On a sadder note.......

Sidecar Flip

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20150 Mc Carty Rd. Deerfield, Michigan 49238
Hondax asked me to post this here. It's a little truncated, but not much. I'm more than a little bummed out, especially during the festive holiday season.

I lost my dealer here on December 18th., NorthCoast Motorcycles closed it's doors forever. I had a bad feeling that they wouldn't make it. It was a beautiful, over the top, dealership and a first class staff. I'll miss them like many other customers will, I'm sure. I know the owner personally. It has about broke his spirit. My heart is out to him. I was going to post it in the news forum, but it's bad news not good so I thought I'd let "sleeping dogs lie" so to speak. I was told that there are a few comments about the closing on various sites on the internet, but, I haven't looked for them purposely. Maybe it's a sign of the times or the economy, I don't know, but knowing them as I do makes me hurt with them. I guess that's one reason I stress "buying from your dealer as often as you possibly can". Your dealer depends on your business to stay afloat. Sometimes, acessories cost a little more but loose your dealer like I have and have to travel 100 miles for service instead of 15 miles and you'll appreciate your dealer. I'm also of the understanding that there will be a sale of inventory and assets to (I presume) satisfy the creditors. I won't attend that either. That's like a farm auction. I've been to a few of those. Maybe I'm too sensitive but I always get an "empty" feeling at those auctions if that's the correct word to describe it. Three years ago, my friend down the road went bankrupt and had an asset auction. It was ugly for him and me. Life goes on. I just don't like some of the bumps on the way.

I'm holding out hope that someone will pick up this franchise territory and open another Triumph retail outlet in the area. Until then, I'll do my business on the internet and perform my own maintenance, which, I am capable of doing, I hope.
 

Pig9r

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Mar 5, 2006
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Kansas City, MO USA
Sorry to hear that. Were they a Triumph only dealer? I feel pretty lucky having a good dealer close by but they also sell BMWs. They said the BMWs got them by in the 70's 80's and 90's, but now they are selling more Triumphs.

I feel bad on some of these forums reading how people have to travel for hours to get to their dealer. Who knows how many Honda and Harley dealers they pass along the way. The odds are stacked against a Triumph dealer when its customers have to go through that.
 

Toystoretom

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Feb 25, 2006
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I know I spend too much money at Baxter's, but that's why I do it. Without them, you really have a hard time staying in the fold. Plus... there are benefits if you are at least a customer that goes there every once in awhile. They don't tend to forget their friends....
 

talltxguy

Supercharged
Joined
Jun 23, 2006
Messages
246
Location
Texas
I support my dealer, and he has done some things for me that he could have charged me for but didn't. The owner and his son always talk to me and make me feel at home.
 

Sidecar Flip

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The rest of the story as I know it.

Brian & Tom:

They were a multi brand dealer, well, sort of. NorthCoast started off around 5 years ago as an Indian dealer and 6 months or so into the Indian franchise, Indian went the way of Kenny Dreer and the Norton. I believe at that time they were also handling Big Dog and Iron Horse and when Indian went south, they got the Triumph franchise. I never considered Big Dog and Iron Horse to be volume bikes, actually, who does buy them other than guys with a lot of liquid assets and a burning desire to profile at the local sports bar. Just looking at them makes my back hurt. That's neither here nor there however.

I could not see them survive with Triumph as their volume bike. Triumph, while gaining popularity here is still a niche bike. I'm sure Triumph would like to become the household word they were in the 60's, but that's a way off yet. The Japanese as well as HD have a firm foothold and dominate the MC market here. Triumph is looking in and wanting back in the fold but has a ways to go. NorthCoast was a first class dealership all the way. At first I had trouble relating to them. I'm used to the typical bike shop, small, crowded with bikes, the old candy store counter marred by many years of parts sliding over it, you know, the kind of dealership where you can stop at McDees on the way, bring your burger and fries and slide up a stool and eat your lunch at the counter while chewing the fat with the not too clean bike mechanic. A store crammed with parts and accessories hanging everywhere and possibly a dog or cat or both lounging on the floor waiting for a few crumbs to fall from your burger or a stray fry to slip to the floor....for them.

Fast forward to NorthCoast. A 1.5 million dollar plus facility, air conditioned, overstuffed leather (yes leather not vinyl) couches in front of a big wood burning fireplace with a customers lounge complete with stocked refrigerator and sandwiches nearby. The showroom is massive. Polished vinyl flooring and thick pile carpeting throughout. Real hardwood trim everywhere. The service area in the rear of the building had the shop so you could see the techs at work through large glass windows. After service, your bike was washed, detailed and filled with gas before you picked it up. NorthCoast even had pickup service and if you dropped your bike for service, they'd take you to work and pick you up after work so you could get your bike (I know, did that). NorthCoast's service area was so ultra modern and high tech that Triumph North America was holding their service seminars there. I can see why. You could have literally eaten off the floor in the showroom or the service area and that's no exaggeration.

NorthCoast was a feast for an old biker's eyes (like me). A fantasy in reality that, in today's economy was destined to fail. I, for one will sorely miss Mark Moses and his staff of well trained and very knowledgeable people. I certainly hope that all of NorthCoast's employees have a safe and prosperous new year and absorb this as a "little bump in the road". My heart and thoughts of good will go out to each and every one of them.
 

Pig9r

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Mar 5, 2006
Messages
4,848
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Kansas City, MO USA
Sounds like too much overhead. My dealer said BMW is pushing dealers to go with a single make and have the megastore, which he said has resulted in dealership going the same route as yours. They just couldn't push enough product to pay for the space. I guess they are trying to keep up with the HD dealers.
 

Hondax

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Mar 8, 2006
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1,287
Location
Body:West Central Missouri, Mind: Yes I are.
Thanks Flip. Good thread.

We had a Triumph dealer in Sedalia Missouri and he cashed it in about a year ago. He sites lack of support from Triumph as his reason for dumping the franchise. He's a Custom bike shop, mainly Harley, and does quite well. I've seen his house.:eek:

I either go to El Dorado Springs or KC, around a hundred miles away for each. Like Flip said in a recent PM: "It's a good thing our Rockets are reliable".
 
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