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View Full Version : How many defunct BMW dealerships have you dealt with??



36654
09-13-2009, 06:21 PM
All,

Let's get past old vs. new and consider those lost/defunct dealerships that we may have frequented. I'll start with my list;

1) Sholly's BMW in Harrisburg, PA - I purchased a R80ST and a set of BMW leathers from them. The set of leathers was later sold to Dennis Gage who has/had a cable TV show called "My Classic Car".

2) Frank's BMW in Mountville, PA - I purchased a 1986 K75c from them in the Spring of 1986 and I think the BMW dealership was closed by that fall.

3) Country BMW in Mountoursville, PA - They did the 600 mile service on the K75c, then dropped the dealership before my 5000 mile service.

4) A shop in Windber, PA whose name I can no longer remember. They were very reasonable and did many services on my K75c. As I recall, the dealership died in the mid 90's.

5-6) San Jose BMW and Competition Accesories (which was a BMW dealership) in Xenia, OH - I did lots of mail order businees with those folks.

7) Heritage BMW in McKeesport, PA became my service shop after the demise of the Windber dealership. It appears that they have followed the lead of the shop in Windber and passed into dealership heaven.

That's seven defunct dealerships that I've dealt with in the past 24 yrs. If I would include the local shops that dropped BMW during the transition from Butler & Smith to BMW NA, the number would ~10. Of course, the B&S days were prior to my ownership of any BMW products.

Your turn.

35634
09-13-2009, 07:08 PM
Competition Accessories, bought my K75s there in 86, they still sell HondaKawYamis,
lawn mowers & god knows what, but no BMWs. Hard to say if BMW dropped them or
they just got tired of all the anal retentive BMW customers. Then there was Dayton
BMW Ducati, then they moved Troy and closed, then tri state in Cincy, now there are none.
Anyone know Jeff Nutter, ace BMW wrench?

JAMESDUNN
09-13-2009, 07:14 PM
I am currently dealing with two defunct dealerships. "Cycle Clinic" in Des Moines, Iowa and, "Ned's Auto" and Cycle in Riverside, Iowa. Both quit selling BMW in the early 90's I believe, during the time when BMW was pushing the dealers to stock and sell more inventory. This was, however, before my move to Iowa.

Cycle Clinic is now primarily a purveyor and installer of tires and brakes for which they have no peer. Ned's is run and owned by Jim Figgins, the son of Ned whom was the original owner. He is a wonderful airhead mechanic and a fountain of knowledge. Ned's sells Guzzi and Hyosong (Sp?). He also sells BMW parts and works on airheads.

BMW lost a lot when they lost these two dealers. There are presently two dealers in Iowa. Each more than a hundred miles distant.

I am planning a return to the western states. If I purchase another BMW will in part be determined by the location of a nearby dealership, if any. This is my primary "gripe" with BMW. There once were more dealers.

bob1100rtc
09-13-2009, 10:17 PM
I was sorry to see Heritage go. Craig was a good guy.

bikerfish1100
09-13-2009, 10:34 PM
-the Yammie/BMW dealer in Manchester, CT (no clue on their name- Manchester Yamaha?). They didn't even have air filters for a /6 when i did a tuneup on my buddy's bike, circa 1980something. No huge loss, imho.
-Ralph Strong in Waterford, CT. Bought my R69S in boxes from a mechanic who worked there. They closed sometime in the vicinity of 1990. had also been a Triumph dealership.
-Lindner Cycles in New Canaan, CT. That was a recent closure, just in the last 5 years. Bought a K75 from them, good for service as well. Their staff is still around, a few of them working at Cliff's in Danbury, last i knew.
-Canton Cycles in Canton, CT (and subsequently known as Canton Cycles in Winsted after they moved). Ralph sold his BMW portion of the business to Gengras Volvo, which had opened a Harley dealership in the Hartford area.
-no idea if Frank DeGray in Rockville area is still in operations. I think he's too damn ornery to up & die, so he's probably still wrenching. A classic New England curmudgeon, sold BMWs and Triumph out of his closet of a shop. i doubt that corporate would consider his place as meeting the standards of BMW dealership styling.
-there was a small shop in Putnam back in the late 70's that sold Beemers. my buddy bought a R90/6 from them. when it was time to change the battery, they told him they'd have to cut the subframe to get the battery out. i am sure they are belly up for quite some time.
So at one time, CT had 6 dealerships, now they're down to 2.
that is not a good trend.

rvb1019
09-13-2009, 10:46 PM
Precision BMW in Merrick NY and New York BMW in Huntington.:banghead

darrylri
09-13-2009, 11:02 PM
5-6) San Jose BMW and Competition Accesories (which was a BMW dealership) in Xenia, OH - I did lots of mail order businees with those folks.

What makes you think that San Jose BMW (http://www.sjbmw.com/) is a defunct dealer?

When I lived in the Seattle area, I did most of my business with Cascade BMW.

36654
09-14-2009, 12:06 AM
What makes you think that San Jose BMW (http://www.sjbmw.com/) is a defunct dealer?

When I lived in the Seattle area, I did most of my business with Cascade BMW.

I think there was period of no San Jose in the mid to late 90's. In the mid to late 80's, they were are major supplier of aftermarket Airhead parts and a supporter of a racing team. Of course, I could be wrong.

36654
09-14-2009, 12:07 AM
I was sorry to see Heritage go. Craig was a good guy.

When did they close?

cjack
09-14-2009, 01:14 AM
Just as an aside, it's interesting to hear that BMW forced dealers out. I think the greater reason was technology and old age. It's no longer a time when a dealer can operate a BMW shop, sell and service the present models with a set of Craftsman tools. This is a different time, a different century, and an investment of more than an unused garage in a small town and good intentions.
I don't endorse this turn of events, and I miss the feeling of the old days and my bullet proof (heh) '78 Motorsport R100RS...

cjack
09-14-2009, 01:19 AM
Oh and there was...
Underwood's in St. Joseph, IL and Wilber's in Linton, IN (he is still there and will help you with your airhead and maybe some later BMW models).

OHScot
09-14-2009, 01:45 AM
1) Tri-State BMW Cincinnati
2) Competition Accessories Xenia think they moved to Springfield and are only a accessories dealer now
3) The BMW store on Stewart Rd. Cincinnati.

Newest first in this list.:violin

darrylri
09-14-2009, 04:00 AM
I think there was period of no San Jose in the mid to late 90's. In the mid to late 80's, they were are major supplier of aftermarket Airhead parts and a supporter of a racing team. Of course, I could be wrong.

They split into two parts, but they're both still around. Look at the CC products at the San Jose BMW website. They're also still racing.

The airhead upgrade folks that did go under is Luftmeister. They were an independent business and then I believe they got folded into a Southern California Triumph dealership and stopped making BMW parts.

TomBarnhart
09-14-2009, 12:44 PM
Gone but not forgotten for various reasons:
Heritage in the Pittsburgh Area: Craig was a good guy, sorry to see the demise of his business

BMW or Boca: Boca Raton Fl., not missed at all. Never had a positive experience in this shop: service, parts, accessories and attempts to buy a new bike.

Most tragic demise: Larry at BMW Orlando. He was a great guy and really ran a tight ship. His staff were well trained and friendly. Things changed after the takeover by BMW or Daytona, but they are still a good shop with a great parts and service operation.

cjack
09-14-2009, 02:02 PM
I was in the Orlando shop once and met Larry about a year before he was hurt. Really nice guy and a great shop. So sorry to hear of his passing.

136045
09-14-2009, 02:17 PM
1. Kegel - Rockford IL
2. Smitty's - Rock Island IL
3. South Suburban - Chicago Heights IL
4. Tag - Geneva IL
5. Graboy - Peoria IL
6. ? (I can't remember the name) - Springfield IL

I can't speak to the reasons or rumors of why they are no longer, but it is a shame.

cjack
09-14-2009, 03:45 PM
And Laurel in Westmont, Il (pre Tag)

I think the dealership sold (cars) and the new owner did not want the bikes.

119240
09-14-2009, 05:02 PM
Legdewood BMW - Rt. 46 - NJ

Peter_Krynicki
09-14-2009, 05:47 PM
Stan's Cycle Shop in Doylestown, Pa. You'd never have stumbled into this place on your own but they did great work. (Was it Old Trenton Road?) Stan was a nice guy. I had my R69s serviced here and bought an r100cs from him. His wife did all of the paperwork. Once one of the mechanics said I needed tires but I couldn't afford them as I was in grad school. "Send me a check when you can." and he put 'em on.

CycleSmith BMW (owned by Bill Smith, hence the name) originally in a small shop on rte 130 N outside of Dayton, NJ. He later moved to Hamilton Square and a bunch of us helped him to set up the shop. He bought pizzas and we sanded then shellacked the floor one Sat afternoon. I used to go over there on Saturdays and mind the counter while he made a pick-up or delivery. Bought two R100RS's from him; one last edition, and then a K100RS.

RK BMW in south Jersey. Some of the guys from there are now at DeSimones. Bought my R1100S from them. IIRC they were not in business for long.

108625
09-14-2009, 09:55 PM
A different twist:

This thread starts with someone counting five local dealers lost; and he still has options.

We have one dealer in the entire state; and it's changed hands a few times.

With the last move upscale; service went downhill.

It's hard to relate.

36654
09-14-2009, 10:02 PM
A different twist:

This thread starts with someone counting five local dealers lost; and he still has options.

We have one dealer in the entire state; and it's changed hands a few times.

With the last move upscale; service went downhill.

It's hard to relate.

No argument from me. One dealer in a large western state is a stupid business plan.

bikerfish1100
09-15-2009, 12:06 AM
i suspect the ratio of "dealers to state" is done on a per capita basis, not a per square mile basis.
not saying its the best way to go, but from an earnings standpoint (and the business does have to make its $ to remain a business), it makes more sense.
CT pop = approx 3.5 million (2 dealers). Montana pop = < 1 million (1? dealer). CO (current residency) = 5 million (5 dealers).
that kinda sounds like 1 dealer per million population, give or take.
Maybe if ya'll would like to get more dealers in MT, some of ya'll had better get busy doing something besides riding bikes, horses or sheep. :dance

85138
09-15-2009, 12:43 AM
AMOL Motorcycles, Dumont, NJ
Westchester BMW, NY
Garden State BMW, Ledgewood, NJ

136045
09-15-2009, 12:57 AM
that kinda sounds like 1 dealer per million population, give or take.


I am all for 1 per million but we seem to be going backward in Illinois. By the population we have 12.9 million people but are down from approx 9 to 3 dealers. I am equal distance between the one downstate IL dealer and one in MO.

No complaints with either of those two from me. I miss being able to stop in the different dealers while in those towns on business.

36654
09-15-2009, 01:02 AM
i suspect the ratio of "dealers to state" is done on a per capita basis, not a per square mile basis.
not saying its the best way to go, but from an earnings standpoint (and the business does have to make its $ to remain a business), it makes more sense.
CT pop = approx 3.5 million (2 dealers). Montana pop = < 1 million (1? dealer). CO (current residency) = 5 million (5 dealers).
that kinda sounds like 1 dealer per million population, give or take.
Maybe if ya'll would like to get more dealers in MT, some of ya'll had better get busy doing something besides riding bikes, horses or sheep. :dance

OK, I got your point and I'm pretty sure your 100% correct about BMW's distribution of dealers. However, when you live beyond the burbs, getting service can be a royal pain. In my experience, some dealers will tell you that they want the bike overnight to do a routine service (valve adjust and such). That's fine when they're across town, but a different story when they're 3-hrs away.

108625
09-15-2009, 01:03 AM
Maybe if ya'll would like to get more dealers in MT, some of ya'll had better get busy doing something besides riding bikes, horses or sheep. :dance

We like room to ride.
A decline in dealer service is easily fixed by switching to one of the brands that wants our business.

dpmonk
09-15-2009, 01:52 AM
Orange county cycle, Orange Texas, bought my first BMW there, R75/6.
BMW screwed them over and gave a franchise to the Harley dealer in Beaumont and the Orange store dropped them. Wonderful german couple owned the shop, also sold Suzuki. The Harley dealer didn't last either.

Old BMW dealer in Houston forgot name. Bought K75 there.
Lyle Lovett BMW on 59 in Houston.
BMW of North Houston. Built a boutique shop then opened another one in South Houston. Both went belly up. Don't know the details.

At least we still have Gulf Coast BMW-Triumph and Katy BMW-Honda-Kawa-Ktm-?

Na Cl K9
09-15-2009, 03:22 PM
PerryÔÇÖs Motorcycles and sidecars, originally BMW of FT Worth TX but no longer an authorized dealer...
Doc's in Colorado Springs CO.
High Plains BMW Lubbock TX (sad to see them go...outstanding bunch of people)
LidnerÔÇÖs in CT.
StormÔÇÖs in Grand Prarie TX (All that talent and enthusiasm gone).
BMW of St. Louis helped me put my sidecar together
Toad Motors...anyone remember them?
I just looked in the Owners Anonymous book and Motorsport in Albuquerque is not listed any more! I am amazed...they sold a lot of BMW's over the years.

These were shops that promoted the sport and lifestyle of motorcycling, not just the brand and I for one miss them and the people that made them tic.

lkchris
09-15-2009, 03:44 PM
I just looked in the Owners Anonymous book and Motorsport in Albuquerque is not listed any more! I am amazed...they sold a lot of BMW's over the years.
I live within walking distance of this place, when it sold the BMW franchise the 2nd longest continuous BMW dealer in the USA.

It has been replaced by the local BMW car dealer and I suspect 110% of all BMW riders in NM are ecstatic and less than 0% miss the old place.

The former was a combined dealership, and except for one in-the-background parts person, the average employment of parts and service people there must have been two months and the average age 19. You couldn't trust them to know how to do an oil change.

The car dealer is a true automotive enthusiast and has locations in both Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Almost immediately after the Santa Fe location opened it became the biggest BMW motorcycle seller in the state. Service is fantastic. In ABQ, the dealer actually built a standalone building for the motorcycle operation prior to getting the franchise, i.e. on speculation and on what needed to happen.

Our local club just finished its 25th edition of its rally and the new dealer has been a great supporter. Think the previous guys came maybe once or twice only.

Peter_Krynicki
09-15-2009, 04:55 PM
In NJ there are two authorized dealers, Cross Counry in the north and DeSimone in the south so it's pretty convenient. And two open houses in a year. But whenever anyone asks me about buying a BMW (or a Duc) I make them aware that theywill not be able to just ride around the corner for service or parts or whatever. For some people this is a show-stopper. It's a shame.

Na Cl K9
09-15-2009, 05:00 PM
I live within walking distance of this place, when it sold the BMW franchise the 2nd longest continuous BMW dealer in the USA (was gone).

It has been replaced by the local BMW car dealer and I suspect 110% of all BMW riders in NM are ecstatic and less than 0% miss the old place.
I know what you mean about Motorsport. I lived in Albuquerque 14 years 11 of which were as an owner of an airhead BMW motorcycle. I usually avoided that place like the plague. Glad to hear you-all have a dedicated dealer now. I might consider moving back :-)

PHMARVIN
09-19-2009, 02:11 AM
I live in El Paso, TX and have been here, on and off, since 1981. The Schwinn bicycle dealer added BMW bikes to his line in '82. He shut a few years later. Pecos, TX had a BMW dealer for a couple of years in the early-mid '80's. Deming Cycle in Deming, NM told BMW to take a hike in, I believe, 2005. They still sell Honda, Yamaha and Polaris 4-wheelers.

For you who travel west, remember that after you leave San Antonio or Ft. Worth, your next dealer is around 1000 miles away, in Tucson, AZ. My closest dealer is in Albuquerque, NM - 275 miles away. I've ridden BMW bikes for 32 years - since I bought my first one, a '76 R90/6, in 1977. Will I buy a new one? I think not! I can work on an airhead and even on my K75's. But I don't have access to BMW's computer to find out what's wrong with a newer bike.

JAMESDUNN
09-19-2009, 11:27 AM
I live in El Paso, TX and have been here, on and off, since 1981. The Schwinn bicycle dealer added BMW bikes to his line in '82. He shut a few years later. Pecos, TX had a BMW dealer for a couple of years in the early-mid '80's. Deming Cycle in Deming, NM told BMW to take a hike in, I believe, 2005. They still sell Honda, Yamaha and Polaris 4-wheelers.

For you who travel west, remember that after you leave San Antonio or Ft. Worth, your next dealer is around 1000 miles away, in Tucson, AZ. My closest dealer is in Albuquerque, NM - 275 miles away. I've ridden BMW bikes for 32 years - since I bought my first one, a '76 R90/6, in 1977. Will I buy a new one? I think not! I can work on an airhead and even on my K75's. But I don't have access to BMW's computer to find out what's wrong with a newer bike.

Apparently your closest dealer is in Santa Fe now. According to the above posts Albuquerque shut it's doors. Gone, but not lamented.

Rich
09-19-2009, 01:07 PM
Midway Motorsports, on the strip between Bismarck and Mandan in ND. (I think they had a couple of different names over the years, this is the name I recall) I have no idea what year they quit selling BMW, but it's been quite a few years.

It was a small volume BMW dealer who made their real money selling HD's and a couple Japanese brands.

I bought my 1986 R80RT new from them. When I went in looking at BMW's, it was the only one sitting on the floor and I had to have it.

You Montanans at least have a dealer, ND currently does not. I guess it's because we have less than 700,000 population. :scratch I don't see that changing anytime soon. So I'm thankful we have a dealership in Sturgis, SD. 235 miles away from my door, but it could be worse.

PHMARVIN
09-19-2009, 02:46 PM
Hi, Jamesdunn,
The former Albuquerque dealer no longer sells BMW. As Kent said, no one was unhappy when he gave up the BMW franchise. The new BMW dealer, Sandia BMW, is part of the car (BMW and Mini) dealership. They have a MUCH better reputation than the former dealer. I still wouldn't go there (because of the distance, not because I don't like them), but if I were closer or if I had an emergency while traveling and were near Albuquerque (or Santa Fe - same ownership), I would go to them for a repair.

indygt
09-19-2009, 06:21 PM
Just off the top of my head... I know there are more:


Cyclewerks in Indianapolis
BMW Motorcycles of Indianapolis
Revard BMW Motorcycles (Indianapolis)
Grand Haven (Mich.) BMW
Cincinnati BMW
Paul's BUM W (Oklahoma)
Lonnie's BMW (Linton, Ind.)
Terre Haute BMW
Crossroads BMW (Elkhart, Ind.)

35303
09-20-2009, 12:37 AM
In New Jersey, Amol, Slegers, Touch of Class.

If you live in densely populated North Jersey, Woodcliff Lake say, its a long ride to a BMW MC dealer.

rkimmel2
09-21-2009, 02:03 AM
RK BMW Deptford, NJ and Touch of Class Cycles in Central Jersey were a real loss for Beemer riders in that State.

72598
09-21-2009, 04:25 PM
Add to list Hy Mark motorsports in Pueblo, Colorado. Still in business but dropped BMW a few years back.

JAMESDUNN
09-21-2009, 04:52 PM
Add to list Hy Mark motorsports in Pueblo, Colorado. Still in business but dropped BMW a few years back.

Isn't this place owned and a part of the BMW dealership in the Springs? It was at one time. They used to move bikes back and forth. I think the Colo. Springs dealer used to be Doc's. Then was bought out and became part of the enterprise you refer to?

184480
09-21-2009, 05:58 PM
Bought my first Beemer, a 1980 R100RT, at South Suburban BMW in South Chicago Heights, IL in April, 1983. Owned by Marty Potasky it was a great shop. The best thing about it it was a BMW MOTORCYCLE Shop. A real motorcycle shop not like the upscale yuppie places today that call themselves that. I miss the old shops with parts all over the place, posters on the wall, empty beer cans on the tool benches. Ahhhhhhh! Memories...
Rode that bike for 19 years, never made me walk once...

sdpc2
09-21-2009, 10:01 PM
Bought my first BMW, a K75S from Amol's in Dumont NJ - gone
Bought my fist new BMW, a K11RS from a one-man shop about an hour north of there - gone
Bought my wife's R1100R from Lidner's in CT - gone
Dealt extensively with Heid's in the Adirondack mountains of NY - no longer a BMW dealer (but still great folk)
Bought my last new BMW from Westchester BMW (owned by BMWNA) - gone

so that makes 5..... I think that i prefer the HD way... small shops of folks that you get to know.... and who get to know your cycle.

Peter_Krynicki
09-22-2009, 05:01 PM
Bought my first BMW, a K75S from Amol's in Dumont NJ - gone
Bought my fist new BMW, a K11RS from a one-man shop about an hour north of there - gone
Bought my wife's R1100R from Lidner's in CT - gone
Dealt extensively with Heid's in the Adirondack mountains of NY - no longer a BMW dealer (but still great folk)
Bought my last new BMW from Westchester BMW (owned by BMWNA) - gone

so that makes 5..... I think that i prefer the HD way... small shops of folks that you get to know.... and who get to know your cycle.

I like my bigger dealer with their brand-new showroom. They sell BMW, Ducati, Victory, and Triumph, and they have pretty much one of every type of those brands on the show-room floor. None of the smaller dealers I have used could afford to do this. And as big as they are, they know me and every one of my bikes.

lkchris
09-22-2009, 07:26 PM
Bought my first Beemer, a 1980 R100RT, at South Suburban BMW in South Chicago Heights, IL in April, 1983. Owned by Marty Potasky it was a great shop. The best thing about it it was a BMW MOTORCYCLE Shop. A real motorcycle shop not like the upscale yuppie places today that call themselves that. I miss the old shops with parts all over the place, posters on the wall, empty beer cans on the tool benches. Ahhhhhhh! Memories...
Rode that bike for 19 years, never made me walk once...

You should complete the sentence as follows: I miss the old shops ... that never made any money nor sold any bikes.

184480
09-22-2009, 07:41 PM
You should complete the sentence as follows: I miss the old shops ... that never made any money nor sold any bikes.

Hmmmm, so until until this modern era of auto dealer like bike retailers NO bikes we're sold? No one ever made any money??? I'll complete my sentences and you can complete your own.:violin

godzilla
09-22-2009, 07:47 PM
Oh and there was...
Underwood's in St. Joseph, IL and Wilber's in Linton, IN (he is still there and will help you with your airhead and maybe some later BMW models).


Wilbur is still there and he will under duress, work on my 85 K. His place is called T&B Cycle. He can get parts for, my old K, but he is a wizard on Air Heads. Wilbur has a few old bikes for sale, including a really cool white 1952 /something!

He also sells brand new Whizzers!!!

swall
09-22-2009, 10:28 PM
C&D BMW, Freeport,IL. Run by the late Bill Fleming.

bikerfish1100
09-23-2009, 12:35 AM
..... I think that i prefer the HD way... small shops of folks that you get to know.... and who get to know your cycle.

have you been to a new H-D dealership recently? they are every bit as large as any BMW shop i have ever seen. our local H-D shop is one of the largest m/c stores in the country, of any brand. the old H-D way of small shops that were cool to just hang out in were no different than the old BMW or Triumph shops; and sadly, all are largely of a bygone day.

stkmkt1
09-23-2009, 04:24 AM
Grayboy in Peoria, IL. I spoke with the Owner about this issue. Several years ago, BMW decided they wanted their bike shops to look more like the auto dealerships. When they cam to Tote (the Owner of Grayboy), they "demanded he remodel his store, and provide a separate show floor for BMW. No other brands would be allowed on that show floor. He was free to continue to sell other brands, but they had to be isolated as far as the show floor was concerned. Well, he is land-locked, no room to grow in size. It was going to cost way too much money to remodel his store to look like BMW was demanding. And, he says unlike the "jap bike riders", BMW riders are cheap. They buy the bike, then ride it for ever. Most other brand riders are constantly trading their bikes in on new models.

So he told BMW that he would not remodel. They said he must or they would pull his dealership. He told them to come get all their @#$%& stuff and get out of his building. He sold them all of his inventory, including the parts. He said he made more money selling them the parts at cost than he would have made over the next 10 years selling BMW bikes. This is his story, straight from his mouth to me.

rickg
09-23-2009, 04:44 PM
I was sorry to see Heritage go. Craig was a good guy.

I bought my 1st BMW a used R100 Mystic from them back in '99. A friend of mine use to work the parts counter p/t to help feed his bike addiction. I have to say I have mixed feelings about Craig, though I wish him well in whatever he is now doing.

Craig was hard to figure out sometimes. One day he would be as nice as can be and very helpful, the next time in if he was in one of his moods, he would make you feel like an idiot, when you were only asking questions about the bike he sold you. He was an probably remains a very good tech, especialy with Airheads.

My favorite quote from Craig was when I asked him if he had an exhaust for the R 80 G/S that I had recently bought as Craig was known to horde Airhead parts. His reply was, "Yeppir, I got one, but I won't sell it to you!" Like I said, he was known to horde Airhead parts.

At the end (about 2 years ago) he sold the dealership to some asshat with more money than brains or friends. He was going to move the dealership to a better location in a building that he owned in Monroeville next to Hooters, and after spending what seemed like a million buck in remodeling he bucked heads with BMW Corp. over showroom requirements and bagged the whole deal. I later heard that Craig was in a lawsuit with him over failed payments for the dealership. I don't know if it was ever resolved. I do beleive that Craig deserved better even though he pissed me off from time to time.

Rick G

Rick G

20715
09-23-2009, 05:32 PM
Grayboy in Peoria, IL. I spoke with the Owner about this issue. Several years ago, BMW decided they wanted their bike shops to look more like the auto dealerships. When they cam to Tote (the Owner of Grayboy), they "demanded he remodel his store, and provide a separate show floor for BMW. No other brands would be allowed on that show floor. He was free to continue to sell other brands, but they had to be isolated as far as the show floor was concerned. Well, he is land-locked, no room to grow in size. It was going to cost way too much money to remodel his store to look like BMW was demanding. And, he says unlike the "jap bike riders", BMW riders are cheap. They buy the bike, then ride it for ever. Most other brand riders are constantly trading their bikes in on new models.

So he told BMW that he would not remodel. They said he must or they would pull his dealership. He told them to come get all their @#$%& stuff and get out of his building. He sold them all of his inventory, including the parts. He said he made more money selling them the parts at cost than he would have made over the next 10 years selling BMW bikes. This is his story, straight from his mouth to me.

Tote told me that exact same thing a few weeks ago. I was in there eye balling a new Concours he's got marked way down.

I miss Bill and Janet Flemming of C&D. The first time I ever dealt with them...I was getting ready to leave on a road trip and couldn't stand the thought of another trip with my Bell Tour Star helmet. Waited until the last minute, of course. They didn't know me from Adam, but I called, Janet sent me a BMW System 1 helmet UPS, told me to try it and if I liked it send them the money, if not send it back. Great place.

108625
09-23-2009, 09:08 PM
Many of us have probably heard of similar stories. Heaven forbid a dealer's reputation for good service and satisfied cutomers be considered. All dealerships must comply with the mandate: "It is better to look impressive, than to be impressive".

I have noticed among dealers that sell other brands along with BMWs, a certain discrimination; other makers expensive european bikes are allowed to share the same "room" as beemers, but the japanese bikes must stay in the other "room".
The funny part is, it's probably the japanese bikes and their steady sales that allow those BMW dealers to stay open.

stkmkt1
09-24-2009, 04:56 AM
During lunch today, I walked out of the restaurant and saw some Aprilia bikes out on the sidewalk out side of the Illinois Cycle Store in Peoria. So I stopped in to find that this bicycle shop now sells Aprilia, Piagio, and Vespa. They have most all models in stock. The salesman told me they do work on them, but I did not see a shop or any mechanics.

The bikes are set up on the show floor right along with bicycles. It looked kind of strange.

lkchris
09-24-2009, 05:06 PM
Many of us have probably heard of similar stories. Heaven forbid a dealer's reputation for good service and satisfied cutomers be considered. All dealerships must comply with the mandate: "It is better to look impressive, than to be impressive".

Nothing wrong with a "corporate look."

Most of the closings documented here are business failures and we all know the failure rate for small businesses is pretty high.

It's pretty true that most automotive dealers make more money on service than on new vehicle sales, but nevertheless the dealership franchise is indeed based on new vehicle sales. Neither BMW nor any other manufacturer is in the business of subsidizing good service outlets nor should they be. The manufacturers are not getting rich selling the parts that good service outlets install--the money's in the labor, and the manufacturer gets none of that.

BMW is not so weak as to be forced to grant franchises to bicycle shops. Some "corporate look" indeed!

I'd like someone to name me a business where the manufacturer sees its market as selling things to folks that are afraid to be around rich people. I think Mitsubishi once made a lot of loans to car buyers that could not make their payments, but they aren't making that mistake again. Complaining about BMW wanting to sell to people with money is just some sort of "cursing one's fate" and it accomplishes little other than to be unflattering.

108625
09-24-2009, 06:40 PM
Kent, you are way off the mark.

When I say service, I'm not just talking about the mechanics in back.
Service is how the customer is treated across the board.

Small business failures?
I 'd like to see how many actually went under because they ran their business into the ground, compared to how many simply could not justify the expense BMW was forcing them to undertake, or how many simply decided BMW wasn't worth the hassle of keeping around. It would be interesting to see who really dropped who, so to speak.

Subsidizing good service outlets?
Since when is telling a dealer who already has a successful business "You will now upgrade to this standard, at your expense; or you will now comply with these rules about other brands, again at your expense" subsidizing?

Being forced to grant franchises to bicycle shops?
Nobody is forcing anyone to grant anything. You either lay out the requirements for a franchise up front, or you don't, and those seeking them either meet them, or they don't. Changing those requirements after granting the franchise is something else entirely.

As for your last paragraph;
I don't know how you're drawing some inference about motorcycle buying customers "Not wanting to be around rich people" from my comments.
If anything, I was pointing out it's BMW "segregating" their product based on some sort of "keep them separate from the Japanese bikes" guidelines; which is ironic, as the company claims to be aggresively taking on a share of the Japanese bike buyers market.

36654
09-25-2009, 02:02 AM
I'd like someone to name me a business where the manufacturer sees its market as selling things to folks that are afraid to be around rich people.

Hmmm.......It's a motorcycle. Except for a few weenies, most people don't think of it as a status symbol.

Now, if I could only convince those materialistic twits on the BMWCCA forum............

Whatever your choice, just go play with your toys and leave the "posing" to the teenagers.

LOSTBOY
09-25-2009, 03:14 AM
have you been to a new H-D dealership recently? they are every bit as large as any BMW shop i have ever seen. our local H-D shop is one of the largest m/c stores in the country, of any brand. the old H-D way of small shops that were cool to just hang out in were no different than the old BMW or Triumph shops; and sadly, all are largely of a bygone day.

That is the problem in a nut shell. BMW wants to have Harley's kind of visibility and sales and they think they'll get it with boutique dealerships and by defending their precious logo. What they don't seem to grasp is that Harley got to the boutique stage with visibility and sales, not the other way around.

Smokey Yunick may have said it best: "I don't want to be amillionaire-I just want to live like one.".

I've worked in both kinds of BMW shops. I believe the best bike shop is the small one, where everybody rides the bikes they're selling, and the customers and staff know one another on a first name basis.

85138
09-25-2009, 01:44 PM
Nothing wrong with a "corporate look."

I'd like someone to name me a business where the manufacturer sees its market as selling things to folks that are afraid to be around rich people.

I'll try ... WalMart? Dollar Store?

And as other posters have alluded better than I can subsequent to your post ... BMW volume and margins (lack thereof) cannot support the restrictions placed upon the franchisee in all but few demographic markets, especially for solo brand operation.

Case in point, Westchester (NY) BMW was Corp owned and subsidized, quite affluent market ... couldn't make it. Garden State BMW (not far from Bergen Cty, NJ ... affluent and dense population) ...

I agree there needs to be some comformity and image considerations for the brand. But it seems to me BMWNA goes overboard and are too rigid (or simplistic) in their approach.

OldNuke
09-25-2009, 02:59 PM
-Karl's BMW in Minneapolis---not missed

-St Paul Honda/BMW---missed

-Larson's in Cambridge used to sell BMWs in the late 70's.

-2 have come and gone in Rochester

I live in the Twin City metro area and there are four BMW bike dealers within a 90 mile radius of my home.....2 within ten miles. Consider myself fortunate to have that many so close after hearing of the lack of dealers elsewhere. I frequent 3 of the 4. None are of the boutique motif.

My favorite, Judson's, is small and friendly. Located 90 miles from my house in a small Minnesota town. Used to be on a farmsite until a few years ago. I "believe ?" they are the oldest dealer in the midwest.

36654
09-26-2009, 12:24 AM
My favorite, Judson's, is small and friendly. Located 90 miles from my house in a small Minnesota town. Used to be on a farmsite until a few years ago. I "believe ?" they are the oldest dealer in the midwest.

Those folks are great. On the return trip from the Missoula Rally in 98, my buddy's R100RT was having some timing problems. Judson's immediately put the bike on the rack, adjusted the valves as best possible (the seats were failing) and did what they could for him to make it home.

The shop was nothing fancy, but you knew they were knowledgable and honest. A boutique motif doesn't deliver that.

Johobie
09-26-2009, 02:37 AM
The dealer in Windber, PA was MATCO'S RV Sales and service.

36654
09-26-2009, 12:07 PM
The dealer in Windber, PA was MATCO'S RV Sales and service.

I think MATCO was the next to last dealer in Windber. The last dealer sold BMW, Honda and John Deere lawn care. To the best of my knowledge, the name was "Windber Motorsport". However, that could be really wrong.

lkchris
09-27-2009, 04:49 PM
The shop was nothing fancy, but you knew they were knowledgable and honest. A boutique motif doesn't deliver that.

There you go with misinformed stereotypes again.

Our combined car/motorcycles dealers surely would.

lkchris
09-27-2009, 04:58 PM
Hmmm.......It's a motorcycle. Except for a few weenies, most people don't think of it as a status symbol.

Now, if I could only convince those materialistic twits on the BMWCCA forum............

Whatever your choice, just go play with your toys and leave the "posing" to the teenagers.

Ah, but you "pose" as someone who knows something about business and marketing.

Biggest rationalization you'll ever see is someone that thinks motorcycle ownership is economical or green or something with no status.

Since I haven't bought a new motorcycle since buying my '84 RS in 12/'83 (and then the '84 G/S in '85) and since I never ride anywhere without my wife on her RT, I likely don't fit your fantasized profile. But, I do have lots of automotive industry knowledge and experience.

And, I've been a member of BMWCCA since the mid-'80s and you haven't a clue, but I know for sure that namecalling doesn't represent meaningful analysis.

Bottom line is that BMW is selling more motorcycles than ever before (current economic slump interfering for sure) and it's because they know what they're doing. They may lose a few along the way, but the goal is to gain more.

36654
09-27-2009, 09:34 PM
Ah, but you "pose" as someone who knows something about business and marketing.

Biggest rationalization you'll ever see is someone that thinks motorcycle ownership is economical or green or something with no status.

Since I haven't bought a new motorcycle since buying my '84 RS in 12/'83 (and then the '84 G/S in '85) and since I never ride anywhere without my wife on her RT, I likely don't fit your fantasized profile. But, I do have lots of automotive industry knowledge and experience.

And, I've been a member of BMWCCA since the mid-'80s and you haven't a clue, but I know for sure that namecalling doesn't represent meaningful analysis.

Bottom line is that BMW is selling more motorcycles than ever before (current economic slump interfering for sure) and it's because they know what they're doing. They may lose a few along the way, but the goal is to gain more.

I'm just a consumer, not an industry insider. I can only speak to what causes my wallet to magically open and spew forth dollars.

bmwdean
09-27-2009, 10:22 PM
C&D BMW, Freeport,IL. Run by the late Bill Fleming.

Me, too. I was sorry to see it close. When oilheads came in, perhaps Bill was overwhelmed.

LOSTBOY
09-29-2009, 01:22 AM
Me, too. I was sorry to see it close. When oilheads came in, perhaps Bill was overwhelmed.

One of Bill's employees tried to buy the shop so Bill could retire. BMWNA didn't approve the deal because they believed there was no way to make enough money there.

AntonLargiader
10-01-2009, 05:38 PM
Mulally Cycles somewhere around Jeffersonville, NY. I was working in the area and stopped by; they had one R1200C wedged in between some garden tractors and so forth. John Deere and BMW Motorcycles; that was basically the deal. They might still be around but I doubt they were doing much for BMW.

GSFORNOW
10-02-2009, 01:21 AM
Bottom line is that BMW is selling more motorcycles than ever before (current economic slump interfering for sure) and it's because they know what they're doing. They may lose a few along the way, but the goal is to gain more.

World wide sales yes. US sales though have been pretty much flat for a few years IIRC. Maybe the lack of dealers etc. does have an effect on sales here.

85138
10-02-2009, 02:33 PM
World wide sales yes. US sales though have been pretty much flat for a few years IIRC. Maybe the lack of dealers etc. does have an effect on sales here.

Not to mention some new model introductions that were favorably received. They could indeed do better with a wider dealer network.

My local dealer (Countryrode) just started carrying BiMota (was already carrying Vespa). It seems BMWNA is a bit more flexible that they've been w/ floor space, signage, etc. for multi Brand. That's a good thing. Dealers need to be solvent.

108625
10-02-2009, 05:35 PM
An observation:

Montana has one BMW dealer... We have six KTM dealers; one of which happens to also be the only BMW dealer. I have to wonder, as KTM introduces more road-bike models, if their more accessible approach won't be more successful at attracting new customers than BMW's.

I mean, if I want to go see a KTM, I can go to the dealer right here in my town. Some of his customers may even have gone in there to see a Yamaha or Suzuki, and then bought an orange bike instead. I doubt many beemers have been sold like that.

GSFORNOW
10-02-2009, 11:49 PM
Not to mention some new model introductions that were favorably received. They could indeed do better with a wider dealer network.

Very true but how far will folks drive to check out a new model? Time will tell I suppose. Sportbikes seem to be an urban thing so that could bode well as most BMW dealers seem to be in metropolitian areas. I would agree that multibrand is not a bad thing. I have no problem bike shopping at a multibrand motorcycle dealer but after having been in a few BMW car dealers I don't think I would enjoy a combination motorcycle / auto BMW dealer.

36654
10-03-2009, 10:09 PM
Very true but how far will folks drive to check out a new model? Time will tell I suppose. Sportbikes seem to be an urban thing so that could bode well as most BMW dealers seem to be in metropolitian areas. I would agree that multibrand is not a bad thing. I have no problem bike shopping at a multibrand motorcycle dealer but after having been in a few BMW car dealers I don't think I would enjoy a combination motorcycle / auto BMW dealer.

I can't recall if it was at Rhinebec,k NY or Missoula, MT, but BMWMOA invited Triumph and MotoGuzzi to offer test rides at the National Rally. That sense of independence from BMWNA, has always been an attraction to me. While BMW is a good brand, BMWMOA has typically placed the membership before the brand. In simple terms, the foundation of the BMWMOA seems to have been in people who spent a lot of time riding their bikes. As such, many members are more interested in keeping their "ride" on the road, as opposed to basking in the "BMW experience" (whatever that may be). In that light, more dealers, offering product that sells in their regions and service for all models, is attractive to many BMW riders and BMWMOA members.

Of cousre, that is just my humble opinion, even though I've taken the liberty to assume that I speak for many BMW riders and BMWMOA members. However, I'm sure that the ones that disagree with me will voice their opinions on the subject and, possibly, me.

85138
10-04-2009, 02:44 PM
... I don't think I would enjoy a combination motorcycle / auto BMW dealer.

Same here. It could work with appropriate staff and firewalls ... but a motorcyclist approaches (in general) bike buying differently than car buying. IMHO the sales process should be fundamentally different and I don't particularly care for car sales techniques. (admit to painting w/ a broad brush here but car sales people have the reputations they do for valid reasons). It may not be as bad at a high end brand such as BMW but I've seen it. It exists.

36654
10-04-2009, 07:25 PM
[QUOTE=Kevin;503960]It may not be as bad at a high end brand such as BMW/QUOTE]

:nyah

crazydrummerdude
10-05-2009, 05:33 PM
Whatever the BMW dealer that used to be on the Page Ave extension in St Louis was called. They might have been ok, but my only experience with them involved lots of waiting, terrible customer service, and the parts guy butchered my order and my name and address. No wonder they lasted what seemed like maybe a couple months. The new dealership on 170 is nice, and I've actually made friends with people there.

(Then, there's Bob Schultz (Harley/Honda/Yamaha dealer) in St Charles, MO. The owner of that place (ironically not the guy the place was named after) is the reason they had such a bad reputation. He was punched out and threatened by customers, sued by the big name motorcycle companies, and treated everyone terribly. He's gone now. Good riddance. They've renamed and are now one of the top dealers in the area, hosting events and expanding.)

deilenberger
10-05-2009, 07:39 PM
Same here. It could work with appropriate staff and firewalls ... but a motorcyclist approaches (in general) bike buying differently than car buying. IMHO the sales process should be fundamentally different and I don't particularly care for car sales techniques. (admit to painting w/ a broad brush here but car sales people have the reputations they do for valid reasons). It may not be as bad at a high end brand such as BMW but I've seen it. It exists.This is apparently common in Yurop.. I've been to the Park Lane BMW car/moto dealer in London, was impressed that (1) the moto had their own space almost equal to the bimmers (2) the moto had dedicated sales people who knew the product.

If that could be established in the US - it might work. BMW did try it in a few spots (Ottos in Philly was one, NYC BMW is another - company owned - combined dealership) with less than stellar success. I believe Ottos was the closest to successful - the Moto part was in it's own building. I have heard less than happy camper comments on the NYC setup.

Some basic differences in moto vs cars - motos are a passion, cars (even BMWs) are transportation for most people. At a motorcycle dealer, coming to the shop and hanging out is usually the norm - our Saturday lunch group is going to miss the welcome we received from DeSimone Motorsports, since we gathered in their showroom most Saturdays to decide where to go to lunch. If you tried hanging out at most BMW car dealers (they do have nice lounges with free coffee and WiFi now) chances are good the cops would be called - they don't understand the difference between passion and transportation.

RobertJ
10-10-2009, 01:05 PM
Main Line BMW in Devon, PA closed a few years ago and now DeSimone Motorsports in Cherry Hill, NJ is closing on November 25. That leaves us Philly area riders without a "local" dealership. Rumor is that Montgomeryville Cycle Center will be adding BMW to their line of bikes.

I still don't understand why the automobile/motorcycle combination won't work or is not embraced by BMW. It just seems their should be some built in synergies and cost efficiencies.

mika
10-11-2009, 04:09 AM
I agree there are all sorts of potential synergies and cost savings that could be realized in an auto/motorcycle dealership. There are some that exist and do work but they are rare. For all the potentials the big problems are along the lines Don points out back in post #77.

BMW is not totally against it but based on its own experience they are very skeptical it seems. In the late 90ÔÇÖs BMW introduced the C1 in Europe and made the decision to sell it through its auto dealer network for a variety of reasons.

They spent a great deal of effort and money in training and planning only to have unhappy dealers and customers. The auto dealer sales staff and service departments were mystified by the needs and demands of their two wheeled customers and the difference between them and their four wheeled customers. This was consistent across dealers no matter if their ranking previously with auto sales and service was good or bad. Customer research returned a very high favorability rating with customers that had purchased a C1 with the vehicle itself while these same customers had horrible things to say about dealers and the dealer network.

BMWÔÇÖs analysis that lead to stopping the C1 production gave a variety of reasons while coming to the conclusion that for all the potential synergies and potential savings placing the C1 for sale in their auto dealer network had been a mistake.

krpreston
10-13-2009, 04:58 PM
Philip Funnell Motorcycles, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Great dealer, missed by many.

cbck1200s
12-28-2009, 06:43 PM
We are lucky in the Vancouver, B.C. area to have two dealerships John Valk and Pacific BMW and another dealership on Vancouver Island, Island BMW, if you live over on the Island or just want to compare prices for bikes. Personally, I live on the mainland but purchased both my wife's bike and my own on the Island as they were great to deal with.

I wonder why there's such a problem retaining dealerships? You can go to any major city and find a BMW auto dealership so why doesn't BMW amalgamate their cars and motorrad sales and services?

I lived in southern Ontario and one of the major BMW dealerships, Budd's BMW, sold both. It only makes sense to me to have them in the same shop so I can take the car and the bike in and get the same great service.

cbcK1200S - Colin
:bikes

35634
12-29-2009, 12:30 AM
why doesn't BMW amalgamate their cars and motorrad sales and services?


Bikes and cars are very different animals. It might work in some cases, but in examples I've seen the bikes take a back seat, more like bling for the car showroom. Personally, I'd never buy a new Bimmer. Like the old joke goes, how do you tell a BMW car from a porcupine?
















ans: With the porcupine, the pricks are on the outside

mika
12-29-2009, 01:23 AM
I wonder why there's such a problem retaining dealerships? You can go to any major city and find a BMW auto dealership so why doesn't BMW amalgamate their cars and motorrad sales and services?

cbcK1200S - Colin
:bikes

Do they have a problem retaining dealerships?

Yes I do think they are part of the problem yet there is a key point we keep missing. Many of the dealerships we lament the loss of were 'keyman' operations. They were the result of the passion of one man and kept alive by one man. When that person goes away, for what ever reason, they all to often can not be replaced with in that dealership and it closes.

lkchris
12-29-2009, 04:23 PM
Bikes and cars are very different animals.

Baloney.

BOTH dealers in NM are associated with BMW car stores and NM riders are ecstatic as service is fabulous--especially compared to the 2nd-oldest-BMW-dealer-in-USA (dunces) that they replaced.

The floor space is separated for sure, but there are certainly bikes sitting in the car showrooms.

I think the separate showrooms at same location thing is a good idea, but otherwise I think it works just fine. Minis have separate showrooms, too.


ans: With the porcupine, the pricks are on the outside

One suspects the guys willing to drop $20K for a new BMW bike aren't afraid of associating with rich people. In fact, that's the market for BMW bikes, as apparently lots of not-so-savvy bike dealers have recently discovered. Again, car dealers are perfect for BMW bikes.

barryg
12-30-2009, 04:42 PM
I travel for a livin all over the country, so I visit a lot of BMW dealerships to take up time between work. My view is from that perpective and not being a local rider dependent on them. Really enjoy being in a unique dealership and getting the chance to nose around. I've met some of the nicest people at dealerships where I spent the least amount of time. As a rule the car/motorcycle dealerships seem a little sterile. That being said they may be doing a good job of taking care of their customers and service area. I know that when I'm in an area(city) that seems large enough to support a dealership and there is no dealership, I feel cheated, somehow. I've been in a few dealers over the last few years that I enjoyed being in and at the same time predicted that they would fail. Some did, kinda sad.

macfly
12-30-2009, 08:09 PM
BOTH dealers in NM are associated with BMW car stores

I've dealt with Sante Fe BMW, and they are really good news. IMHO they are the exact model the I would recommend BMW NA to look at.

barryg
12-30-2009, 08:15 PM
I think both the dealers are owned by the same people. Been to both of them. Bought a ball cap at both, some how the Sante Fe BMW cap seems to allways draw a positive comment.

racer7
12-31-2009, 04:43 PM
East Coast BMW in Wilmington NC went away last fall. Nice old time shop with savvy staff and a hangout for experienced local riders. Not much inventory, also sold Guzzi and Royal Enfield. They couldn't afford BMW costs.

Probably not an immediate sales loss of consequence to BMW but it means there is now no BMW dealer in the entire eastern part of NC so it does have long term sales consequences that aren't positive. Only someone who has already determined to buy a BMW is likely to drive the 130 miles to Raleigh to look at one. Yet Wilmington (100 K population) supports a major Harley dealership, 3 large metric bike shops, 4 or more Harely based custom shops, several custom painters and assorted other bike related businesses. Nothing BMW of any type AFAIK. Makes very clear to any potential buyer that they are stuck with their own or long distance service, too.
(No biggy to me becasue I have the skills and tools but not something most folks want to immediately contemplate on a new, expensive device with which they aren't even familiar)

BMW needs US based guerilla and grassroots marketing to ever develop much of a presence in the US as its geographic coverage continues to shrink. Euro-centric practices and staff will never be able to do that here. More affordable, more performance competitive, better reviewed bikes that are more attractive to younger riders are also important (like the new sportbike). Most of the smaller BMW bikes are decent and interesting but obviously lack appeal to the majority of younger US riders. Getting to the under 30 gang is critical for thr brand yet they still have virtually nothing to offer except one new sportbike that is at the price limit of what is feasible for much of that age demographic.

An analogy- Mercedes has plenty of dealerships in NC and the E car is the firm's focus in most of the world. However, dealerships sell a lot of C class here and they are seen more often than other types. The C projects the same Mercedes image at a lower price point. I don't think BMW bikes have any particular consumer image (unless its old school and expensive) - only an assortment of images based on various models. I'd suggest that complicates volume increases because a new image has to be established for each model type (eg the sportbike campaign is built around a racing image, not a brand image). Honda brand projects quality, reliability and good performance for price to most, for example, whether its cars or bikes (notice how many young folks want a Honda car. for example?) BMW cars do nothing to help bikes - they've acquired negative reactions from many based on snotty dealerships and poor parts availability for major parts. Haven't met the guys in Santa Fe but it sounds like they've made their own successful, but local only, image that helps the BMW brand locally.

ultracyclist
12-31-2009, 05:40 PM
My experience was great.
Wonderful!
An exceptionally honest dude.

sdpc2
12-31-2009, 07:30 PM
their philosophy towards their motorcycle marketing, that it is inevitable that the bike division will eventually die. :bolt

It is getting harder and harder to get your bike serviced by a dealer that is nearby. Most of the dealers that remain are of the mego-moto variety, because that is what BMW wants, and that is the only way that they can make enough $$$ to stay in business. :dunno

Frankly, if i had to ride/drive/trailer my bike 150+ miles everytime i needed service (and unfortunately, i am not the most gifted with a wrench in my hand) that i would switch marks.

just my two cents worth......

bikerfish1100
12-31-2009, 08:29 PM
Most of the dealers that remain are of the mego-moto variety, because that is what BMW wants, and that is the only way that they can make enough $$$ to stay in business. :dunno


if by "mego-moto" you mean multi-brand, that is exactly the opposite of what BMW Corporate has been pushing for from their dealers. They have oft times demanded that a dealership remain "BMW only"- which is one of the reasons that many smaller shops have closed their doors. some of the more successful dealerships have been able to convince BMW of their intent to remain/become a multi-branded store (Cliff's in Danbury, Foothills in Denver, etc.)

35303
12-31-2009, 11:19 PM
Updating # 37, in New Jersey it looks that Bergen County HD has taken on BMW.
http://www.bergenbmwmotorcycles.com/
http://www.bergenharleydavidson.com/

rich8150
01-15-2010, 05:37 PM
yeah, they lost buell, so adding bmw to take its place

phildaulton
01-16-2010, 10:09 PM
Rees Motors in Shelbyville TN. A neat old hole-in-the-wall operation. Clyde Rees was a cool old cat. His son David was the service manager, and I think he (David) died in a house fire in later years. I bought my '88 R100RS new from Clyde in 1990. It later rolled off the center stand in the parking lot the morning I was there for my 600 mile service a week after I bought it. No more sickening sound in the world than the sound of something falling over in the parking lot when you know yours is the only thing sitting out there...

mymindsok
07-04-2010, 11:04 PM
Theres a BMW combined Car/Motorcycle dealer in NJ that I used to pass all the time but I never stopped in because they never had any bikes in the showroom.

If I can't see any bikes, AFAIC, they're not a bike dealer, so I did all my business with AMOL. Unfortunately, AMOL went under, rather than deal with BMWNA's "expanded BMW only floor plan" edict.

Jersey lost a good dealer and race shop that time!

rockbottom
07-05-2010, 12:39 AM
All,

Let's get past old vs. new and consider those lost/defunct dealerships that we may have frequented. I'll start with my list;

1) Sholly's BMW in Harrisburg, PA - I purchased a R80ST and a set of BMW leathers from them. The set of leathers was later sold to Dennis Gage who has/had a cable TV show called "My Classic Car".

2) Frank's BMW in Mountville, PA - I purchased a 1986 K75c from them in the Spring of 1986 and I think the BMW dealership was closed by that fall.

3) Country BMW in Mountoursville, PA - They did the 600 mile service on the K75c, then dropped the dealership before my 5000 mile service.

4) A shop in Windber, PA whose name I can no longer remember. They were very reasonable and did many services on my K75c. As I recall, the dealership died in the mid 90's.

5-6) San Jose BMW and Competition Accesories (which was a BMW dealership) in Xenia, OH - I did lots of mail order businees with those folks.

7) Heritage BMW in McKeesport, PA became my service shop after the demise of the Windber dealership. It appears that they have followed the lead of the shop in Windber and passed into dealership heaven.

That's seven defunct dealerships that I've dealt with in the past 24 yrs. If I would include the local shops that dropped BMW during the transition from Butler & Smith to BMW NA, the number would ~10. Of course, the B&S days were prior to my ownership of any BMW products.

Your turn.

Do me a favor--stay away from Velocity in Mechanicsburg. You seem to be the kiss of death, and I need them to remain in business.

SteveAikens
07-05-2010, 12:47 PM
5-6) San Jose BMW
Your turn.

Chris Hodgson is going to be surprised to learn his shop is "defunct"......

http://www.sjbmw.com/

Frankly - so am I........:scratch

Motodan
07-06-2010, 05:34 PM
I can't remember all the names, but here's some locations where they've come and gone...and some times more than once. No doubt, Honda dealers stay put a lot longer.

Hammersly - Lynchburg, Va.
Cyclewerks in Indianapolis
BMW Motorcycles of Indianapolis
Revard BMW Motorcycles, Indianapolis
Springfield, Illinois
Tri-State, Cincinnati, Ohio
Ehlerding's BMW Fort Wayne, Indiana
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Lew Fox - Napperville, Illinois
Crossroads, Elkhart, Indiana
Marrieta, GA
South Chicago Heights, Illinois
Dayton, Ohio
Competition Accessories, Springfield, Illinois
Tag - Geneva, Illinois
Woodson - Fort Wayne, Indiana
Rockford, Illinois
Peoria, Illinois
Rock Island, Illinois
Fremont, Ohio
Saint Louis, Mo.
Savoy, Illinois
Louisville, Ky
South Bend, Indiana
Laurel - Downers Grove
Dover, Ohio
Cleveland, Ohio


There's a lot more...I dare say, in the last 30 years I'd bet there have been as many come and go, as there are currently standing now. Get in there with high hopes and a bunch of required capitol, just to see it drain away in 5 to 8 years. Not a good investment for oh so many.

rob nye
07-06-2010, 06:04 PM
Just as an aside, it's interesting to hear that BMW forced dealers out. I think the greater reason was technology and old age. It's no longer a time when a dealer can operate a BMW shop, sell and service the present models with a set of Craftsman tools. This is a different time, a different century, and an investment of more than an unused garage in a small town and good intentions.
I don't endorse this turn of events, and I miss the feeling of the old days and my bullet proof (heh) '78 Motorsport R100RS...

I think the concept of BMW "Forcing" Dealers out is funny every time I hear it. Unfortunately not every great wrench / rider / dealer is not as good a business man as they are a motorcyclist or they get caught by events.

BMW Marin is a perfect example. Great guy, great shop but due to just plain bad luck he's gone.

Now if you want to argue that BMW forces dealers out for not toeing the corporate line I invite you to visit AJ's out in Western MA.

sdpc2
07-06-2010, 06:10 PM
It's been a long standing rumor that they only reason BMW NA doesn't close AJ's is because of some MA law...

but you are right... AJ's is a unique shop! :thumb




I think the concept of BMW "Forcing" Dealers out is funny every time I hear it. Unfortunately not every great wrench / rider / dealer is not as good a business man as they are a motorcyclist or they get caught by events.

BMW Marin is a perfect example. Great guy, great shop but due to just plain bad luck he's gone.

Now if you want to argue that BMW forces dealers out for not toeing the corporate line I invite you to visit AJ's out in Western MA.

rob nye
07-06-2010, 06:25 PM
Grayboy in Peoria, IL. I spoke with the Owner about this issue. Several years ago, BMW decided they wanted their bike shops to look more like the auto dealerships. When they cam to Tote (the Owner of Grayboy), they "demanded he remodel his store, and provide a separate show floor for BMW. No other brands would be allowed on that show floor. He was free to continue to sell other brands, but they had to be isolated as far as the show floor was concerned. Well, he is land-locked, no room to grow in size. It was going to cost way too much money to remodel his store to look like BMW was demanding. And, he says unlike the "jap bike riders", BMW riders are cheap. They buy the bike, then ride it for ever. Most other brand riders are constantly trading their bikes in on new models.

So he told BMW that he would not remodel. They said he must or they would pull his dealership. He told them to come get all their @#$%& stuff and get out of his building. He sold them all of his inventory, including the parts. He said he made more money selling them the parts at cost than he would have made over the next 10 years selling BMW bikes. This is his story, straight from his mouth to me.

Sorry I think you were fed a line of bull.

Those are all things BMW would "like" their current dealers to do but they can't force them to do it. If they did Razee Motorcycle Center would look dramatically different.

What they can do is send more inventory (esp clothing and accessories) to the dealers that represent the marque the way BMW would like.

They can also dictate terms for a *new* dealer but they so long as the invoices are being paid they can not "force" a current francise holder to change much of anything.

breyfogle
07-06-2010, 07:27 PM
They can also dictate terms for a *new* dealer but they so long as the invoices are being paid they can not "force" a current francise holder to change much of anything.

A *new* dealer also includes someone buying an existing franchise & facility. BMW's dealer policy made it impossible for my local mom & pop BMW shop to sell their franchise when the owner wanted to retire. No reasonable buyer could justify the upgrade costs in a high value area such as Los Angeles. The shop closed and the franchise was transferred to an existing BMW car dealer (who didn't know an R69S from a 325i) !

Motodan
07-06-2010, 09:33 PM
Sorry I think you were fed a line of bull.

Those are all things BMW would "like" their current dealers to do but they can't force them to do it. If they did Razee Motorcycle Center would look dramatically different.

What they can do is send more inventory (esp clothing and accessories) to the dealers that represent the marque the way BMW would like.

They can also dictate terms for a *new* dealer but they so long as the invoices are being paid they can not "force" a current francise holder to change much of anything.

I take it you've never signed a start up agreement with the Mother Ship....BMW? "Force" can come in many different ways and "requirements" under threat of exercising their contractual rights can be a shop stopper, if they want it to be. I've been involved and watched it happen more than once.

rob nye
07-06-2010, 10:12 PM
I take it you've never signed a start up agreement with the Mother Ship....BMW? "Force" can come in many different ways and "requirements" under threat of exercising their contractual rights can be a shop stopper, if they want it to be. I've been involved and watched it happen more than once.

It's a contract that works both ways.

My local dealer is a modern start up that went from zero to two stores in the top 10 nationally in under 10 years.

I work in petroleum transport by sea, believe me I know all about using contractual requirements to get desired results.

Having said this nobody is forcing people to sign franchise agreements. Sometimes it's bad luck, sometimes it's poor business sense and once in a while it's a refusal to change. These guys make great albeit occasionally cranky privateers, they're the ones talking about BMW "forcing" them to close when in reality it was the changing marketplace and father time.

BUDDINGGEEZER
07-06-2010, 10:40 PM
Sorry I think you were fed a line of bull.

Those are all things BMW would "like" their current dealers to do but they can't force them to do it. If they did Razee Motorcycle Center would look dramatically different.

What they can do is send more inventory (esp clothing and accessories) to the dealers that represent the marque the way BMW would like.

They can also dictate terms for a *new* dealer but they so long as the invoices are being paid they can not "force" a current francise holder to change much of anything.

I don't think BMW closed BMW Motorcycles of Little Rock, AR, but I know for a fact that BMW forced them to build a wall to segregate (hide) the Triumphs and Ducatis behind the wall. The owner told me this when I inquired about the wall being built. Later they were allowed to remove the wall when they expanded the size of the showroom. They soon closed the doors and went out of business. I am not privileged to the reasons why.

Ralph Sims

tinytrains
07-07-2010, 12:39 AM
A *new* dealer also includes someone buying an existing franchise & facility. BMW's dealer policy made it impossible for my local mom & pop BMW shop to sell their franchise when the owner wanted to retire. No reasonable buyer could justify the upgrade costs in a high value area such as Los Angeles. The shop closed and the franchise was transferred to an existing BMW car dealer (who didn't know an R69S from a 325i) !

I always wondered why Marty's closed. That was my closest dealer. I suspect the dealer I use in the valley will have the same fate when they retire. They started selling BMW's in the 50's when they hit the US, and the place has not changed much since.

Scott

rockbottom
07-07-2010, 01:29 AM
I don't think BMW closed BMW Motorcycles of Little Rock, AR, but I know for a fact that BMW forced them to build a wall to segregate (hide) the Triumphs and Ducatis behind the wall. The owner told me this when I inquired about the wall being built. Later they were allowed to remove the wall when they expanded the size of the showroom. They soon closed the doors and went out of business. I am not privileged to the reasons why.

Ralph Sims

That's weird because two of the dealers I've visited in Pennsylvania--Hermy's in Port Clinton and one in State College--both also carried Triumph in the same showroom. And the State College one also had Ducatis.

Motodan
07-07-2010, 02:32 AM
That's weird because two of the dealers I've visited in Pennsylvania--Hermy's in Port Clinton and one in State College--both also carried Triumph in the same showroom. And the State College one also had Ducatis.

BMW really wants to keep their product separate, but it depends on how much any particular BMW rep wants to be a pain in the butt. If you sell the hell out of their product, nothing will be said. If your sales aren't where they think they should be, you'll get blasted about it all the time. Not only that, but the specific carpet, from the specific distributor, signs facing just the right way, proper clothing display, minimum square footage for the product and on and on.

bmw_rider
07-07-2010, 02:16 PM
BMW Motorcycles of Indianapolis
Revard BMW Motorcycles, Indianapolis
Lew Fox - Napperville, Illinois
Laurel -
TAG - Geneva, IL
Kegel - Rockford, Illinois
C&D - Freeport, IL

And I don't even know the name of the one in the NY/Canada border, but they still got me back on the road with a new battery early one July morning a number of years ago.

Prof
07-15-2010, 03:50 AM
I bought my first BMW in 1975 (slightly used 1974 R90/6) from a dealer on North Broad St. in Philadelphia, I think called Philadelphia Cycle--long gone. I subsequently moved 40 miles south to Delaware and dealt with all of the following now defunct dealerships in the DE, PA, NJ, MD area:
Van Sice in Wilmington, (wouldn't fix your bike if he didn't like you)
Diamond Motorsports in Dover DE
Edgewood Cycles in MD (someone told me it was the oldest BMW dealer in U.S.)
Millville, NJ "Sport" something or other
RK BMW in Deptford NJ
Otto's BMW in West Chester, PA (a car dealer that had the cycle franchise twice, about 10 years apart, the first time i ever saw cycle "technicians" wearing white lab coats.
Track and Trail in New Castle De.
Stans in Doylestown, PA
Devon BMW in Devon PA
DiSimone in Cherry Hill NJ
All of them gone now. Newest dealer is an hour and a half away through dense traffic in Montgomeryville, Pa. I think the same place had a franchise 20 years ago.

gertiektn
07-15-2010, 05:12 AM
Polk's Cycle - Seattle Wa. I bought my 76R90S.. (my last new m/c)

Sell or Die.

Any shop generates expenses 24/7.

You have 5 or 6 days a week from 8am to 6pm to cover the costs. When the economy slows... the buyers slow... and the expenses continue.. and we all bitch about the high prices..

You want it.. the simple fact of economics, is you "got to pay". We all like nice places to go to when we are shopping.

Polk's had and oily floor... I donne know,... I bought my bike there.. maybe you wouldn't.

It is not easy out there, when no-body comes in.

Oily floor or not, no body comes in...... a fancy shine on the floor and lots of big windows on a busy street next to the Land Rover dealer, with lots of inventory laying around... big nuts to crack...every month.

Just plain economics.. if you follow my drift.

The new RR is a sweet deal.. I hope somebody buys it.

I would like to see a retro.. but would I buy one when there are tons of Classic out there for sale..?

:bikes Jim Dahl, Ketchikan Alaska

robsryder
07-15-2010, 11:45 AM
I can't remember all the names, but here's some locations where they've come and gone..... Dover, Ohio ....

I thought that Mathias BMW was in Dover in the tiny shop. Then a few years back he build a brand new bigger shop a few miles up the road in New Philadelphia, Ohio. If so, this isn't exactly the same as having "come and gone".

http://www.mathiasbmw.com/default.asp

MWS
07-15-2010, 12:48 PM
Roman's Cycle in Austintown, Ohio

mrspeed
07-28-2010, 05:39 PM
Little Rock BMW failed in the economic down turn:wave

Pauls1150
07-30-2010, 04:09 PM
Used to live in Philly - the shop on Broad Street was owned by Ned Weiswasser - very cool guy and seemed to know his bikes. Unfortunately, he was working on the roof one day and fell off... broke his neck. Damm.

Marty's Foreign Motors (aka Marty's BMW) in Torrance was a combination of issues hitting at once. The owner wanted to retire, Mothership wanted them to expand and sell more clothing & accessories, there was no room to expand and the cost of the lease had become prohibitive over time, and the city fathers had even voiced grief and anguish over having a motorcycle shop on their main street. I know a few people who had issues with the shop - and rightfully so, having impartially heard both sides of those issues - but I never had a problem and enjoyed the place and people a lot; I had no problem recommending them. You could even hang out for donuts and play with the dog.

Everything got sold off to Long Beach BMW, which was a car dealership but now became a combined car & bike dealership. Two of Marty's best wrenches also went to LBBMW. It started ok but seemed to degrade... the car side seemed snooty to the bikes, I was even told "no please move your motorcycle over there", and I was hearing mixed reports about service. I'd wander thru the car side while waiting and I felt their eyes...:nono

Soon, the guys from Marty's left and started their own shops; one has moved out of state, but Valdi still has his shop and I like it a lot. http://valdis-motozone.com/
Another one of their wrenches, JR, also has his own shop now http://www.angelcitycycle.com/aboutus.htm He was also pretty good at Marty's but I've not been to his new place yet.

Then the bike side of LBBMW physically and monetarily split off from the car side. It is now its own shop, across the street from the car dealership, and Bob & Ryan are actually MC guys and want this place to succeed. So far I like them and I hope they do well in the long run. The new place looks almost exactly like the pictures that MacFly posted for Sant?® Fe (except for no "drive thru" overhang); is this the corporate standard now?

Looking at the wall map, it really looks like Cody Wyoming would be just a bitchin' place for a shop...

Tallnbig68
09-17-2010, 08:07 PM
Does anyone know of a Honda or Suzuki car dealer that also sells bikes? I don't.

In Canada Honda is pushing Powerhouse all in one dealerships.
Automotive, Motorcycles, proprety Care products and recreational products all under one roof. There's one in Milton Ontario.

The problem with these is physical space.
Most Honda automotive dealers have a premium on space for their new stock,
so often there is often no room for the additional Honda motorcycle/recreational/lawn care product.
Larger physical properties cost money, and are taxed heavily at least around here.

I think of the local to me GM dealership, now selling the remains of what is
GM wheeled vehicles however their dealer lot i has maybe 500 automobiles and trucks, all new, all for sale.
Figure the geographical size. And said GM dealer is a family business; they also own
the local Mazda as well as Acura dealerships. They also own the new Powerhouse Honda dealership in Milton!

Somebody mentioned Budd's in Oakville Ontario. Budd's also now owns the local GM franchises
(GMC trucks, Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and Buick). as well. Budd's also has Jaguar, Land Rover,
Mini, Subarau, Saab and BMW cars and motorcycles.
John Parker is the BMW motorcycle to see at Budd's.

acejones
09-18-2010, 08:10 PM
A couple of years ago I was in Birmingham AL on business. I had a little spare time so I went over to Bogarts to look around. I spent 20 minutes wandering around the showroom and not one soul even spoke to me. There was one other person doing the same and no one spoke to him either. We were the only customers in the place. He walked out, got on his BMW bike and rode away. Two minutes later I walked out to my company car and drove away. I guess they had made their quota for the month and didn't need us. I won't go back.

HankPfister
09-28-2010, 03:24 AM
Here in southwest Virginia we just lost Hammersleys (Crossroads) BMW in Lynchburg, VA. They were a car-bike dealership. So now our closest BMW motorbike dealer is Carolina Euro in Greensboro, NC. BMW Motorad USA would like a dealership in Roanoke. There is a Honda-Triumph dealer in Christiansburg, VA, only 35 miles from Roanoke that seriously wants to ad BMW to thier shop, and has a letter of intent in to BMW. But BMW wants them to open a second store in Roanoke. This dealership owner has to either invest in a second operation in Roanoke, or convince BMW to let him operate a Honda-Triumph-BMW shop in one new building in Christiansburg. His current shop is large enough for Honda and Triumph, but he is willing to build a new ground up building to house all 3 brands, with separate showroom area. It makes sense to me to house all 3 brands in one location from an investment, and return on investment standpoint. But BMW so far is just looking at demographics and thinks that a larger population base is centered in Roanoke. A new Christiansburg location would be right off of an I-81 exit, so I doubt the 35 mile distance from Roanoke would make much difference to buyers or owners.
My question is does anyone have a contact name at BMW Motorad USA that I could write or email in support of the Christiansburg dealer's plan to obtain BMW and build a new facility in Christiansburg? :scratch

cbck1200s
09-28-2010, 02:42 PM
In Canada Honda is pushing Powerhouse all in one dealerships.
Automotive, Motorcycles, proprety Care products and recreational products all under one roof. There's one in Milton Ontario.

The problem with these is physical space.
Most Honda automotive dealers have a premium on space for their new stock,
so often there is often no room for the additional Honda motorcycle/recreational/lawn care product.
Larger physical properties cost money, and are taxed heavily at least around here.

I think of the local to me GM dealership, now selling the remains of what is
GM wheeled vehicles however their dealer lot i has maybe 500 automobiles and trucks, all new, all for sale.
Figure the geographical size. And said GM dealer is a family business; they also own
the local Mazda as well as Acura dealerships. They also own the new Powerhouse Honda dealership in Milton!

Somebody mentioned Budd's in Oakville Ontario. Budd's also now owns the local GM franchises
(GMC trucks, Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and Buick). as well. Budd's also has Jaguar, Land Rover,
Mini, Subarau, Saab and BMW cars and motorcycles.
John Parker is the BMW motorcycle to see at Budd's.

Last summer I was in Ontario and upon inspection I noted that my tires were in dire need of replacing. I called up Bud's BMW and spoke with John Parker, motorcycle service manager, and he fixed me up with two new tires and he even slotted me into his busy schedule when I told him I was from BC.

While I was there I took a look around and I must say it was one of the busiest well run dealerships I've ever been in. The staff was friendly, helpful and if I lived in Ontario I'd take all my BMW's there.

Given the title of this thread it is nice to see a success story once in a while.

cbcK1200S - Colin
/////// =o&o>

jdubick
09-28-2010, 09:32 PM
A couple of years ago I was in Birmingham AL on business. I had a little spare time so I went over to Bogarts to look around. I spent 20 minutes wandering around the showroom and not one soul even spoke to me. There was one other person doing the same and no one spoke to him either. We were the only customers in the place. He walked out, got on his BMW bike and rode away. Two minutes later I walked out to my company car and drove away. I guess they had made their quota for the month and didn't need us. I won't go back.

You wil not be surprised to hear that they have just given notice that they will close the doors permanently in the next couple of weeks. It does not come as a surprise to anyone living in Alabama.

gvpurvis
09-29-2010, 08:28 PM
I was in Bogarts last week,stayed about 30 minutes or so.I was going to buy a new helment but could not find any one to give my money to.This has happened more than once.Atlanta is not that far away...

leadfoot
10-07-2010, 11:39 AM
I was in Bogarts last week,stayed about 30 minutes or so.I was going to buy a new helment but could not find any one to give my money to.This has happened more than once.Atlanta is not that far away...

I wouldn't worry about them anymore. They are out of business. They did it to themselves. I have been there 5 times, the second was to buy a new RT. They were real nice when I was paying cash for my bike, but all the other times I couldn't get the time of day.

Even their going out of business sale was sad, it was very poorly done and just rienforces the fact that they just do not know how to treat people coming through their front door.

Hopefully someone will open a BMW shop in that area that is customer oriented.

B1Pilot
10-07-2010, 01:54 PM
Heh,

Since Bogarts went under..did the drive from Montgomery AL to Atlanta yesterday for service, well worth it...much better dealership, everyone super-nice, even got to go to lunch with Nate Kern, who just happened to be stopping by.

B-1

stevent
10-21-2010, 12:45 AM
We've been lucky here. I bought my first BMW, an '85 K 100 RS at Tacoma BMW, they moved and sold (I believe) to become South Sound BMW to become South Sound Motorcycles. In Seattle Gregs Greenlake Kawasaki/BMW became Buckingham BMW then moved to become Ride West BMW where I bought my '02 R1150RT and my '09 R1200GS which is partnered with South Sound Motorcycles......and even more coincedently where I spent a few hours this morning getting the 600 mile service done......

So... I guess we didn't really "Lose" a dealership, they just changed hands and locations with more or less the same people involved just moving around........:thumb


I was out of the loop riding Triumph's and Harley's for a few years so took a little effort to find where everyone had gone.......:scratch

jeff488
10-21-2010, 11:45 PM
I once tried to deal with a defunct dealer, but they were out of business.:dunno

thx1158
10-22-2010, 03:28 PM
I was sorry to see Heritage go. Craig was a good guy.

Well that is a matter of opinion. After purchasing 4 new BMW's from his dealership, I quit dealing with Craig after he tried to screw me over on warranty repairs. He dug his own hole and couldn't climb out.