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Barstow Motorcycle Center moves to bigger digs
Internet marketing helps draw potential customers
BARSTOW • The Barstow Motorcycle Center made a short move up Main Street to the former H&E and True Value Hardware building, quadrupling its space from about 10,000 square feet to 40,000.
The shop, now more like a warehouse, has been in business for 19 years in Barstow offering new and used motorcycles, All Terrain Vehicles, side-by-sides, scooters and full-service vehicle repair, as well as an array of parts and accessories.
“This is a prime location; it’s off-road heaven,” said the store’s General Manager Nathan Robinson. “However on the same note, you have Route 66, which is prime on-road riding. You can go from here to Victorville and it’s a fun ride, there’s some nice turns and some open highway.”
Robinson said the hope is to be a one-stop shop for on-road and off-road motorcycle and vehicle consumers. He said sales have grown in the past few years but have stabilized recently.
“We’re seeing a good amount of people coming in to make purchases but you do have to be aggressive on your advertising,” he said.
Robinson said the business has a strong website which helps to service travelers and “out-of-towners” who can easily search the site while they’re riding down Route 66 or in a nearby Off-Highway Vehicle recreation area. The Motorcycle Center is owned by Vito Valenti, who is also the owner of the Motorcycle Center in Victorville next to Costco Wholesale, according to Robinson. Valenti has been planning an expansion of the business in Barstow for the past seven years, he said.
“We were going to expand [at the previous location] and then it just made sense when this building became available to revamp this building for a dealership rather than expand the [previous] location,” he said. “We’re very excited to have a better customer experience.”
The business, which moved three weeks ago, will increase its on-road parts and accessories inventory over the next year, which is a market many military motorcycle riders fall into, according to Robinson. Although, he said his customer base is a good mix of locals, military members, travelers and customers from Nevada, the Inland Empire and Orange County.
On Wednesday, a group of Brazilian tourist riding Route 66 came into the shop, according to Robinson. He said they bought a number of items although they spoke limited English. He estimates international shoppers come into the store about once a month.
The business will have its grand opening the weekend of May 31 and everything in the store will be 20 percent off. On June 1, they will host a barbecue with raffles and prizes, and on June 2 they will have a store ride through Barstow to Slash X Ranch Cafe, a popular spot for off-roaders.
For more information see www.barstowmotorcyclecenter.com or their Facebook page: Barstow Motorcycle Center.
Contact the writer: BSelf@DesertDispatch.com or 760-256-4123.