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Old 09-27-2003, 07:10 AM   #41
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Default Re: Why don't US dealers have demo bikes, really?

But would they pick it up if it cost them millions of dollars in lawsuits? No I guess not. Hmm I wonder why they aren't getting with those huge lawsuits? Maybe their bikes aren't being wrecked while on testrides?

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Old 09-27-2003, 07:25 AM   #42
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Default Re: Why don't US dealers have demo bikes, really?

On the surface, I'm all in favor of such legislation. But then you open the door for less-than-ethical corporations who know they have a defective product to just leave it on the market and roll the dice on somebody getting hurt/killed since they know they can only be sued for a certain amount. It's probably cheaper to just take it on the lawsuite than recall the product.

While I don't think anybody deserves mega-bucks for spilling hot coffee in their lap, it is often the only way to get the attention of a billion-dollar-a-year company. You don't think they are going to feel any moral pain, do you?

I wish there was an easy solution, but I just don't see it.

On the upside for me, my two favorite dealers do offer demos. Cal BMW/Cal Triumph and Moto Italiano. I've demo'd bikes with both of them, and I've bought 2 from Cal Triumph. Hopefully Guzzi will be bringing some new sporting models to the US market soon and I can buy one from Moto Italiano as well.

Working in sales myself, but in a different field (yachts) I face a similar situation with demos. I could give rides all day, but that wouldn't do much more than cost me money and time. We do demos, but only after we've established a pretty strong relationship with the client. That, it would seem to me, is the key with any sales situation. Pick one salesman (hopefully you can find a good one who knows his product) and build a relationship with him/her.

Oh, and remember when you work with him for a couple months (i.e. use his time/money) then run next door and buy the same product for $6 less because it was a 'better deal' that he probably won't say anything, but he's not going to be real happy with you. He's spending his money (time) on you and only gets paid when you buy from HIM. I'm routinely surprised how many people don't understand the idea of commission sales. Since I'm one of the 'product' guys in my office, people often pick my brain for hours about esoteric details, then come back and buy the product from another salesman. They seem to think they are doing me a favor since they bought it from my dealership- but I've then made exactly $0.00 for the time I've invested with them.

I just grin and bear it. But do you think I'm jumping up to volunteer info to that customer in the future when he later asks me questions?

Build a relationship...and stick to it even if it costs you a dollar or two more. Consider the extras you are getting beyond the actual product.

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Old 09-27-2003, 07:35 AM   #43
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Default Re: Why don't US dealers have demo bikes, really?

I have riden two BMW's home from the dealer for "older more experienced" purchasers that had decided that after 20+ years of not riding, they needed a bike. Both times they droped the bikes multiple times after I droped them off. Both cases they sold the bikes within a year. Maybe the exception to the percieved rule, but my experience.
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Old 09-27-2003, 07:49 AM   #44
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Default Re: Why don't US dealers have demo bikes, really?

In my part of Louisiana, BMW , Harley and one SuzKawa dealer provide all the demo'ing that one would desire. They all have very knowledgable sales people who go out of their way to meet one's demo needs (in my experience). The regional friendly Yahoomaha dealer has a different view. He says that his bikes speak for themselves and once you buy it, you'll love it. He even tells you not to worry about seeing the final price until after you sign the purchase agreement. Now that's thoughtful!

As an aside, you need some form of valid insurance on top of the motorcycle endorsement on your license to demo here.

Sky...going riding on this gorgeous Louisiana Fall day!
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Old 09-27-2003, 08:20 AM   #45
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Default two things...

1. The OEMs from Japan should cover demo rides like the Euros and Buell do.</p>

If little Aprilia can afford it, I know the Big 4 can affort it.</p>

I have demo'ed Aprilia and BMW. I ended up purchasing the Beemer. I'm not a Euro snob... I won't purchase a bike that I'm not allowed to demo.</p>

2. We should have a stricter licensing system here like the Euros do.</p>

This would keep the newbs off the gixxers. It would provide OEMs and dealers much more confidence that the people testing their bikes have the skills to bring them back in one piece.</p>

This doesn't seem too radical. In other threads we MOrons have consistently advised new riders to start on smaller bikes. So why not formalize it in the licensing system?</p>

I guess some libertarian types might argue that anyone with the money should be able to ride any bike... But riding is a priviledge, not a right. It's not unreasonable to have people earn the priviledge of riding gixxers and dressers by proving their skills first.</p>
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Old 09-27-2003, 08:35 AM   #46
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Default Re: Why don't US dealers have demo bikes, really?

On that last comment regarding a "Tier'd" licensing program, I say "Amen!" I know a lot of people who would cry and moan, but the fact remains, no matter what your age, you should not be able to go out and buy a GSXR1000 for your first bike!! England's set-up of making you start under 500cc for the first year, then moving up to a larger class would help a lot. I had someone e-mailing me recently regarding purchasing a Hayabusa, and then after several e-mails he informed me that he is a new rider just out of the schools! I then gave him the reasons why he should not buy something this large and why to start off smaller. He then reply'd that it must be a sales scam to make people purchase a small bike first, and then the buyer will have want to step-up to the bigger bike shortly there-after. This is the kind of mentality we are getting out here in the real retail world these days. So a tier'd licensing program would I think help save a lot of lives, lower insurance claims and rates, and just be better for the sport over-all with a more positive image profile. Nuff said on that item.
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Old 09-27-2003, 10:03 AM   #47
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Default Re: Why don't US dealers have demo bikes, really?

Folks ought to know that Triumph has a nice demo program. Most Triumph dealers worth their salt typically have several models on hand for demo rides All the time. Our Philly dealership has a demo Sprint ST,Speed4, Daytona 955i, Daytona 600, Bonnie America

and Speed Triple. You have a valid motorcycle license--you get to ride. Triumph figures the best way to sell their bikes is to give folks the chance to ride them--a simple solution to a simple problem.
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Old 09-27-2003, 10:47 AM   #48
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Default Re: Why don't US dealers have demo bikes, really?

As a sales manager, I'd like to add that we really don't know you walk-ins or what your riding skills may be. I've sold bikes to guys that said they were very experienced, and then admitted they actually just rode a dirt bike a couple of times when they were a teenager, 20+ years ago. I've watched buyers, again claiming they were experienced, drop their new bike in the lot before moving a foot, or get on and freeze, rolling straight across both lanes in front of the shop through 2-way traffic and going into the weeds across the street.

On the other hand, riders we know, people who come by regularly, can ride any demo or used bike on the lot. We've even let bikes go for the weekend.
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Old 09-27-2003, 10:50 AM   #49
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Default Re: Why don't US dealers have demo bikes, really?

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Old 09-27-2003, 11:25 AM   #50
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Default Re: Why don't US dealers have demo bikes, really?

I agree about the need for tort reform but the legislators only talk of limiting damages. That does nothing for the real cause of the problem. Tort reform should be about a clearer and narrower definition of "at fault" when the accident occurs. This doesn't include the dealer or Starbucks who sold her the latte and got her cranked up on caffine or (add improbable correlation between action and accident here).
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