SCHLEPPING a $40 JanSport and riding a clapped-out 1988 Riva during a six-year undergraduate stint is completely acceptable.
But when the time comes for postgraduates (the ones who do not Judas their trusty two-wheelers for the comfort of air-conditioning and four wheels once full-time employment and financial freedom are realized) to purchase the motorcycle they've spent their time between alcoholic binges and one-night stands dreaming about, and can now afford -- they do.
They also exchange the sandals, shorts and fraternity sweatshirt for proper leather attire, and their burlap-lined Evel Knievel lid for a comfortable helmet from this era - one ensuring that the 20-year loan's worth of knowledge they crammed into their noggin actually stays there.
Shiny, new, expensive bike, leathers and helmet, but what do they use for transporting their Lean Cuisine pack lunch to work? A $40 JanSport. Lame!
The upselling of a customer from a cheaply replaceable backpack to one costing four times as much ($159.95) is no small feat. The key to successfully putting Axios on the backs of customers depends on your store, clientele and the benefits Axios have over their competition.
If your dealership caters to the UJM crowd, inventorying 100 Axios in each color isn't the prudent thing to do. The hardpacks are available through Parts Unlimited, so stocking a few for touchy-feely demonstrations should be sufficient. But if you're a boutique shop with cash-paying 999 or R 1100 S customers, a leather-suited, Axio-wearing, bike-riding mannequin display would be perrrrfect for retailing these modish accoutrements.
The Axio hardpacks are going to catch the attention of style-minded bikers who enjoy affording the bling-bling uncommon to the plebeian crowd. Of course there's the occasional young-gun R1 owner who doesn't yet understand the minimum payment on his Visa only covers interest, and if you can sell him one, of course do, but he's probably more likely to splurge and purchase the $60 JanSport.
Playing up to the silver spoon sensibilities of upscale customers is easy. For starters, simply have a customer don one and straddle a bike. Even fully loaded, the Axio hardpacks are as comfortable as silk pajamas. The curvature of the pack's underside, the width and thickness of its shoulder straps and the breathable foam lining conspire to make the hardpack form-fitting and seemingly weightless.
The hardpack's interior is designed with modern technology in mind. Pockets for laptops, digital cameras, MP3 players and PDAs abound, but everyday items fit inside just as well.
As for style? No contest. The Axio's aerodynamic polycarbonate shell makes other backpacks look like sacks of potatoes.
Axio offers four models, the Fuse, Swift, Tekno, and Urban. The Swift, however, is more motorcycle-derived in its styling, and the one we road tested over numerous commuting miles. For more info on Axio hardpacks, contact your Parts Unlimited rep or log on to www.axio-usa.com.
- Industrial-strength zippers with oversized zipper pulls
- Quick-release fasteners
- Adjustable side and chest straps
- Water-resistant materials
- Molded polycarbonate shell
- Headphone access port
- Ventilated airmesh straps and backing
- 3.8 lbs., 1,249 cubic centimeters of storage
- Colors: carbon fiber, Ducati red, titanium silver, Yamaha blue