1534 N. State College Blvd.
Anaheim, Calif., 92806
Mark “Junior” Skolnick
Try going from owning a 13-store tool chain to building and working on friends’ custom bikes in your garage, discover you’re doing it 10-12 hours a day and then opt to open your own motorcycle dealership. That’s what Mark “Junior” Skolnick did six years ago, when he opened LifeStyle Cycles in Anaheim, Calif. After tiring of the corporate bureaucracy surrounding Junior’s Tools Inc., Skolnick decided building and working on custom bikes would be fun. He opened his first small storefront in 2001 at a five-building complex. As the company grew, it took over the majority of connected buildings, finally ending up at its current location. The dealership has gained notice among riders not only in Southern California, but also around the world. Skolnick is a guy who will stop and help a biker if he sees them pulled over at the side of the road. That personal outreach spills into the business. It’s not uncommon to have visitors from Singapore, England, Japan or Germany drop in as a planned stop on their vacations, says Dan Leadbetter, LifeStyle Cycles’ marketing director. “We never know who’s going to walk through the door on any given day and where they’ll be from,” Leadbetter said. LifeStyle carries new and used American IronHorse and Saxon motorcycles, as well as pre-owned Harley-Davidsons.
No matter what the issue, from cleaner running motorcycles to changing technology, LifeStyle hopes to be ahead of the game. “We want to be proactive instead of reactionary,” Skolnick said. “We want to stay ahead of the trend so we can better serve our customers.”
American IronHorse products, a line LifeStyle has carried since it opened, are the most perennially popular at the dealership. Beyond that, bike popularity goes in cycles. “Choppers were the big rage for a while, now it seems to be more pro-street,” Skolnick said. The bike makeovers LifeStyle specializes in are also popular. “We’re seeing more people with older Harley’s wanting to customize the bike they already own,” Skolnick said. The dealership took the concept to the small screen recently, shooting a pilot called “Spike My Bike,” which is being shopped around to various television channels.
CUSTOMER BUYING TRENDS
People are more conscious of how they are spending their leisure dollars and want more bang for their buck, Skolnick said. “It seems like customers are really looking to maximize their recreational dollar and they’re looking to purchase something that’s going to last,” Skolnick said. “They’re very careful in where they invest. They want something unique; something that is an extension of their personality.”
PARTS AND SERVICE
LifeStyle does an extensive parts, accessories and apparel business, not only as a custom shop, but also because it has its own P&A line, LifeStyle Signature Series, which offers everything from points kits and grips to sweatpants and stickers. The dealership has observed it has a significant female clientele and has developed accordingly. LifeStyle’s service department was the first S&S Pro Tuning Center in Southern California. It also has an on-site dyno.
PROMOTIONAL HOME RUNS
Most of the dealership’s marketing events are geared toward customer appreciation, Skolnick said. “We try to make parties we’d want to go to and just invite everyone else,” Skolnick said. LifeStyle’s annual Ride to Love Ride, in its seventh year in November, is one of it’s most popular. It starts at 6 a.m. with a pancake, sausage, egg breakfast complete with a live band. One year it was a Mötley Crüe cover band. The dealership also has a long-running Wednesday night bike night that meets rain or shine.
WORDS OF ADVICE
“Under promise and over deliver,” Skolnick offered. “That, and it’s not ‘treat the customer how you want to be treated,’ it’s ‘treat the customer how they want to be treated.’”
— Lisa Young
LifeStyle Cycles – Anaheim, CA – April 23, 2007