Mar 2004 - I go to a place we'll just call AMS (or dealership 1 later) and meet with a salesguy1. At this point I told him I was interested in learning to ride.. he asked if I wanted to test ride a couple of motorcycles there... I mention that I did not have a license. He tells me this is not a problem and you only need a license if you get caught. I tell him I'm not comfortable taking out a $10K motorcycle without a license or, better yet, knowing how to ride. He says I'm missing out and I say yes I know and I get info on a motorcycle safety foundation course and go take it in April. I then go and grab myself an M class endorsement from the state. I am at this point a licensed and trained motorcycle rider.
May 2004 - I go back to AMS, talk to the same salesguy, tell him I am now trained, licensed, and know that I am interested. I sit on a bunch of bikes and find one I like. He mentions they have the same bike with very few miles on it used so I go and test ride it and... well, the bike I would compare it to an underpowered golf cart... I was riding 250s in the MSF course that had more power... basically something was wrong with this bike and I head back and mention that it was not operating properly and barely was able to get my ass up a hill. I ask to try out the one I had originally been interested in as I figure it should work.
They wheel it outside, tell me to come in for a minute because they have to get my license and some info - I thought it was a bit strange that they had let me out on a bike before without that, but whatever... I give them my license, I fill out a 1-page waiver, and then I wait for him to come back... about 5 minutes later he comes back with 5 more pages for me to fill out and sign, I look it over and it's a sales contract and authorization to pull my credit. I ask what the deal is with this and he says that basically the way they work is you buy the bike and return it.
I ask why when I had no riding skill, no license, and told him up front of this that he was going to let me on the bike and he said that they didn't feel that they could trust someone who just completed a motorcycle safety foundation course and was just licensed. I point out that when I told him I did not know how to ride and was unlicensed and had never been on a bike that they were more than willing to let me ride it. He said that was different... I point out that that argument was BS and he says they just didn't do test rides. I point out that he said they did and indeed I came in for a test ride which I had arranged and he said that yes, but they wanted to cover their ass now.
I told him I was not going to buy the bike, he said he was going to talk to the manager and get them to wave the thing, I said no and walked out. Went to another bike shop, found the perfect used bike a few days later, felt a wee bit guilty for this so I bought some riding gear from the first shop.
So, I have been riding for 3 years at this point. 15,000 miles on my first used bike, and I'm loving it. Lately I have been wondering about something more powerful and in a different class. I went to a couple of places, checked out ebay, just happened to be out near a dealership and decided I would stop in.
I talk to a guy (D) who it's his first day and I tell him what I'm basically looking for and the guy is really cool. After about an hour and a half of showing me around we have figured out what exactly I want down to engine size, class, etc. And I find the bike I want.
I go home to research this, check with some people on a message board about the bike, and decide that I am indeed in love with said bike.
I go back 2 days later to get a price on the thing, and my salesguy is the only one working and there's only one finance person and I am told they will not let sales ever know pricing as they want to be able to work the DOC fees and shipping and transport and other things into the deal and it's different prices cash vs finance etc... I say ok, give him my phone number, and he promises that they will call me in the morning and tell me the pricing.
Morning comes and goes, I hear nothing, decided I will call him in a day or so and in the meantime am going to spin by Dealership 1 and see if they have the bike also (they're really close to where I live which is the only reason I would go back).
So, I went back to dealership 1, figuring I knew the bike now, the original salesguy from 2004 was gone, tell new salesguy and floor manager exactly what I am looking for and ask for them to get me a price. Salesguy says no problem, but their people are out at this point and he will call me first thing in the morning with a price.
The next day comes and goes, no price from either dealerships 1 or 2. I decide to call 2 as it's been a couple of days and ask for my salesguy and they say nobody by that name works there or has worked there. I am a bit confused at this but decide perhaps since he's new they just don't know him (large place, 2 main buildings). I try speaking with another salesguy and he has no idea about the bike I was asking about so I tell him I'll get my info together and call back (I messed up the model number, my fault).
In the meantime I found the exact same bike I was looking for used, low miles, excellent condition on ebay 15 miles from my house. I contact that seller, go check the bike out, am a little wary of doing business with the guy but mainly just because I was not familiar with how private bike sales worked...
I end up getting the bike from him. It was good.
I went out to dealership 2 a week or two later and run into the salesguy and tell him the story and find that he had handed my info over to a guy they fired that day and the person answering the phones just didn't know his name. Nobody bothered to make sure the fired guy's accounts were taken care of, and the sales guy assumed I was just another person who heard the price and bolted.
Never did find out what happened with dealership 1. I walked in there the other day and the salesguy looked at me like he was trying to avoid talking to me.
You'd think when dealing with someone wanting to purchase a vehicle from you you would at least go the extra inch or something.