"Dealer Expo is the biggest accessories show in the nation, so we feel it's important to be here in front of the dealer body to remind them that we are also an accessories company," said Gary Sherfey, accessories manager of the OEM's motorcycle and ATV division. "You've got all of the major distributors here, and that's who we are competing against on the accessories side. We don't compete against Yamaha or Honda on the accessories side, because they don't make product that fits our bikes. Parts Unlimited, Western Power Sports, Tucker Rocky — they all distribute and sell product that fit our vehicles, and that's why we feel it very important to stay visible."
Suzuki offers more than 1,200 accessories for its motorcycles and ATVs (not including soft goods like riding apparel, helmets or casual apparel). Has the company noticed any trends in its PG&A business during the past year? "People may have $500 in their pocket instead of $5,000, so I think they're probably going down to their dealership to buy a new accessory with which to spice up their existing ride," Sherfey said. "We always do really well with our GSX-R line of product, but something I was really surprised to see this year was an increase in sales of accessories for our little GZ250 and C50 Boulevard. When the price of gas reached $4 per gallon and people started buying our smaller bikes, we sold windshields and saddlebags and backrest mounts at an unheard-of volume."
Sherfey said the majority of the P&A distributed by Suzuki are made to meet the OEM's standards. "If you look at a saddlebag support that we sell and a saddlebag support that someone else sells, they are going to be very similar," he said. "But, obviously, ours have to go through our testing and procedures to be approved for sale as a Genuine Suzuki Part."
The 2009 Genuine Suzuki Accessories catalog is packed full of custom hard parts, oils and chemicals, helmets, riding gear and casual wear. New offerings include gear for the M90 and Gladius. — Guido Ebert