the showroom and an 85-person capacity restaurant in the dealership as well.
“The restaurant turned out amazing. It’s almost like you’re walking into a powersports dealer conference. It’s in the dealership but it has an outside, so people can come in after hours. Ultimately, as a dealership, we are here to sell product, but we are also selling an experience,” Kisling notes.
This mantra is what Kisling plans on building upon in the coming years as he turns his dealership into what he calls a “powersports mecca.”
“We’re located just outside of Jonesboro on the highway near exit ramp Bono. We’re sitting on 20 acres but we’re in the process of purchasing another 180 acres, so we’ll be sitting on 200 hopefully in the next year or so,” Kinsling adds. “The powersports industry has a strong and passionate community, and we want to cater to that. The plan is to put in a huge motocross track and small lake where customers can test their vehicles and have a good time. It’s going to be a destination spot here in the central U.S., one where people can come here and spend the weekend here — they can buy a new rig or potentially come for a motocross event. There’s a ton of opportunities.”
Opportunities for growth like this are not only are possible via space but also via employment. For an operation so large, Jonesboro Cycle & ATV employs around 70 to 75 people in its customer service, sales and service departments.
“We moved into this space last year in March, and the biggest thing was just getting all of our processes down. Getting all the nuts and bolts lined out was possible thanks to have good managers in place. We want everyone to have the same vision and so far, that’s the case. Communication is super important, and we put a lot of time into our weekly meetings and training,” Kisling explains.
Having a dedicated and passionate staff also helps with marketing and community building, Kisling says. The dealership uses social media to advertise products and services and often attends events and hosts bike nights.
It just started doing manager rides, where managers will get together and ride new product and demos while connecting with the community.
To build up such a passionate staff, Kisling and the team at Jonesboro incorporate a few different tactics.
“It’s hard to come by skilled technicians today, but they’re out there. We put a heavy focus on promoting from within and giving our guys the skills they need to succeed. We also have a few guys from a vo-tech school that come in once they get out of high school and train under our more skilled techs,” Kisling notes. “Just the other day we hired a young guy in his early 20s that was working as a Walmart lube tech for a couple years and told us there wasn’t anywhere really to grow. He’s on our build team now and doing a great job. So there’s guys that haven’t really checked out this industry but are qualified and have enough knowledge to learn the ropes and excel. You just have to find them.”
Kisling and Jonesboro Cycle & ATV are not just riding the waves of the powersports industry; they are shaping it. With their relentless pursuit of a customer-centric approach, dedication to customization and an ambitious vision for the future, they are poised to remain a powerhouse in the powersports world.