Dealerships are often concentrated in one end of the industry or another. Some dealerships offer a custom paint and chrome service. Others in rural areas are familiar with trail riding and the use of 4x4s and ATVs in farm and ranch work. Spyke’s is THE place for people in the Midwest with a real need for speed.
Spyke’s specializes in helping motocross, cross-country and enduro competitors cross the finish line and step onto the podium. This dealership’s official name is Spyke’s KTM, but Spyke’s website homepage says RACER HQ, with a video of competitors blasting it in the dirt. The dealership has hoodies for sale with the Spyke’s Racer HQ logo, and the Rider Assistance Program has a separate tab on the site. The company’s information page says the staff is “race-focused.” Lots of staff are racing, and the service manager was a support mechanic for ISDE a few years ago.
The Spyke story begins in 2007, when another owner opened a KTM dealership in Lafayette, Indiana, a town northwest of Indianapolis that is home to several factories but is also in enduro territory. and off-road racing, with easily accessible motocross tracks. Current general manager Justin Brinn was only 15 and had been racing for two years when he asked the dealership for help with his competition program. A year later, Spyke began sponsoring Brinn, and he started working at the dealership when he was 18.
One thing he did was create a notebook with marketing ideas and new products. Brinn’s idea for an oil change kit caught on and became one of Spyke’s most popular items. KTM corporate staff saw the kit at the store, liked the idea, and KTM started making it.
Brinn became general manager of Spyke’s in 2011. Two years later, the store went up for sale. Brinn’s parents, Benjamin and Jamie Brinn, owners of several other retail establishments, decided Spyke’s would be a perfect fit for their business plan and bought the dealership in 2013, keeping Justin as general manager. The store has moved three times since then, each time increasing in size to its current 14,000 square feet, not including the recently added warehouse. Husqvarna, Gas Gas and Cobra brands joined in 2018. Spyke’s now offers WP certified suspension service and sells Husqvarna e-bikes.
“We specialize in new and used KTM, Husqvarnas, Gas Gas and Cobra sales, mini bike work, full race prep, parts, clothing and general knowledge,” says Justin Brinn . “We are fortunate to be backed and to support an extensive racing network.”
The most common type of Spyke customer outreach is a booth at a race venue. The company has a regular presence at Vendor Row at Ironman Raceway, IXCR and MWXC. This effort produces sales in two ways – riders are always breaking something or looking for a better version of what they have, so teams fielding KTMs, Husqvarnas or Gas Gas regularly show up at the pit or shop in desperate need. the rooms. Due to the lower cost of real estate in the Lafayette area, Spyke’s can afford to stock the warehouse with motorcycle parts, earning eternal gratitude from riders who scramble overnight to race. the morning.
The second way trackside presence fuels sales is that runners value companies that support their sport and, therefore, will direct their spending towards them. “We scratch their backs and they scratch ours,” Brinn says. “We sell to people within a three to five hour radius of Lafayette. People from Minnesota came out to help qualify Loretta Lynn on the road. They were surprised with everything we had to offer.
As well as being on the track, Spyke’s offers a comprehensive rider assistance program, trading three different levels of assistance for corresponding levels of awareness. Brinn points out that one of the best advertisements Spyke can get is his sticker on the rear fender of the competitor in front of the peloton.
Spyke’s thinks supporting many different local racers is a better business plan than supporting one national racer. “Supporting a national effort can be a burden,” admits Brinn. “We believe we get better reach by supporting more riders at regional tracks.”
In addition to helping runners, the large inventory goes a long way in fighting internet sales. “If I tell a guy I don’t have something in stock but I can order it, the most likely response is, ‘Yeah, I can order it too. “” The Spyke website allows online shopping with an easy to understand index. In accordance with the interests of shop customers, the replacement pistons and body are on the front page. They also do a lot of drop shipping.
Lots of people in Lafayette ride, both on and off-road, and Spyke has got them covered. The shop hosts KTM demo tours, the most recent being the dirt bike tour held at Redbud MX. After many requests for later opening hours, Spyke’s now offers late Wednesdays, when opening hours are changed to 11:30am-8:30pm instead of 9:00am-6:00pm. The December open house always attracts a lot of people.
“This year, 150 people came,” says Brinn. “It’s an opportunity for people to join our community. We get a lot of appointments. I want someone on the floor to talk to everyone who walks through the door. Between our five brands, everyone has questions, and 70% of our employees are cross-trained in all departments, so that they can provide answers. I’m proud of the amount of conversations that are happening.
Another non-racing event was the Stacyc track for small children that Spyke set up inside the store for a few days. According to Brinn, it was a huge success. Everything Spyke has done over the years has been backed by the confidence it would yield. This is a positive attitude towards the switch to electric motorcycles.
“It’s going fast,” he said. “Youth electric motorcycles are a good seller for us. They require much less maintenance. Electric motorcycles are the way the market is going, and we have to prepare for it.
The Spyke’s team are optimistic about the future and their relationship with their main OEM. “We are very lucky to be with the KTM Group,” says Brinn. “They fight for traction in the industry and are very supportive. We are comfortable where we are, but have our ears open for the future.
3477 South Street,
Lafayette, IN 47905
OEM: KTM, Cobra, Gas Gas, Husqvarna, Stacyc-KTM, Stacyc-Husqvarna, Husqvarna E-bicycles, WP certified suspension