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Author Topic: Seattle Ducati/RE might close!  (Read 1294 times)

prof_stack

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Seattle Ducati/RE might close!
« on: June 04, 2011, 03:35:10 PM »
TV news story just aired here about the construction project (thank you Paul Allen...) that has ripped the income of Ducati/RE Seattle. 

Owner Dave Roosevelt was on camera shown pushing Ducatis out of the building for display (but no REs, alas).  He was quoted as saying that he will likely close the shop in Sept/Oct/Nov if things continue as they are now.  He said something about being half a million down in sales/service this year already.  Hey, I've done my part buying stuff from them. 

I wonder if Kevin M has a plan B in place for the Enfields.  I still think that Moto International (#1 Guzzi dealer in the USA) would be a nice fit, but owner Dave Richardson would have to lose the Aprila brand which parent company Piaggo might not allow if Guzzis are being sold.  Kevin did approach M.I. about it before eventually landing at the Ducati shop.

Ducati/RE Seattle is getting two B5 models soon. 
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Okie Enfield

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Re: Seattle Ducati/RE might close!
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2011, 04:03:14 PM »
 >:( Dude that sux! Another thing that erks me to no end is companies like Piaggo and their stupid restrictions they make on dealers who sell their products. If you wanna sell Aprilla or Piaggo/Vespas, they will not allow you to sell anything else! They want all US dealerships to be this stupid "boutique" for scoots! My local scooter shop sold Kymco, Stella's, TGB and the occasion chinese scooter and at that time was the ONLY full service shop in town that would work on scooters. When they approached Vespa about carrying their line, Piaggo said "get rid of all that other crap, Give us 250k and we will think about letting you sell our scooters" COMPLETE A**HOLES! Then when they were told that wouldnt happen and Tulsa could do without a "VESPA BOUTIQUE" they opened one couple miles away. However, nearest service was 200 miles away. Most owners still brought their bikes in for service but vespa cryed about the warranties. That Awesome shop is now CLOSED. Sure the economy is partly to blame, but alot of companies make it very difficult for a hardworking dealership to turn a buck now days. end rant  >:(

GreenMachine

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Re: Seattle Ducati/RE might close!
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2011, 04:09:57 PM »
same old story...corporate sets the rules and u must abide or  no selling their product...Go figure, and then the place closes up, they don't sell this product anymore in that area and the customers who previuosly purchased are left high n dry...What's good a warranty if u can't take it anywhere? Maybe the US market isn't good anymore... ???
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prof_stack

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Re: Seattle Ducati/RE might close!
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2011, 04:54:51 PM »
Yeah, when Ducati USA heard that Ducati Seattle had Royal Enfields on the showroom floor next to their plastic Italian bikes, they about had a heart attack.  I am not joking. 

Owner Dave said that they used to have an 80% rule in the showrooms with other brands (not counting scooters) being allowed up to 20% of space.  Apparently Ducati USA changed it recently to 100%, which might explain why the Enfields are now either on the sidewalk in dry weather or in the garage in wet weather.

Dave asks me these days if I wouldn't like a Ducati as a "back-up" bike to my C5.  He winces when I say how ugly the Ducatis are, although the basic 696 Monster is not too ugly.   :D  For a "back-up" I would rather have a CBR-250R or TU-250X or V7 Classic.
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Okie Enfield

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Re: Seattle Ducati/RE might close!
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2011, 06:37:50 PM »
If you are proud of your product, and know that you have made it a good value for the quality and performance that it provides, why in the world would you be worried about it sitting next to another brand? Most people dont walk into the first motorcyle or scooter shop with 6-10 k in their pocket and buy the first bike they see. Most people look around for something that meets their needs and is in their budget. So, IMHO, the companies guilty of these practices must know that their only hope in stealing a portion of the market share is to fool the customer into buying a "BRAND" not a bike. Meanwhile, hardworking folks, that care about bikes and their riders, go bankrupt trying live their dream. Pisses me off.  >:( grrrr

Eamon

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Re: Seattle Ducati/RE might close!
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2011, 07:09:59 PM »
Yeah, that construction has made their shop difficult to access for a while.  I was wondering if it was hurting their business.  I hope they are able to survive.  As far as the Ducati bikes go, I haven't had any interest in them since they quit making the GT1000 classic model.  Aside from the price, I just find the style of motorcycles they have in their lineup appallingly ugly.  I'm not knocking it for those that like the modern sport bike looks, but it's just not my cup of tea.  There isn't a single bike they make that I would keep, even if it was given to me.  I'd have a couple of Bullets though, if I could afford it!

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prof_stack

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Re: Seattle Ducati/RE might close!
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2011, 08:53:29 PM »
A Royal Enfield owner's cup is always half full.

r80rt

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Re: Seattle Ducati/RE might close!
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2011, 08:55:03 PM »
Not good, I hope they can hang in there.
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prof_stack

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Re: Seattle Ducati/RE might close!
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2011, 02:29:53 AM »
I stopped at the dealership and talked with owner Dave Roosevelt.  He smiled and said that the shop got LOTS of sympathy phone calls today and SOLD four motorcycles today (no RE's, though).  I told him I want to test-ride the B5 when it gets set up.  It is in transit now.

He really smiled when I said I would like to test-ride the Monster 696 and offered me to get out one that instant.  Too bad I had dinner to get home to. 
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jjoe256

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Re: Seattle Ducati/RE might close!
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2011, 02:36:26 AM »

   Motointernaional has carried both for years: Piaggio owns them both and Dave has no interest in REs. He has also carried off brands from time to time, like MZ, does pretty much what he wants.  But look out Stack, he's a good leftie!!  ;D
« Last Edit: June 05, 2011, 03:56:45 AM by jjoe256 »

prof_stack

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Re: Seattle Ducati/RE might close!
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2011, 04:06:35 AM »
  Motointernaional has carried both for years: Piaggio owns them both and Dave has no interest in REs. He has also carried off brands from time to time, like MZ, does pretty much what he wants.  But look out Stack, he's a good leftie!!  ;D

Yes, you are correct.  He is a good leftie.  He doesn't wear it on his sleeve!   ;)
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Ducati Scotty

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Re: Seattle Ducati/RE might close!
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2011, 06:40:18 AM »
Let's hope they are doing alright and can find another spot to relocate too.  That spot has to be pricey so close to downtown.  A little more off the beaten track and they might get a bigger shop for less.  Let's hope.

And a warning to you stack, if you ride a Ducati you will buy one.  Maybe not today but someday.  They are finnicky, fiddly, pricey little scoots that just drip Italian sex and power.  My Monster was the nicest street bike I ever owned, gobs of torque everywhere.  They get spanked on the track at top end but man do they shine on the street and back roads.

You have been warned!

;D

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greggers

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Re: Seattle Ducati/RE might close!
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2011, 07:20:32 AM »
The Sport Classic Biposto is the supermodel I sometimes fantasize about but by no means have the resources to keep happy

Ducati Scotty

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Re: Seattle Ducati/RE might close!
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2011, 03:54:50 PM »
That bike is a torture rack, I can't even sit on it in the showroom with my back.  But it's way sexy.  The GT 1000 is a nice bike but I tend to slide forward on the seat and the front end feels vague, not enough weight over it I think.

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ace.cafe

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Re: Seattle Ducati/RE might close!
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2011, 04:25:25 PM »
As with most "retro" models, the Ducati Sport Classics are a far cry from the original versions that they try to mimic.
Yes, the new ones are alot faster.
But I have owned the old 74 Sport bevel-twin, and also sat on the new ones.
It's totally different. One of the most noticeable things is that the new bike is fat and bulbous in comparison to the narrow and sleek originals.
I just don't like the fat designs that are everywhere these days
I'd take an original Sport anyday, over one of the new ones.

It's so funny. All they'd have to do is make the same bike they used to make, but nobody seems to be able to do it. All they can do is try to cobble some "retro looking" bodywork on to the latest model, and try to sell it.
If Ducati made a new copy of the real 74 Sport,  they'd sell a ton of them.
And if Guzzi made a new copy of the real LeMans Mk1, they'd sell a ton of them too.
But they both made a half-hearted attempt at a "re-style" of the new bike, and they just didn't make it.

I think the RE is the most accurate looking vintage "retro" bike out there. I know the engine is different, but most of the rest of it is pretty accurate vintage look.
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Ducati Scotty

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Re: Seattle Ducati/RE might close!
« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2011, 05:04:58 PM »
I like the modern interpretations but I'd like to see some retro bikes closer to the original.  Go with a more period appropriate but modernized engine. Tweak the things that need it: brakes, steering geometry, fuel injection, electronic ignition..

Wait, isn't that what RE did? ;)

Scott

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Re: Seattle Ducati/RE might close!
« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2011, 05:19:20 PM »
I had the same feeling about the new Triumphs. People want retro looks, not actual retro experience. I really got a laugh out of the Paul Smart Duc. The original had a translucent panel in the gas tank to see the level. The replica had a paint stripe to look like the original for those who have seen pics but not the real thing.

prof_stack

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Re: Seattle Ducati/RE might close!
« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2011, 05:38:52 PM »
The retro Ducs, and Guzzis, have plastic gas tanks.  That creates problems (bulging tanks for one) when ethonal lace fuels are used.  Good luck trying to get around that when out on the road somewhere.  It's harder to find "clear" gas than diesel.
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greggers

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Re: Seattle Ducati/RE might close!
« Reply #18 on: June 05, 2011, 06:18:55 PM »
Yea the plastic tanks are a huge problem, at best you can hope it happens under warranty (which apparently is minimum 5 years in California. A CA automotive law that actually benefits the consumer?? Now I've heard everything). But if you're gonna tell me that an Italian super bike from the 70s is a hassle free ride, I've got some swampland in Florida...

Ducati Scotty

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Re: Seattle Ducati/RE might close!
« Reply #19 on: June 05, 2011, 06:59:51 PM »
The new bike don't have this problem any more.  There's an inside tank made of black plastic that doesn't have to look pretty and then outer shells for the cosmetics.  Makes it easy to swap them out for color change and/or repair.

And paint stripe or not that Paul Smart bike was awesome!

Scott

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Re: Seattle Ducati/RE might close!
« Reply #20 on: June 05, 2011, 09:17:53 PM »
Going back to the closures of motorcycle dearlers, within last year 2 dealers have gone out of business within driving distance form me in New Jersey. Both were experienced shops - one sold Honda/Triumph and the other sold Kaswasakis/ Yamahas/Triumph.

A couple of grocery stores recently closed down.   
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birdmove

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Re: Seattle Ducati/RE might close!
« Reply #21 on: June 06, 2011, 06:40:33 PM »
  I saw that on the local news also and felt terrible for Dave and Seattle Ducati/Royal Enfield/Genuine Scooters. And Dave is happy to let a rider test ride a motorcycle. Then we have the gargantuan Renton Motorcycle Compney, the biggest mc dealership I've ever seen, who DOES NOT ALLOW Test Rides!! Why would anyone buy a motorcycle from a place like that? Support the dealers that let you test ride a bike.

    jon
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Ducati Scotty

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Re: Seattle Ducati/RE might close!
« Reply #22 on: June 06, 2011, 08:03:13 PM »
+1.

GreenMachine

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Re: Seattle Ducati/RE might close!
« Reply #23 on: June 06, 2011, 08:41:26 PM »
I hate hearing this stuff..Don't even think u not gonna miss those guys and their shops.. :(
Oh Magoo you done it again

Okie Enfield

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Re: Seattle Ducati/RE might close!
« Reply #24 on: June 06, 2011, 08:43:06 PM »
AMEN! Pretty soon your gonna have to buy your motorcycle from Walmart!  >:(

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Re: Seattle Ducati/RE might close!
« Reply #25 on: June 07, 2011, 01:18:20 AM »
I'm a tropical fish aquarium hobbiest, the local pet store here also sells E-Bikes, so dont be surprised to see motorbikes in Sprawl-Mart in the near future. Haha
میں نہیں چاہتا کہ ایک اچار
میں صرف اپنی موٹر سائیکل پر سوار کرنا چاہتے ہیں

Ducati Scotty

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Re: Seattle Ducati/RE might close!
« Reply #26 on: June 07, 2011, 02:16:03 AM »
Brammo is a company making some electric motorcycles.  Their first model (enertia) went about 40 and looked more like an electric appliance crossed with a mountain bike.  They sell it at Best Buy.  They now have two models.  The original now has much more power and range and the top line Empulse has three options, one of which can have a range up to 100 miles and a 100 mph top speed.  I really like what they've done and I'm really enthusiastic about electric vehicles but I hope they sell this thing through some moto dealers instead of electronics stores.  I've already got my RE dealer looking into it.

http://www.brammo.com/home/

Scott

GreenMachine

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Re: Seattle Ducati/RE might close!
« Reply #27 on: June 07, 2011, 02:27:45 AM »
yes they r nice...i like the brammo....after tax credit...7-10k....
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Re: Seattle Ducati/RE might close!
« Reply #28 on: June 07, 2011, 06:42:06 AM »
Dealership that is successful despite the economy getting killed by a construction project  :P :'( :-[  Damn Shame
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Re: Seattle Ducati/RE might close!
« Reply #29 on: June 07, 2011, 04:59:05 PM »
Heartbreaking. I wonder if he can be compensated for the loss.

Ducati Scotty

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Re: Seattle Ducati/RE might close!
« Reply #30 on: June 07, 2011, 06:07:34 PM »
Dealership that is successful despite the economy getting killed by a construction project  :P :'( :-[  Damn Shame

+1.  I hope they just move to a new spot.  All my favorite shops are in industrial parks, not downtown.

Scott

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Re: Seattle Ducati/RE might close!
« Reply #31 on: June 08, 2011, 02:55:20 AM »
The bigger companies don't have as much power as you might think. At present the power is in the hands of the dealer. I can guarantee you that Piaggio is not going to rock the boat after all of the dealers they've had close down. They are only an example and not a scapegoat, the same is true of most other brands. Even Harley has not been able to keep its dealers "pure" during these tough economic times.

There is not a brand out there that has much clout with dealerships at present. They are all just glad that the dealer is still in business and they are not buying back bikes from GE who finances most dealers inventory.

I usually tell dealers to tell a company that might be pressuring them that they will do whatever they want if they will co-sign for the debt his dealership has. Usually the last you hear from them on a tough issue.

It is pretty tough to be a one brand dealer of anything these days. We are in all sorts of stores that sell what were formally seen as single brand stores.