Jump to content
TestPilot

Dealership Closing

Recommended Posts

TestPilot

Country Rode Motowerks, in Fairport, NY (a suburb of Rochester), announced today that they will be closing their doors soon. No exact date was given, but I expect it will be before the new year. That leaves just four BMW motorcycle dealerships in New York - one near Buffalo, one near Albany, one in Manhattan, and one on western Long Island. You would think a state with the population of New York could support more dealers.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
fatbob

Don't pine too bad. We have 0 BMW, Triumph or Guzzi dealers in the 120,000 square miles of Wyoming. Of course we have less people than any other state though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Skywagon

Dang....not good...will send you one...we have 4 here in Houston

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
szurszewski

There's one on long island? That would have been really helpful to know this summer...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RTinNC
Country Rode Motowerks, in Fairport, NY (a suburb of Rochester), announced today that they will be closing their doors soon. No exact date was given, but I expect it will be before the new year. That leaves just four BMW motorcycle dealerships in New York - one near Buffalo, one near Albany, one in Manhattan, and one on western Long Island. You would think a state with the population of New York could support more dealers.

 

That really is a shame and with the population along with some great riding in NY they should be able to support more. We are lucky here in the Southeast as we have 4 dealers all within about 130 miles of Charlotte. And all have pretty good reputations. At least you have one in Buffalo which is closer than some folks across the country.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Patallaire

The reason they gave for closing is that the owners are 76 years old, have been in it for 20 years and could not find a buyer! So if anyone has deep pockets this could be an opportunity of a lifetime!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GordonB

And here we are in So California with 8 dealers within 50 miles of each other, extend into San Diego and add 2 more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mike279

The few times I have been in the Fairport shop the people were very nice. They stocked a lot of clothing and overall service was great. Sorry to here no one is interested in owning the store. Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bud
And here we are in So California with 8 dealers within 50 miles of each other, extend into San Diego and add 2 more.

 

Yup, with the population of the state being >12% of total US population, it is no surprise that there are more dealers concentrated in CA.

 

California, by default of its population, controls much of what can be sold in the US. For instance, CARB rules against two stroke engines caused the demise of them in the US.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Patallaire

There is that, there is also that we have limited months to ride in the North East, discount rain, discount life events, and perhaps other hobby pursuits, and you have a rather limited riding season. In addition to the fact that much of the State is Harley country, also add inventory and clothing BMW mandates for their dealers, and you have a perfect storm for limited dealers to only the bigger cities with larger populations with strong cash flow and deep pockets to weather any downturns for a riding population that is asked to fork over north of $20,000 for the experience then add dealer services as well as depreciation to the mix . Understanding the geography of NY State helps as the bigger cities attract the core of the population. There is some great riding up here, it is a shame that a dealer can't really prosper and is always chasing it. The biggest Harley dealer in the area just closed one of it's locations, there is a downturn in the industry which doesn't help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bud

Good points Pat. That is one reason I was so surprised when we were in VT last summer that we stumbled on Franks BMW in Essex Junction.

 

Old style dealership. I bought a shirt from them because they were so friendly and enjoyed talking bikes. Not sure how they continue to stay in business but when asked they said they were doing fine.

 

http://www.franksmotorcyclesales.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
realshelby

BMW dealers don't sell ATV's ( known as "4 wheelers" back in my day!). BMW motorcycle dealers might be able to survive on their own, or not, but most of the Japanese dealers need more than motorcycle business to survive.

 

I can tell you for a fact that many Motorcycle dealers would be out of business if they relied on motorcycle sales and repair only for income. ATV's, Jet Ski's, kept many in business. It costs a LOT of money to operate a dealership. Costs for training and meeting Dealer facility standards would make many here swallow very hard.......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
CruisinCruzan

Learned something from this thread, I wasn't aware that a dealer had opened in the Buffalo area. I'll have to check it out next spring

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
TestPilot
Learned something from this thread, I wasn't aware that a dealer had opened in the Buffalo area. I'll have to check it out next spring

 

Towne BMW. holder of the BMW auto franchise, became a motorcycle dealer earlier this year. The dealership is still a work in progress, as Towne is rebuilding their showroom and service area to accommodate both cars and motorcycles.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Red

The BMW dealer had his franchise yanked when he refused to quit selling snowmobiles. What werks in Bavaria may not work in North America.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bud
And here we are in So California with 8 dealers within 50 miles of each other, extend into San Diego and add 2 more.

 

Yup, with the population of the state being >12% of total US population, it is no surprise that there are more dealers concentrated in CA.

 

California, by default of its population, controls much of what can be sold in the US. For instance, CARB rules against two stroke engines caused the demise of them in the US.

 

 

 

From an article in

 

Bloomburg

 

"Ting isn't the first official from the state with the largest market for new vehicle sales in the U.S. to openly consider a ban on internal-combustion engines. The topic has been discussed at the California Air Resources Board, the state's powerful air quality regulator, after Governor Jerry Brown showed interest in similar moves by other countries, including China."

 

I won't live long enough to see this come into effect, if, in fact, the bill gets passed. :old:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Paul De

The BMW dealership here in Milwaukee changed hands from an multi brand shop owner (Honda,BMW,Triumph). This dealer had BMW going back to the 1960's and did a good job supporting BMW sold a lot of them. In fact here in SE Wisconsin BMW motorcycles are over represented based on national market share numbers. But it wasn't enough. The first step was BMW forced the dealer to put BMW into its own space which fortunately there was in an available building one block from their main shop building. Unfortunately, as a stand alone it couldn't survive and they sold BMW bundled with their Triumph franchises to a family with multiple auto dealerships (none sold BMW cars). The new ownership set up a new location where they sell BMW, Triumph and Zero. It is run a lot more like a car dealership which is neither good or bad, just different. But in reality one of the family members has a love for motorcycles and I suspect the cycle dealership is able to survive only by the fact that the ownership has significant income coming from the automobile part of their businesses. Prices went up some, particularly for parts, and there is very little in third party accessories on display, but I appreciate having a local dealer and buy my OEM stuff from them.

 

What I am expecting is that BMW may, by design or unintended consequences, force the motorcycles under BMW auto dealer roofs as you see in the rest of the world. I can see the day coming that an old time biker like me showing up in greased up jeans and a t-shirt chasing a part is made to go through the back door so as to not frighten the more posh car drivers waiting for their Bimmer to be serviced!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bud

Gateway BMW in St. Louis is stand alone and seems to be doing very well. Their service bays are full, offer to ride any bike whenever I show up to buy parts. Staff is friendly and knowledgeable. Lots of accessories. Have a couple of Open House events during the year. Have a good relationship with the local BMW MOA club. Lots of used inventory.

 

Are they making much money? Who can tell.

 

But it's a pleasure to visit and talk motorcycles, sit on new models, dream a little and feel like they are happy to see all of their customers. It's not a palace by any means. In a small strip with a pest control business on the other end.

 

Another small place is GrassRoots in Cape Girardeau, MO. They too seem to be doing well from a pretty small location.

 

Happy to have more than one choice available here in the Midwurst. :grin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mrzoom

The stand alone BMW dealer here in Tulsa closed due to retirement of owner. They were only a BMW dealer for a few years and were a Big Dog shop before.

The Honda, Indian, Polaris, used Harley and probly farm machinery store bought them.

Now the BMW bikes and accessories are shoved in a corner of the Indian area. I don't know what plans they have but the mothership

will not be happy with the way the BMWs are displayed as of now. Time will tell if BMW remains there.

The only other BMW shop in the state is in OKC and is a multi line store.

Luckily I am only a 100 miles from Bentonville and a real nice old time shop. Reminds me of the Kawasaki shop I part timed at in the 70's.

Nice selection of bikes parts and gear. They too have had differences with the official BMW policy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RTinNC
Gateway BMW in St. Louis is stand alone and seems to be doing very well. Their service bays are full, offer to ride any bike whenever I show up to buy parts. Staff is friendly and knowledgeable. Lots of accessories. Have a couple of Open House events during the year. Have a good relationship with the local BMW MOA club. Lots of used inventory.

 

Are they making much money? Who can tell.

 

But it's a pleasure to visit and talk motorcycles, sit on new models, dream a little and feel like they are happy to see all of their customers. It's not a palace by any means. In a small strip with a pest control business on the other end.

 

Another small place is GrassRoots in Cape Girardeau, MO. They too seem to be doing well from a pretty small location.

 

Happy to have more than one choice available here in the Midwurst. :grin:

 

Most folks in the motorcycle industry are not in it for the money but rather because it is their passion. Hence the reason I always do my best to support my local dealer who luckily is really great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
szurszewski

 

I can see the day coming that an old time biker like me showing up in greased up jeans and a t-shirt chasing a part is made to go through the back door so as to not frighten the more posh car drivers waiting for their Bimmer to be serviced!

 

This is actually great fun at the car dealers - walking in with a broken rusty greasy 20 year old suspension part, in my grimy shop clothes, through the front door, pausing to grab an espresso before plunking the bit down on the parts counter...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Paul De

This is actually great fun at the car dealers - walking in with a broken rusty greasy 20 year old suspension part, in my grimy shop clothes, through the front door, pausing to grab an espresso before plunking the bit down on the parts counter...

 

Haha; As long as you get good service and treated well its all OK.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
longjohn
And here we are in So California with 8 dealers within 50 miles of each other, extend into San Diego and add 2 more.

But none in the LA basin. Well, some might include LB BMW, but I wouldn't. From Santa Monica to Torrance to Norwalk to Downtown, there is NOT ONE!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lone_RT_rider
Prices went up some, particularly for parts, and there is very little in third party accessories on display, but I appreciate having a local dealer and buy my OEM stuff from them.

 

Since I'm new to the MKE area, I will ask my first (and never my last) stupid question. Are you talking about Schlossmann's?

 

Shawn

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BrianM

There are 3 BMW motorcycle dealers in Wisconsin, Milwaukee (Schlossmann), Beaver Dam (Mischler), and Green Bay (Tytlers).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Paul De

Hi Shawn,

 

Yes, Schlossmann has the BMW motorcycle dealership in Milwaukee.

 

And happy to have 3 dealerships in Wisconsin which is rather amazing given the population for the entire state is a little under 6 million people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lone_RT_rider
Hi Shawn,

 

Yes, Schlossmann has the BMW motorcycle dealership in Milwaukee.

 

And happy to have 3 dealerships in Wisconsin which is rather amazing given the population for the entire state is a little under 6 million people.

 

I've been in there a few times. They always seem very easy to deal with and want to help. I'm glad to have one so close to home in Germantown.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1two

Louisville Ky has a BMW/Harley marriage then its Indy or Nashville always hope they stay around.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Patallaire

They who do not want to make money because they are in it for their passion, never watch Mr. Wonderful on Shark Tank. At the end of the day, it is always about the money whenever an investment is made.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RTinNC
They who do not want to make money because they are in it for their passion, never watch Mr. Wonderful on Shark Tank. At the end of the day, it is always about the money whenever an investment is made.

 

While all dealers want to "make money" I believe they are driven by their passion for the sport. Most all of the folks at my local dealer could probably earn more $$ in other industries but chose to work in he motorcycle industry because it is what they love. In addition in my dealer and I am sure others, the folks there are like a family and when you walk in you can just tell they love what they do. There is a very positive energy there. I am very happy they do what they do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Paul De
They who do not want to make money because they are in it for their passion, never watch Mr. Wonderful on Shark Tank. At the end of the day, it is always about the money whenever an investment is made.

 

Agreed, but my point was if it was only about $$ then Schlossmann would have better off opening another car dealership. Motorcycle dealerships in these parts have survived by selling something else, like ATVs or snowmobiles and yard equipment. In this case, their motorcycle only shop is likely stabilized by the more consistent cash flow of the auto dealerships in the off months.

 

 

Louisville Ky has a BMW/Harley marriage then its Indy or Nashville always hope they stay around.

That is like Mischler's they sell both HD and BMW at the same location. It isn't the case at Mischlers as those guys were all in on motorcycles from childhood on. But I wondered how other HD/BMW shops work out as I saw how terrible Buell was supported by most of the HD dealers. I typically could tell those guys more about their Buell models than they could...knowledge about adjustable suspension, not so much, but they knew how you could chrome it!

Edited by Paul De

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dba
Gateway BMW in St. Louis is stand alone and seems to be doing very well. Their service bays are full, offer to ride any bike whenever I show up to buy parts. Staff is friendly and knowledgeable. Lots of accessories. Have a couple of Open House events during the year. Have a good relationship with the local BMW MOA club. Lots of used inventory.

 

Are they making much money? Who can tell.

 

But it's a pleasure to visit and talk motorcycles, sit on new models, dream a little and feel like they are happy to see all of their customers. It's not a palace by any means. In a small strip with a pest control business on the other end.

 

Another small place is GrassRoots in Cape Girardeau, MO. They too seem to be doing well from a pretty small location.

 

Happy to have more than one choice available here in the Midwurst. :grin:

 

Was at both of those dealerships last summer as I rode the Great River Road from the headwaters in MN all the way down to NOLA. Stopped at Gateway just for a T-shirt and stayed talking for 90 minutes. The guy even threw in some stickers and key fobs. Had a service done at Grass Roots and the staff was equally amazing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RTinNC
Gateway BMW in St. Louis is stand alone and seems to be doing very well. Their service bays are full, offer to ride any bike whenever I show up to buy parts. Staff is friendly and knowledgeable. Lots of accessories. Have a couple of Open House events during the year. Have a good relationship with the local BMW MOA club. Lots of used inventory.

 

Are they making much money? Who can tell.

 

But it's a pleasure to visit and talk motorcycles, sit on new models, dream a little and feel like they are happy to see all of their customers. It's not a palace by any means. In a small strip with a pest control business on the other end.

 

Another small place is GrassRoots in Cape Girardeau, MO. They too seem to be doing well from a pretty small location.

 

Happy to have more than one choice available here in the Midwurst. :grin:

 

Was at both of those dealerships last summer as I rode the Great River Road from the headwaters in MN all the way down to NOLA. Stopped at Gateway just for a T-shirt and stayed talking for 90 minutes. The guy even threw in some stickers and key fobs. Had a service done at Grass Roots and the staff was equally amazing.

 

I stopped at Grass Roots on my way to Salt Lake last July for the MOA Rally. Nice guys and a cool location right on the river. And non-ethanol premium gas just up the street! Did not make it to Gateway but maybe next year.

IMG_2234-L.jpg

 

IMG_2237-L.jpg

Edited by RTinNC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Paul De
Gateway BMW in St. Louis is stand alone and seems to be doing very well. Their service bays are full, offer to ride any bike whenever I show up to buy parts. Staff is friendly and knowledgeable. Lots of accessories. Have a couple of Open House events during the year. Have a good relationship with the local BMW MOA club. Lots of used inventory.

 

Are they making much money? Who can tell.

 

But it's a pleasure to visit and talk motorcycles, sit on new models, dream a little and feel like they are happy to see all of their customers. It's not a palace by any means. In a small strip with a pest control business on the other end.

 

Another small place is GrassRoots in Cape Girardeau, MO. They too seem to be doing well from a pretty small location.

 

Happy to have more than one choice available here in the Midwurst. :grin:

 

Was at both of those dealerships last summer as I rode the Great River Road from the headwaters in MN all the way down to NOLA. Stopped at Gateway just for a T-shirt and stayed talking for 90 minutes. The guy even threw in some stickers and key fobs. Had a service done at Grass Roots and the staff was equally amazing.

 

 

That warms my heart to see MC only dealers making it work. I appreciate a business that can focus on a specific customer base as they just can get so much deeper into what that base wants. Maybe our winters here are just enough longer that it makes this type of business model difficult to sustain or, maybe spending habits in these parts play a roll...Folks in Wisconsin can be very miserly (to be polite). I really hope that the in the years ahead that going to the BMW dealer does not mean you are looking at cars and bikes under one roof. With profitability clearly with the cars I suspect you'll find he motorcycles stuffed into a dark corner with no knowledgeable staff to support the bikes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cal'sgone

Just a thought on BMW repairs. Short story first, ask other bike shops if their mechanic has BMW experience, from a previous work location. I service my Yamaha majesty at a dealer I really like. When my BMW happened, I called to ask about service and found out my guy had been 12 years with BMW and certified. There are other mechanics that may be certified, and willing, plus have the tools to do the work. Another source is a referral from a BMW owner who has a local independent mech. who prefers to work on local bikes. So a dealer is not the only answer, but needs to be researched to find a good match, personality and prices. Below is a bit more on my new (to me) BMW.

 

Before deciding on a pristine one owner '97 BMW r1100 RS - abs -- just has 35,400 miles, I wanted to know if there was service locally. What I found was reassuring, so I'm just waiting for the right time to get and ride it home. Only 140 miles out, but the owner is having a complete service for me at his expense, with his local guy.. The dealer is CLOSED the month of January, so I get it some time mid Feb. Shortly I would ride it to the shop I like, and see what they would offer as a service arrangement. I loved my Triumph 955i, but no longer have a service guy locally, so it went to a buddy who has wanted it for years. I can't do much service anymore, darn it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Indy Dave

 

I can see the day coming that an old time biker like me showing up in greased up jeans and a t-shirt chasing a part is made to go through the back door so as to not frighten the more posh car drivers waiting for their Bimmer to be serviced!

 

This is actually great fun at the car dealers - walking in with a broken rusty greasy 20 year old suspension part, in my grimy shop clothes, through the front door, pausing to grab an espresso before plunking the bit down on the parts counter...

 

Not so fast . . . . Many / most - if not all BMW auto dealerships no longer work on the older car models. Fortunately there's a strong independent Euro import service network to provide service. BUt even some of them won't work on the older cars. Given the lower volume of bikes, if BMW bikes and auto dealerships merge - it's difficult to see this disturbing service trend reversing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
szurszewski

 

I can see the day coming that an old time biker like me showing up in greased up jeans and a t-shirt chasing a part is made to go through the back door so as to not frighten the more posh car drivers waiting for their Bimmer to be serviced!

 

This is actually great fun at the car dealers - walking in with a broken rusty greasy 20 year old suspension part, in my grimy shop clothes, through the front door, pausing to grab an espresso before plunking the bit down on the parts counter...

 

Not so fast . . . . Many / most - if not all BMW auto dealerships no longer work on the older car models. Fortunately there's a strong independent Euro import service network to provide service. BUt even some of them won't work on the older cars. Given the lower volume of bikes, if BMW bikes and auto dealerships merge - it's difficult to see this disturbing service trend reversing.

 

 

...but both the quoted comments are about buying parts. We already know they don't want to actually work on our bikes/cars ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×