Great Dealer Experience - Charlotte, NC
I just posted this story on the BMW site and thought I would share it with you guys. A couple of weeks ago I rode down from the Lexington, KY area to a conference in Charlotte, NC. I was following a buddy on a Gold Wing on a rainy morning and I was staying pretty far back to keep his spray from messing my faceshield. He had passed a couple of slow-moving trucks and as luck would have it as I was catching up the truck lane was coming to an end. I sped up to pass the trucks and immediately came up on a tight left curve. I leaned the bike over as far as I dared but when I hit the painted stripes on the side of the road I felt the back end slide. My immediate inclination was to stand the bike up to stop the slide and when I did...off the road I went heading straight for the guard rail. I had a full second to a second and a half to realize that I was going to hit the rail. (and since I was fixated on the rail that's just what I did) I still think a rider with better skills could probably have saved the bike but that's not what happened. Anyway I wasn't hurt bad. Thank goodness for riding gear. The worst that happened is that I was wearing rubber gloves to save my leathers (the Goldwinger's idea) and as I slid down the road the glove ripped taking a little skin with it plus I think I broke one of my fingers. The bike on the other hand got skinned pretty bad. It broke the front brake lever off and cut a gash through the right side plastic and through the valve cover. I'll spare the details but I tried to ride the 300 miles left to Charlotte on my limping red shark. No front brakes and a worsening oil leak. I made it to about 80 miles north of Charlotte when I gave it up. I was losing too much oil from the valve cover and was having to stop every 20-30 miles to add oil and it was getting worse each time I stopped.
I had called a friend who looked up the number for the Charlotte BMW dealer on the internet. When I called a woman who was the accountant for the dealership answered and explained that they were closed on Mondays. She was also the owner, Mark Engel's wife and was willing to give me his cell phone number. Even though it was his day off and late in the afternoon Mark hooked a trailer to his truck and came up and got me. The next day he took my bike into the shop and had his service manager, Bob look the bike over and order the parts needed to repair it. The parts were overnighted and the bike was ready to ride back to Kentucky on Thursday when the conference was over. This was in spite of the fact that they were swamped in the service department. Not only did the mechanic, Dave do a good job repairing the bike (at least the mechanicals, the cosmetic damage is still there) but he did a super job of cleaning it up. By the time Mark brought the bike in it was covered with oil and filth and when I picked it up it looked like some one had detailed it. Mark even invited me and my buddy to eat lunch with his wife and daughter on Thursday while we waited for my bike to be test rode.
If you are ever in the Charlotte area stop by and see Mark. He's got a great service department and a very nice shop. In addition to BMWs they sell other makes including Ducati, Triumph and Aprilla. Thanks again, Mark. You made a very miserable situation not only bearable but memorable.
I tried to get my bike into my regular dealer, BMW of the Tri-State, for a complete check up but as predicted back in December the dealer has closed. Has anybody heard if they are going to open again soon. My next closest dealer is in Louisville. Anybody heard anything good/bad about them. Thanks.