Like most businesses, the motorcycle industry is changing. Battlefield Harley Davidson owners David and Pauline LeVan adapted to that change by hiring a new management staff to ride into the future.
Battlefield Harley, 21 Calvary Field Road, Gettysburg opened in 2000. David LeVan had recently retired from the railroad industry and was ready to use his management skills in a new way. At first, everything was going pretty smoothy. Business was on a steady incline, David LeVan said, until 2007.
“The recession took a lot of legs out from the business,” he said.
Battlefield Harley snapped back in 2012, he said.
“People had pent up demand and felt more comfortable making purchases,” he said.
It has been a flat ride since then, he said, but with a new team in place he is ready to move forward.
The new team brings a wide variety of expertise from many different industries. Those skills combined with David LeVan’s longstanding promise to provide “a great customer experience,” makes Battlefield Harley stand out among Harley dealers.
“The reality is we are only competing with other Harley dealers,” LeVan said.
Most Harley riders started when they were young, said Marketing Manager Jennie Knox.
“We have a need to build new riders. The core rider is aging out of the sport,” said General Manager Scott Kravitz.
To accomplish that, Battlefield Harley offers motorcycle safety classes twice per year. It is also finding success by attracting female riders, Kravitz said. It takes a Jump Start motorcycle to events so people can try a stationary motorcycle experience. The Jump Start is fixed to a trailer and users can change gears and get the feel of what it is like to be on a motorcyle, Kravitz said.
The business also must learn what the newer riders want.
“Younger people socialize differently,” David LeVan said.
Some younger riders are attracted to smaller bikes and even electric motorcycles. The management team must constantly have conversations with its customers so Battlefield Harley is offering what they want.
“You have to be in the gate or be left behind,” David LeVan said. “We hope we can share the joy we had with younger riders.”
The dealership also carries an “incredible” selection of riding clothes, said Pauline LeVan. The inventory is constantly changing to meet the customers’ needs, she said.
Previous generations would go for long rides. Younger people gather more than they ride, Knox said.
To meet that need, Battlefield Harley hosts bike nights and open houses, such as the one occurring this weekend. Today, they will host a For the Love of a Veteran Ride beginning at 9:30 a.m.
“The events are about bringing people together,” Knox said.
Battlefield Harley Davidson’s main location on Cavalry Field Road is open seven days a week. It also has a store on York Street in downtown Gettysburg. Hours and more information can be found at www.battlefieldharley-davidson.com.