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The Motorcycle Business Sucks … Clean Up Your Act

Chad refutes the doom and gloom rumors still running rampant in the industry, and Dean chimes in with some tips as to how you can keep your shop on top during lean times.

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The Motorcycle Business Sucks … Doesn’t It?

By Chad Wiggen

The Motorcycle business is going to hell in a hand basket, and I have the proof. American IronHorse, the production custom builder from Texas has recently auctioned off most of its inventory and has been forced into bankruptcy. Global Motorsports Group, owners of Custom Chrome and Motorcycle Stuff also recently filed for bankruptcy, but were bailed out at the last minute — I doubt it was because they were making too much money!

My distributor’s rep friends are telling me about the number of their shops that are closing. If I were an intelligent man, I’d find a better business to be in, and I would find it in a hurry.


The problem I have with all of this is that I don’t buy any of it. Sure, there are companies and dealerships around the country that are struggling to keep the shop doors open and that’s definitely not cool, but the bottom line is that there will always be businesses that struggle and others that thrive, and as one of my favorite old sayings goes, "Whether you think business is going poorly or business is going awesome, you’re right!"

I recently spent the day at the National Powersports Auction in Atlanta for their 11th anniversary sale, and you wouldn’t believe what I saw: there were actually dealers there buying product to get ready for the upcoming season. But I thought business sucked? This was not my first time at the Atlanta NPA facility, and they always have great attendance, but I have never seen the place as busy as it was this go-round. From what I was told, they sold more units at this sale than any other they have ever had, so dealers must be getting ready for a great selling season.


I talked to a number of dealers buying truckload after truckload of used inventory to get ready for the spring rush.

But the motorcycle business sucks … doesn’t it? Sure, new unit sales as a whole are down, and customers may not be ripping the doors off your dealership to buy bikes, but I would be willing to bet that the dealerships that work a little smarter and look at their business as a business will find success.

Clean Up Your Act

By Dean Kelly

Sure, as Chad said, new unit sales are down, but used units are looking much better, and there is a good chance parts, accessories and service could bolster up your shop financially, so how can you capitalize on this shift?


This is going to sound so basic "Dealership Management 101," it’s pathetic, but when was the last time you walked outside your shop and looked at the parking lot?

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