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Old 10-10-2014, 08:06 AM   #1
LightChop OP
Joined: Mar 2014
Location: Virginia
Oddometer: 24
Distance to your Dealer? Does it matter?

I've narrowed down my search to the VStrom, the Tiger and the F800. Yes, still looking.

Just curious how many of you considered the distance to your dealer in the equation when picking your bike?

I'm :

13 miles to the BMW dlr

45 miles to the Suzuki dlr

72 miles to the Triumph dlr

I'm just wondering if this should matter.

Appreciate your thoughts!

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Old 10-10-2014, 08:23 AM   #2
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Location: Aztec, NM
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So the farthest one is 1 hour?
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Old 10-10-2014, 08:35 AM   #3
Joined: Jul 2014
Location: Aberystwyth
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my nearest triumph dealer is 110 miles away i don't think it matters as it is an excuse for a road trip when it comes to service time.
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Old 10-10-2014, 08:35 AM   #4
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Joined: Mar 2014
Location: North / Central Illinois
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I think it depends upon whether you are mechanically inclined, and do your own scheduled service work / repairs, or you plan to have the bike serviced at the dealership.

IMO, parts and materials are much more affordable when purchased online from various vendors, or purchased locally Vs buying from the Dealers parts counter.

My Triumph Dealer (Team Triumph, Janesville, Wisconsin) is 87 miles away, and I only go there for events. My Harley Davidson Dealer (Kegel HD, Rockford, IL.) is 92 miles away, and I haven't been there since I bought my Road King in 2011. Tremendously happy with both dealers, I just happen to like to do my own stuff.

In both cases, there are/were dealerships much closer, like 15 to 20 miles, but they were unacceptable (Dishonest, disinterested, etc.) so I kept looking until I found agreeable, sincere, honest ones. Glad I did.

All dealerships are different, depending on the owner, and his personality, perspective, level of honesty and integrity, etc. Some are fantastic, some are horrible. No need to support the closest one... seek until you find the right fit.

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Old 10-10-2014, 08:36 AM   #5
Motociclista Errante
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Joined: Jun 2004
Location: Sometimes in Hillsburrito
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I think it's a good thing the BMW dealer is so close, just in case you decide to go with the F-800GS.

If you buy the V-Strom, the dealer could be on Mars and it wouldn't matter...

Unless you have an aversion to doing even basic maintenance (oil changes) yourself, most bikes will not require dealer maintenance that often to make a difference. I do everything in my garage, so my bikes don't go to the dealer unless there is a recall or warranty item to take care of. Happened only once in the last 15 years with the clutch basket on the 2002 DL1K.

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Old 10-10-2014, 08:53 AM   #6
LightChop OP
Joined: Mar 2014
Location: Virginia
Oddometer: 24
enigma - yes, the farthest one is 1 hour.

akuma - good point! But I'd have to take the Highway of Death....

Prophet - I am mechanically inclined, to a certain point. Ironically, my favorite dlr of the three is the farthest!

Gustavo - uh, what are you sayin' about the F800? . It's a '13 with very, very low miles. And lots of warranty left. I am looking for a reliable ride, that's why the VStrom is still in the hunt. I don't mind the trip to Mars once, but going back would be a bitch.
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Old 10-10-2014, 09:14 AM   #7
Big Jon
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Location: SW Iowa
Oddometer: 369
Thumb Distance is no problem for some folks.

Although my Triumph dealer is only 27 miles from our home, it amazes me how many people purchase bikes, parts & accessories from this little privately owned shop in the middle of Iowa's cornfields. I've been blown away by the honesty, integrity & parts availability of this dealership and evidently the people who write testimonials about their dealings with Baxter Cycle in Marne, Ia. are too.

If my count is correct, people from 25 different states from all over the USA, plus France & the UK have written nothing but praises regarding this dealership. Not only were there 25 states represented, but several people from many of those states wrote testimonials. Here is a sample...

Long story short, don't as much about the distance as the type of deal you get & how you want to be treated after the sale!
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Old 10-10-2014, 09:16 AM   #8
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Joined: Oct 2004
Location: Cook Bayou, FL
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Can you push the BMW 13 miles when it throws a EWS code?
If not than no, I would just buy a Suzuki or Triumph.
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Old 10-10-2014, 09:43 AM   #9
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Joined: Oct 2012
Location: Steilacoom
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I met a guy on a road trip last year who was riding a V strom 1000. He saw my bike and said that it was his first choice, but bought the Suzuki because of the dealer network.

It had never occurred to me to give a crap about dealerships. No one touches my ride with a wrench but me. That, and my Triumph has been stone axe reliable.

Nothing against Suzukis (at all), and if I was riding something that had a tendency to break all the time I would probably wish for a good supply of parts counters.

For example, summer before last I was in a remote part of Montana in my BMW sedan and split a coolant tank. Did some research to find the nearest dealership. Spokane, WA

No wonder the locals all gave me that tilted dog head look.
'08 Triumph Tiger 1050
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Old 10-10-2014, 09:50 AM   #10
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Location: Northwestern Ontario
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I have all you guys beat. The nearest M/C dealer of any kind is 220 miles away. I try to stick with reliable bikes with big fuel tanks.
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Old 10-10-2014, 10:49 AM   #11
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Joined: Oct 2006
Location: Powell Butte, Oregon
Oddometer: 439
The nearest Triumph dealer is 150 road miles away. Fortunately I've got a good relationship with their parts goddess (in-stock parts are usually 3-4 days out), but I have had to load the bike into my van twice and haul it over there. Once was a warranty thing, the other for a throttle body balance that I couldn't get right. Both were worth the trip.

Overall, other than the long drive, having a good dealer makes all the difference.
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Old 10-10-2014, 10:57 AM   #12
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Joined: May 2007
Location: SW Florida
Oddometer: 2,499
You're over thinking it. Buy the one that keeps you awake at night, or puts the biggest smile on your face.

Distance to the dealer doesn't mean a thing if they won't give you top notch support....

"One of the things that make motorcycling so great is because it never fails to give you a feeling of freedom and adventure." - Steve McQueen
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Old 10-10-2014, 10:57 AM   #13
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Location: Nor Ca.
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I assume you are going to ride some where else. Just as important is the size of the dealer network, in case you break down away from home.

Most of these bikes can be serviced at home easily enough, if you are so inclined. In the US it doesn't invalidate your warranty, if you keep records.

Ogre fl. Interesting comment from some one riding a bike with a BMW designed engine. Have you had problems? I have owned a F800gs for 6 years, with no major issues. Never had to push it anywhere. It has been around longer and I think there is a passel of them out there. (120,000) more or less. BMW's 3 year warranty was useful in the first year I owned it, to get the bugs out.
BMW Motorrad USA customer service: "We make superior motorcycles and continue to improve them."
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Old 10-10-2014, 11:01 AM   #14
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Location: Los Angeles
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It only matters when the bike needs servicing if you aren't going to do it yourself. Driving an hour+ away for a valve check, etc. sucks because then you need to get home somehow and then get back again once it's serviced. For changing tires, if you call in advance usually they will find time to do it while you wait. I also live in urban areas where, while inconvenient at times, mass transit return home is possible. Although with uber and lift now it's easier. Parts and accessories are almost always cheaper online anyways...
2014 DL650 Vstrom
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Old 10-10-2014, 11:08 AM   #15
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Joined: May 2012
Location: The far east of the far east of North America
Oddometer: 2,004
I rode BMW for 15 years with the nearest dealer 1800kms and an overnight ferry away. 2days ride.

Teaches you to be independant and to get to know your own machine.
They have since opened a dealership and it is very good to have for parts and tech advice but i still do my own wrenching.
If I still had every dollar I spent on motorbikes I would be a richer man but a poorer person.
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