Bikes and Guns – A Match Made In Heaven
Bill Comegys, owner of Grand Prix Motorsports in Littleton, Colo., is taking advantage of a synergy he identified – it seems guys who love motorcycles might have a soft spot in their hearts for guns as well.
Comegys needed to diversify his business, and rather than simply add products to his powersports operation, he turned his dealership’s mezzanine into a gun store. It was a wild flier that paid off and helped him open up a pipeline to new customers and marketing opportunities.
“I grew up in Texas and I’ve always been a firearms enthusiast, so we polled our customers and found we had a large, positive response to the idea of starting a new gun store inside the dealership. It worked out perfectly,” he said. “I’m not sure on what the exact number is, but I’d say that we see something like an 80 percent crossover between bike and gun owners. We’ve started running Concealed Carry classes every third Saturday, and they bring in people who have never set foot inside a bike dealer before. This year, the gun store will make up about 10 percent of our total gross.”
Comegys isn’t resting on his laurels with the success of the gun division, he’s also looking for new ways to reach out to riders and generate more business for his dealership.
“These days I do plenty of track days on a ZX-10R and I’ve gotten into drag racing on a turbo Hayabusa. We’ve become a title sponsor for local bike-only events, such as the Bandimere Motorcycle Challenge. We make it a major event with lots of first-time racers, but it’s paying off with lots of new customers. We’ll go out and see 60 to 70 bikes with Grand Prix Motorsports stickers,” Comegys said. “But people are getting excited; they are now calling us about the next time we’re heading to the strip. And I’m out there racing all the time, so that brings in more customers. The enthusiasm from racing helps focus your mind on why we’re here. There’s nothing I like better in this world more than hitting the track, but staying involved also keeps your customers involved.”
The latest addition to Grand Prix Motorsports is the addition of all-electric Zero Motorcycles into his product line.
“I took the Zero DS out for about three miles and I was sold on what Zero was doing immediately,” Comegys said. “Take these things to an event and they get all the attention. We’re selling them to scooter buyers, to college kids like my daughter. The Zero actually prompted my daughter into getting her full motorcycle license.”
Comegys is also taking advantage of the Interwebs in a way he never has before, and that’s meant more business for his dealership.
“We moved to the new dealership about six years ago and at the point, we had no Internet sales at all. When we moved, we actually threw obsolete parts into dumpsters,” he said “We realized that many dealers have a web presence, but often not a very good one,so we hired a full-time eBay guy and a full-time web marketing person. We started with nothing more than obsolete parts and take-offs from the service department and have since moved into more conventional items and stock, and it’s allowed us to buy a basket-case bike from a customer and successfully part it out on eBay, which we simply couldn’t do before.”
How You Stack Up – Factors That Determine the Cost of Your Motorcycle Insurance:
- Your Age: As with auto insurance, usually the older you are, the cheaper your rates will be. But, if you are new to operating motorcycles you will probably be in a higher rate category until you gain some riding experience.
- The type of bike: If you have the latest and flashiest bike, that will cost you more than an older, basic motorcycle.
- Your Address/Garage Location: Sometimes the high insurance rates you receive can be greatly influenced by where you live. If you live and/or regularly drive in a high crime or high accident area, your rates will likely be higher than someone in a zip code with less crime and accidents.
- Your Driving Record: All accidents count. Even if you are new to a motorcycle, the accidents you had in your automobile will count against you. Therefore, the cleaner your driving record, the cheaper your insurance will be.
- Your Job: Where you are driving to and parking your bike will influence your rate. If you have to keep your bike parked on a construction site, you insurance may be increased due to the increased risk of injury to your bike.