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Use It or Lose It this Winter

If you get bombarded by emails and offers from your local motorcycle dealer this winter, then be sympathetic, because they may just be taking advice. The motorcycle trade has become increasingly seasonal, as leisure riders put their bikes away in the garage for the winter, hook them up to the Optimate and head indoors – consequently, sales of bikes, tyres, clothing and consumables all plummet.

Some dealers struggle to survive this lean period, but motorcycle marketing man Dan Sagar, writing in trade paper British Dealer News, suggests that they take a leaf from the books of businesses which weathered the Covid lockdown well. The key, says Dan, is to keep in touch with customers via email newsletters and social media, with glimpses of new models coming in the spring and suggestions for winter bike care. Another tip for dealers is to have a sale of summer stock: “Everyone understands that stores need to clear stock at the end of a season, so don’t be shy.” Finally, dealer-based events can attract footfall in winter, previewing new bikes or giving a chance to meet sponsored riders or YouTube stars.

Jim Freeman, Chair of the BMF, thought there was a useful message in this for the motorcycling public, not just the trade – if you don’t want to lose your local dealer, use them during the winter as well. “Many of us no longer ride all year. Every year I chunter on about prepping bikes for the season, if you want your bike serviced professionally and any remedial work carried out, get your local dealer’s workshop to do it in the winter. That way you beat the spring time rush and maximise time on the road next summer. They’ll be glad of the work, and any parts sales.”

Written by Peter Henshaw

Top image courtesy of Peter Henshaw