BMW riders are a unique group of enthusiasts, known as much for their independent spirit as for their sense of community. Few manufacturers enjoy the deep loyalty that BMW owners bestow on their chosen marque. Riding a BMW is as much about lifestyle as it is motorcycling. Max Stratten, who owns and operates Max BMW dealerships in New Hampshire and New York, understands that this drives the BMW experience as much as the desire to ride an exemplary machine. He therefore provides his customers with a series of on- and off-road rallies, and various events year-round that cater to this extended social aspect of motorcycling.
In addition to his calendar of events, Stratten hosts private track days that provide his customers opportunities to push their machines in the controlled environment of a closed course. These have experienced a serious upswing in popularity, thanks in large part to the popularity of K bikes, which are well suited to the track. “At our early events several years ago we struggled to fill track day slots,” he says. “Now, they fill up two months in advance.”
Stratten has witnessed firsthand the impact the K bikes have had on the foot traffic passing through his two showrooms. A number of his BMW loyalists have traded up to them, in some cases swapping small collections of two or three prized BMWs to ride away with one of the new machines. More and more, his customers are “cleaning up their garages.” He has also seen the new models spark interest from customers who have been long absent from motorcycle shops—curiosity brings them in to kick tires, and they frequently make purchases on the spot.