Franklin Motorcycles become a full member of SIMI.

Joint owners Barry Egan and Keith Reynolds founded the distribution company AKB in 2010. The business supplied rider equipment such as clothing and helmets as well as security products, communications kits, hearing protection, cleaning solutions and luggage to the motorcycle trade.

The company quickly expanded their portfolio to include brands such as Sena, Roof, Premier, Vulcanet, Eska, Artago, John Doe, Macna, Rizoma, Battery Tender, Alpine and more. AKB rapidly earned a reputation for supplying some of the best brands on the market to some of the most successful motorcycle dealers here in Ireland.

Meanwhile in 2011 Polaris, the American Giant took over the Indian Motorcycle brand in the US. With significant inward investment they re introduced iconic motorcycles such as the Scout, the Chief and the Springfield. They began manufacturing modern, reliable and beautifully styled bikes that were true to the original designs.

By 2016 there was a full a fully established dealer network in the UK and the brand was beginning to make some series inroads into the market over there. The company was now looking to find an innovative partner to represent the brand in Ireland and the negotiations began.

“We were made aware of the Irish connection with Charles Franklin, a Dubliner, having introduced the world to the Indian Scout a centaury ago. It seemed that there was a good opportunity to bring the bikes home as it were.” Explains Reynolds. Egan elaborates, “The brand appealed to us on a number of levels. We really liked how customer focused they are. They offer a five year warranty on every bike they sell and if they were going to be that sure of the product then we could only find that a big plus in our favour”

Taking the name Franklin was a no brainer and the new store was officially launched at the Irish Motorcycle Show earlier this year. AKB, meanwhile, continues to go from strength to strength and the new Indian dealership is now a client of the well established distributor carrying many of the brands in the state of the art showroom.

With a premium brand like Indian, which comes with a requirement for a full workshop as well as carrying a full range of clothing and lifestyle products, having matching management processes in place was always going to be critical to the new ventures success.

“Being a SIMI member gives our customers the confidence to deal with us. Becoming a member of SIMI tells our customers how seriously we take what we do and offers them a huge amount of reassurance. From our side the society provides us with the processes to make what we do simpler. SIMI offer us a more regimented way of doing business from writing clear sales contracts with our customers to facilitating warranty issues in a timely fashion” explains Reynolds.

Charles Bayly Franklin was born at 1 St. Patrick’s Villas, Whitworth Road, Drumcondra, Dublin on the 13 October 1880. He was an engineer and a motorcycle racer. He designed motorcycles for the Indian Motorcycle Company, including the original Indian Scout of 1920, the original Indian Chief of 1922, and the Indian 101 Scout of 1928.

Franklin Motorcycles are in Swords Enterprise Park, Feltrim Road, Swords, Co Dublin. Call 01 5385 005 to book a test ride or drop in for a rather excellent coffee.