There are many factors to consider when choosing the right dealership. The location, reputation, inventory, services, price, financing, and warranty/return policy are all important aspects to consider.
First, you must determine your riding style and choose the power sports vehicle that best suits your needs.
Stepping into a power sports dealership can be intimidating for a beginner. These dealerships are traditionally male-dominated spaces, and a lack of familiarity with motorsports can leave you feeling like a fish out of water when purchasing. That’s why asking as many questions as possible before committing to a sale is important.
A Polaris dealer website can help you understand your options, and they will likely be more than happy to answer any questions you have. It’s also a good idea to come prepared with a list of questions to get everything.
While power sports dealers used to be primarily run by enthusiasts, over time, they have come to more closely resemble auto dealerships regarding management. Some even belong to peer groups, which helps them benchmark sales and profitability with their peers. These groups are a great resource for dealers, as they can provide support that is only sometimes available through other means.
Look at the Inventory
Powersports dealerships offer a wide variety of vehicles. Determine your riding style and look for the vehicle that best fits you, whether a road-legal motorcycle or an off-road bike with high suspension and handling capabilities. Also, consider your budget, as a more inexperienced rider may prefer to start with a smaller engine until they’re ready to upgrade.
Like auto dealers, powersports dealerships have multiple departments or profit centers: new vehicle sales, used vehicles, service and parts, and finance/insurance. They also have dealer agreements with OEMs, less formal than the franchise agreements that auto dealers must sign with their manufacturer partners.
Since powersports dealerships have experienced low inventory in recent months due to ongoing supply chain issues affecting raw materials and microchips, they’ve turned to digital advertising strategies to attract customers looking to sell their existing models.
Get a Feel for the Dealership
There are a few simple ways to tell if a dealership is focused on customer service or making a quick sale. For starters, a reputable dealer will only pressure you to buy a vehicle within your budget or push add-ons and upgrades you don’t need.
You can also observe how friendly and welcoming the staff is by observing their behavior. Do they greet you with a smile? Do they remember customers’ names and conversations from visit to visit?
Additionally, a dealer willing to work with you regardless of your credit situation will go a long way toward creating a positive experience. Many dealers will try to lure you in with promises of free oil changes or other too-good-to-be-true offers with a caveat like “see dealer for details.” This is their attempt to get you into the dealership so they can make a quick sale. Dealerships typically make much more off of leases than sales, so they’re more likely to push you towards leasing if they can.
Ask for a Test Ride
A test ride is imperative before purchasing unless you’re familiar with a motorcycle. Take your time with this process; don’t be afraid to ask questions. You will never get the information you need without asking for it. Be sure to drive the vehicles you are considering back-to-back on the same day to make a fair comparison. Try coming back at night to see how well the headlights perform.
Bring proper riding gear for your test ride, including eye protection, long pants, and over-the-ankle shoes or boots. Also, bring your driver’s license if you plan on driving the motorcycle. Lastly, be sure to go for at least an hour. During this time, you can assess how the bike feels over an extended period. If you’re not comfortable, walk away. There are plenty of other dealerships to choose from.