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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let's face it, not all dealers are created equally. It doesn't matter if they're selling Hondas, Harleys or Victory's, bike dealers are like car dealers...there's are good ones and some not so good ones.
Let's use this thread to talk about your dealer experiences...both good and poor. My hope is that if we're honest about our experiences, that someone at Victory will take note and start changing things for the better. Yes, compared with other motorcycle manufacturers, Victory is still in its infancy stage. I don't know about you, but personally I feel that ten years is ample time to develop a strong communications system between the factory, the dealer and the rider.
Speaking personally, while Victory may or may not appreciate my input, I feel the Vision's ignition recall could have been handled more efficiently. Maybe it's my "reporter" background, but when I hear about a "Do Not Ride" recall, I take that seriously...very seriously. After all, we're riding without "cages" and if this recall is considered important enough where we're instructed not to ride our bikes until the service has been performed, I would expect that the factory communicate not only with the rider, but with the dealer as well, and to rush the parts and the installation procedures to the dealer asap. After all, isn't that how these types of things are handled by the automobile manufacturers?
I'm not sure if some of the problems I'veheard are due to the communication between the factory and the dealer or between the dealer and the buyer, or if they are simply overstated. Either way, I had to notifiy my dealer about the ignition recall as he claimed not to have heard about it at that point. However, once I informed him of what I had read, he got back to me within an hour to let me know the details and told me that he hadput a rush orderforthe necessary parts and scheduled an appointment to perform this service. He also made it where I could have the service performed in less than 30 minutes.
I'm fortunate, although my dealer is nearly 50 miles from my home, they have been, for the most part, a pleasure to deal with. However, they just changed hands and I haven't had any service performed since the new owners took over. So, I'll be posting my personal experiences when my next service interval arrives.
Now it's your turn. Let's hear about your dealer experiences.
 

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My Dealer is from Missouri, and the only problem I have is that for service work, new tires things like that you have to hold off for about 30 days to get it done. I don't know about you but I don't know what the miles are going to be on my bike in 30 day's. They need a bigger service dept...

Tim
 

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We're blessed to have a number of Victory dealers here in the Twin Cities, but only one of the dealers has been a dealership from the very beginning...Warner Victory/Polaris in Bloomington. The owner, Dean, isn't just a dealer, he's a Victory owner, owning several bikes himself, but most impressively "Old #22," the 22nd Victory off the assembly lines.

I can't possibly go into detail of the ways this dealership has helped me in my 8 years of Victory ownership. All I'll say is that the service continues to be outstanding, and when I'm ready to purchase my Victory Vision (I'll let others buy the bike for a few years to work out the kinks), I'll buy it from this dealer.

Outstanding sales. Outstanding service. Likely one of the top ten Victory dealerships anywhere (and it's why many of the Victory brass bring their motorcycles to Warner as well).

When you come to Minnesota...come and visit Warner Outdoor (www.warneroutdoor.com). Check the map before you come, because it can be a little tricky to find...but it will be worth your visit. And no, I don't work for Warner. I'm a high school teacher!
 

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A new dealer has opened up in the Twin Cities in Victoria, MN. It is called Diggers. It is new dealership though the owner has a polaris only dealership (no Victory's) in the south Metro. I did not purchase my bike here since it just opened in May. However, I have gotten to know the staff and have fond them very attentive and easy to deal with. On my last visit they seemed to take an interest in me and my bike and checked it over for free. Of course, I had 3500 miles on it and it needed new rear brakes. They completed the service immediately, adjusted the belt tension and gave it a once over. They even checked for recalls and said their were none that had not been fixed. They are new but so far I have found them to be very attentive and helpful.

I also agree with choirguy. Warners in Bloomington is an excellent dealer and it is where I used to go. The new Victory dealer in Victoria is closer so I hope I continue to be well served!

Saw today in the journal that while Polaris had an impressive quarter Victory sales were down 6% from previous. Hmmmmm.
 

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I talked with my dealer today regarding service. He informed me that if anything up that I need done on my bike that his service dept would take care of it ASAP.

I'm glad I talked with him. All is well at Jone's Power Sports in Columbia Mo... :)
 

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One issue is the number of dealers there are. They are sparse. I have to ride 60 miles to my nearest dealer. I've heard of others that need to go much farther.

The wrench at my dealer is top notch so it's worth the ride to me.

I probably pass 5 good Harley wrenches on the way there though, so if dealer service is very important to you, buying a Vic can be a challenging experience.

I bought the bike from a dealer that had 3 locations around Chicagoland, but has since closed. They were absolutely horrible for service. Perhaps that has something to do with why they are closed now.
 

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Before I went in for my 500 mile service I had trouble with my Vision. I went to leave school and the check engine light was on, the bike would not idle, backfired alot... Well you get the idea. It was a Friday afternoon. I called the dealer to ask him if I should have it towed. I was told it was OK to run and to come in the next morning. On the way home the bike tried to throw me off, with the bucking and stalling. I started to consider the tow truck again. Finally the ECM went into "limp home mode" and was drivable.
Bright and early Saturday morning the guys at Barry's in Tampa took it into the shop. Turns out the MAP sensor crapped out and they did not have a replacement in stock. They "borrowed" one of a bike on the showroom floor. I'm not saying they would do something like that all the time, but they sure made me happy. The motorcycle was only 10 days old.
Since than I was back for my first service. Again it was Saturday morning. They took it in right away and did it while I waited. I let them know I would be in advance, but it wasn't really an appointment. It took a while, but is was faster than getting a ride and going all the way home and back.
One of my brother FF's also takes his Polaris Ranger there. Had all good things to say about them too.
Thanks Barry's
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·

Maybe this post belongs in the Blog area, but I thought it might fit into this thread.
The dealership in my area, Victory of South Florida changed hands recently as Walt sold both his Victory and Triumph dealerships to a Father and Son team whoalthough are avid enthusiasts, have never owned or operated a motorcycle sales/service operation. I have to admit that I was a bit sketpical about this change as the new owners were new to the bike dealer business, but are highly-skilled and successful businessmen.
Walt had built quite a loyal fan base in the area and knew everyone of his customers by first name. Seeing him sell his business was initially a bit disappointing to me as he was one of the motivating factors of the creation of TheVOG.
But, I have togo on recordthat after getting to know the new guys, George and Eric, I'm very impressed as they are working around the clock to take the dealership to the next level.
Walt is a great guy and introduced me to the world of Victory. He truly worked hard, and isolated his customers from any issues with the factory. When I first heard of the Vision recall, while he had not yet be notified of the factory, he immediately got on the phone and within a very short period of my initial inquiry, I receiveda call that he had everything taken care of.
I hope I can maintain a friendship with him, heworked hard to make his customers happy in all aspects of ownership. However, the store was a bit behind the times and simply stated, was not what you'd call a state-of-the-art dealership. The bikes truly outclassed the location and the environment. It was far from being anything like the Ness dealership. But, it was a friendly atmosphere and there was no such thing as a dumb question to Walt.
But with new theowners there appears to bea new infusion of cash, a higher level of enthusiasm and a strong desire to create goodwill with the existing owners. I'm starting to see an expansion of the marketing that should result in the spreading of the word of Victory bikes in this market. As you probably know, South Florida is a major player in the bike business and the hot selling season here is opposite what you'll find in most areas of the country. We're riding in January and February when many folks are shoveling snow!
After just a few conversations with these folks, I can already see some great things comingtocurrent and future South Florida Victory owners in the near future.
The current dealership is in a moderate location and although it can be seen from I-95, it's very difficult to locate. I have no idea if they will be moving to a new location, but after just a few conversations with these guys, I wouldn't be surprised if they quickly become the jewel in Victory's crown.
After speaking with George todayafter coming back fromhis whirlwind tour of both Las Vegas for the Victory dealer show and the UK for the Triumph meeting, I realized these guys and I have a lot in common:
Both of us are relatively new to Victory and both of us are doing our best to raise the bar in our respective fields.
Sometimes change is a good thing.
 

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There are only 2 Victory dealers in the entire state of Oklahoma. One is very good, knowledgeable, carries a good assortment of bikes, most accessories, lots of apparel, and has a solid set of wrenches. The other one is pretty much worthless. They carry several lines of bikes with a limited number of Vics. Almost no parts or accessories and no apparel. No appointments for service. A royal pain.
 

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I agree with the other post concerning the dealer in Cumming, Ga. Even though I live on the south side of Atlanta, I actually purchased my 04-Vegas from them. Got a great deal ! and they were a pleasure to work with. However the only dealership on the southside just closed the doors about a month ago. There was a dealership east of Atlanta about 25-30 miles but it closed a while back. What's up with this....economy, bad business decisions, problems working with Victory,?? Whatever, it is a shame that there is only one dealership for the Atlanta and surrounding counties area. We're probably like any other big city, tons of bikers but no dealership to service any potential Victory buyers. The guys in Cumming are great but it would be nice to have a dealer closer.
 

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I've traveled 800 miles2 different times to deal with Jones Power Sports in Columbia, MO. I came home with abike both times. The guys there are great to deal with. I have always called on MJ and have found him and the dealership as a whole to be square dealers. MJ tells me a refreshing philosophy. He says they are selling a luxury item which no one needs so the dealer should approach it with some humility.
Responsive, attentive, fair and honest. I've never had a chance to return to sample the service departmentas the 800 mile commute is a bit far, but the sales side has clearly been good to me. I wish them continued success.
 

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After much thought and speaking with another member I must add this post. I have owned several Harleys, when Victory came out I took a look liked the non attitude of the dealers and decided when the time was right I would get a Victory.
After 3 years of owning my current H-D a heritage softail I decided I wanted a bike with cruise control and a stereo when I saw the Ness Vision it was a done deal, I started calling my local dealer Jax Powersports and I kept getting told there was not much info available but they would check and let me know 2 weeks still no info.
I actually gave Jacksonville powersports a credit card number to order a Ness vision but then asked about trading in my H-D, the trade in numbers were not good the dealer said he did not want an H-D because a H-D dealer was across the street.
After messaging with Andy he made some good points about a regular Vision the dealer had a new 08 premium and the interest rate was 4.9% for 72 months they were not going to give me what I wanted for my harley but I decided to eat the loss and go on, after completing the credit app. the finance manager called and said I was a tier 2 and did not qualify for 4.9% only for 9.9% I pulled the car off the side of the road to make sure I heard the right thing. I told him this was wrong and there was no way I was a tier 2 he said he did not pull my credit this was answer he had gotten back so he ran the numbers through the local credit union and they came back with the same rate.
Upon arriving home I paid 39.95 plus 10.00 to get my credit report from all 3 bureaus as well as my credit score, the dealer was 72 points below my actual score and I did qualify for the 4.9 rate, the next day I called them back and told him I had the credit report and the actual score he tried to convince there were 2 types of reports a "Quickie score for buying a car, which made you a little higher" and your actual score but he would look into it, a little over an hour later he called back and said he made some phone calls to the Victory rep for the area and the Victory repover rode the decision and was going to give me the rate even though I was actually a point below what I needed to get the rate. (which was not true)
At this point I had decided I would not buy anything from this dealership. I know in the end it is my responsibility to know and keep up with my credit score and as you can see I did, but how many other people have been up sold an interest rate with this type of deceptive practice.
I live in North Florida (Fernandina Beach) And I still want a Ness Vision. I will try to sell my H-D myself. I still believe Victory builds a great bike and in the end hope to have one soon, the parting thought I will leave all of you with is that the 49.00 I spent on the credit report saved me over 3500.00 I would have had to pay over the life of the note in unnecessary interest charges. The dealership was Jacksonville Powersports
Ride American and stay safe
Robert
AKA Boomer
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·

Hi Boomer,
Thanks for detaling your experience in this thread. I think it's important for us to share our dealer experiences with each other as this is the best method to show the factory that not all dealers are created equally.
For the credit score/financing rate discrepancy, here's a tip: When any company is offering a promotional interest rate (whether it's a bike, a car or even furniture), it's a good practice that BEFORE you give them your personal information to ask what's the minimum FICO credit score required to qualify for that rate. This is a "hard" number and not open to interpretation. This way, if you choose to make the purchase, you can run your own score (like you did) and know before you get too far in the process if you qualify for the lower interest rate. If you choose to make the purchase, you can simply attacha copy of the credit score page (not the full report) to the credit applicaton. Many dealers don't realize that if they don't make the purchase process simple and aren't respectful to the buyer at the point of purchase, there will always be a sour taste left in your mouth.
Using buying and financing a car as an example, if you shop around and drive various models and have various dealerships run your credit report, just the credit report requests CAN lower your score and lead to a higher than advertised interest rate. I read in a consumer publication many years ago that although dealerships are supposed to get written permission to request a report that not all dealers follow this practice. I was to understand that when they ask for a copy of your license prior to taking a test drive, some dealerships have been known to run your report to determine if they are wasting their time and to learn if the potential buyer can afford the purchase.
This publicationalso offered a tip: Before heading to a dealership, make a copy of your license and write on it "No Credit Report Authorized." If nothing else, when dealing with some dealerships, this will make them think twice before running a report without your permission.
If any dealers are reading this post and have an end of the year 08 Vision or want to sell a Ness Vision, here's a ready, willing an able buyer for you. Let's face it, while the economy will get better, it's at a low point now and finding able buyers is not an easy task today.
I think we've all learned that it's difficult to geta good price for our trade-ins. If bikes are like cars, I'm sure many dealerships have an opportunity to make more when they re-sale the trade than they do on the purchase of the new car. All the accessories and mods we add don't bring as much when trading as we would like to think.
Boomer, what you might want to at this point is to check out is to see how much you can get for your bike if you sell it outright. Selling to an individual typically will bring a higher price, but since you're trading, you need to factor in the sales tax savings on trading to see if it's worth the effort to sell your bike privately.
Keep us posted on how this turns out. The dealer experience is important to all of us and can make or break the image of any brand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm bumping this thread to the top for the Members instead of starting a new thread on the topic of Dealer Experiences.

Here's a question for you:

In this economy, are you seeing your Dealer try harder to retain your business? Let's face it, it's tough out there for anyone selling "recreational" products and motorcycles are what most of us consider a major purchase. While we all want to support our dealers, do you feel your dealer is doing his/her best to support you during these tough times?
 

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My experiences with Rice Victory in Rapid City, South Dakota have all been positive. There is always someone nearby to get up and ask if I need help finding anything. Usually I am not in the store for more than a minute before someone checks on me. Half of them know me by name and they still make sure you aretaken care of each time I stop in.
They were instrumental in my getting an anniversary bike. With the selection process being the way it was the staff there had to spend a fair amount of overtime making sure all the apps got faxed right when the gates opened.
I had one minor issue with my anniversary bike where the blinkers/hazards weren't working. I think they stole parts off of another bike on the showroom floor in order to get mine up and running as soon as possible. Then they ordered replacement parts for the showroom bike. I thought that was pretty good customer service.
Times are tough and I hope the team at Rice Victory can weather the tough financial times. On a bright note, Rapid City hasn't felt the pinch as much as some other cities. Yeah times are tough but our town is fairing better than most. Snow has been heavy this year. Hopefully that has helped their ATV/snow machine sales.
I just need them to help me a little more in recruiting new members for our Victory Club. hint hint, RICE are you listening?
 

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My initial experience at my dealer while waiting ofr a few items to come in and be installed made me wonder if I had done the right thingand purchased from the right place. That all got solved and forgotten after I showed up instead of calling, since then it has been a transformation to the service I had heard of and was expecting. Now anyone behind the counter knows my name and will step out from behinfd that counter to ask if I need help or have something in mind.
Two recent purchases were made and I approached them differently. I did not purchase the extended warrantythe dayI bought the bike, I had felt pressured and the price did not sound right. I ma glad I waited, I had solicted purchases on line and in person form another dealer another 40 miles further than the one I bought from. I had been right the price I was initially quoted was inflated over msrp. My dealer was having a moving sale when I purchased and it continued for abot a month longer. During that time I approached the owner and asked for the best price for a 4year add on with $0 deductible, his price was $200 less than the first time but still more than the other quotes I had gotten. A week or so later I was in again, (kinda like a HD customer..where do you go? to the dealer) this time with my quotes in hand. This time I asked one of the employees for the best price and he quoted me the same as the last time. I pulled the quotes out showing another $200 spread ($400 from the initially quoted price). I told him about the initial price quote and showed him the quotes form other dealers..those dealers were getting free money just for answering a questiion, they were willing to work on a smaller margin, make someone happy for them shuffling a few papers or making an entry into the computer, Vic's mainframe. I suggested that I would split the difference with them, in essence pay $100 more than I could buy it for elsewhere becuase I wanted them to be there, have the benefit of the doubt to help them survive. The took the offer. I had saved $300 of a possible $400.
Two weeks ago Ia buddy and I took a ride out,I was looking for a sissy bar for my stock KP seat, they had one and I was set to buy it until it was pointed out that I needed to buy the "tour" passenger seat to make the tall sissy bar work...total was going to be $300. I knew I was wanting to buy a Vintage Wide Mustang seat with driver's backrestsometime soon and couldn't see spending an aditional $150 on the tour pad. I told them I'd be waiting and looking into the Mustang at the upcoming IMS show. Se offered me 10% off list on the combo. The sales lady did a quick look to find they had the seat I wanted in stock for $600. She looked on the website to find out that current msrp is $820.00, they had had the seat in stock for over a year and that was the reason it was marked what it was. Well, I had gone there with th eidea of maybe spending about $125 if I could find something...they offered to and I let them take the stock seat off a new bike on the floor and mount the Mustang seat so I could sit on it to see if I liked it...of course I did. I was really torn about spending $650 at that moment, wasn't in my plans so I told them I needed to think about it and wandered down the counter to where my buddy was talking to the owner and my buddy asked what I was looking at. I told him and mentioned that I hadn't planned on spending that amout that day unless they could do any better on the price. The owner went down and conferred with 2 of the sales folks and yelled back what the current price was..."I know" was my reply. After a few minutes he told me thebest he could do was another $75.00 off...I don't think he got done saying that and I was walking towards him reaching for my wallet before he changed his mind.
Originally I didn't want to mention pirces in this so that anyone that visits my dealer won't feel that they are getting ripped if they don't get that same smoking (and I believe it is a smoking deal) deal. I only mentionedprices maybe have anyone buying goods "at the lowest possible price" give your dealer a chance, offer to split the difference or meet somewhere in between, don't forget they have overhead and there in person for help when you need it. I truly believe that my deal was because the seat had sat for so long they had bought it at a price before price increasesand quite frankly after something (money) sits for that long on the shelf you need to get it back and working some other way for you. (I was in the right place at the right time folks). That was also a Saturday, snowing and really cold, we were ther for about 90 minutes and only 1 other "customer" had come in, his bike was in for service. By the way that day when we walked in all six people behind the counter said hi to both myself and my buddy by name as we walked in.
 
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