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Get Inside, Deep Inside
Step inside I-90 Motorsports and you've stepped inside -- a motorsports shop - right? Hah! Look closer?
You wouldn't know just from stepping into I-90 that you're among a serious group of motorsports enthusiasts, but it won't take you long to figure that out.
Jack Milne took over I-90 in the mid 90s, not just as a business venture, but because he was a motorsports enthusiast himself.
His business sense was up to the task indeed. Milne came from an electronic business information background that prepared him well for running his own operation. And if that background wasn't enough, Milne took his first ride on a motorcycle at 18 (he's a little older now, not much... but a little) and hence, he had the desire to be in the motorsports industry.
"I figured I would semi retire, but I-90 was something I wanted to do for fun," comments Milne as we sip coffee early on an October morning from his office vantage in the Issaquah shop. "My first bike was a Honda Scrambler and later I got a 69 BSA 441 Victor, which I still own today."
I-90 has held its current location for 12 years. The dealership has an interesting history of owners. It began with Jim Pelletier as one of the first proprietors back in the 80s, prior to opening his Renton Kawasaki store (today he sells Corbin's Sparrow).
Presently, I-90 has quite a juicy array of product lines including: Honda, Yamaha, Triumph, KTM, Cannondale, Seadoo and Skidoo.
As the two Japanese lines I-90 features make up a lion's share of the market, things are pretty much always hopping at the dealership. With the increase of bikes entering the market with fuel injection, I-90 has stepped up to the plate, installing a dyno-meter on the premises and adding the needed gear to read the computer regulated machines it sells. Service is a key part of this dealer's personality. In this department, Milne is pleased to note that he has a few employees who have been with him since he bought the dealership in 1995.
Milne loves to ride, and it's reflected throughout the store's calendar of events. The dealership is involved with the Honda Riders Club program, which guarantees all customers of I-90 are invited to participate in scheduled monthly rides during the warm season. They currently have 75+ riders in the group and it keeps growing. Membership is free! Beyond that there are overnight rides and special promotions that revolve around charity events such as the Ride For Kids. In 2000, they were the top fundraiser for that event.
And then there's the track. Milne has a decent collection himself of sport bikes, including a fuel injected CBR1100 XX Black Bird. A few times each year, they take over SIR for a track day and also set up track days in other yummy locales; such as Thunder Hills in Northern California and Spokane Raceway. The dealership also sponsors a number of riders who do the local circuit via WMRRA.
During the summer months, it's hit and miss if you'll actually find Milne at the store. The man loves to ride. His favorite places include: Montana, Montana and Montana.
Nearly all the employees at I-90 are experienced riders and enthusiasts. "We like to make sure customers have a good experience here from the time they buy the bike, to when they return for service and accessories," says Milne, as he discusses the importance of employees who have a passion for the business.
I-90 also supports the local Rider Education program, supplying bikes to MSF affiliates and servicing them regularly. Customers who purchase bikes from the dealer are encouraged to participate in the program and can often sign up for it on the spot.
Another feature I-90 provides its customers is a "ride before you buy" invitation. "90% of the time, we have a demo of any current model which we allow the customer to ride before they buy (provided they can provide a current endorsement and insurance information)".
Check out their website at http://www.i-90motorsports.com
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