STORM UPDATE: Motorcycle, ATV dealers coping with Sandy's aftermath

Publish Date: 
Nov 5, 2012
By Holly J. Wagner

IT WILL PROBABLY be days, even weeks, before the full extent of Hurricane Sandy’s impact on the powersports industry is known. But while some motorcycle, ATV and watercraft dealers are facing catastrophic losses from "Superstorm Sandy" (NOAA image, right), others are counting their blessings and offering help.

(Editor's Note: This story is being updated as information comes in.)

American Honda told Dealernews that 36 powersports dealerships in the storm path were affected; 34 were closed for one to three days; 18 lost power because of the storm, four sustained “minor damage”; and damage was devastating at Crossbay Honda-Suzuki in Howard Beach, N.Y. The owners were too busy managing losses to immediately give details. Honda spokesman Bill Savino said the store, partner to Crossbay Motorsports in Bayshore, also sustained looting in the aftermath.

Brooklyn Motorsports in New York is closed due to severe flooding and storm damage, with no estimate when the shop might reopen. “We took on in excess of 3 feet of water topped with oil. Our facility and ?all of our equipment is lost, including our Dyno. The shop is ?decimated and we never could have anticipated the destruction that ?this storm caused,” says a note on the store’s website.

The flood has receded, and the damage still could have been worse. “We are happy to report that ALL the bikes remained standing. The bikes? have visually sustained minimal damage but at this point it is unclear? what effect the water had. We will know the status of the bikes after? we can do a proper assessment on each. We will be contacting all of? our customers on a case-by-case basis.”

Ducati-Triumph New York in Manhattan is closed until Nov. 6 due to the storm. Further details weren’t immediately available. Other dealers in the area reported storm-related closures until at least Nov. 5. Jack Trebour Motorcycles in Ledgewood, N.J., reported the dealership was undamaged but would be closed until power is restored. Sport Honda in Metuchen, N.J., reopened Nov. 5 on limited power to sell generators and pumps.

Manheim Specialty Auctions was forced to cancel several auctions planned in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maine and Maryland in the week following the storm.

As if matters weren’t complicated enough, shipping may be a problem for dealers as well as others for the foreseeable future. As of Nov. 5, the United States Postal Service was reporting that several facilities in the storm-affected areas are not accepting drop shipments and several business mail entry units in New Jersey are temporarily closed.

UPS, which pledged $1.5 million to the American Red Cross, was warning that road closures, flooding and power outages due to Superstorm Sandy are causing some unavoidable service delays in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, southeastern Pennsylvania, Northeast Virginia, and Washington, D.C. No pickups, deliveries or on-call pickups are available in several New York and New Jersey ZIP codes.

John Resciniti III, owner of the Motorcycle Mall in Belleville, N.J., said the multiline megamall escaped damage, but “dealers near the shore, if they are still there, have had a lot of damage.”

He’s also concerned about the downstream effects and the possibility that publicity about the storm will scare off customers for a while. “Business is seasonal as it is, and now you have a shore catastrophe,” Resciniti said. “The playground for toys has been destroyed. Hopefully we will get some of those customers back.” (continued)