“It’s not what you ride, but that you ride!”
This is the motto of partners Patrick Gillingham and David Eastment, owners of the new Italian motorcycle lifestyle centre, IMI Western Cape, which officially opened its doors on Saturday 12 September.
The home of all things Italian, IMI Western Cape is the new dealership for new Aprilia and Moto Guzzi motorcycles in Milnerton, Cape Town.
“We are actually a lifestyle centre selling and servicing Italian motorcycles,” says David, who has a background in consulting services, residential construction and financial services. “And, no, I don’t speak Italian… neither of us does.”
Patrick is involved in the food industry and runs one of the largest catering companies for the movie industry in Cape Town.
“All we have in common is that both of us are passionate bikers,” says Patrick.
The new IMI Western Cape, only the second branch of the company with its head office next door to Maserati House on William Nicol Drive in Bryanston, Sandton, brings a new kind of motorcycle experience to the Mother City. IMI is run by CEO Ian Huntly, who has a consultancy background; COO Jonathan Isherwood from the world of civil engineering, and Sean Powell, IMI Sales and Marketing director, who has been involved with motorbikes “as long as I can remember”.
“IMI sells and services Italian motorcycles and imports spares, accessories and riding gear,” says Sean, who flew in from Jo’burg and will be commuting to and fro, spending around two weeks at a time at each venue.
“We started in 2018 and first had to re-establish customer confidence,” recalls Sean, who says before IMI, owners of two-wheelers out of the land of pizza, pasta and wine, sometimes had to wait very long for spares for their Aprilia and Moto Guzzi machines.
“Previously, it took up to six months to import spares and components, but not anymore.”
IMI Western Cape, situated at Shop 11 – 13, Marconi Centre, 460 Koeberg Road, Milnerton, also sells and services a wide variety of used motorbikes of all brands, including Bonamici racing products, Stylmartin riding boots and a variety of Aprilia and Moto Guzzi-branded apparel.
With Patrick’s expertise in the catering business, it comes as no surprise that they serve “the best coffee in Cape Town”.
“Riders can join us in the lounge to watch motorcycle races on one of our big-screen TVs, enjoying a cup of coffee, snacks or even a meal, while our qualified technicians work on their pride and joy,” says Sean.
The IMI Western Cape Lifestyle Centre is expected to be a hotspot for leisure bikers thanks to its close proximity to major routes out of Cape Town – the N1 to the north, the N7 to the West Coast and the N2 to the Garden Route.
“We invite all bikers, whether they’re on Italian, Japanese, German, British or other brands of bike, to join us as a starting venue for their breakfast runs and return at the end of their ride for drinks and a meal, sharing their stories,” invites David.
“Like I said – it’s not what you ride, but that you ride.”
Despite the severe drought in large parts of the Karoo, the motor business in Graaff-Reinet is stepping up with more brands being represented in this part of the world.
If a pandemic and stock issues aren’t enough of a challenge, why not add a building project/dealership revamp/moving of facilities and getting a second dealership to full independent dealership status to a DP’s list of tasks.
Scott Auto Mazda in Bethlehem has a proud history that stretches back nearly 50 years, which makes them one of the best-known Mazda dealers in the Free State.