Buying a motorcycle or scooter can feel like an intimidating thing to do. There’s paperwork. There’s usually several thousand dollars in play. There’s state licensing, registration and taxes. The process would be drawn out and difficult if it weren’t for one person: Nina.
Don’t let her punk rock style fool you. Nina’s got the goods on making a bike purchase happen as easily and quickly as possible. Better yet, she’s got tools and connections to help you get your new baby paid for and protected. Best of all, Nina’s a rider herself and you won’t meet anybody with more enthusiasm for all things motorcycle.
Even though I’ve actually bought a bike through Nina in the past, I didn’t know just how many tools she has available to help buyers until we sat down and chatted about it last week.
NS: Hi Nina, first off tell me how to pronounce your last name.
NS: Great. Tell us what you do here at Motoworks in broad strokes.
Nina: I am the Finance and Insurance department.
NS: So when people come here wanting to buy a bike, few walk in with $10,000 in their pocket…
Nina: This is correct.
NS: …so financing, that makes sense. But for those at home, tell us what that experience is like typically so that people can know what to expect.
Nina: Typically most customers have some sort of sense of where they fall as far as their finances are concerned. Maybe they can just buy a bike outright, but if you have good credit, why not take advantage of the bank’s promotions, or something from the OEMs? For example, Triumph currently has financing specials on on their Classic line. They’re offering as low as 2.99% for up to 60 months. Some folks can take advantage of that, but I also understand things are kinda tough for some people.
When 2008 hit, a lot of folks kind of went under, and now a lot of people are trying to rebuild and re-establish credit and that is a little difficult, but at the same time, if you can finance finance a bike at all, that can help.
In this business, it’s actually pretty simple. It only takes a matter of minutes to line up financing and before you know it, off you go.
NS: So I bought a bike from here last year, and I already had a credit union lined up, but you guys did all the leg work. You got them on the phone. You got them to reprocess my old loan on the bike I was trading in and initiate the new loan. That level of service is probably something people hadn’t really thought about. Is there anything else as part of this process that you do for people that’s unexpected?
Nina: Absolutely. First, I do have access to credit unions as well, so instead of sending the customer out and having them try to figure out financing on their own, I do everything I can in my power to get someone written [for a loan]. They don’t need to do that leg work in finding a lender.
That said, the details still come down to the person’s credit and finances, and that’s the reality of it. So if someone is trying to rebuild or reestablish [their credit] then it might be a slightly higher interest rate or they might have to put a little more money down, but everything is so doable.
With the back-end product as well, like RpmOne, or with Triumph, you can roll all of that into the financing to help protect your investment.
NS: So if you’re doing accessories or upgrades [on a new bike], you can roll that into your loan?
NS: Tell me about the Insurance side of what you do.
Nina: That would be products like extended warranties, or tire and wheel coverage. As far as actual insurance, obviously we are not an insurance agency. These programs are about protecting your bike in other ways — about protecting the investment you’re making.
NS: So this is not the state-required liability insurance or collision coverage, it’s stuff like hitting a massive pothole and destroying a wheel and having something to take care of that?
Nina: Yes. Tire and wheel coverage is something a lot of our customers take advantage of, which is really smart.
NS: So there’s extended warranties, tire & wheel, and what else?
Nina: There’s theft protection, and Priority Maintenance.
With Priority Maintenance you’re saving basically 50% off of what your long-term service bill would be because you’re paying for your services up front. It’s three years, six services up front.
With Theft Insurance, it works in conjunction with your regular insurance company. So if your bike is stolen and not recovered for 30 days, obviously you get a check from your insurance company for the actual cash value of the bike. Then separately, RpmOne would send you a check for up to $5,000.
NS: The idea there is to get you all the way up to the replacement cost of your bike, right?
NS: So you’re a rider too?
Nina: I am.
NS: What do you ride?
Nina: Right now I’m riding either a Triumph Thruxton or a Ducati Monster 796. I really like that style of bike.
NS: That midsize, naked street cruiser style?
NS: Do you have a favorite between the two of them?
Nina: I’d have to say the Thruxton. I mean, I do love the Monster for city stuff. I love them both. I’m indecisive. I’m a Libra, (laughs) so I’m back and forth. I like the torquey-ness of the Monster, but I love the classic look of the Thruxton. That sexy little cafe racer. I love it.
NS: Have you done anything to it? Any customizations?
Nina: Not yet.
NS: What are your plans?
Nina: Actually, I’d like to cafe-out the Monster — like fully cafe it out — but that’s a long process. It’s involved, so that’ll take a while.
NS: When did you start riding?
Nina: I started riding almost ten years now. When I started working at a Honda Yamaha dealership, that’s when I started. Well, maybe six months before that, but yeah, it’s been a while. I love it.
NS: What was your first bike?
Nina: A Suzuki Savage 650.
NS: Ooh, it’s SAVAGE!
Nina: Yes, SAVAGE! Then my second bike was a Yamaha R6, so a night and day difference.
Nina: Yeah, I jumped right into a sport bike.
NS: So you went from a big thumper to a full-on sport bike?
Nina: Yeah, but it was different riding out there. Back then I was out in the suburbs and it’s a different kind of riding than here in the heart of the city. You need an urban bike for the city — something you can easily maneuver around. I can’t do the sport bike thing in-town anymore.
NS: So what do you have your eye on now? What would you like to branch into?
Nina: I don’t know. As far as customizing stuff, I am really down with how our shop has gotten into all the British Customs stuff. I think there’s such a huge opportunity for customizing bikes, and a lot of people just don’t understand what’s available. All it takes is something like a fender eliminator here, and handlebars there.
NS: You’re right. There are so many options now. It’s very À la carte. You don’t end up with everybody who customizes their bike all having bikes that look the same. There are just so many options.
Nina: Exactly. That’s all I have my eye one. I already ride with the 59 Club and the Ton Up Boys and those guys take having fun on motorcycles extremely seriously. As far as events go, we have all of those events too, like Pints & Pistons and Motorcycle Mondays.
NS: So outside of motorcycle stuff, what do you do for fun?
Nina: It’s all motorcycle stuff. Literally. All week. Motorcycle Mondays at Five Star. Tuesdays I do the Moto Ladies event up at Cobra Lounge. Wednesdays is Pints & Pistons up at Holiday Club. If there isn’t an event, then it’s “Where are we riding? What can we go to?” Even if it’s just a short trip out of the city, then let’s go. My entire life is basically motorcycles. I love it.
NS: It’s such a sickness isn’t it. It just gets in your blood.
Nina: It’s an addiction. I love it. It’s a good addiction.
NS: That’s funny. People, a lot of the time, when they find out that I ride will say “That’s so dangerous” but the real danger is not that you might get hurt. The danger is that this will take over your life!
NS: It’s going to take over you life in ways you don’t expect. You’re going to spend your time and money on this because you can’t stop thinking about it.
Nina. All of your time and all of your money! I can’t stop thinking about it and planning stuff. The guys went up to mid-Ohio this weekend and I wasn’t able to go, but already we’re asking “When can we plan the next trip up?” So maybe next weekend we’ll take a nice ride out somewhere. We’ll see. It’s just non-stop, but I love it.
So next time you’ve got your eye on a new bike, keep in mind that Nina’s here to help. Not only does she have tools and resources for you and your next purchase, but you’re dealing with someone who understands exactly what it’s like to obsess day and night about that next ride. Say hi, and better yet, invite her out for a ride.