My lengthy diatribe on the BMW dealers in the Bay area.

Discussion in 'Bay Area Bikers' started by B. Peg, May 28, 2006.

  1. B. Peg

    B. Peg Guest

    So I go shopping for a new BMW K11200GT. I want all the "farkels" possible
    as I will be trading in a well used 90K mile R1100RTL model with same
    farkels. My "farkels" list included: BMW trunk, AutoCom or Bauer, radar pad
    of some sort, BMW Navigator II, additional lighting for nighttime riding
    (too damn hot in valley during day to make distance). Most all gave the BMW
    K1200GT a list price of $20,385 since most all come with Option Package 2
    (i.e. ESA, Heated seats, Heated grips, Cruise control, On-Board computer).
    An additional $95 may or not be added for the Tall Windshield option which
    seems to be the only separating item between them.

    Note, this MSRP is ahead of the suggested ads which say $18,800 or so.
    Never saw that number on any of the bikes or quotes. All had Option Package
    2 added in already. Best to call the machine's price $20,385.00.

    BMW of Santa Cruz (in Watsonville):

    Nice store and very well equipped parts and accessories - maybe the best of
    the bunch. Lots of bikes of various colors (they had all 3 colors of
    K1200GTs on the floor). Salesman, James, formerly a back-in-the-shop tech,
    knew his stuff. They were also the "only one" who offered a test ride on
    the new bike after a short fill in the special liability paperwork and a
    quick Xerox your driver's license. Took them up on it and they gave me the
    key, a short intro on equipment (electronic suspension, heated seats which
    really do work!). I was off. No one followed - just me and the bike lost
    in the Santa Cruz Mountains near some county dump.

    They do a "Quick Quote" on pricing and whatever you need and add to the
    bike. Since he was a tech, he gave me a "Shop Time" of 4 hours to add all
    the goodies. They advised adding the 7 year service plan which would also
    boost the price by $1495. He said the typically high service prices paid on
    older models would be less on the newer ones as the service intervals on
    things like valve adjusts were longer - although I question that since they
    need to do the brake bleed issue which adds dollars, so I hear.

    Most there ride BMW's. They have a Yamaha dealership next door. They do
    carry a lot of BMW accessories that you won't find anywhere else (i.e.
    Wunderlich). Parts seem to be a big thing with them. Fairly large service
    shop out in back.

    There was a Holiday Inn directly across the street at $116 per night ouch!)
    should one need a stay for buying or service. Nice interior as I checked it
    out just in case.

    Oh, there's a Harley dealership one block west just to break the monotony or
    tell some more lies too. ;o)

    On to.

    BMW of San Jose:

    Older shop and known by many as the "Home of the four-sparker machinist."
    Very popular home with the local Leos. Stock was adequate and parts guy
    seemed familiar with items (maybe a little less so than the Santa Cruz guy).
    I noticed they did not add DAG charge (Dealer Advertising Group) to their
    quote where as the others did. Their "Handling" charge" was $382.21. The
    others seemed call "Handling" charge a "Freight" or "Shipping" charge,
    usually $400.

    California BMW (Mountain View):

    A fairly new shop with a very large service shop in back. They have fewer
    accessories than previous. Mostly new bikes and very few used ones spotted
    and I got the impression they weren't interested in doing older trade-ins.
    Prices were pretty much spot on.

    BMW of San Francisco:

    Since I had been there in the past for parts not carried at Marin, I missed
    them this time so I cannot ay anything other than they are in a very old
    two-story building downtown and cater to their car crowd a little better.
    Their car salesman didn't give me the "warm-fuzziness" I get with the
    stand-alone bike dealer. They do have a lot of merchandise buried somewhere
    in back, just need to stand around until their bike girl shows and fetches
    it for you. Their service area seems hidden in the back as well.

    BMW of Marin:

    A small front display room. They had Ducati's years ago and I don't know
    how they got all of that in there then. Some sort of floor demolishment
    going on. The salesgirl, Christine, had some sort of pharmacy set up on her
    work counter (not good, and I'll get back to that). Unit price was higher
    (for some reason I thought that. It is Marin after all) and was $20,665.
    They also showed some State Tire Fee of $3.50 which no one else did. Labor
    was $370 and parts added another $3,300. The bottom line with finance fees
    would be over $31,500 or about $525 month at 7.04% interest (also highest
    interest in the group). Funny how that $18,800 bike gets up there in cost
    so quickly.

    Okay, so maybe my current cold came from Christine? I was alarmed by the
    amount of meds on her counter. Maybe I did get something there - just not
    motorcycle related.

    Traffic around there is the pits from 4 o'clock on, so best avoid it around
    rush time.

    Diablo Kawasaki-BMW:

    I just about walked out of there as it seemed forever to get waited on.
    Okay, they have cookies and coffee which necessitates a bathroom call so you
    are stuck there a while. They did have a lot of used bikes for sale out
    front in the strip mall's parking lot and some used ads on the store front
    window. It's a very, very small store set back deep in a shopping strip
    mall and could be hard to find. Had minimal clothing accessories, but some
    farkel stuff cluttered around. No K1200GT on floor but they did have one
    being put together in their warehouse next door which they showed me.

    They also like trade-ins and will do consignment sales. Once you have their
    attention they really do make an effort to sweeten the deal, so to speak,
    like discounts on accessories. Actually, they seemed to be the cheapest of
    the dealers I went to in terms of overall price since they discount
    accessories at time of purchase.

    I don't know if it was the parts counter clutter and papers they seem to
    leave around about new stuff, but you get kind of a hominess atmosphere to
    them and they seem to know everyone by name when they drag their stuff (like
    tires to be mounted) in there. Hats off to Sam for his time and knowledge.

    BMW of Santa Rosa (in the sticks, er, wasteland of Windsor, CA - wherever
    that is):

    Kind'a hard to find as the road leading to it is in farmland and rather poor
    condition. Makes one wonder if you are lost and then there it is, BMW's
    newest dealer building. They recently moved into the new digs from Santa
    Rosa city. Very clean and new. Okay, they have the cleanest bathrooms too.
    Too bad all the vintners up there buy all the K1200GT's and they have none
    to sell (they got 3 and they were all gone). Dunno, but I doubt if you'll
    get a test ride there on one anytime soon. Lots of clothing and
    accessories. Their service shop looked rather small compared to rest of
    store (you need to walk by it before the showroom doors. Must be BMW's
    flagship store design.

    So there it is. I'm leaning towards Walnut Creek, Santa Cruz, and finally
    San Jose - in that order. The "farkel" count is higher at Santa Cruz, but
    the warm-fuzziness of Walnut Creek may win out as may their OTD price.

    B. Peg, May 28, 2006
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  2. B. Peg

    Timberwoof Guest

    That wasn't a diatribe, it was just a review. I was hoping for some
    foaming-at-the mouth scathing dish. }: )
    Timberwoof, May 28, 2006
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  3. B. Peg

    marika Guest

    The only thing I can think of that would be even worse, for you, would
    be if
    they ask you to do designer touches next..... curtains, lamps,
    carpets. How too funny would that be?


    "IN terms of memorable songs and emotional punch, Rent probably has the
    best score I've heard"--Rosario Dawson
    marika, May 29, 2006
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