When professional dirt bike racer Ryan Wells started his mobile storefront business, AZ Dirt Bike Training, he didn’t expect it to take off the way it did.
Today, Wells, a Peoria resident, travels across the country to teach riders of all ages and skill levels how to be safer and faster on the track — all out of a Ford Transit van.
Wells, 25, who is certified by the United States Motorcycle Coaching Association, started training riders in 2015 through the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Motocross Camp. But it wasn’t until July 2018 that he took it to the next level.
“A lot of people can go fast, but they don’t know how or why. I take pride in being able to break it down pretty well. I teach the basic form and technique,” Wells said. “This Transit really changed the game for me. I’m able to work out of it, travel, meet customers. I even transfer people’s bikes. That’s another way I make money.”
The Ford Transit van, which is equipped with a 6-foot twin mattress, seating area, television, USB outlets and drawers for gear, as well as a garage that can hold three bikes, is a livable space, Wells said.
“I’m really glad I got the van. It definitely works for what I do. The front is designed to haul people around the country, which is nice. I could live out of it for sure,” he said, adding he’s traveled as far as Michigan and Tennessee.
According to Transit Assistant Brand Manager Tim Maes, as mobile businesses become more common, Ford continues to see an increase in the sales of its Transit van. Transit has seen a 5.3% uptick in sales for fleets ranging in size from one to five vans.
“When we were studying the trends, we started noticing a niche of small business owners who are using the Transit vans more actively. We feel that businesses are now looking for more on-site activation; a more catered retail experience they can offer to their customers wherever they are,” Maes said.
Maes calls the trend a win-win situation for Ford and small business owners like Wells.
“I was very happy that we were able to speak with Ryan and AZ Dirt Bike Training; just a great example of a small business who’s rethinking market strategies, trying to come up with new ways to have brand engagement and awareness and just being creative,” he said.
In terms of what’s next, Wells said in 2020 he will continue to focus on racing professionally and take on more business opportunities with a rental company.
“I’m partnering with Ready to Ride Rentals, and we’ve been doing some pretty cool stuff where we’re letting people fly over, rent a bike from (Ready to Ride Rentals) and I instruct them and take them on tour rides,” he said.
“It takes the training side of dirt-biking — getting faster, safer — and it takes the fun side of it — sightseeing, being in the open air — and it puts them together.”
Wells calls it a blessing to be able to make a living out of one of his biggest passions.
“I definitely feel very blessed and happy with how it took off. I knew that I would have 10 clients a month. But I have more like 25 to 50 riders a month,” he said.
“I’m super happy to be able to run a business out of the Transit and take care of myself and my animals. It’s much better than I thought it was going to be.”
To learn more about AZ Dirt Bike Training and booking information, visit azdirtbiketraining.com or contact Ryan Wells at 520-488-7410.