Well, that is interesting. Wish they would have done that when I bought my Street, as I was ready to trade it in within a year. Actually, technically I did do this program, I bought it for 4500 and traded it in on a big Harley for 4200 trade-in, so I guess I'm not complaining.
If it was only on Streets, I'd understand it better; the fact they include Sportsters makes me think that this is an effort to flush out the inventory (I mean, obviously, but -- maybe moreso in this case). Closing the Kansas City plant, where Streets and Sportsters are made, may be an indication that this is the last year for Sportsters as we know them, and maybe the last year for "made in the USA" Streets. We'll see.
the dealer prep, destination fee, freight, tags, title, taxes
Well, that's the interesting thing too. Depends on how you negotiate the deal. On my 2018 Softail, I told 'em I don't care how they work the price, I'm not paying more than $15k (MSRP was $19,200) plus trade-in. I don't care if you give me a $500 trade-in and charge me $15,500 for the bike, or if you give me a $1000 trade-in and charge me $10,000 for the bike and $5,000 in fees, it doesn't matter. All that matters is that the check I give you will be for no more than $15,000." So they worked it that they charged me nothing for freight, destination, or dealer prep fees. Zero. MSRP on the bike was lowered to $18,500. They gave me 4200 in trade. They charged me $1200 in sales tax. That's it. That came out to $15,500; I took off the seat and luggage rack/sissy bar from my Street and sold those for $500 to make up the difference.
Point being, they can make fees and prep and all that go away if they want the deal bad enough.
What do you think out the door price will be of the bike you buy?
Well, if I was a shark of a dealer, I'd give you a **** of a price on the bike, and load it up with fees. If you were buying a $10,000 Sportster I'd much rather sell it to you at $7,000, with $5,000 of fees, than sell it to you at $10,000 with $2,000 of fees. The trade-in promise is based on the actual selling price of the bike, so the lower the selling price, the lower the trade-in value would be.
But point taken -- obviously you're going to have to be very, very, very observant about the numbers. And while not everyone can buy outright, it can certainly keep them from shenanigans; financing it gives them all sorts of ways to drive up the actual dollars paid.