Exhilarating, hard, heart-pounding and free are the most frequent answers you hear if you ask a motorcycle enthusiast concerning the appeal of riding a high- performance system. And BMW motorcycle owners in Northeast Florida can now add convenient to their answers.
Until lately, Northeast Florida BMW bicycle owners considered a trek to Daytona Beach to the closest BMW motorcycle dealership part of the package when they needed service and parts and when they wanted to find out what was new in the realm of BMW bikes and equipment.
On March 3, that facet of the experience enhanced dramatically when BMW Motorcycles of Jacksonville celebrated its grand opening with a bang. The lure of this BMW name attracted countless riders and would-be riders to the recently renovated 15,000-square-foot facility to have the excitement for them.
The audience was treated to a free barbecue dinner as they saw advanced riding demonstrations and product demos, registered for product giveaways and inspected the inventory of impressive new BMW and Victory motorcycles.
A lot of the conversation based about the joy of riding and the technical aspects of BMW bikes with BMW Motorrad USA representatives and the knowledgeable, friendly dealership employees.
Owner Don Passell was on hand to greet guests. Passell made it his mission to find that everyone had a great time. An avid rider and member of the BMW Motorcycle Club of Northeast Florida, Passell is a 20-year veteran Navy pilot who had been stationed in Cecil Field when he murdered. He started his first bike dealership in 2007, and he owns and runs St. Johns Powersports at Palatka.
“With roughly 380 members, the BMW Motorcycle Club of Northeast Florida has been among the largest clubs without local automobile support,” Passell explained. “There was a demand for a location that all riders, BMW riders comprised, could call home — a place where they can find what they have to enhance the riding experience, from services and products to a place to socialize and revel in the camaraderie of fellow riders.”
With BMW Motorcycles of Jacksonville, Passell and his staff bridge the difference.
“Our focus is BMW and Victory brands, but we take used bikes of all sorts,” Passell said. “Ducati, as an example, and Honda models. The same goes for our support department. Naturally, we service and repair BMW and Victory bikes and we are fully capable of servicing and repairing other brands, too.”
“We are psyched to have a BMW motorcycle dealership here in Jacksonville,” Valerie Robinson stated. “My husband and I have already been BMW riders since 1996. BMW has a solid philosophy of quality and security. That and the outstanding performance of the bikes ensure that as soon as you ride a BMW motorcycle, you will not ever go back to another brand.”
Bike owner Robert Sealey agreed. Even though he owns another brand, Sealey expressed similar sentiments about BMW’s dedication to quality, performance and especially security.
“BMW’s K1600 series a part of a new category of ultra-touring bike in which BMW has integrated many features that improve the experience for your rider and earn bicycle riding safer for everyone on the road,” Sealey said.
Safety and also a focus on community and customer service are priorities for Passell, who is preparing to supply intermediate and advanced motorcycle safety and training courses for riders.
“Many accidents can be prevented with appropriate equipment and, naturally, safe riding instruction,” Passell explained. “We’ve demo bikes available so customers thinking about a test drive may immerse themselves in the adventure, provided they have the right safety gear and riding equipment including a helmet and a motorcycle endorsement on their license”
The following event scheduled is now once the dealership will sponsor BMW Demo Day to kick off Bike Week locally.
“BMW Demo Day will feature a complete truckload of new BMW bikes out there for scheduled test drives. Anybody 25 and older with the correct safety gear and a bike endorsement can register to ride one of those demo bikes,” Passell said. “Later in the month (March 27-28), we have Victory Demo Days coming up”
It will not be hard for clients to find BMW Motorcycles of Jacksonville for those demo rides.
“High visibility and proximity to Interstate 295 make ours an perfect loction,” Passell explained. “We are geared for a destination point for many riders in the region. Everyone is welcome to see our comfortable showroom and client lounge, whether awaiting support, looking over the bikes, accessories and equipment, or simply enjoying a cup of coffee and some social time together with fellow riders.”
Longtime BMW enthusiast and Fernandina Beach resident, Steve Shap, perhaps best expressed the advantage of owning a nearby BMW motorcycle dealership when he said,”BMW creates a fantastic bike but the folks are amazing also. This dealership, Don and his staff are still giving us a home and a place to come together”