Haus of Trikes & Bikes – and more!
There is a huge secret that you may not know of, located in beautiful Ft. Myers, Florida. Haus of Trikes & Bikes is your absolutely one-stop shop for bike repair, rental bikes, new and used motorcycles, and their specialty – building trikes.
I spent a wonderful afternoon with Owner Manfred Glanzner and Sales Consultant Mike Tinneny. Both gentlemen are very intelligent professionals who love what they do at Haus of Trikes & Bikes!
Manfred shared with me why he started this business. “I started Haus of Trikes & Bikes in 2000. As you can imagine at this point, everyone was laughing at my trike business. When I went to Daytona, people were like ‘What the hell is that?’ Long story short, this picture has changed. This is the fastest-growing industry over the last couple of years. In addition, trike sales are growing whereas motorcycle 2-wheel sales are falling nearly 20%. Because we are strong believers in trikes, in 2005, we added motorcycles to our business. Today we are selling ATVs, UTVs, and side-by-side vehicles.”
From day one, they totally specialized in trikes. They have also excelled in custom builds, choppers, and unique fabrication projects. Haus of Trikes was also dealers for Big Dog Choppers and Titan Motorcycle. Because of the diversified programs that they had; they survived the hard years in 2007-2008 when the market crash happened. “A lot of bike dealers went out of business during that crash. We never lost focus on the trikes and were able to stay in business.”
Manfred’s business is absolutely unique, with many different levels of expertise and skill. “I am from Germany and always came to Florida for vacation. I wanted to do something here in Florida after one of my friends moved here. I was always a motorcycle guy. In Germany, we were used to riding trikes. In 1999, when my buddy and I went to a local dealer to ask if we could rent a trike, the guy behind the desk looked at me like I was from another planet! At this point, I went to the Germany trike dealer called Boom Trikes and asked them if we could start a distribution business for trikes here in the USA.”
Haus of Trikes is the largest trike conversion company in Florida. “I grew up with trike companies like Motor Trike, Hannigan, and Road Smith. We all met each other on the manufacturing/distribution-side because I did shows with my trikes and these guys tried to establish the conversion trike market. They knew me from day one as a manufacturer and importer and that I already had an established shop. That’s when I became I dealer for them.”
Manfred went through all the training at these manufacturer’s factories. “We are all trained, got certified, and became specialized trike technicians since day one. We are deeply rooted in the trike business which I am very proud of.”
In general, many folks who want to own/ride a trike don’t know much about them other than they want one. Trikes that are being mass-produced are not being made in the higher quality/customer-specific trike that Manfred and his staff take pride in building. “All of our kits are independent suspension, air ride, totally different rail and trail, rake kits, etc. We have 4-5 kits for a Harley, I have different setups where I can make this trike special for you. You don’t have options when you purchase a stock, mass-produced trike, other than letting the salesperson know what color you want.” Mike mentioned that they have 11 trike kits on order at this time!
Selling and building trikes is something that Manfred and his staff do on a daily basis. What’s special, in addition to their knowledge and vast experience, is they also work building trikes for folks who have disabilities. “We can make a trike specific to the needs of the customer. If, for example, they can’t use a hand shifter, we can install an air shifter. Or if you need a bracket for a wheelchair, our fabrication shop can build that as well. We are not limited on what we can or can’t do! For example, we are building a scooter with a sidecar! The customer wants to travel with his dog. You can’t take your scooter to any dealer out there and say build me a sidecar for my scooter!” Manfred and his team put the concepts and ideas to paper then they make sure that those ideas produce a road-worthy, safe and secure vehicle. Besides regular trike conversion builds, they also buy used motorcycles and trike them so that there are trikes ready to go from the sales floor. Manfred added, “At any one time, there are at least 20 trikes on the floor.”
Haus of Trikes & Bikes is the leading dealership for Enfield motorcycles, too! Manfred shared, “What many people don’t realize is that Royal Enfield motorcycles started their company back in 1901. This is the oldest and largest production company in the world. When times were tough, this company never went out of business. Last year, they sold over 800,000 motorcycles! These days, younger people don’t have the large budgets to step out and purchase a $20,000 bike. He or she wants a commuter bike to ride back and forth to school or to work. Starting at $4,500, you can get a beautiful Enfield that will be the talk of the local bike night due to its classic 50s look. It also comes with ABS, road-side assistance, 3-year warranty, and still half the price of a Triumph.”
When you come to visit Manfred and his staff at Haus of Trikes & Bikes, you will be amazed at the beautiful 30,000 sq. ft. building housing all the trikes, bikes, clothing, fabrication shop, repair shop, and more! This is the only independent dealership, non-franchise two-story showroom in the area.
Manfred and his business partner, Herbert Baum, have been long-time friends. Herbert is another motor-head who loves this business as much as Manfred. Like Manfred, Herbert is at the shop every day as well!
The good news today is that Haus of Trikes & Bikes are opening up a NEW showroom and shop in Sarasota! “Our new facility is 15,000 sq. ft. You can drop your bike off in Sarasota and then come pick it up three days later. There will be a fully loaded service area for regular motorcycle service, tire changes, motor work, etc. The big builds will still be located in our Ft. Myers location because we are completely set up for that.” The doors will be open sometime in November and a HUGE Grand Opening Party will happen in December! (Stay tuned to Born To Ride for that update!)
Manfred is a hands-on shop owner who has his hands on every build or repair that comes into his shop. “I need to make sure that the quality control is perfect. I still build trikes on my own as well. I have 14 lifts in the shop. We are so busy that I need to step in and help out with all the orders that are coming in. I train my mechanics, one-on-one. I make sure that the knowledge is never leaving the company.” Manfred is at his shop every day!
Why Born To Ride? “Number one, I need regional coverage and advertising. There isn’t a lot out there. We do a lot of stuff for our community, the Veterans, and various charities. I’m sure there are some out there reading this article that feel they will never ride again. Some Veteran organizations even help out financially with trike builds. Getting the word out about what we do and all that we can help with is very important to us.”
There will be a super huge Halloween Party at Haus of Trikes & Bikes on Saturday, October 26! “We call this party, Haus-O-Ween Halloween Party. There will be live music, free beer, free food, bikini bike wash, motorcycle stunt show, and a costume contest at 1:00 PM, where there will be cash prizes up to $500! In addition, there will be a year-end store-wide blow out sale!”
Haus of Trikes & Bikes will be set up at the Speedway during Biketoberfest! “I will be running the motor-trike show on the Speedway.” Stop by and let Manfred know that you read about him and his business in Born To Ride magazine!
Last thoughts? “We have mechanics that repair Honda, Kawasaki, BMW, Suzuki, we have fabricator guys and the old-school Harley dudes. We are booked solid for weeks. There is a reason why people come here. There is a waiting list of people that want to come here. No one builds trikes around here the way we build trikes. I’m also building Indian trikes all over the state of Florida because there aren’t any companies building them!”
Thank you, Manfred and Mike, for a great conversation about Haus of Trikes & Bikes and sharing your superb story with the readers of Born To Ride magazine!
By: Susan Hurst
Who: Haus of Trikes & Bikes
Where: 4607 Fowler Street, Ft. Myers, FL
Social Media: Facebook: TrikesandbikesSWFL
YouTube: Haus of Trikes & Bikes