Published on April 4th, 2018 | by Guest Writer0
WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON?
BikeMe! was recently sent this engaging piece from a bloke who has worked in the motorcycle industry for six years. He still works in the industry which is why he doesn’t want his name on the piece. I can vouch for the fact he works in the industry because I know him.
Times are tough in Motorcycle Land at the moment. These times prompted me to write a piece a while back called Why Have We Stopped Buying Bikes? which you can read HERE.
Doubtlessly, these same tough times have prompted this bloke, whom I shall call Friedrich von und zu Hohenbolleren, to write this piece. It is always interesting to read the point-of-view of someone who works in the industry selling bikes…
Six years I have worked in this industry; an industry that was for a long time, the dream job for me. We did wheelies and skids on bikes that weren’t ours. Our neighbours thought we were drug dealers coming home on different bikes every night. Selling bikes was easy, people knew what bikes we had, test rode what they liked, picked out some gear and got some finance on it.
It was great, we loved our jobs, we loved the people, the targets were obtainable and we made OK money. Then somewhere along the way the sheets feel off.
We all felt the sheets falling off. We all contributed to it. It wasn’t eBay, it wasn’t online shopping… fuck, it wasn’t even the GFC. These things certainly contributed to it, but those things were not the only reasons.
They are, in fact, only a tiny part of what’s gone wrong.
Bike sales are at an all time low. ASIC is raping us business managers with the full pineapple, no lube. We are not allowed to make money any more, and more and more Five Stars (ask your dealer buddy what a Five Star is) are flooding in.
[I asked a dealer buddy and learned a Five Star is: “The cunt who demands the world, refuses to listen, you bend over backwards for him, suck them off no gag reflex and he still leaves a negative review because the torque specs of the head bolts aren’t what he thinks are correct!”]
So why are all of us in the industry keeping a revolver in our draws and drinking a bottle of JD a night?
Because we now live in a society where bikes aren’t cool anymore, hipsters with stupid fucking man buns, bearded man-ladies and Millennial’s have made it impossible to do business.
I want to give you all above a massive fucking wake up call.
You don’t need both of your feet to touch the fucking ground flat! Jesus fucking Christ, don’t sit on an adventure bike then complain to me it’s too high. Don’t get on a supersport and say it isn’t comfortable enough. And for fuck’s sake, understand a Grom is NOT an acceptable motorcycle for everyday use, they are not cool and you look like a fuckwit riding it with eleventysix fucking go-pros on it. VLOGER is the viking word for ‘fucktard’. Trust me and look it up.
So apart from this sounding like just a massive rant, why does any of the above matter?
Because the pie is getting smaller. Instead of selling 100 bikes a month people are now selling 50-60 a month. Those dealers then put pressure on the manufactures and in turn the manufactures listen. This is where it all turns to shit.
My industry has become an industry of appeasement. Manufacturers heard the screams of the bearded man-ladies who want adventure bike but won’t buy them unless the seat height is lower than a Harley. They heard the screams of bearded man-ladies who want telemetries and octopuses installed on hypersport bikes they can’t ride.
Selling a bike today is like trying to smell the colour nine.
Most of us in this industry know what we are talking about. Most of us are competent riders with abilities good enough to do stupid shit on bikes without crashing them (and thus keeping our jobs). We know our product and please trust me, Internet forums are nothing more than a platform for deadshits to voice their deadshit opinions.
Seriously, if you Google your headache it will tell you you have cancer. It’s the same when you Google the faults of the model of bike you are looking at. We had a customer come in last week to buy a new Harley, who said the deal was conditional on us (at our cost) replacing all the factory fluids with a specific brand of his choice because he’d read on the Internet somewhere the factory oil was not good enough and the engine would implode the second he rode away. I mean, seriously? The last thing a manufacturer wants is to be paying warranty claims. The oil is more than fine.
But the problem here lies in the fact the market is so aggressive that we have to do it to get the deal done.
New bike margins are so slim these days and customers are so demanding it is literally becoming impossible to keep the doors open. I really do feel for the old single franchise mum-and-dad dealerships and the rural dealers within three hours of a big metro one. I was in a country town about two hours from Brisbane and trust me people will waste $100 in fuel to save $50 on a bike because our dealership was two degrees in the wrong direction to Mecca.
I see it day in and day out. My mates, mates I got into this industry who have a genuine passion for riding, are losing the love. The days of being allowed to take demos home is over because customers will not buy an ex demo if it has more than 2000km on it. The days of finishing early on Saturday, putting our gear on, and going for a staff only ride where we act like idiots are done. Our days of truly loving motorbikes are, sadly, very nearly done.
Motorcycling should be cool! If you want to wear an open-face helmet you should! Fuck those ATGATT idiots. I tell you ride a 200hp supersport with an open face helmet on the back wheel at 180 and you will see the face of God!
Please, people. Stop complaining about the factory oil, the seat height, the brand of tyre or the crank’s rotational force relative to the centre mass of Uranus. Do some skids, do some wheelies, learn to slide your arse half-an-inch off the seat so you can have one foot on the ground and start enjoying actually riding.
You will wake up, see the light and your dealer will actually start caring about you.