Plan to buy police motorcycles in U.S. upsets Victoria retailers

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Hockeygod, Mar 24, 2012.

  1. Hockeygod

    Hockeygod Been here awhile

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    Plan to buy police motorcycles in U.S. upsets Victoria retailers

    By Carla Wilson, Victoria Times Colonist March 24, 2012

    [​IMG]

    Victoria Police Department's current fleet of motorcycles came from a local supplier, Action Motorcycles, in 2003

    Capital region motorcycle dealers are unhappy that the Victoria Police Department has picked a U.S. company to replace its fleet of aging bikes.

    "Our taxpayers' dollars are being spent elsewhere," said Andy White, general manager of SG Power of Hillside Ave. "As a motorcycle community, we are very disappointed."

    The Victoria Police Department issued a tender this year to replace its 10 Hondas. A total of five bids came in, four from local dealers and one from the U.S., White said Friday.

    A police department spokesperson could not be reached Friday. SG received an email from the department dated March 14 stating that its bid evaluation team unanimously agreed on Victory Police Motorcycles, of Tucson, Arizona.

    SG Power submitted a bid to supply Kawasaki Concours, priced at $24,000 each, White said. The company has 28 staff and has been in business nearly 50 years.

    White is concerned that no local company, SG or another, was successful.

    Other local bidders were in a similar ballpark, he said. Each of the four capital regional firms bid independently, representing reliable, well-established brands featuring the latest technology. "They are all great motorcycles." The Kawasakis have traction control and anti-lock braking systems.

    Victory does not have a local service facility, White said. A Victory official said the company will train employees of a Victoria firm, to be chosen by the police department, to work on the bikes.

    Kerry Wilk, owner of Action Motorcyles, supplier of the current fleet in 2003, said the Hondas have performed exceptionally well over the years.

    He echoed White, saying: "It does not matter to me what dealership got it. What matters to me is that the money stayed local."

    A total of 16 families rely on Action Motorcyles, of Esquimalt Road, he said.

    Action bid with 2012 Hondas, which are reliable and have fast braking because they are lightweight, Wilk said.

    Victoria will be the third police department in Canada to buy Victory's police motorcycles, following Lethbridge, Alberta, and Windsor, Ont., said sales manager Mike Schultz. In the U.S., 22 departments use Victory motorcycles.
    The company's focus is safety, he said. The bike is designed to protect a rider's legs and feet, commonly injured, if it tips. One safety feature limits it falling to a maximum of 34 degrees and no more. The bikes are also comfortable for riders, who do not have to hunch over, he said.

    Bikes comes with a fiveyear warranty over everything and unlimited mileage, Schultz said.

    As far as the value of the contract, Schultz was speaking from Texas and did not have information at hand.

    The Victory motorcycles will be black-and-white and delivered toward the end of April, he said.

    -----

    Maybe these local retailers will realize that it is way cheaper to buy a bike in the US and import to Canada - even after paying all the duties, GST, HST, and whatever other costs... WAKE UP CANADIAN RETAILERS! I hope all the local retailers bitch to their Canadian head offices... hate to see local people get screwed; but I hate to get screwed myself. Karma's a bitch, hey?
    #1
  2. outsidein

    outsidein Been here awhile

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    I bought my current bike in the US for $4200 from a dealer by phone and then paid a $200 RIV fee and $600 transport fee for a total cost of $5000 for an almost new Kawasaki Versys with 1200 miles/2000 km. Similar bikes in the classifieds where selling for $6500 to $7000 at the time and all had more miles.

    I don't understand why bikes, tires and gear is so much cheaper in the US.

    If they are moving from Honda ST's to Victory MC I'm not sure they are moving forward in the ride/handling/comfort area.
    #2
  3. Wolfgang55

    Wolfgang55 Long timer

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    It is called free enterprize market, competition...........
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  4. OldPete2112

    OldPete2112 Been here awhile

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    Uh yeah, looks like a really great lightweight bike for police enforcement.........:rofl

    Funny how when you travel around the world you see what other places use for law enforcement, ranging from small displacement lightweight bikes in south america, to european choices of bikes like Honda ST, BMW K series, or Concours. Gee, wonder why THEY don't use bikes like what was chosen.

    I would have thought that a dual sport of some kind would have been a better choice for fast paced police work in a city like Victoria, rather than a underpowered overstuffed chunky bike like a 1940's technology Harley somewhat updated version that they settled on.

    I mean they will look great in parades and stuff, but for actual work? Really? :huh

    I really like the selling points as shown in the news release "The company's focus is safety, he said. The bike is designed to protect a rider's legs and feet, commonly injured, if it tips. One safety feature limits it falling to a maximum of 34 degrees and no more. The bikes are also comfortable for riders, who do not have to hunch over, he said."

    What do you do? Fall over and hold onto the bike? :huh From what I recall I have never seen a Vic PD motor officer in something like an aerostich police suit or something similar, so really how concerned about safety are they? I can recall seeing Saanich with full face helmets but not Vic. I may be wrong though. Washington state patrol seems to suit all their officers in full riding gear, so some departments seem concerned enough to outfit their members with protective gear.

    Oh, and how can "hunching over" be a factor? I have seen cops in Kansas on Hayabusa's, but never up here. I have ridden an ST and cannot see how you would have to "hunch over", never mind that many of the motor officers I have seen could never possibly "hunch over" to fit on a sport type bike anyways.

    Great responsible use of tax payers dollars eh? Nice job Vic PD.

    OP
    #4
  5. swellguy

    swellguy Been here awhile

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    Thing to remember is that "Victoria" is made up of some 12 or 13 separate municipalities. Some have their own police force: Saanich rides BMW, Victoria also has Harleys, don't know about Esquimalt and the RCMP cover off a number of other ones.

    Victoria have had their Harleys maintained at Steve Drane HD, but Steve moved out of town. Island BMW just moved into town. SG Power is frankly a lousy dealer;. Action Motorcycles would have been a better choice and they're in Esquimalt. But Victory? I've never heard of a Victory Police bike and the closest dealership is in Langley. They should have looked at Urals or Royal Enfields and given Savage something to do.

    This story actually has little do with motorcycles and everything to do with how screwed up Policing is in BC's capital region.
    #5
  6. OldPete2112

    OldPete2112 Been here awhile

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    :thumb, AGREED!

    OP
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  7. MoToad

    MoToad Been here awhile

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    So, Victorys. Don't they cost even more than Harleys? And shouldn't reliability be the issue? Not to mention service? I guess Steve Drane will get that. But still Yamaha, Kawasaki or Honda should have been the logical choice. But then logic has never really factored in when it comes to government spending.
    But, on the upside. All you crotchrocket riders (being an x crotchrocket rider myself) take comfort in the fact that you can still leave them standing in their dust.:D
    #7
  8. Deuce

    Deuce Crazy Canuck

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    Actually Victory make very reliable bikes. And a crotch rocket can never ride faster than a Marconi radio signal. :1drink
    #8
  9. C-Stain

    C-Stain Accredited Nincompoop

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    Nothing is faster than a Motorola!
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  10. Harleymoe

    Harleymoe Adventurer

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    This is to Hockeygod the original poster. Maybe you should do your homework before you make the statement that the Victory's were bought because they are cheaper as are most bikes from the US. Their bid as I understand it was $2,000.00 or so more than the Kawasaki's and Harley's and I understand the BMW bid was even less. You also aren't familiar with the whole untold story about who was advising them and who may get the service contract. You guessed it, the same guy.

    On a further note I work at SG Power Products, one of the competing companies, and I can assure you that we are not a "lousy dealership". Quite the contrary, we are an excellent dealership.

    Regards, Moe
    #10
  11. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    Hockeygod quoted a news article. Just saying....
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  12. shipwrek12001

    shipwrek12001 Shipwrek

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    Canadian tax money should be spent in... Hmmm... Canada right? I guess not,, man are we messed up..:huh
    #12
  13. skysailor

    skysailor Rat Rider

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    If the price is better in the US (and it is) then screw the local dealers. The message has to get through eventually? I've totally given up making large purchase in Canada. I get a price in the States, match it within 5-10% or Fuckya! The only way that CDN dealers will stop treating us a morons is to do just what this PD did.
    #13
  14. 250senuf

    250senuf Long timer

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    I wonder if they'll get a by at the border. Or will they have to jump through all the same hoops as outlined in the "importing from the USA" thread? :deal
    #14
  15. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

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    Nowadays you gotta go to China to buy a Canadian Product... The materials used to build the bikes there may be all Canadian...
    -Canadian labor to harvest and export out the raw materials
    -Canadian scrap and raw metals
    -Canadian copper for the wiring
    -Canadian coal to smelt the material
    -Canadian fibre to crate the final product
    And Canadian political will to allow the shutdown of our manufacturing industries and allow China to have all those jobs...
    And the Canadian people for choosing the lower priced mass produced products, myself included in that one...
    #15
  16. Gingie

    Gingie Been here awhile

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    I would have thought a city/municpal police force, that recieves much of its budget from the taxes of the people who live there, would have bought locally.

    I am curious to see the decision analysis that led to this. I have on occassion worked with PWGSC, and very often in government contracts there are 'points' awarded for businesses that are based in Canada. Sometimes that means the department does not always get the best, or what they wanted, in order to support Canadian industry. It's not always the lowest bidder that wins, or the highest bidder that looses. Since all the bikes seem to be fairly close in capability, I wonder what the deciding factor was to go with the US dealer?
    #16
  17. Pongo

    Pongo Been here awhile

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    You really think that the officers chose a bike that they did not have the chance to ride and see the handling? This is not a sport tour bike that someone taped a light to, this thing was designed to be a cop bike, more then anything I bet the operational advantages of that and the handling and comfort for the kind of riding that cops do was the choice. And I support that choice.

    If the officers chose it, good for them. If some manager was bought off and got these for their bling. shame on him.
    But the last thing anyone should care about is are they bought local, unless all else is equal.
    #17
  18. Hockeygod

    Hockeygod Been here awhile

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    Thank you Maggot. I did quote a news article. However...

    I also owe Moe my apologies. he is right - I did not do my homework before posting my comment, so I stand before you guilty as charged. I ASSUMED the choice came down to price. A lesson I have taught others, but obviously (and somewhat hypocritically), have not learned well enough myself... when one ASSumes, they make an ASS of themselves.
    :asshat - ME!


    Moe, can you please enlighten us with the actual details on the decision to provide clarity to people like me who should not jump the gun and make ASSumptions that price is the first criteria in a choice like this? (No sarcasm here - I say this in all sincerity.) As someone who works in a local shop, you probably have greater insights on this deal than myself! :ear

    I do believe that the choice should be made to spend money to support our CDN dollars in Canada - all things being equal (or damn close to equal) including original cost, servicing, training, etc. Makes sense to me. Gingie and Pongo et al also have other good considerations into making the final choice. Lots of people out there are smarter than me!

    Sadly, like many posters on here, I too have come to realize that MOST large purchases (vehicles and motorcycles) and even accessories for said large purchases, seem to be far more expensive overall if purchased here in Canada rather than if one goes online or in person to the US. Why is that? Lots of reasons (ASSumptions?) have been posted on this site and others - the reason 'why' is not important to my point - but it is something I have become to take as a 'truth' more often than not; and this leads to my ASSumption (and original post) that this decision came down to price as a major criteria.

    And I am pretty sure Moe was referring to someone's else's comment concerning the shop where he works. I can't comment because I no longer live in Victoria, so no offense taken Moe!

    All the best gentlemen! :*sip* Back to the forum!
    #18
  19. triplenickel

    triplenickel Long timer

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    Tough crowd, damned if you do damned if you don't. Somebody will bitch for spending too much, somebody else would bitch for not shopping locally.

    It's the age of the internet and cross border shopping is reality, the Canadian dollar is strong it's time for Canadian business to get with it or get left behind the price differences are simply not justifiable 99% of the time. I just bought a boat, guess where it came from? $10k less than anything comparable in Western Canada all for 2 tanks of fuel and a days worth of travel.
    #19
  20. the kaz

    the kaz has become "FERAL"

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    I agree with ya , without seeing the orginal RFP there is really no way of knowing why the winning bid was chosen ?
    80% of my business comes from some level of Governement contracts and it is shocking as to how many points are awarded sometimes :eek1
    #20