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I live in the Milwaukee, WI area and my wife and I decided to take a car trip today to look at the new Honda Goldwings that have supposedly been released. There are four Honda M/C dealers in our area and we went to three of them looking for new Goldwings. I specifically wanted to see the new black DCT Tour model, but not one of the dealerships had one I could look at. I was quite surprised by this as the dealer websites all stated they had this model in stock. I asked about taking a test ride when they finally get some Goldwings in and one dealer said "Yep, no problem when the roads are clear" which meant salt/snow free, but the other two definitely leaned away from offering any test rides. One sales guy asked me if I would want to buy a new bike that had seen demo miles? He went onto say that they keep their new bikes in the shipping crates until they are purchased, or have money down on them and then they are uncrated. He also stated that they have a black DCT Tour in stock, but wouldn't show it to me because it's in the crate, but if I wanted to put $100.00 down he would have it uncrated so I could see it. Not surprisingly two of the three dealerships showed little to no interest in taking my 2018 BMW K1600 GTL in trade. The third dealer said "We should be able to work something out".

Is this how most Honda M/C dealerships operate? I didn't get a warm fuzzy feeling at all going into to talk to these guys and my wife and I came away with the feeling they didn't care if we bought a bike from them or not. One salesman spent more time talking about what a great salesman he was, than talking about selling me a Goldwing. The second salesman we talked to couldn't tell me what the warranty was on a new Goldwing. He then corrected himself and said it was a one year warranty. Is that really the warranty on a $29,000.00 Honda Goldwing?? Only a year?

I have really convinced myself that I would like to get a DCT Goldwing primarily because the two BMW dealers nearest me have closed their doors, but I was quite taken back by the rather cold reception at the Honda dealers I went to. It bugs me no end when I am talking to a salesman about buying a big ticket item and he keeps answering phone calls losing my attention in the process. What do you guys think?? Can anyone recommend a decent Honda M/C dealer in Southeast Wisconsin? On another note, one salesman told me 3 or 4 of the Honda M/C dealerships have been "taken over" by new owners. Does anyone have any information on this? Thanks in advance for any information/help.

Rick H.
 

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As far as test rides, unless the dealer can actually afford to have his own demo's, it's unlikely he will let you test ride one.
I know when we bought my wife's car, it had 300 miles on it. It was spotless, but had been driven. I could see 4 or 5 miles, but 300? I actually talked the dealer into adding the extended warranty at no charge. It was either that or we walked.
Most salesman have no idea about the bike you want unless they've been there for a number of years. Ask him what bike he rides!!
 

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I live in Killwaukee, If I may ask, what 4 dealerships did you go to?
 

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So while I've been to Milwaukee, I can not help answer your question about a "good" dealer in your neighborhood. Sorry.

I will say when I was looking back in the 2016-2017 timeframe, dealer inventory was poor. Many dealers had nothing; some had leftovers and to actually see a new 2017 in blue and black I had to drive three hours to another state.

My friend was looking for a F6B around the same time. While he found a few, none of the dealers even wanted to talk to him. Sales guys were on the computer (porn sites?) or talking to each other. He finally got on the net and drove 12 hours one way to save over $2000. Frankly, I can't understand how some of these guys can pay the rent every month.
 

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I purchased my 2018 DCT from Madcity Powersports in Madison. I had a stress free purchasing experience and bought a 3 year maintenance plan from them and will renew it this spring.
 

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Sorry to hear of your terrible experience. Like with any brand, there are excellent dealers and incompetent ones.

Stories like this make me question statements in the vein of, "I'm not buying a BMW (or some brand other than Honda) because there's not a dealership within X miles of where I live."

That said, I'm fortunate to be within 10 minutes of a large, family-run Honda dealership with superb sales people. My sales person spent more than 1 hour reviewing all the features of the bike when I picked up my new '19 DCT Tour, including explaining twice the emergency fob-less start procedure, the importance of keeping the fobs' emergency start codes in safekeeping at home and on my person, emergency mechanical key and how to open the luggage with it, how to program destinations in the GPS, how to program radio pre-sets, etc.

Keep looking for the right dealership. The effort will be woth the hunt.

Good luck.

Tim
 

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I bought a new 2018 last year in July. Bike was still in crate but I did my negotiating over the phone because the dealer was over 2 hours away. They were eager to sell and deal. This was a multi brand power sports dealer in the St Louis Mo. area. They offered demo rides and had several 2018, 19's and a couple of 2020 models in stock. I'm pretty sure Honda's warranty is 3 years. I have no patience for a dealer or salesman that doesn't take the time to give me their full attention and answer all my questions.
Good Luck on your search for a new DCT Wing, you will love it once you find one.
 

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I must be in the minority, as the Honda dealer closest to me offers test rides almost every time I show more than a passing interest in something. They typically have a demo model whenever a new model comes out, and then they sell it after it has been test ridden for several months or so. And then another one takes its place. In fact a test ride on an F6B is what cemented me on pursuing the Wing I have now. And I frankly don't care if a new vehicle has a few hundred miles or so on it. Heck when I was in the car business, it was common to do dealer trades weekly, to get the exact model/color/equipment for a customer. This generally entailed driving a car from our lot to another one 50-150 miles or more away and then driving one back to our location. And at times, the one we brought back had already been swapped from a different dealer before, so 300-400 miles on a "new" car wasn't uncommon. Taking a bit of a price concession for the miles isn't a big deal for most dealers, but motorsports dealers may be operating on smaller margins these days and are reluctant to do much.
At any rate, it is a shame how common it is for salespeople to know so little about the product represented. But as a plug for Lancaster Honda, they are expected to know everything about a Honda lawn mower, snowblower, generator, dirt bikes, 4 wheelers, and all the bikes we are interested in, as well as the competitition. Being an expert doesn't happen overnight...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all the replies so far. Great feedback. I started my riding career on an old Triumph Bonneville and bought a 1974 Sportster new from a dealer here in Milwaukee. At that time it was unheard of to allow someone to test ride a Harley and this remained the norm until Harley reached the populous so to speak. Early on I also bought a 1975 Kawasaki Z1-B and there was no way at all to test ride that bike so I bought it by how bad I wanted it. Fast forward to 2005 and my first experience with ABS on a Harley Police bike. I was hooked on ABS when I saw the benefits it offered in my line of work. I wanted to carry that benefit over to my civilian riding, but could not because HD didn't offer ABS on civilian bikes yet.

On a whim while out riding with the wife we stopped at a dual line H-D/BMW dealer just to take a break and look around. The owner saw us looking at the bikes he had and began a conversation with us which turned into my telling him of my desire to get a bike with ABS. At about this same point one of the dealer employees was pushing a brand new "2" miles on the clock 2005 BMW 1200 LT onto the showroom floor. It caught my eye and I thought man that's a neat looking scooter. The owner saw me looking the bike and he began telling me about it. I asked about ABS and he smiled and said BMW has been offering ABS for a long time and this bike has it. He, without my asking, offered to let me take it for a test ride which led to a second test ride with the wife on board. This led to an immediate purchase which led to 4 more BMW purchases over the next 15 years. I purchased my later BMW's from a dealer much closer to where I live, but both these BMW dealers told me the same thing. Test rides lead to purchases period. If you don't allow test rides you have kissed off probably 50% of your sales especially on higher end bikes.

I can't tell you how many BMW's I have taken for test/demo rides some just to see what the bike was like with no intention of buying one, but I was never turned down on a test ride by a BMW dealer. I even test rode a few Ducati's, but those had to be with a salesman in tow. The fact that I couldn't take a test ride at a Honda dealer without signing a contract and coughing up a $100.00 really bugs me sorry to say. If Honda doesn't have a dealer incentive program on demo bikes the way Harley and BMW does then shame on them. Is it nice to buy a bike with no test miles on it? Sure it is, but every new BMW I purchased had some test miles on it but I liked THAT bike, not one in a crate that I had no experience on. The exception to that rule was my 2005 LT that I rode with no test miles. The point is, test rides really do lead to sales. I am not going to lay out $30K on a bike without a test ride and I don't want to go thru the hassle of literally buying the bike before a test ride either just to test ride it.

So if I am going to buy a Goldwing I guess I will have to expand my search grid for a Honda dealer that understands how to sell motorcycles. In the meantime I may have to break down and buy a GS911 for my BMW to clear codes and such. Buying a Goldwing shouldn't be this difficult though in my estimation.

Rick H.
 

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When I got mine in 2018, I went into the dealer and told the salesman I was interested in a new Goldwing his first question was did I bring a helmet. Next thing I know I'm on a test ride. When I got back the hardest part was picking which color I wanted.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
When I got mine in 2018, I went into the dealer and told the salesman I was interested in a new Goldwing his first question was did I bring a helmet. Next thing I know I'm on a test ride. When I got back the hardest part was picking which color I wanted.
Was that dealer by chance in Wisconsin?

Rick H.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yes, Madcity power sports in Madison. I don't know if they have bikes out now on the floor, may be mostly snowmobiles
Thanks Tony-wisco! I'll have to take a ride over there and talk to them. Is their service department okay? Can you recommend anyone to talk to? I live in Muskego so it's not a bad ride to Madison.

Rick H.
 

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Thanks Tony-wisco! I'll have to take a ride over there and talk to them. Is their service department okay? Can you recommend anyone to talk to? I live in Muskego so it's not a bad ride to Madison.

Rick H.
The salesman I had has moved on and I have only chatted while waiting for service to be completed. I purchased a 3 year service contract when I purchased the Goldwing and will renew it this May. Marty is the service manager and I have not had any issues with the work they have done. They installed the OEM trunk rack and brake light as well as the fog lights for me. I have heard some folks say they are put off because the sales people do not come right over as soon as you walk in. I personally like to browse then get a sales person when ready.

I have also heard good things about Engleharts on the west side of Madison. I have only purchased jackets from them but they were attentive but not overbearing.
 

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Take a road trip to Storm Lake, IA. Storm Lake Honda will make you feel good about buying a new Goldwing. And they take all kinds of motorcycle trade ins...Harleys, BMWs, Triumphs, etc.
 
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I purchased my first two Wings from Sportland2 in Oak Creek as they were close to my house and offered a great price. They offered a test drive both times. I purchased my third Wing from Action Power Sports in Waukesha - they are a sister company to Cedar Creek Motorsports in Cedarburg. APS offered a price that could not be beat. I have never been impressed with Don & Roys in Brookfield - they don't seem to want to sell anything.
Vetesnik Power Sports in Richland, WI is likely Wisconsin's largest Honda dealer. They are bound to give you the best service and a good price. Although they are a few miles away.
I live in Florida now, so I have no recent experience with these dealerships. But wanted to share my previous experiences with you.
Good luck.
 

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I both test road and purchased the same at Cedar Creek Motorsports up in Cedarburg (obviously you know where it is if you are in Milwaukee). They had no issue with my test riding a bike. And in fact I purchased the same bike I test road as they had 1K off because it was their "demo bike" (with all of 14 miles on it when I rode it.).

I was fairly happy with the whole experience there. The only issue I really had is I specifically asked to have the software up to date when I picked up the bike and it was not. But it was easy enough to update it myself so I did. The left saddle bag cover had a small scratch on it and even though it was a demo bike they replaced the saddle bag cover.

Not sure what they have in stock now but might be worth a call. If they were one of the 4 your tried, then they have changed since I got mine bike from them a year ish a go.
 

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I bet you were at Action Powersports - Waukesha
I have had mixed experience with them over the years but mostly good lately.
Cedar Creek screwed up my 1500 when I once took it for service so --No Thanks
Sportland let me test ride a Goldwing once -- around the block -- a total of 3 miles maybe
And I rode in on a Goldwing so obviously I showed I COULD ride one. So... no sale .

I have been to Vetesnicks for a visit - They were great and probably worth the trip
But you should establish a relationship with your LOCAL dealer so IF there is needed service work you won't be a stranger. (My 2 cents)

Robs Performance Center in Johnson Creek might be worth a look -
If they are still around but I doubt he has a lot of stock as he is a smaller dealer I think.

PS: I grew up in Muskego and my sister and mother still live there ;)
 
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