Author Topic: Why have a dealer network at all ?  (Read 14945 times)

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Kevin Mahoney

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Reply #15 on: February 09, 2016, 02:43:22 pm
Remember - I don't have a dog in this fight. If you are considering a direct import of an Indian bike, DON'T DO IT. You will find several threads here explaining why in great detail. It is a great way to lose your money. For years I have gotten calls from those that have tried and then had the bike sent to the crusher by Customs. Customs is making a big push in cooperation with DOT and EPA to find them and stop them.
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Kevin Mahoney


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Reply #16 on: February 10, 2016, 01:41:12 pm
CSC are Chinese imports and from what i can see they are legit. But i will cool my heels and watch for any fall out. I take the point you are making Kevin, thanks.


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Reply #17 on: February 17, 2016, 03:31:33 pm
So I just returned from a visit to my "local" RE dealer (where my bike was not originally purchased).  I asked about the cost of changing the fork oil in my B5.  I became a little nervous when I was asked what a B5 was by the service manager. So I pointed to the model on their showroom floor. He then told me that they had never changed the fork oil of a Royal Enfield and had no idea how it was accomplished, much less what it would cost to perform the work. I was asked what oil weight the forks might use. I said that some people have used ATF and then he said that they usually use 10wt oil in all of the Japanese brand forks that they work on. He then told me that they no longer had any way to contact RE to order parts or request information.   He mentioned that their franchise had expired (even though they are still listed on the official RE website the last time I looked). So I decided that my fork oil didn't really need its fork oil change right now and decided to tackle the job myself some day this year.

With the change of importers, many dealers are loosing their franchise rights.  RE came to my local dealer, which is in the top 20% in unit sales for RE last year, and told them they may not be retaining their franchise.  They left my guys dangling for a couple of months.  They just found out last week that they are still a dealer.  So it sounds like your dealer may be one of the ones not renewed.  I'm hoping with the announcement that my dealer is still a dealer, that a lot of this ambiguity and just not knowing what's going on will stop. 

When you do change the fork oil, I would suggest new seals and dust covers, regardless.  I use to run a parts counter at a (non RE) dealer back in the day, and would make that suggestion for any bike.  Might as well do it while the bike is apart.  The guys who would say, they didn't want to bother, usually were back a week or so later with leaking seals.  Good luck!


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Reply #18 on: May 28, 2016, 05:52:32 pm
The answer to this is always the same. it costs a fixed amount of money to run a service department and stock parts. To do that you need a minimum volume of bikes to work on. RE can't open one brand stand alone stores unless they are going to sell enough bikes to keep that dealer service department open and that is almost impossible to do until you have enough bikes sold in the dealer's area to generate service and repairs. Stand alone RE stores are not going to happen in the near future.


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Reply #19 on: May 29, 2016, 02:32:40 am
 Correct !

 Dealers that can't or won't stock floor models and sufficient spare parts don't achieve by design or default enough sales to establish the customer base needed for sustainability.

 Years ago one former RE dealer in WA kept everything RE tucked away out of sight in one poorly lit back room with nothing to indicate RE was on premises while the rest of the store was festooned with the European brand they carried.

 Sitting on the franchise rights for a brand is an effective way to stifle or slow the competition.

 The good news nowadays is Triumph/KTM/Zero of Seattle has picked up the RE line and has begun selling them and the RE show room they are building isn't finished yet !

 FWIW the Triumph dealer in Tacoma would have LOVED to have RE in house and badly wanted to but their dealer agreement with Triumph had a Triumph only clause. They were good people and the service was superb.

« Last Edit: May 29, 2016, 02:53:59 am by Ice »
I can break it better,,,,at night, in the rain, on the trail,, 20 miles from nowhere.

REA #136

"TIMEX", the '06 Iron Barrel Military that takes me everywhere I want to go... and some places I shouldn't.


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Reply #20 on: February 21, 2018, 08:41:17 pm
Not sure how it works in Kansas, but here in Virginia I got the contact info for the former owner of my Com-Pac 16/III "Foundling" from the state agency that does boat registrations, based on her expired registration number--just in case your old boat club isn't forthcoming with an address for that Mac 26M owner or unwilling to forward a message.

If you can also get your hands on whatever engine was once on that 26M, and it was manufactured more or less at the same time (and not just some old banger they thought might work), then you might do well to try and get that as well if the price is "speculative" (read: "parts donor cheap" or free).  After all, a year is more than enough time for the Devil Ethanol left untreated and unchecked to do its evil "snots and clots" routine, knocking out even a new engine in a matter of months.  If it's a nice otherwise pretty bulletproof Honda BF50 (probably the commonest power plants found on Macs) it might not be too difficult or expensive to get her back in the pink.  In fact, a pint or so cocktail of equal parts SeaFoam and Marvel Mystery Oil bulb-fed right through the fuel line into the carbs and allowed to marinate for a week or more might help ease out enough fossilized snots to get her kicking again without needing to tear the carbs down for a proper cleaning. You might also do well to pull the sparkplugs and squirt a health shot of Marvel into those cyclinders. 

Anyhow, something to consider if you're gong that route, since a newish Honda 50 or comparable will run you easily 5 "boat bucks" on a good winter...with a Nor'easter bearing down...and coyotes roaming the aisles of the abandoned Walmart as you and your rag-tag band of survivors of the Corporate AI Wars arrive, fierce and resplendent in your Beadazzled leather battle hotpants, on a Pop-Tarts and Twinkies foraging run. Just sayin'...
So badass my Enfield's actually illegal  in India.


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Reply #21 on: March 02, 2018, 05:48:09 pm
When I was shopping for a Bullet, I sat on one while the dealer listed its shortcomings. I did some homework online. I now ride an Iron Barrel that no shops service, but I'm an experienced mechanic.
Currently I'm a bit interested in a new CSC/Benelli TnT 300, also a near-orphan as far as dealers go. As long as I can get parts, I'm a potential buyer.


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Reply #22 on: September 29, 2019, 03:47:17 pm
Hello. New member here. I was reading through the comments and I wanted to add my 2 cents worth about CSC. I took a chance and purchased an RX3 back in August 2017 and I'm satisfied with the bike and CSC's customer service. In addition to the RX3 and TT250 they have expanded their lineup to include an electric motorcycle similar to the Grom and recently brought in the RX4, similar to the RX3 but with a 450cc single.
  I too was hesitant about buying a "mail order"bike but, so far, I have no regrets. Buying a bike without a dealer network can be successful.


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Reply #23 on: September 29, 2019, 10:19:44 pm
My problem with retail motorcycle dealers is that the tend to go broke due to the nature of business, which goes up and down depending upon the economy.  I have been buying motorcycles for the past 56 years and every one of the dealerships that I have purchased a motorcycle from in the past has gone out of business after anywhere from two years to 15 years. Including my Royal Enfield dealer.  The only exception is my BMW dealer, which has been operating continuously for over 30 years.
2011 Royal Enfield B5 500, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM Duke 390, 2002 Yamaha FZ1