Q&A with David Maric, owner of Moto Candy, a store and Sideburn stockist in Switzerland.
When did Moto Candy open?
Originally it was in April 2018, but due to a poor location choice and not stocking the big brands, people did not really come over, so I decided to leave that place in November. So for a while everything was stored away. For a while we had a shop in shop concept, but after summer we had to leave that too, but have now the showroom we see on the pictures. I am very happy with the location. It’s my proper place.
You’re in the city of Baar?
Yes, bang in the middle of Switzerland, which makes it very well situated to go to Zürich, to the mountains, Ticino and the neighbouring countries. Baar itself is a small place, a mix between business place and rural Switzerland. We have cows and sheep around our house and at the same time you have major global companies, just like the infamous Glencore. Due to the low taxes and Zürich Airport reachable in 45 mins, it’s a very popular place for multinational companies. Life is rather easy-going, but rather conservative, so not a lot going on.
Motorsports are not really welcome, like generally in Switzerland, so we can’t go flat tracking nearby at all (it’s even prohibited on your own private land). However, life is good, we have a lake nearby which make for a good summer.
What inspired you to open your own shop?
The passion for riding initiated the interest in getting involved in the motorcycle business, but it all really started with my wife, Patricia, needing a new leather jacket six years ago and not finding one she liked here in Switzerland. We started to look into what you can get nearby and it was really hard to find more casual motorcycle clothing at that time, so we had the idea to import some nice stuff and start a shop. So far, the majority of the brands Moto Candy stocks is being imported by us directly and we are now setting up a distribution business for Switzerland and will help to build up an agents network for Germany and Austria, so dealer inquiries are welcome.
What is the best thing about owning your own business?
Getting to know a ton of really nice people, business friends as well as some really cool customers. It is a door-opener when you meet people on motorcycles when riding, it gets you out of Baar to meet the companies you work with, you stay at the pulse of the motorcycle community. And of course, it’s your business, being in the driving seat.
What is the most challenging part?
To bring new brands to the market. If a brand is not known, people really don’t care about it. I have some really great stuff, but only the curious ones get to know it. This is why I am teaming up with the brands to start marketing for the whole German-speaking market. So there is a lot work coming my way as I will be doing the majority of the translating and getting dealers on board. Especially, since this is not my full-time job, but a side business, so that will be interesting and challenging.
List ten brands you stock
Veldt Helmets – Bolidster riding jeans – Original Driver Paris casual motorcycle gear – Shangri-La Heritage, casual and riding jackets – just added Markö helmets – FTWCO shirts n’ stuff – Dice Magazine shirts – Sideburn shirts and magazines – latest addition is Deus ex Machina – Nexx helmets – and for the ones who care about nice mechanical watches we have now Dietrich watches.
What is your best-selling item?
I would have to say Bolidster riding jeans. They are really amazing in terms of just how comfortable they are, yet top standard when it comes to safety and look super sleek.
What is the favourite item you stock?
Hmmm, tough one, as I hand-picked all of the stuff… But I guess it would be a head-to-head race between Veldt and Bolidster, both are just amazing products and you could say they are at the forefront of their individual game.
What is Switzerland like as a country for motorcylists?
In general a super-nice riding country, roads are almost perfect, throughout the country, traffic is relaxed and car drivers are getting more used to motorcycles around them, so no hustle anymore when by-passing at a stop sign or lane-splitting, but it’s not permitted, so just take it easy and all is good. The scenery is just amazing, when you see how many pictures float around on the interweb about Swiss Alpine roads, just think about the old hotel on Furka. We have mountains and tons of lakes and some other nice places to go to. But there are big fines for all possible wrong-doings. It can get very expensive very quickly. Switzerland is very noise aware and the police do big controls in the summer in the mountains to check the bikes, so this can be a big a nuisance and I would recommend, if you want to come to Switzerland for riding, take a bike that is not too loud, so you can enjoy the scenery and not worry about anything else.
You look to have some neat bikes in the shop. Can you tell us about them?
Thanks. Let’s start with the smallest one, it’s a Ducati 125 two stroke Six Days. This was the limited run on the Regularita in the ’70s. So basically only produced for one year and as the 125 did not meet the expected sales numbers production was stopped, making this one a really rare bike. It’s in almost mint condition. Then there is a new Norton Commando Café Racer, left from the time I was the Norton Dealer, so this one is for sale. There is a SWM 440 Silver Vase, as well which is for sale (those would make as well a nice tracker bike for beginners). There are some more bikes around, like my first bike, a Triumph Thruxton transformed to a nice café racer with clip-ons and all aluminium tank/seat combo and some more changes.
You competed in Sultans of Sprint. Can you describe the experience?
Oh, wow, experience, that’s the right word. It is an amazing circus to be part of and first of all it’s a great bunch of people that make up the Sultans. At the front Seb and Lolo who do an amazing job, as it’s not an easy task to put this all up and keep it running. All the other teams you get to know, all the same gearheaded nutcases. And then the bikes. Usually, if a custom bike gets 10,000 Euros thrown at, they are basically just pushed around to make sure they won’t get a scratch or anything, but the Sultans put them on the line and go full throttle.
My bike is a 1200cc Harley Sportster-powered rigid frame produced by Swiss company CCCP, the only company here to do so. The bike is unique and in theory road-legal, just needing lights and mufflers. The engine was built up here by Tom Schicker, who now runs his own bike, with parts and input from NRHS, Zippers and some others. Due to the high-compression and stiff mounting in the frame of the engine, we get a shit-load of vibrations and things keep braking, so there is always something to fix before, during and after a race. We have some issues with the engine which need improving and fixing and we are still looking at making the bike go faster. So this is really a work in progress.
What's next for Moto Candy?
As mentioned, we are building up a distribution business for the brands I am already importing and looking to add some more brands to that. I would love to offer a weekly hang-out time at the shop, so everybody can just drop by for a good time and get some gear if need be. Next thing now is that we are doing a ride through the French mountains, from Geneva to Monaco finishing with the famous Col de Turini. It will be a five-day riding experience, all on mountain roads. This might become a regular ride out open to everybody, just book the hotels and show up, as few guidelines as possible, only the route will be organized and places to stop overnight, or you bring your own tent, as you prefer.
Where's the best place to keep up with news about Moto Candy?
Presently best place is Facebook and Instagram. I keep that more or less on a regular basis updated and publish dates there. If there are specific questions, I can always be contacted on my e-mail as well.
Thanks for stocking Sideburn.
It’s a great pleasure to have your mag in my shop, always good reading stuff.