Tuesday, December 28, 2010

December 2010 issue of Scoot Magazine featuring the Maven

Great issue of Scoot Magazine just came out, make sure to check out the Armadillo Parka review as well as the Scooter Maven article http://scootmagazine.zt02.net/zetanextpages/ScootMagazine_Dec_2010.html?currentState=32_S#

It’s been a pretty crazy year in the scooter industry. Most readers of Scoot will know this simply from all the missing brands that were advertising two to three years ago. It’s a terrible thing because I know what its like to love a vehicle and to know there’s no parts out there for it. This is a nightmare compounded by the number of dealers that have closed. Some of you don’t have this trouble and if you ride a Japanese or Italian brand parts are always available. You can visit the local shop or try WorldofPowersports.com which is a great site for the average rider to find OEM parts for Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki scooters. The company owns 12 dealerships so they can ship you any OEM parts from these makers. Several dealers already sell Kymco OEM parts on their sites or Genuine OEM parts. Standarized brands are much easier to shop for such as Kymco, SYM, Peirspeed ( TGB ) , Genuine ( PGO ), you know these Taiwanese brands that are standardized will always be the same. Some brands are non-standard like CPI which has factories in both Taiwan and China.

However, a good 75% of current riders belong to another club called the second tier brand club and of those more than half now belong to the “Orphaned brand club,” this is not unexpected since you now have a market with half the distributors ( Tank, United Motors, CPI Taiwan, Cubik, Keeway Southeast, Diamo, Powersports Factory etc…) and half the dealers ( over a 300 scooter only dealers have closed since 2008 and Vespa is under 240 dealers ) So it’s much more complicated and you have to support the dealers that are out there. When looking for parts as a consumer or as a new store I will give you some helpful hints here.

First before contacting the store or a website write down the following info:

Brand, Model, Year, Engine type if known is it short or long case?

Second understand that a small shop is busy, they have limited staff. If you call or visit them and have half the information and are only asking prices they might not have the time to look something up that is complicated, be patient, bring the information or the bike, and be calm. Price checks over the phone or internet don’t usually get a good response so don’t tell them you can buy it elsewhere cheaper after they spent twenty minutes looking for the part for you.

If it’s a brand that you know is not for sale anymore make that known to the dealer. Some of them will have an alternative source even if the importer went bankrupt.

In the last few years several US websites have popped up selling generic Chinese parts to consumers for second tier brands that use very common engines. For the purposes of this article were not mentioning Scooter parts distributors that focus on racing or accessories just OEM. The best known of the Chinese parts distributors is www.Partsforscooters.com which is a retail direct operation and stock Chinese engine parts such as the QMB139, GY6, among others. It’s important to know a few things before calling them for example the brand name? Is it a KDU or GY6 air cooled, if its liquid cooled is it a CF-Moto? Partsforscooters.com is great for generic parts, but they won’t have a dashboard for a CFMOTO, Daelim cable, or even a Benelli OEM mirror so you have to shop around if you are looking for specifics and you will have to go to someone that was a dealer for these who will be familiar, the more popular of these companies is www.Scootertronics.com. Be it a plastic side panel for a Vento or an analog display for a Benelli they will have access to it. Most of these are dealerships which advertise in Scoot or are strong in the Scooter Industry.

Some dealers will go the extra step like www.Moxiescooters.com who will call several distributors from SYM Canada to MRP to find you a SYM part if they can’t get it from Carter so check first to see what brands they actually have OEM parts for if searching for brand specific non-generic Chinese parts.

In the interest of full disclosure we’ve acquired seven distributors exactly because of this situation where dealers and consumers were looking for brand specific models say a ZNEN or TNG model and many of these had brand specific parts such as CPI or Keeway where plastics or parts from other brands wouldn’t work on them. So on our site we have a repair manual section that has all the PDF files for all these models, by getting the original OEM part number you can check to see if your local dealer can order this part for you ( MRP does not sell direct but we will drop ship for any MRP dealer any of our 12,000 parts ) We find this is the best way to guarantee that the store gets a cut of every sale and stores stay in business. However, all the manuals are online so consumers can call the dealership and tell them what they need. So even if TNG scooters isn’t available, Malaguti, Diamo Linhai units, or CPI, you can contact the dealer with the part number from the manual and they can order it from MRP. There are over 100 repair manuals listed on the MRP site and every dealer can access this and help you find the parts you are looking for.

Best of luck and if you still can’t find the part feel free to email me info@mrp-speed.com and we will point you in the right direction.

The Scooter Maven aka Joel Martin is the owner and president of MRP. He is the former importer of Malaguti scooters, SYM scooters, and MH Motorcycles before starting MRP in 2005.

No comments: