Northants Classic Bikes

Northants Classic Bikes

1974 Bonneville T120 650ccRecession busting business

Rushden based Steve Hasler, and his wife Julie, made the switch from the used motor trade into classic bikes just five years ago. The move wasn’t such a strange one however, both are keen bikers and Steve has a strong background in the industry having left school to be a bike apprentice, enjoying working with two wheels for the next 9-years, before moving into the four wheeled world. “I started off at 13 years of age on an Ariel Pixie” Steve said “I was just riding it around the fields like so many kids at the time and currently have an example of that fine machine in stock ready for restoration. I guess this is typical of so many current classic owners who long to have old favourites in their possession, or aspire to own the bikes they couldn’t have afforded when they where the desirable machines of their day.”

74 Triumph Bonneville T120The classic bike business came about when a well established motorcycle retail operation came up for sale due to illness, “The shop was local to me and I had a working knowledge of the business as I used to restore bikes for the previous owner” Steve recalled “So, after a bit of discussion and several potential buyers coming in and out of view, I made the decision to buy it and here we are now. We moved to a small shop on a busy street on the outskirts of Rushden in Northants, and this brings in lots of passing trade as well as being within easy reach of the M1 and A1, and centrally located for the whole of the UK. The classic bike scene is a far more stable business platform than the car market with the added bonus of the stock increasing in value the longer it stays in the showroom. If I were to close the shop for a few weeks I would have to put my prices up upon reopening, that is a nice feeling and a rare one in any kind of business these days.”

BSA and Nortons line up for sale“There are down sides, the travelling can be hard, as buying bikes does involve getting in the van often very early in the morning, and doing covering miles but the main problem I have is finding the stock. Selling it is no problem, as the classic scene is still bucking the current trends and is thriving, I can sell everything I lay my hands on. The website is crucial too, it is a round the clock port of call and gets hits from all over the world. We aim to sell high quality machinery, fully prepared and ready to go and have full workshop facilities on the premises to get machines ready.”

Northants Classic Bikes Showroom“I do have a good knowledge, and a love of the Japanese tackle as that is where I started, but from a business point of view I try to specialise in the Brit iron, with a few selected goodies, like Lambretta and Vespa scooters thrown in for good measure. The beauty of the British bikes is the parts availability, most models have been around for many a good year, and even then there were few model changes as the decades wore on, this makes stocking parts and repairing machinery a far easier task than when trying to do the same with the Japanese bikes as these moved on so much faster. So far the recession has hardly dented the classic world and demand is stronger than ever, the premises we currently occupy is ideal, although a little more space for parts storage wouldn’t go amiss. There is definitely a difference between the average car and bike customer too, car buyers expect everything to be spot on, and quite rightly too, whereas the classic bike owner is half willing the bike to go wrong so there is a another job to be tackled.“Northants Classic Bikes

Northants Classic Bikes

Tel: 01933 355525
Mobile: 07860 358210

Northants Classic Bikes Gallery

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