Motorcycle Audio Is Rising Star At Some Dealers

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Miotorcycle audio, Arc Audio

Motorcycle audio is more than a side line for some car audio retailers.  In fact, there are some 12 volt dealers who have converted to mainly bike shops, because it proved a bigger business for them.

Motorcycle audio has even been called, “the next chrome,” by Harley Davidson, said Fred Lynch of Arc Audio; with chrome representing Harley’s ultra-lucrative accessories market.

More car audio companies are branching into the market including Scosche, and JL Audio.  JL says it will introduce new products in the coming months.    Arc Audio said the category has been growing steadily.

Dealers too, are experimenting with the segment.  It’s now 60 percent of Audiowerk’s business in Tewksbury, MA.  The shop entered the market about six years ago.  “A customer came in who was referred to me.  He was in Daytona { Bike Week] and heard some loud stereo systems and wanted one, so I started modifying stuff, putting amps on table saws and cutting them,” said Matt Shay.

Motorcycle at Audiowerks, Tewksbury, MA
Motorcycle at Audiowerks, Tewksbury, MA

The bike landed on the cover of American Iron magazine.  “That started it all. Once that happened, I got more heavily into customizing,”  he said. Shay’s shop grosses about $700,000 a year, with only a few employees.

PDA Littleton, CO has been in the segment for about 5 years and says motorcycle audio is up to about 20 percent of its business.  “We got into it because the boss owned a bike and said, ‘I own a stereo shop, why doesn’t my bike sound good?’”  They travel to bike shows in Denver and have a good relationship with local Harley shops.  “It’s not extremely different from car audio,” said PDA’s Tony Nechodom. “It has the same principles, but you have to make sure it’s more of a waterproof install. And there aren’t a lot of aftermarket kits available so we make all of our own installation kits,” he added. The store works on about 12 to 15 bikes a month.

Car audio shop High Output Audio of Clayton, NC started dabbling in motorcycle audio about 5 years ago. The segment is now 25 percent of its business.

Motorcycle audio, Arc Audio
Photo credit: Arc Audio
Arc Audio
Arc Audio motorcycle amps

Soundz of Sioux Falls, SD is now mainly a motorcycle shop after starting out in car audio.  “It got to the point where we stopped doing car audio and primarily focus on motorcycle audio,” said owner Peter Jensen.  He goes to all the major bike rallies and sometimes spends weeks on the road setting up a 20 by 40 foot booth.  He’ll perform about 50 bike installs during a 3-day event.

Jensen installs mainly Arc audio and Focal products and makes his own specialty harnesses for bikes requiring more than a simple connector.  He is now selling the harnesses to other dealers.

Jensen’s sales goal for his shop this year is $500,000, which, as he says, is pretty good for “a little company in the middle of nowhere.”


Source: CEoutlook

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