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New era for RGS Motorbikes

A phone call to RGS Motorbikes at 8am on a Saturday brought an instant response from the boss Brian Ausden. That’s surely proof that RGS is serious about business.

The Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, bike set-up – a division of RGS Motorsports – is working on plans to make 2022 a year of significant growth on two wheels.

The winter months will be spent on:

  • Investigating a new bike franchise including adventure bikes
  • Organising a series of 2022 on-site bike meets, dyno days and evenings
  • Inviting suppliers, clubs and owners with collections to attend on-site bike events
  • Attending more outdoor events and shows in 2022
  • Centralising the bike workshop and MoT bay
  • Adding a mezzanine floor, increasing floorspace from 1000 to 1300sq.ft
  • Cafe area, reception and store planned for mezzanine
  • Examining electric bike sales potential
  • Possible acquisition of neighbouring premises
  • Increased used sales and buying and selling for customers
  • Continued support for drag race bikes, especially dyno runs
  • More promotion, including flyers and social media

RGS Motorbikes and RGS Motorsports owner Brian Ausden (above) separated the bikes from the cars in 2015 and plans major bike growth in 2022

NEW BUSINESS MANAGER
Further evidence of commitment to bike build-up comes from new business development and facilities manager Gordon Riseley, who joined RGS in March. After 30 years away from bikes he has attended not one but two courses on riding and roadcraft to make sure he was on the ball before buying a Honda CBR600.

A former circuit car racer and currently a sprinter, he is in charge of putting the RGS Motorbikes growth plan together and making sure it works financially.

Ausden has a passion for Italian bikes and would love a Latin franchise. Riseley listens indulgently and then reminds the boss that whatever they choose, it has to make money.

Ausden nods. He had taken on KSR of Austria, which he sold between 2017 and 2019, but rising costs, especially container shipment prices, and Covid-related problems had seen margins dwindle to the point where it was no longer viable. So, a lesson learnt. Latin would be lovely … but only if it pays.

FUN FACTOR
To lace the season ahead with a bit of fun, RGS has bought a Russian three-wheeler – a Tula two-stroke. Never heard of it? Who has! Amazingly it runs and the pick-up bed has been earmarked as ‘The Handlebarbecue’ – the ideal platform from which to serve barbecues at planned on-site bike events.

A further novelty to get customers talking at bike events is a 1950s 250 Ariel Leader. Painted all blue it looks like a plastic mould fairground ride. In its day in the 1950s it was a landmark machine. This one may end up as wall art.

WORKSHOP SERVICES
Underpinning the 2022 growth plans are the key aspects of service, repair and MoT tests. At present these services account for 80% of bike business.

Gary Farrow runs the workshop assisted by apprentice Brad Bennett. When things get really busy Simon Lines is called in from the car side. Lines, who has been with RGS for four years, is bike MoT licensed and can turn his hand to fabrication and mechanical work.

Workshop manager Farrow has been in the bike trade all his life, starting with Dave Mason Motorcycles in Kettering, Northamptonshire, aged 16. Other local bike businesses he worked for include Queensberry Road, Nene Valley, R&N, and InTwo Motorcycles. He also spent four years in Jersey setting up the bike business for Bikers starting in 1998. His customers there included 1992 Formula 1 world champion Nigel Mansell, who bought a Harley-Davidson and is active on the bike front in Jersey (see BDN September 2021).

Farrow, Honda trained and coming from the points and carburettor era, can deal with bikes, scooters and quads of all types old and new. Recent projects have included a Honda 90 custom and restoration of a military Harley-Davidson Rotax.

At RGS they aim not to turn anything away. The services include engine rebuilds, remapping, track bike preparation, dyno services, performance parts, tyres, plus selected used bike sales.

Products and service items on site include Motul, Bike It, Mammoth, Dynojet, Wemoto, Fowlers, Larsson, and David Silver Honda.

THE RIGHT BIKES AND SERVICES
Summing it all up RGS MD Brian Ausden says: “There are so many things we want to do. We want to grow the business and become a new bike dealer next year. We intend to do a lot of promotion and attend several events. We’re looking at it as a new era and we aim to make a significant impact in the world of two wheels.

“Since I bought RGS Motorsport in 2010 I have tripled it’s size and we now need another unit. When I started I had one member of staff. I now have eight and I need another. In the bike world demand is now high and supply low. We want to fit the market with the right bikes and the right services.”

RGS Motorbikes
01933 229977
[email protected]
www.rgs-motorbikes.co.uk

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