Beta USA have announced a programme to ship bikes direct to customers but could buying bikes online be the future? Are dealers integral or old school?

In recognition of the current Coronavirus situation and its effects, Beta USA is offering customers the option to have a new Beta sent directly to their home or business, ready to ride.

Operating under their Build Your Own Bike (BYOB) programme, customers can choose the model they want, add accessories, select their Beta dealer, leave a refundable $500.00 deposit and click send. 

Beta USA’s BYOB scheme existed prior to the Coronavirus situation – adding the option to have that bike then shipped direct to you is a natural step. But is it something we could see continuing in the future?

We're still buying bikes

Bike sales have taken a dip during lockdown but haven’t dried up by any means. Dealers are still selling bikes and parts, which, speaking anecdotally, is partly because we all have this extra time at home and keep walking out to the garage way more than normal. 

A quick chat with the Beta UK importer, John Lampkin, confirmed as much but he added the situation is very different in the US simply because of the scale of the process across the States compared to the rest of the world.

The Direct Delivery BYOB bikes are fully assembled, test ridden, and ready to ride. Any accessories you order are fitted at the Beta USA headquarters prior to heading out to your local dealer. The shipping is via FedEx or Reddaway and is an additional cost. 

Convenience versus experience

Beta USA say it is a limited offer but why not carry this on? Surely the convenience is high on the scale – if you can afford the shipping costs why not get it delivered?

The obvious reply to that is the experience we get from visiting a dealer. Bike shops are great places to hang out and significant part of the whole package of riding dirt bikes, aren’t they? 

Just like hanging about in race paddocks or sitting at the side of a trail talking crap, a trip to your local bike shop is a huge part of the social side of riding bikes. It’s where we get to talk, listen and learn from experts and feel part of the gang.

There’s no doubt some people prefer to communicate in messages, click boxes and wait for a reply. Clicking and buying a bike online could well take off as a concept and live on long after this Covid crisis has passed.

Is it the future or just a one-off? Time will tell.

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