Stock Up on Graphics

by

EDHARDYYamahaNEWCommodities are still selling well. Everything else isn’t. That seems to be the assumption right now. But a major accessories dealer tells me that graphics are selling better than ever. Graphics are about as nonessential as it gets. What gives?

The dealer was David Damron, owner of Chaparral Motorsports in San Bernardino, Calif. Most of you are familiar with the store thanks to his mail-order ads in most of the major motorcycle magazines. I was interviewing him for the cover profile of our October issue.

“Our parts-and-accessories sales are very good,” he said, “but we’re really surprised at the amount of graphics that we are selling. I mean, it’s a different mind-set than my own. If I were counting pennies, I would make sure I had a good chain and sprocket and tires on my bike, and I wouldn’t care how scratched the graphics were.”
Damron thinks the uptick in sticker sales is related to the downturn in new-unit sales. Rather than buy a new bike, riders are freshening up their current ride. “They’re going to make it look like a new one so they feel good,” he said. “Our graphics have been doing extremely well. And it’s not just one brand; it’s across the board. So I think maybe we’re misguessing the Y Generation a little bit here.”

Damron is referring to young people born roughly from the late ’70s to the late ’90s. I’m not sure what he meant when he said we may be misjudging them. Perhaps he was referring the idea that young people are somehow less superficial, or more enamored with simplicity. But it seems to me that the generation is the most tattooed in history. Stickers for their bikes might be right up their ally.

Anyway, pictured at the top of this post is the result of a partnership between Ed Hardy Motorsports and AMR Racing Graphics. Both companies state that applying Ed Hardy graphics to units on your showroom floor will help them sell, stating that “most of our dealers will confirm that new graphics help sell inventory at least 50 percent faster.”

I guess the assumption is that only a minority of units get the graphics, and that’s what makes them stand out and sell faster. Slapping graphics on everything, of course, would be insane.

Another company that sells decal stickers is Lethal Threat Designs. The company’s Terry Keane, with whom I spoke at Tucker Rocky’s dealer meeting, said that the top motorcycle airbrush artists aren’t getting enough custom work, so they’re now willing to work with him. They paint a design on a panel and then send it to the company, which scans it into a computer to produce a sticker. The artist not only gets paid, but has his name promoted. Lethal Threat also employs in-house artists.

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One Response to “Stock Up on Graphics”

  1. john Says:

    This article made me laugh. first off, when Damron says “Our graphics have been doing extremely well. And it’s not just one brand; it’s across the board” he failed to mention that chaparral only has 3 brands of graphics in their store: One industries, Factory effex and N-Style. Of these three brands, they only regularly stock factory effex and One ind. Chaparral stopped ordering N-Style over a year ago, so everything sitting on the shelf is at LEAST that old. 95% of what is there is YEARS OLD. Secondly, next time you interview Dave Damron ask him the name of 5 parts employees (who aren’t managers) and see if he can answer that. Maybe he misjudges “generation Y” because he doesn’t give his employees the time of day.

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