It’s Wednesday, September 16th, the day I am going to unload my bargaining powers on Brockton Cycle. The night before I stopped at Giff’s garage and we talked about trading stuff in, since he does sell bikes and cars for a living and he might lend some inside perspective. Now Giff is a really nice person and didn’t want to put some H2O on my flames. I finally said to him why would a dealer want to trade a bike that had 10K on it for one that had 48K and was a dime a dozen (Read the Nomad is Cruiser) for a niche bike like the FJR. He just smiled, nodded his head, and said “My thoughts exactly” or something along those lines.
My objective in this excursion was to take an asset that is perfectly good, but I am no longer using and turn it into an asset that I might use or might be more saleable sometime in the future. With this in mind I made some adjustments as to the value of this and that, mainly getting off the point of comparing High Retail for the Nomad to Low Trade-In for the FJR and gave up my rosy outlook on this deal into the Whiter Shade of Pale of reality.
Up bright an early, put on my Draggin Jeans (Cruiser style gear), T-Shirt (used my National Park one, didn’t think Performance Cycle would be appropriate) and donned my mesh jacket and helmet, walked out the door. The Nomad, as usual, started right up. I saddled up, lifting the bike of the stand (Geez this puppy is heavy), pulled in the clutch, shifted to first with a thunk, revved up the engine, partial release of the clutch and moved off the sidewalk heading for Brockton, MA.
Made my way to 495 and hit the highway. The morning traffic is gone and I have the slab all to myself. Find myself cruising about 75. Hit Rt24 head north and then off at Rt106 and then left onto Rt28. Moving along much to fast for the speed limit and there is a LEO on the right just before I hit Brockton Cycle. Damn damn damn. Watch the rear view mirrors and don’t see a car pulling out, no flashing lights, and no one tracking me down. Phew, I would have been pissed if I got pulled over and got a performance certificate, but it sure would have made the Nomad’s Last Ride memorable.
Pulled into BC and walked in the show room. Toni, the sales guy, recognized me and we sat down to talk about the FJR. I told him I was here to buy the bike and wanted to go home with it today. I told him my Nomad was outside and I would be trading it in. We go over the price of the FJR. Now the tag on the bike does not include the Dealer Prep charge of 299 and the Doc Fee of 149. So I say then the asking price of the FJR is 448 higher. He nods in agreement. Toni then asks me what I want for my bike. I say, “I really don’t want to that game. If you want to charge me 31,000 for the FJR that just means you are going to give me more for the Nomad. From here on when we talk about price we will talk about you selling me the FJR for the Nomad and some cash which includes everything. That work for you?”
The opening salvo of negotiation is over and we move to Stage Deux. With that said, Toni asks me what I want. I open up with a low ball bid, to get him to make a move to see what is in his head. During the bantering I ask him you will let me take the bike for a spin just to make sure the ergonomics of the FJR are not really off for me. He said they can accommodate that. Toni leaves the table to go do what ever sales people go to do and this really good looking young girl comes into vision and she is wearing a really tight fitting T and jeans. What young guy could refuse to buy anything from her was going thru my head. Thank God I am not a young guy and can control my senses. At least I got something to look at while Toni does his sales thing.
Toni comes out and they have accepted my offer, matter of fact the price is $3.00 less than I offered. I said you are going to give me back $3? Yup was the response. I said we got a deal!!. My heart is beating at this point, my brain is spinning, the good looking girl has no consequence anymore. This is waaaaaay to easy. Now I start wondering what’s wrong with the FJR. Toni gets up and goes back to that salesmen’s secret spot.
About 5 minutes later Toni and another guy come over to the table. Brett is the Sales Manager and I just thought he was there to congratulate me on the purchase. I really didn’t think that and knew something was up. Brett opens “I think we may have misled you on the price. We thought you were going to finance the bike”. I said, “Isn’t cash just as good, but if it makes a difference I can finance too” Brett then goes onto explain their offer was my bike, plus the cash I offered, plus the price Toni conveyed as the total purchase price. I confirmed what they are saying and they agree. I knew what Toni accepted was too good to be true and at least this does away with there being a major defect with the FJR.
At this point I ask them for the manual to the bike, which they can not find. I wanted to see what the maintenance schedule for the bike is, to use this info as part of the negotiations. Free maintenance items can be an easy give me since the sales department doesn’t have to pay for it, and pass the cost onto the Service Dept, which is not involved in the deal. With me sitting and Brett and Toni standing, I make a counter offer, which is more reasonable plus I wanted the 2 year YES warranty (Yamaha Extended Warranty). They make one more counter and say we can do the price, but have to charge you our cost on the warranty plus $100. I ask for the price of the warranty. Toni leaves at this point to get the BOOK. Upon his return, he points out the price as 640. I say so you want 740, he nods. I point out to him he is looking at the Retail Price page and turn the page in the book to one that I find that says Dealers Cost. This one says 340, so I say we are talking 440, right? Both Toni and Brett agree. I sit silent for a moment. What is going thru my mind is not so much the price, but whether I want to carry the Nomad over the winter and try to sell next spring or just get this done now. The answer is GIT ER DUN.
We have a verbal agreement. I say I do get to test ride it before I make a final commitment. Toni says I will go get it ready for the ride. The bike is outside ready for me to ride. I throw a leg over and immediately experience that this bike is much taller than I remember. The very end of the balls of my feet are touching. I don’t remember this a week and half ago. I start the bike and it has this low purrrrring sound, very throaty and it sounds great. Clutch in, gear engaged, throttle up, release and we are on our way. Pull up to the RT28 which is a fairly busy road and come to a complete stop and then some. I almost go down as the bike starts to dip to the right in a full downward arc. Somehow I keep the bike up and become very leery of my lack of height and the FJ’s not so lack of height. One more time and we are out on Rt28. Quick run thru the gears to 3rd, nice tranny. Couple of push and pulls of the bars to initiate counter steering, responsive, but not overly active. Power OH YEAH you can tell it is there. Hand and arm position is what strikes me the most. It is very very comfortable and maybe more so than the Connie. Street coming up, back off the throttle, lean into the corner, throttle up…DRIVETRAIN LASH. Wow this thing is lashy and catches me somewhat by surprise. I don’t like this. I am now off on some side streets and I don’t want to get to deep into Brockton or I will be lost so I pull over with a bit of trepidation because of my near fall over at the start. Slow, feet down, stop. This is much better but still than the start, but still taller than what I remember. Head for the store but I make a stop first
Pull into Bank of America and head for the counter. I need to withdraw cash for the deal. Swipe card, sign the slip and the teller begins counting out the cash in $100 bills. I ask does a cashier check cost me anything. She looks at my account and says no cost to you. I get a cashier check for the amount of the purchase.
On the bike again, cross over RT28 and into BC lot. KSD, dismount and head in to finish up the deal. Toni asks me if I want some water. I turn him down. Brett shows up and says Bill the clutch on the Nomad needs to be replaced and it is gonna cost $700. And I give him that look of YOUR POINT but remain silent and then say no it doesn’t. What did you do, take it out for a ride get up to 40mph in 5th and twist the throttle and think it was slipping. Brett says, Exactly!!. I said that is not the clutch, but a known item with the Nomads clutch spring plate. He says we could split the cost of the clutch say 350. I said I am the customer and I am supposed to be doing the GRINDING not the other way around. I mention it would have been nice to have discussed this before the test ride. Brett indicates the offer was subject to the trade in evaluation and really apologizes for springing this. I go blank. I remain silent; I roll my head back and face my eyes toward the ceiling. Do I walk, do I fold my hand. I am really not thinking of anything at this point. I am not mad, I am still in control, I have no emotion at this point. I am not in love with this bike, it is just another bike. I don’t need it, the Connie is perfectly fine. The thought of carrying the Nomad thru the winter and trying to sell it next spring clearly is occupying my thoughts. The economy is not going to improve; disposable income is not going to be anymore for a buyer next March as it is now. The bike will be 1 year older. While the clutch is not a problem, someone that tests rides the bike, will come to the same conclusion as BC and either walk or grind me away. This is what I am thinking.
I say, "do I at least get a free T Shirt" Toni says, " what color do you want green or blue".