Episode 2 of the Brap Talk podcast is out, and in this show our big topic of conversation centers around the dealership experience.
As such, we rely heavily on Shahin’s decade-long career of working in motorcycle dealerships, and discuss what can be done better – by both the dealers, and the customers. We also wander into speculation about our future with robot overlords.
Before we get to that in-depth conversation in the podcast though, we cover a few newsie items.
BMW Motorrad is looking for new ways to get motorcyclists on the German brand’s two-wheelers, and as such BMW has created its “Rent a Ride” program. The name sort of gives things away, as the BMW “Rent a Ride” service is a short-term rental program that will be based out of BMW dealerships.
The concept is in its pilot phase right now, and focused on the German, Austrian, and French markets, with two dealers from each of these markets having a small fleet of motorcycles that renters can choose from.
If successful, the BMW “Rent a Ride” program will be rolled out to all BMW Motorrad dealers, effectively giving the German brand the largest motorcycle rental network in the world.
BMW is up to its fifth recall, in just five weeks, with a bevy of models been hit with safety concerns. The first recall was for the German company’s flagship model, the BMW R1200GS, which could see its front suspension fail if the motorcycle was subjected to hard use.
The second recall affected BMW models that shipped with panniers, as they did not meet federal requirements for vehicle reflectors. The third recall was for BMW R1200RT Police models, while the fourth recall concerned the wheels on two of BMW’s scooter models.
Today marked BMW’s fifth recall, which affects over 3,000 units of its BMW R nineT roadster model, as they could suffer from a swingarm pivot point pin coming loose.
With the news of all these recalls, BMW Motorrad USA has also sent a letter to its dealers, outlining the status of each recall, how BMW is going to help dealers through this massive slew of recalls, and what the brand will do for its affected customers.
For as long as we have covered the Pied Piper dealership rankings, one brand has stood above all others in customer satisfaction, and that brand has been Ducati.
But for the 2016 rankings, we have a new boss in town, as BMW dealerships have taken the top honors in the most recent Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index.
For those readers who aren’t that aren’t familiar with Pied Piper, the company’s Prospect Satisfaction Index is sort of the Consumer Reports of a dealership network experience, and acts as a measuring stick for how a brand is performing when it comes to interacting with potential customers.
As such, the PSI takes into account a mixture of “mystery shopper” experiences, along with actual sales success for each brand, thus giving a mixture of subjective and objective measurement for a company’s dealer network.
With all the new motorcycles for the 2017 model year debuting right now, it might seem counter-intuitive that this would be the right time to make a trip down to your local motorcycle dealership, but it is. Let me explain.
After seeing a modest rebounding of sales and momentum from the recession, this year has been a stumbling block for the motorcycle industry, with sales at the beginning of the year building slowly, before tapering off later in the summer and early fall.
Economic indicators are up, unemployment is down, but the third quarter results from around the industry are pointing to the US motorcycle market taking a market contraction for 2016. The reason for this is uncertainty.
In writing this story, I probably tried on four or five different approaches to say that exact same thing: here is a video that makes me want to drop off a pile of cash at my local Husqvarna dealership, and brap off into the sunset with a new Husqvarna 701 Supermoto.
I had trouble articulating this thought though, not because I was at a loss of words for my inner-hooligan, but because what impressed me more was the fact that this high-octane video clip comes not from Husqvarna, but instead from one of the company’s Czech dealers: Dypree.
The gearbox recall for the 2015 Yamaha YZF-R1 was a massive undertaking. In total, the recall affected 2,921 motorcycles, with Yamaha estimating almost 16 hours of labor per bike in order to change out the gearbox. That’s a lot of shop time for each individual motorcycle.
That time isn’t cheap either, and the cost of the labor alone was somewhere around the $5 million mark. By the time you threw in the cost of the parts, the R1 recall likely cost Yamaha somewhere north of $10 million.
To get a sense of how long that recall work took, checkout this time-lapse video that a mechanic made while working on one of the affected superbikes. Be sure to note that the video spans two days of shop time. It’s quite the process.
Yet once again, Ducati has topped Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index (PSI) – showing the continued prowess of Ducati dealerships in the United States.
For those that aren’t familiar with Pied Piper, the company’s Prospect Satisfaction Index is sort of the Consumer Reports of dealership network experience, and acts as a bellwether as to how a brand is performing while facing the consumer.
As such, the PSI takes into account a mixture of “mystery shopper” experiences along with actual sales success for each brand, thus giving a mixture of subjective and objective measurement for a company’s dealer network.
Motus Motorcycles continues to grow its dealership presence, especially with the announcement that the American motorcycle outfit has added eight new dealerships to its dealer network.
That addition brings Motus’ total to 22 dealers in the United States with more on the way, the company says.
That’s good news for riders interested in a unique American-built motorcycle, especially those that are familiar with tinkering on push-rod muscle cars.
Good news for Italian motorcycle fans in California, as MV Agusta license to operate within California has been reinstated. The Italian motorcycle brand saw its license to do business in California revoked earlier this month, after the company failed to renew its license with the Golden State, which had expired in July of last year.
MV Agusta USA had said that the license revocation was due to a paperwork issue, and sources have told Asphalt & Rubber that the American office had confused federal filings as being sufficient for California as well.
Thankfully with help from MV Agusta’s lawyers in Italy, MV Agusta USA was able to rectify the situation in a rapid manner, with dealers in California only being unable to sell new machines for a total of 12 days.
Tough news today for MV Agusta dealers and potential buyers, as the Italian motorcycle brand is no longer allowed to sell motorcycles in the State of California.
The California Department of Motor Vehicles of vehicle makers that are no longer licensed to conduct business within the Golden State’s borders, and as you can imagine, the names are usually those of fly-by-night or foreign entities with less-than-reputable backgrounds.
In its most recent release, sent to dealers and registration services, the California DMV named MV Agsuta USA as one of the companies whose license to operate in California is no longer valid, which means 2014 model year machines can no longer be sold in California (we’re not sure how this affects 2013 and earlier machines that remain unsold at dealerships).