Ron Turner Cycles
10315 Beach Blvd.
Jacksonville, Fla. 32246
Jacksonville, Fla.’s Ron Turner Cycles celebrated its 30th year in business in 2006. A lot has changed over that time, but Ron Turner still loves his dealership, his employees and his customers. Started out of a love for motorcycles and inspired by his father, who owned his own welding business, Turner’s dealership does a little bit of everything. The 20,000-square-foot store has Suzuki and Yamaha ATVs, motorcycles and utility vehicles. It carries full lines of scooters from both OEMs and Yamaha personal watercraft. Beyond those basics, some of the dealership’s 29 personnel rotate building custom choppers and sport bikes. “That’s our fun,” Turner said. “It keeps everybody feeling important. I learned a long time ago I don’t just do what I like, I let other people do what they like and what they’re proud of.” Turner is in the process of duplicating his success in Jacksonville at a new, Yamaha-only dealership in Yulee, Fla., 30 miles to the north. The new store is set to open in the first part of February, just prior to Daytona Bike Week.
“The influx of inferior products, mainly from China,” Turner said. “Pep Boys and all those places can sell that stuff. After Christmas last year, people came in, and we didn’t have parts for stuff. Four out of five people that buy that wonder why we can’t get parts for them or work on them. It’s hurting the industry’s overall picture. People get discouraged. They say, ‘Well everything must be junk’ and go buy a stereo system. Stuff with no regulations gives people a sour taste. They think it’s all the same, but it’s not.”
Bikes are where it’s at this year at Ron Turner Cycles. A resurgence in the cruiser market and the ever popular sport bikes have proven to be solid sellers during the dealership’s 30th year. “Yamaha outsells everybody in cruisers with their new Star line,” Turner said. “And Suzuki is king of the sport bikes. Ricky Carmicheal [a native Floridian] doesn’t hurt us any.”
CUSTOMER BUYING TRENDS
“The cruiser market seems to be getting better every year, in the last three or four years,” Turner said. “Their product and everything they’re doing is getting better and better, which makes it more desirable for the people in the market. There has been a little downward trend in ATV sales. This year they’re probably even or down a little, but we’re in the city.” Turner expects ATV sales to be strong at the Yulee store, which has a more rural setting.
PARTS AND SERVICE
Parts and accessories are a prominent part of Turner’s business. When he built his current location in Jacksonville in 2003, he devoted three walls of dealership space solely to accessories. Ron Turner Cycle’s service department does a fair amount of business and currently employs four techs, two service managers and two set-up personnel.
PROMOTIONAL HOME RUNS
Turner threw a big party for the dealership’s 30th anniversary that drew plenty of attention from local media and customers. Turner says his wife is the “best in the world” at party planning and has put together a number of events for the dealership. To celebrate its anniversary, the dealership held a big open house with free food and games. Local radio personalities remotely broadcast their shows from the dealership.
WORDS OF ADVICE
“Support your local dealership associations,” Turner said. “You have to be involved in the community and charities and involved on a statewide level. Florida has one of the best franchise laws in the country, and it’s because of [heavy dealership industry involvement]. And make it fun for your employees. Life’s too short to be miserable.”
— Lisa Young
Ron Turner Cycles – Jacksonville, FL – Jan. 22, 2007