A Triumph-ant moment for motorcycle fans

Salesman Daniel Durbin (right) points out the features of the  Triumph Tiger 1050 to a customer. - Charlie Bermant
Salesman Daniel Durbin (right) points out the features of the Triumph Tiger 1050 to a customer.
— image credit: Charlie Bermant

The idea of including motorcycles under the Peninsula Subaru/Suzuki dealership umbrella has been around for some time, and the poor economic climate may not be the most opportune moment to make such a move. But owner John Dionas doesn’t always do what is expected, and has decided to add this new component to the car empire he has built in Gorst.

“It may not be the best time to do this,” Dionas said. “We might have better results if we opened in the spring, which is when more people buy motorcycles. But we decided to get it started now and take advantage of this opportunity so we’ll be more established when the weather gets better.”

Dionas isn’t selling just any motorcycle. He has established a sales franchise for the high-prestige Triumph brand, which at 105 years old is the world’s longest continuous motorcycle manufacturer.

The motorcycle network has been abuzz since news about the dealership leaked out, with dozens of inquiries preceding the grand opening two weeks ago.

“A lot of people really love these bikes,” Dionas said. “It recaptures a feeling for them, the era of Steve McQueen and Marlon Brando. These bikes have a great following.”

On a more practical level, Dionas said the high price of gas has also motivated people to buy motorcycles — although few people will choose to have a bike as their only vehicle in this climate.

As the word gets around, the dealership plans to hold events to promote itself, such as regular barbeques where bikers can meet and greet.

Even with their high status, Dionas said Triumph motorcycles aren't prohibitively expensive. He is displaying about 20 different bikes, ranging from about $8,000 to $22,000.

“Motorcycle riders represent a huge demographic,” he said. “On a sunny weekend afternoon, you see hundreds of bikes riding through here.”

For Dionas, “here” is the Gorst district, the wide spot of highway where State Route 3 connects to State Route 16.

There is a perception that Gorst is a bad location, and the dealership, on the side of the northbound lane, doesn’t have the easiest access.

But Dionas things the location has more advantages than drawbacks. It is a major commuter route, with about 75,000 cars passing by the dealership each day.

This increases his visibility.

He is also looking toward the future, when sewers are installed in Gorst. This will open up business opportunities and allow him to achieve two of his long term goals — building a park and opening a boat dealership with a ready-made harbor.

“We’re fortunate to be here,” Dionas said. “It’s a great area. It has wonderful views and is accessible to the water.”

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