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I am an owner of my second Bergman 400.When I wanted repair parts I discovered that most anything except oils and filters required an order. They carry very little inventory.
When I at first needed Repairs I discovered the work was being done by Teenagers without any type certification, who could not answer any Basic technical questions I ask/.
I quickly became my own repair technician.
Lately I became interested in moving up to a 650. I read all that is available on BUSA then called seven (7) dealers within a 75 mile radius of my home. And ask for details and description of the 2015 and or modification from the 2014. They told me to Look at the Specification sheet and replied "Suzuki does not give us that info" REALLY !!
Getting little info from a phone call, I sent an E Mail to the same 7 dealers, telling them I was interested , if they had a left over 2014 or had a 2015 on the floor and ask them to send me an OTD Price. I have not received a reply from any,. Not even a request to drop by for a discussion.
While this might reflect more onto the individual Dealer, it surely lowers the overall view of the Suzuki Dealer Network
I wonder if similar instances occur on Suzuki Products other than the Scooter Line?
 

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Good rant, I agree...I can assure you they won't be interested in your business unless you're buying one that they want to get rid of. When I bought mine at the Suzuki dealership, it was used but about three guys had a big grin on their face as I was looking it over and test riding. I asked him with a smile, what's so funny men? One said: nothing brother...

For some reason our bikes bring stupidity out in dealerships. They also like to hire unqualified fresh out of college young people with little experience that they can pay peanuts to. That is not the case for all, but that is the case for many. You have to have a scooter mechanic who is very experienced in removing all the plastic covering, and that is not what they like to do as a general tech.

Believe me I wouldn't let one of their monkeys, monkey with my bike!.
 

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I am an owner of my second Bergman 400.When I wanted repair parts I discovered that most anything except oils and filters required an order. They carry very little inventory.
When I at first needed Repairs I discovered the work was being done by Teenagers without any type certification, who could not answer any Basic technical questions I ask/.
I quickly became my own repair technician.
Lately I became interested in moving up to a 650. I read all that is available on BUSA then called seven (7) dealers within a 75 mile radius of my home. And ask for details and description of the 2015 and or modification from the 2014. They told me to Look at the Specification sheet and replied "Suzuki does not give us that info" REALLY !!
Getting little info from a phone call, I sent an E Mail to the same 7 dealers, telling them I was interested , if they had a left over 2014 or had a 2015 on the floor and ask them to send me an OTD Price. I have not received a reply from any,. Not even a request to drop by for a discussion.
While this might reflect more onto the individual Dealer, it surely lowers the overall view of the Suzuki Dealer Network
I wonder if similar instances occur on Suzuki Products other than the Scooter Line?
I agree. I too want a 2015 Burgman 650, but find dealers woefully disinterested, etc. Very disheartening, to say the least!
 

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At least you still have a Suzuki dealer. The one here was one that got axed in the downsizing. If I want to go to a Suzuki shop I have to go 200 miles.
 

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My dealer is miles away. I found them very knowledgeable and willing to talk about anything I asked of them. My initial contact was by e-mail and I received a reply the next day. So I am thinking it is the individual dealers that are either in the know or not.
 

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Now I've just bought my Burgie - the first Suziki ever owned, it's a 400k8 that I look forward to riding, but now I read of appalling service from decreasing numbers of dealerships... I now worry that I could have bought the wrong bike, I'm more used to Classic British bikes where spares and service is second to none especially with my 1952 Sunbeam.

What's with these thread contributors who say the Burgman is great? Doesn't sound great to me.


Jim
 

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The dealership here in Saint Augustine FL does not stock any 650s, and has just one new '400--reason, they do not sell. Of course NE Florida is one of the "big iron" capitals in the US.

I cannot speak to dealer repair competency recent or ever; as i have never paid anyone to repair any bike I have ever owned...
 

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Jim like most things people are more vocal when they have complaints than they are when things are going smoothly. We have a good amount of Burgmans in the Meetup group that I ride with. I've never heard anyone complain about finding a new Burgman or having the dealer order parts for them here. It's best if you go to your local dealer/dealers and have a chat with them and see how you feel about them yourself. ;)
 

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Not long ago I was researching for a specialty website for the Burgman models. I finally got to someone in marketing at Suzuki USA in Los Angeles. They never returned my call. I know that some sales stats are available for UK/Europe, but here in US there is ZIP! We all know the Burgy is "misunderstood", but the complete lack of basic sales & marketing attention makes one wonder.
 

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For the most part, I think motorcycle service centers are just shitty businesses. There is just something endemic to the business that makes it a Center of Excellence for Shitty Customer Service. Maybe it is the nature of the business - maybe it's just the nature of the people that tend to be attracted to the business.

I'm not taking about high prices either. I'm talking about basic customer service issues, such as being polite on the phone, calling people back in a reasonable time period, providing accurate quotes, knowing what they are talking about, taking appointments and honoring those appointments, getting work done in a timely fashion, etc. For the most part, there is no real excuse to operate at the level of performance in these areas that most places seem to be comfortable with.

Doctors offices are the same way. It is routine to have an appointment scheduled at time X, and be kept waiting well past X (even up to an hour), with no explanation at all - as if your time is completely without any value.
 

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First off, let me state that what I'm saying are my opinion, formed from observations I've made about motorcycle businesses over the years. I've spent a fair amount of time in motorcycle dealerships, although up until last year I had concentrated my buying efforts in the used market. I ended up buying two new motorcycles last year, mostly because I found the motorcycles I wanted at the price I wanted at that time.

Motorcycle sales in the US are based on the reality that motorcycles (and ATV's, Side by Sides, Snowmobiles and PWC's) are hobby items. They're not life necessities for most people, so the profit margins tend to be small for the industry as a whole. Because of that, most dealerships will have very rapid turnover in the sales department, meaning that the vast majority of sales people aren't riders, and often have very little knowledge of the product they're selling. On top of that, the lean years in the business have meant a lot of people who could be good motorcycle sales persons have had to make the decision to move on to different fields - no sales, no salary. Besides, given the awesome power of the internet we all have so much information at our finger tips about pricing. And that makes the sales side even more difficult.

The other two parts of a dealership, service and parts, are often the actual profit centers. Especially when sales are slow. And there, you want to have minimum cost to maximize the profit side. That means two things; hiring the lowest cost employees you can find and having as little unsold inventory on hand as possible. Most dealerships will hire youngsters straight out of MMI or another training program, work them hard, and then replace them when they move on to other (more lucrative) fields. As far as parts are concerned, a dealership will wait to order parts until they have a large enough order to qualify for the lowest shipping cost (per part). That's why there are times you order a part and you wait and wait to get it. Hint: never order motorcycle parts from a dealer during winter if you live somewhere there is snow on the ground. Your part order could wait for weeks until the dealership has built up a large enough order to qualify for the low shipping cost.

All this means that there are tremendous downward pressures on dealerships to minimize costs. Even still, the majority of shops do not make 'big bucks', and the owners of small to medium sized outfits are often in it for a love of bikes. Back in the old days, most of the shops were family owned, and were often in it so they or their kids could race. That meant may were closed on the weekends, and they were able to make ends meet by having family members work there.

It would be nice if motorcycle dealerships had the economies of scale of automobile dealers, but that just isn't the case. My advice is always to use the dealerships for what you need them for (new vehicles, used vehicles you want some recourse with, and parts), and go to a good independent mechanic for maintenance and repairs. A shop that just does work and doesn't sell bikes or parts will always do a better job, IMHO, because that is their bread and butter; if they screw up, they lose business. Otherwise, you as the consumer need to empower yourself so you know what you want, and what you should pay for it.
 

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Good comments - thanks for taking the time to post them.

I mostly agree with what you said - except - if an "independent mechanic" can make money by just working on bikes, and do a good job, and have good customer service, there is no reason a dealer can't do ALL of that, in addition to selling bikes. Given that "parts & sales" are the profit center, it makes sense to protect that profit center by offering excellent service - just like the independent places do.

As for sales...yeah, I don't expect sales people to know ANYTHING. You're on your own there. Research on-line.
 

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Good comments - thanks for taking the time to post them.

I mostly agree with what you said - except - if an "independent mechanic" can make money by just working on bikes, and do a good job, and have good customer service, there is no reason a dealer can't do ALL of that, in addition to selling bikes. Given that "parts & sales" are the profit center, it makes sense to protect that profit center by offering excellent service - just like the independent places do.

As for sales...yeah, I don't expect sales people to know ANYTHING. You're on your own there. Research on-line.
My experience may be local. I prefer to do my own work, but occasionally I don't have time. The independent repair shop I go to specializes in race bike set-ups for the local club racers, so he's very busy at the beginning of race season. I understand that and try to schedule anything he'll do for other parts of the year. But he does good work - and charges a fair price for that work. Which may be why the dealers get more customers; they charge a lower price because they can. The 18 year-old MMI graduate is getting paid just over minimum wage, so they can undercut the price of an experience tech.

It seems like everyone wants good work, done quickly, and at a low price. I think you can get two of the three, but finding them all is very difficult.
 

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Good comments - thanks for taking the time to post them.

I mostly agree with what you said - except - if an "independent mechanic" can make money by just working on bikes, and do a good job, and have good customer service, there is no reason a dealer can't do ALL of that, in addition to selling bikes. Given that "parts & sales" are the profit center, it makes sense to protect that profit center by offering excellent service - just like the independent places do.

As for sales...yeah, I don't expect sales people to know ANYTHING. You're on your own there. Research on-line.
Two things a dealer has that the "indy" does not are franchise costs and the cost of new bike inventory. The latter, whether "floor planned" or self-financed can be considerable.

As to the quality of repair work done by dealerships (or indy's for that matter) I have no direct knowledge of same; as in nearly 60 years of riding two-wheeled "things" I have never availed myself of their services--I have yet to find any motorbike repair or service I could not do myself.

There for my only knowledge of the industry is based on anecdotal reports from acquaintances and the forums; very few of these represent glowing recommendations for dealer "X". Independents generally fair better but that is wobbly as well...
 

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Cliffy, you should get the new 400 -- possibly coming 2016. Exclusively with ABS! :D
 

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Cliffy, you should get the new 400 -- possibly coming 2016. Exclusively with ABS! :D
Why?

It is looking more and more as though my '03 will outlive my physical ability to ride; and I do not need ABS as I know how to properly brake a bike (or car forthat matter).

Then there is that one of the things I would change if I had life to do over would be to never buy a new vehicle--quickest way there is to lose 1000's of $$. Buy used, 2 to 3 years old low mileage; been doing that for 35 years now...
 

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Only kidding. I want you to get the ABS so that i may spy on how to troubleshoot it. :) accidentally let air in the system when changing the fluid, and now guessing if ABS retained some after the main line was bled.
 

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I do not have a shop manual for the ABS equipped Burgmans; Often there are very specific bleeding instructions for ABS, sometimes involving activation of the ABS "pump".

Perhaps someone with a newer manual can help--try a creating a specific thread...
 

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For what it's worth, I was interested in buying a New 650, sent an online inquiry to a local dealer in Northern VA (big dealership) and all I got was an automated response linking me to their website. So I went on Craigs list and ultimately found a 2012 650 with only 1200 miles ... so I asked the same dealership's service department how much they would charge to give the bike a complete check over ... again, NADA. This dealership is not specifically a Suzuki dealer (I don't think there is such a think in the Washington DC area), so it's probably more of a dealer issue, but they definitely weren't interested in my money. The good news is I'm learning a lot from LeDude!
 

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Cliffy, you should get the new 400 -- possibly coming 2016. Exclusively with ABS! :D
Hasn't ABS been standard since at least 2012? The manual on mine reads that way.

Honestly...while I'm glad to have the ABS, I'd bet the second front brake is more of a benefit in day to day riding.
 
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