Triumph Motorcycle owner Bill Nation poses in his new dealership in Montrose on Wednesday, January 23, 2013. Nation also owns Pro Italia, which has been in business for the past 25 years.

Triumph Motorcycle owner Bill Nation poses in his new dealership in Montrose on Wednesday, January 23, 2013. Nation also owns Pro Italia, which has been in business for the past 25 years. (Cheryl Guerrero/Staff photographer / January 23, 2013)

Pro Italia Motorcycles, which has sold European brands in Glendale for 25 years, is opening a second store to sell Triumph and Moto Guzzi models.

Owner Bill Nation said sales were up 14% in 2012 compared to the year before, but he’s wanted to expand with the Triumph brand for years, making the new shop the fruition of a longtime desire.

He secured the rights to sell Triumph six weeks ago after a three-year pursuit, and said he was looking forward to helping the venerable British brand expand its presence in the United States

“They will eventually be a bigger brand [in the U.S.] than they are right now,” he said. “They cover the range, with cruisers, adventure bikes, and the classic series, they look evocative of the old style. And the quality’s spectacular.”

The new shop took years to open because of difficulty trying to acquire real estate adjacent to his current store at 3319 N. Verdugo Road. He eventually gave up, and established the new location at 3600 Verdugo Road.

Pro Italia is one of three motorcycle dealerships in Glendale, along with Harley Davidson of Glendale on San Fernando Road and Honda of Glendale on Colorado Street.

Brian Strong, manager and part of the family ownership at Honda of Glendale, said sales have been flat due to the recession. Motorcycles over $10,000 are the hardest to sell, but models in the $5,000 to $6,000 range attract the most buyers.

That market reality is partly why Pro Italia reevaluated its business plan to include more affordable bikes.

“Triumph has a number of bikes under $10,000 and that helps with new bike buyers,” Nation said.

And attracting more buyers, regardless of the dealer, will likely raise the profile of a city known for its new motorcycle and car sales.

Sharon Mann Garrett, senior economic development coordinator for Glendale, said the city was happy to see Pro Italia open a second location.

“We are thrilled to see them expand, they service a very affluent clientele and a very large trade area,” said Sharon Mann Garrett, senior economic development coordinator for Glendale. “We’re always looking for businesses that will expand the reach of Glendale.”

The dealership is hosting a party from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, with live music, food and drinks. Triumph owners are also being encouraged to bring their bikes or registration to enter special drawings.

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