trails end BMW

Discussion in 'Alaska' started by vtbob, Jul 11, 2012.

  1. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil Supporter

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    Well... I was riding in Atlanta just a few days ago (yes, from Alaska) and would rather wait a few in Fairbanks than try to just find a dealer in Atlanta! :eek1 The ratio of motorcycles to cars and truck in Atlanta is infinitesimal compared to that ratio in Fairbanks (or Anchorage).

    Not to sound argumentative - but unless you have operated a motorcycle service shop in Alaska - any city - you really don't have a clue. It's an entirely different ballgame.
    #41
  2. scooteraug02

    scooteraug02 Dog Rancher

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    Not trying to argue but if 85% of ones business comes in 3 months of the year I would expect him to be open more hours and not turn preplanned customers away. Just a potential customer's point of view.

    There is a guy in Fairbanks selling tires and doing other service. He is open 24 hours a day May thru Sept making good money. I guess he doesn't know what he is doing.

    It's good idea to step on the other side of the counter once in a while and evaluate your operation.

    I went to the Suzuki shop on Van Horn for some stuff. My gps showed they were near Lathrop St. I asked if they were near Lathrop. Nope never heard of it. When I left the shop the first big street with a huge sign was Lathrop St. half a block away, running a business in Fairbanks!
    #42
  3. Ullr

    Ullr C+ Racing

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    How the hell can anybody ride their motorcycle all the way to Alaska and then have to ask directions when they're looking at their fucking GPS?
    #43
  4. KHud

    KHud Survivor Supporter

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    You are assuming that work is only done during the posted open hours. I can assure you that Dimitrios, Nick and the rest of the service guys work many nights and their days off trying to keep riders on the road. As Alcan Rider said, you do not know what you are talking about.
    #44
  5. Cubdriver

    Cubdriver Stampede Swimmer

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    :rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl

    Nobody ever does THAT on a KLR or a DR!

    New concept. Open a Motorcycle Shop. Locals only. Then the loyal year rounders do not have to get bumped out by all the travellers in the summer, and we don't have to spend time defending our local service center from the malcontents who think Alaska is some kind of cake walk when they come here.
    #45
  6. flybynitetours

    flybynitetours Been here awhile

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    This has been an interesting thread, it has touched on a variety of issues that are generally ignored. Most people here have travelled , some to obscure places. In general. we are not doing the locals any favors by going there unless we act like we (and they) would like to be treated.

    If you are from out of town, and under a time crunch I suggest you offer the tech at least twice what the standard hourly is to move up the line of customers in front of you. That got my problem fixed and me down the road.

    My suggestion to Trails End is to institutionalize it and have it times 2.5 (of normal hourly) on their fee schedule. rw:deal
    #46
  7. ThatGuy

    ThatGuy Brownie

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    Or perhaps learn to wrench on our bikes. I'm not talking anything heavy but oil changes and services for the most part can be done on your own.
    #47
  8. scooteraug02

    scooteraug02 Dog Rancher

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    Easy, typed in the address and the GPS came up with two street names that didn't exactly match the address listed in the phone book. So I called the shop to confirm. They never heard of the closest street to their shop that the GPS showed.

    What would you do?

    I had about 9 days experience using the GPS at that point. I know the GPS is perfect and never leads you astray.
    #48
  9. sieg

    sieg Wearing out tires......2 at a time, day after day. Supporter

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    Hmmmmmmmmmm.... You must not use a GPS:rofl<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    #49
  10. oclv454

    oclv454 Been here awhile

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    I was at Trails End in mid August and did not have a good experience. I see the manager is monitoring this thread and I am willing to talk to him about it. Just send me a PM with your phone number on it, and I will contact you and discuss.
    #50
  11. 250senuf

    250senuf Long timer

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    A note for those unfamiliar with GPS technology:

    The quote above should have had a strong sarcasm alert attached to it. :wink:
    #51
  12. TheSeeker

    TheSeeker Slingin' Steel

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    I look forward to our discussion. I sincerely desire to grow a better business and do take constructive criticism to heart. Though I am not the General Manager of our business, my suggestions are taken into account. As an avid Adventure Motorcycle Tourist myself, I have been on both sides of the counter and understand the challenges that face both sides.

    I think this thread can be an important dialogue for all to learn and grow from.

    -Justin
    #52
  13. TheSeeker

    TheSeeker Slingin' Steel

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    I'd like to respond to your comments... Just by being open on Mondays we are open more than any of our competition in Fairbanks. Also most powersports businesses are closed on Monday. Our employees deserve one day off per week. Alaska summers are short and Alaskans love to recreate as well as work. We cherish our summer free time as it is in short supply. Oh and by the way, we like to ride too. As far as the business hours... 9am - 6pm Monday - Saturday... Those are the hours we entertain tourists and locals alike in our building. Rarely do the Service Writers, Technicians and even Sales geeks like myself get out of the shop before 8-9 pm during the summer and we're back at it at 7:30am. Just because you can't come in and ask questions doesn't mean we aren't here busting our behinds to make sure people can get back out on the road!

    Will we ever reach 100% satisfaction in the Service Department? Probably not. Do we try our best everyday? YES.

    Are we listening and having closed door discussions regarding the feedback we receive? Absolutely. We always want to create a better business because in the long run it will keep us fed and warm when none of you Lesser 48'ers care to visit our lovely state.

    You also have the correct website: www.outpostalaska.com and the correct address: 1450 Karen Way, Fairbanks, AK 99709 GPS Coordinates: 64.83623* N -147.83067* W (This is from my iPhone, which may be off slightly due to security constraints) Phone: 1-800-656-3265

    Outpost Alaska is our parent company. We took over Trail's End BMW only a few years back. We are currently working through branding and store name issues since the merger. George Rahn created a legacy with Trail's End BMW in Alaska. We do not wish to change names at this point because of this incredible past built by an incredible Alaskan.

    As for your last question: Yes I have ridden to the Lower 48 from Fairbanks. (I've also ridden to the bottom of South America over a 16 month period of time through 16 different countries on a KTM 950 ADV. I've been on the customer side of the counter plenty. :rofl:rofl

    Cheers,

    Justin :freaky
    #53
  14. scooteraug02

    scooteraug02 Dog Rancher

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    Good response. Sounds like you are paying attention and making an effort.
    #54
  15. crash!!!

    crash!!! Adventurer

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    After spending my summer in Fairbanks and getting to know The Seeker, I can say he is a true ambassador for our sport and rides harder and better than 99% of the arm chair critics. We did some gnarly riding and he taught me and dakar69 how to be better riders in technical terrain. He wants to promote our sport in a positive way. Business is done different in Alaska and until you have lived there, I don't believe you will understand the difficulties of catering to those that live outside, and visit Alaska.

    Crash!!!
    #55
  16. scooteraug02

    scooteraug02 Dog Rancher

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    What does this mean?

    You make your money from tourists in the summer. Tourists are people from around the world who have money to buy the products and services you offer.
    #56
  17. TPD

    TPD Serious Dreamer

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    Interesting thread, lots of emotions :clap
    Some comments from my end, from far away Florida who loves AK and
    all the riding up there.

    My Trails End story:
    Stopped at Trails End end of July 2009 for a quick oil change. With a Florida decal definitely not a local :wink: Tried to get a window of good weather up to Prudhoe as promised by the local weather channel (it was)
    and asked if I can do a quick oil change, would do it myself. Service at Trails End had a lot of work at this time and said I need to wait. They were hesitant that I drop the oil in a pan in the parking lot, which I understood. Proposed to take off mud guard and everything of the 1150GSA so they only have to unscrew the drop screw and oil filter. They okayed and I was back on the road in 35min. I was happy and can only recommend Trails End.

    Prices:
    Don't know why people complain about the prices up North, i.e North of Rt 16, B.C. as Meridian. Yes, it is more pricey but as stated, one has to make a living in Alaska, Yukon. It is 3 months summer and then 9 months low business of which are 3 months dark! Also, few realizes that most of the stuff has to be trucked, shipped up there along these roads they ride for leisure. Strange, complete disconnection in the brain I guess. So it takes different measures and way of business than in SFO or ATL. I bed most of them would go bunkers in the winter in AK.
    I am tremendously happy that there are shops like Trails End, TMS Anchorage, Barbs Leather and the other fine establishments up there who can help me to ride. Of course for that reason I don't carry spare tires with me coming from Florida and buy new tires always up there, pay for service, doing my share so these guys can stay in business just in case I really need them. Everyone I met during the past years up there was extremely helpful but also tough.

    Oil change:
    Needed an oil change last month while riding through Whitehorse, YT. Honda Yukon are great guys. Asked the same question, can I drop oil in the lot, would purchase oil and also a new rear tire. They were hesitant and pointed to a large spot in the parking lot: A Beemer guy asked the same a week ago and that he did it a 100 times and then he spilled about half of the oil. He left and did not even pay for the clean up. This is another danger for us out-of-state LDRs, these patrons on new bikes who do not know anything but brag a lot. Understandably are these dealers in prime travel spots like Whitehorse or Fairbanks getting weary of these special customers and adjust their way of business to a lot of drifters as we call them in Florida :huh.

    Would be interested in knowing where in Fairbanks I can perform oil change myself. Would of course buy the oil at that facility or pay for it. Oil change should really not take time from repairs for the needy at a Dealer but doing it in the parking lot of shops has become more and more restricted in my experience. But coming from Florida I am always at 6,000 miles somewhere in YT, AK and is always on the list.

    GPS: Never fails :clap, cannot believe this statement. The digitized maps in these device always have many errors, wrongly entered addresses and so on.
    That is why these maps need to be updated every year.
    Common and good orientation sense, GPS and a backup map is my recipe. And the DoD can always shut off the GPS signal for Mr. and Mrs. Consumer if they want or changing accuracy way above of a couple blocks. GPS is still courtesy of the Defense Department.
    #57
  18. scooteraug02

    scooteraug02 Dog Rancher

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    We changed our oil in the Walmart parking lot. Recycled the oil at their service center. We bought an oil pan for the event and had to toss it,$2.00. We made sure not to make a mess and cleaned up anything that spilled.

    Problem, two GSAs, 8 quarts. Bought a two 5 quart Mobil 1 containers as we needed oil for the other 800GS too. Drained the oil in the first GSA and it almost filled the drain pan. Put almost 4 quarts back in but that left one good quart in the 5 quart container and no place to put the used oil to drain the other bike. Trash can surfing saved the day.

    The auto service manager seemed like he might not mind us changing our oil there. We didn't ask, just did it out of the way and didn't make a mess.

    As far as doing it in the dealer's lot, everyone seems to be charging "shop supply fee". Why not buy a big garage oil tray and a oil pan and say yes you can change your oil here for $5 or $10 shop supply fee. More if you make a mess.

    This comment:
    prompted this comment from me.

    We got to the point my friend and I would ask where does yours say to go?

    #58
  19. scooteraug02

    scooteraug02 Dog Rancher

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    Okay I think I figured it out. We come to AK from the lower 48 and it is a BIG deal for us. It is far far from home and any problem with the machine may be big $$$ or possibly end of the trip. So we, everyone not from AK, want immediate service because it is a big deal to us.

    You locals live up there year round. You do your best but our emergencies are not going to run your every day. I understand now. You do your best but it doesn't satisfy everyone.

    I think that is what you guys mean about doing business in Alaska. I see your point and it makes sense.
    #59
  20. TPD

    TPD Serious Dreamer

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    Good point and noted for my next trip up, thank you. Never thought about Walmart normally use an Advanced Autoparts lower 48. Don't want to start the Oil thread again but some of them store the V-Twin Mobil. Probably too much thinking to get the right oil type close by. I am using the K&N oil filters so don't need the oil filter tool, just a 17 wrench.

    GPSMAP 60 points to the fun stuff, i.e gravel...the purchased Garmin maps often get not as detailed up North so have to swap Topo's in and out to get these interesting back roads. Just I had numerous occurrences where the GPS routing was dead wrong. And I am using GPS devices since they first became available to consumers...
    #60