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1Back to top Go down   BMW Seattle - Poof! Empty BMW Seattle - Poof! on Thu Oct 03, 2019 5:13 am

duck

duck
Life time member
Life time member
Closed their doors last week.  Buddy of mine drove by over the weekend and said they were loading up bikes and hauling them away.

BMW Seattle - Poof! 1643292-768x603

Article:

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/local-business/5-local-motorcycle-dealerships-abruptly-closed-by-their-owner-a-microsoft-executive/

Seattle-area fans of BMW, Ducati and other high-end motorcycles got a rude shock last week when five local dealerships were shuttered by their owner, a Microsoft executive who is described as an avid motorcycle racer with little apparent experience in the industry.


On Thursday, workers at the five NobleRush dealerships — a joint BMW-Ducati-KTM location at 8100 Lake City Way in Seattle; a Ducati dealership in Redmond, and two multibrand dealerships in Auburn — learned that the businesses had been closed indefinitely, according to former employees, the previous owner of one of the dealerships, and social media posts by customers.


“The doors are closed until further notice,” a former employee confirmed Monday morning. There were also reports over the weekend that motorcycles were being removed from several of the shuttered dealerships.


The dealerships’ owner, Microsoft group program manager Howard Crow, couldn’t be reached for comment. A search of local court records found no related lawsuits or liens against Crow, or any bankruptcy filings.


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Current stable:
86 Custom K100 (standard fairing, K75 Belly pan, Ceramic chromed engine covers, paralever)
K75 Frankenbrick (Paralever, K11 front end, hybrid ABS, K1100RS fairing, radial tires)
86 K75C Turbo w/ paralever
94 K1100RS
93 K1100LT (x2)
91 K1
93 K75S (K11 front end)
91 K75S (K1 front end)
14 Yamaha WR250R
http://www.ClassicKBikes.com
    

2Back to top Go down   BMW Seattle - Poof! Empty Re: BMW Seattle - Poof! on Thu Oct 03, 2019 7:00 am

Dai

Dai
Life time member
Life time member
Tech scuttlebutt has it that he's about to lose his job.


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'83 K100 upgraded to K100RS spec
Others...
'78 Moto Guzzi 850-T3, '79 Moto Guzzi 850-T3 California,'93 Moto Guzzi 1100ie California,
'03 Suzuki Blandit GSF600SK3 (NFS any more because wifey has claimed it)
    

3Back to top Go down   BMW Seattle - Poof! Empty Re: BMW Seattle - Poof! on Thu Oct 03, 2019 11:33 pm

Matthew-Brisbane

Matthew-Brisbane
Life time member
Life time member
Horrible reading about the people that just paid for there bikes but have not yet picked them up  

Don't know what the laws are like over in the USA but could imagine the headaches about to happen


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1986 K100 RS Motorsport
#### K100 RS Project 
2011 R1200 GS
    

4Back to top Go down   BMW Seattle - Poof! Empty Re: BMW Seattle - Poof! on Fri Oct 04, 2019 12:32 am

duck

duck
Life time member
Life time member
@Matthew-Brisbane wrote:Horrible reading about the people that just paid for there bikes but have not yet picked them up  

Don't know what the laws are like over in the USA but could imagine the headaches about to happen

Yeah, that would really bite.

My guess is that they get to stand in line with all of the creditors.

Probably a good idea to get the title signed over the moment you pay.  Then it legally becomes your property. That might help.


__________________________________________________
Current stable:
86 Custom K100 (standard fairing, K75 Belly pan, Ceramic chromed engine covers, paralever)
K75 Frankenbrick (Paralever, K11 front end, hybrid ABS, K1100RS fairing, radial tires)
86 K75C Turbo w/ paralever
94 K1100RS
93 K1100LT (x2)
91 K1
93 K75S (K11 front end)
91 K75S (K1 front end)
14 Yamaha WR250R
http://www.ClassicKBikes.com
    

5Back to top Go down   BMW Seattle - Poof! Empty Re: BMW Seattle - Poof! on Fri Oct 11, 2019 1:15 pm

Two Wheels Better

Two Wheels Better
Moderator
Moderator
Nearly everyone who worked for or did daily business with 'Mr Crow' knew this was coming, eventually. He was an absentee and aloof owner who wrung the employees for all they were worth through his store manager minions. He reduced staff numbers through redundancy, cut inventory budgets on spares - but not motorcycles - and lost or drove away many experienced and talented staff in the several years he owned what used to known as Ride West BMW (later BMW Motorcycles of Seattle). 

He first bought Ducati Seattle and Ducati Bellevue, two established and relatively successful dealerships. He had a penchant for Ducati and rumour had it he used to fancy himself a bit of a racer. Whilst I was employed in the parts department at Ride West BMW from late '12 through late '14, he'd frequent the shop as the owners, Ann and Keith Thye, were in negotiation for him to first purchase Ride West, then eventually their other Beemer shop, South Sound BMW located near Tacoma, about 35 miles south. The caveat was profitability. He always wore a ball cap and kept it pulled down tightly over his forehead. The few times I spoke to him he would never make eye contact, with me or any other in the vicinity. He was difficult to trust. Within a coupla years he'd bought the former (local, longtime, large and successful) Hinshaw's and their Indian of Auburn store next door, and moved and relocated/incorporated the two Ducati shops, one over to Redmond, home of Microsoft. He renamed the entire glob of newly purchased and existing shops, Noble Rush, after his racing team of yore. 

I went back to work at South Sound BMW, closer to where I was living at the time, from 2014 thru 2016, and each day we employees collectively waited for him to make his move on South Sound. It never happened. With some irony it was supposed to be the 1st of April he'd have to have his decision made by. One year went by, then two. I left that shop and went to work as area rep for a nationwide motorcycle aftermarket parts supplier, and kept in close contact with South Sound, as well as all of the other Noble Rush stores as all five shops he owned were in my sales territory. I was acquainted with a lot of the folks who worked there, saw them every week in my usual duties as rep, and came to know some of them well. The fact that these hardworking people were tossed onto the unemployment pile with no chance of receiving their last paycheque, though some of them did immediately secure employment in the business, such is their talent, and it was a dreadful feeling to hear the news as it broke locally. I feel for them the most.

Many former employees did indeed manage to get back inside their respective shops (without pay, borne of duty) and return (sometimes disassembled motorbikes) to service department customers, while new and secondhand bikes were delivered to their owners. As for the parts suppliers, bike manufacturers and various small vendors who did business with Crow, the manufacturers got back their inventory that was still on 'flooring' (financed), and I know of a few mechanics who argued their way inside to retrieve their toolboxes, but very many are left with a hole in their pockets where the money used to be.

I personally experienced, a couple years back, while still an area parts rep for the national parts supplier, that the collective shops didn't pay their monthly parts bill in a timely manner, as befitting a supposedly well-financed business. I had to cut them off - which cut me off ($) as well - and was often negotiating payment plans with them for my company. The grapevine suggested he was financed for the purchase of each dealership through the SBA or federally administered Small Business Administration. In the end it may not have been his money at all.

Here's a great perspective by a local online, monthly motorbike 'zine: Ten Takeaways from the Demise of Noble Rush


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1987 K100RS, '89 K100 w/K1100RS engine, '93 Framed K11/K12 engine 'Big Block', '96 K1100RS, '09 K1300GT, '13 R1200RT-P, '95 R100 Mystic & '77 R75/7.

    

6Back to top Go down   BMW Seattle - Poof! Empty Re: BMW Seattle - Poof! on Fri Oct 11, 2019 2:45 pm

duck

duck
Life time member
Life time member
Interesting to get your insider perspective, TWB.

Though I do all of my own wrenching it's a good thing he didn't take South Sound down too. And then there's that shop up in Lynnwood that also recently became a BMW dealer so local people needing service aren't totally SOL.

Sad to see Ride West go. As you know, I frequently got parts there when I lived just a few miles away.


__________________________________________________
Current stable:
86 Custom K100 (standard fairing, K75 Belly pan, Ceramic chromed engine covers, paralever)
K75 Frankenbrick (Paralever, K11 front end, hybrid ABS, K1100RS fairing, radial tires)
86 K75C Turbo w/ paralever
94 K1100RS
93 K1100LT (x2)
91 K1
93 K75S (K11 front end)
91 K75S (K1 front end)
14 Yamaha WR250R
http://www.ClassicKBikes.com
    

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