Author Topic: Whats up with the "Internet"  (Read 751 times)

Offline desertR

Whats up with the "Internet"
« on: December 05, 2019, 11:17:46 PM »
While I know that our shopping habits have changed in the last few years, the dealer network is still important to many of us. In the last 30 days, 5 motorcycle dealer's close to me, have closed. Granted they were seized by the bank, but the owner was buried in debt due to lack of sales and other "issues". I stopped in at a large multi brand dealership today, and it was a ghost town. I was the sole customer in the place. If it hadn't been for the 2 WSP bike officers on BMW's outside, you would have never known they were even open. This place was packed with new bikes, both street and dirt, SxS's, and snowmobiles, and even a few quads, and many used machines. Packed with gear and parts/pieces. Some bikes were 2017's and even a couple of 2016's, still brand new. Heavy discounts on many new bikes. I understand the need to charge perhaps higher prices to keep the doors open, but it seems to be getting bad, at least in the Seattle metro area. It's hard to find fault with the consumer that wants the variety, or just a better deal, but have we created this problem ? or is it the in-flexibility of the dealers to meet our demands that have made the system implode. Is it the manufacturers problem when they build more machines then can be sold. Is it the lack of ridership in the metro areas, or the climate, or the traffic, the idiots that make many of us leave our steeds home and climb into a cage, just to avoid the other stupid drivers. I want to think that there is an answer here but does it simply boil down to greed, or cheap-ness due to a shortage of disposable income (inflation), the locking down of riding areas, or is it all the government's fault. That last one was just for you conspiracy folks out there. ;)

Offline Dollens

Re: Whats up with the "Internet"
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2019, 08:32:59 AM »
It's a sad state of affairs indeed. I know of 3 places that went under in a radius of 30 miles from me in the last couple of years too.

Offline Action69

Re: Whats up with the "Internet"
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2019, 09:31:10 AM »
The problem that Iíve personally encountered many times at the dealer Ive patronized since a child is for one they barely stock anything but the basics such as fluids and limited riding gear.Whenever I need a part they offer to order it and are looking for full retail and I can usually get it faster and cheaper.It also seems that all of the good mechanics they had have moved on and the guys there now are new and inexperienced.A current situation Iím dealing with is I dropped off an axle to have a sprocket hub removed and replaced,its now going on three weeks and itís supposed to be ready today ..This just encourages me to buy the tools I need and go outside my comfort zone and try repairing and doing more on my machines because whenever I bring something in it takes forever.Another problem with the dealer locally is the owners inherited the business from their father and now they have their sons working there and not one of them rides.The owner has expressed to me that the limited customers that do come in the door are looking for the lowest price and will shop ever dealer in the area to save $10 or $20 a month on a payment,to me that just shows how they are not connecting with their customers because personally Iíll pay the little extra if I connect with a salesperson.For me you can have the best price but if you suck Iíll go elsewhere..

Offline Action69

Re: Whats up with the "Internet"
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2019, 09:39:56 AM »
I live in nyc and I definitely see ridership way down in my area,growing up so many of us had dirt bikes and quads and these days I can count on one hand how many local kids have bikes..We have a huge federal bird sanctuary a few blocks away thatís hardly enforced and as a kid I rode there frequently.Today you very rarely see anyone riding in there.A huge place I rode at in Florida just closed down as well(Florida tracks and trails)it seems they could no longer afford the day to day operations,with low rider numbers and high operating costs they just couldnít sustain..

Offline coops86250r

Re: Whats up with the "Internet"
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2019, 06:58:22 PM »

You bring up one hell of a point/question and one that should really concern us all and really have everyone taking that step back if this amazing sport is not only to continue but thrive.  Action69 touched on one scenario that is very similar to what happened in my local area.  That is the original owner retired and the son took over.  Since that time the amazing and well versed staff has quit or been fired to bring in people who not only have no interest in the sport, they don't have the slightest clue what they are talking about. 

I see it everyday in my place of employment and I attribute it to one hell of a generational gap that is catching up to us and I fear will bite us in the ass pretty severely.  How many of the old shops, the ones you could always trust have had the original owner retire, sell-off, or leave the business to a younger family member.  These very same shops were run by folks who really understood the meaning of EARNING a customers trust, respect, and loyalty....... I call them the old breed.  Anymore with some of the younger generation taking over on things that sense of earning these things has been lost in the pursuit of earning that quick buck and moving on.  Another point Action69 brought up was actually spending a little more at a shop you KNOW the people know the product, support the product, and also stand behind their work.  A salesperson who will treat a customer with respect and spend the time explaining something tells a great deal about that person, their dedication to the products, and the ability to steer you in the right direction.  If spending that few extra bucks allows me to make a more informed decision on how I spend my money, you bet your ass I will be coming back to them to spend more.  That type of knowledge will, in the long run save me a shit ton more money than the 3 or 5 extra bucks I spent at their shop.

I don't think there is one real smoking gun or golden BB that will solve the over all problem.  The gov't sure doesn't help, we can be our own worst enemies when it comes to saving a buck or two, and the dealers need to realize it's a tough market.  If taking an extra 50 or 100 bucks off that new dirt bike, atv, or SxS makes the sale they should really consider the impacts this could mean for future business.  Words gets out quick about a shop that does someone right just the same as it does on a shop that lays the screws to you.

That's the end of my opinion, more like rant lol.  Glad you brought up this topic desertR!!


86' 250r, stock frame w/ Pumashine full gusset kit, ESR 330 PV, TRX-7 porting, TRX-5 pipe, ESR cases, 01 CR ignition, LoneStar long travel and stem, hiper wheels, fourwerx carbon fiber, Precision clamps, Renthal bars, ASV levers, Elka stage 5, 89 spindles, CCP stabilizer.

Offline Tbone07

Re: Whats up with the "Internet"
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2019, 08:37:37 AM »
There isn't a Honda dealer within 50 miles (and probably even further) of me that has parts. Even when I had my '07 CRF450, about as common of an MX bike as you could possibly have at the time, the largest dealer in my area didn't have a carb needle for it. At some point customers are just gonna say fuck it, and order online. Why would I drive any distance to a place that might not even have the parts, when I can order everything online and have it on my doorstep in 2-3 days. And don't even think of asking the clueless service techs any remotely complex question.

Back when I was younger and a Yamaha was my only bike, the local Yamaha dealer had an excellent mechanic that I knew by name, and they had all the parts in the world. You could rebuild multiple YFZ engines just from the parts he had in stock. They closed because the RZR world took over, and Yamaha didn't have a sport SxS offering at the time.

One thing I have noticed....if you stock and sell SxS, you'll have people crawling all over your dealership every night and day. Our closest Polaris and Can-Am dealer is a shit-show on Saturday mornings. Both for parts and new bike sales. The staff is running around like chickens.
LED Performance 350 Sphynx - XC Machine


Offline croat1

Re: Whats up with the "Internet"
« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2019, 10:55:40 PM »
Hell where to start??? The local dealers suck...always have at least to me.  They never had parts in stock.  They would take Orders and then place the the order with Honda.  Now imagine if you walked  into a dealer on a Monday and ordered a part...they would place the order on the Friday.  Youíd get your parts late the following week.

A little rant...89 as we all know was the last year for the R.  It took Honda 10 years to produce another ďsportĒ quad (the 400ex).   The whole time Yamaha was still manufacturing the banshee.  Suzuki with the LT up to 92. Honda for whatever reason dropped the ball.  2004-05 trx450r was good but then Honda dropped the ball on 2006+ Trx450er.  Could have been so much better.

Ok. My opinion on the current state of the off-road world...SxS ruined it for the most part.  Iím limited to 50Ē wide legal trails here in Ohio.  I canít spend the money on a high end sxs to take it out of state to ride in a legal arena.

Iíve seen way too many 450ís parted already.  Fíín used pistons sell as soon as they post as does worn out junk (all still Available new)...just wait until Honda discontinues 450 parts

So, where are we at??? None of us are getting any younger. Hopefully some younger kids catch on and continue

Sorry for the rant/random thoughts.  Iím grateful that Iíve been able to experience the greatest off road vehicle ever to be in production.  Our great TRX250R!!!

Offline Hawaiiysr

Re: Whats up with the "Internet"
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2019, 05:45:40 PM »
here on my little rock we had two honda stealerships. One closed. The other was awesom. Honda, Yamaha, Ducati, lots of gear. I wasnt upset that they never had any parts for my R. Lets be honest its a dated quad. Well that dealership got bought out by the Harley dealership. Now its a huge one stop shop for all makes except for Suzuki which is another dealership down the road. We dont have the land here to race SxS not that i would get into that money pit. And we have only one legal area to ride. My parts support mainly comes from guys like you reading this, facebook, and, discount websites such as Motosport.
I dont have a problem getting what i need as i am in the few circles that count. Im grateful to have made friends with those that share the same passion as i do for the GREATEST QUAD OF ALL TIME:)
Long live the R!

Offline JesseA420

Re: Whats up with the "Internet"
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2020, 10:48:29 AM »
hi guys.
i feel overall its a result of society as a whole today. dealerships cant make enough money to employ knowledgeable people or keep enough parts in stock, because the small market there is left can get things much cheaper from the internet that dont have brick and mortar overheads to cover. i went into a dealership the other day to grab some foam air filter oil and they didnt have any, and the mechanic behind the counter told me they just always use engine oil.   derp.
its a deadly cycle.
also from my experience the large portion of teens-20 somethings that got into the sport over the past 15 years have ruined riding access aspect in general. disrespecting other peoples property by unnecessary destruction and illegal activity just leads to closures, and leads to an overall negative image of people in the hobby. of course im not saying all are that way, but 1 rotten apple spoils the whole bunch.

now a days if u dont know someone with private land to ride or are willing to travel long distances to ride, u really have no reason to keep ur toys.
luckily i have a buddy i talked into building a bike that has 40 acres, now we are building a track :).

« Last Edit: January 03, 2020, 10:57:20 AM by JesseA420 »
Quote from: Hawaiiysr;66760
Yup i sucked the head. taste like dirt.


Offline The norm

Re: Whats up with the "Internet"
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2020, 12:54:55 PM »
I have never really had a good experience with any dealership. We had a locally owned Honda shop 20 years ago that was known for screwing people over. Just like everyone else has said,  never any parts in stock and a 2 week wait time if you have them order it. Well even back then Rocky mountain would deliver parts to me in 2-3 days. We did have a small KTM dealer for awhile.  Those guys were great! They really helped the local mx community. They sponsored just about every young rider. They stocked more parts than the honda dealer and were just down right cool guys to bs with.  In the end procaliber motorsports (dick hannah auto group) bought everyone out. They shut the doors on the ktm shop and did not bring any of the people over. At that point I was fed up and decided to not give them my business. Especially since they didn't have anything! I started buying all the things I needed from Rocky Mountain, Amazon, and Ebay. We now have one little shop owned by a local guy that gets it. He keeps all the basic stuff on hand to maintain your bike. Also has a decent selection of riding gear.  This guy understands the times.... He is only open 3 days a week to the public because he sells 90% of his inventory on Ebay.  He has a very small store front and a very large warehouse. I had a great bs session with him one day and he told me that this is the only way to survive as today's generation would rather sit in their mom's basement and order parts online.
Then the real shitty part!
The last dealership I was in was Florence Yamaha in Florence, Oregon.  They had 4 quads in there! 1 dirtbike! And around 50 SxS's!!!!!!!! To their credit they have a shit ton of parts on hand and all the gear and maintenance items you might need.  It's just sad to see all those SxS's sitting there waiting for some citiot (idiot from the city) with zero offroad skill or knowledge to drop 30k. Then they go out to our trails and dunes with coolers full of alcohol, decked out in the latest style of women's pants. They don't care if they run into some kid on a quad at all. It's all about going as fast as you can! So to sum this up.... I blame the SXS market,  the dealership,  and myself as a parent for allowing my kids to be so dependent on the internet.
1986 Trx250r-- Hybrid Engineering 391(Good bye super 310)
1986 Trx250r-- Hybrid Engineering  ported stock 86 cylinder
1986 Trx250r-- craigslist engine with unknown ported 89 cylinder.
1985 Atc250r-- Needs a lot of work (Super 310's new home)

Offline All250R

Re: Whats up with the "Internet"
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2020, 05:44:18 PM »
Maybe something in the newer vaccines lowering T count..?
« Last Edit: January 03, 2020, 05:52:09 PM by All250R »

Offline wilkin250r

Re: Whats up with the "Internet"
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2020, 12:43:38 AM »
I'll be the voice if dissent (because that's what I do).

The dealerships aren't suffering because of the internet. Nobody buys new machines from the internet, and dealerships probably make 80% or more of their income from new machines. Dealerships aren't making a significant portion of their income from parts.  In fact, the entire parts department probably barely paid for itself, it's there mainly to support the service department.  It has indeed gotten worse that last several years, but that's not because people are ordering parts from the internet, it's because the sport is changing.

The SxS market probably IS to blame, but how can you stop it?  The offroad crowd that used to buy kid's dirtbikes and beginner ATVs are now just throwing their kids into the seat next to them, so that's how the kids grow up.  When they turn 15 (or whatever age you choose), what are they going to do?  Buy their own SxS ?!?  They can't afford a SxS, and they never learned to ride a dirtbike or ATV, so they just abandon the whole idea until years later when they CAN afford a SxS.

Nobody is growing up on dirtbikes and ATVs anymore.  Since they aren't growing up on them, they're not wrenching on them, and parts departments that USED to make a small amount of money now don't make anything unless they're selling shiny bolt-ons for the SxS crowd.

Offline 2ndmoto

Re: Whats up with the "Internet"
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2020, 11:02:05 PM »
Pretty sure oem parts and service make up a good portion of sales for a dealership. Everytime I go into ktm, Yamaha or Honda the parts and service guys are busy, very few people looking at new bikes. And they are just looking because they are waiting for service or parts.

I honestly don't think there is much profit in powersport machines.


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