Thursday, December 29, 2016

In Case You Missed It: TraderTraxx Updates Webinar

Did you miss our recent webinar on Cycle Trader's new TraderTraxx updates? No worries- we recorded it for you. Check out the video below to watch the full webinar by our Vice President of Product, Phillip Billups, as he reviews the new functions and features of this revolutionary tool for dealers.

Watch the Webinar on Youtube here.
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Events to Attend in 2017: Shows and more that you don't want to miss

Dallas IMS

A huge part of guaranteeing success for your business is ensuring your presence at trade shows and key national motorcycle events! 

Be sure to lock in your spot by registering for those listed below- you don't want to wait for booths to run out, or wait until the last minute to get your company ready for so many of the potential new clientele at these motorcycle enthusiast highlights.

Progressive International Motorcycle Shows (IMS)

  • Washington, DC- January 6-8
  • Dallas January 13-15
  • Cleveland 27-29
  • Minneapolis Feb 3-5
  • Chicago Feb 10-12
More dates to be released


September 21-24, 2017 (Columbus, Ohio)

Sturgis Rally 

August 4-13 (Sturgis SD; 77th Annual)

Ride for Kids 

Multiple each month; see website for details

Americade Rally 

June 5-10, 2017 (Lake George, NY)

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Motorcycle Industry Expected to Boom Over Next 5 Years

Recently, Persistence Market Research published a press release noting the likely growth of the motorcycle industry from 2015 to 2021. According to the release, the growing standards of living and 'increasing westernization' of the world today are stimulating the market more than ever before. Along with factors such as climbing petroleum cost and internal combution (ICE) engines, the opportunities for market growth are expected to expand all the more.

Fascinatingly, the report notes that China is expected to continue its reputation as the largest motorcycle market, mostly due to its presence as the largest world population. Following China are India and Indonesia; don't let these rankings fool you, though. Growth rates in Asian-Pacific market arenas are forecasted to be much slower than North America's, and the U.S. is poised to lead the pack when it comes to product sales as a result of economy health.

Read the full article and learn more about this insightful press release from Persistence Market Research on SBWire here.
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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Save the Date - Exclusive TraderTraxx Webinar 12/8 at 1pm EST

Click here to register! 

Attention dealers! 

We've added some incredibly exciting new features to our TraderTraxx platform to help you truly excel when it comes to inventory management. On Thursday, Dec. 8 at 1pm EST, join our expert - Phillip Billups - (VP of Product) to learn all about these game-changing features! 

From detailed new reporting to inventory management process improvements, we'll be discussing all the exclusive new insights you can gain from the platform. 

Register here and secure your spot today - 
you'll even be entered to win a Virtual Reality/PS4 bundle!

Be sure to tune in!

Trader Online Web Developer

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Lead Us Not into Indecisiveness: A must-read article from Motorcycle Powersports News

By Eric Anderson
Motorcycle Powersports News

As we read through our different powersports business news sources over the past week, we came across this article that we thought posed some interesting talking points when it comes to dealership management. What's the difference between management and leadership, anyway?
A great read to help you reflect on your dealership's leadership strategy!

Regardless of your point-of-view, the same question applies throughout our industry: Who is in charge of making the big decisions? It doesn’t matter if you are a dealer, a product manufacturer, a service provider or a distributor – Who is in charge of making the really big “decisions” in our industry, our businesses and our dealerships? Is it “management” or “leadership” that is guiding the motorcycle industry these days?
The bold question breaks down into three parts regarding:
1) Product decisions
(manufacturing, design, price/quality, etc.)
2) Supply/logistics decisions
(distribution, freight, convenience, etc.)
3) Marketing and sales decisions
(branding, advertising, training, trust building, etc.)
From a historical perspective, our industry has always had its leaders – those well-respected few who set a high standard for the rest of us to strive for. Most motorcycle industry visionaries were self-made – not head-hunted, appointed or anointed.
There is no reason here to “name names” (this isn’t an awards banquet), but if you have been around long enough you will be able to recall at least 5 to 10 industry heroes whom you have looked up to, and in turn, emulated in your own business endeavors.
These heroes include those who built dealership dynasties, aggressive distributors, creative manufacturers, refreshing publications and others who grew their businesses while also growing the related portions of industry. Do we still have strong leaders who publicly place a stake in the ground, then go out and make it happen?
Or do we have “teams” who make milquetoast decisions based on theory and rarely realized in reality? Too many board members? Excessive executive management teams? Added advisory councils?  Multiple cooks making the soup? The cloaked indecisiveness and hesitation may be killing us.
I am all for feedback and communication up and down the corporate ladders, but who is really at the helm of the ships in our respective fleets? A brain trust like Star Trek’s Borg only collects knowledge – it doesn’t know how to interpret, then apply it effectively.
Captain Picard’s team – the human element – wins! Free enterprise and Mother Nature usually require an alpha dog to steer the pack in one direction, right or wrong. Without firm direction, chaos, death and extinction ensues.
My worst fear is that our industry has fewer knowledgeable leaders than it has ever had before. They are selling their businesses, aging out and taking their knowledge and decisiveness with them… only to be replaced by collectives at all levels. Certainly, there are more advisors, consultants and CEOs from outside the industry than ever before enlightening us all about how it is done elsewhere.
Of course, our industry needs the help of anyone willing to join the battle in making profits, growing businesses and increasing the number of excited riders. But the fact is “experts” from the outside don’t understand the nuances of a recreationally-based, relationship-driven industry. Likewise, our own industry veterans don’t objectively see the light of the rapidly approaching techno-horizon. Thus, teams of managers rather than industry-wise individuals are now making the BIG decisions for our industry.
Trouble is, these collective teams don’t seem able to make such decisions quickly or in response to the faster moving marketplace. Why? Because those executive and mid-level managers don’t visit the marketplace anymore. Many are out of touch with reality… which happens at retail. Managers are keeping their jobs by accumulating and assimilating data, interpreting it and funneling it back to the collective so more theoretical decisions can be made. Is this simply a self-fulfilling prophecy which will eventually be broken by a reality check when sales stop?
Many people are terrific at the “theory of business” but not so good at the “reality of applying business.” Remember the “theory” of a college education vs. the cold, hard smack in the face we all received after graduating into the real world? I have seen such “theory” in many start-up and mature businesses – manufacturing mostly – where a “team” leads the business. It sounds good at first, but all too often misses the mark because no single person is responsible for decision making. Thus, nobody can point a finger at an individual when failure occurs.
Team decisions make sense when you consider the large combination of experience sitting around the conference table, but something strange happens in such situations. It reminds me of a big group ride – the more people on the ride, the more likely there will be an issue to distract from the joy of that ride. Like a pack of charged-up teenagers, the collective IQ of the group decreases in direct proportion to the increasing size of the group. Exciting, but common sense disappears in the absence of a group leader.
The inequalities and dysfunction coefficients increase almost logarithmically as the size of the enabled “management team” expands. Power plays, alliances and even sabotage emerge to distract from the group’s larger goal. It’s SURVIVOR! Once the vision becomes more about the individual PEOPLE on the team and NOT THE COMPANY’S CUSTOMER things unravel quickly and profits drop… very quickly.
When the eyes move off the “customer ball” and move to the “money ball,” customers begin to defect and things begin unraveling up the channel from there. Customers have a sixth sense for a lack of leadership and direction… usually because no one is telling them about the brand’s or business’s “big picture” any longer.
The golden goose isn’t being nurtured any longer – it’s being milked for all it’s worth. An alpha leader won’t permit such dysfunction – they are leading. Dictatorship? Yes, but with a positive, motivating twist to share his vision with his team… and the world.
Previous vision and leadership have been replaced with non-communication and excessive middle management. Apple’s Steve Jobs is an example of leadership… as quirky as he was. He wasn’t always right or fair.
But the vision and direction, subsequently the culture of the company, was 100% clear – Think Different! It was absolutely clear who was leading the company. I am sure Job’s quote here came later in his career after he truly learned the juxtaposition between management and leadership.
Management or leadership, who’s in charge of making these big decisions these days?

Eric Anderson

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The long-running Confessions of a ­Customer™ is one of columnist Eric ­Anderson’s commitments to the industry, which includes his retail sales training ­efforts and service to the MIC Board of ­Directors. He has built several well-known aftermarket brands and is the founder of Vroom ­Network, an ­­industry-specific ­consulting company specializing in ­marketing, training and brand ­development.  
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17 of the Most Anticipated Models of 2017

You asked, we listened. Here are 17 of the models most anticipated by motorcycle consumers in 2017 - see if you'll have any of these in stock! If not, not a problem - there are tons more highly anticipated models to be found throughout the links in the photo captions below. Have at it, and happy dealing - start a conversation with a customer about the model they can't wait to see to get them revved up for purchase!

Van Van 200

Van Van 200 at EICMA 2016


(New to the US, that is - it's confirmed, it's coming to America!)
GSX-250R Unveiled -

401 Vitpilen

KTM confirms Husqvarna Vitpilen -

Road Glide

Road Glide Special - Total Motorcycle


FTR Flat Track - Asphalt & Rubber

V7 Stone III 

V7 Stone - First look at V7 III Range, Cycle News


The Mighty Muscle - Hot Bike Web

Shiver 900 / Dorsoduro 900

Bumped to 900cc with better electronics - Cycle World


(Presented at EICMA)

First look at EICMA - Motorcyclist Magazine
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