Archive for the ‘Baker Drivetrain’ Category

Vendors That Compete Against Their Own Dealers

October 18, 2009

BrokenChainWhy has the industry allowed so many vendors to compete against their own dealers through online sales? Shouldn’t everyone respect the supply channel? Or do some vendors have legitimate reasons for selling directly?

Two years ago, I was attending an annual meeting of MIC members when a guest speaker told the 200 assembled vendors that they all should be selling online. “The most important way for the aftermarket to sell is the Internet,” the market analyst said. “Companies used to be worried about how it would affect their retail establishments. That way of thinking has gone by the wayside.”

This comment surprised me. When the analyst asked for questions, I asked whether he believed motorcycle dealers in particular no longer cared whether their suppliers sold directly. He gave a quick affirmative and left the stage.

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Riding a Dirico, Hanging With (sort of) Steven Tyler

June 18, 2009

Dealernews just returned from the big Press Launch of Dirico Motorcycles in Boston, Mass., the custom V-twin company that’s a collaboration between Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler and engineering genius Mark Dirico. At this point in the industry, just about anybody with half an idea of what’s happened in the custom V-twin market would ask, “Wha? Huh? Why?”

From left: Tyler, Talarico and Dirico

From left: Tyler, Talarico and Dirico

 

Here are a couple of highlights of our whirlwind trip to New England —  none of which include Liv Tyler.

So we went there with the “Why” question at the tip of our lips, but they got to it first. This is no mass-production operation like  has been the standard operation (more…)

Aftermarket Industry — Strength in Numbers

December 31, 2008

Other than my pure, ridiculous love for most two-wheeled vehicles, the thing that gets me most about the motorcycle (powersports) industry is the insanely high level of ingenuity and creativity. While there is no shortage of somewhat useless gadgetry (you know it when you see) making it to market, the vast majority of products out there are nothing short of genius.

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Just take a look at the stuff that’ll be on display at Dealer Expo (also, here and here) and at the V-Twin Expo in February. The parts and bikes built by Steve Storz? Roland Sands and his dad, Perry? Bert Baker? Look at what small companies like Nash Motorcycle Co. and Biltwell Inc. are doing. How about FMF‘s long storied history? Phil Davy has turned ICON into, well, an icon. The stuff coming out of Robert Fisher’s and Nick Anglada’s garages? Crazy. Honestly, the list is mind-blowing crosses across all market niches and extends as far back as does motorcycling. My own personal favorite is Chopper Dave. His work kills me.

So considering all these aftermarket players, what happens when the economy takes a dump? Well, it looks like a bunch of them are looking to band together under the auspices of automotive industry heavyweight SEMA to protect their interests. Bikernet.com‘s Keith Ball is calling together the troops for a meeting at the V-Twin Show in Cincy. His goal is to give the aftermarket — and the attendant bodies such as vendors, dealers, clubs, etc. — a strong, unified voice in these shaky times. By banding together under SEMA, the motorcycle aftermarket industry would be able to access the advocacy group’s massive list of services. These run the gamut from business resources to market research to OEM relation services to SEMA’s massive trade show.

If you’re at all interested, the Cincy meeting happens Sunday, Feb. 8 2009 at 9 a.m. For more info contact Ball at 310-830-0630 or bandit@bikernet.com. You can also contact Ken Conte at Rise Above Consulting at  970-227-3588 or ken@riseaboveconsulting.com