In recent years being a motorcycle dealer has not been an undertaking for the faint of heart. In a tough market everyone in retail knows that a key element of success is simply generating floor traffic. Get ‘em in the store! Let ‘em to see and touch the product!
Successful motorcycle dealers intuitively “get” this concept and most offer regular “blowout” sales”, seminars, open houses, demo rides and every manner of special event, each one intended to simply get people in the building.
Then there are the stores that go a step further by transforming their showrooms into destinations. It’s not so hard to find dealers with embedded cafes and restaurants like the world’s oldest Harley Davidson dealer, Kegel’s in Rockford , Il where they have a full on diner. A personal favorite of ours is Moto Corsa in Portland, Or. Not only does this Ducati dealer have an indoor coffee bar with a full time barista but they offer their own brand of coffee! Starbucks eat your heart out.
The next step beyond food and drink for “destination” dealers may turn out to be a photo studio. A photo studio you say? Really?
Time will tell how this all works out but Martin Motorsports in Boyertown, Pa has taken this daring leap by creating a 12 ft. x 16 ft. permanent photo studio, specifically designed for motorcycle photography, in their showroom . Why would a dealer allocate a couple of hundred square feet of valuable floor space to such a thing? It goes beyond the obvious – having a new and arguably unique product to sell. Reaction to professional photos done the past two years at Martin’s acclaimed Modern Classics show has been extraordinarily positive. The professionally done photo book which documents the show each year is also in great demand (ck it out HERE) and owners outside of show entries have regularly inquired about having their bikes shot. The presence of enthusiast and professional photographer Joe Luppino on Martin Motorsports staff further made the decision to begin construction an easy one.
The studio features a turntable, custom lighting, radiused interior corners to cut down on spurious reflections, and a sliding door with height adjustable “window” to shoot through. Shots can be taken from any angle and any height from floor level to just about 12 feet up. Check out a couple of examples from recent shoots – both with and without people! And all of Luppino’s pics are shot in crazy high resolution that lends them to poster size blowups and even larger.
Why would an owner want pictures like this? It may be as simple as the fact that a great many of us have treasured and carefully posed baby pictures. And we all know bike owners who refer to their bike as their “baby?” Hand crafted customs, successful race bikes, and other “special” rides deserve such quality pics for posterity. No? Formal pics also make great gifts – remember that Father’s Day is coming up. Wouldn’t something like this look great in dad’s den? Or yours?
What do you think? Does this idea have legs?