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Discussion Starter · #1,222 · (Edited)
In further motorcycle news............

Got my 40 total--- allotment of Q5 and Q5s tires plus about $3600 of Maxima Pro Plus oil enroute..........
gee you buy enough oil and they give you an even bigger discount...........managed an additional 15% off buying essentially 32 cases of pro plus and then a half dozen cases of fork oil

I did also break down and order up a dozen
Avon Storm 3D XM tires as well
I found it curious that the;
180/55
190/55
200/50 all cost the same as each other...........

Considering a set of these costs me about $110-$160 less than a set of Dunlops......... I will give them a shot and see what the customers think
Now I will have 5 - 200/50's in stock covering 3 different tires.....sad since I have only sold 2 in the last two years.... but these ones I can actually make some real money on? provided they sell......


Sadly no real deal on the Dunlops..nothing like the deals of old, and news of another impending price hike for February 1 of a few % again..........uggg
man I miss the days of; ............... hey.......... buy 20 dunlops get 2 for free or in some cases you only needed to buy 10 of them and you would get 2 free.......... those were the days!!!

Tracking my decline of dunlop sales.........
back in
2008-2013 it was 120-140 routinely
2014 it was 110
2015 (I missed months of work really due to that 9 day hospital stay and months of PT).. 114
2016 was still 113
2017 was down to 91
2018 was dropping further to 79
2019 was only 65
2020 and 2021 were both around 50 (even with once again missing lots of work in 2020)
2022 dunlop sales were only 38

tire sales as a whole had a "similar" slide really.... a decade ago.....180-200 and down to a measily only 90 total in 2022........
But other tires like the Metzelers have stayed consistent at about 40 per year for the last decade+ (sadly niether of my distributors offers Metzelers...uggg)

Jumping back to that oil deal................... Retail sales of Maxima oil in 2022 was just shy of $2500......so $3600 cost surely is much more than 1 years supply.......but that carrot dangling of 15% more off ... I just could not resist (Saved me about $625 on the order......... that is like getting 5 cases for free, sort of)

I am now not looking forward to Feb 10th and the 1st payment due date.......... uggg

It is only money, I can't take it with me.........isn't that what they say???????
 
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Discussion Starter · #1,223 ·
Always nice to get an easy Tune up :geek: Makes up for the Shite ones.
I could see that Bike falling off the stand if it was parked on uneven ground as the Air left the Suspension :(
For me it is a centerstand only type of bike
unless you really park.... crown of road to the right of bike always.......... I would not park it on the sidestand, not even on level ground.........or you need to carry a 2x4 with you and drive it on top of that with one wheel to park it...... lol
and judging by the scuff marks on the bag and case guards- it has tipped over more than once- on both sides.....
 
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On the Avon Storms; I think they last longer because they have more material on the carcass…. More to wear away. The tread blocks will wiggle a bit when new, so they work better at max pressure than some more typical value.

I run 36/41 ft/rear on those rare occasions I check the pressure. Ambient temperature is about the only thing that affects the pressure. They haven’t leaked appreciably over the 3 sets I’ve used.
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,226 ·
you know it is sad....

If I really also track it by price...........

2019 was the last time I was getting a set of Q3+ or Q4's for about $200-$210 a set which is only about $12-$20 more per set than I was paying for the Q2's back around 2010
So I can not blame any of decline on price over that ~ 9 year span....... (they still aggressively offered the "rebates" multiple times per year all those years)
then the big price jumps happened where a set of Q4 or Q3+ was costing me over $300 in 2020/2021. Which crept up further in 2022 and now (Q5s and Q5) ~ $350 ..... and the rebates were then only available through "pro dealers" the past 3+ years

So maybe the sales cut in half from 2019 to 2022 can somewhat be associated to the 75% price increase????

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I also tracked total tires installed (regardless if from my stock or customer brought them in)
as I increased my mount and balance price per set (sportbikes and all bikes) by $10, that same year total installations dropped by 40 tires............ coincidence???
2 years later I increased again on all the touring and cruiser models only by $10 and again about a 40 install drop......

each of those ~40 tire mount and balance drops are more than the total tire sales drops...........

and honestly I think I am still too cheap at $90/set for most bikes.....sure some HD's I charge $180/set and some cruisers are $130/set
but certainly 70% of the bikes I install tires on are $90/set (ride it in, ride it out)
 

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Wondering if your tire sales are impacted by more folks running longer lasting tires. Back in 2008 and 2009 forget what I ran but didn't get that many miles. On my 2012 CBR started running the Pilot Road 2 for wet traction as I commuted on it. Much better tread life. Have run the various Roads and currently have a set of Road 6s mounted on the Tracer. They have 7,000+ miles on them and lots of life left. I almost never wear a set out as when setting out on a long trip want a set of tires that will make it without question. Front wears much better than the Road 4 or 5 and traction seems better.

Always enjoy your posts. Most folks have no idea how hard it is to run a small business. All the seemingly small things can be a challenge. I walk in a store or shop and see product on the shelves. I don't usually think about it but the amount of inventory is significant. Many stores have inventory on a floor plan and with interest rates going up that is not a trivial item.
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,228 ·
On the Avon Storms; I think they last longer because they have more material on the carcass…. More to wear away. The tread blocks will wiggle a bit when new, so they work better at max pressure than some more typical value.

I run 36/41 ft/rear on those rare occasions I check the pressure. Ambient temperature is about the only thing that affects the pressure. They haven’t leaked appreciably over the 3 sets I’ve used.
They are classified a sport touring tire, so they really need to compete with the Roadsmart IV and the Metzeler Roadtec 01, imo.........

I love the Roadtec 01 but at $350 a set vs $285 a set for the Avon........... ($343 for the Roadsmart IV)
and then the fact I make ZERO on the roadtec 01s except install price.........
and the Avons will have a nice profit margin even at $285

I do indeed hope the Avons really can compete with the Roadtec 01!

fyi............. The Roadtec 01 has been the tire I have sold the most of for any single tire the last 4+ years, sadly the M7RR and now M9RR never garned the same appeal.

2022 results...... most sold to least sold

Roadtec 01...................................... 16
ME888............................................. 14
Q3+...................................................10
Dunlop E4 and Q4 .......................... 6 each
GPR300/ D404/ M9RR tied ............. 4 each
D402....................... 2 each of the rest
Avon Cobra Chrome
RSIV
Cruisetec
Exedra max
RSIII
American Elite


2021 results looked similar

Roadtec 01............................................ 18
ME888 and Q3+ tied............................. 12
Dunlop E4............................................. 10
Avon Cobra Chrome............................. 8
D401/D402 HD tires............................. 8
RSIII..................................................... 7
GPR300............................................... 6
Q4, S21, M9RR................................... 4 of each
and then some others for single tires or just a single set


2020 results were similar as well (note, not a single Q4 sold that year despite selling 24 in 2019..... about half of which went to members of this forum at about $250/set shipped to them)

Roadtec 01............................................... 17
Q3+........................................................... 14
M9RR........................................................ 12
Dunlop E4................................................. 11
Dunlop RSIII.............................................. 8
D404.......................................................... 7
Exedra Max............................................... 5
PR4/PR5 both Gt and non GT variants..... 5
GPR300..................................................... 4
S21............................................................ 3
S22............................................................ 2
T31GT........................................................ 2
Cruistec...................................................... 2
D401 WWW............................................... 2
D402 ......................................................... 2
and then a couple of singles.....


If I jump way back to the sportbike tire hey day of sales in 2015 (pre roadtec 01 release)-- when I had about 12 trackday riders coming in multiple times a year for tires---fyi.........now I have half that all of them riding about half as much too--

Dunlop Q3+............................................... 58
Metz ME888/880....................................... 32
Metz Z8, M5, M7....................................... 31
E4 and E3................................................. 24
Dunlop RSII and RSIII.............................. 14
Dunlop D404/D402/D401......................... 12
T30/T30GT............................................... 12
then a huge mix of 2-6 tiresquanitites each, spread amongst about 8 diferent brands and styles
 

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The Avons have come down in price a lot in the last three sets. Volume ^, price v. The whole world economy has been altered by COVID; so many people have changed their behavior and spending habits it’s difficult to guess which is the greater affect.

I doubt that your pricing is a direct indicator of anything. I seriously doubt that you have yet adjusted your pricing to reflect inflation accurately.
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,230 ·
Wondering if your tire sales are impacted by more folks running longer lasting tires. Back in 2008 and 2009 forget what I ran but didn't get that many miles. On my 2012 CBR started running the Pilot Road 2 for wet traction as I commuted on it. Much better tread life. Have run the various Roads and currently have a set of Road 6s mounted on the Tracer. They have 7,000+ miles on them and lots of life left. I almost never wear a set out as when setting out on a long trip want a set of tires that will make it without question. Front wears much better than the Road 4 or 5 and traction seems better.

Always enjoy your posts. Most folks have no idea how hard it is to run a small business. All the seemingly small things can be a challenge. I walk in a store or shop and see product on the shelves. I don't usually think about it but the amount of inventory is significant. Many stores have inventory on a floor plan and with interest rates going up that is not a trivial item.
The sport bike end of the tire sales drop is for sure directly related to less track riders coming in (to my shop) and all of them riding less (attending fewer events)..thus using less tires............. as a whole there was significantly less track miles from the local trackriders in 2020,2021 and 2022...attendance is significantly down

But there are other factors as well and not just the sportbike/trackday end of this....

I led local group rides aplenty up until sometime in 2016/2017, to the tune of my usual year was 12-15k and I had many followers and they would wear out their tires and come in for new ones............. In the past 6ish years I have barely led any group rides.......... in fact in the last 3 years I have strictly ridden solo on every ride sans a couple times leading a C14 around on his own ZX6R (too many fucking dumbs crossing the mustard and riding over their heads and....
I have largely grown weery of caring about any of them and being forced to babysit the fucktards)
so most of those followers stopped riding nearly as much as they once did, many stopped riding all together........... I have not seen a single person from that club in here buying tires in over 4 years now--- no idea if they are going somewhere else and paying more or just haven't needed tires???? I do not talk to many of them, however the flyers I sent out the last couple of years, some of them got said flyers---if no response to the most recent they will not get any future flyers.....
Some of them I have seen and they have gone through multiple bikes in the last 3-4 years and several just stopped riding their bike and have been trying to sell, a few moved away....so I can likely account for about half of them

then a huge number of my customers have gotten old and either stopped riding all together or changed how/where they ride so much..... they went from needing a set a year or even two sets a year to only needing a set every few years (some went to adv bikes and barely ride, sub 1500 miles a year and mostly put around...some changed bikes or changed bikes a few times since last in)
and most (80% or more I am sure) of the customers I do have..... are on the cycle of the tires age out before they wear out.......... :(.....

Some other factors could be.....in 2019 I stopped answering the phone ever and stopped listening to voicemails ever as well (actually deleted the app from the phone so no access to even find the messages)... the outgoing message is very much......... direct and to the point of I am not interested in talking on the phone so send an email
some people are very put off by that, others applaud it.........but it can come off rude and unappealing to the needy.
I just got sick of wasting my time on the phone for hours and hours with so many idiots and sales calls, and solicitors and campaign contribution assfucks---you know all the fucking idiots ....... 90% ruining it for the 10% of actual people I would have talked to

As far as my inventory................... It is all on me, I own everything, no financing..... I pay for everything when I buy it........ the "spring dating" deal this year is the first time in 30+ years I have done it and not just paid in full with the order.... so Feb 10th is the payment due date, I bet I do not even have half of the order yet then (it'll go on my cc and as such I don't really have to pay for it until my March due date on the cc.. so sort of kind of, in a round about way it is 0% financed until March, when like every other month I pay the card off in full..... hopefully most of it is here by then and hopefully I can get several of the bikes picked up by then too, or atleast paid for in full......)..

but yes it is a huge money suck, and even just working over the stats and seeing what I should get vs what I want to get and then beating up the reps on a few % on items etc...........and then digging into all your reserves to spend even more under the guise you will get it back and then some............ I am days into just the ordering process alone, I do not want to have more brand new tires age out on my shelf.......... I just threw away a few dozen brand new tires over the last couple of tire recycler hauls that did not sell in 5 years or more............uggg

As far as getting a ROI............

Stock market average is what 6% average annual rate of return over the long run (20+ year run)........... so the hope is the investment makes you atleast that much annually?????
interest rate on carrying costs has to be looking at a minimum of 5% these days....so at 5% you made zero
then if you factor in the time to order smartly, receive and stock it, then the floorspace it takes up (cost per sf...ie, overhead) ........... now your break even is over 10% for sure (likely 15%-20% for inventory as a whole)

Honestly I would love 10-15% on tires (and all the hard parts), but on most of the tires;
the competition (internet and the big box stores of motorcyle parts... largely owned by the same distributors I have to buy from) is selling them for less than a 10% mark up. exceptions...... on the most expensive ones one could make 10%, some of them even more but certainly not 15%.... there are tires I pay ~245 that everywhere around sells at ~275-280, and even the new (much more expensive) dunlop pricing deals..... have moved to that 10% is possible on the vast majority of the line.....sans the GPR300, Roadsports and D404's... some of these you are lucky if you can make 5-8% on....
Some of the batteries have moved to an easy 10% but...... then people flock to amazon and buy chineseum crap for half the cost and simply replace every spring and think they are ahead
plugs have never been much %
oe parts has never been much %, but enough to cover my time to order them and pick them up is about it...certainly not a profit center
The oils and chemicals.......... well this year should be about 20-24% margin woohoo..... up from only 8-10% the last few years.......... 2022 I made $0.96 on most of the liters of oil.... that is not much, $4 on your typical oil change in 2022.... it should be about $12 on your typical oil change
RBF600 went up in cost again...ugg.......... my brake fluid of choice---so pricing will have to also go up again

It is alot of work to own the business, alot more than people realize...and sadly for me, I really do not make any money at all except when I have tools in hand accomplishing something that is billable hours to a customer
 
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Discussion Starter · #1,231 · (Edited)
The Avons have come down in price a lot in the last three sets. Volume ^, price v. The whole world economy has been altered by COVID; so many people have changed their behavior and spending habits it’s difficult to guess which is the greater affect.

I doubt that your pricing is a direct indicator of anything. I seriously doubt that you have yet adjusted your pricing to reflect inflation accurately.
I have not followed the pricing on the Avon Storm 3m XD at all............ I just simply saw the pricing in the distributor list in December and decided to jump in on some at that price point
So if the prices have truly fallen significantly......... maybe they have not been selling and the distributor is bailing out?

I have had a couple of customers use them in the past but nobody has ever come in and requested them from me or even asked about them.........

I will hang two on the mini showfloor to garner more interest......... and see how it goes, then follow the distributor on how they price and stock them in the future, their Avon Cobra Chromes are priced as much/more as the E4 and ME888........... so it really is this single avon model only that is "a deal"


................................................................................................................................................


and
I honestly have no idea how much more I really should be charging on everything.........parts and labor alike

but I do not think a $10 increase in mount and balance of a set of tires is not enough that anyone at all should give a fuck about it, let alone walk over it........... (if you are that poor, you should not own a motorcycle, imo.... if it is truly just about the money)
just like I do not think the $100 increase in the major tune service brought about the decline from doing about 10 of those annually to only doing about 5 annually


but as a note of openess............

if I pay $245 for a set of tires and sell them at $285 or if I pay $400 for a set of tires and sell them at $450 I would be happy (especially if the tires don't need to sit here for months and months to sell)
vs........ other tires I sell for around $200 for the set (because there are 5 places within 25 miles doing the same) after paying around $185 for those same 2 tires.......... or the ones that sell for $160 a set that cost $150 a set............. maybe they pay less? maybe/more likely it is because one of them is distributor owned and the others just follow suit to match that price to keep selling- even if at super low margins.. who knows

Back in the 80's I thought making $10 over cost on every tire was great.......... I sold on average 500 tires per year doing that and thought hey......... $5000 profit (plus the installs, which I believe back then was around $50 per set on most bikes-- so another $12,500............$17,500 just on tire sales seemed awesome (realistically it likely was not)

but lately even at $90/set install and (average) $6.90 per tire when it was 100 tires it was only about $5200 income from tires..........
Bad trend IMO>>>>>>

now I really think I need to make atleast $20 per tire just to be even remotely fair to myself and the business........and sadly still many tires garner less than that
even if I got back to say 100 tire sales each year again (and it may?) @ $20 per tire and $100 per set install (average)....is still only $7000............ but it is on 1/5th as many tires too.....

carry it out further........... if I got back to 80's numbers on tire sales and 80's number of just $10 above cost on each tire
That would be $30,000 just on those 500 tires............
if I did $20 over cost on each tire
that would be $35,000 just on those 500 tires.............
THOSE NUMBERS I REALLY LIKE........


.......................................................................................................................................


I do know of a few former customers who still go through 2 or 3 sets of tires annually who went out and spent about $700-$1800 buying tools and equipment so they could start changing their own tires..........
funny because at $90/set
they will need to change atleast 10-20 sets just to get to the break even point, (not counting their time or labor or MISTAKES)
and at only 2 or 3 sets per year that is 4 years or more realistically

a couple of them have brought me one or both of their tires over the last few years, partially installed or some problem...... and looking at their wheels- they definitely would have been better off letting me keep doing their tire changes....
and they have all stated they have no idea how I can do them in under an hour when they spend 3 routinely.........and several of them have watched me do their tire changes, I guess I made it look so easy and effortless it drove them thinking they could save all this money...........
 

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My local (39 miles away) mom and pop tire shop will mount and balance motorcycle tires for $25/rim, with new stems if you carry the rims in along with the tires. $50 every 2-3 years is money extremely well spent for me.
 

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Start to finish, including writing up the bill is something like 30 minutes. Knowing what my command has my bill rate set at, I can’t imagine complaining about that pittance. A single person private business can’t have the same built in benefits to pay for; but the exposure to risk is orders of magnitude greater.
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,235 ·
My local (39 miles away) mom and pop tire shop will mount and balance motorcycle tires for $25/rim, with new stems if you carry the rims in along with the tires. $50 every 2-3 years is money extremely well spent for me.
My loose wheel tire change is the same
$50/set
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,236 ·
Start to finish, including writing up the bill is something like 30 minutes. Knowing what my command has my bill rate set at, I can’t imagine complaining about that pittance. A single person private business can’t have the same built in benefits to pay for; but the exposure to risk is orders of magnitude greater.
Yep, my meet and greet, write up the drop off form fill out- look over the bike, talk to the customer- move it inside......... all at drop off............................ then after all the work, type up a bill, print it, often edit and crop some pictures and notes to send to the customer (not on tire change stuff unless something big is wrong), then talk to them at pick up, move the bike out, show them stuff, accept payment, see them off...........
I am rarely less than 1 hour into just the "office" end of any bike and more often 2 hours......... and if I need to look up a bunch of parts needs and order and go get them etc too, it can get to be 4 hours plus real easily........how do you bill for all that time?

A proper tune up as example..........
I may well spend 8 hrs working on the actual bike all in start to finish, but then I may well have another 3 or 4 hours into all the bullshit time...............
Should I really raise my prices by 50% to cover the time I am using up not actually working on the bike with tools in hand?
or maybe the question is really....
Would customers complain/stop coming, if I raised my pricing by another 50% to cover that time!

and yes 1 years worth of insurance coverage has gotten on the magnitude of being close to 6 months rent........ and I have not had any claims in 30+ years---so to me just wasted money on "what if"---- then of course will it really fully protect me anyways if something ever did arise??? like a real liability issue--- I am positive I could still lose everything I own in the wrong situation regardless of insurance coverage or not......
vs the cost of square footage has benefits I can see and feel everyday...........
 

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I know when I was on recruiting duty, generating interest which could eventually lead to a service member took a lot of upfront time and effort with small returns. If you did that work consistently, the pipeline stayed full. If you stopped the work there was a critical mass that had to be reached before the pipeline started paying off again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,238 ·
I know when I was on recruiting duty, generating interest which could eventually lead to a service member took a lot of upfront time and effort with small returns. If you did that work consistently, the pipeline stayed full. If you stopped the work there was a critical mass that had to be reached before the pipeline started paying off again.
I guess my advertising (recruiting customers) came in the form of being out there riding with them for years......... both those long Sunday rides into Wisconsin hill country towing a half dozen to a dozen riders around and in hosting and attending some trackday events on occassion (which I have done neither of in several years now......)

I have done no print advertising or publicity or anything.......... sans sending existing customers a flyer on occassion and then having my work facebook page (very much under utilized and largely ignored) then of course my website......which shows up on multiple searches but it too is largely under utilized and unused for weeks or even months at a time

The most recent paid for advertising I have done............
I spent $50 on a small business card sized ad in a local snowmobile trail map, that the local snowmobile club produces and hands out to all the club members and gives away at most of the local dealerships and snowmobile repair facilities etc..... ( I don't expect to actually garner anything from that actually, it was more just a show of supporting the local snowmobile club and their efforts to keep and groom the trails)

otherwise I have done zero advertising since about 1990

My advertising in a nutshell is really just via my existing customers (which is basically free)......... free, sans the costs I eat to give away shirts, hats and stickers to any of them that want one (which realistically is about $200-$300 a year after the original ~$800 investment)

I still get more people contacting me than I can possibly work on, but part of that has shifted to some bikes each year I really wish I never saw........ guess I am lucky it is generally only a couple each year
 

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I small business can survive without the word of mouth advertising customer to potential customer… your work obviously speaks for itself.

Do you consider tires a revenue source, or a cost of doing business?
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,240 ·
I small business can survive without the word of mouth advertising customer to potential customer… your work obviously speaks for itself.

Do you consider tires a revenue source, or a cost of doing business?
Tires should be a revenue source, and once were............ and while they still are the most profitable thing I can do ( ie, I likely make the most per hour doing them, all in.... compared to any of the other fixed pricing things- maybe fork seals is actually number 1 and tires #2....) .... I haven't felt like lately (selling ~100 tires annually the last couple years) they have not been much of a revenue stream considering the investment in inventory and the ROI to sell those tires.....

I think at current margins, it really has to be 200 annually minimum to be worth it......... but I also think the margins need to be higher no matter how many I do.......
 
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