Buying a new bike—aaaarrrghhh!!!!!
May 19, 2010 at 6:57 pm #3978
I’ve been to five dealerships so far trying to price a new (or preferably leftover ’09 model) DR-Z400SM and despite the fact that I have financing already arranged through my credit union no place will even quote me a price without first signing some paperwork and making some sort of commitment. What the hell is going on here? I’m tempted to buy a used bike from a private seller just to avoid the hassle. Do dealerships not realize how much business they’re driving away by making the simple process of trying to get an idea on a price such a hassle?May 19, 2010 at 7:14 pm #26564eonParticipant
That is very odd. Who the hell is going to make a commitment to buy something before they know the price? I understand they have to weed out the tire kickers but not at the expense of turning away legitimate buyers.May 19, 2010 at 7:27 pm #26566Gary856Participant
That way you don’t need to ask them – you know and tell them what you want to pay. Cycletrader.com allows you to search within specified distance and has many dealer listing on new bikes. But, dude, why buy new and pay $6k+? That bike is cool and fun as hell, but it’s not for everybody. What if you end up not liking it? Late model, low milege DRZ-400sm have around $3.5k-4.5k asking price; make offers to see if you can do better.May 19, 2010 at 7:34 pm #26567
Every cycletrader.com entry within my range says “call for price”May 19, 2010 at 8:22 pm #26570JackTradeParticipant
I can kinda see their logic if you’re just calling and asking, but visiting in person should be a different story.May 19, 2010 at 9:23 pm #26577Gary856Participant
Looks like MSRP for DRZ400sm is $6699. A quick cycletrader.com search showed prices from dealer (2 hr distance) listed as low as $5,399 (more than 1 place). I’ve heard people got out-the-door price in the low to mid $6k range. Good luck.May 22, 2010 at 1:20 am #26647owlieParticipant
That is totally weird. The only reason I can think of for a dealership to do that would be that they don’t have any in inventory…May 22, 2010 at 2:10 am #26652an-evil-doerParticipant
Not vehicles, so I may be off, but we hate starting to negotiate price with a customer when we pretty much know that they are using us as the “first stop” jump off point to leverage against the next shop. We have to do our best to find out if the customer is curious, serious or using us.
That said, try the straight up approach. If you are going to shop them, let your first stop know that you are serious about making this purchase but have to check other places for price. *If you like the service you got at the first place*, let them know that you will give them the last shot to match the lowest price you find, and stick by it. So many customers will get the bulk of their help from their first contact and then give the commission to the place they get shoppers fatigue at, often even at the same price.
Sales is a tough gig. Take care of the folks who earn your business.May 22, 2010 at 5:33 am #26656
The thing that complicates it is that none of my local dealerships actually have the bike I want in stock. They’re all saying they have to order one, and I’m guessing they all order from the same supplier/distributor. And that complicates things as far as getting a price goes. It’s not like they have one lying around they’re trying to unload.
Here’s my dilemma. I know I want a DR-Z 400 SM. I want that bike and that bike alone. Problem is NONE of my local dealers have any in stock and they likely won’t order one without money down. This poses 2 problems for me: 1. I can’t even see the bike before I buy it, which isn’t a big deal I guess since I’m dead set on that model anyway, and 2. Nobody will discuss price with me. I’m guessing it won’t matter though since they all have to order and likely from the same source, so they won’t be willing to haggle since it’s not something they had laying around and are trying to get rid of. It’s just a very very frustrating experience is all.May 22, 2010 at 1:52 pm #26659Jeff in KentuckyParticipant
There was a new 400cc Suzuki Supermoto at the dealership in Georgetown , Kentucky, when I was there 2 weeks ago.
I agree you will probably not get much of a discount if you have to order a new bike. Try calling several dealers, and make them an offer over the phone, either to order the bike or to see if they have one already. If a bike is difficult to keep in stock, the price goes up. You will probably get the best deal for a yellow one, since it is a less popular color.May 23, 2010 at 12:34 pm #26679TrialsRiderParticipant
Most dealerships I have ever been in, have the price tags hanging off the handlebars, or at the very least a price list handout. I’m thinking the problem here is, you are looking for a model that is considered a niche market motorcycle and nobody here knows that problem more than I, when did you ever see any motorcycle dealership inventory Trials bikes … I go to competition events and buy mine sight unseen off the tailgate of a pickup truck, once I get it, possibly still in a crate, I assemble it, prep it, shelve all the lights and prep it for competition before I can ride it.
With no intention to criticize the DR-Z400SM lets look at what makes this model very much a niche model. Suzuki in making this Motard started with a 400cc engine, when every other maker offering this type of motorcycle makes theirs 450cc. That renders it non-competitive in Supermoto and yet it’s fitted with number plate plastics that will never see competition numbers. Raised fenders are great for knobby tires in the gravel, because if your tire picks up mud, stone or sticks it jams between the tire and fender, but on the street they are useless, when the road is wet you are going to be riding into your own road spray. Suzuki has preserved far too much Enduro in this case and simply mounted Roadrace wheels on a relatively non-competitive Enduro bike. DR-Z400SM has a carb instead of fuel injection, brush guards on the front fork stanctions, dirt bike gear ratios and yet it would still make a marginal dirt bike. Sorry for slamming the machine but If I was a dealer I would not inventory this model either, let alone in the 3 or 4 color offerings.
I’m a Suzuki fan from way back, but IMHO you should look at alternative brands for competitive product.May 23, 2010 at 1:49 pm #26680eternal05Participant
The DR-Z400sm is not at all competitive against the CRF450s and such, but I doubt competition capability affects sales outside of sportbikes and MX bikes (I’m not familiar with trials, so let’s leave that arena to you). The DR-Z400sm isn’t marketed as a competition sumo. Anybody serious about sumo is just going to convert a 450 or buy a Husqy or KTM. However, for the non-competing enthusiast, the $6500 DR-Z, pre-packaged with axle sliders, peg sliders, sportbike wheels and street tires, inverted forks, and other things is a slamming deal. It’s also street legal. As exactly that–a non-competing enthusiast–I can ride the bike off the lot without spending another dime.
Take the Yamaha WR450, for instance. It’s $7500 MSRP, and is still carbureted. On top of that, it has dirt bike wheels and tires and a dirt bike gear box. If you’re not competing and want to ride on the road (as WeaponZero obviously does), you also need to add mirrors and signals, and it still has all the dirt-focused fenders and plastics, etc. that you were complaining about in the DR-Z. Already we’re talking about at least $1500 in mods to get a street-going bike. Not really a bargain for an extra 50ccs. The Honda CRF450X is even more expensive at $7900, and has all the same pitfalls.
Even the Husqvarna SM 450 is $8000, still carbureted, and needs mirrors and signals as well. KTM doesn’t make a supermoto bike below the 690, so you’d have to convert one of the 450 EXC enduro bikes. Those start at around $8000 as well (KTM doesn’t release MSRP, but the 2006 was $7600 and prices only go up over 5 years), and they have dirt tires and again, no mirrors and signals.
All of these bikes also have about 20-35% less fuel capacity than the DR-Z. The DR-Z also has a TON of aftermarket support have been around in S and E versions for quite some time, can gain about 10 HP (a 30% increase) and lose about 20 lbs with about $1000 worth of mods, and stills comes out cheaper than a pre-sumo-conversion 450cc trail bike. There’s a reason that they’re very popular, and at least around here, every Suzuki dealer I’ve been to has two to four of them in stock. Also, as a DR-Z400sm owner in Seattle, I can assure you that the fenders pose no problem for wet riding.
So really, the DR-Z makes perfect sense, both practically and financially, for people who want a street bike. Granted, that’s not you, but no need to rain on another’s parade. Yes, there are substantially lighter and more powerful bikes out there, but they cost more proportionally and take a lot more work to get on the road.May 23, 2010 at 4:29 pm #26685
the 450s you talk about are competition-spec bikes that sacrifice a lot of the practicality and reliability that the DR-Z has. theyre built using engines that were designed solely for race purposes and need regular teardowns/rebuilds to keep from blowing up. the DR-Z400SM is the ONLY bike in between the 250s kawasaki and yamaha make and the 600s that the european brands make that is reliably streetable. it is the only bike in its class.
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