Hi All -
I have just been told by a salesman -
1. Versys are so in demand that we sell them as faster than we get them (I have a list of people to call)
2. There are no more bikes coming from Japan for the next 3 months due to rolling blackouts.
3. We only have about 10% of MSRP to make a deal with....
1. There were a LOT of them sent over for the 2009 model year, about the time that bike sales dropped off by at least 50%. It seems all but a very few have now been discounted and sold. It is not a high-demand model, on the other hand I was into Malcolm Smith Motorsports last Saturday for a Suzuki demo day and a very friendly and experienced rep (was with Malcom's racing products for 15 years 'till he sold it off) saw my bike and said, "Oh, those are neat bikes, we can't seem to get any of those in." I dunno if that meant they hadn't ordered any because they don't sell or what. They have all the jap brands plus KTM, Aprillia, Husky, and Husaberg. He also said sales were about double what they were a year ago, said they just about starved to death. Chapparals, huge mail-order and store in San Bernardino always has a couple on the showroom floor. Haven't been there lately so don't know if they have any 09's left. I have a hunch there were substantially less made for the 2010 model year. I know Yamaha didn't even build any of some of their models, for sure the WR250's.
2. Whether there are or there aren't has no bearing on what models are currently for sale. You can't buy a bike they don't have or can't get.
3. I may be mistaken but I think it's closer to about 15%. Still, you should be able to get 'out the door' for at or a little under MSRP. The longer they have them sitting around the more 'cost' they have into them because they start paying flooring on them after about 30 days. If there's a mfr rebate or discount then they can pass some or all along.
Beware the dealers advertising a price that is substantially below the general marketplace. When you get there they will have mandatory add-ons for freight and prep. Malcolm Smiths has about $900 listed on every sticker sheet for freight and 'assembly'. Yeah right. It's a bargaining chip. They charge $400 on the sales ticket but cost is probably an hour or less, maybe $50 cost to the dealer. If they are within driving distance of the warehouse like here in CA I don't think there is any freight costs either, they go pick them up on a flatbed.
Demand and availability to replace inventory will have a very large influence on how much they are willing to discount. When new and improved models are introduced for a given bike the older version will generally have to be at least discounted more than the newest edition just to get buyers to take them in lieu of the newest version. KTM is a great example - they don't change much from year to year unless it's a new model introduction or major upgrade, so there is generally just a couple of hundred dollars difference from year to year. The previous year usually gets snapped up at the minor deal because there isnt' much gained for the newer year. And they only make so many of them, many models do sell out so they can be hard to replace for the dealers. They get an allottment, or they place their order for the entire year and once they sell what they got they can't get any more unless they can get them from another dealer. All good reasons to 'hold gross' on the selling price. Some discounting is to 'give the buyer a deal to get him to buy now', but generally they keep the prices up pretty close to msrp. Most of those dealers don't play games with prep and freight fees - there is freight on them, they set them up as part of the biz of selling bikes.
There is some merit to finding a dependable dealer, particularly if there are several within your service region. If not, buy the best deal you can and are willing to travel, and take care of the servicing yourself. Frankly, a few hundred dollars is soon forgotten on a purchase such as this, and you can waste that kind of cash dinking around and traveling a long distance to buy one. 5% either way shouldn't really make that much difference, you're taking maybe $300-$400. You can spend that much in gas and hotels traveling to save that much on a purchase from a distant dealer. Even 10% on seven grand is $700. Hell we drop that on a weekend to vegas, about half that on a holiday weekend to the dez with the RV (like this next weekend!)
Financing is another weakpoint for dealers. The credit company affiliated with Kawasaki is a joke. They are like vultures, don't ask me how I know. I refinanced mine after the first year with my credit union for half the rate and they don't play games with fees and charges.