Early start to riding season welcome for Minnesota dealer
Dave McMahon, Senior Editor
April 2, 2012
Filed under Features
European, metric cruisers start moving in March
Wayne Bedeaux has spent the bulk of his adult life working at Leo’s South in Lakeville, Minn. Only recently, he took over ownership of the family-owned business.
So you can imagine his glee when touring and cruiser bike sales got an unprecedented early start to the riding season in Minnesota. With bikes a common sight on Minnesota roads in early March, and no looking back, Bedeaux didn’t know how to explain the welcome the early spring brought after a nearly non-existent snowmobile season.
“Those poor guys in the service department didn’t get to eat all winter because there was no snow season. Now we’re so far backed up they don’t know when they’re going to leave at night,” Bedeaux said. “I’ve never seen it like this at this point in the year, and there’s no end in sight.”
And that’s a problem many dealerships wish they could have. From new to pre-owned sales, PG&A to service, sales that resulted from 70 degrees and sunny in early March provided a boost to the end of the first quarter.
Bedeaux counts the BMW K11 luxury touring series as proving a particularly strong sales push.
“There hasn’t been a luxury touring bike to come out in 10 years, since the Gold Wing, and the K11 series is a little more sport touring than the Gold Wing,” he said. “Our BMW line is really strong.”
Bedeaux expects steady sales of European and metric touring bikes, with Kawasaki and Suzuki offering solid options for cruisers. “We’ve really seen the Kawasaki Vulcan 900 pick up,” he said.
While most touring and cruiser customers at Leo’s South opt first for clothing after their bike purchase, windshields and bags aren’t far behind. Bedeaux said that GPS systems are becoming more popular every year, especially among BMW buyers.
“We make sure our sales people are bringing up accessories, since the customer might not know what’s out there,” Bedeaux said. “We incentivize for selling accessories, since we’ve seen the amount of money customers are spending on accessories has been dropping.”