Tech company seeks to increase dealer sales with test rides

COLUMBUS, Ohio — EZ Rider Demo, a company that facilitates demos for riders at the dealership, believes its business model can increase dealership sales 10%, President Vince Denais told Powersports Finance at AIMExpo.

Unlike the car industry, motorcycle dealerships ordinarily do not offer consumers an opportunity to demo the bike due to liability concerns and a time-consuming process to get the consumer prepared. However, providing a demo can increase the close-ratio for the dealer by 25%, Mike Shell, program development for EZ Rider Demo, said.

“The last four bikes I bought, I bought without riding them,” Denais said. “That’s ridiculous. I’ll never forget — I went to a Honda dealer to buy a CB 1100, and they told me I couldn’t ride it. I was gone, and I was there drop $10,000 that day.”

The company provides dealers with an electronically locked key box that contains keys for bikes available for demo. The consumer can sign up for a demo ride through the dealer’s website, filling out information such as their personal riding history and their motorcycle license. EZ Rider Demo allows consumers to demo the bike for two to four hours before the sales process begins.

Additionally, the consumer buys one-day insurance for $20 that EZ Rider Demo offers through a third-party provider.

When the customer is approved, the dealer is alerted that a demo has been scheduled. The key box, which contains an electric keypad, will only open after the consumer swipes their license and enters their code. The key is timestamped when it exits and enters the lockbox, and it’s attached to a tracker, mitigating the risk that the bike will be stolen.

“What we’ve done is basically built the process and developed this technology into essentially an online hardware and software platform that allows you to pick a bike from a dealership,” Denais explained. “This is a seamless way to get customers to twist the throttle.”

“We know that if you demo a motorcycle, you have a four times higher closing ratio because they come back emotionally charged,” Shell stated. “Any dealership that will use demos will increase its overall unit sales by 10%. The guy that doesn’t demo, you got a 7% chance to close.

EZ Rider Demo also provides dealers with data, which is potentially the most valuable part, Denais added. For example, dealers can, over time, learn what bikes are ridden the most through the demo program, which can inform sales and marketing decisions.

The company will begin beta testing with “key” dealers in California in the fall to launch the product in January 2020, Denais said.

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