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sqidbait 09-21-2005 10:40 PM

Re: Buying a Motorcycle: Part III
My last purchase was painless.

I emailed a local dealer asking about a particular model. I mentioned that I was buying within 2 weeks, and was paying cash.

He replied, saying that he had one ready to go, and offered to sell it at a more than fair OTD price.

So I bought it. Picked it up a couple days later.

Maybe I'm just getting impatient as I get older, but I have zero interest in ****ing around with sales people anymore. If they can't be straight with me - and not waste my m-f-ing time - I'm not buying.

-- Michael

sv1000rider 09-22-2005 02:41 AM

Maybe I'm in the minoritey on this one but when I rode those old bikes, I never felt like I was about to lose all my posessions; get robbed, beaten, and raped; and then die.

But this post will probably be removed so nobody will be able to comment on their experiences with an early 1970's era superbike.

ncelik 09-22-2005 02:49 AM

Re: Buying a Motorcycle: Part III
I always thought the Gap insurance covers the difference between the loan amount and real value, not the difference between new value and loan amount??

DBw9 09-22-2005 02:59 AM

Re: Buying a Motorcycle: Part III
Step 3 - The Demonstration

It really bothers me when I know more about a bike than the salesman does. Don't they go over the manuals when a bike comes in, so they know the bike in and out so they can "brag it up" or answer any and all questions? I don't expect them to have the knowledge of a fully competent mechanic, but should know more than the guy walking in off the street - and I'm no expert.

Do they keep up with the reviews in the motorcycle press? Or how the bike is better than the competition, etc. With this lack of knowledge I get the impression they don't even ride - or at least too lazy to keep informed.

I see the same thing at car dealerships. Maybe most of those coming in are uninformed and the salesman would rather work with easy "marks" or spurt-of-the-moment buyers with money to waste.

smithrob75 09-22-2005 04:27 AM

Re: Buying a Motorcycle: Part III
I like the way my dealer does it...

No muss, no fuss, no negotiation. A better price than an other dealer and they've been in business since 1968, so they're not fly by night.

SaturnV 09-22-2005 05:52 AM

Re: Buying a Motorcycle: Part III
Yeah, I've run into this a number of times - it definitely lowers one's confidence in a salesman when he gets his facts and figures wrong. Oddly, the European dealer salesfolks seem to be more knowledgeable regarding their bikes, in my experience, than those at the dealerships for the big 4 Japanese manufacturers. Not quite sure why that would be...


nweaver 09-22-2005 06:15 AM

Focus on one key word: OTD
Once you decide on your motorcycle, you, as a buyer, only care about the OTD (Out the Door) price, after tax, nuisance charges, and everything else.

For all I care, the dealer could charge $1 for the bike and $7998 for freight-and-setup. (And some effectively do-so). So you never negotiate about the sale price of the bike itself, but of the OTD price, so everything is clearly on the table.

And it can really vary from dealer to dealer, and brand-to-brand. EG, some HD dealers are notorious about having huge setup charges.

If in email, be sure to print out all quotes on the OTD price. When buying a car, the dealer finance guy "accidentally" tried to charge me $500 over the agreed price (the price quote I got was before the $500 student discount, he wrote it up as after). So print out the emails.

Another good resource for californians is there are a couple of big dealers that specialize in Internet quotations. ( is one). These allow you to select a bike, put in an email address, and get an OTD quote.

Print this out and use it as a starting point. EG, in the bay area, I recommend getting an OTD quote from the LA super-dealer, and then going to your local dealer and seeing if they will match the OTD quote + $120 (a one-way, walk-up southwest ticket to LA) + $40 (the gas to do the break-in ride back home up highway 1. Yeah, there is the additional TIME involved, but heck, I'd PAY for a nice relaxing ride up PCH).

This way, you KNOW what the good rock-bottom price is as a starting point, and you know your REAL Costs for the rock-bottom price (the airfair and gasoline).

SRMark 09-22-2005 06:25 AM

Re: Buying a Motorcycle: Part III
Nice work Gabe. It's good to have an insider's perspective.

Also, I bought my 1976 Yamaha RD400 for a whole lot less than $1,600. However, while it seemed to perform great at the time, it only did the quarter mile (the holy grail back then) in 14.2. It wasn't a Norton but it wasn't that far off. It's not even on the same planet as a modern 600 sport bike. Six hundred SSs are true engineering marvels and real bargains. Yet I don't lust after any new 600 and want to put another old Yamaha 2 stroke twin and a Norton Commando in the garage in the not too distant future. Go figure.

pattonme 09-22-2005 06:48 AM

but, but, but
they aren't charging more than MSRP!!!

bbtowns 09-22-2005 06:51 AM

Re: Buying a Motorcycle: Part III
Excellent article Gabe. Just a comment that you can significantly cut the time involved in a sale by having your financing arranged upfront. Unless the manufacturer is offering promotional financing, you'll get a better deal with your local credit union, can cut an hour or more out of the closing time, and can negotiate a cleaner deal knowing you've got cash in your pocket (negotiate the price of the bike, not the payment amount). Plus it's not as easy for the dealer to add pre-paid oil changes to the financed cost of your bike.

I've bought about fifteen new bikes over the years, and this article describes my experiences very well.

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