I know my last post about BMW dealers was less than glowing (but probably still better than those idiots deserved), however this time I’ve a smile on my face.
Before flying the bike and I to South America I had it serviced in The UK since I just didn’t trust my bike after my experience in Morocco. Vines BMW had great staff and did very good work- little things like putting new threadlock on the screws keeping the alternator cover in place let me know that they took their time and were detail focused. Admittedly they weren’t cheap, but I felt confident about starting on South America after having them checkout the bike.
In Salvador it was time for me to do an oil change, so I hit the dealer to get an oil filter, see what kind of oil they had, and check to see if I needed a new air filter- I was also hoping that they’d let me use their space or direct me to somewhere where I could do the work myself since I kind of enjoy working on the bike, as long as it’s just the very basic basics. Unfortunately, the language barrier was enough to reduce me to just asking for an oil change. The only guy who was there (turned out to to be the director of the dealership) still wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted, so he got on the phone and called in his head mechanic and a shop technician. On the Monday before Fat Tuesday, when the dealership wasn’t even really open he called in two staff members, who both showed up within 20 minutes. It got better as the guys showed up with smiles on their faces, checked out my bike and then quickly cracked open beers all round as they got to work. And did the most complete oil change I have ever seen- they checked everything, deciding that my gear oil needed changing as well, scanning the diagnostic log on the bikes computer, the works. Actually, they were so complete in their check I started to get nervous about the bill- anything to do with bikes is crazy expensive in Brazil, heck my bike retails for over $50,000USD there! But, while they were working, the director and I had been using Google Translate to pass notes back and forth to each other, having a great chat and the guys were doing such a great job on their day off that I figured I could deal with it… Then the bill arrived. Racing grade motorcycle oil at $50/liter (so, $200)! Oil filter the same! Etc, etc. It was more than I’d normally pay for a full service- except, the total was zero. The director had charged the cost to the dealership! He just said that I was on the road and it was good business to see BMWs on the road doing real trips.
So, end of the day, this guy opens his dealership for me on a holiday, calls in staff, feeds me beer, gets me the most complete oil change ever, and then comps the whole thing. Prime Motors in Salvador, Brasil- One of the best BMW bike dealerships in the world. Take away the free part and it still rates that high because of their customer focus, and most importantly- their competent and conscientious staff. I’ve been to 21 BMW Motorrad dealerships in 17 countries and they are easily on the podium.