BOYERSTOWN, PA – The 2017 Modern Classics Motorcycle Show at Martin Motoattracted an estimated 1,300 attendees over two days, when the dealership conducted its annual ritual of converting its showroom into a regional bike show.
At Modern Classics, business takes a back seat to pure enthusiasm. It is a come-one, come-all event where attendees and bike show exhibitors leave their affiliations at the door for the chance to see a few rarities (including, this year, a Munch 1200 TTS Mammoth, pictured here with painter Makoto Endo), have conversations about all things motorcycle, and celebrate rider styles and experiences. Two of the bike show entrants this year, for example, were from competing dealerships.
Two factors work together to help make the event successful. The first has to do with keeping the bike show fresh: Martin Moto changes the genres from year to year, and those genres don’t have to match the business interests of the dealership, which sells Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Triumph and Yamaha.
In 2016, the show focused on motocross bikes, trials and enduros. This year’s show, however, had a special feature on drag bikes. Changing the genres attracts new attendees who are fans of the new entrants; indeed, Jack Broomall, show director, estimates that anywhere from 15 percent to 25 percent of annual attendees are new to the event.
Second, Martin Moto does its best not to do business during the weekend. The pressure’s off: All retail units are removed from the showroom floor to make way for the weekend bike show. “Because there is absolutely no ‘selling’ going on at the show, we reinforce the notion that we are in no way a high-pressure sales environment,” Broomall said.
The dealership believes the risk of lost sales is minimal due to the early March timing of the event. “Here in eastern Pennsylvania, early March is ordinarily still well in advance of the spring selling season, so we typically have minimal floor traffic at that time,” Broomall said.
But does an event like this eventually translate into future sales? “We really haven’t spent a lot of energy trying to precisely calculate that benefit,” Broomall said. “We have more than a few anecdotal cases of unit sales that we can point to, but the real benefit that we have recognized is just how much the show has raised our profile and awareness outside of our normal customer base. Because the show includes all brands and all genres, we gain a certain access to enthusiasts to might not ordinarily be drawn to our facility or our five brands. Because the show appeals to true enthusiasts, it helps cement our hard-earned image as a dealership populated and staffed by enthusiasts.”
Martin Moto knows that Modern Classics attendees now make the pilgrimage far from the store’s natural footprint, including north into New Jersey, south through Maryland and Virginia, and into the western part of Pennsylvania. “All these good and positive things come about simply because we clean out the showroom for one day in our ‘off-season,’” Broomall said. “Do we know, qualitatively, that The Modern Classics has a positive impact on the Martin Moto brand? Absolutely.”
Next year’s Modern Classics show is slated for March 2-3.
Modern Classics 2017 Bike Show Winners:
People’s Choice Award – First Place: 1954 MV Agusta MonoMoto (pictured) from Bob Henig, Jessup, MD. Second place: 1952 Vincent Black Shadow from Eric Heilveil, Jenkintown, PA. Third Place: 1962 Triumph 650 Drag Bike from Ron Zuk, Delaware Water Gap, PA
Exhibitors’ Choice Award (voted by the bike show entrants): 1982 Honda CX500 Turbo shown by Brad Beers, Zionsville, PA