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3/14/2011-Targeting the entry-level trike rider

March 14, 2011
Filed under Features

Lehman Trikes CEO Ken Hines described it as “tremendous.”
He was referring to dealer response the trike manufacturer received not 24 hours after it unveiled a three-wheeler featuring a low price point.
Lehman’s Storm, a concept trike that was originally shown at Kawasaki’s national dealer meeting last fall, will hit the market this spring with a price tag starting around $15,495.
“It’s the least expensive we’ve ever done,” Hines said, comparing the Storm to Lehman’s previous complete trike builds. “But on top of that, this thing has a Triple Tree and a (steering) damper included. Normally that’s about $1,200-$1,400 worth of stuff.”
The Storm is based on Kawasaki’s Vulcan 900 and as a result, will initially be offered through dealers that are franchised by both Lehman and Kawasaki.
The response Hines said his staff received from dealers is hardly surprising considering the price point and the fact that Harley-Davidson has enjoyed such success with its three-wheelers over the past year. The Tri-Glide, one of Harley’s two trikes, has been among the nation’s top selling models, according to recent state registration data R.L. Polk & Co. provided previously to Powersports Business. The Tri-Glide was the No. 6 highest selling on-road motorcycle model in the United States in August and then moved up to No. 5 in November.
Hines, whose company at one time manufactured the Tri-Glide for Harley-Davidson, estimated the trike market is growing between 15-30 percent per year.
“We did a lot of analysis of the market and who has products and who is competing,” he said in preparation for the Storm’s unveiling. “It went around and around and it kept coming back to this is the one piece of the marketplace that’s not well served: the entry-level rider. We absolutely went after that.”
Although the lower price point is new territory for Lehman, attracting the entry-level rider is not. Before the recession, the company’s hottest-selling three-wheeler was an entry-level model designed off another manufacturer’s bike. That project, however, all but came to an end when the manufacturer decided against exporting a large enough quantity of those models into North America.
If the tremendous response Lehman received from dealers in the first 24 hours of the trike’s unveiling continues, will the company have enough product to feed the demand?
“We have plans in place to respond to increased volumes over what is in our business plan,” Hines said.

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