Power Profiles

Powers Motor Sports – Fremont, MI – April 19, 2004

11995 North Maple Island Road
Fremont, MI 49457

Matt Powers and Matt Isard

30,000-sq.-ft. dealership built from the ground up in 1990. Carries full lines of Honda, Kawasaki, and Yamaha, plus Ski-Doo snowmobiles. Largest-selling segment is dirtbike, followed by ATV, streetbike, and snowmobile. 12 employees.

Matt Isard says that one of his greatest concerns is environmentalists. “I don’t want them to try to close down trails or push out two-stroke snowmobiles and dirtbikes, because there are a lot of those vehicles out there now.”

Powers Motor Sports’ hottest sellers include the four-stroke dirtbikes, “which have really taken over,” notes Isard. Standouts include the Honda CRF 250 and 450, the Yamaha YZ 250S and YZ 450S, and the Kawasaki KX 250 F. “In snowmobiles, obviously the Ski-Doo Rev has been good for us. All of Yamaha’s new snowmobiles are going to be four-strokes, and there has been a lot of interest. In ATVs, the new sport quads have been really popular, like the Yamaha YFZ 450 and the Honda TRX 450. We move a lot of helmets, especially HJC, G-Max, and Icon, plus Fly and Thor riding gear, accessories for the Yamaha Star lineup of cruisers, Alpine Star and Fly boots, Universal and Triple Glance handlebars, and Universal bike stands.”

“Dirtbike guys range in age from 18 to 40,” says Isard. “In streetbikes and ATVs, it’s 18 to 65. When purchasing a new vehicle, the dirtbike riders buy their apparel first — pants, jersey, helmet, boots — and parts that wear out, like chains, sprockets, handlebars, and exhaust systems. The streetbike riders will buy a helmet and a leather jacket, then backrests, saddlebags, and windshields at the time of sale. Financing’s pretty good because the rates are so low now.”

Isard says the western portion of Michigan is very open to powersports vehicles. “Right next door to the dealership we have a dirt track. Our customers sign up to become members, and can ride on it to hone their skills. We also promote rider training through Honda, Yamaha, and Kawasaki.”

Powers has four staffers each in service and parts (including managers), three in sales, and a business manager. “We’re trying to send our parts orders over the Internet through Hondanet, Yamaha’s YDS, and Kawasaki’s KShare,” explains Isard. “It’s a lot more efficient — quicker and more reliable — and we get immediate confirmation and information on what parts are backordered.”

Powers Motor Sports advertises via the local newspaper, radio (country, oldies, and rock), direct mailings, and some TV (ESPN2, BikeTV, and the Discovery Channel).

Isard says the best advice he was give was “to keep investing back in your store and building the business. I think what has made us so successful over the years is taking care of the customer — treating him the way he deserves to be treated and following up with him.” Is it working? “Two years ago we were the largest Yamaha dirtbike dealer in the state.” psb

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