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Discussion Starter #1
I love my 2001 Sprint but when it came time to buy a 2nd bike recently, and I was considering a Bonneville or Speedmaster, I was kinda unimpressed by the dealer.

While looking around I explained I wanted a 2nd bike and asked if they had any deals or would be willing to negotiate. I just came up against a brick wall. Excuses like if they sold them cheaper then it would affect the 2nd hand price and then about the brand and sure the other bikes manufacturers will do deals but then I'd get less when I trade up. Basically just a rehearsed speech. Now I'm sure there is some truth in this, but still... I'm a guy with money in my pocket and its a cold wet January and the place was empty. Anyway, I just didn't feel like the sales guys heart was in it at all, and I was being nice too.

So I rode over to Mr Davidsons place and bought a Sportster, they bent over backwards to help me and using the old trick of putting on my gear to leave 4 times in a row I managed to get a better deal by £800. As I had the little bike I was trading in, and the papers, I rode home on an almost new Sportster with hardly any miles on it, totally perfect condition and a big fat set of bags on the back.

Now as I say, I love my Sprint and I love the Triumph name, being a Brit. I'm very proud of the bikes they make and always have a good thing to say about them but I do think that Triumph could do a better job when it comes to the whole culture thing. At the Harley dealer it was a purpose build building, strong harley branding and while you where in there there was a vibe and culture you can't quite put your finger on, heck before it was open they operated out of a warehouse but you still had people sitting out in the car park talking about stuff. The Triumph dealers I've been to, sure there's the rat packs and things but the dealerships dont seem to have the same flare or atmosphere, one I went to is a tiny little place shared with a car dealer. I just think they could really exploit their brand much more, and try and make there places a place where bikers hang out , drink tea (well we are British) and compare rides and bikes.

Anyway, I love my Sprint and later this year I'll no doubt try out the current model with an eye to trading up, but I'll also look around at places who are willing to negotiate and will no doubt try the Harleys cos I like the shop.
 

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H-D instills a business model in their dealer principals and they, in turn, in their employees. It is rare, in my opinion, to have an unpleasant experience at an H-D dealership. With Triumph dealers, as well as the big 4, it's often a crapshoot as to the "experience". I've been fortunate to find a couple of good dealers over the last 10yrs, but shy away from my closest one as I'm not comfortable there.

Enjoy the Sportster.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I think HD's marketing is very similar to Apple, instilling a laid back cool attitude and exploiting its cult status, but that said there's no reason why Triumph couldn't be the same.

Anyway, I was at a different Triumph dealer today and it seemed a bit more like it. It was a bigger space, and rather than just a handful of standard bikes they had a fair few special editions and the place, they are one of the better known dealers in the UK. The sales guys where not pushy but did give off a friendly air. When the time comes and I need to do some test rides for my next bike I'll include that place on my list, and not the shoebox place.
 

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I think HD's marketing is very similar to Apple, instilling a laid back cool attitude and exploiting its cult status, but that said there's no reason why Triumph couldn't be the same.

Anyway, I was at a different Triumph dealer today and it seemed a bit more like it. It was a bigger space, and rather than just a handful of standard bikes they had a fair few special editions and the place, they are one of the better known dealers in the UK. The sales guys where not pushy but did give off a friendly air. When the time comes and I need to do some test rides for my next bike I'll include that place on my list, and not the shoebox place.
Harley is a religion over here.

As I understand it, HD corporate (and many of their dealers) got used to commanding top dollar for their bikes, making big profits and having 6 month waiting lists for many big twin models through the late 80s to about 6 years ago. Dealers often could and did ask more than list price, and they got it. Sometimes there were hardly any desireable modles on the showroom floor that weren't sold in advance. This lack of supply to meet demand propped up Harley used bike prices as well.

They then increased production, which made them even more sales but got rid of the waiting lists. Since they were making bank, HD ordered their dealers to build new buildings to specific corporate spec, including dedicated motorclothes boutiques, certain colors and features, etc etc. Those buildings weren't cheap and some older, smaller dealers could not or would not do it. Harley got rid of them, even though some of them had stuck with Harley through the Bad Old Days of AMF ownership.

Lots of dealers build the palaces, incurring debt to do so, then this economic crisis hits. Now the dealers are stuck with declining sales and profits (Harley has been hit hard) while still needing to make the nut on that fancy real estate.

Ergo, those dealers REALLY want to sell you a bike. First came the ads touting Harleys for list price and in stock (never saw that before in my life in this area) , then came the ads for free accessories with purchase (ditto), then came the ads for big discounts off MSRP on new Harleys (ditto!). Check out the front page of a local dealer in Philly: "We're taking offers on Harleys!" http://www.barbshd.com/

Triumph makes very modest demands on its' dealers by comparison so they might not have been quite so desperate to move a bike off the showroom floor and out of inventory, profit be damned.
 

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Wow - you are all using gross generalizations here, to the point that it is hard to draw a conclusion. For example, I work for a dealer that sells both Harleys and Triumphs in the same building, so where would our efforts fit in?

At the end of the day, dealers are like customers. Each one is different, and they range from the fantastic to the unimaginably horrid. You just have to invest some time to find a dealer that "gets it" for your particular need.

In the current economic climate, they are certainly all trying to earn your business, or should be, but some are going to be more successful than others.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Just to add, I'm based in the uk which seems to be different to most other countries in that the majority of UK bikers dont even consider a HD when they are looking for a bike.

In the UK the Harley dealers seem to have gone through the same thing as the US in as much as investing in new property and corporate identity, the Harley dealer I use has recently opened up in a new purpose built building to the Harley Branding, and another not too far away opens soon too. The difference is, that although they are a minority bike, HD are actually making a profit in the UK, in fact they seem to be doing really well at mine as they have sold a huge stack of bikes recently and have almost sold all their pre-owned bikes.

I just think that HD has done a great job of building it's cult status, and reinforcing that by building up a complete experience that just makes you want to own a HD and get involved in the whole HD thing.

Still can't decide what I like riding more, my Sprint or my Sportster
 

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I don't believe the comments about Triumph dealers are a gross generalization. In general based on many current threads the Triumph dealers are not willing to make much of a deal if any.

There is even a rumor that one dealer lost his dealership for selling bikes to cheaply.
 

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OK - I understand a little better now. I was not judging the quality of a dealer by how much they are willing to discount a motorcycle you want. Does any other business? If I have a boat dealership, and the new Poncy 26 is THE hot boat and everyone is willing to pay 10k over list for it, wouldn't I do that? Dealers exist to make a profit, and the idea of sales is to persuade you that the price asked is worth it to you. Right now many dealers are in trouble because they have not made enough profit to maintain the facility. If you want a great bike like a Speed Triple you will have to pay for it - or for any other superior product. If you want to get a killer deal, just look for a perfectly good motorcycle that did not strike the fancy of buyers and is now gathering dust. The dealer is still paying flooring or other costs on the bike, and they would like it to go away. If you come to our dealership, I can show you a couple of expensive toys that will go out the door for $5,000 or more less than the MSRP - because we guessed wrong and the market was not there.

I rate a dealer based on the expertise of the service department, the array of products on hand, and the customer service - that sort of thing. You are disgruntled, if I read your thread correctly, because the dealer was not willing to drop a price - which to me is a much different thing and just the way of the world. I remember a young man a few years ago who was quite bitter because we sold a used CBR he wanted. He had not purchased it two weeks earlier because "you are asking too much for it." Evidently a different customer disagreed and purchased it. He felt this was unfair. I thought it was basic economics and how business works.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The more I think about it the more it's not just the price. When I went looking for my last bike I know when I talked to the triumph place I got a standard story about the prices, and yes indeed there are bikes in the range that very high profile, always in demand to the point there is a waiting list and why indeed would you discount a product that the customer it begging for.

The more I think about it, the more I realise that it wasn't just the price, but I did just get that feeling that they wanted my business more and more willing to 'work with me'.

The difference between the two was the Triumph dealer was way smaller with less choice. The parts department had to order things in due to limited space and the workshop was a single mechanic out back. The HD had a much bigger place, parts always seemed to be in stock and the workshops are way bigger and better fitted out, but the biggest thing was I just got on way better with the HD guys and there was an atmosphere there that you jst get with the whole HD cult feel.

Since then I've been to a bigger Triumph dealer and did have a better feeling there, though still not the same as Harley.

I wish I could put my thumb on it but I just think that if anyone can build install a cult feel to rival HD, its Triumph.
 

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At most Harley dealers, the salesmen are Harley riders and are truly into bikes. They talk bikes with you, they know the local hang outs, and the best roads. This would include Harley/Triumph dealers..

At the Hondasakizukiamaha dealers, as well as many of the Triumph dealers, the salesmen are just that. They're salesmen, many times they're not even bikers, they just have a job there. Alot of times it's just a job to help them through college or something. The Triumph "representative" at our Triumph/BMW dealer is a 20 year old kid who happens to be related to the dealership owner. He knows nothing about Triumph history, and I don't even think he knows much about current Triumphs either. They can't talk bikes with you, outside of the brochure that they MAY have read concerning the bikes they sell, so they can't carry on a real conversation with you outside of the party line that they've been trained to use.
 

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triumph dealers

This may be a little off topic, i am not sure . I thought at this time it was a good place to go.My kick on dealers is...............Why can't i trade a resored 70 bonne in on a newer bonne. They [around detroit]have told me they were not interested, . Now heres a dealer who must be rich independtly!!..................I thought in times such as these that a dealer would go the distance to help out a promising buyer.No such luck. ANY ONE HAVE GOOD DEALER I CAN TALK TO?

When times get better ....triumph buyers will remember this fella..........i hope:(
 

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First of all, my compliments to several recent posts for the use of logic and reason - so rare on forums! - even if I do not completely agree. But mostly!

In this case, you want to know why the dealer is not interested in a restored 1970 Triumph. Lots of reasons, but the short one is, because the dealer does not think he or she can market a 39 year old bike at a profit.

Everyone "wants" a 1970 Bonneville, including me - but how many people either can or would buy one? - including me. Selling a vintage bike can be rewarding, but it takes a lot of time and effort. The dealer probably reasons that it takes more time and effort than would be practical.

At some point, and that point is very close for most dealers these days, you have to make decisions on the basis of the business, and not on the love of motorcycles or the brand or other factors.

If you pay attention, you will notice several of your favorite staff at your local dealer are not there. They dealer did not want to lay them off, and customer service is probably hurt to an extent by their absence, but in many cases there is little choice. These are not the times we asked for - these are the times we live in.

And my question is? Why would you not sell it yourself for a tidy sum through Craig's list or by hanging out at a local vintage event or a dozen other ways and earn the profits yourself instead of allowing the dealer to, and then take the money and purchase with it?
 

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dealers!

hi dave preston------------------You have made a valid point.I just know spring is here and i have summer to waste, with out a bike, so i get a little antsy. I know it will sell .......i have sold street rods all my life.They never take less than 2 years to sell, least wise mine.I do understand we are in bad times at present.
Theres plenty of fellas will give you less than you have in it.Tire -kickers per -se.
I just thought they would be interested[dealers].Are you a d?ealer.
i know it was not to thought out, when i entered that comment.I will come across something eventually i guess.
Again thanks for the advice.....well taken!
I wish i was 39..............instead of selling a bike that old
bsa_bob
 

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At most Harley dealers, the salesmen are Harley riders and are truly into bikes. They talk bikes with you, they know the local hang outs, and the best roads. This would include Harley/Triumph dealers..
This has turned into an interesting discussion.

My admittedly limited experience with HD dealer staff is that if you don't ride a Harley you aren't s**t to these guys. They know Harleys but they don't know motorcycles. Try talking to an HD salesman about a Buell Ulyssus -- they don't know the bike and don't really care about it.

As for Triumph dealers, we must be lucky in the NW because I've enjoyed going in and talking rides and bikes with the Triumph dealers I've dealt with in Washington and in Oregon. The newest dealer in the Tacoma area shows us riders the bikes in back before they're on the floor and talks about some of the mech problems on bikes we see under repair in the shop. I feel welcome to hang out there anytime and that'll pay off when I can free up some cash in a year or two for that Street Triple (or R).

Re vintage bikes: I've noticed the closest BMW dealer does have old Beemers on the floor for sale (sometimes on consignment). They seem to sit there a long time but they have a lot of floor space.
 

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To answer the one question, I am not a dealer but I work for one. This is indeed interesting. It all comes down to the dealer and what kind of year they are having and how much floor space they have. We usually have a bike or two on consignment. We also have on display a close to perfect '67 Bonneville, a looks good but has needs 1968 Norton, a 1917 Harley, and a small Harley mini-bike from I don't know when - but they belong to the owner. We have also had bikes on display for months at a time that belong to customers who had something cool and wanted to show it off or just have a place to park it for awhile. But, I would have to say I think it is unlikely we would want to take on selling a bike that old. As they say - it does not pencil. It would take time and effort (which is money) and the profits would be slim. Don't forget that with a new or recent used bikes there are other "sales" that come with it usually. Gear, insurance, pre-paid maintenance, etc. In our case we also operate several riding clubs, which are a service to our customers and the riding community at large, but also serve the function of getting bodies in the door several times a month.

It is a tough world out there. At the end of the day, if you earn more than you spend the dealership is profitable and you get to stay open. If you get it wrong (want to buy a brand new Harley destroyer dragster the previous sales manager purchased new two years ago?) you lose money. Do that enough and you cease to exist.

It is all very complex, and I do not pretend to understand it all, or even most of it. It ends up being a very complex equation, and the factors change constantly with the market, the economy, new models coming out, how much floor space you have, how many staff you have, whether you are doing well this year or not, and so on. Good luck!
 

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I visited Gengras Triumph/BMW/Ducati in Hartford, CT and have to say the sales people were out of this world. Even if I wasn't looking at a bike, they were more than willing to talk about anything. I was interested in a Bonnie and without batting an eye, they brought the Bonnie out for me to test ride and rode it for about 15 miles.

After speaking to my wife about my considering trading in my Sportster for a Bonnie, it was soon realized that it just wasn't in the budget to do at this time, so I told the salesman (Forrest) about it and thanked him for his time.

For a few weeks after that, I would receive a friendly email from him just saying "hi". Not trying to lure me back in or pressuring me into a sale I simply couldn't do. He was just a friendly guy who loved motorcycles and I appreciated that and believe me, when I am able to purchase another bike, and if I choose a Triumph, it will definitely be from Forrest at Gengras Triumph.

I can't speak of other Triumph dealerships but if they are as bad as some are saying, maybe they need to look at Gengras to see how it's done.

http://www.gengrastriumph.com/
 

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I walked into one of those new "motorcycle superstores" which came about by consolidating a number of individual dealers in town. Flashey digs, lots of bikes, and young employees in uniforms - red, racy shirts. When I walked in I was greated by the cute young thing at the "reception desk" and I was asked how my day was. End of conversation. I walked a bit further and was approached by an enthusiastic young man who asked if I had any questions. This was the first time I had seen a Versys, and I was struck by how it looked like a Tiger Lite! I asked what the displacement was, and was asked, "what's displacement?" I asked how many CCs, and he said he didn't understand what that was, but the bike was a 650. I walked out, worried about the future of the Earth!
 

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Just wanted to add, if you are in the Chicago, IL market that MCC is one of the easy going great dealerships. Never had a bad time there. You can drool all over the Triumphs, Ducati's, KTM, and MV Agustas and when you are ready to buy they will deal with you can give much love to your bike in the future.

All depends on the dealership. You would think that they want the repeat business so the odds are to treat you right the first time. Doesn't always happen when you come back though.
 
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