It could be a rip off, or some other dealer nonsense, but just as I was about to call one dealer (who has been incredibly helpful) to put a deposit on the 2007 Ninja 250, I received a call from another dealership. The salesman there said that his manager had just located 2 2008 Ninja 250s, due in the shop within 7-10 days (new, in crate, no problem, 2008). So, I put down a deposit and agreed to pay sticker plus set up (about $350) plus “documentation” (documentation means their paperwork, not my plate, at $150), plus a “kicker over sticker”. I’m willing take the hit on instant depreciation if this is the best way for me to learn, and still be comfortable. It will just be interesting to see if they make good, or if I let a perfectly good 2007 get away. The bike is black, which is OK with me, and I’m going to try not to get my hopes up.
To all who helped with my decision, thanks. I’ll let you know what happens.
Dealer behavior puzzles me. These folks know that, if I like the sport, it is very likely that I would be buying one or more different bikes within the next few years. I will also need gear (on which there is a much larger markup), and service. In this part of New England, reputation means a lot, and word of mouth matters. All that being true, why the prep fees and the markup? Obviously, if they don’t produce the specific motorcycle, I will be unlikely to shop there again. If they do produce it, they will have to be extremely good, just to overcome my discomfort with the extra nickle and diming. It just seems foolish to risk what could be a huge amount of future business (I am a desirable customer from a marketing perspective) for under $750. But maybe that’s the business. Although I must say that if they could have found one, I would have gone an extra 30 miles to the dealer I liked better.