Trike market may be fueled by well-financed, well-educated buyers

Publish Date: 
Feb 15, 2013
By Dennis Johnson

It’s this latter point that makes trike customers unique in the motorcycling world, says Jeffrey Vey, owner of Motor Trike Inc. Vey points out that before a dealer takes on a trike line, they need to make sure everyone in the store erases any preconceived notions about their customers. They have to rethink how they’re going to approach a potential trike conversion buyer.

 “Trike customers, by their nature, are older, the house is paid for, the kids are gone and they will spend the money to get what they want, the way they want it done,” Vey says.

“It’s not unknown for a trike customer to come in and drop $35,000 with no problem. It’s not a price-driven market. Trike buyers want to be educated and shown why the trike is so special.”

Vey says for sales employees to focus on explaining style, safety, performance and comfort. “Don’t forget those words,” Vey notes.

The customers driving the trike market are the same ones that drove the motorcycle industry’s golden era in the ‘60s and ’70s, Vey explains, adding that they now have the time and money to get what they want, but want to be educated on the value of the product they’re buying.

“It’s critical to the success of a dealership that they know how to educate and cater to these buyers,” he says.

According to Lehman’s Kreager, education is essential. Not only are trikers a committed group of riders who put long miles on three wheels, but they’re also a tight community that does its research online, on the forums, on Facebook — everywhere, she says.

As for researching a new product line, Motor Trike’s Vey encourages dealers to do their due diligence and keep a careful eye on the company’s history in the industry, its reputation among other dealers and customers, whether it’s a true manufacturer that designs, engineers and builds its own parts, and how much passion it puts into its products.

“Dealers want to know that the company is going to be there three, five, even 10 years down the road,” he says. “The last thing in the world a guy wants to do is be on an island by himself.”