7710 Johnson Road
Indianapolis, IN 46250
The Revard Brothers
The Revard Brothers — Bill, Jimmy, and Charlie — have owned two bicycle stores called The Bike Line for nearly 25 years. “As it turns out, lots of people ride both bicycles and motorcycles, and the characteristics are exactly the same,” says Revard. “They obsess over riding — they’ll ride no matter what!” The brothers founded 8,000 sq. ft. Revard BMW in June 2000. “We’re right on the highway — 130,000 cars per day drive by.” Exclusively BMW. Eight employees.
“Industry-wide, things seem to be a little sluggish,” notes Revard. “Truthfully, it has been that way since we got into the business. We get little spikes, but for the most part it just continues to be on an even keel toward slow. Revard adds that Indianapolis has been hit with several thousand layoffs. “It’s hard for people to get enthusiastic about buying motorcycles when their neighbors are losing their jobs.”
“The R1150RT is our best-selling model,” says
Revard, “and second is the R1200CL cruiser with a fork-mounted fairing. As for parts and accessories, our riding apparel sells pretty well — we stock BMW and First Gear. And we move a good number of helmets — KBC, Nolan, Schuberth and Arai.”
CUSTOMER BUYING TRENDS
Revard BMW customers tend to be between 40 and 55 years of age. “We have a healthy mix of white-collar professionals,” says Revard. “We have a lot of long-time BMW riders who come in to buy bikes every now and again, but most of our buyers come from other brands, primarily Honda or Harley-Davidson. They’re really looking for a better long-distance machine. That seems to be the most common criterion.”
PARTS AND SERVICE
Revard BMW has two full-time employees in its parts department. One specializes in hard parts and dealing with the Service Department, while the other handles accessories and apparel — and both work the counter.
WORDS OF ADVICE
Revard calls to mind some advice from a friend who owns a dealership in North Carolina. “He said, ‘Bill, you can sell 50 to 70 bikes per year and still make money. You just have to watch your expenses.’ BMW wants its dealers to build nice facilities, and there’s a lot of overhead associated with that. We’ve proven that you can make it work, but it is tough. So, my advice to other dealers is, just watch the expenses — because they can get out of control.”