Find a Trusted Partner in a Dealership

by Rob Watt

Whether you bought your new/used bike from a dealer or purchased through Craigslist, finding the right dealership is crucial to the joy of motorcycling.  I do some of my own maintenance or should I say, I can pull off the wheels to take them to the dealer for new tires.  I have found my way to the air filter for a change every once in a while. And if truth be known, I added some coolant whether it needed it or not.  So, a good dealership with a great service department is important to me and somewhat essential. A service department is one where they know your name and the effort of recognizing you're a past customer and appreciating your presence.

I have found two such dealerships, one for my KTM 990 and one for my BMW 1200GS.  Let's start with the KTM.  Apex Motorsports, in Colorado Springs, has been a life saver in more ways than one.  It usually seems I need them right before I go on a trip and I don't plan to need them.  But it never fails, something out of the ordinary happens and I find myself calling them at the last minute to get some sort of repair done.  The guys in the shop really know their bikes and it doesn't take forever to get a repair done. (unless it's April, when everyone waits to get their bike fixed, then it's your own darn fault for waiting when you had all winter.  You all know what I'm saying.)

Below is a photo of my 1973 Honda ST90, which wasn't running quite right.  The owner of Apex, Mike Stokes brought in his retired technician who knew a little something about older bikes.  It now runs like a dream... now that is what I'm talking about with customer service.

For my BMW, I travel to Albuquerque, NM and see the guys at Sandia BMW (top photo).  This is another prime example of a dealership who gets the customer service I expect.  I do a lot of riding down in New Mexico and Arizona, so I plan my trip to stop and get service done on the bike while going through.  They have a great customer service lounge upstairs so I can work while waiting on the bike.  If you call ahead and give them a couple days notice, they are really good about working with your schedule.  But try to give them more notice than a day just out of common courtesy. The technicians who work on the bikes have never let me down with their diagnosis and repairs on my 1200GS.

So go out and find a good dealership that takes care of you and your bike and if you have to travel a little ways to find a good one, it's well worth it.  Oh, I've had great experiences with other dealerships, but these are the two I consider my "trusted partners".