Riders urged to support local motorcycle dealer

Harley Heaven Melbourne opening night dealers brain cancer Riders urged to support motorcycle dealers

On the eve of the annual Aldi one-off motorcycle gear sale, riders have been urged to support their local motorcycle dealer.

Australian Motorcycle Dealers Association boss Stuart Strickland says dealers are doing it tough and deserve rider loyalty. (Read more about why he believes times are tough.)

However, he says there is no dispute with the standard of gear being sold at Aldi, pointing out that the selection of gear Aldi sells was aided by Neuroscience Research Australia’s Dr Liz de Rome.

Liz, a rider since 1969, is also working on a star rating system so riders can be guaranteed the quality(abrasion resistance) of the protective gear they are buying which Stuart hopes to be in place later this year.

“It’s good to see Aldi making product available to motorcyclists however a lot more product is are available through motorcycle retailers and specialty accessory stores with much more choice and all-year round availability,” Stuart says.

“One of the challenges the industry faces is from people who buy low cost bikes to commute to work. They also tend not to get good gear.

Aldi annual sale - Riders urged to support motorcycle dealers
Aldi annual sale

“Those people don’t frequent motorcycle shops, so I suppose Aldi is a source for them.

“People who have bought Aldi gear seem happy with the price.

“It’s better to have a rider with some gear on than nothing.

“But the problem for recreational riders is that Aldi gear is only available for a limited time and unless you are lined up early when the doors open you will miss out.”

He says a motorcycle dealership is a complex business with a heavy investment in a wide-ranging inventory of motorcycle models and gear that dealers must have on hand to service customers.

“Motorcycle enthusiasts should support the shops that provide them with service year-round and a wide range of choice,” he says.

Click here to find out why motorcycle dealers are doing it tough.

9 Comments

  1. “dealers deserve rider loyalty”

    Oh, they do, do they? I’d love to have a business where I was entitled to customers, that would be rather nice. It’s nice to know Dealers feel entitled to our business 😉

  2. I would love to support my local dealers but I continually have to resort to the web or larger dealers because I can’t buy what I want with my local guys. I am continually told they can’t sell quality gear because it is too expensive and yet here I am with money in my pocket wanting to spend with them but I don’t want the cheap crap they have on the shelf.
    I understand it is difficult for smaller dealers particularly with importers like Cassons dictating minimum floor stock options at hugely inflated prices to regional bike shops who do not have the throughput of an MCA or Bike Biz. It’s lose lose as I have to spend my money somewhere other than with my local dealers who I would really like to support.

  3. The only brand/dealers that seem to command any loyalty is HD, with Ducati and BMW to a limited extent.
    I don’t ride any of them, but it would seem that HD have got something right in marketing and customer service. I see HD dealers run open days, ride days and other social events supported by the manufacturer that always seem to be well attended.
    Also, the retail marketplace has changed, it’s global, and Australian retailers have had a captive audience for so long, charging high prices based on spurious claims regarding transport costs, stock costs etc. Well the consumer has moved on, get used to it. Either give them what they want or……….

  4. Have to agree with Grumpy on this one. I think dealerships generally are pretty poor from a service perspective and can only blame themselves. If we move past the fact that pretty much every “major” dealer in SE QLD is owned by the same group (so you aren’t really supporting “local” anyway), why would I overpay a local dealer for gear I can pay 40% less for online when the one reason to justify a premium (i.e. service and ready access to the gear) is non-existent? Not sure where they get the clowns who work in these dealers but they have limited knowledge and are only trying to force sell select items. The range is also incredibly limited (which is why I find the article strange when it mentions dealers having to carry a large amount of stock – never seems like it is the stuff I want)…Same applies to new bikes. When I was looking to buy my 2014 VFR I was told I could test ride one of the second hand, 200? models they had. I tried to explain that would be doing them a disservice as some of the VTEC issues had been smoothed in ’14 but they simply couldn’t let me ride a new one unless I was definitely buying.

    I would love to support a local dealer if only there was one worth supporting. I love talking sh!t about bikes and have gone through about 6 bikes in 3 years (mostly new – still have 3) but every time I go in to a dealer I never see anyone there from the past 6 months, and no one just wants to “chat” unless I have my wallet out ready to buy. If they spent the time developing a relationship I would be happy to go in and give them my business (which seems to be at least once a year to my wife’s chagrin) regardless of whether they were the absolute cheapest.

    And I would never use one of these “local” dealerships to service my bikes. I prefer to talk with my mechanic directly and not be told what was done third hand by a service guy doing the desk paperwork. Plus the fact they have never impressed me with their knowledge of the bikes. They seem very much “this is broken, just replace it” whereas my mechanic can actually problem solve and troubleshoot issues before just replacing things.

    1. Having purchased several new bikes in my lifetime I cannot fault Northside Harley (formerly Harley City). They will chat, assist and let me into the workshop to watch my bike being serviced!
      My first Harley and prior to that I purchased a BMW tourer from a good dealer who also let me into their workshop and the same again when I switched service companies (purely because of the distance). Before that I rode other bikes, some new, some second hand.
      I also think it is partly how you interact with the dealer.

  5. It is up to dealers to lure customers, not customers’ duty to be ‘loyal’ to Australia’s crappy, lazy (often to the point of borderline abusive) local motorcycle businesses.

    Regional motorcycle dealerships are, in my experience, uniformly terrible. They promise to get back to you about a part or other enquiry, and never do. They keep you waiting in the shop while they gossip with their mates on the phone.

    I resisted buying online for a few years and tried every local shop I could, because I think supporting local businesses is good for everyone. But they all share a culture of laziness and incompetence, and I have given up.

  6. …”People who have bought Aldi gear seem happy with the price.

    “It’s better to have a rider with some gear on than nothing.”…

    Better than…nothing.

    What a snide and deceptive comment! Of course Aldi’s gear is better than nothing. It’s also better than more than half the stuff available in dealerships for 2x, 3x the price! Liz de Rome says its some of the best quality gear in Australia.

  7. Maybe it’s because there are too few customers coming through their doors because of bad experiences and incredibly high marked up prices that they are feeling the pinch. Online shops are doing great. No shortage of customers there and when you compare prices, it’s a no brainer.

    The business plan should not be to maximize the return out of every customer but instead, giving better service by lowering prices and making that up through volume sales. That is the only recipe for long term survival.

    Long live Aldi and long live the internet where shopping around is from your armchair, not your car.

  8. All well said and done, but when many outlets are becoming known as dealer stealerships, persons like myself are becoming, somewhat gun shy. Yes I support, a couple of outlets, for parts supply, only. And there are still times, I feel bent over and reamed from the experience, instead of the feelgood experience that it should be.
    Way to often, I’m left with a bad taste, they have no one else, but themselves to blame.
    Yes I will being buy another new bike in the future, but once the bike leaves the shop, they will never see the bike again.
    If you keep burning good, repeat customers, you have to expect that eventually, they will turn their backs.

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