Haven’t we all been through enough in the last two years? Lock downs, mask ups, I could go on and on, but I won’t take this blog down into some kind of political diatribe. We love motorcycles and riding them, so let’s spare the opinions. Besides “social distancing” and “we’re in this together”, another thing that has come out of the last two years is the now common phrase “supply chain”. Once a phrase only uttered in the world of manufacturing, it’s become just as famous now as the QR code you scan to look at your Applebee’s menu.
Why does “supply chain” matter to bikers? Well, everything you’re buying here or anywhere else has to get to our warehouses somehow. The strain on transportation alone has been tough, but when you consider how many things for your bike are made in, or have parts from, outside the U.S., it becomes a much more tangled mess. As much as we all love our motorcycles, I think we all have to take an honest look and realize that at the end of the day, our motorcycles probably aren’t exactly priority for shipping companies. Couple that with the fact that a lot of your favorite motorcycle accessory companies are relatively small and don’t book a large amount of containers for shipping, and often the best companies in our industry are left empty handed when it comes to finding away to get you what you need.
Of course, this typically results in anger from the customers, and I’ve dealt with it a lot recently. The long and short of it is, it’s no one in this industry’s fault. EVERYONE at EVERY COMPANY is trying to get you the parts you want, so the conspiracy theory that these companies are lying to you about producing parts is one that is easily debunked. So, what can you do? As stupid as this sounds after we watched the entire world go nuts over toilet paper, you need to buy when you can.
The riding season is upon most of us and about to hit full song. If your tires or brakes look like they aren’t going to make it through the season, you better buy some now. You’ve got room in your garage to store 2 motorcycle tires for a couple of months. Plus, you’re either going to need them, or when that 180/55B18 rear tire is unavailable from every tire manufacturer, you can sell it at a premium to that riding buddy who always bails on you at the last minute when you plan a great ride. Your call!
This blog isn’t about instilling some kind of fear or causing you to panic buy, so be smart about it. Go out to your garage and look at your bike. What does it look like you’re going to need 2 months from now? Has there been a certain accessory that you’ve been saying you’ll eventually buy when the time is right? Well, the time is right now, before the inventory potentially goes to zero.
I’m sure you’re sitting there reading this and thinking, “Look at this hypocrite. He works for Direct Cycle Parts, he can just get things whenever he needs them!” Trust me, I practice what I preach. It seems that I’m always into parts that are obsolete, on closeout or have been simply gathering dust in the warehouse. Maybe I’m behind the trends or I just like things that no one else does, but I can tell you that I’ve got a little stockpile of parts that I’ve been stacking up for projects that I probably won’t start for a year or more. My treasure trove of parts started just as the world came to a screeching halt when Daytona Bike Week 2020 came to a premature end. Some would say I suddenly found myself with a lot of time on my hands to plan out projects back then. Not that I’m some kind of fortune teller, but some of those parts are already discontinued. At the end of the day it all worked out, I have them and no one else does! Perhaps no one else wanted them, but I sure won’t have to scour the internet or swap meets looking for what I need later on down the road halfway through my project.
So browse the site, call in and talk to our tech team, but for the love of all things loud and shiny, don’t be that rider that is stuck at home because the parts you need to keep you going are suddenly unavailable. We’re here to help keep you on the road and keep you looking good while you’re doing it. Put us to work.