WICHITA, Kan. – Keeping up with the times and the industry has kept a family powersports business alive, thriving and headed for a new personal best in sales.
By the end of this year, Biker’s Edge owner Lowell Kemp and operations manager Brian West said they expect to sell 400 motorcycles, ATVs and UTVs.
The business has come a long way since Kemp’s father and uncle opened a Harley-Davidson dealership in Winfield in 1938. The shop closed in 1957 and the family operated Newton Cycle & Leather for a brief time. Kemp and his brothers later reopend the business, and Kemp moved Newton Cycle, then a service and gear shop, to Wichita in 1995 under the name Biker’s Edge.
The shop was one of the first dealers for Big Dog and has been a Triumph dealer since the late 1990s. For a while they produced Kemp Kustoms. But the recession and regulations cut into the custom business. Kemp and West saw the writing on the wall and brought in Victory motorcycles and Polaris ATVs and UTVs.
“It sure changed our business quickly,” Kemp told the Wichita Eagle, adding that it not only increased sales, but evened out revenue. “We would always starve in the winter,” before developing the off-road business. “Since then, we’ve had double-digit growth, year after year.”
Kemp and West said that Polaris sales now account for 70 percent of their business. “It’s recreational. It’s farmers. It’s oil workers,” Kemp said. “Farmers,” West added, “are our No. 1 customers.”
The shop recently opened a 6,650 sq. ft. service center with six more lifts, and hired four new service technicians to staff it.
From the Dealernews wires