Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
999 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
There's a lot of talk about one dealer being "better" than another dealer on this website. Well, tho' I'm not a motorcycle dealer, nor do I play one on TV, there's a lot of things to consider when choosing a dealer to purchase your Triumph, and to service it after purchase. (FWIW, I own two Triumph. I bought both new, from different dealerships. Both dealerships are now no longer selling Triumphs.)

Anyway, back to the topic.
(1)Dealer C may have better prices on the bike, but how much does it cost you to get there to buy it?
(2)Will you have to take it there for service to get the service you need? Will you need to leave it, as many Triumph dealerships don't stock a lot of parts for our bikes?
(3)If you can't get "same-day service", that means at least 2 trips to the dealership. $$
(4)If your baby breaks down alongside the road, who ya' gonna call?
(5)Are you sure you're trying to work with your dealership? There are dealerships I won't darken the doors of (I actually had one salesman at a non-Triumph dealership tell me that he couldn't be bothered right then -- he was reading a magazine -- when I went to discuss the purchase of a new touring bike), but there are other dealers that I can work with, even tho' I don't always agree with their methods/sales tactics.
(6)Does the dealership in question have competent techs on staff? Can they fix your bike right, in a fairly timely manner? (Timely manner does not USUALLY mean "While You Wait", unless you're traveling through).

True Story -- given only to illustrate a point.
When our town was "between dealerships", I made arrangements to take my bike to Dealer D, a dealership about 250 miles from my home. I explained my situation -- no local dealership & I needed a major service on one of my Triumphs. I have the luxury of a fairly flexible schedule, so I asked the dealership/service manager to tell me when I should bring my bike up so that I could effectively have the full shop for the day. When the appointed day was near, I rode up the night before, checked into a nearby hotel ($$), ate dinner & breakfast the next day ($$), rode over to the shop in time for my bike to cool down before the appointment, and then lounged around all day waiting for my bike to go through the service ($$). When it was ready, late that day, the weather had turned to s---, so I chose to check into a motel for another night on the road ($$) and ate 3 more meals before getting home on day 3. And I was lucky, the dealership had all the parts needed to do my major service and get be back on the road in one day. When I added up the service costs (labor & parts), plus the 7 meals & two nights' in motels, and three days away from home, my local dealer -- had there been one at the time -- would have had to be a total "I can't darken his doors" jerk before it would have been more cost effective to go to dealer D. And I was lucky that Dealer D had all the parts he needed to do my service. If he'd had to order parts from Atlanta, I might have had a nice week's (or longer) vacation w/o transportation while my bike was down for service.

Think about your own situation -- is it really as bad as you say? Can you truly afford to go to a distant dealership? If you're fortunate enough to have the tools, time, and knowledge to do all your work yourself, you're problem is solved. Otherwise ...

YMMV
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
901 Posts
Well, my situation is a bit different... There is a dealer (for the sake of this post we'll him "dealer F", as in letter grade) 15 minutes from my house. "My" dealer (we'll call him "dealer A" with the same letter grade reasoning) is 45 minutes from my house...

When I "discovered" Triumph was back making bikes in '03 I visited both dealers and ended up buying a used Bonnie out of state via private party...

On the ride back home (1k miles Texas to SC) I stopped by dealer F to purchase oil/filter/chain lube and was given an underwhelming reception. Somewhat understandable since I didn't purchase a bike from him. But I was still making a purchase at his establishment. Later, I had a flat rear tire and since the tire was about done for, I took the bike over to dealer F to have a new tube and tire installed. Long story short, after being ABSOLUTELY reamed/screwed/robbed (choose your favorite) for a stock sized B-stone (I didn't know my options back then), tube and installation charge, I just gritted my teeth, signed the credit card slip and left, never to spend another dime there.

So the next time I needed service (valve adjustment) I thought I'd try dealer A. Three times farther away and no attitude about not buying the Bonnie from him ... I called and asked what would be a good time to come in for the service and if I trailered the bike (cold engine), could they, by chance do it while I waited? "No problem" was the reply... Long story short... VERY reasonable charge ($124 incl. shims) for the valve adj. and they gave the bike a "once over" and found some loose bolts (center stand) and made sure everything else was in order...

Needless to say, I deal exclusively with "dealer A" and have always received SUPERIOR service at a very fair price. I always call ahead to see if they can do "on the spot" work and have only been told once that they were too busy to do it that day. I went the next day... And if I've had to have something done "right now", they have cleared the lift and rolled my bike right up and jumped on it... I could go on and on about how "dealer A" has has come through for me... Especially taking care of my wrecked Bonnie and taking my accessories off and getting the bike moved on down the line to the salvage yard (totaled) while I was in the hospital.... Charge for that work? NONE! "we don't charge our friends when they are in a bad way" was the owners words...I had to force a check for an hour of shop time on him telling him "friends appreciate the gesture and friendship. But they don't allow a business owner pay a mechanic out of his own pocket when they have done so much to help in light of a bad situation".

And I have no problem saying that "dealer A" is Jeff Taylor at Ridge MotorSports in Batesburg SC and that Byron and Erik are absolutely ACE wrenches!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
402 Posts
Good post Trophy 4. I've been thinking about this dealer thing lately and seems I've been posting quite a bit on it too. I think I have made a few harsh statements about dealers that I have had a problem with that others seem to have no problem at all.

Seems to me that maybe it all comes down to what dealer or type of dealer your personal preference and expectations mesh with. Some may prefer the big shop with all the latest bells and whistles while some me included like the small shop with the personal touch.

This is not to say that there aren't BAD dealers out there because I can tell you that there are.

I have also bought two new Triumphs from two dealers and both times it was a good experience, although the first place I tried to purchase one was one of the aforementioned types and luckily I caught the vibe and went elsewhere.

On the other hand, earlier this year I was looking to sell my T-Bird and get a new S3 but the T-Bird was due for it's 12k mile valve adjustment. I thought this would be a good chance to try a different dealer that I had visited a few times and liked. I made an appointment and due to scheduling my wife was not going to be able to follow me up there (180 mi). So I call the guy a couple of days before and ask if he could give me a loner to ride back home as I would have to leave the bike there, no problem he says. When I get there in the pouring rain I figure he is going to give me some used hunk o junk but he offers me a choice of new demos to put 360 miles on in the rain.

Long story short they did me right and I bought my new S3 from them. It always pays to shop around not only for the best price but the best fit for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
999 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Shaun, you hit it right -- and that's one issue I was hitting at when I started this thread. It has to be a good all-around fit for both you and the dealer. Sometimes you have to work with a dealer to make sure he knows what's happening throughout the dealership. And I've found it best to be direct about it. Tell the dealer directly what you like/dislike, and why! Don't just tell all your friends, or the issue will never change.

Another story -- Former Triumph Dealer that I dealt with (and still frequent for other non-Triumph stuff). I had one of my bikes in for service. When I picked it up, it would barely pull itself out of the way. In fact, it was running so badly, I turned around and went immediately back to the dealership, even riding on the shoulder facing traffic (I was mad/scared it ran so bad). Got back to the dealership just before they locked the doors for the day. I went into the owner's office and we had a "discussion" that got so loud, the owner's son came by and closed the office door -- after saying we were bothering the rest of the staff. We came to an agreement -- owner personally took the bike back to the service department and it was fixed right that night, before we left. After we had our "discussion", we were in agreement that things weren't right with my bike, that they were sorry as I was a good customer, yada yada yada. And the bike was fixed right. And I've bought several other bikes from this dealer and still go in there. Yes, the owner and I are friends, I get good service, and things got better in the shop. He explained what had happened to my bike (I guarantee you that the service tech knew it wasn't right when he rode it around to the front, but didn't want to admit he screwed up), and that it wouldn't happen again. I think the tech was fired shortly thereafter.

Final story on the subject -- Again, a non-Triumph dealer (different from above dealer). I was on a waiting list for a bike that was in high demand/short supply (bad combination). I received a call that they had a bike for me, but I needed to come by/put a deposit down to guarantee it. I explained I was out of town on a business trip, but would be by the day I returned (about 3 days later). I was told "No problem!" When I stopped by to put my deposit down, the owner said, "You're too late! I couldn't hold it any longer w/o your deposit." I told him what I thought of his business practice, reminded him of our conversation (which he freely admitted to), and stomped out! I dropped a letter to the Customer Service dept at the factory, copy to the dealership. I received a call first from the factory, then from the dealer. Surprise! They found another bike for me -- even tho' the one I missed was supposedly the last one available for the year. As luck would have it, I was again out of town on business, but this time the bike was held for me until I returned. And the dealer didn't seem to hold it against me, as he continues to be friendly to me to this day. (And I don't have a bike him any more).

Long story short, but, if you can, try to work with your local dealership. They're the ones who SHOULD be there when you need service NOW! Not the dealership that's three states' away who gave you a rock-bottom price, but who is too far for emergency service.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top