This is a brief summary of the emotional roller coaster ride that I and others often experience when trying to negotiate a new motorcycle purchase from a dealer.
It started out of boredom getting the itch to upgrade my current 2003 FXST Softail Standard to something bigger that will assist in the wife enjoying riding as much as myself. Again out of boredom because I still owe on my Softail, I started searching the local Harley dealerships’ online inventories. And as the old saying goes, “If you hang out at a barbershop long enough, you will get a haircut.” Well, I got a haircut; I had found a beautiful older Road King Classic, awesome condition with lower miles. I stared at the website for a couple days until I talked myself into just going to look at it; that’s where we all start out at. This is when the excitement and anticipation begins.
So I go up to my local Harley-Davidson dealer to take a peek and maybe dream. I get there and the salesman who sold me my Softail and I started talking and walking around. Of course I was too late, the Road King had been sold, which worked out to be a blessing in disguise. Riding high then bam, my high was over, I thought.
We looked at a couple of used bikes, but nothing jumped out that would be easy to get what I needed for my bike, and the payments I needed. My salesman told he would get a hold of me when something came in. I’m bummed at this point; we will call this sadness.
At home that night, I continued my online search, but what I found was an epiphany; my first bike was not of my choosing, the salesman sold me the bike he wanted to sell me, but not this time. I now would be purchasing the bike that I wanted and not something someone else told me to, and I was not going to settle. If I were going to trade a bike I really had loved and of course spent a lot of time and money on, this had to be THE BIKE, not just another bike.
So this was it I was going to either get a Street Glide, or nothing. The euphoria of getting my dream bike was almost overwhelming, so the next day, here I go again except on a mission!
I strolled into the showroom pointed straight toward what must have been 30 or so Street Glides. Of course a different salesman walks up and asks me if he could help. I informed him I had a salesman, but I wanted to test ride a Street Glide before I went any further. He said cool, let me get some tags, it was a good day for a ride, as we did and it was. At this point I am almost slobbering on myself with excitement. This salesman was not pushy, answered all my questions, and asked me some really good questions also. I just got a really good vibe from Matt so I said what the hell, let’s try this. Now here comes the real crazy part. I am actually looking into a brand new leftover 2010 Street Glide--I am flying even higher now.
Of course he started asking the basic questions and the negotiating began. I started low and he started high. I did like Matt and his professionalism; he did his job but took my financial situation into consideration without pushing too hard. I must have made him walk back to the Sales Manager a dozen times. But by some miracle, with me being practical about how much these bikes cost ($23,000), I went from frustration, to excitement back to frustration almost anger and then he finally came back with a figure I could live with. I was so surprised; Matt got me an excellent deal. In hindsight, of course he gets paid to sell, he worked very hard to put me into the bike that I wanted and at a price I could afford instead of the amount that they could squeeze out of me.
So now off I go to see Darryl in the finance office to sign paperwork. I worked with Darryl before and even rode with him, so we were familiar. So all the extras were offered to me, extended warranties and maintenance packages, and Darryl cut through the BS and told me this was the best he could do, and I agreed. Again I was expecting the worst, and it did not work out that way. I am still riding high!
I am now the proud owner of a new 2010 Harley-Davidson Street Glide. Actually I have had my bike a full week now, and I am afraid my smile will break my face, it is still so wide. I am really pleased I went to Matt and the guys at Worth Harley-Davidson just to ask some questions.
In conclusion, if you are considering your first Harley or just to upgrade as I had, I recommend you find somewhere and someone you get a good feeling about, know the amount you want to pay, and stick to it, be prepared to hit the brakes at any time, do your homework, be prepared to walk away if necessary. Know your credit score if financing and what an amortization schedule is and how to use it. It will show you the numbers they are using to get a payment amount. Feel free to ask questions even if they may seem crazy. Know the bike you want and the accessories you want on your bike, ask them to throw them in or ask to finance them in, because at these prices, make sure you getting your dream bike. Take the time to know what other dealers are selling this item for. I chose to purchase during December, as they were a lot more eager to work with me during their off season. With all these aspects in mind, go for it, you never know, they may make your dream come true, just like the guys at Worth Harley-Davidson in Kansas City did for me and good luck--hope to see you in the wind!
By Danny Webb