I gained a little insight into the preorder process today. This shouldn't be treated as first-hand knowledge, but rather my observations as a customer and overall friendly chap.
I just thought I'd share it in case it eases some of the frustration that we're getting from really just not knowing. I don't think Brammo's dragging their feet or witholding information. It's just a complicated process.
There's certainly a lot going on at once, and Brammo's Head of Dealer Development is right in the middle of it. Firstly, he's working to establish the dealer network, a task that I imagine must be tough for this new market segment. Secondly, he's distributing the preorder customers to the various dealers to give them the first chance to make sales to those nearby customers. Thirdly, he's determining the disbursement of bikes to the various dealers while honoring the preorder list. In order for dealers to secure those bikes, they are soliciting a deposit from their preorder customers. In my case, I'm still trying to work out the terms of my sale before sending in my deposit which seems to lock me to that dealer. So that's another delay that has to be managed.
Of course, as a customer I'm free to shop around to other dealers as well. I've started to do just that, but it's really in everyone's interest for me to stick with my regional dealer in PA. Luckily, the salesman from PA has been flexible so far. Until Brammo's dealer network expands, these existing dealers are going to have a lot of out-of-town customers like me with special shipping and documentation needs. We're all in this together at this point. Until this market segment hits critical mass, customers need to be patient, dealers need to be agile and adapt their sales practices, and Brammo needs to build both their network and more Empulses.
It also seems like the preorder list is very healthy. It might still be too early to know how many of those are converting to customers, but I get the feeling that quite a few are. The Tampa dealer reportedly has 20 preorders and is really interested in getting more bikes for the showroom. Some of that might be salesman hyperbole, but he sounded genuine. I'm sure the CA dealers are way more packed with preorders as well. And at #527 in the list, I might be PA's first customer and that puts me at an estimated late December to early January.