If the bike ships directly from Brammo, I would expect it to be around $400 too.
The dealer checked and told me that shipping directly from the factory was not an option offered by the OEM. Makes sense to me, as I see this as a way of moving liability to the dealer to ensure that the motorcycle is safe and ready for the customer. But with the still limited dealer network, that means that things are going to be difficult for distanced buyers like me.
It means I have to pay double shipping if the dealer decides to stick me with a destination charge to cover their shipping from the factory. There's also the dealer prep fee which might cover the un-crating, assembling (mirrors), reprogramming, adjusting, and topping off of coolant. But if they're going to disassemble it, re-crate it, and ship it to me, what if it's damaged during shipping to me. I'm getting a bike that's not 100%, yet that's what I paid the prep fee for?
I really want to support these early dealers, because they're taking a risk that deserves to be rewarded. Hopefully we'll come to good agreement for both of us. Shipping from Ashland is a great approach because it saves carbon and cuts costs, but it also cuts these regional dealers out of the loop.
I have family in FL, so another option for me is to buy it from the Tampa dealer over the holidays if the timing works out. But then again, who knows when my pre-order number comes up. I don't want to skip line, but it could be a while. If the dealers are slow to get their merchandise and if they're slow in dispersing that merchandise over such a large region, then it could be difficult to honor that wait list.
BTW, I paid MSRP + $475 for prep and shipping when I got my Enertia from Best Buy in Ashland. So that's what I'm looking to pay for the Empulse. I did all of the tax and title work myself. Oops, did I just show my cards to the PA dealer.