Tuesday, May 06, 2014

My morning in Memphis


I’ve visited lots of BMW motorcycle dealerships for a variety of issues and noticed there is a considerable variation in the level of amenities offered customers who are waiting for their bikes to be fixed.

The best I’ve found so far has to be BMW Motorcycles of Western Oregon in Tigard where they offer Wifi, cushy chairs, a big screen TV and even a pool table.

Grass Roots BMW Motorcycles in Cape Girardeau, Mo., is pretty good too. perfplus02There are several reasonably comfortable chairs, Wifi, and a TV with lots of motorcycle DVDs and magazines.

The worst that I can recall is Sportland Motorsports, a multi-brand dealership in Champaign, Ill. where I bought a set of tires a few years ago. There was no customer waiting area and about the only place to sit was on bikes in the rambling showroom.

So by that standard, Performance Plus, another multi-brand BMW shop in Memphis, isn’t too bad. Their customer lounge is a desk at the back of the showroom. No Wifi that I could detect and no entertainment other than my iPhone. But they did offer me a free Coke or cold water. I opted for the water.

But it’s not all about amenities, is it? I didn’t want to start the riding and rally season with a dead low beam headlight bulb, so I rode down to Memphis this morning to replace it. It’s been almost four years since I replaced both bulbs at BMW Motorcycles of Western Oregon, so I figured the high beam was probably going to fail in the next year or so too and I had it replaced too.

I’d do it myself, except that I learned the hard way that headlight bulb replacement on the first generation K1200GT is a freaking nightmare because the windscreen motor takes up too much space under the front fairing.

I left home about 8:40 a.m., arrived at Performance Plus around 9:45 and rode away with two new bulbs installed before 11 a.m. The GT was back in the garage by 12:20 p.m.

That’s way better than I expected and the price was right, too. Performance Plus charged me $88 and change, compared with $116 and change at Tigard in July, 2010.

So who cares if I all they could offer me was water and a desk chair? I’m impressed with their speed and labor costs and I’ll probably be back.

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