6200 NW 39th Expressway
Bethany, Okla. 73008
Never mind that he’s over 40 and owns a powersports dealership that primarily sells on-road bikes, Gerald Tims isn’t about to give up what got him interested in and integrated into the powersports industry. Tims, who said he is addicted to motorcycles, has been off-roading since he was young and is still competing and doing well in the sport. When he decided to make his first foray into the business in 1993, he opted for an independent powersports accessories store. He took on his first vehicle franchise in 2000 and added Suzuki in 2004. Today, Suzuki is the dealership’s flagship product, but it also carries Triumph and United Motors products. In addition to the motorcycles implied in its name, Performance Cycle carries ATVs and scooters. Now housed in 25,000 square feet of a renovated former car dealership, Performance Cycle takes pride in its Historic Route 66 locale and motorcycling heritage. The dealership is in the process of developing a motorcycle museum for its approximately 40 vintage bikes. A new parts and accessories department will share upstairs space with the museum.
With the rising cost of business and declining profit margins, Tims knows he has to be more on top of things than ever to make sure he makes sound business decisions. “You just have to pay attention to the market in [your] area, look at market trends and try to make the best decision from that point,” Tims said.
Street bikes consistently get the top spot in sales at Performance Cycle, followed by cruisers and sport bikes, which go back and forth for numbers two and three, Tims said. The Triumph Tiger, which Tims calls an urban sport terrain bike, has been pretty popular with customers. “Triumph has done their homework with this one!” customers quip on the dealer’s Web site. Suzuki’s GSX-Rs have always been popular, Tims said.
Since he started first working in the industry in 1978, Tims has seen the industry evolve into a more sophisticated and well-rounded mechanism. The professionalism dealerships are run under has increased dramatically compared to previous times, Tims said. “Before, it was more enthusiast,” he said. “Now, you have to have more business sense to do it.” Over time, products from the four major Japanese OEMs have always been popular and “Harley-Davidson’s [marketing efforts] have increased awareness in the cruiser market and helped everyone else,” Tims said. “Triumph, being an old British marquee name, has really made a good comeback.”
PARTS AND SERVICE
This year, Performance Cycle is giving its parts and accessories department a new, renovated space in its upstairs square-footage. The dealership occasionally creates custom motorcycles in-house. It offers a chrome wheel exchange and personalized motorcycles to its customers.
PROMOTIONAL HOME RUNS
Tims is able to get out and ride with his customers often, through racing, supporting local riding clubs and at events the dealership puts together to gather motorcycle enthusiasts. Performance Cycle has an active Riders Association of Triumph (R.A.T.) Pack. The group hosts three to five group rides throughout the year. In past years, Performance Cycle also has brought in a Triumph demo truck showcasing the latest products and technology.
WORDS OF ADVICE
“More than anything, you have to have a passion for what you’re doing and that will show [through] your staff and to your customers,” Tims said.
— Lisa Young
Copyright 2007 Powersports Business