Motorcycle Mall – Belleville, NJ – June 27, 2005


165 Washington Avenue
Belleville, NJ 07109

John Resciniti

30,000-sq.-ft. dealership founded in 1973. Carries Kawasaki, Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, Bombardier, Titan, and Ural (no snowmobiles). Largest-selling segment is sportbike. 30 employees February through July; 20 the rest of the year.

“My greatest concern is competitors who are so willing to give away product at low prices,” says Sean Gatesy, sales manager. “Dealers too easily give up gross without the customers even asking for it.”

Best-selling sportbikes at the Motorcycle Mall include the Kawasaki ZX-636, the Yamaha R1, and the entire Suzuki GSXR lineup. Other best-sellers: the Sea-Doo RXT and Yamaha WaveRunner VX110 watercraft; the Kawasaki Brute Force ATV; and any four-stroke motocross bikes, especially 250cc and 450cc. Gatesy says the dealership sells “tons” of helmets (Shoei) and jackets (Icon, Scorpion, and Joe Rocket).

“We're 15 minutes from Manhattan, so there are people making some decent money
in this area,” says Gatesy. The average
customer is “younger-the median age is the early to mid-20s, with a personal income around $50,000.” Gatesy adds that more of his buyers are financing versus seven years ago. “Financing programs have gotten a
lot more aggressive. The finance companies didn't even offer programs on sportbikes,
but now it's across the board. And nobody leaves here without insurance, unless they're trailering out a track bike or they paid
cash. Unfortunately-because of driving records-at times the insurance is a little cost-prohibitive.”

“There is always something up with ATVs in New Jersey,” notes Gatesy. “Probably the hardest thing about owning a dirtbike or an ATV is that there are no true riding areas. We are trying to come up with some, but we are tight on space. We're not far from some riding spots, like the Poconos and south Jersey, but it's definitely an issue.”

The Motorcycle Mall's service department includes three technicians plus five other staff members. How do they keep updated on all the brands? “It's tough,” admits Gatesy. “It's difficult to send them to school in-season because we're running so hard. In the off-season we get the techs to school as much as possible. Then there's turnover. But our service manager has been in the business for 25 years, and he tries to keep updated.” There's also longevity in parts: “The manager has been here more than 10 years, and we have eight folks in that department.”


“We do a cross-section of every type
of advertising,” says Gatesy. “Some radio,
TV, the Trader magazines, other newspapers, and all the motorcycle and boat shows at
the Javits Center in New York City. We
try to use up most of our co-op. That's free money the OEMs are giving us.” The
Motorcycle Mall's Web site was redesigned and is maintained by Powersports Network. “That's probably one of the best things
we ever did,” notes Gatesy. “That was 18 months ago. In-season we're pulling off
more than 100 leads from the Web site
per month.”

“We are the faces of the OEMs, so we need to keep smiling,” advises Gatesy. “Also, we need to remember that we're here to help the customers and to help ourselves. You have to try to keep the customers happy. You can't win 'em all, but a smile goes a long way.” This attitude has resulted in repeat business and referrals for the Motorcycle Mall. “We've gone from selling 1,100 units three years ago-when I first got here-to probably 1,500 units this year.”

- Julie Filatoff

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