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.
Soon Aprilia dealers in the United States will begin flexing their racing prowess, with a new certification program from Aprilia Racing.
The certification program hopes to leverage Aprilia’s racing experience on the international stage, and thus turn Aprilia dealerships into performance shops capable of honing Aprilia’s motorcycles for track use.
As such, Aprilia Racing certified dealerships will have access to a host of performance parts that Aprilia Racing has developed back in Italy, during the course of their racing programs in MotoGP and WorldSBK.
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.
There has been a lot of rumor as of late, about whether Ducati is for sale, and who would be a potential buyer of the iconic motorcycle brand. We have seen just about every large motorcycle manufacturer at some point has been linked to buying Ducati Motor Holding, and now we can add another: MotoCorsa.
That’s right, the top Ducati dealer in the United States is throwing its hat into the ring, and looking to other Ducati owners to help crowdsource the $1.6 billion likely needed to wrestle away the Ducati brand from its owners at Audi AG.
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.
Asphalt & Rubber readers should be familiar with how attempts have been made to use the Digital Millennium Right Act (DMCA) as means of limiting how you can work on your vehicles, including your motorcycle.
These attempts first started in 2015, and were pushed heavily by John Deere and the automobile lobby. Thankfully, last year the the Librarian of Congress allowed exemptions for vehicles to be applied to the DMCA, which will be in effect for the next two years.
Now, the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) – a group that represents the interests of motorcycle manufacturers in the United States – is putting pressure on state legislatures and encouraging them to block “Right to Repair” bills that would codify the exemptions made to the DMCA.
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.
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.
Episode 17 of the Two Enthusiasts Podcast a show we’re pretty proud of, as it tackles some meaty subjects.
As such, Quentin and myself get into a healthy discussion about the EPA’s recent statement that it intends to change wording to the Clean Air Act in order to close the “race use only” loophole for aftermarket equipment for motor vehicles. We hope our arugments spur further debate amongst your own circle of riding friends.
We then shift gears and answer a listener’s question about whether or not he should become a mechanic, and per usual it takes some interesting turns as we discuss the current trends of education, labor, and economics, which eventual devolves into a more philosophical discussion on life, the universe, and everything.
We think you’ll find the whole show highly engaging.
As always, you can listen to the show via the embedded SoundCloud player, after the jump, or you can find the show on iTunes (please leave a review) or this RSS feed. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well. Enjoy the show!