BMW Motorcycles of Riverside focuses on adventure touring
It was only 11 years ago that Dan Schoo bought his first adventure touring bike, but since then he has surrounded himself with adventure riding experts, acquired a BMW dealership and become the top BMW R 1200 GS Adventure dealer in the U.S.
Schoo says he’s always been a backcountry person, so when he bought his first adventure bike in 2004, it wasn’t surprising that adventure touring quickly became a passion of his.
“It was the perfect marriage for me to ride an adventure bike and really take it to explore places off the grid,” he explained.
To share that passion, Schoo opened BMW Motorcycles of Riverside in California in 2010.
“It was sort of my strong point and my passion, and so we developed a lot of expertise and a lot of good advice that we could give to people on how to get involved in this aspect of motorcycling, and so it was just a natural thing and we became known for that.”
With the right staff supporting the dealership and its adventure riding roots, BMW Motorcycles of Riverside quickly earned its stripes, ranking as the top-selling R 1200 GS Adventure dealer in the U.S. in 2013 and 2014. While the dealership does well selling bikes across BMW’s lineup, it has become known locally as the adventure touring experts.
“It’s really a rather broad segment, and there’s a lot of options that you can do, and you can sort of get lost in the maze of all that, but we have the pros and cons of everything, whatever kind of riding the customer wants to do,” Schoo said.
BMW Motorcycles of Riverside sees a wide customer base, from those who rarely, if ever, take their adventure bike off-road, to others who are hardcore adventure riders, taking frequent off-the-grid trips. The dealership’s customers sometimes have the GS as their only bike, used for both commuting and riding off road, while others add the GS to a full bike roster that includes bikes from a variety of segments.
“The demographic is becoming increasingly diverse. We have a lot of younger riders that may be coming out of the mountain bike community or rode dirt bikes in their young years, to people who have been lifelong street riders, and they just appreciate the qualities of the bike and what it can do for them. So it’s really all age groups. It’s starting to show no bounds,” Schoo explained.
Employees who ride
Those who have returned to BMW Motorcycles of Riverside time and again have become another resource for new customers to lean on, in addition to the knowledgeable employees Schoo has gathered.
“We have a number of employees and definitely a very loyal following of some hardcore customers that are always hanging out here, so there’s plenty of information to be had from our other customers and friends of the dealership as well as the people here. It’s what we live and what we do,” he said.
BMW Motorcycles of Riverside’s employees are well versed in adventure riding, not only because they sell the bikes but also because they live the lifestyle. Someone at the dealership puts to the test nearly every PG&A product that the dealership carries. That experience helps the staff prepare any rider for any trip.
“We carry a lot of BMW accessories that go with the bikes and a big selection of third-party aftermarket equipment and pretty much try it all out ourselves and have a lot of experience with everything, so what we promise is we will help set people up with the kind of riding that they plan to do,” Schoo said.
“We constantly do rides from the shop. We have a pretty active Facebook page where we post those rides and some meet-up groups. So we’ll mix in some sort of primarily street-oriented rides for some people and range it all the way to advanced, rather difficult off-road rides,” Schoo explained. The dealership has two Facebook pages, one for the dealership itself, with more than 3,100 likes, and another called GS Riders of BMW Riverside, which has more than 780 likes.
“It certainly is a rapidly growing segment,” Schoo said. “So we’re happy to bring our passion to the world and show people what it’s all about.”