Ive got to be honest with you, you guys are all going about this the wrong way. Yes the bikes are expensive, but from all of the posts that I have seen there is something wrong. The first part of the post starts out by saying, that you should take 10% off of the asking price. Yeah, maybe if it is a leftover model. Dealers do have to make money, and so do salespeople. I agree that there are some dealers that are bad about tacking on extra fees, and if you are smart enough you will be able to catch that. If I have to waste my time by taking half an hour talking to a customer and building a repoir with him/her and then they automatically want to buy the bike for what we payed for it its like a direct insult to me. Why even come to a dealership? Because you cannot buy a bike directly from the factory!!! If you did, you would have to put it together by yourself from the crate, put fluids in it, get all of the bolts torqued correctly, test ride it, get your own title registered, pay taxes on it, and do all of your own maintenece. Now, how many people could do that by themselves, or who would actually want to? not too many people. (im not saying that some people cant) I get payed commission for what I sell, if we sold everything at what we payed for it the dealership would go bankrupt in a couple days and I would be unemployed. I am here to provide a service to you, I am not your enemy. I have to live too. So when you see the extra fees its for a reason.
As the original poster, I feel that I need to counter your post somewhat.
I was generally refering to a used bike, rather than a new one, hence the advice regarding checking it over real well.
Around here there are a number of dealers that will sell you a new or used bike, I personally rarely buy a new bike, or for that matter a new car, I prefer to buy last years model and avoid the 'hit' as I ride out of the door. This instantly saves me several thousand dollars. This money I can put towards upgrades or personalization, or better yet my stock portfolio !
If the dealer margins are as tight as you would have us beleive, how are they still in business ?
My local Suzuki dealer drives around in an SL500, he IS making serious money, otherwise he would not be able to make his payments. This is not, obviously, from the sale of new sportsbikes, but from the repeat business, the aftermarket sales, the repair work and even from the financing income.
I am fully aware that the margins are reasonably small, the bikes are pretty low value, but its everything else that the dealers really score on.
Two years ago I picked up an 954, I paid $8000 for it, Out The Door, it was a left-over model that had been superceeded by the CBR1K. Did it make it a bad bike ? of course not, it was a bitching bike. I went into the dealership six times, before I rode away on it. Here is how I got my deal
Day1 - Showed interest in the then new CBR600RR, explained that I thought it was a little 'small' and said that I may be interested in a 954, if he had one. Dealer mentions that he has six of them, four red/black, and two titanium. He told me that he could do me one for $9250, plus fees, OTD was $10K
I said I would think about it, but it was over my budget, gave him my card, and left.
Day 2 - Went to see the dealer, spoke to a different salesman, mentioned the 954, and he said that they could 'do me a deal' if I wanted to take the red/black one, he could get it 'under 9K'
Day 3 - went to another dealer, got him down to $8750 OTD on a Red/Black one, or $9K OTD on a titanium one.
Day 4 - Another day, another dealer, mentioned that I had offers of $8500 OTD on a titanium 954, he said he could beat it, and gave me a written quote for $8500.
Day4PM, went to original dealer, showed him the quote, he called the other dealer to verify. offers $8500 with a 'free' helmet and jacket, but not tax. I get it in writing
Day 5 - I go to a third dealer, show them both quotes, mention that I may have a trade-in (I didn't) tell him its a '98 GSXR750, and he offers me $4500 for the GSXR, and $3750 OTD difference, if he finances it. I manage to get the dealer to let me ride the 954 around the block, he hold my licence, my insurance, and my car keys !
Day 6 - walk into dealer(3), with $8500 in my pocket (well $7500 in one pockect, and $1K in the other). Point to the Titanium 954, and tell the salesman that I want a cash price. He says $10K OTD, I mention that I have been dealing with another salesman, and he has offered me $8250, tell him that I have $7500 in $100bills in my pocket, and place the cash on his desk. He goes to see the manager. Manager comes out, and explains that this is the price inclduing a trade-in, which the would expect to sell on. I mention that they had not seen my trade-in, and we debate the fner points of a 98 GSXR with 60K on the clock
he tells me that the bike is not checked over, and will need $250 assembly and check fee, so the minumum he can let it go for is $8250. BINGO !!!
I mention that I have already ridden it, and I am willing to waive the setup charge.
I hand over $8000 in cash, plus $32 for a couple of add-ons, and I ride away
Sadly I was wiped out by a BMW a few hours later......
But, the point is, that there are margins on the bikes, the dealers may no make a lot on the actual sale, but they sure as hell make a lot on the service, and the add-ons.