Ready to Ride
Posted by Theresa Tanner on June 18, 2018, 6 a.m.
On a visit to Westside Motorsports in mid May, a few motorcyclists were practicing on their asphalt training course behind their showroom and service center in southwest Spokane. This isn’t out of the ordinary, as the motorcycle dealership offers classes for riders almost daily, except for the fact that it was raining quite heavily.
Westside training classes aren’t cancelled due to rain because riders – especially those in Washington – have to be prepared for wet weather through the year.
The popularity of the courses is another factor.
“We have such a high demand for classes, (students) show up in the rain because they don’t want to wait another two weeks,” said Mandy O’Connell, Director of Communications, Rider Testing & Training Coordinator, and Marketing & Events.
Along with classes, Westside helps outdoor adventurers gear up for the summer season, selling everything from motorcycles and scooters to jet skis and ATVs.
O’Connell noted that buyers this year have shown a lot of enthusiasm for BMW’s line of Adventure bikes that allow for both on- and off-road riding experiences.
“Especially in the Inland Northwest, there’s a huge market for on/off roading, and BMW really caters to that,” she said. “They have everything from wicked fast race bikes to entry level machines.”
Westside became a BMW dealer in 2005, two years after Scott Schmidtman purchased the dealership. Another European brand, Ducati, was added to the showroom in 2010.
Adding these luxury brands to Westside’s inventory really changed the look of Westside, which has been locally owned since 1977, with upgrades to flooring and presentation to properly showcase these high-end lines.
“There used to be sawdust floors, it looked a lot like a dirt bike shop,” O’Connell said.
The upgrades extended outside as well, with more buildings and attention to landscaping.
“We added a warehouse, so we can have the most on-site inventory in the area and keep it protected from the elements,” Schmidtman said. “We also added a regulation asphalt training facility.”
Westside offers training for riders of 2-wheels and 3-wheels with courses for beginners, intermediate and advanced riders with both classroom and hands-on instruction. They also host the motorcycle knowledge and skills test for a Department of Licensing motorcycle endorsement.
Throughout the year, they teach about 300 classes to about 700 students.
Beginning riders are able to use motorcycles and helmets provided by Westside, which may help them determine which kind of bike they want to invest in.
“We can teach you to ride, or help with more advanced riding skills,” O’Connell said.
What’s Hot This Summer
A great entry-level machine for a first time rider.
Throwback looks are popular with riders longing for nostalgia.
Side by Sides
The two-person utility vehicle is bigger and more capable than an ATV.
Photographer: Dan Cooley
Model: Janelle Frisque (MAM)
Hair: Jerrold Sobida (House of POp)
Makeup: Julie Farley (The Make-Up Studio)
Location, wardrobe and equipment: Westside Motorsports