SALT LAKE MOTORSPORTS
1077 South Main
Salt Lake City, UT 84115
The dealership was founded in 1994, but has been in its new building since early 2002. Carries Ducati and Aprilia motorcycles, and Aprilia, Malaguti, and Stella Genuine scooters. Six employees: three mechanics and three salespeople, including general manager Jill Giles.
Giles says one difficulty in running a motorcycle dealership in Utah is the short riding season. “We have more Winter than Summer months here,” she says, which equates to great skiing but “makes it very hard to compete with motorcycle dealerships in other parts of the country.”
Sizzling in Salt Lake City: The Ducati Monster 620 “has been a really hot model for us,” says Giles, “and of course the Ducati 999. In the Aprilia line, the 1000cc Caponord ‘maxi enduro’ has been very popular.” As for scooters, Giles credits the popularity of the Stella to its retro look, “like the Vespas back in the old days.” The dealership carries Ducati leather and Marsee apparel plus a selection of Shoei, Suomy, and HJC helmets.
CUSTOMER BUYING TRENDS
Giles says there isn’t truly a “typical” customer for her dealership. “The scooter rage is touching all different ages. Then we have the very exclusive Park City riders. They are in the 25- to 40-year-old age range. They’ve lived in Park City, which is a resort area, for quite some time. They’re more mature, and own a lot of different motorcycles, from new to very vintage.”
Giles says that she has not noticed any anti-motorcycle issues cropping up in Salt Lake City. “Many customers walk in and say, ‘Do I need a motorcycle license to ride a scooter?’ They do need that endorsement, so we recommend that they take the RiderCourse thought Salt Lake City Community College. It’s very inexpensive — about $120 — and they provide the students with bikes to use during the course.”
PARTS AND SERVICE
Salt Lake City Motorsports has a full service center with two full-time, year-’round mechanics and a part-timer in Summer. “We’re probably one of three dealerships in the state of Utah that has a dyno,” notes Giles. “Our master mechanic is well-known within Ducati circles. He’s very talented at doing upgrades and putting different exhausts on different types of bikes. Right now he’s putting together a project bike that he had torn down to nothing. When it’s finished, it will have produce 140 hp.”
WORDS OF ADVICE
Giles’s words of advice to her fellow Italian-marque dealers: “Sometimes it’s tough to be positive about selling Italian-made motorcycles, because they are higher-priced, although not as high as most people think they area. Keep a positive attitude. Try to make people understand that these motorcycles are just as good as a Honda or a Yamaha to ride. And they’re beautiful bikes.”
—Julie FilatoffClick here for reuse options!
Copyright 2004 Powersports Business