I mentioned earlier this week that Martin Motorsports in Boyertown, PA is my favorite local dealership. They’ve built enough goodwill with me over the years that I’m willing to overlook a recent administrative error that led to me losing out on a Bandit 1250. That’s pretty good. And I’m not bitter. 🙂

I think all MC dealerships can take a page out of Martin Moto’s book. Here are some of the reasons why they are my favorite:

(1) It’s not a dealership, it’s a community. On any given Saturday, there are RAT Packs meeting for a ride, the local chapter of STAR Touring and Riding having a get together, Boy Scouts cooking hotdogs and hamburgers for the customers, a demo event launching from the parking lot…it’s rare to go to Martin’s on a weekend and find nothing going on. During the prime summer riding season they are open for their “Second Sunday” events when they provide special discounts and take their customers on group rides on local Berks County twisties. This focus on the community of motorcycling makes a trip to Martin’s a happening in its own right. They have evolved into a Destination Dealership.

(2) Martin’s gladly let’s its customers take test rides. Martin’s is one of the most agreeable dealerships when it comes to taking a bike out for a spin. This is how they sold me the Bandit – I rode it on a whim and just had to have it. I’m sure this is a pain in the ass for the guys who work the showroom floor, and it probably means their insurance costs are higher than dealerships that aren’t as supportive of test rides, but if I’ve bought a bike after a quick trip around the neighborhood, I’m sure others have too.

(3) The Bikers Lounge. Martin’s provides a fully-equipped lounge for bikers who are having work done on their rides, or who just need a break. It has comfy leather couches, free reading material (plentiful copies of the current MC mags), free wifi access, coffee and donuts, a TV, a clean bathroom. Groups such as the local chapter of the STAR Touring and Riding Association can borrow the space for chapter meetings. It’s a nice touch and a nice amenity that goes toward the goodwill I mentioned earlier.

(4) The service department. Having visited and had service work done at a number of other local dealerships, sometimes it seems that the guy at the front of the service department thinks it’s his job to be surly. This is not the case at Martin’s.The peeps who staff the front desk at the service department are polite and friendly. Bikers can get simple maintenance and repairs such as new tires or oil changes done quickly without an appointment. There’s no attitude from the folks working on your bike; they take the time to explain the repairs and cost to you and don’t talk down to you.

(5) Great selection of bikes and gear. Whatever your pleasure – sport bike, tourer, adventure sport – Martin’s has a bike that’ll strike your fancy. Probably more than one. They carry Kawasaki, Yamaha, Suzuki, Triumph, and have a huge selection of used bikes on any given day. They have all kinds of gear and the best selection of motorcycle-related apparel that I’ve seen anywhere. (I’ve spur-of-the-moment bought more than one $30 Triumph tee or $80 Triumph sweatshirt at Martin’s)

(6) Location, location, location. Martin’s location is excellent, right on Route 100 in Boyertown. Because it’s convenient? No way – it takes me almost an hour to get there door to door. The location is great because the ride there is fun. When I head out to Martin’s I can take any number of backroads and the awesome Route 73. I can plan my route there or back to include some of my other local favorites like Route 29 or Allentown Road or Geryville Pike. And once there, there’s probably a ride heading out to navigate the Berks County farmland. Getting to Martin’s is half the fun.

So that’s why Martin Motorsports is my favorite dealership in the region. They’re good people and run a good business. They are customer-centric and even if I’m not buying, they are cool with me just hanging out and looking at or testing bikes. I think that if other dealerships could adopt these best practices, the industry as a whole would energize growth.

From the standpoint of the new rider, Martin’s offers a comfortable and friendly environment with staff that will answer any questions. I didn’t buy my first bike there, so I can’t really comment on that experience, but I do think all motorcycle dealerships can offer more to make it easy for non-riders to get into the motorcycle lifestyle. I’ll write more about my ideas in future blog posts.