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Posts Tagged ‘Paradise H-D’

CCA-Joyride13You open your mailbox one morning and there inside is a letter from a charity asking for your support. You read it and either toss the material or are inspired to donate, writing out a modest check and popping it in the mail. You feel good knowing that you sacrificed something to support a cause you think is important.

But the problem we’re confronting is so much material imploring us to listen it’s a challenge to separate the signal from the noise.  

“Noise” means… useless information.  “Signal” means… truth.

Once upon on a time information was scarce.  You had to hunt for it, nobody pointed a fire hose at your face, which is what logging onto the internet is like today.  It’s a tsunami of information and with your time limited where do you place your attention?  As consumers we’re inundated with noise.  To the point we ignore almost everything that’s incoming and we only pay attention to our trusted filters who are most often friends.

I only have time for incredible and so do you. 

ParadiseHD-Joyride13Which is why I’m raising awareness about the Children’s Cancer Association (CCA).  

How many charity rides do you participate in a year?  If you are like most motorcyclists you probably support a couple a year.  It’s not always about the ride; it’s about giving back to your community and helping the incredible non-profit organizations with their cause.

That’s what the 4th annual CCA Joyride is all about.  Paradise H-D is a key sponsor of the event to raise funds for The Alexandra Ellis Caring Cabin™. The Caring Cabin provides children and teens facing cancer and terminal illnesses who are in treatment in Oregon, along with their families, an extraordinary place to retreat, relax and create once-in-a-lifetime memories.  The Caring Cabin is the only retreat home of its kind in the western U.S. and is on 24 wooded acres near Pacific City.

I hope you’ll consider joining the charity ride on Saturday, June 22nd.   A new route (HERE) is planned this year that winds through Portland and SW Washington, making stops along the way at some favorite locations. At kick-off, riders will receive a JoyRide Passport that will guide them to each location and where they will learn more about CCA along the way.  Each stop will feature beverages, giveaways, and opportunities to interact with CCA volunteers or families.  Riders who visit all of the stops will be entered into a drawing for a Grand Prize.  You can register HERE or if unable to attend the ride you can sponsor a rider HERE.

There will be an award’s ceremony at the Corner Saloon which is the final stop of the CCA Joyride.

Photo courtesy of Paradise H-D and CCA Joyride.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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Closure Notice at AMC

The American Motorcycle Classics (AMC) Harley-Davidson dealer in Albany, OR., is going out of business at the end of the month.  They’ve called it quits.

Years ago the business was run by John Lewis, Sr.  He retired, moved to Las Vegas and sold the business to his son, John, Jr.   The G.M. was Joe Saltarello.  Was it the poor economy?  Sure didn’t help.  Were other H-D dealers complaining how Albany was cannibalizing their business which is only good for the consumer?  Did they invest in the business?  Depends on your definition of “invest.”  Maybe John, Jr. was having problems making the payments to Sr., who may have held on to the real estate and now decided to liquidate the assets, cut his losses, sell the real estate and call it a day?   Or, maybe they were FORCED out by the H-D motor company?

Hey, now that is an interesting question.  Maybe it’s a combination of all of the above.  Who knows?  If you do know send me a note.  I’m discreet.

Here is what we do know.  Over the last two years H-D is trying to consolidate its dealerships one way or another.  H-D may have just sent a letter of retirement to Albany/John Jr.  In essence it withdraws approval for the H-D franchise.  I called and spoke to the finance manager at AMC earlier in the month and he indicated that H-D was “forcing them out.”  Similar to the Chevrolet and Chrysler dealership forced closings.  Maybe it was sour grapes, but his statement went something like “HD was demanding they expand the store” and while they had committed a half-million $$ in infrastructure investment to H-D in what could be viewed as mini “Super Store” … they just didn’t have the sales revenue for such an investment, essentially being forced out by the manufacturer.  It’s not clear if AMC was selling a reasonable volume of licensed products, but I think it’s unlikely given the location.  The finance manager also stated they were doing about half the motorcycle sales volume they once garnered 4 years ago so clearly the economy has had a relevant impact.

Businesses fail all the time so what’s the point of this post?

Well, AMC H-D is well known in the northwest for being the cheapest H-D dealer in Oregon.  If I had interest in a new motorcycle I would always call or drive down and get pricing whether it be a motorcycle or parts.  That then became my new starting price to leverage any deal at a local dealer closer to the Portland metro area.  I never did purchase a motorcycle there,  but I have 4 buddies who all purchased motorcycles during the last 2-4 years from Albany.  They obtained below MSRP on every purchase, including additional discounts on aftermarket parts and walked away saving $1000’s and big smiles!

And even though they saved all those $$’s… cheapest does not always work.  You can’t always make it up on volume and it now seems that little was dropping to the bottom line to keep the doors open and make the payments.   We’ve seen this behavior in other type businesses.  A person will throw an “open sign” up in a strip mall and offer cheap prices — way below the current market — but in less than 24 months they disappear.  It means they were not making enough money, and just screwed up the market for everyone else.

AMC H-D had a “No pancakes, No S*****t, no rock band, no bull” slogan which was essentially an anti-social slam toward other dealers who subscribe the post-sales mantra.  But you know what?  That doesn’t work for some folks.  Yeah saving a few bucks is important (always!), but many of us are motorcycle enthusiasts and are looking for a dealer that will be in business (long-term), one that’s like a social “club” to hang out, talk shop, talk custom modifications and they are willing pay a little extra $$ to have that option.  Personally I like the fact that Paradise personnel (Mike(2)) know who I am and will call me by name when I walk into the dealer.  We’re not BFF’s, but I know, that they know, that I over paid a few hundred $$ for that privilege on my last motorcycle purchase, and for me it’s more than just a money transaction – its genuine relationship building – AFTER the sale.

Maybe this is what happened at Albany?  They had “A Beautiful Mind” moment.  Did you see the movie?  In the movie Russell Crowe plays John Nash, a mathematician who won the Nobel Prize for developing the concept of non-cooperative game theory.  In case you’re not familiar with the theory, it roughly means that to make the best decisions, you have to consider the actions of your competitors.

This may sound harsh, but in my view, the AMC H-D building was “lipstick on a pig.”  Functional, but not a place you’d socialize or hang-out long.  I’ve been there in the early morning and remember how they didn’t even have coffee for customers?!  Call me Mr. shallow.  From an outside-looking-in viewpoint,  the company didn’t have much of a Facebook presence, didn’t do any blogging or customer outreach, the email system announcing sales totally sucked and defied any reasonable logic from a marketing viewpoint, and did I say the web site was dated?  At the end of the day it just didn’t look like they were putting a lot into promoting the business or appealing to those who were looking for more of a social gathering atmosphere at their local dealer.  Yeah they could “splain” that all off as low overhead giving YOU the customer the best price, but when every other dealer around you is struggling and willing to lower/match prices to compete and your shop has no amenities… you’ve cast your destiny

There are consequences other than it’s “Christmas in July” for Paradise H-D, Salem H-D and Team Latus!  There is the loss of 10-19 people who are no longer gainfully employed – and I’m not trivializing this because the folks there are hard working people and deserve better – but, PowerSports Network (powered the website) loses a customer and AMC H-D also sponsored the Pioneer H.O.G .Chapter (newsletter PDF HERE).  It was the first northwest chartered H.O.G. chapter (#4085), and it now has no home.

I’m sorry to see the dealership close and I’m sure for many of you it feels like losing an old friend.  I’m just glad I don’t have any pre-paid expensive special parts on order!

Photo courtesy of American Motorcycle Classics.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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We get them all the time. They are often ignored.

It goes something like… bring canned goods to the post office.  Or a notice in your inbox as it swells up with requests.  As people talk up a cause, send Facebook requests and use testimonials to solicit your participation and ask that you give.

In the northwest, charity events ranging from runs, to bicycle events to climbing Mt. Hood all start ramping up in the spring.  Even motorcycle enthusiasts are called to participate in various charity rides.  Sure motorcycle charity rides can be something of a grind at times.  The days start early, there can be dicey weather, the routes can be stressful and fuel stops can be chaotic.  But, that’s why on Saturday, June 4th it will be a genuine treat to join Mike Durbin (Paradise H-D) for the 2nd annual CCA Joyride which supports the Children’s Cancer Association.

Most everyone likes to help out where there is a need and this is especially true when it comes to children who can’t help themselves.  The ride will start at Paradise H-D (Tigard) and take off for Pacific City on the coast at 10am.  I hope you’ll consider joining this charity ride which has great Oregon scenery and is well organized by the pro’s at Paradise H-D.

Besides.  Riding for a good cause just makes you smile!

Photo courtesy of CCA Joyride.

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Magna Motors H-D Dealer (Santo Domingo)

By now everyone has heard about Haitians suffering from the mass destruction brought on by the earthquake.   The toll on human life is hard to imagine.  Volunteers have gathered in cities around the world to help with the aid relief.  Not speaking Creole and looking for meaningful ways to help people in Haiti is a challenge — other than to open our wallets.

Hundreds of U.S. companies have rallied to donate everything from money to services and products.  For example FedEx is delivering supplies, Coca-Cola is donating bottled water and food, Lowe’s donated $1M to the Red Cross, Microsoft pledged $1.25M, Google pledged $1M, MLB  pledged a $1M, Procter & Gamble donated PUR Purifiers for access to clean water.  The list of company donations grows daily.

On the motorcycle front, Harley-Davidson announced plans it will donate 28 new Buell and Harley-Davidson motorcycles to assist with earthquake disaster relief and stabilization efforts. The motorcycles are being shipped from Milwaukee to facilities in the Dominican Republic, where the Harley-Davidson dealership Magna Motors, S.A. will facilitate direct delivery to the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti.  The motorcycles will remain in Haiti as a permanent donation to the government.

I was curious and did a quick Google Maps look up on the Magna Motors H-D dealer (Santo Domingo) and learned its 196km (121 miles) from the Harley dealer to the Haitian border.  Then it’s another ~50miles to the Haiti capital.  Given truck transport issues from the border to Port-au-Prince and lack of ground transportation the motorcycle delivery will unfortunately take time.

At a local level Paradise H-D is donating $100 to MercyCorps (a Portland, OR based team of doctors and volunteers to help during crisis) for every new and pre-owned Harley motorcycle they sell during February.

There are some other ambitious projects underway to help that I want to bring your attention too.  Among them, Haiti OpenStreetMap, now the most complete digital map of Haiti’s roads, hospitals, triage centers and refugee camps currently available. Another project is the We Need, We Have Exchange, a project in partnership with the U.S. State Department to create a Craigslist-style site where nonprofits working in Haiti can post needs and requests and find donors.

Photo courtesy of the Forwood World Motorcycle Travel Blog.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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