Motorcycles drive a sense of freedom in every aspect of Dale Brede’s life, and it’s a feeling he wants to share with family, friends, and customers.
Dale took over the Canberra Motorcycle Centre at Fyshwick three short years ago, and while it was already a strong business, he has worked hard to introduce a new culture and atmosphere, a focus that staff and customers have responded to.
In that time the business has continued to grow, with about 50 staff now working out of a large modern showroom and workshop. It’s a place that is becoming a destination for the motorcycle community in the ACT and southern NSW.
Dale’s ambitions start with his family background and encompass all those who love to ride or want to ride.
“Every person has their own set of issues that they deal with every day – we all get stuck in the monotony of day to day life,”
“Riding a bike disrupts that routine in a really positive way. Even if it’s just half an hour on your commute to and from work, riding shifts your thinking because you have got to be present in that moment.”
Freedom also flows from the success of the business, which allows Dale to provide opportunities for his family and create futures for his staff and their families.
It’s freedom and hard work that is part of the family’s DNA, with Dale’s father Campbell Brede, the owner of National Capital Motors, setting the example for his sons.
“For as long as I can remember I was going to sell cars for Dad,” Dale says.
On leaving school, Dale went straight into the family business full time.
“Starting from the ground up as a spare parts delivery driver, I had numerous jobs in place over the years and then in 2007 I became dealer principal, managing 120 people,” he recalls.
Turning 40 prompted a rethink, not just for Dale but also the car business he’d been such a part of with his father and brother.
The family embraced and adapted to the opportunity of change. “It was time for all of us to do something else,” Dale says.
With his father and brother staying on to grow National Capital Motors, Dale got out of the business and bought the Canberra Motorcycle Centre.
“Dad is really proud of what I have gone out and done, he can see his work ethic in me,”
“And anyone who knows my old man knows he doesn’t suffer fools; but he set the example, he went out and created something for his family.
“He gave me and my brother a start, but also ensured we had the ability and expertise to have a go and succeed.”
Three years on, refining the business and driving further change is part of Dale’s day-to-day.
Good coffee helps!
The new in-house cafe continues to build a community around the business and is becoming a place where Canberrans can share their passion for motorcycles and ask questions of each other and Dale’s staff in a relaxed, no pressure, no judgment environment.
“Making sure we have good coffee and barista skills was a priority. We aim for excellence in everything we do, we want the customer to have a positive experience,” he says.
The next phase of growth and change is incorporating online sales into the business.
“The opportunity outside of our bricks and mortar business is online accessories for the road bike community, so we have just launched a very big web store called ‘RideLine‘,”
“The road bike market isn’t currently well served online and we are looking to fill that need.
“We are already pretty good at looking after those people when they walk into the shop so this is a logical extension and another way we can not just serve our customers but meet new ones.”
But Dale loves the human contact of his Fyshwick showroom and believes that the bricks and mortar experience will always be a part of retail.
“I don’t care what anyone says, people still want to touch and feel your product and ask questions from knowledgeable staff,” he says.
“What we want to do is make sure we do the bricks and mortar as well as we can but there is a massive opportunity online, particularly in road bike accessories.”
When Dale isn’t looking after customers and staff he is feeding his own passion for bikes, racing in the Australian Superbike Championship.
“I occasionally race a Suzuki GSX-R 1000R. I actually run the factory team for Suzuki, and I ride an MX a lot at home on our 40 acres,” he says.
“It comes back to that sense of freedom, and I must admit I like speed, but it all flows into the business.”
Dale is always happy to talk bikes and share his experiences, especially if you are new to riding.
“Bikes have become easier to ride, so more and more people are realising that riding a bike might be an option for them – women, in particular, are starting to really embrace the industry,” he says.
Come and take a seat in the Canberra Motorcycle Centre Cafe and start to experience the freedom that Dale is creating for people.