World Superbike Racer
Join Date: Apr 2015
I Ride: 2015 30th anniversary ZX-6R
Welcome aboard, we are glad you've decided to come out of the shadows.
You have a conundrum, 1) you can look to a dealer that's closet to you (and that's if you are not expecting to move anytime real soon); 2) or you can look for best price for X-miles from where you live.
Not sure.where specifically you are, but you might look east, say100-miles. That would easily put you in Sacramento, Yuba City, Marysville, Roseville, Redding, Fresno, Visalia, etc. My 1st instinct would be to go close to I-5 cities, away from cities on the coast, say Santa Cruz or Monterey, but perhaps a smaller town like Salinas or Paso Robles.
Now, that's not to say don't check with coastal dealers, I would think the closer you are to The City, the more you will pay. Especially if you can find a dealer you has been sitting on a '15 that just has not been able to move.
The closer to Spring/summer the more you will pay, so if you can afford to pull the trigger now, go for it. Also, go to the dealer at the end of the Quarterly months (Mar., Jun., Sep., Dec.). Choose a day where the weather is not warm and sunny. And finally, take a male friend who knows a thing or two about bikes, the sales person will initially be inclined to speak to him and not you, but have your friend redirect the salesperson to you. This is not a time to be righteous (that comes when you drive away with a fabulous deal in hand). You are there simply to get the best price possible.
Don't be afraid to walk away. Look at it this way, you are going to have lunch/dinner in a town you normally wouldn't dine at. That's the worst thing that will happen. Leaven your name and number. Remember there are various components that go into the price you pay. A good example is my dealer does not charge 'set up fees', that alone can save a couple hundred dollars. My favourite question that I ask before I walk out the door (w/o a bike) is, "... Have you sold too many bikes this month; or can you afford to sell another...?"
Now, the thing you are buying if you buy from the closest dealer is ease of service, should you have a mechanical issue. Say you live in Milpitas, and have to go to San José... Not a big deal. Usually, the selling dealer will give you a price break on retail items (sometimes you have to ask for it/inform the Parts guy you bought your bike there).
So, you see there's not one answer that fits all occasions/people.