Dealership demo event makes waves, sales

By Kate Swanson

Echo Cycle sells out its SX-R inventory following ride

With the release of the 2017 Kawasaki personal watercraft lineup, dealers are finding creative ways to reach more customers this summer. Echo Cycle, a multi-line dealer based in Edmonton, Alberta, held a Jet Ski demo ride to give each prospective buyer a thorough opportunity to experience the new Kawasaki SX-R stand-up and Ultra 310LX. 

Echo Cycle chose to invest in this event, putting money down to rent a nearby lake at Shalom Park in Edmonton for four hours on the first Sunday in June. The dealership promoted the demo through its Facebook page and to email followers. Echo Cycle’s director of marketing Jolene Goldbeck said the event drew about 25 participants. 

Demo participants had a chance to demo ride Kawasaki’s stand-up SX-R Jet Ski. Echo Cycle sold out of its SX-R inventory following the successful event.

“The SX-R was definitely the more popular of the two,” Goldbeck said. “Most of the attention was focused on the SX-R, since it’s the new model for the year. It’s a 1500cc engine, so it’s quite a bit bigger than the older models.” 

Riders were surprised by how light the SX-R felt, despite the size of its engine, Goldbeck said, and they took time to adjust to riding the stand-up. “The handling was a little bit tricky to get used to, but once they had it figured out, it went really well,” she added. “One of our riders said he couldn’t believe how fast the SX-R felt and that it ‘sounded like an airplane taking off.’”

The demo riders ranged from amateur racers to young families. The Kawasaki Ultra 310LX has two keys, a “slow” key and a “fast” key, which activates the 310-hp engine. “The 310LX was good for the families. For the racers, it was just a fast boat. For the families, we put the slow key in, and the kids had a blast on it,” she added. “We had one person say, ‘I really wish I hadn’t bought a UTV; I should have bought a Jet Ski instead.’”

During the Splishin’ and Splashin’ demo event, both families and racers enjoyed the performance options of the Kawasaki Ultra 310LX.

While the racers were predominately interested in the new SX-R, they also enjoyed unlocking the fast performance of the Ultra 310LX. “All of the racers were there because they are riding 800cc engines or older, and so they were all wondering what the [SX-R’s] 1500cc engine could do,” said Goldbeck.

The dealership went into the Splishin’ and Splashin’ event with four SX-R models in its inventory and two more on the way. Within a day of the event, Echo Cycle sold out of all of them. Goldbeck said the dealership was overall very happy with the return on its investment, and plans for similar PWC demos are likely in the future. “It was a good day and I think having another one next year will be even more successful,” she added. 

Of the two units, the SX-R drew the most attention, but dealership staff said the Ultra 310LX was praised for its speedy performance by several PWC racers.

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