Motorcycle Parts Distributor LeMans Affected By Recession

lemansDuring LeMans (parent company of Drag Specialties and Parts Unlimited) annual vendors meeting, not surprisingly, Corporate Chairman Fred Fox acknowledged that the economy had taken a toll on his parts distribution business. And although the company has never disclosed its sales figures, announced that the sales will be down for year 2009. LeMans Group has about 1200 employees with close to a whopping 70% of orders placed online by its Dealers. Fox focused his speech on defining 4 areas requiring his attention.

1- Inventory Control. A review of what sells and what needs to be ordered by buyers is done every 2 days. 2- Protecting Dealer Margins although LeMans profit is down due to increased costs for distributing and shipping. 3- Educating About Returns. The company would prefer that the Dealer sells a part at a discount than spend money repackaging and shipping back. 4- Price Managing. Fred Fox explained that he cannot and doesn’t have the legal right to control the discounts offered by a Dealer, but warned that those Dealers giving for example a 20% discount on all products devalue the brands they sell. About this, since 3 years I really wonder if the model of motorcycle parts distribution is not forever broken. Manufacturers can’t oblige Catalogs to sell at a fixed MSRP. Catalogs can’t legally prevent manufacturers to sell retail. Catalogs will continue to take orders from “brick & mortar” and “online only” Dealers whose policy  is to offer discounts across the board. So, how will the distribution landscape look in 1, 2 and 3 years from now? For sure, with a majority of orders placed online. But for what kind of margins for all those involved before the retail client gets a part i his hands? Any idea?


70 Responses to “Motorcycle Parts Distributor LeMans Affected By Recession”

  1. 1 Jeff Nicklus Sep 1st, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    Oh, I just love Drag Specialties ……

    I knew sooner or later I would get my chance with these guys and here it is …..

    Last year sometime mid-year I received a call from my Drag Specialties Inside Rep who tells me that after 13 years of dealing with Desperado Motorcycles that our sales numbers fell below their (Drag Specialties) minumums and that on my anniversary date in November, that if I had not ordered the minimums required to be a Drag Specialties Dealer ($10,000.00) that I would be dropped as a Drag Specialties Dealer. After 13 years of being a dealer and in this economic situation we are experiencing, I was going to be dropped.

    I explained to our rep that we are an OEM and not some retail dealership and in fact we do not deal with the public ….. she didn’t care. I explained that Drag had never had an OEM Program that MidWest, MidUSA and CCI has so I only ordered Parts from Drag that I needed overnight, as Drag has a distribution plant in Dallas, she said she didn’t care and in fact said that Drag Specialties “ONLY WANTS THOSE CUSTOMERS WHO USE THEM AS A PRIMARY SUPPLIER AND THAT THEY ARE LESS THAN INTERESTED IN THE OEM”. Unbelievable! They sure cared about me for the last 13 years previous when we were always above the “minimums”, minimums I should add that I didn’t even know existed until I received the phone call.

    Needless to say, you can imagine what my response was. So in November of last year Desperado Motorcycles was dropped after 13 years of being a Drag Specialties Dealer. Further, I received a refund check in the amount of apx. $89.00 from Drag because we had over paid our account …. I still have the check and I will never cash it …. Drag Specialties can choke on the money, I don’t need it.

    Anyone in the industry needs to understand where the loyalty lies with Lemans Corp …. There is none. Have a nice life Fred Fox!

    Over & Out,


  2. 2 FREDP Sep 1st, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    Strange? My rep in Arizona only requires $2500.00 a year on the account. Must be a demographics requirement. For a 13 year account customer to be treated like this is a shame.

  3. 3 Jeff Nicklus Sep 1st, 2009 at 5:44 pm


    That may be their new minimum amount ????? I know one thing for sure ….. I would not throw any customer out, in todays enviroment, even if they just spent $10.00 a year with me.

    Over & Out,


  4. 4 just my opinion Sep 1st, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    Jeff; Your comment does not surprise me at all. I had heard from others that drag had done the same to them. They were in a different situation than you, they were small mom and pop bike shops. I could not understand why any company would cut off their loyal dealers that spend less than 10,000. One shop owner told me they had spent close to the amount and was still cut off. Now I may not be the smartest business man alive, but I do make my money off mom and pop shops as well as The HD dealers and some others I won’t mention and I would never NEVER never cut off a small dealer because he did not perform to my standards. They should in fact try to encourage the smaller dealers that are not doing as well to try new products that fit the dealers situation better. Learn to help the dealers grow and you will grow with them, cut them off and you are cutting your own throat. Like I said I am not the brightest guy, but I know this has hurt them big time and will continue to hurt if not reconsidered. Drag should do some math. EXAMPLE one small dealer does 5,000 there are three hundred of them that would be 1,500,000 could be enough to save the bottom line and I bet there are more than three hundred that got treated to the not good enough for DRAG doorway. Thats my opinion I am sure drag does not care what I think but hopefully they will remember that sometimes it is the small guy that turns into the big guys given a chance and you get enough small guys together they will do more for your business than a few big guys will. Now that all being said I wish drag well hopefully they get it together.

  5. 5 FREDP Sep 1st, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    HMMM? Or they are looking to go internet sales only eventually??? No middleman, biggest profits?

  6. 6 Grayhawk Sep 1st, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    The minimums and yes this is just an opinion, may not be based or driven I should say as much by the size of the dealer and/or their,quantity buy ability size as much as maybe the ability for the distributor to make quantified yearly or bi-annual buys based on a quantity of (x) parts for said item. The larger the quarranted quantity purchase the better the pricepoint and more flexibility/priority runs in a manufactoring window for staged/staggered runs of a given product.

    Especially those wholesalers/distributors buying from huge offshore factories that a window of manufactoring has to be locked in.

    HD does it with two dealer shows a year and other oem’s as well to qualify contracts and price points from a given vendor/supplier up front and with pre-orders which may be where these parts distributors are heading. This posture to them leaves very litle risk or at least a lot less risk with/for the oem or the distributor from a purchase/shelved product inventory standpoint as they have a fairly solid number to buy from and can factor up to have minimum shelf items for the remaining albeit minium risk buy quantities. No so different then just in time deliveries as it minimizes inventory or surplus inventory/storage cost/risk for them. Noting this is not solitaire to the motorcycle industry.

    Or should I say this procurement mindset shifts all or most of the risk to the end retailer, means you have to be a better business person to not get caught with a bunch of product to satisfy some biased minimum. Unless your a collector for a later market or have deep pockets maybe use a distributor that can manage their risk but not mostly at your expense or risk !!!

    Maybe another reason to support and buy from local onshore or even offshore small business manufactoring entities albeit will not be at walmart pricing as they, the small business man/woman have to make a margin from a smaller raw material buy based pricepoint..

    Again Customer of Cheap no matter your spot in the chain of sale or end purchaser is driving this.

    Anybody see any handy man corner stores in your neighborhood lately with workers that can help you with more than the ringing of the register. We are our worst enemy.


  7. 7 Bradley K Sep 1st, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    I have been screwed by both Drag & CCI. CCI still owes me money ($300.00) for warranty work performed in 03!!! I willnever deal with either of them ever again.

  8. 8 Stephen Sep 1st, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    This will be Drag Specialties RIP real soon.

    Some years ago I had an import /wholesale business supplying to the Australian market. Although not exactly the same (car stereo Vs motorcycle parts) the business principle is exactly the same. The smaller shops build your brand and are the most loyal and profitable customers, the big guys build your numbers but at a cost, much less profit as they screw you for every cent. They will also drop you in a heartbeat if your competition gives them a better price. And if they decide to not pay you, then you’re dead.

    Any business that burns the small guy have signed their own death warrant. You just can not operate with only one type of customer.

    If I was Jeff I would tell them to get stuffed and send all my stock of their parts back for credit.

  9. 9 No use for a anyway Sep 1st, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    As a current vendor for Drag, I find it disheartening to hear the dealers being treated like this.
    In truth, this year has been rough all the way across the board. I came in with a bang, and have since fizzled with LeMans Corp.

    It’s peculiar to find out that though we have been/are being treated well by them, that they are not quite understanding of the need for us all to survive this, and would still impose these kinds of minimums, etc. I’ve heard of some nastiness to some of the vendors as well.

    It would seem viable to lessen the amount of minimums to a reasonable monthly level for the average dealer ($2000 would seem fair), and reward the larger dealers as they currently do, with better margins.

    We are fortunate to have never signed any exclusives with Parts or Drag, and continue to try to develop our dealer direct program. We still offer the same margins for you, but charge nothing of a minimum, and you will get no bullshit, just straight answers for a lead time, and if there is stock.

    It concerns me with the amount of calls I get with dealers trying to go direct, who have basically taken it upon themselves to call me because they couldn’t get a tech answer, or an inventory answer with Drag, only to find out that Drag does not have the item, nor do they have a back order with me.
    Do I take the sale??? Absolutely, and at that point, get their email and put them on our mailing list to keep them up to date on new releases and pricing. I’m not fishing to pull sales from my distributor, but if they’ve pissed somebody off, I don’t want it to be representative of my product.

    As a small manufacturer still in the fight, we’re taking a slow, methodical approach to circumventing the need for the distributors, because we simply cannot survive on the weak sales and lack of support we get.
    We are all about pushing sales and co-op advertising with Drag, but unfortunately, I’ve got a buyer that seems to feel contact with me is a part time job.

    I have a few little birdies in the industry that are disenchanted with Drag as of late, due to this.
    Thankfully, I’m in good shape with them, but we will be actively pursuing a dealer direct program, beyond what we currently offer, and are developing an e-commerce site with dealer portals as we speak.

    I hope Drag will take heed to the state of the economy, and the disgust they are causing with their shenanigans. Again, I don’t personally have issue with them, as they’ve been tip top with us, but I do have my concerns for the future if things don’t change.
    We’re well aware of how everybody is battling this economy and are doing our best to help the little guys along. We’re throwing in a spare part here or there, we’re offering package deals, even at dealer cost, and hell…I’m throwing in free shipping half the time too. Somebody’s gotta feed the kids.

    Jeff, thanks for voicing for all the little guys…hope the “big ears” are listening.

  10. 10 1550tc Sep 1st, 2009 at 11:47 pm

    Guys calm down a lil, its like cinquo de maio and Drag is a piñata , What kind of shop can survive on doing what $850 a month in wholesale purchases?? Does the profit on $850 @wholesale even cover your internet service, lights and smokes so you can be on here bashing away at Drag?

    10K ……..That is what?? 1 power commander, a set of pipes and 1-2 sets of tires?? Iam not a shop or a customers of Drag but as a businesses owner , why would I want do business with a shop that cant even buy what I just listed?? That is what produts for 1-2-3-5 customers a month??

    A buddy with himself and helper last year alone did 10k in power commanders, and booked 10k of product in cincy, he is serious about his business and is not some guy looking to get wholesale pricing on a few parts for 1-2 builds, like so many of these under 5k dealers. He built his thriving business in one of the worst markets and hardest hit city’s in the USA , on service and good products and that is the reason he told me he sticks with Drag. They have all the good lines and best support in the industry.

    IMO Drag is doing a basic less is more business model and trying cut their return costs down with smaller dealers who are probably the main cause of their return headaches in first place. Just like they are within most distribution businesses!

    When I travel and have a chance to drop by the Drag truck iam always impressed with their commitment to the industry and knowledgeable reps……..this summer while I was in Sturgis I saw both the ICON, & Hog Tunes product manager and Bob Cashwell, at the Drag Truck working 8-12 hours day in; rain, wind storms and some hot days, referring customers/riders to their drag dealers for the products they were interested in.

  11. 11 BREWdude Sep 2nd, 2009 at 4:20 am

    I am not a dealer for Drag or CCI because of the minimum purchase bs. They have some great product lines but there is always another make of the part you can steer your customer toward. I like being an independant shop and don’t want to feel like I have to buy from someone because I have to. So, I deal with Tucker Rocky/Bikers Choice, Kustomwerks and buy directly from the company. This has work rather well for me.
    BUT, I would hate to see any company fail and wish them the best of luck in todays economy and their future decisions.

  12. 12 Biker Lady Sep 2nd, 2009 at 7:37 am

    ” ICON, & Hog Tunes product manager and Bob Cashwell, at the Drag Truck working 8-12 hours day in; rain, wind storms and some hot days,”

    Gee, so what you are saying is that they did what every vendor at every motorcycle event does, right down to the little 10×10 jewelry booth but they got to to it with a bigger and better set up. They reduced themselves almost to the common level. That makes them look better.

  13. 13 Woody's Sep 2nd, 2009 at 7:38 am

    Eventually all that will be left for Drag customers will be places flipping everything over for peanuts on the internet, keeping a brick & mortar store only to meet the franchise requirements. Small shops will drop out and smart suppliers, seeing their sales drop will start aggressively marketing direct to dealers. Right now we have tons of Chineese crap as everyone strives to get Drag a low enough price that it can be sold 2 tiers later at a “20% discount” and somehow still make a profit. Customer service disappears with razor margins. Lots of folks are too damn lazy to market their own products so they Pay Drag to do it, as a result they need a huge margin to cover the wholesale pricing and they have to sell a lot more for a lot less. Enter China.
    I can think of one net reseller on eBay who’s legal boilerplate disclaimers are 3x as long as the product descriptions-all to make sure no matter what goes wrong you’ll complain to the mfr. because nobody is going to help you at the seller.
    Again, razor margins=crappy service. The sellers of mass-produced Chinacrap will be Drag’s best suppliers, anyone with domestic lower volume items will end up marketing direct to customers and paying a little extra to do their own advertising, paid for by not having to sell to Drag for pennies. I feel Drag is killing it’self by not cutting off some of the folks abusing the original brick & mortar concept and really being ebay deep discount clearinghouses. Why would a retail shop/bike dealership bother stocking anything when customers just come in to see/touch stuff and then go back home to order it off the net?

  14. 14 Paul @ Aeromach Sep 2nd, 2009 at 8:07 am

    Any of you OEM’s or dealers who want to buy some nice billet products for American, Metric or custom bikes are more than welcome at Aeromach!

    We don’t have minimums and even drop ship to your customers when a need arises. We are trying to grow our business, especially in these trying economic times. Please check us out and let me know how we can help grow your business!

  15. 15 Boss Hawg Sep 2nd, 2009 at 8:08 am

    Jeff…Once again I gotta run with you.

    I was a DS dealer many mango seasons ago…Guess what we did because of the minimums? We went direct with minimums to the respective manufacturers and found them all to happy not to pass up a sale. 1 buy was for $62K and who the hell is going to let that slip by cause you have to buy from Fred Fox? Whoa slap my face!

    Personally Fred Fox needs to be bounced out on his head if he is just getting around to the 4 items above and below! Bend over, kiss your ass and wave by cause as long as you run DS me and my associates will NEVER PURCHASE from DS!

    1- Inventory Control? Ours is done daily…if we have a hot selling retail product…you can bet we stock it for same or next day delivery! Fire you sales staff from the top down and re-tool.

    2- Protecting Dealer Margins? Control your costs and overheads and they will protect dealer margins.

    3- Educating About Returns? Hahahaha…I really have to laugh my ass off here. Is Fred Fox and DS just waking up? Our manufacturers have standing policy and do not ever want to see the product come back unless it is a valid warranty issue. We get upwards of 70% off to make it disappear AS IS – WHERE IS. NO WARRANTY EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED. WYSIWIG! CLOSEOUT!

    4- Price Managing? Jesus Christ Mon…Is this the first rodeo for Fred Fox and DS. Where have your heads been at when attending the V-Twin Expo and blowing BIG $$$$$$$ at Mortons Steak House in Cinci.

    Purchase right, Control inventory and establish a NO RETURNS POLICY….

    Most of all treat the little guys right that struggled to meet your BS minimum opening order criteria when starting up.

    Boss Hawg

  16. 16 rebel Sep 2nd, 2009 at 8:46 am

    If your waiting on cci, midwest(jireh), or any of the other low inventory, and narrow product line guys to make enough money for an independent shop to stay alive you better start off with a lot of money in the bank to live off of.
    If it were not for Drag and their very efficient distribution warehouses and huge inventory, many small shops wouldn’t get any of the “good” sales. Getting parts the next day, or sometimes two days later and free freight is critical to not loosing a sale to ebay or online sales, speed of delivery and product knowledge is mostly what it takes to win a customer/sale in my experience.
    Of course they don’t have everything, that’s why I have direct accounts with almost every supplier in the industry, I go to dealer shows and educate myself, I don’t rely on phone support, i’m an independent, and independent means taking care of business, my business. Tucker Rocky is the only major competition to drag but they just don’t have the product lines my customers are asking for.
    One of the major flaws to the online setup as far as price is they don’t have to collect sales tax if the sale is out of state, a lot of times a 5 to 7% difference will loose you the sale if it’s a guy with no loyalty to anyone and just enough knowledge to be dangerous. I could go on for days patting someone on the back, but the truth is if it wasn’t for the relationship I have with Lemans Ind. there probably wouldn’t be enough profit to make it worth the effort. Just my opinion, lord know every body’s got one.

  17. 17 Mike Kiwi Tomas, Kiwi Indian Motorcycles Sep 2nd, 2009 at 8:57 am

    There are many valid points being stated here on both sides of the coin. I too some years ago was told of the same minimum order program which has been bumped up over the years. Fortunately for us our expansion into Harley servicing more than meets their min. I like doing business with them however any business being informed of such would feel that way and it does get taken personally. Most shops are feeling the pinch and it makes it tough for everyone whether it be the distributor, manufacturer or dealer/retailer. One can’t fault Drag for siezing some opportunities created by other distributors mis-steps some years ago whom have taken agressive steps to work to make a come back. We all need each other. United we stand, divided we fall. I believe in uniting to build a stronger industry for all to prosper in.

  18. 18 bigalyts Sep 2nd, 2009 at 10:16 am

    I am not Directly in the Motorcycle Manufacturing or Parts Distribution , however I ama Buisnessman that Deals with Suppliers that are EXACTLY equally important to my Buisness. I realize that Always, Always, Always “The Pigs Get Fat and The Hogs Get Swallowed” . In times like this is when You all need to be on the TEAM . It Sounds like DRAG has their Own Team. If Your Minimum can’t be reached then a 2% Bullshit Fee coulld be assessed to keep you on the Team.

  19. 19 Jeff Nicklus Sep 2nd, 2009 at 10:25 am

    Jeeezzzz …. How do you guys/Gals really feel about Drag?

    In my humble opinion Drag Specialties/Parts Unlimited was a much better ran company when Jeff Fox was at the helm. Once he stepped down and ‘Ol Dad (Fred) came back on board things seemed to go to hell in a hand basket.

    I think that Lemans, as well as some people on this blog, never understood that Desperado Motorcycles is a motorcycle manufacturer and not a local shop that could/would sell to the public and thereby does not have a margin in each part purchased from Lemans, per se. Yes, we do incorporate a part(s) we purchased from Lemans into a finished product that was sold to an end user, and yes we did have a profit in the bike and therefore a profit in all incorporated parts, however, we do not now nor have we ever had a “shop” open to the general public. (According to the State of Texas laws we as a manufacturer may not have a public outlet) That limits our sales/purchases from Lemans. When we were doing our 300 bikes per year sales from Lemans without question met the minimums … when our production volume dropped to where they are today … well everyone gets the picture.

    One more thing and I am done with this subject. It is my understanding, from several vendors that supply parts to Drag/Parts Unlimited, that their Vendor Contracts, from Lemans, dictates that if the vendor sells direct that the sales prices of that sale shall not be less than the dealer price offered from Drag/Parts Unlimited. This is the reason that so many vendor have chosen to drop the supply houses and go direct.

    I wish the Lemans Corporation well, I think they have their head in their ass for making the decisions to drop so many dealers, however that is their choice and now they must live with it. FYI: I agree with those herein that have said that it is the intent of Drag Specialties/Parts Unlimited to sell direct to the public via the internet …. Bigger profits by cutting the middle man out of the equation and trust me Fred Fox is all about bigger profits.

    Over & Out,


  20. 20 Kirk Perry Sep 2nd, 2009 at 11:25 am

    All the aftermarket Harley parts companies deserve to fail.
    Serves them right fro making Evo gee-gaws instead of replica 1936-1964 3.5 gallon tanks.
    An entire industry could be build on one-set of tanks.
    Repop Harley manufacturers are total geeks. Quit business. Start making childrens swing-sets or metal stair fabrication.
    Goodbye and good riddance to all of you bums.

  21. 21 Chopper Kid Sep 2nd, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    A few things on drag from my perspective. I think they have good lines and a higher standard of quality control. However, they don’t try to hard to do business with the small shops. While small shops were welcomed 20 years ago, now days they just want to be involved with big shops. It took alot of these shops 20 or 30 years to grow to where they are today and they seemed to have forgotten that everyone had to start somewhere.
    The other thing is the assumption that just because you are a small shop that you are going to sell stuff for cost. Yes, I have to be competative, looking for those big discount shops buy any magazine you’ll see them in there. No one in there right mind does that with equipment, tool cost and other overheads. How are you ever going to grow? They make it harder for someone trying to get started in this business.
    So if my business last the test of time and grows then you will want to sell to me when I get bigger. That is just a real insult.

  22. 22 just my opinion Sep 2nd, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    Kirk Perry
    Sep 2nd, 2009 at 11:25 am
    All the aftermarket Harley parts companies deserve to fail.

    Just so you know some of those companies you want to fail also make parts for the big HD.
    Be careful what you wish for, you may be riding japanese sooner than you thought.

  23. 23 aft customs Sep 2nd, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    Lemans has een great for me.I’m a very small shop but have a platinum status with them & that’s the only way I can compete with the internet because of the deep discounts & no freight. Tucker Rocky came in & matched Lemans pricing with no yearly minimum.I do buy more from them now but still have to keep my volume up with Lemans wich has a more vast selection.Tucker tried the same bulshit a few years ago & I told them where to go.They must of realized that a small sale was better than no sale because they changed their tune.
    One of my complaints with Lemans is that a lot of the internet sites are customers of theirs.Buying direct from a vender has no advantage for me.There goes the free frieght.Instead of 1 or 2 orders a day I would have to place 10 different orders a day.It’s more efficient for me to buy from them.
    If Kuryakyn is an example of buying direct we’re all in trouble.They hate the small shop.I got a letter stating I had to buy 1000.00 a year or I would only get 15% below retail.What the FU.. I asked them about the volume of their parts that I buy from Lemans. “Oh – well they don’t carry a large percentage of our preoducts” They want me to show case their parts line basically by stocking what Lemans doesn’t carry. I told them I could sell more of their product if I didn’t have to compete with the internet that they flood their parts with.They denied it. FU… that! I will not sell their products any longer & discourage my customers from their brand.So I went from being a customer of theirs to being their enemy.These venders forget that we are doing a lot of installs on products that are bought on the internet so in a round about way we are helping them sell their product.
    the internet is the real enemy.Hopefully the states are going to start taxing it.They need the revenue & that’s when the playing field will become a little more level.

  24. 24 A. Nobody Sep 2nd, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    pu-drag already sell direct…….worst kept secret in the industry is their H U G E retail outlet…..i wont say the name but pick up any mag and spot the biggest most expensive ads……lots of indy companys parts on their site for sale but the indys never sold them any parts, ever…….where did they get them?…….they are who is taking your business…….just sayin

  25. 25 1550tc Sep 2nd, 2009 at 1:57 pm


    I wish the Lemans Corporation well, I think they have their head in their ass for making the decisions to drop so many dealers,

    Not to get into a 1500 mile pissisng match LOL with you of all people, but look around do you see any bmw or benz or any of the jap guys closing down any of their car dealerships compared with the big 3 or 2????? Jeff its just a cyclical business cycle their going thru right now and you have to set the bar at some $$$ point…….You or anyone as a customer have the intimate trump card in a free market and that is to play your I am NOT shopping there card….its a hard card to play when Drag has all the all the major lines, service, reps and inventory!

    Jeff you have lots of good post which I enjoy reading and you are very passionate about this industry, BUT the channels of distribution have always been a lil f—ked up to me within this industry. Jeff when ever iam in Sturgis iam always reminded of the ghost of Jeff N………….the ghost was in Sturgis again and wow lots of empty vendor space on Lazelle street any idea why??

  26. 26 Forget Drag Buy Direct Sep 2nd, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    Distributors the size of Drag – forget em, too big to be of use.

    Skip Drag Specialties and buy direct.

    Call (714) 899-7076 and order Wheels, Brakes, Forks, Shocks, Headlights, Bagger parts and more from Bike Builders Bible.

    If you do not want what we have there are dozens of other companies like us that probably do.

    So support the smaller shops that build in the USA, just like you.

  27. 27 Another Nobody Sep 2nd, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    A Nobody…agreed. I hear nothing but wonderful things about the “un”mentioned company. I am well aware who the parent is, and these amazing deals they have…how do you ever compete with them even as a small shop when you can get an “always in stock’ item at a better price than Joe Average.

    Part of the game…I don’t think it’s as much of a secret as you may believe, but it is unfortunate that it is not a level playing field. Then again…gotta give ’em credit.

  28. 28 1550tc Sep 2nd, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    Forget Drag Buy Direct

    Great idea Forget Drag Buy Direct and thanks for the number and yes i want to buy direct!!! ASAP

    However the phone number to Call (714) 899-7076 is not the number to Fling Ling’s Harleys Parts in China.

    I knew i had the wrong number when they spoke English at that 714 number !

    The real numbers for Buy Direct are

    011+86+10 then dial 1800cheapparts or 1 866flingling

    Guys in all sincerity when Walmart alone is China’s 8th yes, 8th largest trade partner……….. Fling Ling’s and his buddies offshore harley parts business
    is chump change 🙁

  29. 29 Gary Bang Sep 2nd, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    I have been in every part of this business for over 45 years. I want no one to think that I am smarter than any one out their. I have seen almost every big distributor over theise past years and I have to say except-Harley-Davidson they are the very best I have ever seen and have had the honor of doing business with. I can place a order for tires, Exhaust you name it and in most of the time it is at my door the next Day. Lets see a $10,000.00 Yearly order divide that by 52 weeks in a year thats about $195.00 a Week and if you were to make 30% that is about $60.00 a week in profits. What the hell can you do with $60.00 a week? They want your business if you are a dealer they are just saying give us as much of your action as you can and we will be their for you. And for you they they have a warehouse everywher in the USA when they are out of a item in Reno they may ship it from New-York and at no added freight does non of this count? I could go on ,but really who cares. “Fred way to go” some times you and I have not seen eye to eye on every thing, this time Fred thanks for being who you are and letting every body know. Drag is my first choice for no other reason except that they are the Very Best. Thanks for being their for all of us. Gary Bang Hall of Fame 2003

  30. 30 Jeff Nicklus Sep 2nd, 2009 at 8:13 pm


    Sturgis made the mistake of screwing with the Bull and they ended up getting the Horn!

    Over & Out,


  31. 31 Lyle Sep 2nd, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    Maybe some of you smaller shops should start to combine orders, it’s done in other businesses.

  32. 32 lenny Sinnet Sep 2nd, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    Gary Bang you hit it right on the mark. Drag and Fred Fox are doing a great job for the Industry.

  33. 33 Mike Sep 2nd, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    A few folks “telling it like it is” here… let me add something.

    I am a manufacturer who sells to both Parts Unlimited (Drag) and Tucker Rocky (Bikers Choice), so I feel I know a little something about “the biz”.

    The bottom line is that if you’re buying at dealer and selling at full retail (and I don’t know many who can successfully do that) you are making a nice margin. Drag will only sell to companies that have a brick-and-mortar store (so the people complaining about the internet only guys – you are mistaken on that point), so that means you have rent to pay and a phone line to pay for. So if you sell $10k worth of stuff, that is a good profit if you sell it at full retail. But there is NO brick and mortar shop that can live off this.

    That means any shop who is buying less than $10k from Drag, either…

    1) Is not doing enough business to be considered to be a real shop
    2) Is doing enough business, but most of it isn’t going through drag

    if it’s #1, they don’t want you as a dealer, period! They don’t want to tell you that, but it’s the truth. If you can’t even do $10k a year, you’re not running a business, you’re running a hobby. Hell, $10k could be spent amongst several friends a year in bike parts, and that’s precisely what they want to avoid. That’s why you must have a brick and mortar store and you must be a real business.. they don’t want Joe Blow pulling a fast one and getting parts at dealer cost for him and his friends. And they also don’t want Joe Blow running his motorcycle empire out of his spare bedroom and working at his day job, coming home and shipping out parts (or drop shipping everything) and pretending he’s a real business that should be on the same level as the local shop with actual techs and stuff

    If it’s #2, then they want to push you to buy through them – this is one way to do it. As a manufacturer, I have a hard time competing with Parts or Tucker on my own products. Why? Because they offer free overnight shipping, they have stock on the shelf, they will give you better discounts as you increase your purchasing, they can sell you everythink you need in one order. I can’t do any of that. Drag works to find the hottest products from the best companies, so that they can offer a very broad product line to their dealers. You can’t argue that they don’t do a good job of this, since most of the major brands are available through them. So as a dealer, not buying from parts is hard to do – it means there are a lot of products you simply can’t get, or can’t get quickly and cheaply asif you bought from parts. In short, any serious dealer pretty much has to buy from Parts or Tucker, or really both.

    I do think that it would be fair for companies who used to cross the $10k threshold but who have been below it, to be given some sort of accomodation – but sorry to say, when it comes right down to it, if you’re not selling $10k of stuff (or even $50k of stuff) a year, you’re just not a real player in the motorcycle business.

    And Kirk Perry, if you are so sure “an entire industry could be built on one set of tanks” why don’t you MAN UP and make those tanks and build yourself an “entire industry”. If it’s easy and a sure thing like you say, don’t talk about it on the internet, get out there and do it! It never ceases to amaze me the sheer quantity of people who KNOW what someone else could make millions doing, but that nobody is doing, and they don’t want to do it themselves.

    In short, they are great at telling everyone else how they should run their businesses and invest their money… they just don’t wanna risk their own money to make those millions. LOL!

  34. 34 Kirk Perry Sep 2nd, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    And Kirk Perry, if you are so sure “an entire industry could be built on one set of tanks” why don’t you MAN UP and make those tanks and build yourself an “entire industry”. If it’s easy and a sure thing like you say, don’t talk about it on the internet, get out there and do it! It never ceases to amaze me the sheer quantity of people who KNOW what someone else could make millions doing, but that nobody is doing, and they don’t want to do it themselves.
    Yeah, well Mike (whatever your last name is). I’m one out front person, who co-writes books for Knuckle & Pan, and continually participates on-line about Knuckle & Pan, and posts step-by-step how-too’s on the internet about Knuck & Pan.
    I DO something about the problems facing repop Knuck & Pan. I designed an oil filter bracket that allows using the OE style oil filter, and replace the relay and 32E with a voltage regulator and reliable 61A (2-brush) generator. If you know rigid Knuck & Pan then you know what I mean. The OEM 32E and the relay are junk designs. Troublesome.
    3.5 fuel tanks can only be made by H-D® period.Costs hundreds of thousands of start-up money V-Twin® is mom & pop. They don’t have the guns and too many meddlesome “cooks” that want to develop these tanks “by committee”. By the time the last person on the “committee” has his say, the tanks end up looking like cheap copies that don’t function. as originally designed – but rather than V-Twin® telling the jobber to take his “fits nothing” Knuckle fuel tanks and scrap them…..V-Twin® just sells them to customers!! And there begins a road of misery. For what? That’s the source of the problem. The decision to sell junk, instead of quality. The customer will gladly pay for quality. The repop OHV manufacturers are paranoid that someone else will make the tanks cheaper and, “everybody will buy the cheaper uglier tanks instead of our more expensive quality replica tanks. 🙂
    And you can’t argue with a group of “committee fools”.

    Me complain? Damn-straight. Non-stop.

  35. 35 1550tc Sep 2nd, 2009 at 11:42 pm


    Yeah Jeff that was kind of like the power of the internet and a big win for the lil guy!

    Since that day things have sure changed in Sturgis, kinda interesting on how things have played out…….Jeff i spoke with the food vendor who was on that one lot along with 2 others and man did the guy take financial hit. Only place to be there is at the Harley lot or like you did, find somewhere out of town and stay there…….just dont do an Eddie T and move every year!!

    Jeff i think there is a JN code of silence about vendors every year till it gets to -45 below LOL


    about $60.00 a week in profits

    Thanks for breaking down my numbers even more……

    Like i said that barley pays for the internet, smokes and lights ooooops i meant candles!


    At 10k it’s a hobby for even just a rider like me when you factor in; insurance, up grades, maintenance, parts, depreciation, trips, nites at LOLLIPOPS ect

    Also Mike there is an old saying in Europe “everyone has business in their brain BUT not everyone has a brain for business”

  36. 36 Kirk Perry Sep 3rd, 2009 at 8:58 am

    “Gary Bang Hall of Fame 2003.”
    I had the opportunity to ride your black, 1929 (JDH?) at the Ventura Fairgrounds in 2000 or 2001. My friend Mike Mateland told me the motor and transmission were rebuilt before your sold it.
    The planetary transmission was smooth to tank shift. The heads leaked a tiny bit of air near that fluted cap on to of the head, while it was running. The tiny bubbles that collected and burst made me think of a mechanical monster with a slight brain defect that allowed steam to vent. I couldn’t stop looking at it.
    We rode the JD through the crowds at the fairground scattering people like a flock of chickens. It is one of my most memorable M/C experiences and a nice ride.

  37. 37 Jeff Nicklus Sep 3rd, 2009 at 11:03 am


    …..”I do think that it would be fair for companies who used to cross the $10k threshold but who have been below it, to be given some sort of accommodation – but sorry to say, when it comes right down to it, if you’re not selling $10k of stuff (or even $50k of stuff) a year, you’re just not a real player in the motorcycle business.”……..

    Desperado Motorcycles not a player in this industry? You have to have bumped your head if you believe that!

    As I said in my opening statements …… I was told by Drag Specialties, and I quote: “WE ONLY WANT THOSE CUSTOMERS WHO USE DRAG AS A PRIMARY SUPPLIER” and further “WE ARE NOT INTERESTED IN THE OEM’S”. Maybe that should have been pointed out to me 13 years earlier. They sure didn’t hesitate cashing this “OEM’s” checks every month. FYI: I will not be intimidated into buying from anyone so they (Drag) can kiss my butt! Go try that tough guy crap somewhere else.

    ………. “Drag will only sell to companies that have a brick-and-mortar store (so the people complaining about the internet only guys – you are mistaken on that point),”…………

    You have bumped your head ! There is nothing from stopping me (at least when I was a Drag dealer) from buying whatever from Drag/Parts Unlimited and doing an internet store …. nothing! Trust me Fred Fox could care less where he sells product as long as the bottom line is there.
    I have never disputed that Drag offers some great parts and even better service …. Kudos to them for that …. what I have a problem with is their lack of loyalty to their dealers and the “tough guy”, you have to buy from us or else, attitude. Just as note …. I haven’t missed a beat filling Drags position as a vendor here at Desperado Motorcycles or Jeff Nicklus Customs.

    Over & Out,


  38. 38 fxr-guy Sep 3rd, 2009 at 11:40 am

    Maybe I bumped MY head, but who is Desperado Motorcycles? I have never heard of them…are they part of Big Dog?

  39. 39 Jeff Nicklus Sep 3rd, 2009 at 12:05 pm


    Dude, you have a concussion…. seek immediate medical attention. LOL

    Over & Out,


  40. 40 Mike Sep 3rd, 2009 at 12:13 pm


    I think you are a unique case… you aren’t a reseller, you are a manufacturer who incorporates other products into your product. I think that is a special situatioon and I think Drag should have some accomodation for you, however, I would also think most manufacturers should support the builders directly because they likely need more access to technical help and a direct line to resolve issues moreso than a reseller does. My .02 anyway.

    On the brick and mortar thing, they don’t care if you sell online, but you cannot be ONLY an online seller. If you are some guy who wants to open up an eBay or online store and you don’t have a physical storefront, they will tell you NO…. unless that has changed in the past year. I have been in this business for 10 years and every dealer I’ve talked to has always said that PU will only let you have an account if you have a physical location… you cannot just be someone working out of your garage and selling online. You can be working out of your shop and selling online though.

  41. 41 Mike Sep 3rd, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    So what is the big mystery on this outlet that Drag sells through? Not to call people out but those making the claim, why won’t you post the name of the storefront? Are you talking about MAW? Or someone else?

    It’s not like you’re avoiding a libel charge just because you didn’t specifically name a name, so if you’re going to say it, you should just go all out and say the name of the store.

    I’m interested to know… I’ve heard many rumors of these things over the years. I’ve heard Tucker Rocky will sell leftover product on eBay directly too… but I don’t think the big distributors do it as a general business practice… but if I am wrong I’d like to know about it.

    Someone mentioned above that they ‘force’ the manufacturer to sell at MSRP. That’s not entirely true… but they want their discount off the retail price. If the retail price if $600 but that’s just a made-up number and the manufacturer sells the item themselves for $500, then PU is going to want their discount off that $500, not the $600 claimed MSRP. It makes sense… if the real price is $500, the dealers will be selling it for that (assuming they don’t discount it), so PU needs to get their discount from that to be able to make money.

    Besides, a manufacturer discounting below MSRP is short-sighted. Everything is derived from MSRP, so if they drop MSRP (or if they sell below MSRP), they reduce everything – the price PU pays, the price a dealer pays, the ebay price, the price a customer pays. The manufacters owe it to their dealers not to start competing with them by discounting off MSRP, IMO.

  42. 42 Mike Sep 3rd, 2009 at 12:27 pm


    Everyone says they are “out front” in this industry… I don’t say that, even though as I type this I have CNC machines running cranking out motorcycle parts in the background. It seems to me the folks who have to tell everyone they are out in front are spending too much time trying to convince everyone of that and not enough time actually being out front. When you’re out front, you don’t have time to tell everyone how great you are – you’ve got work to do. I mean no offense, just telling it like I see it.

    Regarding “hundreds of thousands in start up costs” that’s bullshit and frankly if you know about the industry of making tanks, you would know that. You don’t necessarily need to get your tanks hydroformed and spend that much. Make them two-piece the way most of the OEM’s do and weld them up. I’d bet you can get a top and bottom stamping mold done for maybe $20k. Or do what the small time fabricators do, just roll your own metal and weld it up. If “an entire industry” could be made around this one product, and NOBODY else is doing it, then that’s what I would call a gold-mine, wouldn’t you? If it’s a sure thing like you say, surely you’d drop $50k into the project when you have a guarantee of making millions on the other end, no?

    So why don’t you do it? Surely someone who is as sure as you are can get $50k together – even if it’s just by taking out lots of credit cards and racking them up – after all, it’s a sure thing, and you’ll have tons of money to pay them off soon.

    Let’s be honest with each other – nobody is doing it because it’s not a money maker. If you really thought it was, you’d be out there doing it yourself.

    Like the other guy said, everyone has business on their mind, but not necessarily a mind for business. There are tons of products people would like, but they don’t make sense to make, because the costs cannot be recouped for the investment required to make them.

    I’d like a titanium bike frame and PVD coated engine cases… but the cost of those is above what I would be willing to pay. Therefore, nobody makes them other than one-off specialty stuff.

    Same deal with your tanks proposal.

    My .02

  43. 43 Conrad Nicklus Sep 3rd, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    Sounds like FXR-Guy is Sheldon or some Big Dog exec wanting to associate their name with Desperados name.. HMMMMMM

    Way to go FXR-Guy

  44. 44 Kirk Perry Sep 3rd, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    “Or do what the small time fabricators do, just roll your own metal and weld it up. If “an entire industry” could be made around this one product, and NOBODY else is doing it, then that’s what I would call a gold-mine, wouldn’t you? If it’s a sure thing like you say, surely you’d drop $50k into the project when you have a guarantee of making millions on the other end, no?”
    I never said anything about making millions. That was your added spin.

    What I said was that a single set of OEM 1951-1954 fuel tanks would KEYSTONE the only missing part to 1955-1957 replica OHV kits.
    No, you can’t make 5,000 sets of 1951-1954 tanks and sit on them and sell them like kilos out of your house. Well, sprayed with cosmoline and plastic bagged, I guess they would have an indefinite shelf life though. Like a raw fender.
    The 1936-64 HD® 3.5 tanks are different than most tanks. Sure you can have a inside panel stamped. But the outside skin of the tank is problematic. You have the left tank pop-up rod and bottom tank seat holes that have to line up.
    Yes, V-Twin® makes the alignment tool. I have one. They work great.

    There is no way to make a copy of these tanks for 50K, and Nace (an originator of the CCI version 35 yrs. ago) told me you need two sets of sacrificial 3.5 tanks to send to China, and that V-Twin® uses the same manufacturer in China that CCI used.

    The company that makes these tanks needs to have a line of at least Panhead parts. I can raise the 50K, but not the two sets of tanks and steering head and top rail section of a Pan frame. For those items, I’d need V-Twins® help or someone with donate (for a price) tanks.

  45. 45 1550tc Sep 3rd, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    Conrad Nicklus & fxr-guy

    Sounds like FXR-Guy is Sheldon or some Big Dog exec wanting to associate their name with Desperados name..

    Maybe I bumped MY head, but who is Desperado Motorcycles? I have never heard of them…are they part of Big Dog?

    Dudes put the crack pipes down and quickly move back away from your monitors& keyboards for a day or 2 and things well slowly come back to reality for you.

  46. 46 sowhat Sep 3rd, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    Conrad said, “Sounds like FXR-Guy is Sheldon or some Big Dog exec wanting to associate their name with Desperados name.. HMMMMMM”.
    You are kidding yourself Conrad, wake up boy! Joe blow HD rider off the street has never heard of Desperado or Jeff Nicklus. No disrespect intended, so don’t disrespect Sheldon to make yourself look better.

  47. 47 Jeff Nicklus Sep 3rd, 2009 at 3:28 pm


    Lighten up dude, I think the kid was being funny.

    In all honesty I haven’t heard anyone say they haven’t heard of Desperado in like 10 years +/-.

    Over & Out,


  48. 48 sowhat Sep 3rd, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    Like I said Jeff, no disrespect intended.

  49. 49 Jeff Nicklus Sep 3rd, 2009 at 3:38 pm


    Non taken!

    Over & Out,


  50. 50 Conrad Nicklus Sep 3rd, 2009 at 3:40 pm


    If you didnt pay attention it was called humor…I didnt disrespect Sheldon at all and I hope he read it too. I know he is on here quite often and I know he would get a chuckle like everyone else besides you.

    ….”You are kidding yourself Conrad, wake up boy! Joe blow HD rider off the street has never heard of Desperado or Jeff Nicklus. No disrespect intended, so don’t disrespect Sheldon to make yourself look better”…..

    Joe blow HD rider also has not heard of BIg Dog either….Sorry budd


  51. 51 Woody Sep 3rd, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    ….On the brick and mortar thing, they don’t care if you sell online, but you cannot be ONLY an online seller. If you are some guy who wants to open up an eBay or online store and you don’t have a physical storefront, they will tell you NO…. unless that has changed in the past year. I have been in this business for 10 years and every dealer I’ve talked to has always said that PU will only let you have an account if you have a physical location… you cannot just be someone working out of your garage and selling online. You can be working out of your shop and selling online though.

    Correct, but letter of the law and spirit are two different things. Picture if harbor frieght or jc whitney had one 40′ x 20′ store out in the middle of nowhere and did everything else the same………

  52. 52 Woody Sep 3rd, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    I can’t remember, does D.Kirk have a retail store?

  53. 53 Jeff Nicklus Sep 3rd, 2009 at 4:04 pm


    That is a good question … the answer is yes,

    Dennis Kirk Retail Store
    955 South Field Ave
    Rush City, MN 55069

    Over & Out,


  54. 54 Woody Sep 3rd, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    Ah, thanks, guess that makes it legal : ) Another good example of a brick & mortar store that happens to do very well on the web ; )

  55. 55 gardkcuf Sep 4th, 2009 at 1:40 am


  56. 56 Woody Sep 4th, 2009 at 7:20 am

    gardcuff, I feel for you. The internet has changed everything. While giving companies like mine a way to exist without a single magazine ad, they have turned the retail parts world on it’s head in the last dozen years or so. While temporary consumer darlings now, so ebay/net discount/no service places are just destroying the price point of many products and forcing companies to ship more work overseas to survive. Who’s going to be left to buy the stuff? I’m thinking Walmart mentality………………………………..

  57. 57 1550tc Sep 4th, 2009 at 9:14 am


    If the J&P stores are a 10 out of 10 that rush city is a 1-2 on a good day. I stumbled on to it gasing up in MN a few years back and man unless they improved it ……..its just a RATHOLE in the middle of no where with pure junk in it.

    Jeff put this way, that store is on the “witness protection plan of a retail stores”

  58. 58 Jeff Nicklus Sep 4th, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    1550tc ,

    …. and that my friend is how the game is really played …….

    Over & out,


  59. 59 Woody Sep 5th, 2009 at 10:37 am


  60. 60 Chopper Guy Sep 5th, 2009 at 11:07 am

    Hey Drag, year after year you do a great job and we appreciate the hard work it takes to pick up new parts, keep your catalog current and your most excellent fill rate. If I crossed my inventory to any other distributor I would be out of business. It’s kind of hard to repair and service motorcycles when you can’t get the parts.

    If anyone disagrees with this just tell me who does it better and I will buy from them and buy you a big steak dinner!

    See Ya,

    Chopper Guy

  61. 61 jatinder Sep 6th, 2009 at 5:32 am

    Everyone is…no surprises.Drag is nice company,they have done a lot for motorcycles industry.

  62. 62 Woody Sep 6th, 2009 at 9:38 am

    Chopper Guy, I don’t think anyone’s saying Drag does a bad job getting tons of products out to their customers. This is about someting else.

  63. 63 hdconnexion Sep 7th, 2009 at 7:37 am

    thats what happend when you think you,re the best , i have been a dealer for them for over 20 years, a million dollars later they still treat me like shit. thanks to custom chrome with their lower prices,i can get even. simon

  64. 64 mark Sep 7th, 2009 at 8:01 am

    when i was opening my custom motercycle business,drag sent suits to see the process,we were building the showroom and 2 half completed bikes on the 6 new racks in shop,i needed parts drag told me call them when i got finnished.that call was never made tucker rocky,custom chrome,midwest motorcycle supply,midwest,just to name a few took lots of our money.bravo,Drag never got a dime and never will,bikers stick with bikers,suits stay home

  65. 65 BEN FAIELLA Sep 7th, 2009 at 11:02 am

    We are PIPE DREAMZ. We specialize in building custom Sportster only exhaust pipes. We sell to dealers and direct to retail buyers. We eliminate the middle man to keep our retail prices in line. We CANNOT SELL a $$700.00 EXHAUST SYSTEM TO A CUSTOMER WITH A $5000.00 BIKE. WHEN WE FIRST STARTED WE HAD THE OPORTUNITY TO MARKET OUR PIPES THRU A FEW MAJOR DISTRIBUTORS.THEY ALL WANTED AN EXTRA 33% + MARK UP ON OUR PIPES SO THEY CAN RETAIL THEM FOR MORE MONEY. We decided to keep or prices lower, , eliminate the middleman, and we are still the worlds largest manufacturer and seller of radical Sportster only pipes in the world. We retail our best pipes at $449.95 per pair! Quality AMERICAN made and the finest chrome plating and polishing in the industry. Screw the big markups, Dealers can buy direct with NO MINIMUM order and we dropship world wide. for info, , Ben

  66. 66 Nelson Sep 8th, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    We have spent a grand total of $176,842 with LeMans last year in 2008.

    During the entire year of 2008, we have gotten 1 phone call from LeMans asking how we’re doing, etc.

    This year we have not got a single phone call. The phone reps are robots, they do not care at all.
    LeMans is the most terrible parts distributor we deal with, but they do have a decent stock/selection of parts.

    If I were LeMans, I would put CUSTOMER SERVICE as #1 priority.

  67. 67 Conrad Nicklus Sep 9th, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    Chopper Guy,

    I know of a distributor which we use for 90% of the parts we buy and not build. They are 200x better than Drag in my opinion and have all the parts you will need…… Shoot me an email and Ill shoot you the name.


  68. 68 Chopper Guy Sep 10th, 2009 at 8:20 am

    Hey Conrad,

    Thanks for the offer. Ya looking for that free steak?? LOL
    I checked out your site, very nice!

    I could rattle off all of the other distributors (I believe we have account with all distributors from A-Z.)

    We placed orders to 4 seperate disributors yesterday. Naturally there were B/O items. Crossed all B/O #’s to Drag and added to their initial order (they are always the last order of the day). The reason is because they had all initial parts on order to include the parts the other distributors did not have. I don’t have the time to cross #’s all day and spend so much tIme on the phone. Gets busy around here. I do try to spread it around to keep the playing field as level as possible. Anyway, the fill rate is the most important.

    I would love to see every distributor as financially healthy as Drag. Wouldn’t that be a great situation for us dealers. Imagine a distributor that has to incorporate all the things like, availability, price, customer service, on time delivery, answering the phone, calling me back, kissing my bu**, employing sales reps that know what they are doing, knowing all along that we could simply just “drop them”!!!

    Nobody is perfect, it’s like picking the lesser of two evils. That’s all I’m saying.


    Chopper Guy

  69. 69 MSBikeman Sep 15th, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    My shop does about $180,000 a year with Parts Unlimited. I have been on quite a few “dealer” trips with reps from all over the country. Become friends with a few of them…

    The company was much different when Jeff Fox was at the Helm. Stuff had started to go downhill before he retired, it just got worse after Fred took over. I was told Jeff and Fred can’t get along.
    I can see the theory with the minimum purchase, but in today’s market don’t understand it.

    PU tells the vendors how much they will pay for a part and so on.

    My rep told me the other day that he has decided the people he works for are a bunch of A**holes.

  70. 70 Venom Sep 30th, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    Who ever said that CCI had minimums is WAY off. I just placed an order and asked my rep there if there were any and he said that as long as your spending $1500.00 a year with CCI, then you’re still on good standing. He also said that they lowered their VIP level, I look in my price book and shit! He was right! Now it’s easier to get the discounts. I dropped DRAG-Queens last year and I’m so glad I did. NO more pressure, no more bullsh*t from them.

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