Buying a Motorcycle IV - Applied Theory Staff
by Staff
After reading and researching and sitting and riding and driving the wife nuts, I've decided on a V-Strom for my first bike. I've passed the MSF, got my license and decided to shop in the "off season" to get a better deal, hopefully. Now, I've read the complete MO Buying a Motorcycle series and have decided to look at new bikes with a lean towards a used one if I find one at a dealer while perusing the new ones.

I've looked at two local stealers, one that was recommended (hush, hush) by a rider coach in the MSF course and another one that just happens to be within two miles of my house. I'm ready to play the game.

The "recommended" dealer is out of '05s and is expecting some '06s on his November truck. Not sure how it sounds but the problem is I like the '05 colors and am not sure of the '06 colors.

In the meantime, the closer dealer has a '05 DL650 (listed at $7389 including the prep and freight to make the sale price look that much lower), "on sale" at $5999 plus $295 prep and $395 freight. I found a web site called that has dealer invoice reports and paid the $12.99 to get the report. They claim Suzuki includes freight of $150 in the "ready to buy" price of $5761, which includes no immediate profit for the dealer, but it does include the 3% of list holdback. When I tell the dealer about this, he says he doesn't know what I'm talking about and says he'll take $200 off his freight charge, but oh yeah, there's this $145 doc. prep charge as well they forgot to tell me about.

OK. So, they need to make a profit. I know that. I'm thinking that about $500 profit is enough especially since they are trying to "clear out their inventory." Is $6200 plus tax, title and registration a good and fair price this time of year on this bike?

Sadly, when buying most brands of new vehicles in America, fair is completely relative. If a dealer can make a huge profit on you -- for whatever reason -- they legally can and will. That is, they can charge me X dollars and you X +$1500 if you are willing to pay it. Hence, the negative and smarmy image most of us consumers have of US dealerships -- profiteering off of the lesser informed/less aggresssive individuals isn't a very endearing business practice.

All that said, you've certainly done your homework. Dealers deserve to make money. If it's the last one around, and you really want a new bike with a warranty, then it is indeed "fair". Yes, money can be saved buying used, but you lose the incumbent benefits of a new bike, And hey, a brand new ride for a tad over six grand is cheap in today's market.

What say you, MOFOs?


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