Indian Motorcycle Forum banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter HERE for September's Ride of the Month Challenge!
1 - 20 of 39 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
169 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Daughter had a track meet yesterday, had a couple of hours between runs so I stopped by the local HD dealer to look at some bikes.
I was just window shopping when a young salesman asked what brought me in, just looking, him what you ridding now? Indian Chieftain. Yeah there was one here earlier but didn’t get much attention you looking to change sides? Not really, just looking.
Went to the used warehouse seen a row of bikes with a 18 Roadmaster, hey there’s a Indian. Yeah it’s going to the parts auction. How come? Our techs are HD Certified so if they find a problem with a trade we take it to the parts auction. So, what’s wrong with it? Don’t know we don’t work on non Harley bikes, we will sell it if you want but if it blows up before you get home it’s on you. Can I start it? Sure, (18 Roadmaster 3,800 miles ). Rinehart full exhaust no flaws, nice bike. How much? Can’t find a price on his phone ( I can ask my boss if you want) . Sure if your going to part it out I’m interested. Actually boss said that bike has a stage 2 and the price is $23,000. Me (wow that’s pricey for a parts bike). I’m not a Harley hater, I like Harley’s, owned three myself just like Indian’s better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
125 Posts
Last week I stopped in the Harley dealer on Panama City Beach just to see what they took in on trades from Thunder Beach. They had a couple of non Harleys there including a Suzuki VStorm 1000. I had ridden there on my R1200RT Beemer and as I was walking around the showroom looking at their inventory when I threw my leg over a nice looking CVO Electraglide (not remotely interested), the salesperson following me was insistent on running some numbers with me trading my Beemer in. I indulged him, they showed giving me $1500 more for my bike then I paid for it. That surprised me, needless to say I rode out of there on my bike. I’m waiting on my Pursuit to be built and delivered.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
971 Posts
Last week I stopped in the Harley dealer on Panama City Beach just to see what they took in on trades from Thunder Beach. They had a couple of non Harleys there including a Suzuki VStorm 1000. I had ridden there on my R1200RT Beemer and as I was walking around the showroom looking at their inventory when I threw my leg over a nice looking CVO Electraglide (not remotely interested), the salesperson following me was insistent on running some numbers with me trading my Beemer in. I indulged him, they showed giving me $1500 more for my bike then I paid for it. That surprised me, needless to say I rode out of there on my bike. I’m waiting on my Pursuit to be built and delivered.
I would expect that the extra $1,500 they would show you on paper would be eaten up with all their extra fees LOL. They ain't called "Stealerships" fer nuthin LOL.
 

·
Registered
2017 Steel Gray/Burgundy Metallic
Joined
·
228 Posts
I know that overall it's near impossible to visit a car or motorcycle dealership when you are just killing time, and not come away feeling like you need a shower, however I would give props to the HD dealer where I found my 17 Springfield a year or so ago. Once I made it clear I had no interest in anything else on the floor, had a deal and was on my way home in less than 30 minutes. I imagine since it was a used Indian, I shaved an hour or more of time listening to up sales on a variety of add-on accessories, and warranty extension stuff. Just wrote them a check and didn't let the door hit me on my way out, but I did get to experience the bell ringing, ZZ Top blasting overhead and a high 5 from all the employees on the way out.
 

·
Founding member
2014 Red Chief Classic #172 "Legalize Freedom"
Joined
·
1,123 Posts
Back in 03 or 04 while at Rolling Thunder up in DC my riding partner was on his 96 Road King and wanted to go to the nearest HD to DC. So we went to the one in Maryland, the place was surrounded by Harleys it being Rolling Thunder and all. Of course I was on my Turquoise and White 2000 Gilroy Chief, and I was having electrical problems. I went into the service dept. and asked if they could track down the electrical problem if any and install a new battery for me.

Well, the service manager had seen me ride in on my Gilroy and he told me that they were certainly not going to work on my Indian, all they would do was sell me a battery and place it outside the building. Being pissed I told the manager he could take his battery and F*** himself with it. I needed to track down a short so a battery by itself was not good enough.

We stayed around for awhile talking to a lot of riders that saw what was happening, they were pissed as well since I was a vet and a thousand miles from home, helping an out of town rider was not in their creed. A couple of the mechanics even came out and said they would love to work on my bike but were told NO. I was told the service manager was always a dick, I agreed. Just saying.
 

·
Registered
2020 Challenger...Sandstone Smoke
Joined
·
1,294 Posts
Back in 03 or 04 while at Rolling Thunder up in DC my riding partner was on his 96 Road King and wanted to go to the nearest HD to DC. So we went to the one in Maryland, the place was surrounded by Harleys it being Rolling Thunder and all. Of course I was on my Turquoise and White 2000 Gilroy Chief, and I was having electrical problems. I went into the service dept. and asked if they could track down the electrical problem if any and install a new battery for me.

Well, the service manager had seen me ride in on my Gilroy and he told me that they were certainly not going to work on my Indian, all they would do was sell me a battery and place it outside the building. Being pissed I told the manager he could take his battery and F*** himself with it. I needed to track down a short so a battery by itself was not good enough.

We stayed around for awhile talking to a lot of riders that saw what was happening, they were pissed as well since I was a vet and a thousand miles from home, helping an out of town rider was not in their creed. A couple of the mechanics even came out and said they would love to work on my bike but were told NO. I was told the service manager was always a dick, I agreed. Just saying.
Kinda reminds me of a story with my old bike. I had an 81 FLH a while back while I was in the Army stationed at Ft. Knox. Had a tranny leak and went to the local Harley dealer(been closed for some time now) in Radcliff. I go to the service manager and tell him I got an oil leak I need fixed, he says ok what are you riding, I said an 81 FLH, he closes his appointment book and looks at me and says...we don't work on old bikes, none of our mechanics are trained on those. Last time I ever set foot in that place and glad they closed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
233 Posts
Daughter had a track meet yesterday, had a couple of hours between runs so I stopped by the local HD dealer to look at some bikes.
I was just window shopping when a young salesman asked what brought me in, just looking, him what you ridding now? Indian Chieftain. Yeah there was one here earlier but didn’t get much attention you looking to change sides? Not really, just looking.
Went to the used warehouse seen a row of bikes with a 18 Roadmaster, hey there’s a Indian. Yeah it’s going to the parts auction. How come? Our techs are HD Certified so if they find a problem with a trade we take it to the parts auction. So, what’s wrong with it? Don’t know we don’t work on non Harley bikes, we will sell it if you want but if it blows up before you get home it’s on you. Can I start it? Sure, (18 Roadmaster 3,800 miles ). Rinehart full exhaust no flaws, nice bike. How much? Can’t find a price on his phone ( I can ask my boss if you want) . Sure if your going to part it out I’m interested. Actually boss said that bike has a stage 2 and the price is $23,000. Me (wow that’s pricey for a parts bike). I’m not a Harley hater, I like Harley’s, owned three myself just like Indian’s better.
About a year ago I rode up to North Ga.to meet this gal and take her for a ride-we met at the local HD dealership close to her home as this was our first time meeting one another..
They were having a huge tent event sale,and I parked a few spaces from the tent (where they was some shade)The sales girl,and quite a few customers walked by my Chieftain scoping it over,and asking questions about the bike."how do you like it"? "how long have you had it what year..any problems with it? Even the sales lady was inquisitive about it.
 

·
Premium Member
2022 Chief Darkhorse
Joined
·
516 Posts
I’ve never had good experiences with HD dealerships. I was very close to buying a Breakout before I decided on my Chief. I loved the bike - styling, performance, sound - but the dealership itself stopped me from pulling the trigger. Twice.
The first was when the sales guy was trying to sell me an image, not a bike. He literally told me how cool I’d look riding the bike & how I’d be part of the elite Harley group if I bought it. He lost me on the spot while “Born to be Wild” was playing in the background and proud new Harley buyers were ringing the bell and having their asses slapped by the salespeople!
Second time was when I found THE Breakout I wanted, used, one year old, advertised online. I called the dealership to ask the price (had “call for price” on the ad). The pleasant young lady on the other end flat out refused to tell me the price. She insisted, over and over, that I had to come in and see it for her to tell me the price. After telling her politely what I thought about their sales tactics I hung up on her.
Less than a week later, Indian announced the new Chief. It has everything I wanted - classic looks, awesome tech, and a big honking 116!
Lesson learned? Everything happens for a reason. That and HD dealers suck!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
303 Posts
Being in the Furniture and Appliance Industry for 20 years.. Knowing how to sell... Ive ran in some HD shops that are ok with just looking. We take and give jabs, laugh, etc... Those are usually on a slow day or a slow dealer.. The dealers that are high volume very busy types are rude.. That is why some are Motorcycle Enthusiasts while others are well HD Riders that is all they know.. Narrow minded etc etc... I stopped making fun of HD unless HD starts it... THEN ITS ON!!!
 
  • Like
Reactions: irvin.boston

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
179 Posts
It all varies by dealership, and even staff within a dealership. As I ride both, it is not uncommon for me to stop in the Harley dealership with an Indian shirt on. Just last week we stopped into a dealership I had not been in and my wife and I were looking at clothes. Woman working there came in and asked if I rode an Indian, I said yet. She said she loves them, they had a used one in a week or 2 ago and they are so nice. Have also had someone at the local dealership try to give me shit over it. At least I do actually see sales people (in bikes and clothing) show up and ask if I need any help within a few seconds of stepping foot into an HD dealership, pretty much always. Some of the Indian dealerships around here (all primarily polaris powersports dealers) make it hard to find someone to get help at all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
I'm not a brand loyalist and I have long ago recognized and rejected the peer pressure in the cruiser community to buy a Harley just for the sake of having a Harley. Without saying anything about the bikes themselves, a lot of owning a Harley is about being a part of a culture and part of a group. That's perfectly OK, people ride for different reasons, the whole group thing is just not my style. I personally think I might be autistic because I don't do well in groups and I don't get dressing the same as everyone else or practicing the habits, rituals and nuances of a culture so buying into that, for me, would be a huge waste of time and money. If I bought a Harley, it would be solely for the bike.

With that being said, I decided to get back into it again after a 20 year hiatus from riding. I wasn't in a huge hurry so I casually spent my Saturdays visiting different dealerships to sit on a few bikes. To be fair, most of the dealerships, Harley or not, didn't appear to have any available sales people even though they were not very busy. I was approached by one salesperson at this one used bike dealership where I was interested in a Soft tail and he tried to redirect me to a Honda Rebel 500. I laughed and walked out.

After looking at bikes for almost a year, I narrowed down the prospects to a handful. One of them was the Indian Scout. I went down to the local Indian Dealership early one Saturday just to see how the bike felt and they happened to have the exact model and trim I wanted. The place was already busy and I didn't expect to get an available sales person to talk to anyway. However, I was approached by a sales person while I was feeling out the bike and I ended up falling in love with the bike so we ended up cutting a deal in about 15 minutes.

Fast forward to this year, I still like to look at other bikes, I think that I'm "Bike Curious", and I had always liked the look of the Fat Boys but I hated the rims so I never pursued it. However, I saw what they did with the rims on the '22 Fat Boys and really like the new look. Unfortunately, by now bikes on the floor where scarce but my local Harley dealership had one on the floor with a sale pending flag on their website. Then, a couple weeks ago, the bike was still on the site but the pending flag was gone so I went down to take a look.

I sat on the bike but unfortunately I'm 5'5" and I could not flat foot the bike. I was pretty bummed. Other than that I liked the body position on that bike and I think I would have bought it that day if the test ride also felt good. The thing I was impressed with though was that I was immediately approached by a salesman who spent the next 30 minutes or so talking about how I ride and the different Harleys that would be a good fit for me and my style. As I said, I might be a bit autistic so a 30 minute conversation for me is like 2 hours for another person. I left there feeling pretty good about that place.

They offered a nice trade in for my Indian which was a lot more than Indian offered me to trade up to the Chief. Overall, I left feeling pretty good about that place but they didn't have many other bikes on the floor that would have fit me.
 

·
Registered
'19 SF - Metallic Jade & Thunder Black
Joined
·
1,243 Posts
It’s been my experience that the sales staff at a lot of bike dealerships know much less than most bike enthusiasts. That holds true for the guys at the parts counter as well.
This is also true for musical instrument shops. I go in feeling like Ron Swanson.

Sleeve Customer T-shirt Engineering Retail



Though, I will say the small indie drum shops by me (Badges Drum Shop and The Cymbal House) do have knowledgeable and fun people to deal with.
 

·
Registered
2021 Indian Springfield
Joined
·
150 Posts
Kinda reminds me of a story with my old bike. I had an 81 FLH a while back while I was in the Army stationed at Ft. Knox. Had a tranny leak and went to the local Harley dealer(been closed for some time now) in Radcliff. I go to the service manager and tell him I got an oil leak I need fixed, he says ok what are you riding, I said an 81 FLH, he closes his appointment book and looks at me and says...we don't work on old bikes, none of our mechanics are trained on those. Last time I ever set foot in that place and glad they closed.
I got my start in big bikes in 1978 with a well-worn 1963 ex-police FL Duo-Glide. It turned out to need more work than I realized, and I had to have it hauled in to the North Birmingham (Alabama) Harley-Davidson dealer. There was a mechanic there named George who was the best you'll find anywhere, when he was sober and at the shop. George was a recent Vietnam vet, as they all were then. The shop was under the flight path to the Birmingham airport, and when Alabama Air National Guard F-4 Phantoms flew over, he would scream curses, throw his wrench, and dive under a counter or whatever cover was nearby. He sure got my old Panhead engine done right, and I saw him build a Cafe Racer that was a 1/8 mile drag race match for the big Kawaski fours of the day! The owner of the two Birmingham stores was a man named Gordon. I thought he was an arrogant prick, and he drove a Bentley. I never saw or heard him show any personal interest in motorcycles. When I'd ask about parts to fix up my classic Panhead, he'd laugh and tell me to "Buy a new one!" So I went to swap meets and back street chopper shops to find used parts people had pulled off to make choppers, and used them to restore my stock one. In the process, my wife found a little independent shop out on Tuscaloosa Avenue run by Bill and JoAnn Peek. Those folks were an amazing pair. Both were nice as they could be. Bill was himself a brilliant mechanic, and a sharp wheeler-dealer in all things related to Harleys and old Indians. JoAnn was a gifted business manager. Bill really helped me fix up my Panhead, and we got to be good friends. H-D decided to open a new store in Gadsden, Alabama, and Bill got the franchise! I'd moved to Anniston, which was nearby. He helped me keep my old Pan on the road and spiff her up. I finally traded her in to Bill for a brand new 1985 FLTC Tour Glide. Karma came around. Gordon lost his Harley franchise in Birmingham. Bill and JoAnn had done a remarkable job of building up the Gadsden dealership from scratch. Harley decided to consolidate Birmingham and Gadsden into a big store on the north side of Birmingham, and Bill and JoAnn ran it! I ended up moving to Bristol, Tennessee and lost track of them, though I once stopped by the store on a trip to see if they were there. I just missed them. I don't know who runs the H-D dealership in Birmingham now, but if they're half as good as Bill and JoAnn it's a terrific place! I don't want to deal with the H-D dealerships near my current home, but Friendship Motorsports a.k.a. Stateline Indian Motorcycles in Bristol, VA is a fine operation run by good people. I recommend them to anyone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
I had just bought my 1st Indian - a vintage. The wife had never been on a bike before so we needed to get some gear. She couldn’t find a pair of boots that fit her, so we stopped at the local HD shop to look at boots. While she’s waiting for one of the employees to stop joking around with another one to help I walked over to the accessories. Some recent high school graduate came up and asks if he could help me - no just looking. Do you ride? Yeah. What do you ride? An Indian. Why would anyone ride one of those? So I’m waiting for the laugh or other giveaway that he was kidding - nothing. Meanwhile I’m thinking $7k less than the Road King I looked at here, bigger engine, more hp, came with things already chromed that I would have to have replaced on the hd - saving even more money etc. But deciding to give him a chance to recover I respond with well, it’s not what you ride it’s that you got there on 2 wheels. He replied I don’t know that I believe that. Alrighty then!
 
  • Like
Reactions: irvin.boston

·
Founding Member / Distinguished
Joined
·
5,033 Posts
I had just bought my 1st Indian - a vintage. The wife had never been on a bike before so we needed to get some gear. She couldn’t find a pair of boots that fit her, so we stopped at the local HD shop to look at boots. While she’s waiting for one of the employees to stop joking around with another one to help I walked over to the accessories. Some recent high school graduate came up and asks if he could help me - no just looking. Do you ride? Yeah. What do you ride? An Indian. Why would anyone ride one of those? So I’m waiting for the laugh or other giveaway that he was kidding - nothing. Meanwhile I’m thinking $7k less than the Road King I looked at here, bigger engine, more hp, came with things already chromed that I would have to have replaced on the hd - saving even more money etc. But deciding to give him a chance to recover I respond with well, it’s not what you ride it’s that you got there on 2 wheels. He replied I don’t know that I believe that. Alrighty then!
That jackass!


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

·
Founding member
Joined
·
994 Posts
I wanted a new front tire. On my 1977 FLH with the standard alloy wheels.[the first year for them] The same ones they had for years. And they said it was too old. For them to work on? I don't think I've been back since.
 

·
Registered
'19 SF - Metallic Jade & Thunder Black
Joined
·
1,243 Posts
I wanted a new front tire. On my 1977 FLH with the standard alloy wheels.[the first year for them] The same ones they had for years. And they said it was too old. For them to work on? I don't think I've been back since.
Back in '98, I was service manager at an H-D dealership when the Twin Cam came out. Before we took delivery of them, the dealership had a policy of working on only 80s Shovelheads and newer bikes. Ironhead Sportsters were post-AMF only.

As soon we took delivery of the first Twin Cam, the dealership's owner changed the policy to "Evo and up" only on Sporties & big twins. It pissed off some people, not a lot, but enough that a local independent shop ended up having to hire another mechanic. The ownership's opinion was "these people aren't going to buy a new bike anyway and their old stuff takes too much time away from people who really spend money."

There was a good bit of truth in the part about most likely not buying a new bike, but he completely missed the money point on service/repairs because those jobs were usually hourly, not book time unless it was something straight forward like a base-gasket job.

I've even been at an Indian dealership and heard the service manager tell someone they work only on 2014 and up Indians, they may work on a Kings Mountain PP 105, depending on what it needed (this is a summation vs what he said verbatim).
 
1 - 20 of 39 Posts
Top