Kindred Spirits

Motorcycle dealerships are unique. They are one of very few commercial places where people feel free to hang out and talk with the workers and other customers as if it were a club instead of a business outlet.  I've witnessed this phenomenon dozens of times and find it fascinating.
Nobody would go into a grocery store, department store, office supply store and so on just for the fun of it; simply for the opportunity to hang out and be around people with similar passions and interests. For one thing, they likely wouldn't be welcome.  If a person went into a Krogers and just hung around, talking with the help and other customers about the bananas or corn flakes, they would eventually be told to leave.
But folks are more than welcome to come into a motorcycle dealer's showroom and just hang around. They can look at the bikes, talk with the sales staff, sit in one of the chairs that are there for visitors, read the magazines and journals that are kept just for this reason, and talk with other customers and browsers - for a couple hours or more - without anyone telling them they have to leave. Obviously the repair shop is off limits because of safety and productivity issues, but the sales area is almost like the club grounds for members - a bottomless pot of coffee is as much a feature of motorcycle dealer showrooms as are the products they sell.
This is very cool. It's just one more example of the unique relationship that exists between riders and the places that sell bikes and accessories. It's a relationship and community, not just a business (though it is a business also, and one that must survive financially. Keep this in mind and support your local dealer or they won't be there when you need them. You can't meet your friends, look at the bikes, and get free coffee at an Internet site.)
I witnessed this relationship again this past weekend, this time at the Grand Rapids, MI BMW dealer. The number of customers who came in and spent a large part of the day there, just browsing, talking, enjoying a coffee and snack, and basking in the camaraderie and the impressive display of machines and gear was amazing.
Like the old Cheer's TV show, it's a place where everybody knows your name and you are always welcome; more of a family gathering than just another commercial retail outlet whose goals are to make a sale and move customers quickly and efficiently in and out of the doors.