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Ducati Seattle

A candid conversation with Dave Roosevelt

If you've ridden motorcycles for any length of time in Puget Sound region, no doubt you've come across Dave Roosevelt in one way or another. Having worked for a number of dealers, raced and been generally active in the sport, the man is legendary to many. One former employer/dealer said, "I've taught him everything he knows," and it's likely others would say the same.  So, after all this schooling Dave it was only a matter of time before he opened his own shop, and when he did - he did it in style. Grabbing one of the most popular exotic lines of European bikes and a downtown location, Roosevelt has set into motion the next phase of his living legacy. We cornered Dave one morning at the shop and in cyberspace and got the skinny on where things are at in his life today. - Tom Mehren  

1) What inspired you to finally break off on your own and open Seattle Ducati? 

After attending World Ducati Weekend in June of 98...I came away from it feeling a new sense of excitement towards the brand and all the Ducati people involved with the operations. I came back to Seattle with one goal in mind of opening my own Ducati Design store.

2) Aside from Ducati what other lines do you/will you carry? 

At this point we intend to focus on strictly the Ducati Brand but we also carry the Italjet brand of performance scooters out of Italy. We will also have a variety of the smaller displacement 2-stroke exotic bikes from Honda, Aprilia and others.

3) What is the philosophy you plan to do business by?

In the Service Department  My goal here is to attempt to create a consistent experience for my customers every time they come to the store...that means that they can count on always receiving professional, knowledgeable service from all the team that makes up Ducati Seattle. 

4) What kind of special events will you be holding to promote the store in the future? 

Looking onto the Showroom Floor From the Customer Lounge. To date, we have done a party at Jillian's for everyone to get together and watch some racing on Speedvision, we have had a presence at various events from SIR to the Sovern races to the Italian Concours at the Pier last weekend...we want to increase the Ducati brand awareness in the NW. Our grand opening party was very well attended (approx. 800).  For the upcoming months we will do some in-house seminars with our vendors for our customers....tire seminars, clothing etc.... we will have them in our showroom in front of the fireplace and intend to call them "Fireside Chats".  Next season we are very involved with helping promote the new NW Supersport series to run both in Seattle (WMRRA) and Portland (OMRRA). Along with a new Sport Turismo series TBA.

5) How many different dealerships did you work at in Puget Sound before opening SD and what were some of them? 

I started at Seattle Honda in 78..then a brief stint at Lynnwood Yam for my first sales experience and then Renton Honda for 6 years, Lynnwood Cycle Barn for 4.5 and then, most recently, I managed Bellevue Suzuki Ducati for the past 5.5 years.

6) How long have you been in the motorcycle industry and what have you learned from all this? 

21 years now. I have really learned that all the rules change in the motorcycle game but one thing stays true, if you take exceptional care of your customers they will continue to come back to you as well as send you their friends. This is a fun sport, and keeping the whole shopping experience (sales, parts or service) fun is key..

7) What is your riding background? 

My first bike was a Z50 in 68 and I've never been without something ever since.....road raced in the 80s...managed to come away unscathed and with a few local championships !! I would love to do it again !!  I still street ride every chance I get.

8) What bikes do you have in your personal collection?  

My current bike is a 97 Ducati M750 monster...customized to my liking....I also have a series on older Japanese "tiddlers" 3 total (71 T125 stinger, a 73 TS185 Sierra and a 63 T90 Hillbilly). 

9) What advice do you give riders that are new to sport bikes?

First off, get some professional training if you're new to the sport or just getting back into it....and second, buy less bike and get more safety riding gear and training..

10) Does the dealership cover the cost of the motorcycle safety program when a customer makes a new or used bike purchase? 

Yes.

11) What's coming in 2000 from Ducati that riders should know about? 

A bit of restyling on the Monster 900 line up along with fuel injection on the 900s Ducati will also bring in the M900 Dark this next year.....too cool ! The rest of the line up is similar to 99's but there will be two new 748 models added to the line up which will position themselves on either side of the current version. Ducati did say that the Mike Hailwood Replica (MH900E) will be a production bike at some point in 2000. The other big news is that Ducati is really fine tuning their apparel line up with sportswear from Assics, a well-known sports wear company in the U.S. Also, there will be a whole new line up of Ducati Gear from Dainese. Performance parts are really ramping up for next year as well....brand awareness and brand tie in are the goals for Ducati.

12) How has the Ducati line changed over the last ten years in your opinion? 

I think the most obvious change has been since the TPG buyout from 96..this has really increased Ducati's communication with their dealers, which in turn aids in the dealers' communication with the consumers. Ducati really views its dealers as their "partners", and in turn supports them like one. This, of course, trickles down to the consumer with more professional dealers and better support.

13) Any word from the Ducks around South Lake Union as to how they feel about this new breed in their neighborhood? 

Quack...quack is all I've heard ??!

For more information visit the Ducati Seattle online atwww.ducatiseattle.com .


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