When considering brakes, chains and sprockets, it’s easy to associate them with quality. These items directly relate to safety, reliability and performance. Price may not be the overruling factor in buying any of these products. Customers make buying decisions based on the reassurance from the retailer that the product will serve their needs completely. In addition, please don’t forget to check our homepage for more tips to improve your motorcycle system.

Brakes, chains and sprockets are not self-service items. However, the customer does need to be exposed to these products as an opportunity to create impulse sales. There’s no reason why, through proper merchandising techniques, a retailer cannot increase sales in these product categories by 25% or more.


The key ingredient is education. By providing interactive displays, point of purchase signage and a knowledgeable staff, a retailer is assured the customer will understand the attributes and importance of these products and subsequently determine a need for them.

As with any other products, brakes, chains and sprockets should be displayed on the appropriate fixtures. Simply putting boxes of these items out on a shelf or peg hook does not tell the whole story. This method relies on the fact that the customer is looking specifically for these products. It also assumes the customer actually understands what he is looking at.

For example, when merchandising brake parts, it is critical to display them as they appear on the vehicle. Create an assembly between the caliper, brake pads and rotor. This has two major benefits: The retailer has created a visually stimulating display that draws the customer to this area of the store, and will identify the associations between the brake components. The result is increased opportunities for an add-on sale. Of course, don’t display more than one or two assemblies, and immediately beneath the displays provide the full selection and/or application charts.

Always support these assembly displays with point of purchase signage that explains the product’s features and benefits. This allows the customers to consider which qualities best suit their particular needs. It also serves to reassure the customer that the product meets their expectations for value and quality.


Encourage your staff to learn all of the features and benefits of the variety of brands you carry. It is more likely that your customer will purchase a higher priced, higher margin item if the positive characteristics of the product are intelligently and accurately relayed by your staff. This is particularly true of the performance customer who will pay significantly higher prices if he is convinced the product will provide that extra amount of performance he wants. There is nothing more frustrating for a customer than having a salesperson shrug his shoulders and say, “I don’t know.”

Today’s dealer is faced with competition not only from the powersports industry, but from other areas in the retail marketplace as well. With the advent of computer interfacing, mail-order catalogs and home shopping networks, it is much easier for potential customers to stay home and still satisfy their consumer needs.

This area of “virtual retail” is continuing to expand. In order to compete with this growing segment, it is more critical than ever to create an environment that exposes, educates and entertains the customer so they will shop in your store. Once you implement these simple techniques, sit back, relax and watch your brake, chain and sprocket sales grow beyond your wildest dreams.

Dean Alstrup, a Certified Interior Designer and licensed general contractor, serves as president of Creative Retailing, Inc., an international store planning and design firm specializing in single-store and specialty chain store designs. In addition to doing designer stores for Harley-Davidson, Creative Retailing has also worked with Arctco on their new “World Class Store” program. Creative Retailing is located at 18022 Cowan, Suite 200D, Irvine, CA 92714; (800) 738-2456.


Brakes, sprockets and chains are not self-service items yet they can provide the dealer with a substantial source of additional revenue. Since such products are not normally bought by the typical motorcycle owner, the key to additional sales is proper merchandising and customer education. The dealer should find a way to communicate to the customer the particular benefits of the product. The dealer should also encourage his staff to become more knowledgeable about the products they sell.

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