Friday, February 26, 2010

Merchandising the Store Properly with Armadillo

Merchandising can help you stay ahead of the curve using your number one asset - The Store Itself.

The average US store doesn't merchandise properly. Sad to say there are few stores that like to have a specialist that knows how to do this properly and I have this talk with shop owners all the time. You don't have to pay a million dollars to a consultant to make your scooter shop feel as cool as the Ferrari or Ducati dealer down the street, you just have to think like a consumer for 10 mins. What is it I see when I walk in? I always get the excuse that the store isn't meant to compete online or meant to compete with the bigger shop. This is the biggest mistake small shop owners make everyday.

The truth is you have to look at the fact that in today's world you are competing with everyone from Target to Pep Boys. So having accessories and jackets ( like Armadillo ) can make your shop stand apart from the other shop down the street. You never get a second chance to make a first impression." Many factors play into the shopping experience, but the design of a store is often the first thing that draws customers inside.

If you display jackets and a variety of helmets ( not just an empty catalog ) you are giving the customer the experience they are looking for. You have to first think about the entance, pathway to the counter, Store design/layout, Mannequin presentation and checkout counter. By nature American scooters stores tend to be run by men and they often overlook the needs of the fastest rising buyer "Women" that's right guys, most of you absolutely are terrible at stocking stuff for women. Here at MRP we now offer the Armadillo Scooter Wear line and there are lots of things you can have for the ladies to try on, including gloves, shirts, and jackets.

So once again I am going to talk about merchandising. It's the number 1 rule in the Powersports Experience. Be it a buggy shop or Vespa Dealership you need to take this to heart.

Now you don't have to go crazy investing in jackets. Merchandising can also involve ordering small quantities which allows you to increase the variety of product you offer the end user. Having something unique like exhausts, Armadillo jackets, and gloves also allows you have a conversation piece. Never underestimate the power of a conversation over a jacket when the client is looking to buy a scooter maybe that jacket or helmet could be the "deal maker" and at that point maybe you trow it in to make the sale.

TO Get some more Merchandising Ideas click here to see our full article online at MRP.

In Parts you have to have the same philosophy as Accessories. You have to try and make sure that for every brand you sell you have some parts in stock and racing parts. Why? Because it shows support for the brand. Back in the early days of the scooter boom 2000-2002 companies like Aprilia - Vespa still required dealers to keep a minimum stock of inventory, since then almost all shops try to operate with the Parts Unlimited lean Just In Time mentality, but this doesnt work. If you dont have tires and the client has to wait 3 days for a tire he will go elsewhere. You have to stock essential parts. At MRP we try our best to accommodate all the requests we get and to stock as much as possible for the stores, but we notice more and more stores operating with the JIT idea. This doesnt work all the time and to make a customer wait is the wrong approach. We know you can't stock everything but stock something. The sad part is we see more stores ( and when I visit them I point this out ) they have nothing. So if you see a store stocking thats a good sign you're at a good dealership.

When making a parts display or racing parts display its a good idea to put the exhaust near the brand you are representing. So in the SYM or Kymco corner put a sign that reads "KYMCO RACING UPGRADES" show it off! It's a good idea to group similar parts together and space them around the showroom, again to encourage traffic.

As for merchandising your sales inventory, keep your bikes clean, charged up, and ready for a test ride. Move the inventory around and try to make the store look different. I encourage store managers to change the way vehicles are displays and always keep them clean. I walk into stores where theres dust on the bikes and it makes me think these people dont wash their dishes at home either, seriously when I worked at a shop I cleaned the bikes every day with a rag. Nobody wants to buy a dusty scooter. It's hard work I know but if you do these small things the clients will have a new experience and they will buy more. Trust me on this one. Merchandise + Clean Bike + Experience = SALES

I don't mean to preach, but it's my job not just to sell, but to make sure stores stay in business. I have clients that have been buying from us for over 9 years and that means a lot. We see big stores and small stores come and go, some make the same mistakes I've seen a hundred times. So everytime I spend a weekend at a shop and work with the staff about a few months later I get a thank you card or email and that's the best reward in the business.


TO Get some more Merchandising Ideas click here to see our full article online at MRP.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Working on the Store Display and buying from a disributor that wont compete against you!

The most overlooked aspect of the shop or at least the North American scooter shops are the displays. Anyone can have some scooters in a showroom, but not everyone can build a theme or a showroom.

At MRP we have the items you need to build a better scooter shop without undercutting you or selling consumer direct.

First Clothing - you need to have apparel thats the number 1 item most stores dont stock, they show a catalog and say "hey I can order this for you" guess what the consumer sees it and then orders it online. Build a nice displays.

Second are racing parts. You want to make sure to have a good display on these as well.

The importance of accessories:

Anyone who has watched Orange County Choppers or Monster Garage knows how important custom bikes are in the motorcycle industry. In the rest of the world from Italy to Japan customizing a scooter is a normal part of the industry. The emergence of the hip hop and urban style around the world is undeniable. This is now starting to take off in America as well so don’t get left out by not stocking accessories. Clients tend to invest more in customizing a scooter than what they spent on the scooter. A good shop has one or two custom scooters on display and we don’t mean vintage we mean “new.” Never underestimate the importance of having chrome accessories, rims, and other body kits in stock. These are hot items which sell themselves. From racing exhausts to cup holders if you don’t have them it only means someone else is selling them. This is what separates your business from the fly by night guy who only orders parts as people need them. In the world of customization you have to invest to be the best. If you stock it, display it, and show it off your clients will keep coming back to build their dream bike.

We reccomend stocking accessories for all the brands you service and sell and if you're a smart dealer for the brands the guy down the street sells. Honda and Yamaha dealers dont like to stock scooter accessories. Go ahead steal their business. Be the number 1 repair shop in your area for Ruckus / Zoomer upgrades, make money where others dont see a market. Thats the greatest thing about the US scooter market its that its under-served. Go for it and call us if you have any questions.
Make sure to show your colors, whatever brands you carry if they are wholesale only brands that you can only get at a legit shop. Make sure you show them off!

You can't sell what you don't have so stocking is a good thing.

MRP Adds Third Party Manuals To Website for Dealers

MRP Adds Third Party Manuals to Website
From Motorcycle Product News Release Feb 25, 2010

Martin Racing Performance (MRP) has added repair manuals to its website for many brands for which it is currently a distributor.

Brands include United Motors, Andretti Benelli, QJ, Diamo, Italjet, LInhai, Malaguti, CPI Taiwan and TNG Scooters. Part numbers from both the OEM and MRP will be used on the site, located at

"Dealers have many choices when it comes to generic low end Chinese models, but in cases such as OEMs with unique parts such as CPI or TNG, the only part you can use in many cases is the OEM's, and MRP has them on its site," says MRP president Joel Martin.

Martin believes his company can offer something unique to dealers.

"Many of the parts have overlap, so we have OEM Aprilia parts that sometimes Piaggio doesn't have in stock; many of their suppliers are the same for Malaguti Italy since the older models were made in Italy and dealers have trouble getting to them," he says. "This in turns leads to happier and new dealers since we have the parts nobody else has."

Martin says his company will continue its strategy to consolidate smaller parts distributors in the coming months.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Parts For Joyner - Team Joyner Closes Dealers Need Parts!

We've had a lot of calls and even if we can't do it all MRP does have parts for the Joyner 250cc units.

We have engine parts for all the GY6 150 / CN250 / CF150 / CF250 Buggies / Karts on the market. So please say tuned as we announce more information on how we will be helping the Joyner USA dealers.

UTV Industry News
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Team Joyner USA is Going out of Business
Team Joyner announced to dealers on February 16, 2010 that is was closing its doors on February 26, 2010. In a statement sent to dealers, Team Joyner USA stated:

"We regret to inform you that despite a positive transition over the past nine months by the Team Joyner team and our efforts to improve the products, product quality, our service and support as well as pricing to meet demands of a struggling economy, we will no longer be able to continue our product lines and business going forward. We are working on a number of transition solutions for a partner or organization to support the ongoing parts and service for you and your customers, but will be closing our doors February 26, 2010."

Spare parts will be available until they are gone or until February 26, 2010.
Team Joyner USA can be found at:

MRP will be providing select parts for Joyner 250 models more updates to come!

Scooter Maven in the current Motorcycle Product News Digital Issue

Check out this live report from the EICMA show in the current issue of MPN MAG
Motorcycle Product News Digital Issue

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Joyner USA might have been closed but MRP has a ton of GY6 150cc and CN 250cc Buggy Go Karts and Off-Road Kart parts.

Under our repair manuals we have many of the OEM Go Kart parts for the Diamo Wolverine, CF MOTO based DM Karts, and we are the premier source for all 150cc Liquid Cooled engines ( non of our competitors have these 150cc LC parts in stock for Chinese ATVs or GY6 Scooters ) so if you want Go Kart parts you've come to the right place.

Turbo Kit Exhausts for the BMS300, 250, Kinroad, Carter, Hammerhead, Joyner MRP has it!

Team Joyner Go Kart engine parts available at MRP.

United Motors Manuals now online!

If you're a dealer or consumer looking for United Motors parts we now have added their parts manuals to our repair manual section click here:

In addition we have added parts manuals for:


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Live Coverage from the Dealer Expo 2010

Once again The Scooter Scoop visits MRP. Some people have missed it so I'm re-posting it again,

Friday, February 19, 2010

Behind the Scenes as we add new lines to MRP

We've grown a lot in 2009. At MRP we're busy adding parts every single day of the week having added new lines such as QJ, TNG, CPI, UM, Benelli and more. Plus we've added the Armadillo lineup so we are making a bigger and better showroom.

A look behind the scenes at what we do.

Having Fun with D30

D30 is meant to protect lives, but here we are having fun with it at our booth at the Dealer Expo. To those of you who stopped by we totally appreciate it, you might have missed the part where you can cover your hand in it and punch almost anything really neat stuff.

It's inside all the Armadillo Jackets and you can order those from MRP. Just visit our site

Check out how cool this stuff is and visit the Armadillo or D30 websites.

Looking for Vento or United Motors Parts?

If you're looking for Vento or United Motors parts you've come to the right place. MRP is using the same OEM part numbers from their manuals. So in many cases you can look up their own manual in our repair manual section.

Thats right click here:

The link will lead you to all the TNG, QJ, UM, Benelli, Andretti, Diamo, Italjet and other brands we have parts for.

Visit us today to find out more.

What brands should we pick up? What parts should I carry?

I get so many questions at the Expo, they come to meet because I've been doing this almost 10 years and I know all the brands so I do the best I can.

I have two brands in mind for new dealers that went to Dealer Expo for the first time.

Many dealers tell us they need a reliable / affordable scooter to compete with the $999 flea market guys and its difficult to tell them what to carry. Much like the parts business a lot of stores go for cheap and get burnt.

So if you need something reliable with good prices I always say try the guys at Jonway.

We've been working with them for some time now and they are the factory behind many of the names you see in the states. Only issue is that Jonway like all factories have high end and low end so if a US distributor goes to them and says "hey I want the cheapest scooter without disk brakes" they will make it. Thats how it works.

Jonway has really started making much better bikes when it comes to producing in their own brand name. So if you need an affordable unit. I suggest Jonway USA.

What's the best Brand made in China?

Hands down it's CF MOTO. The tech behind the company is superb, anyone who has taken a look at their 150cc LC engine knows its far superior to even some of the engines coming from Taiwan that are still air cooled. They are first class OEM now making UTVs and 800cc engines.

I would highly recommend checking them out.
CF MOTO Scooters and ATVs The OEM o
For more information visit


You should also carry essentials. Tires, Exhausts, jackets, helmets thats the main thing.

Everyone knows it’s important to maintain your vehicle and let’s face it in this high paced world we don’t always have the time to check our CVT belt, change the oil, or remember when we have to change the tires. So it’s important to find an authorized dealership and preferably one that carries a top brand name like MRP. That means they have access to better parts, service, and great prices. Our experienced team members are here to help stores find the parts they need so they can help the end users better.

Besides an MRP sign in the window make sure to ask your friends for references. Check with your local Better Business Bureau and query shops with a good reputation. Talk to your OEM supplier to see if there are any active dealers in your area. Before a big move into a new city find out if the OEM has dealers or an authorized repair center in that city. Many brands change dealers often so its important to stay up to date. Once you find the right store make sure to check for diplomas, certification, and training. Build a relationship and always stop by to see what’s new at the store.

If you're the shop owner then you need to do right by the customers and have the stuff they need when they come shopping. It's a symbiotic relationship and you have to make sure to always keep it fresh and interesting.

The Scooter Maven

Thursday, February 18, 2010


So after the Dealer Expo I was talking to a lot of dealers that came to our booth. I even had a really good meeting with the guys over at Peirspeed ( formerly Cobra Powersports ) and after hearing all the feedback I can confirm that on top of my list is the MadAss 125.

Just the buzz, the amount of dealers selling, units moving, its is a fairly unique unit with lots of potential. We should have some parts coming out for this including a TK exhaust shortly.

Next up for 2010 is the KYMCO LIKE 50/200cc
Why the Like? Well the price point, the brand ( Kymco ) the parts support ( best out of all the Taiwanese brands ) and the fact that the company is part of the OEM. Kymco USA is a subsidiary of Kymco Taiwan its like your dealing with Honda only 30 points less than a Honda scooter. Same quality better price. I've been to the Kymco factory, I've seen the sales in Spain, Italy, Germany, UK, and they outnumber the sales of SYM, TGB, PGO, ETON, and CPI combined. When it comes to exports Kymco is the leader. Having that type of support and finally a Retro looking scooter ( the People is the last one I can remember ) they are set to sell in the US some massive numbers.

Dealers must have the latest retro bike and this is it. Yet it has all the backup and support you could ever want. So if you can't get a Honda Franchise then get a Kymco one because in Europe Honda dealers struggle while Kymco ones are making some $$$ on their Scooters.

Don't believe me? Look at the sales in Italy. Kymco is number 3 now behind Piaggio/Vespa # 1 and Honda #2 yet Kymco is number 1 out of the 3 in dealer profitability in Europe. So if you want your dealer to stay in business you buy a Kymco simple as that. I deal with a lot of clowns who argue over the brands, but lets get to the real point. Im the customer I want a quality bike and I want my dealer to be around to repair it. Buy a Kymco.

Finally the must have scooter for any dealership in 2010 in my opinion will be the CUSTOM JAPANESE BIKE. You can pick any model. Zuma, Zuma 125, T-Max, Reflex, but the most common is the Zoomer AKA Honda Ruckus.

I think 2010 is the year of the Ruckus, finally the unit is reaching mainstream acceptance by Car Clubs, Collectors, and the West Coast Community. I purchased a Honda Ruckus back in late 2003 way before anyone else in Miami had one so I can honestly say I've been ahead of the curve. Since then I've purchased and sold maybe 7 frames, done 3 swaps ( not the best ones 1 Minarelli JOG and 2 GY6 units) but we've learned a lot from all these projects. Not many people can say they've owned that many, but everytime I buy one, I play with it, sell it and I learn something new. The main thing I've learned is Honda OEM parts are expensive and its cheaper to fix your frame with aftermarket parts. Just fill it to the gills with whatever you can get. I fell in love with it the first time I went to Japan, but for the first time ever I see second tier dealers selling the Honda at a premium. So the resell value of the unit will actually go up because now you can't get one without paying a premium.

So to me the must have in the window scooter for 2010 is a customized Japanese scooter and I pick the Honda Ruckus. You can have a Zuma, Zuma 125, T-Max, but if you want attention get a Ruckus and customize it to your hearts content.

A dealer with a Pink Scooter in the window or a Honda Ruckus will get the attention they need to sell more MadAsses and Like 50cc units.

Just my opinion on 2010 must have models.

TNG Dealers what you need to know

Dear TNG Dealers,

MRP is helping TNG in their transition to a new set up. Back in October 2009 we took the time to call and email all the dealers on the list we were provided of "Active Stores" to let them know the transition was going to happen. Technically speaking we are the new TNG parts fulfillment center, but the parts belong to MRP so warranties are handled by TNG, they approve them and we send them out.

If you were a stocking dealer in 2009 you could apply at no set up fees. Just in Time repair shops should apply and open repair shop accounts with MRP. The manuals are on our website under the repair manual section. You can order using the part number online or calling us. As of Feb 2010 we are 50% done with the transition and we estimate the majority of hard parts have been added.

TNG is moving on to new models and new suppliers for 2010 / 2011 as the brand relaunches. They have some electric units and new units in the works, but we will not handle these parts. MRP had already acquired three distributors in 2009 that purchased from the same Chinese suppliers so it made sense. We already have the parts add TNG we have more of them so we can give better service.

If you order parts on the TNG website MRP gets the email. If you don't have an account with us we will call / email you. The parts will NOT go out until you fill out a dealer application form with us. So make sure you get it in.

Regarding backorders, there are many parts that MRP is now working with the suppliers on in China to fill backorders that were placed before MRP took over. This will take some time but its in the works.

We hope this clears up some of the confusion. Regarding pricing, if you are a volume buyer your prices should go down compared to what you paid at TNG. Repair shops and JIT stores that do less than $250 a year will obviously not be getting the price breaks but the parts availability will be made to all. I hope this clears up any questions regarding TNG Scooter Parts. We want to work with you and we want to make sure TNG warranties get out, but please make sure to send in your dealer application in to get your accounts activated.

If you have any questions contact us at


In addition MRP has OEM manuals available for stores for TNG – CMSI Scooters, QJ, Benelli, Andretti, Cubik K, Powersports Factory, Vento, Diamo LS Motorsports, Italjet America, Malaguti Italian Scooters, Linhai, Pit Motorsports, MH, Xtreme Scooters, CPI Taiwan, CF MOTO, Daelim, Hyosung, Zongshen, Keeway private label units. There are also engine repair manuals, charts, information on tire sizes, spark plugs, and much more.

MRP is the largest third party scooter parts distributor in the USA many of our parts are made by OEMs but we are not the OEM. MRP is not affiliated with Piaggio USA, Inc. or Piaggio & Co., S.p.A. Hyosung Motors America HMA, S&T Motors, Hyosung, Diamo USA Inc, TNG Scooters CMSI, CPI Scooters, Malaguti Spa, United Motors of America, Keeway North America. Andretti, Benelli, Powersports Factory, RX Loncin Lifan Linhai Zongshen Wangye MS UTVs and CPI Taiwan, Athena, Malossi, Turbo Kit, Innova Tires, Duro Tires, Vee Rubber, Duro, Bando, Gates, Powerlink, Posh, Maxxis, Namura, Scooter Ninja, Slipstreamer, NCY, Koso, are all names owned by these respective brands and not affiliated with MRP.

Any parts purchased at auction or bankruptcy are sold as liquidation items and in no way shape or form are sold as part of the original manufacturer network of sales. MRP is an aftermarket reseller, we are not an agent of any other company and sell compatible parts in many cases manufactured by OEMs as an outside channel.


We're back from Dealer Expo, want to thank all the dealers who showed up. We are busy processing orders. In case you didn't get my email I'm re-posting it so everyone sees our current mission.

Dear Dealers,

I would like to thank all the stores that braved the cold this year to come out and meet with us. Especially those that placed orders for 2010 or even that small item that you guys needed since some are still buried in snow. The show is a big expense for everyone involved so those of you that ordered this weekend or are faxing in your orders today I really do appreciate it. To see pictures click here.

Ordering Show Special:

All Dealer Expo orders featuring Armadillo or TK Exhausts ( for the entire order ) are 10% off and Free Shipping until the end of this week so you still have two more days. After Friday the show special is over just wanted to give everyone time to get back home.

As many of you saw we made the Dealer News daily for Armadillo Scooter Wear. We also scored big on the new products range with TK being featured in POWERSPORTS BUSINESS as well as several Blogs. The new TK Ruckus half pipe, the BMS 300 Go Kart exhaust, and SYM 250cc TK variator all scored big with the buggy pro-summer / bloggers that came to meet with us.

One thing is certain we have become the largest distributor of OEM scooter parts and we are working as quickly as possible to add the TNG, QJ, CPI, Benelli, United Motors, Keeway, Diamo, Italjet parts to our system as quickly as possible. This is only possible if stores stock, buy and continue to help us grow. So we can expand our OEM offerings that are exclusive to MRP.

I believe our new pricing structure will work for 2010 or at least keep MRP on the right path for growth. So now is the time to order and stock up on new items such as the Armadillo lineup before the season starts.

Daytona Show next month:
Last year we were there with CF MOTO, this year we will have some units at the Jonway booth as well, but you will find us back and forth between both stands working the show.

This weekend we will also be updating our dealer finder. New policies are on the site ( Links Below) and I hope this helps to clear everything up we put this off until Indy. A big thanks to everyone who hung out with us, went to meetings, helped us at the booth, and partied until 5am Friday - Sunday making me the most sleep deprived person in Indiana 5 nights in a row. There might have been less people, but we had some quality one on one time with everyone and I thought that was great.

Email me your thoughts,
The Scooter Mavem

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Dealer News Covers Armadillo Scooter Wear

Check this out, everyone that came in to the Dealer Expo 2010 got to see our review in the Expo Daily. Great plug for Armadillo Scooter Wear. Over 5,000 copies handed out at the show of the Show Daily.

More Pictures from the MRP Dealer Expo booth to follow.

The Scooter Scoop visits Dealer Expo MRP

The Scooter Scoop visits the MRP Booth at Dealer Expo 2010

Armadillo, Turbo Kit, MRP, and more.... visits MRP

For the Fourth Year in a row our friend Steve ( who is by the way has the best site in the USA for Scooter News totally friendly and positive about the entire industry in general )

Here I've copied his broadcast sponsored by our friends at Peirspeed ( check out the new Mad Ass and in 2 months time the new Turbo Kit MadAss Exhaust system we have in the works )

Enjoy the video and visit


Monday, February 15, 2010



Check out our good friend Steve over at the best source for complete news in the USA on the Buzz in Scooters.

Saturday, February 13, 2010